02 March 2009

obsessive compulsive decorating disorder (and a design challenge too!)

maison21 has spent a good part of the last two weeks pulling together concepts for a new loft redecoration project. his client wants the mix of vintage, antique and modern that maison21 considers his forté, but would also like to add in lots of industrial chic and ethic flavors as well, and maison21 couldn't be more excited about that! we love when our clients want to mix it up a little! even better when they want to mix it up a lot!

the downside of coming up with fabulous new concepts for a client, especially a little outside of our normal decorating style, is that we then become obsessed with the concepts, and our own home begins to have that not-so-fresh feeling (at least in our eyes). sadly, m21 is then faced with redecorating both the atelier and his client's home, all at the same time! oh, the struggles we decorators face!

in addition to whatever we are doing for a client, we have our other everyday decorating obsessions to contend with- things we've either seen in person, or online, or in the magazines, or just ideas from our wild impulse for change. thank goodness for our blog though, or we'd be constantly broke as well as worn out from the non-stop redecoration of our own home! but now we have a virtual outlet to mix our new concepts and old loves, without actually resorting to buying a thing. or not buying much anyway- we've never completed a project yet without a new present or two for ourselves in the process. we just can't help ourselves- we have obsessive-compulsive decorating disorder (OCDD- look it up in the DSM).

in addition to our hunt for cool industrial chic for our new client, maison21's obsessive love for the work of michael taylor has been reignited since the publication of the new book by stephen m. salny. we need to california chic up the atelier something fierce! we're even thinking of going beige- and up until recently, as frequent readers might know, maison21 has considered beige a dirty word... our other current obsession is the work of francois and claude lalanne, most specifically their iconic sheep sculptures. obsession is not nearly a strong enough of a word for our need for some lambies- we might actually perish if we don't get a flock of our very own. thank goodness christie's didn't offer any of the sheep during their recent auction of the YSL estate, or we'd probably be in jail right now for passing a bad check in our attempt to secure 4 or 5. you see, we want need them so we can use them around our dining table instead of chairs. how chic would that be? and yes, we're willing to do time to make it happen...
photo stolen from an aesthete's lament

so for our fantasy redecoration project, we've tried to pull in elements of our current obsessions, together with some concepts we're using for our current client, and apply them to the dining room here at the maison21 atelier:

first we're going to beach and ceruse our floors (remember this is a fantasy, we all know that m21 will never actually do anything about his tragically messed up floors).

then we paint- gulp- beige on beige, in this case, benjamin moore white dove oc-17 for the trim and bm malton #1073 on the walls. we might even wash a glaze of the white dove over the malton for a venetian plaster effect. we are soooooo scaring ourselves here- did we really just say wash a glaze? yikes.
on our new cerused oak floors, we're going to toss a blond cowhide:
next, 'cause we've got waaaay too much beige goin' on now, we'll to punch it up with some black (sorry, maison21 could never live by beige and beige alone), so we're going to hang the 30" version of moooi's random light as our chandelier. our dining room is postage stamp tiny, but we loves a big-ass chandelier in it anyway. sometimes the best thing to do with small rooms is go big
for our table, we again nod to mr. taylor's style, and want to use a form from classical antiquity- like this chic bronze dolphin tripod table base from 1stdibs (we have long had our eyes on a similar one here locally, which has an excellent oxidized patina. we'll have to treat the finish on the one from 1stdibs to bring the shine down a notch):
since we used an animal form for our dining table base, we're afraid our beloved lalanne sheep are a no go for seating (probably too big for our small room anyway- we wouldn't want our tiny dining room to look like the holding pen before the sheep become lamb chops). we'd still like to indulge our woolly obsession though, and mix it up with an industrial vibe, so we'll take a set of industrial stools (again, 1stdibs) and customize them by covering in tibetan lamb (uh oh- more beige). using stools instead of chairs feels modern (and a bit quirky) to m21 right now, so it will work to tie in our ultra-modern lighting choice; their dark iron patina helps too.

against the only wall of our dining room without windows or doors, we'll use a teak root console, like mr. taylor liked to do in his latter days. we will NOT be using the sculptures shown in the photo, though. no no no.

above the console, we'll hang a black and white cy twombly (remember, this is a fantasy, k?) with lots more black than white, again to kill the beiginess of it all.
we'll probably have to frame our twombly in a big ol' gaudy gilt frame to keep the modern-antique tension going- like the frame of this mirror from michael taylor's line:

last, because even in his fantasies, maison21 can't waste money where he doesn't need to, we'll finish our room with mesh curtain panels from west elm. they are cheap and chic, and fit with our beige-y modern-eclectic vibe just perfectly, so why not?

last, to close this rather lengthy virtual room post, remember our design blogger's challenge from last summer? with the big-ass gaudy chandelier? we'd like to do it again with this post as a starting point- just pick two disparate elements from this post- from boring beige to bold black random to chic bronze dolphins (or alternatively, take your picks from the eclectic pieces in the m21 inventory slideshow at the top right corner of our blog), and combine your choices with your own latest decorating obsessions (whatever they may be), then post the results on your blog, and m21 will link to everybody that plays along! (a great way to get exposure for your blog if you're a new blogger, btw). we hope you'll play, as last time it was so much fun to see how different designers interpret the same elements is such unique and clever ways- so come on, indulge your OCDD! it's fun and FREE- what more could we ask for right now?


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this post, thank you!

maison21 said...

glad you liked it, anon, it would seem you are the only one today as the comments are eerily quiet. maybe everyone is to busy watching the market crash (again) to comment.

*crickets chirping*

Anonymous said...

Hi M21. Another anon here. I wondered about the slow responses also. I can hardly wait for other bloggers to rise to your challenge. In fact, I really got into reading design blogs during your last challenge, which I LOVED. Such fun! And I share your aversion to beige - so bring it on.

maison21 said...

thanks anon II! the last bloggers challenge was by far the most fun i've had with the blog, and i'm glad it introduced you to some other great blogs! i'm hoping others will respond to this challenge too, but if i don't get volunteers, i'm going to have to start naming names!!

and you share my FORMER aversion to beige. i've decided to embrace it, and show the world that beige is exciting if done right! ok, maybe i won't go all the way with beige, but a room or two, here and there, can never hurt, right?

Suzy said...

Sounds like fun! Give me a few days to get it all together...but actually I've been forming my dream living room in my head these last few weeks - so this is a good excuse to get it all out!

The House of Beauty and Culture said...

Count me in.

maison21 said...

double yay! thanks, suzy and hobac, i knew i could count on you guys to join the fun! can't wait to see what you come up with!

Bonnie said...

Hi M21!
I'm in! I'm new to the world of interior design blogging but want to take on your challenge! Is there a deadline?

maison21 said...

no deadlines, bonnie. now winners or losers, wither, for that matter- just good, clean decorating fun!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Black and tan.. I've always found the combination to be very elegant (as long as it didn't involve jackboots, etc..)

I love this challenge of yours; the results always astound and amuse. Will be watching this space for updates.

katiedid said...

Kay....missed the challenge part of this post. (I am speed reading these days and sometimes things just get missed!) But when I saw HOBAC had an entry, I quickly regrouped and am on it!!! It may be a coupla days...but so much fun last time. ;)

little augury said...

I love your pics- and since I just posted on Michael Taylor- I am with you on beige. Could I ever live in it alone. No- but I do love the fantasy idea. yes- Cy Twombly a must. love the industrial bar stools and covers. I can see it now. Would love to join in on the challenge. Thanks for the invitation. g.

maison21 said...

easy, i think you should try your hand at a black 'n tan room- you've been hanging out with us decorators long enough that something must have caught a bit of the design bug, plus i suspect you'd be better at it than you'd suspect- anyone that can pull together such an array of elegant clothing choices and make it look so easy, has the eye and the taste level to take it to area outside of your usual expertise. c'mon easy, give it a go!

katie- please, please, please join us, and take your time- this is all for fun, so no deadlines like a real life project. your room during my last challenge was simply spectacular, so i can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

augury- i'm looking forward to your entry, and perhaps a different spin on michael taylor!

Bonnie said...

Hi M21,
Is there a Mac software program or something similar that you or your fellow bloggers could recommend that would allow me to merge my pics and ideas together in one picture as Derek has done for his entry in the Design Challenge? Don't tell anyone but, uh... I dunno how to do that... yet. Thank u so very much. :)
ps. Your design is fabulous and fun Derek... well done!

inner_child said...

I'm in!

maison21 said...

hey there inner child-

thanks for your entry! but for now, you are just going to get an "honorable mention" for your efforts. if you could amend you post to follow the rules (see below), i will link to it in a post (sorry to be a stickler, but there really is only the one rule for the challenge, so i think we should all stick to it- it's only fair to the ther bloggers participating that we all start with the same parameters):

"take two disparate elements from this post- from boring beige to bold black random to chic bronze dolphins (or alternatively, take your picks from the eclectic pieces in the m21 inventory slideshow at the top right corner of our blog), and combine your choices with your own latest decorating obsessions (whatever they may be)

i look forward to your amended entry!


Paris Hotel Boutique said...

Hi M21, this sounds great! Do I just pick a beige background and put it in photoshop to do a collage? Guess I'm just a wee bit confused. Never done this before but it sounds fun!! Lynn

maison21 said...


you just need to pick two different things from my original post or from my inventory. they could be the beige paint (you'll need to use my color if so) and something else, like the random light or rug or whatever, or you can do like HOBAC and use an item from my inventory, like the tusk table; then add in your own elements (like maybe things YOU sell) and incorporate it all into your own fantasy room. i'll link to your blog post with your entry, and then both our blog readerships can follow the game. no need to make a photoshop collage unless you want to. both little augury and hobac just used individual jpgs in their blog posts- i had time to kill, so i made up collages out of them just for fun (i probably won't do it for every post though). the student blogger made his own photoshop collage,' cause the kids are good at that stuff... ;-)

looking forward to your entry-

christian aka m21

Suzy said...

Just when you thought I'd forgotten about challenge entry is finally done and posted!

Anne Marie said...

Howdy M21! Near here (smile) and I HAD to let you know about my's called "Na-Da Farm Style"!! It's actually the name of our organic farm (Na-Da Farm) but it's also tagged as my style...and I would love for you to come over and read the post I did on "Your Clothing Reflects Your Decorating..."
Being that I am a Mom who is very busy, I also like style on me and style in my home....kwim??

Stop on by and see what Na-Da Farm is all about!!