05 August 2011

the light that brings out my dark side, and the new dining room

I did a bad thing.

This morning, I awoke to an email from Fab.com, one of the throngs of homewares sale sites, listing Trubridge lighting among its offerings for the day.

Backstory: I have had a huge crush on the Coral Pendant made by David Trubridge, ever since I saw it in Domino years ago. When we first bought our condo, Mark bought me the pendant from Design (Not) Within Reach as a very sweet house-warming present, but then we decided it was just too big and looming for our little dining nook here (it's 31" in diameter). So we returned it to DWR, and they charged him a $35 "restocking" fee, on top of shipping, even though we'd never so much as opened the package. And they gave him the run-around. So no more DWR for us ever. Not like I'd ever be able to stomach spending their prices on furniture anyway.

But my love for the Coral Pendant went on.

And then, lo and behold, I click to Fab and see this:

You know where this is going, of course.

I bought it. A HUGE discount and the lowest price I've ever seen for the Coral. But still $300 with shipping, which takes a bite out of our initial furnishing budget on the new house.

When I told Mark what I'd just done, he immediately responded, "Are you sure it will look good in the space? Did you mood board it?" (Wow. Look at him, dropping "mood board" as a verb! Well you know I did, but you have to wait til the end of the post to see. Or you can just skip my rambling and scroll down.)

Despite the dent it's making in the budget, the Coral Pendant is going to look amazing in the space, and I'm super excited to see it there. Combined with a big, modern rustic farmhouse table and my other crush -- the Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair -- it will be a perfect mountain modern dining space.

Don't know the Wishbone Chair? Here are some inspiration shots from Pinterest:

A real, licensed Wishbone Chair is a small fortune, but there are a lot of knock-offs out there, including this one from Overstock. I know the issue of knock-offs is contentious, but I have a different view if the creator is alive (no knock-offs) vs. deceased (they aren't profiting, so knock-offs are okay)... a convenient view, I'm sure. Mr. Wegner passed away in 2007, so I have no moral trouble buying an unlicensed reproduction, and I plan to purchase four of them for our new dining room at some point in the future.

Here's my vision for the new dining room, with modern wood pieces and some nature-inspired green accents.

Table: Crate and Barrel Pacifica
Birch tree tray: Marimekko at Crate and Barrel
Accessories: CB2
Paint: Benjamin Moore Halo

What do you think? Would you find it too boring to spend time in a home with a similar, subdued color scheme throughout? Or would you find it relaxing, like a getaway home should be?

And how about knock-offs? Are you against them? In favor of them for budget purposes but morally conflicted? Never thought about it? I'd love to hear!

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03 August 2011

modern ski lodge family room

We're super lucky that our new house features gorgeous vaulted ceilings in almost every room, perfect for realizing our modern ski lodge dreams. In all of my free time (ha!), I've been dreaming up ideas for the room, and I keep imagining something like this:

You may notice more than a little inspiration in the color scheme from Taniya Nayak's condo that I gushed about last week, and I've also tried to bring in lots of texture like she has in her home. We already have brown leather armchairs much like the one pictured, and the ceiling and carpet are true to what's already in the room. So all we'd be adding are the sofa, a few neutral accents, and some pops of green and maybe blue (because you know I just can't help myself).

Here's what you see in the mood board:

Sofa -- Lounge sectional by Crate and Barrel in oyster (possibly the world's comfiest sofa)
Tables -- West Elm
Chair -- Image from ShopMania in the UK
Cardboard Moose -- Uncommon Goods
Pillows -- Crate and Barrel
Paint Colors -- All Benjamin Moore; left to right: Victorian Gray, Hazy Skies, Halo, Swiss Coffee

I'm sure we'll end up with a faux sheepskin or three, too. Again, just can't help myself. :-)

And now for a sneak peek of the new family room, very much in the "before" stage. Gotta love the quirky octagon windows (whose days are numbered).

Lots more rooms yet to design!

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02 August 2011


Faux taxidermy is so much of a trend these days that it's almost certainly uncool by now to put up new pretend animal trophies.

But I don't care.

Our new house is meant to be the fulfillment of our desire for a "modern ski lodge," and any ski lodge worth its salt involves some mounted animal heads. Preferring not to hang dead creatures on the wall, that means we're going faux. And there's plenty of inspiration out there...

Room by Brett Mickan, via Desire to Inspire

From Houzz

Since I haven't been able to find that gorgeous faux reindeer head from the pic right above, I've had to look all over for the best alternatives. Here are some of my favorites:

Probably my top pick, though hardly a bargain, the big resin moose head from Z Gallerie:

The uber-modern acrylic deer head from A+R Store, also seen in Jenn's swanky Denver ranch:

The more economical cardboard heads from Uncommon Goods:

Anthropologie's newsprint papier-mache version:

More papier-mache, from West Elm:

A more tongue-in-cheek version from Amy Jo Terry on Etsy: (And, of course, I wouldn't actually hang this on our wall, much as I appreciate the cleverness.)

What do you think of the fauxidermy trend? So last year, or going strong?

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01 August 2011

the green keeps coming

So in case y'all didn't see the little update I posted last week, let me share the news:

Our mortgage was approved, the inspector gave the house a clean bill of health, and soon this modern mountain beauty will be ours!

(Please forgive those slightly dated octagon windows. We'll be changing those up at some point down the road... not exactly a beginners DIY project, nor a cheap one.)

So, sadly, the title of this post is actually the opposite of true... home purchasing means the green keeps going, not coming. But just look at that pretty lawn... that's green that keeps coming. Which brings me to another point: We're going to OWN GRASS. I can't even tell you how excited I am to own grass and dirt and mole hills and pine needles. Ah, bliss...

But now I'm way off topic. I was gonna talk about decorating.

In my last post, I fawned over HGTV's Taniya Nayak's Boston condo and its sleek, neutrals-plus-green color scheme.

Well I really can't get that place out of my mind, and it has me totally inspired for our new place. One of the fun (meaning: not fun) things about buying a home 500 miles away is that you can't run over there and take more pictures (in fact we have none that we took, because my camera died during our house-hunting trip, so we're making do with the limited set the sellers sent us), and you can't check and see if, say, a paint color looks good with the existing woodwork in the house. So keep in mind that all of this could change, or at least shift, once we get into the house and actually test out some colors. It's totally bizarre, but it could happen that we will have been in the house exactly three times, and only three times, before it officially becomes ours (or 20 percent ours, 80 percent the bank's). Nuts, right?!

But back to green.

My love of modern greens like olive, chartreuse, lime, chive and sage is obvious to anyone who visits our home. It plays an accent role in every room in our home, whether it's a pillow, a lampshade, a lacquer Buddha, some storage boxes, our dining chairs, the paint on the wall or plants.

There's also a lot of blue in our current place, since we can't see a whole lotta sky from inside the condo. But our house won't have that problem, and we can let the blue come from outside all of those big picture windows.

The new house has a lot of pine wainscoting throughout, and pine-paneled vaulted ceilings. It is a mountain house, after all, and I don't think there's a single house in the entire Lake Tahoe region that is free of paneling. All that pine would look weird in the city, but it looks perfect up there. So pine is going to be a part of our color scheme whether we like it or not. Beyond that, I'm definitely feeling an "off-white + beige + brown + green + tiny touches of other contrasting hues" scheme for the house.

Want the first sneak peek of the inside, which I can share now that the jinxable parts of the process are behind us? Here goes...

Picture that room with all of the heavy, black pieces gone, a crisp off-white tone on the walls above the wainscoting, a big farmhouse table with Danish modern chairs, and some clean, off-white barrel chairs in the foreground living room. Then scatter some little pops of green around... a throw pillow on one of the chairs, a funky set of vases in the middle of the table, and a big, branchy plant. You feeling it?

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