Posts Tagged ‘Living Room’

A few projects finished over the weekend have given the living room some life.  We repainted an old mirror using matte black spray paint and propped it up atop the newly remade credenza.  I hit my favorite flower shop, Fleur de Lis (close to Enoch Pratt Library’s central branch)  for a couple of stems to fill our favorite vase.  I let the florist choose and she selected stems that matched the hues in the vase’s glaze, yellow and reddish-brown.  Same principle as choosing a mat for framing art work, I suppose.  People usually make the mistake of letting the color palette in the room guide these choices.

The new cover for the butterfly chair arrived from Circa 50.  The chair is now disarmingly comfortable.  I actually fell asleep in it after I put the baby down for a nap.  The leather sling really cradles you.  It had been such a disaster, what with the ripped canvas cover which must have been way too small.  The new cover is terrific, top quality.

Amazing what a few pillows will do.  The sofa upholstery is wool so the cotton cushion covers are really a necessity and not just fluff.  The gray I am sure is here to stay.  I am not sure about the green plaid, however.  We’ll see.


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Click the pic for a closer look.  Okay, the blue willow painting didn’t work out.  Sadly, it won’t be coming home with me. So, here we are..another Corkboard with plans for the living room.  This time a pair of nature prints from the collection at the New York Public Library is the focus.  I think the patterns in the butterfly wings play off of the colors and shapes in the vintage japanese and african fabrics we’ll be using for pillows.

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The living room is coming along now that our chair is back home from the upholstery shop.  I found the linen canvas at a retailer in Williamsburg, VA that specializes in 17th to early 19th century fabrics and notions.  They cater to types who sew historic fashions.  Maybe for RenFest or Civil War re-enactments ?  Upholstery-weight linen prices can get silly, but we were able to swing $16/yd.– a very reasonable price.  I thought that William would be bummed about the switch from orange to natural.  We both like it much better with the new linen.   Before the redo we thought the old fabric was salvageable.  But, after a professional cleaning it showed plenty signs of wear and tear.

I like the idea of doing a mid-century chair, a Milo Baughman we found on ebay,  in a traditional fabric.  The linen has a lot of texture and heft but it’s nice a soft to the touch.  You can see that we’ve unpacked our Noguchi lamp.  It’s  enjoying the sunlight, just hanging out in the corner by the window.

Maurice at the House of Art in Federal Hill did a terrific job for under half the price of other quotes I received.   The entire project cost less than a new chair at would at say CB2 or Room and Board, and it’s exactly what I wanted!

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The parlor of Langston Hughes' home in Harlem, N.Y. Credit: Jim Cummings-Barbara Harris

Langston Hughes’ Harlem Brownstone went up for sale August 2008 but is now permanently off the market.   Stripped of its furnishings the three-story, 1869 Italianate is beautiful–all aged creams, grays and worn wood.  Muted by time,  the colors look wonderful in the soft sunlight.  A nice balance of cool and warm.  Isn’t the ceiling amazing?  Look at the detail.

The photo below shows the room from a different aspect.   The grays and creams appear deeper in this light.  I’d love to know what the place looks like now.  From what I understand only the façade is protected and may not be changed.  Not sure if the gorgeous moldings, ceilings and other detail are in danger of being destroyed.

We have some great old details in our Baltimore row house, but nothing this.  My husband purchased our place ten years ago, before we met.  William is not much of a preservationists, but I’ll say he’s coming around.  We were married at the Government House in Mt. Vernon.  The night before the ceremony my two brides maids and I had a slumber party of sorts. We stayed in the most beautiful suite .  The cast plaster ceilings were stunning.  William vowed that, if they had been in our home, he would have (eeeekk) scraped them off.  We’ve come a long way.

The patina on this place has me all fired up.  I am going to buy some aged grayish-white paints for the walls and save the remaining original ornate brass door knobs and lock plates from my husband’s wrath.  We have a neighborhood Benjamin Moore Paints dealer, Budeke’s Paints in Baltimore, Fells Point.  I love this paint shop.  Great service, knowledgeable staff.  Hoping to get the glowing walls pictured above I picked up two light grays, one warm and one cool, for the living room:

Benjamin Moore Intense White, OC51 a very light, chalky gray with a slight bluish-lavender cast.   Maybe the color of  rushing water around  river rocks.

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, OC27 a light gray with a lavender cast.  It’s creamier earthy than airy.  Both paints are from the company’s Off White collection.  I’m off to paint and will post the results.  Thanks to preservationnation.org and harlembespoke.com for the  pics.

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