Mid-Century Chinoiserie Rustic Eccentric PARTY TIME

If you’ve seen my home (or my blog, or my Instagram, or my Pinterest…), you know I love me some color. If I didn’t exercise some degree of restraint, I swear, my house would look like one of those massive 120-ct. boxes of crayons that your friend Ashley had and you were always really jealous of because you only had the 64-ct. box and it didn’t even have a good LILAC option. UGH. I digress.

Recently, though, I’ve discovered that you have to draw the line somewhere. My living room is chock full of brightly-colored pillows, super-saturated art, blue and orange lamps, and even an apothecary jar full of fake fruit. But when I brought in our new rug, all of a sudden, it was too much. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Lalita. But this girl is a Diva with a capital “D.” She wants to be a star – a STAR! She must have all the attention, and if anyone else tries to capture the spotlight, well … she’ll cut a B. Look out for Lalita. I’ve learned a lot from living with that crazy chick.

So, when Chairish asked me if I’d like to pick one of their bold accent chairs and e-design a bright, colorful room around it, I jumped at the chance to try out my new color wisdom. All of the choices were gorgeous, but I fell for the hot pink and warm teak of this Danish Arne Vodder chair.

Danish Teak Lounge Chair Arne Vodder France and Son

I think this chair likes attention, don’t get me wrong – but she’s OK to share it with her friends. She just wants to have a good time, you know? So, I figured it was safe to include some other color, but not too much. This chair deserves to shine.

My style lately has been skewing a bit ’70s, but this chair has such classic mid-century lines that I figured I’d pair it with a few other MCM pieces.

Mid-century eccentric living room inspired by Danish teak armchair from Chairish
(Click image to view larger)

Watercolor painting | Floor lamp | Leather sofa | Tassel pillow | Cowhide pillow | Tulip side table | Chinoiserie lamp | Lamp shade | Live edge coffee table | Danish teak chair | Area rug

This mock-up is full of items I want to buy, so this isn’t very healthy for me, but let’s move past that.

I started with a large-scale piece of art, as I often do. This vintage watercolor incorporates all my favorite colors, including some great pinks, so I kept the palette in mind as I looked for other pieces. I knew I wanted to use a cognac leather sofa, because that’s all I can think about at this time in my life, so the West Elm Hamilton was a no-brainer. I brought in some brass and a rustic element with the live edge table, which I’ve had pinned for months (and will never be able to afford). To continue the mid-century vibe, I included my favorite side table ever, a Saarinen in black marble. I just love it so much. Some day, when I have a spare $700 … it will be mine. Then, I had to add in some character with a vintage lamp, because I feel like every room needs a little chinoiserie. The dark drum shade keeps it from skewing old lady, in my opinion.

The old me probably would have thrown multicolored patterned pillows into the mix, along with some kind of bright yellow vase or lamp, but this is me showing restraint. I think the black elements ground the design a bit, lending a little bit of maturity to offset the rainbow-tasseled pillows and pops of pink. I was tempted to use a Beni Ourain – I’m only human, for goodness’ sake – but I needed just a little bit more color, so I found this fabulous aqua Moroccan-esque area rug instead.

So, how do you use color in your home? Do you try and keep it under control, or do you embrace the crayon box?

A New Home for My Guitar

I have, in my possession, what I consider to be a very gorgeous guitar.

Ovation Legend in Cherry Burst - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I decided to take up playing when I was 14 or 15, and on Christmas morning, I came downstairs to find an Ovation sitting on a stand in front of the tree. I thought it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I took lessons until I graduated, and while I didn’t possess much natural ability, I loved everything about the culture of acoustic guitar. I had crushes on boys who changed my strings and taught me Copeland songs; I ran in crowds that strummed Dave Matthews and Dispatch around summer campfires; I spent school nights staying up late practicing Dashboard Confessional.

My sophomore year of college, I moved in with my cousin and started spending a lot of time with his friends from Berklee (including my brand-new boyfriend, a certain Brad Fisher). Hanging out with real musicians, I became a little bashful about my own lack of skill, and slowly started playing my guitar less and less. I’m ashamed to say that since then, my beautiful baby has spent most of its time in its case in a closet.

For some reason, though, lately I’ve wanted to play. I’m terribly out of practice and it’s been doing horrible things to my gel manicure, but it feels like I’m getting back to my roots and I love it. And if I want to keep that up, it needs to stay out of the closet. So, it’s time for my guitar to have a better home.

In the corner of our living room, there’s currently a giant bookcase.

Large wood bookcase in living room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

It’s in decent condition, but it’s not really our style anymore, and it’s just so big. We’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of it since we moved in. We even took pictures of it for Craigslist, but for whatever reason, we never posted it. All of our books are on a bookcase in the guest room, so this one just holds random picture frames, vases, and other knick-knacks that could easily be relocated. We have limited floor space downstairs, so when I decided that my guitar needed a new home, the first thing I thought of was hanging it on the wall. And there’s some prime wall space hiding behind that giant bookcase. So it’s time for it to GO.

Once we’ve moved the bookcase, I have big dreams. Brad wants to hang up his bass, too, which I’m completely on board with. When I was growing up, my dad had electric basses scattered all over the house and played them all the time, and I’m eager to hear the familiar sound again.

We want our guitars downstairs so that we’ll play them, not so they’ll look pretty, but since this is a home design blog, let’s look at some of my favorite hanging-guitar inspiration, shall we?

Thomas and Nicole Colbert's living room via Design Sponge

Thomas and Nicole Colbert’s living room via Design*Sponge

Hanging guitars next to navy bookcase by Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda‘s old living room

Hanging guitars in Lesley W Graham's bedroom

Lesley W. Graham‘s bedroom

Living room by David Benrud for Pottery Barn - via Apartment Therapy

Design by David Benrud for Pottery Barn, via Apartment Therapy

We don’t have a ton of space to work with now, but ultimately, we plan to replace our couch-end table-chaise situation with one sectional couch which would theoretically not go as close to the wall. And we do need some storage over there. So, we’re thinking of replacing the bookcase with something smaller-scale. We’re toying with the idea of Brad building this piece from The Design Confidential. The guitars would hang over it.

The Design Confidential - Two-door Campaign Side Table

Wouldn’t it be pretty painted white with brass hardware, like this?

So, what do you all think? Since I have an even number of items to hang, I should offset them with some art, right? This is going to be fun!

Keeping Our Home Cohesive

Hello, friends. Is everyone having a nice spring? I’ve been having a lot of fun cooing over all my new plants on the deck (I deadhead my hanging baskets daily and I LOVE it) and actually attempting some gardening in back. Last weekend, I got 300 free ladybugs from Pike Nursery to take care of the aphid problem on my rosebushes and released them at midnight. It was totally cool, and now whenenever I see them (I assume they’re the same ones), I cheer them on. I am a big old dork. Go ladybugs, go!

Another thing I’m having fun with is decorating the final frontier of our house: the two upstairs bathrooms. We painted them and replaced some light switch plates when we moved in, but other than that, they’ve been largely abandoned, and I finally just got sick of it. Since they’re bathrooms (i.e. small and more easily changed), I’m giving myself a little leeway to try new things. I really try to be brave with our home decor, but because I have such design ADD, I worry a lot about our house looking like a crazy person lives in it. I mean, there’s eclectic, and then there’s just whacky.

Lately, I’ve been so inspired by Lesley W. Graham‘s gorgeous home. Her aesthetic is modern farmhouse, and she uses that as a guide to keep things cohesive. I try to use my style as a guide, too, but modern rustic glam doesn’t give me much in terms of parameters. I can’t even really use our house’s architecture style as a guide. I mean, it’s a 1980s … neo colonial? Or something? I love it, but it doesn’t have much character. I know what I can’t do in here (I probably couldn’t pull off formal Hollywood Regency or super-rustic farmhouse, for example), but it doesn’t exactly inspire me, either.

To try and give myself better parameters, I recently made a new Pinterest board called “Rooms I Could Live In.” I’m trying to collect design inspiration that I could really apply in our home, and that I actually have the balls for. I adore things like marble walls and velvet upholstered doors and rose gold bar stools, but let’s be honest: I don’t have the cajones. Or the money.

When I got really honest and selective with my pins, I discovered a few common threads:

  • Warm woods. OK, I knew that one!
    Style by Emily Henderson - Wood and brass dresser

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Pops of color on accessories and neutrals on the bigger pieces. This one was more of a surprise. I’m crazy into bright colors, but when I look at the rooms I pinned, there isn’t color everywhere. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

  • Brass and gold used semi-sparingly. This house just isn’t fancy enough to have gold everywhere. I know this. I also know that I can’t afford to replace brass faucets and light fixtures and cabinet hardware everywhere when we’re trying to sell this place in the next 5-10 years. Must control the gold, as difficult as that is.
    White campaign dresser by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Mid-century pieces. What?! I’ve been telling myself I don’t like mid-century modern for years. And it’s true that I still don’t like anything shaped like a spaceship, or chrome, or anything too low to the ground. And Eames loungers still aren’t my thing. But I do like tapered legs, and hairpin legs, and straight lines, and warm woods mixed with brass. So I guess I like mid-century. Weird.

  • Chunky, rustic elements. But just a couple pieces mixed with more modern items.
    Rachel Bilson's living room via Lonny

    Via Lonny

  • Plants errywhere. Duh.
    Bri Emery's living room by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Patterned vintage-y rugs. I thought I was into modern, graphic patterns, but not so much when it comes to rugs! I just love the lived-in feeling that a worn-looking rug gives a space. I also inadvertently pinned a ton of off-white souk rugs, but my dog would somehow manage to vomit on one of those and stain it before I could even lay it down, so that’s out of the question.
    Emily Henderson's bedroom with warm woods and teal velvet

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • A lived-in, casual feel. This is key. Nothing tailored, nothing formal, nothing that looks even remotely uncomfortable or too precious.

Here’s a quick little mood board I made on Polyvore (which incidentally, is totally addicting):

Wood, gold and fuchsia


So, uh, with all that said … I still don’t know what our official aesthetic is. But at least I can try to be honest with myself about what I really like, and what I can realistically pull off. That’s better than no guidelines at all.

I recently put together a bunch of pictures of our home for a house tour, and I was pleased to see that the rooms don’t look as scatterbrained together as I thought they would. So, that’s good. Just gotta keep that up and rein in the crazy, I guess.

How do you keep your home cohesive? Have you picked an aesthetic to stick to, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best?

PS: Yes, I noticed that the vast majority of the rooms I like are by Emily Henderson. And that my last post about our style was all about her, too. Apparently, I just want to live inside her brain. I bet it’s pretty in there.

Our Downstairs Floors: My Great Tragedy

I have a confession to make.

Despite all the time, effort and dolla bills we’ve poured into our home since we bought it about a year and a half ago, I’m still a little bit embarrassed when people see it for the first time.

I know this is stupid. Our home is lovely and we’re lucky to have it. I know this. But here’s the thing: our floors are frigging disgusting.

Tile hallway

EW.

Carpeted dining room with ghost chairs and Ikea Rast hacks

GROSS.

UGH.

I should see all the things I love about those rooms. But all I see is nasty tile with dirty grout, and stained, smelly carpets. And they disgust me. Call me ungrateful and negative if you must, but I can’t help it.

I realize that there are things I could do to improve our floors. I could paint the grout. I could steam the carpets. I know. But the thing is, I hate them so much that I don’t want to spend any time or money on them. I just want them GONE.

Some day, somehow, we’re going to rip up all that tile and all that carpet, and our whole downstairs will be beautiful, beautiful hardwoods. I dream about it every day. Oh, how they’ll shine! They will always smell like lemons! I will have such colorful, beautiful area rugs and all my furniture will POP!

I have it all figured out in my head. Of course, I love dark, dark hardwoods – I mean, I’m only human.

But you’ve gotta know yourself. And I know I’m not going to clean my floors often enough to keep up with the dust and hair and dirt particles that are apparently attracted to dark floors like magnets. No, I need something a little lower maintenance.

Theoretically, it’d be nice if they sort of matched our upstairs floors. You’ve seen them. They look like this:

Office with lavender walls and hardwoods

They’re engineered, and Brad isn’t a fan. Apparently, they have beveled edges? I never would have noticed. What I do notice is that they’re a warmer and a bit more on the orange side. And I could get down with that. I love all of these:

But then I look at cooler, lighter floors, and I love those, too. These are some of my favorites:

White oak hardwoods via Little Green Notebook

Via Little Green Notebook (her flooring is from Lumber Liquidators)

Aren’t they airy and bright and wonderful? And I bet the dust just blends right in! But since I tend to decorate with cooler colors, I’d probably be better off with something just a tad warmer. I think these are perfect:

Hollywood Regency hallway via Lonny

Via Lonny

Of course, I have no idea what that is. Red oak, maybe? American cherry? With my luck, I probably want the most expensive thing out there.

So, ya know, I just need to dig up a few thousand dollars (or something? We haven’t gotten a quote yet), and then this thang is gonna happen. Any day now.

What’s the great tragedy of your home? (You know, that’s the thing that makes you say, “I would love my house, if it wasn’t for the [blank].”)

Beaded Chandeliers in the Bedroom

Our new light bulbs are helping to brighten up our bedroom, but I still really want to swap out our outdated ceiling fan for some kind of large light fixture.

Master bedroom with high ceilings via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I know ceiling fans can be really useful, especially in the south, but I actually feel like ours is too high up to do much good. Plus, it shakes when it’s on, and that makes me reeeaaal nervous.

I’m so antsy to get rid of the ceiling fan that I haven’t even bothered to replace the creepy teddy bear hanging from the cord. Can you see it?

Master bedroom with white beams via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t you think a big rustic-y light fixture would just give the room some extra oomph? I want something elegant, but not too fancy. My dream is a beaded chandelier, like these:

The most affordable and attractive one I’ve found is the Large Beaded Chandelier from World Market.

World Market Large Beaded Chandelier

But at $269.99, it’s still not exactly cheap. I keep wondering if I could DIY it. I found a few versions that other bloggers have made:

All of the posts have great tutorials, but I’m a little intimidated. It looks like a really time-consuming project, and it could turn out looking really cheap. Bethany from Dwellings by Devore wrestled with the same issue, and she ended up just buying the World Market one. And look how amazing it looks in her dining room!

Definitely something to think about. And in the meantime, there’s a question floating around in my mind: Will hanging a chandelier make it more obvious that the beams aren’t centered in the room?

Ceiling fan and white beams via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Uggghhh. Our bed isn’t centered between the windows because the windows aren’t centered on the wall, and the beams aren’t centered with anything.

Ceiling fan and vaulted ceilings via Glitter and Goat Cheese

So, would you hang a chandelier in our bedroom? Should I save up for the World Market one, or give DIY a try? I’d love to hear what you all think!

By the way, there’s only one more day to enter my giveaway for a $25 Target gift card and a set of GE reveal® bulbs! Visit this post to find out how. The giveaway ends at 6 p.m. (eastern) tonight!