Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our Home Tour: Sunroom

I thought that a good place to start the tour of our home would be the sunroom. It's where we spend the most amount of time, and really is the most "livable" space in the house. It has the stereo system, television, and the most interesting of our art collection.

When I decided to change the colors of the house, which inevitably ended up with a full tilt change of everything else, the only thing that Scott requested was that I leave one room that he'd feel comfortable in, and that he could still use to watch television and read the paper. So, to that end ... I created this:

The room has been relatively difficult to furnish. Long and narrow, at 15x7, it wasn't until recently that I decided to take the sofa approach. Placed along the narrow wall, it acts as a daybed of sorts, with plenty of our kilim pillow collection and ottoman for those cozy movie nights.

In this photo, the ottoman was styled for the photoshoot with a great Asian basket that I picked up in Texas at a Goodwill for $2.99. I loved the texture and the dark color of it. It fit perfectly with the antique porcelain chrysanthemum bowl filled with clementines and red dahlias from our front garden.


Panning out a bit, you can see the ottoman, covered in a kilim piece with a red velvet backing. The curtains are made from Calico Corners suiting plaid in warm neutrals, and the sofa slipcover and ottoman slipcover were both made in about 2-hours from 1 12x15 Home Depot dropcloth! 


The sofa fits so perfectly between the window and wall here, I can't believe it sat in our garage for so long before I had this decorating breakthru! Has that happened to any of you? Anyway, the sofa covered in kilim pillows and cushions, and one beautiful golden harvest velvet pillow for supreme comfort.

Kilim is a great fabric, and pillows made from kilims both old and new are available at tons of retailers, including Pottery Barn. Ours came direct from Turkey, about 18 years ago when Scott lived there while in the Air Force. I always felt so terrible that these beauties spent so much of their time in the closet - so out they came.

The painting is from street artists in St. Petersburg, Russia - a trip that resulted in quite an art collection. You'll see more of it when we move upstairs in the tour.

The rug is layered, as most of my rugs are. The first rug, a 3.5x12 runner from Turkey is mostly red and dark navy with touches of green and white. The second a palomino cowhide I bought in Toronto! What a funny story this was: I found the hide of craigslist. So, we went to Toronto, only about an hour away, to pick it up. We parked downtown, and walked what we thought would be a short distance to the previous owners apartment. When we got there, a full 20-minute walk away, I had nothing to carry the cowhide back to the car with. The previous owner was sweet enough to put the hide in a black trash bag for me to carry more easily, except the hide, probably about 20 pounds, started to tear the bag and small pieces of the hide started peeking through the bag - resulting in curious glances and aghast stares as I'm sure it looked as though I was carrying a trash bag filled with blonde kittens through Downtown Toronto. I'll never forget it!

The large Carborundum Brand Abrasive Products poster is an antique from the 1920-1930's. Printed on oilcloth, it would have originally hung in a store that carried the Carborundum files and grinding wheels. We picked it up after suffering severe water damage at an antique store in Clarence, NY. I got a great deal, and bought it as an anniversary present to Scott 3-years ago. After some restoration done so perfectly by a great local restorer, it found its home here.

The side table (to the right corner of this picture) was a gift from a friend. The same friend who gave me the cart table in the living room. Nice friend, huh? The table is pine, probably from Mexico or that south western region where this sort of wood is washed in colors and very popular. This one is a beautiful gray blue, a perfect match to the faux zinc shade of my Pottery Barn Verona table lamp.
The chest has little wooden levers that keep the door closed, and it's not painted on the inside. Atop the chest, this vignette changes pretty regularly, but currently sports a ginger jar I found at a tag sale for $3, two miniature bronze busts of Ethiopian tribal women, and a brass cauldron with an English ivy. 
The seating arrangement is completed by another of our leather club chairs, and makes this corner of the very long room a separate space, while the other end of the room has the video equipment.

There are 9 windows in this room, so there is a lot of light, and not a lot of insulation. For that reason, there are always a lot of blankets in this room come late Fall and Winter, and lots of cozy conversation!
Scott reads the paper every day. It's an old man sorta thing that I make fun of him for, but in reality it makes it well versed in pretty much any conversation he's ever caught up in - and that's always so admirable. I, however, couldn't care less about the paper - and opt for my many subscriptions of shelter mags, which I keep in this old Beck's box. It's a great size, about 1x3' and holds a full three stacks (a little over 100 magazines!!) so I always have an issue at arms reach.

I got the box at a garage sale on my way home from work 4 years ago. I don't even really know what Beck's was, but I'm assuming beer. In this photo you can also see more of the rug, and the narrow plank hard pine floors I mentioned in the first tour post.
That beautiful poster, again. The lamp in the back corner of this shot came from an antique store in Texas, another one of Scott's purchases. He loves a bridge lamp, and I can't go into a store with him without him pointing one out and asking if I think we have space for it.

This one had a great alabaster shade, but it was unfortunately broken in the move. For the time being, we have this tortoise glass one instead, a Home Depot special, and just $9! 
An art shot of that wonderful texture I was telling about in the basket with the fruit and flowers. I love clementines, so there's always a bowl of them somewhere in the house - usually in the kitchen. But with the orange hues of our woodwork, the orange in the poster, and the many varied oranges of the kilims, they just seem to be a natural selection for this room, don't you think?
Now, the other side of the room. That chest holds enough alcohol to have a party for 100, and our stereo system, which makes for great television watching. The chest is actually the base of a mirror, made from burl wood in Germany. Lots of carved features give it a sort of Asian feeling, with foo dog feet and dragon detailing in the skirt - but it is German, and we LOVE it!

It's hard not to mention the 6.5' warrior in the room, right? Ok - so here's the story with "Clive".  Scott was living in Miami. His favorite antique store, which bought things from Europe and brought them to the states. When it fell on hard times, it liquidated, and Scott bought this carved warrior he named Clive. Clive was carved in Africa, and sold as part of the tourist trade and shipped to England for the colonial decorating done there. When the container the store bought from London was filled, Clive made his transcontinental journey again, and ended up (eventually) here with us.
Here you can see more of the burl and carving on the chest. It's topped with antique keys to the doors of our home, one tasselled. My absolute favorite candle from Anthropologie, second ginger jar, a faux turtle shell from Two's Company, and a buffet lamp with chocolate brown silk shade.

You can also see Clive's bracelet. It's actually bone and African plant beads. Really beautiful.

And another shot of the red roses from above. I'm really loving this aerial photography format right now - so you'll probably be seeing quite a bit of this.

I really hope that you love this room as much as we do. Now, where do we go next?