Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And We're Back!

I'm back from Texas, and although the trip truly was too short, I got to see old friends, my brother and most importantly my mother, and got some much needed relaxation. I did some shopping, well, actually lots of shopping and lots of reading - my two very favorite things!

I took a few of my design books, including Suzanne Rheinstein's AT HOME, and came back with a fresh perspective on my dining room. Something much needed, as I've been fighting with idea after idea ending up with nothing but a tired ticker. Suzanne's own Los Angeles Home is featured in the book and the living room has me thinking ...

Gorgeous right. Stunning traditional furniture, much of it antique, slipcovered for summer with these beautiful ballet tie striped slips. Now, although the slips are amazing, perfectly tailored to the unique lines of the furniture, I was and am inspired by the many gilded finishes on the chairs.

The same room - without slips for winter. Can you see the finish on those french bergere chairs? Beautiful antique gold gilding, probably with applied gold leaf and wax, gives those chairs such a beautiful and almost magical quality.

Our dining room is small, and I finally got a new round table to play off the very square room. The table, draped with a beautiful burlap floor length skirt with jute fringe from Ballard Designs  in a rich chocolate brown, coordinates perfectly with my floor to ceiling silk taffeta chocolate drapery. But with the antique sideboard, and the original unpainted woodwork, it was too much brown. So, I've been toying with the idea of chairs of a different color. I thought gray initially - and tried it, but it didn't look good. Now I'm thinking gold, or perhaps, a rougher finish - copper, or antique brass.

Most of the furniture in Rheinstein's Hancock Park living room belonged to her husband's parents. Even here, in the 1980's living room when they first moved into the house, the gilded furniture is present but a little harder to discern.

But she must love the look, because when she and her husband decided to buy a Manhattan apartment, she used antique gilded chairs in the sitting room:

Beautiful, right? Now I'm off to figure out how to recreate these stunning finishes inside of my budget ... and after this trip, that's a lot smaller than usual!