December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Look for Less: Pearson Room in Traditional Home

Sooooo pretty!


 This is an ad from the May, 2012 Traditional Home magazine.  I love this look - I'm just this traditional gal, I guess.  The photo above appears to have tones of blue/grey and ivory or cream.  The magazine page I scanned at first looked to me more cream and light taupe, except for the area rug, which had what I considered jarring tones of medium grey and darker grey in the dark stripe.  So, I am not exactly sure of the colorway in the photoshoot, but it seems to have grey or a grey-blue in it.  I thought the walls were a pale taupe, but they might be a pale grey.

I spent a couple of hours shopping online and came up with these options:

Sofa:

This sofa is not an exact match, but I love it for a couple of reasons:  (1) the bench seat -- there is nothing like feeling one has to sit right in the middle of a seat on a three seat cushion sofa or, heaven forbid, be the third person straddling the gap between seat cushions on a two cushion sofa.  (2)  I love a tight-back sofa for those same reasons :)  This is the Enzo skirted sofa from Sandra John. It has clean, crisp lines but a nod toward traditional design with that slight "camel" back and the subtle curving slopes in the arms. It's on sale right now for $1,395.00 and comes in several different upholstery options. 

I offer this sofa from - get ready for it - Penney's - as an alternative.  The arm shape is similar to the inspiration photo, as is the general outline of the sofa (although not a tuxedo style) , and it doesn't have a skirt.  What I like is that it comes in an 84" version with three cushions ($700 - $1,000), and a 75" two cushion version shown below ($700 - $900), with upholstery options in several colors.  It's got the clean lines of the inspiration sofa and also comes with two toss pillows.  Sorry about the color - couldn't get it to change no matter what I tried!  You've just got to imagine it in a neutral, or a sky blue: 

Chair:

I didn't expect to find an exact match to the high end Pearson chair, but I liked these two chairs - I chose them for their lines and for the wood trim.  I did see chairs that had the "lines" of the chair in the inspiration photo, but no wood trim, and so I didn't include any of them here:


This is the Bedford chair from Ballard Designs.  Depending upon the wood trim finish option you select (there are five of them) and the upholstery (there are many), the price ranges from
$699.00 - $1,003.00.  Out of my price range, but I think it would look fabulous with the Enzo skirted sofa.
Here is an alternative to the Bedford chair, it's the Better Homes and Gardens Modern Outlook Upholstered Chair with Wood Trim (whew!) -- unfortunately, I could not find the price for this chair, but it is availabe at many furniture retailers.  I grabbed this photo from Belfort Furniture - check out the back of the chair - it's got a fabulous detail, and for that reason alone it might be outside of my price range, too.  It sure is a gorgeous chair:



Coffee Table:

Fell in love with this one right away, and didn't look any further. It's looks about the rigth size, the right color, and has the bottom shelf as the table in the inspiration photo, but it's also got those gorgeous slanted legs with the little 'oriental' dibs at the end, which takes this table to a whole new level Plus the price - $99.  Can you believe it?  It's solid wood and wood veneers, 49" x 16". This is the Clark coffee table from Home Decorators:


Bookcases/Cabinets:

The bookcases/cabinets in the inspiration are, let's face it, drop dead gorgeous!  Beautiful veneer, impeccable styling and that fret-work on the glass doors - wow!  These do not look like particularly tall cabinets - I figure they are less than 5 feet tall (60").  This kind of case work will be very expensive, way outside of my budget.

First choice for a reasonable alternative is this design, Stein World 58648 Newbury Collection Chippendale Style Bookcase, offered by many different vendors on the internet.  I found these cases at HOM Store for $767.53 - this probably does not include shipping.  I also found the identical case at - Appliances Connection (yes, you and I read it right - what is Appliances Connection doing selling case goods?) - for $975 but with free shipping.  It's finish is described as "warm oak" - hmmmm, not sure the different wood finishes will go together, but there's no way to be sure what they look like except to see examples in person for the chair wood color, the coffee table color and the case goods color - and good luck with that!  Always a hazard of shopping online, unfortunately.  It's a lovely case (this image is from designcenterfurniture.com) and a good size, HxWxL: 53.00x15.00x42.00.  Wood and wood veneers including burl inlays on the doors:

Two of these cabinets would look lovely anchoring that wall in the inspiration photo.

I did find other possibilities, but none had the same "feeling" as either the inspiration photo or my facsimile selection by Stein World.  Most of them were taller for one thing, and more expensive too.  Also, the glass doors did not have the decorative fretwork on it that makes these cases so special, nor the burl veneer on the doors.  Nope - Stein World Chippendale cabinet is the winner, hands down.

Area Rugs:

The pieced-together striped rugs in the inspiration photo left me cold. I looked for something "moderne" but different, something I thought would compliment the furniture and the case goods I've selected for my "look for less," but not stripes.  Here my selections:

From zincdoor.com, the Frontier Geometric Stone Hand Woven Wool Rug, $330.00 for 5' x 8'.  Two of these rugs would be needed to duplicate the "dual-rug" look in the inspiration photo.  The color tones in this rug are dried oregano, papyrus, stone, mocha.  I think the colors would complement many different upholstery selections available for the sofas and chairs I selected, and the pattern cleverly complements the fret work design of the Stein World bookcases:



This rug is the Modern Gray Mansoori Rug with Pattern by Kalora, and measures 5'3" x 7'7" and priced at $409.20 (on sale right now) with free shipping in the USA, at arearugsusa.net.  It is gray with a bit of cream in it and I think the design complements the lines of the furniture and the fret work in the Stein World bookcases beautifully.  It has geometry in it but I find it more subtle and soothing than the striped rugs used in the inspiration photo - yep, here I am, critizing whatever designer or design team put together the photo for the Pearson ad for using those striped rugs:


More later!

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