bring it back

We were nearly pained to see this room taken so far from its origins when we first stepped in this living room. Having said that, one reason we purchased this house was because the two original light fixtures were so cool!  You can see the tri pendant hanging here. My gut tells me the only reason the lights didn’t come down by the previous owners was because the ceiling is so high and hard to reach. I conveyed to the realtor that the offer would not stand if these two fixtures were not included. The owners snickered, I’m sure, that we wanted them.

sorry for the small photo- it’s all I have!

What did we do to get from there to here?

photo by Bob Foran
  • removed the wrought iron railing and replaced with custom bent electrical pipe to mimic the front porch railing (good design is about repeats throughout the house- same material, same look and feel)
  • painted the walls SW Ellie Grey (matched by Benjamin Moore, of course)…with an accent of Valspar Carrot Cake. (I made the switch to Benjamin Moore shortly after this time- the quality is worth it!)
  • added interest to the expansive ceiling with a colorful mobile from MODmobile
  • installed simple cordless cellular shades 
  • brought back the original picture windows on the front of the house (I made reference in an earlier post that the original owners thought their kids would fall trough windows this large, so replaced them with a much smaller version. Really??)
  • added an inviting welcome with a crazy fluffy shag rug (I didn’t know they came this exaggerated!)
  • curated the room with 11 vintage pieces:

orange bullet planter found on the side of the road (some people just don’t know when they have a good thing worth some $)

ottoman originally a really neat orange squiggle 1950s fabric that was badly stained and worn- we recovered with a grey/black geometric ‘sketch’ grid fabric

1950s tapered leg lounge chair was given to us by my mom (she’s always out picking at resale shops and antique stores). Unfortunately, our cat also loved the chair and had a way with her claws. We ended up recovering it and chose a fun black/white geometric fabric. Although not planned, I love the contrast of the black and white against the backdrop of the colorful Lego wall that sits behind it.

vintage lucite and glass ‘snail’ Vladimir Kagan coffee table.

mint green 1950s tapered leg lounge chair, 100% original as we just can’t seem to part with this fabric. It’s not in perfect condition, but it’s worth the flaws for the gorgeous color and texture. The wide arms are the perfect spots for our twin orange tabby kitties. How regal they look when perched here!

vintage eyeball chrome arc floor lamp

1950s tapered leg couch (see below for details)

1950s turquoise hand-painted lamp (wish I could tell you more about it)

1950s green (sheet metal, slatted, collapsing, pyramid) venetian blind shade lamp

1950s Danish modern Krenit bowl in turquoise

1960s Laurids Lonborg Denmark atomic kinetic ball sculpture in green and blue

photo by Bob Foran
  • abstract painting by my grandma on the orange wall; geometric painting by my dad on the green wall (If only I could paint the way they did!)
photo by Bob Foran
  • midcentury modern tapered leg couch found in the window of an antique wall. It was originally in green (that we loved), badly worn and super “itchy” (the kids complained). The details of this couch are amazing! Flip the ‘end’ caps over for a hard surface end table, center console (to be used if we move to a bigger house) with a built in radio (!!!!!), and diamond patterns on the ends. A local reupholster was able to retain the beauty of this couch and we chose a more comfortable, neutral fabric that would allow us to use color to accessorize.
photo by Bob Foran

We continue to mix midcentury modern with contemporary modern,  mainly because the styles can fit together so seamlessly. I appreciate the purist homes with nothing but original pieces, but I also know that mixing the two is more feasible and fun for me and my husband. We will keep hunting and when those fun pieces present themselves we may just have to keep rotating the collection!

(Next on the list….stairs are coming out to be replaced with a floating, single-stringer. To us, the airiness of the room stops short at the stairs. We hope by taking the clunkiness of the stairs away that the room will feel even lighter and more expansive, and keep with midcentury modern aesthetic. Stay tuned…)


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