The Male Equation

The other night, I was in a Pinterest-induced stupor, conjuring up images of

what will be

in our newly-purchased house in Virginia - code name:



(because I know you want to follow

that board


Initially, we'll take a live-with-it-and-plan approach on a lot of the house, but we're tackling a few messier projects before or as we move in. One of those is the Family Room - or what we'll use as a family/tv room.

For starters - it is

vewy, vewy


...and nondescript.

My hope is to do away with the circa 70s paneling, add some much-needed mill work, and turn it into a jewel box of a room, all glossy, cozy, and layered like so...

Key to my plans are: rich, high-gloss paint (color TBD), and saddle/caramel leathuh.

So, I was stoked when I saw


MCM-esque leather sofa from JCPenney getting good reviews.  The Hubster's not the biggest fan of this style, so....

Me:  "Ben, do you think you could stomach this sofa for the family room at Wallingford?"

Ben:  "It looks like I would slide off."

Score: Ben - 1  Sofa - 0

How do I compete with this?

Happy Monday, peeps.

(P.S. - no baby, obvs)

Tulip Table Chair Upgrade

Normally, the last six weeks of a pregnancy sees a woman in full-on nesting mode, so it's hard to twist those instincts in me into thoughts of packing up and moving.   But, that's just where things stand.  It's probably also why my virtual nesting of the new house in Virginia is going overboard - I just need the release!
There are a few I can research in earnest - upgrades I know we'll make to our existing furniture.  Cue the seating situation for our tulip table.
 When we bought the table, there weren't any chairs I was cuh-razy about, so we just went with simple, easy to use with the crumb-crunchers, and in all likelihood, temporary.

This is our only eating area in the apartment, so the casual vibe has worked well.  In our new house, though, this table will be in our dining room, so I'd like to lose the chrome-legged chairs in lieu of something a little nicer and more comfortable. ...For the times when we actually DO host a dinner party where people might want to linger around the table.

There's so many ways to play the tulip table - it's such a genius design that almost any style of chair can work, and I've rarely spied a combo I thought was just "off." 
That doesn't make my job of selecting new chairs any easier.  Should I go fancy-Louis/upholstered,  simple-but-comfy MCM, lucite (Ben says Hell NO!), playful wishbone,  or colorful cafe? The buttery leather PK9 is the chair of my dreams - and at over five grand a pop, my dreams is exactly where it'll stay. Oh, hurts so GOOD!

1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6// 7// 8

We interrupt this blogcation...

For a little glimpse...
I know, the chairs are lame, but we kinda blew our wallet out with the table purchase.  Hopefully, a chair upgrade will happen some time later.
I'm enamored.
I also feel pretty much like an ass, posting about something as trivial as a table, when there are families who, because of some mindless freak in Colorado, will never again sit down for a meal with their mother/father/sister/child.
A movie.
Going to see a freakin' MOVIE
Seems safe enough.
No longer.
That's no longer where we are.
Don't think I need to remind you to hug yours an extra time or two, but I will anyway.

Need your input

They say "Shrinks need Shrinks."  I think it's probably true to say "Decorators need Decorators," too.  At least that's true of me.  It seems so much easier to make decorating decisions for other people than for myself.  So, I need your take on my dining room issue....
I've mentioned I plan to purchase an oval tulip table for our small dining room in Rio.  The classic but contemporary lines are exactly what our place needs to balance our otherwise Trad-ish mix of furniture.
 The thing is, I cannot decide what kind of chair to pair it with.
I don't want to match tulip chairs with the table, but don't know just how much to mix it up, either.
We need the smaller table to accommodate our space, so we might be looking at two host chairs, and only two side chairs.  I have a pair of these sort of Asian-lined chairs.  I know they aren't armchairs, but I was thinking of recovering them, and using them as host chairs.  Maybe an easy-to-clean, roughed up leather a la Isaac Mizrahi's bergeres.
 Something like that might pair nicely with bentwoods, right?
 Or, is that too matchy-matchy?  Should I go totally fun and colorful with something like these...

Need your input, puh-leeze!

Downsizing and Questioning Authori-TAY

In a few months, we'll be moving from our spacious casa in Brasilia to an apartment in Rio.  Although the apartment is generous by Big City standards, it will mean a lot of downsizing for us. 
I'm nervous about moving with two, energetic kiddos into an apartment - and exasperated when everyone says, "Oh, you'll just go to the beach." Like it's a magic cure for the maladies of tight living quarters.  It might be. I'll find out.
What the move also means, though, is we'll be selling many of our household goods - keeping only what we really need and love.  I'm actually very excited about this part.  Right now, our furnishings are a mix of things we've inherited, cobbled with a few lower-end items we've had since our first home. I won't be able to make a lot of upgrades, but we will be trading in on some more space and taste-appropriate items.
I think I've got Ben on board to selling his Shaker-style dining table, and buying a Saarinen tulip table.  I'm really digging the oval shape set with more traditional chairs.

barrie benson via Domino
We have several traditional, but non-matching chairs that I'm thinking I can recover in the same fabric to pull it all together in a fun, eclectic way for our new place.  Because after all, Rio is nothing if not fun and eclectic.

I recently did some window shopping to see a tulip table in person.  In general, household items in Brazil are much, much more expensive than they are in the States, so I figured I'd check them out here, but end up ordering one from the US.  
The salesladies at the shops stated the tables were "authentica," and they look spot-on to originals online. So I found it puzzling when the Brazilian prices were about 1/3 of the price you'd pay if you ordered a similar tulip table from a website like All Modern. (Dum da DUM)  I thought maybe the copyright laws were just more lenient here, and that they can claim the tables are authentic.
Good thing I've got a design-savvy (and legally-versed) Brazilian friend who explained that the worldwide copyright on Saarinen's design has expired, so that anyone can replicate it, and call it a tulip table.  If the dimensions and materials match the specifications of the designer's original, then it can be called "authentic."

My own thinking as to why the authentic versions in the States are so much pricier is that they are still manufactured by Knoll - the company Saarinen originally worked with on the design.
So, there ya go.  
Brazilian Saarinen tables.
Almost free. 

In other Makes-Monday-Good news:  I found out some of my design work has been selected for a little e-glossy love.  Stoked doesn't even begin to explain my feelings.