[Photo: This is a beautiful room, although I think it could use a tad bit more red. Source – House and Garden UK, November 2012]
I am not an interior designer. But I do have my own distinctive sense of style. I know what I do like and what I don’t like. (I am also very fortunate and grateful to have a supportive husband who appreciates my sense of style, and lets me do almost anything when it comes to our home’s interior design.)
I once had dreams of following that career path, but the reality of it is that I am not cut out for it. You see, I am an introvert by nature, and to do well in any kind of career where you have to sell yourself and a product, the extroverts always have the edge over the introverts. So, I will stick with decorating my own home.
I wanted to find an image that summed up the color scheme I have in mind for our living room. After spending the better part of an hour searching for a single image, I managed to only find this one shot (left) which conveys my idea if not necessarily my style.
Those who know me, know that I like gray as a neutral in my interiors. I have been on the gray bandwagon for at least the past 15 years and I don’t see any reason to change course. So, when it came to thinking about the new apartment, I knew the underlying neutral would be gray, and that gray would be pervasive throughout the entire apartment.
My favorite color is red. Red is bold, flavorful, and cannot be ignored (it is also my mothers favorite color, therefore I blame my mother). Red is a color that evokes strong emotion, fuels passion, and stirs the imagination. I have painted entire rooms red in the past, I wear red (to the point that every day there is at least one thing I am wearing, visible or not, that is red), and in recent years I have incorporated red into my eye-wear. So, it is a given that there will be red in the interior. That said, I have also learned that red is to be used in measured proportions against a neutral (such as gray) so as to not overwhelm.
This brings me to the rug I want in our living room. This is Chenille Charade, in Persimmon, by Flor. It is more expensive than I want it to be, but it will be fabulous in the new living room. I first used Flor carpet tiles more than ten years ago in my Chicago Loft (where you will also see red). We already have a black leather Ikea sofa, which we will incorporate into the new home. We also have a beautiful Brutalist Credenza by Lane (inspired by Paul Evans) we recently purchased with wedding money.
To add to the mix of gray and red, I want (need?) a third color. Enter teal… Teal is not a color I have long had much love for, but it has grown on me in recent years and I find I like it when contrasted with red. I will use red as the dominant color (as red is dominant no matter what you do). Teal will be carefully dropped in here and there. I have a danish modern chair (much like the one in the picture) which is in desperate need of new upholstery. I was originally going to do it in red, but I am leaning toward teal at this point.
On a recent trip to CB2, I noticed the John Peacock Blue Floor Lamp and filed it in my head under “I love this, but have no place for it”. Well, now I have a place, two places actually, one on each side of the sofa would look fabulous. We will need general lighting in the room, and table lamps flanking a sofa are not my thing, so this would be an ideal solution. Also, as it turns out, we got a CB2 gift card for our wedding, perhaps this is where we will use it!
My sense of style is not for most people. It is strong, bold, and can be very specific. Although most people could never see it in their home, they usually appreciate it. Hopefully you will be one of those people, if not, that’s OK too. Perhaps you can still find inspiration.
So there you have it… This is the starting point for our new home. Perhaps we will get there within a year, perhaps it will take a few years. Should be interesting!