09 January 2010

a year in the life of a room... (and a wee bit of design philosphy)

well, a year and a half in the life of this room, actually...

in the summer of 2008, the late, great domino magazine sent out emails to bloggers asking for shots of their homes for inclusion in a feature on blogger's homes for their october 2008 issue. of course, when domino asked, m21 scurried to take some snaps! unfortunately, m21 didn't make the cut for domino but all was well, as the pictures ran later online on the material girls blog, and were also published offline, accompanying our 'blog watch' profile in home plus scotland magazine.

the reason we mention this, is this morning we snapped the same basic angle of our living room to give a potential buyer an idea of the scale of a chinoiserie screen offered in our marketplace (as you know, that's our favorite part of our "catch and release" personal decorating- we get to use pretty stuff and then pass it on before our decorating ADD gets bored with it!). our living room is basically the same in both photos you'll note- we just moved a few things around, and shifted out one dramatic piece (the etagere) for another (the screen). maison21 is a firm believer in using a dramatic, large scale "something" in a room whenever possible- be it a screen, a sculpture, a painting, an unusual etagere- there should be something big(ish) and a little unusual, to catch the eye and spark conversation. (you can tell by the pictures, we also enjoy the small things- never met a tchotchke we didn't like!)

by switching one major element, m21 thinks the room feels a bit different in each photo, yet hopefully preserves the eclectic vintage modern/traditional tension we love to use in our own personal decor. for m21 and his magpie nature of collecting the newest, shiniest bit of pretty, change comes fairly naturally, but he doesn't think anyone needs to be tied to a particular piece, or to a exact room arrangement. rooms can be fluid and grow, yet still retain the overall look and style you hope to achieve, after changes are made... in other words- if your room isn't perfect now, it can be in the future if you keep working on it, changing and rearranging; and if it is pretty darn close to perfect at this moment, don't be so tied to it that you never attempt to make it even better! it's all part of the fun of decorating...

summer, 2008

january, 2010

which version do y'all like best? or neither? m21 won't take offense- promise! it's all likely to change soon anyway!

22 comments:

jones said...

Hi Christian, Much prefer Summer 2008. Can figure out why you didn't make the cut.

Karena said...

Christian, I like the screen version. May be biased because I have a beautiful one in my den behind the loveseat in a corner. Change is always good though and I am sure you will find one after another grand piece!

Margaret said...

IMHO, I prefer the 2010 as it brings the black pieces into focus, which is so classic in any decor. Who knew a yellow parsons table would not compete with the screen? The turquoise stools play off the cane chair, the lovely touch of crystal, the canvas and the wing chair, although different patterns, bring the eye along the wall and linger to take in the sideboard. The room is old Hollywood, and I think even Adam Ant would hesitate to destroy its old Hollywood charm and warmth.

My Notting Hill said...

My favorite is Jan 2010. Really love the wing chair off to the side. My big question for you though - do you have 8 foot ceilings and did you install the two wood boards to increase the visual height of the room? Love it! Michele

Carol Ann said...

I must admit I like both, but you want us to choose so...Summer 2008

Ivy Lane said...

they are both stunning... i am drawn to #2.. think it is the "pop" of color in the yellow console....

sketch42 said...

I think I like the first one better, only because I LOOOVVVEE that etagere. How about you? Which do you prefer?

sketch42 said...

I think I like the first one better, only because I LOOOVVVEE that etagere. How about you? Which do you prefer?

Bonnie said...

Great pics! I like Jan 2010 best. Although I like everything in pic 1, it looks too busy and not as cohesive as pic 2. In the Jan 2010 pic, there are splashes of white in each area that tie everything together. The print on the wingback chair goes well with the painting. The screen looks good against that wall and feels like a big window. There looks like a bit of blue in the screen too that ties in with the light blue color of the stools and sofa. Love the great ceilings, I have that kind in my dining room. Overall cool place! How are you gonna change things next?

froulala.blogspot.com said...

It took me awhile to decide which one was better cause i immediately liked both! but after some thought, i like the 2010 because that screen panel is magnificent and the yellow console added the right mod chinois pop to the vignette. i also like the wing back better than the yellow lounge chair. my fave pieces in 2008 are the etageres and being a turquoise fan, i j'adore your sofa so I'm glad it's still there!

erin@designcrisis said...

I like elements of both, but mostly I just want to raid your treasure trove, I mean house... You have some insanely awesome pieces!

The Townhouselady said...

Summer 2008 except for the yellow chair. I like the '09 replacement better.

Paul Anater said...

Color me summer. You have a beautiful home Christian.

maison21 said...

so the panel is pretty evenly split- interesting! and honestly, i'm split too- etagere was spectacular, but i pass by the room ten million times a day and i didn't like viewing it from the side, and at 6 feet wide, it just wasn't wide enough to look good on the wall directly facing out. plus, i grew up with the pair of chinese chests, so even though i love them, i got really sick of staring directly at them everyday for over 40 years! it's nice to see them from the side for a bit.

most importantly though, i like change- i can't stand viewing the same static arrangement month in, month out, so in a way, that makes both arrangements my favorite! and the next one too!

mary- i'd like to think i didn't make the cut because at the time i didn't have many readers and domino wanted to get the most bang for their buck, but the reality may be my living room was just too BUSY because it's both my home AND tchotchke storage. had i edited a bit, i might have stood better chance. also, my little canon elph camera doesn't have good enough pixel quality for print, i need to get SLR one of these days, to improve the look of my photos...

karena- i'm with you on that! i try to always have at least one chinoiserie screen somewhere in the house at all times. i love them, and think they work brilliantly in almost any decor.

margaret- i agree, the room benefits from more black. if i ever get around to changing paint color to a deep tealy-blue as i have a dream of doing, then the black screen might be too much, but knowing me, screen will have come and gone long before paint color changes!

michele- i am very fortunate to have ceilings a bit over 8 feet (8' 4") and that 4 inches makes all the difference in the world! and no, the deco plaster stepped molding is original to the house, and again, i am lucky enough to have it in the living, dining, kitchen and master bedroom!

carol ann, you are not alone- several of my friends who don't leave comments read today's post, and didn't know i had changed the room, and took the loss of the etagere personally! ;-)

ivy, i love that yellow console. bright yellow is just so damn cheery to my eye!

sketch, i think i like number 2. the etagere was so damn chic, but the sizes of the actual display spaces were problematic: the side cubes were only 12" tall, so only suitable for squatty things, and the space between them was almost 4 feet- who has a pair of 30" tall skinny accessories? i'm good at improvising, but i was never really happy with the arrangements.

bonnie, i love the pops of color in the screen- it's almost like pop art with reds, blues and yellows, so it literally ties almost every conceivable color together in the room; and i am mad for the crewel work embroidery on the chair (though richard is slowly killing it, unfortunately).

as for what next, i have no clue! i'm very piece driven, so basically whatever i find next that i love, is what i'll be working with!

froulala- i think i agree with you- the yellow console and the screen are a match made in heaven, i'm loving them right now!

erin, come raid away! and thank you for the kind words!

townhouse lady- the replacement chair is SOOOOO much better, as the yellow chair looks really yellow in the photo, but in real life was more mustardy. i love clear yellow, but i'm not so crazy for mustard. mostly because i can't stand mustard the condiment! my food issues are affecting my decor! ;-)

paul, as usual, you are too kind.

and thanks to all for commenting- this was fun!

honey living said...

i like the first one best, because i love the use of gold in the room there. it just looks like it fits.

chelsea said...

Considering I'm the one who purchased the etagere, I love both pictures!! (and am looooving it in our dining room - such a conversation piece!). I do really love how you switched it up...

p.s. I love your re-vamped blog. Looks tres chic!

Ta ta! You're neighbor.
www.alloftheaboveblog.com

Lucinda said...

Missing the brass elements from the summer!

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Had to stop by three times in order to make up my mind. (Like you were waiting on the edge of your seat for my two cents, right?) 2010 wins by a very small margin. Love the pop of yellow against the screen and that the turquoise pieces are the only other "color" (in this photo anyway) I also think your small accessories seem less all over the place in the 2010 pic. Next time my friend who complains about such things tells me I have "too much stuff", I will direct her to these photos. Thanks for that!

Suzy said...

Love them both Christian, but I have to say that brass etagere is stunning, so I might be leaning towards the summer '08 pic...

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I like the present version best, The screen really grounds the space and acts as a nice backdrop. It also adds some contrast which is nice. Looking good!

tula said...

i dig summer, but the black and white lamps in 2010 are fabulous!!!!

Patricia Gray said...

Hi Christian
I have to say that I LOVE both versions of your room - but I have a soft spot for chinoiserie screens and that one is a real beauty.