Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My living room creep toward midcentury-modern boho chic

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You all got a glimpse of the Moroccan Pom Pom Pouf I shopped for in a recent post. If you can take your eyes off my ever-beautiful daughter, Erin, and her perfectly precious pooch, Millie (a Goldendoodle), you'll see it beyond them, next to the magenta chair, which is also new.

I referenced chair replacement in my pouf post because that was the motivation in shopping for a pouf. We were ditching our worn-out bonded leather chairs and ottomans for two new living room chairs and just one pouf, remember?

I’m not done with changes to the living room yet, but I thought it was about time to catch you up on what I have accomplished there.


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This shot gives you a decent overview of the room. It’s from a series I took last week to observe sunlight and shadow. The only window is on the wall to the left. It’s tall, but positioned in a sheltered area. It looks out on our patio, and the roof has a deep overhang. The exposure is north, so this is pretty much the light volume and pattern all day.


Let’s start with that magenta chair and pouf


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This is the Eleanor Arm Chair from Joss & Main. I love the chair’s midcentury modern lines, and the magenta color was definitely the way to go for our living room. It was the first time I dared order furniture online since a fiasco a decade ago when I ordered a chest I hated and had to spend $80 to ship it back. 

The Eleanor chair was on sale for a terrific price, and shipping was free, which is good as far as it goes. The problem was it took several weeks to get here, and when it did finally arrive, the box with the legs in it shifted in transport and tore a huge hole in the dustcloth cover on the chair’s underside. 

Joss & Main offered me the option of repair—they contract with someone local to come out and replace the torn underside—or a $75 discount. I chose to have the chair repaired because I’ve had cats actually dislodge the dustcloth, climb inside upholstered furniture, and tear it up from within. No sense giving our current cat any ideas, right? 


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Whitney, the helpful customer service rep at J&M, said the repair company should call in 24 to 48 hours. She then emailed me her contact information in case I had any additional problems, which, unfortunately, I did.

After a full 72 hours the repair company still hadn’t called. I then emailed Whitney. By this time it was Friday, and though her note said she was out on Fridays, it indicated she worked Saturdays. Saturday came and went with no call from Whitney, as did Sunday. Monday morning I called her, got voicemail and left a message.

By late Monday afternoon, when no one responded, I called again and talked to Whitney, who said the repair company they’d been working with hadn’t responded to a number of requests she’d made. She gave me the choice of waiting while she tried a different repair firm or getting a new chair shipped. I chose a new chair, which of course meant waiting another few weeks.


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BoHo Home

It still hasn’t arrived (it’s set to come this Friday), but in the interim a repair company did leave me a voicemail offering to come out and repair my chair. Too little, too late. 


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BoHo Home

I hope the new chair is in perfect condition because now that I’ve lived with this chair for a few weeks, I want it to work. I LOVE the color in my room—it picks up the pink in the art over the sofa—and I haven’t been able to find any alternatives in that beautiful shade!

And doesn’t it look great, too, with the Moroccan Pom Pom Pouf from West Elm? Remember how I was a bit worried over all the navy blue in the pouf? From the photo on the West Elm website it looked as if the fringe around the top was navy blue. And although there is other navy blue in the pouf, I was pleased to find that the fringe is charcoal gray, like my sofa. Perfect!

Chris wasn’t all that pleased that I bought a new pouf instead of using an ottoman sitting mostly idle in my office. But the pouf in action has won him over. It’s a great height and lightweight because it’s filled with polystyrene beads. Those same beads cradle and support your legs in comfort. It’s a win all the way around!


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The pillow on the chair is from the Nourison Fantasia collection, which I wrote about in a YAAS! feature way back in January 2016. This particular pillow I bought then, along with those on the sofa, but I’d been using it in a different room because it didn’t work comfort-wise with the chair that used to be here. It is, however, PERFECT with the new chair. The throw used on the chair is the Anthropologie Centrale Throw Blanket.


Which brings us to chair #2


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We ordered the Rocket Lounge Chair a few days after the other (a friend calls it "Mary Ann" and the magenta chair "Ginger"!) and it was delivered within a week. It was available on the websites of both Joss & Main and its parent company, Wayfair. However, it was $60 less on Wayfair, which is weird because J&M is supposed to be the close-out site, right? Anyhow, it arrived damage-free, was easy to assemble, and is well-padded and comfortable. 


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I was a tad worried about the color—it was described as light blue—but the reviews said it had a greenish cast. I have a lot of turquoise in this room, so I hoped that meant the chair was really aqua, which indeed, it is! It’s actually a tweed that has some neutral brown tones mixed in as well, and it looks perfect in the room. I really go for those angled arms!! 


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BoHo Home

I dressed the chair with another Nourison Fantasia pillow. This one I bought new for this chair; it’s called Yellow Borders. The Karma Living mantita throw I already owned and knew from the moment I saw the chair it would be perfect there.


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I bought the midcentury starburst clock a while back when our other clock quit. I love the design in the dark walnut! After we added the chair, I thought I needed a pop of color to fill in that space between, so I moved this print—“Contour Map” by Budi Kwan—from the hallway. 

I’m trying to decide if I need something else below the print and toward the light. I have a square hammered-copper tray I thought would look cool hung as a diamond shape, but can’t decide. What do you think? 


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BoHo Home

The drum-style side table (from Pier 1 long, long ago) I moved from the other side of the room, stuffed it with come colorful knit throws, and topped it with my MCM atomic bomb vases—Fat Man, Thin Man, and Little Boy. 

I’ve had these for a couple years and could never find the right spot for them, but they work well here. They speak to the atomic influence on midcentury modern interiors and aren't meant to encourage the use of nuclear bombs or nuclear power.


A side seldom seen


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Though hardly the most thrilling part of my living room, I wanted to give you the whole picture. This is the side that faces the sofa (which you see reflected in the TV screen). I make no attempt anymore to disguise TVs. Flatscreens look so much better than their precursors that my only interest is in hiding the cords. 

This is a house that is lived in, anyway. With only 1,400 square feet, we have no room to make concessions to form that tries to budge ahead of function.

Our previous home was colonial revival, our furnishings traditional, and our décor Early American primitive. It’s a style we loved for a long time, but after 20 years both Chris and I were ready for something different. So when we moved to the condo, we decided to go modern. We replaced some furniture out of the gate, reupholstered other pieces in modern patterns, and replaced additional pieces gradually. 

We’ve held onto the reproduction linen press as our media cabinet because it’s solid wood—no veneers and no compositives—and well-constructed, which most pieces these days are not. I tried to give it a boho boost with funky knobs and a colorful tassel, but may eventually replace it with a midcentury piece. I’m keeping an eye out on Craigslist.


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I know the top is in need of styling. I fiddle with it pretty much every day. I’m limited as to what I can do here because hubs doesn’t want anything to interrupt the TV remote’s signal from the sofa to the sound bar and infrared remote extender (the big and little black boxes seen here, respectively). Also, Maisie-Cat likes to spread out on the top and survey her kingdom.

Okayyyy…So.

Mostly I’m showing you this to see the copper tray I may add over the aqua chair, in the grouping with the clock and print (tipped, diamond-shape, remember).


Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera


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BoHo Home

This coffee table also stays because Chris and I designed it together and he built it, largely from scavenged scraps leftover from the construction of our previous house.


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I’m loving how my kantha throws look in my African Bolga basket. Those same kanthas used to cover my sofa to keep Maisie from destroying it (see more HERE). That wasn’t completely successful, but we’re working on it. See my tutorial on making the tassels yourself HERE.

We tried a commercial cat repellent spray, which was only partially successful. Then we mixed up our own with equal parts of water and white vinegar. It works better, but still has to be applied about twice a day. It’s a training issue, and Maisie is getting better, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


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Together, Chris and I picked out some fun midcentury accent pieces on Ebay. I’m still playing with what goes where, but I love the mix of pattern and color.


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I’m also pleased with the mix of items on the coffee table. I love them even more since my cleaning lady angled them after cleaning last time. It was just what the arrangement needed! Thank you, Becky!


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The books are all about pattern, of course.


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And my bird isn’t an Eames, but he sports a gorgeous midcentury-modified starling pattern in his feathers. The Tracy Porter platter that corrals the remotes features a wonderful pattern, too.


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But the pièce de résistance is this oil-can pitcher by ceramicist Robin Roi of RobRoi Design, who I featured in “Everyday Artist” last year. I love its space-age patterning and unique design. Robin achieved some fame in the pattern-painting movement before switching her focus to ceramics, and you can see why. If I could afford to accessorize my room completely in her work, I would.


Well, that’s what I’ve accomplished so far. Thursday I’ll detail what else is planned.


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Until then, I’ll leave you with another photo of beautiful Erin and cuddly Millie, with my magenta chair and perfect pouf looking on. 


If you want more…

  • Check back Thursday for a peek at what’s still in the works for this room. 
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