28 January 2010

Insomnia is so efficient

I do my best work in the wee hours of the morning, which is why I decided to finally begin the documentation process of my home transformation. We recently moved to Columbia, SC and found a modest gem in a nice neighborhood to call our own. As an obsessive design junkie, I could not wait to get my hands on the place, but I must say it is proving to be a very slow process. I am enthusiastic about "the process" itself, but it's getting difficult to keep all of my ideas straight. Enter "The Avarice." Below are the pictures from the real estate listing as well as some preliminary inspiration that I've found along the way.

Of course, almost everything has changed since my initial ideas. Once you get into a house and live in it for a bit, the spaces feel different. I love design and all things beautiful, but my number one goal is to have a home that is cozy and welcoming. I want guests to come in and feel like they can kick their shoes off and take a nap if they like.
My initial idea about the den/kitchen area was to put a large, comfortable slipcovered sofa or sectional in there and make it chic and comfortable, but not too feminine, as is my tendency. My fiance said it was going to be the "man cave," so I could forget about pink walls or floral fabrics. Unfortunately, after getting in the space, we discovered how narrow it was and immediately had to rule out the sectional. Because the kitchen is adjacent, we spend almost all of our time in there and currently we only have a small sofa and chair with an ottoman. When people come over, there just isn't enough seating, so I am in the brainstorming process for that space. My preliminary thoughts involve making it more of a formal (yet comfortable) space and putting a small flat screen above the mantle (big no no, i know, but it works best in the space). I want people to still visit with me when I'm cooking and I want to still be able to hear/see the television, so I think a more formal sitting area might work best...
As far as the living/dining room goes (with the french doors), it is one big unused space. I once read an article in House Beautiful in which the decorator (I can't remember who right now) said decorate how you live 360 days of the year. It's fun to think about fabulous parties in our formal living room/dining room, but the truth is that we really don't entertain that often. Hopefully in the future that will change, but for now I think the TV is going to be moved from the den/"man cave" into the formal living room space with two sofas or one sectional and lots of compromise as far as the "man cave" is concerned.
The dilemma I am having right now is finding my style. There is so much good design out there right now that it is sometimes difficult to sort through and say, I love this, but living like THIS makes me happy. For instance, I love Hollywood Regency style- It is so glam and luxurious, but when I think about applying it to my own home- I just don't know if it would make me happy 360 days/year. I also have my fiances persistant voice restricting my overly girly decisions. Am I warrented in thinking, "Why should he care?!"? I know he lives here too, but he should trust that I am not going to go overboard. Additionally, there is the pressure of decorating your own home which is much more overwhelming than handling someone elses space! Maybe it's just me, but I think it is much easier to walk into someone elses home and say," That picture needs to be moved down, those benches should go under here, etc." I am putting so much pressure on myself to make this masterpiece of a home as if to prove to myself that I am worthy of one day being a designer. Revenons a nos moutons! We digress.
In any case, the only room for which I feel my vision is not so half baked is the master bedroom. (It is also the only room for which I have no actual photos) I included some of my inspiration for this room, which are from House Beautiful magazine (October 2009, I think)

This is a fabulous space and I love the color, but worry that without the high ceilings, white carpet and large windows, the color might be too dark. What I want is a very chic, french inspired, light, bright bedroom with some industrial pieces. I love all things French, but feel like I need some more masculine, industrial items to balance it. When I was in London last spring, I bought an InStyle magazine in which they did a feature on designer Collette Dinnigan's Sydney home and I really liked her bedroom. It was very feminin but not over the top.

So, I'm thinking a white tufted headboard from Ballard Designs and some aluminum nightstands like the one in Dinnigan's room. Dresser's are a necessary evil and I've had quite a time finding one that I like, but I think I finally found one on the Z Gallerie website that satisfies my need for something Hollywood Regency.

I think it's classic, but what do I know... I've had enough for one night.