I know I said I would write about entryways all week, but my week suddenly became consumed with a Craigslist purchase and now I can think of nothing else. Entryways will have to wait.
Here's the deal: At night, when I should be starting my bedtime routine, I like to canvas the Craigslist furniture ads. It's a little obsessive. Definitely compulsive. And I'm sure it's pretty creepy. Let's just call it meditative.
The thing is. Sometimes after digging through that giant haystack of mundane Ikea crappola, you actually, out of nowhere, manage to find the needle. And then you're faced with the question -- always the late night one, the one where you should be turning off the light and going to bed, but instead, you're thinking about that needle you just found: If you had one shot, one opportunity... would you capture it or let it slip away?
One such opportunity presented itself to me earlier this week, during my ritualistic evening perusal of search term: "chair." I can't even recall why I was looking, but then out of nowhere, I saw it: "Linen Sofa & 2 Club Chairs by Cisco Furniture - $600 (Upper West Side)."
CISCO FURNITURE? As in CISCO BROTHERS? This does not happen on Craigslist. It never happens on Craigslist!
You likely have not heard of Cisco Brothers. Before last June, I hadn't either. But then, as I do with things, I became obsessed. Matt's parents super kindly offered to buy us a new sofa as a dual graduation gift when we graduated from our respective institutions last spring, and when we started looking, we found a cool sofa we liked out at a home décor store in the Hamptons. It was the Cisco Brothers Cordova sofa (which I did not know at the time, but after much obsessive googling, I figured this out). We never ended up pulling the trigger, partially because there's the fear that everything is marked up in the Hamptons, but we never stopped thinking about it. I researched the company more and fell more in love with it - L.A. based, everything's made in the USA, everything's organic. It's just all around awesomeness. It's also horrifically expensive (as truly great upholstery is).
When we were on vacation in California, we made sure to stop at the flagship store in L.A. and once again committed to the idea of buying a Cisco Brothers sofa. This time, we fell in love with the Hayden Deluxe Sofa (and if all goes well, maybe one day we'll have it, shrunk down to 90"), but still, we never forgot the Cordova.
So imagine how I felt when I saw the CORDOVA on CRAIGSLIST. A SOFA. And TWO CHAIRS. All for $600??? HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS FABULOUS. I emailed the seller faster than you can say Cisco (and she emailed back faster than I could have imagined) and found out that the sofa had already been sold, but the chairs were available. So this is where the opportunity thing comes into play: we don't need two new club chairs. We need a new sofa. And we would like a new club chair and perhaps a smaller chair to complement it. Two club chairs is possibly too big for our living room (it's only 12 feet wide), but when presented with two chairs that you love, that retail for, like, $2,500 each, that are being given to you for $150 each (by my calculations that's a 94% discount), it's the difference between an extremely bad case of buyer's remorse and an extremely bad case of saver's remorse. And who wants to suffer from saver's remorse? Not I, said the fly. And so I took the leap of faith and bought the chairs (the seller and her husband, by the way, were just the loveliest people ever).
Below is a mock up of what our living room might eventually look like with the chairs and if we get the Hayden sofa. The painting and lamps, and some of the pillows, are things we already own, so I often play around with different furniture looks and colors using what we already have to get a sense for what works and what doesn't. I think this works! Though the pillows may need to change.
The chairs are going to be delivered at some point next week. I am totally excited and totally stressed. The chairs are quite large: 37"w x 32"h x 42"d, and our current elevator (our regular one is being serviced) is quite tiny. The door opening is 29" and then the interior space is 40"w x 34"d. Then you get to our tiny door, which is only 28" (and that's stretching it). So I'm moderately aware of how poorly this could all go down. But when you have an opportunity, you have to seize it, right? I'm hopeful. And trying to think positive! Thinking positive is a good thing! And I am just hours away (hopefully) from sitting on two down filled Cisco Brothers Cordova chairs!
Happy anticipating! Happy Craigslist scouring!
As a child, my parents' home was an endless place for exploration, and I remember going to great lengths to carve out cool secret spaces where I could hang out and just be. We all, children and adults alike, have a natural inclination to carve out our own space -- a room of one's own -- that we create -- that is ours -- and that allows us to find ourselves.
When I took a space-planning class at Parsons, one of the assignments was to figure out what you would do with an awkward, small, 6'x8' windowless alcove that branched off of a hallway. Thinking like a child, this would have been a no-brainer. It would be an empty canvas for play -- for forts and make-believe and escape from grown-ups. For an adult though, this assignment was a challenge. As adults, we are weighed down by practicality, and we need to find a way to be creative within those constraints. Would you make it an office nook? A closet nook? A storage nook? What about a reading nook? What practical purpose would it serve?
I have of course lost the assignment and can't remember what I chose to do (a comfy chair for reading?), but I decided to challenge myself again today. Let me tell you - it was FUN!
This is what I came up with: a space for creativity, comfort and inspiration. A space with a base of white where I can layer as much color and texture and pattern as I can muster. A space with furniture that has beautiful lines, that bridges the world between antique and
modern. A space that you could spend an entire day in and not even notice that time has passed.
A quick note on sourcing: the photo of the white desk with gorgeous ikat covered chair is from French Elle via the blog Absolutely Beautiful Things (fab blog, btw) (I would get two West Elm Parsons Desks, each $349 + $15 delivery surcharge, and since I can't find that exact chair, there is a French Louis XVI bergere chair for $800 that is not perfect, but similar conceptually). The chandelier is from 1stdibs (for "price upon request" = prohibitively expensive, but a girl can dream!). The sheer linen curtains are from Crate & Barrel ($39.95/panel). The sheepskin rug is from Overstock ($201.99 for 3'x5'). The Stacie 16x24" pillow ($129) and the Boho Chic 20x20" pillow ($129) are both by Kim Salmela and available at One Kings Lane right now (sale ends 11/20). The daybed is from Elle Decor via the blog Interior Walls Design (likely too big for the space, but I like the concept). The inspiration wall is from Pinterest. And are those twinkling stars on the ceiling, you ask? Why yes! They are! Click here to see how they're done. They bring both a child-like whimsy to the space and, when all the other lights are off, transport you outside so you can look at the stars and dream as you lounge on your comfy, pillowed daybed. Now - if only I had an awkward nook in which to bring this visual to life! Time to think like a kid again and create one for myself....
Now, here is the real question:
What would you do with a windowless 6'x8' alcove???
I can't wait to find out!
Remember: think like a kid!
Happy Challenging, Happy Imagining!
I have developed a healthy obsession with Eames or Eames-like molded chairs with sheepskin rugs artfully tossed on them. It's a mix of urban modern and rustic coziness. Love it. Especially as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter.
My husband Matt and I are lucky to have a working fireplace, but we still have never outfitted the area with appropriate seating. I've been trying to find the right chair "mood" on a scale of antique/traditional to modern/non-traditional. We want something with some coziness to it but with a good deal of non-upholstery (e.g. wood or metal) to break up the seating experience in our living room (our living room is sectioned into "dining area," "TV-watching/living area" and "empty space around the fireplace area" - the dining area is all loaded up with wood and everything in the TV-watching area is heavily upholstered). So, how to achieve non-upholstered coziness? French antique Louis XIV/XV/XVI chairs with light upholstery? Or something more modern and bohemian involving wood or metal or - dare I say - plastic?? Mix in a little furriness for good measure?
Because I have a lot of antique French and Italian going on in my apartment with a touch of Asian, I wanted to mix the overall aesthetic up with something a bit more modern but with the ability to blend into what I already have going on. The Eames chair achieves all that I was looking for: modern, but not glaringly so, and with a vintage throw-back quality; plus it's got plastic, wood and metal! It's all so very American! (Well, the originals were Fiberglass, but I digress.) Add in a cozy sheepskin throw (faux or real), and you're set for winter-time cozy fireplace lounging.
Full disclosure: I would always prefer to own an original. I am not usually one to promote knockoffs. We could go over the pros and cons and IP issues, but at $500 a pop for the real deal, it's just not in the cards for me right now (if you want the real deal, go here at Design Within Reach - they have the rights and the original chair molds). But for you "chipper" chicken fans (go to 3:30 in the clip!), read on about my hunt for affordable Eames look-alikes and cozy furry throws.
I found a pair of Eames-style Eiffel armchairs with wood legs on Craigslist on Sunday for $100 that I was pretty excited about, but I LOST THE SALE to an even more eager beaver Craigslist shopper than me (the horror). Sigh. Slight devastation, but obviously it wasn't meant to be. Fresh off of this loss, I decided that I need to own these chairs immediately and under mainstream, mass-produced conditions (I couldn't deal with the anticipation and high/low that comes from auction or Craigslist shopping) - so to established online retailers I went. After some Google searching and some helpful advice (and snobby comments) from Apartment Therapy, I settled on the Retro-classic White Accent Chairs (Set of 2) from Overstock.com for $166.99 (down from $219.91) with FREE SHIPPING (little in this world makes me happier than free shipping) and a DISCOUNT CODE that gave me an additional $20 off (the only thing better than free shipping is an additional discount code for extra savings!). (Note: White on White had good recs, but for $320 a pop, I'd rather splurge and buy the real thing.)
Just for fun, let's compare the cost of purchasing the Overstock chairs v. the
real deal from DWR (excluding tax).
Pair @ $166.99 (or $83.50 each)
Shipping @ FREE
Additional Discount: $20 off for spending $150+
Pair @ $998 (or $499 each)
Shipping @ $79.84
Additional Discount: None
What do we save?? $930.85! Man, I love deal hunting.
In addition to that sweet set of cheapo chairs, I am buying two lambskin rugs from a charming Canadian company called Southern Cross Sheepskins Inc. (website: Sheepskinstuff.com) to complete the look. The size (24"x42") runs a bit larger than the rugs I've seen on Joss & Main, Overstock, Pottery Barn, Ikea, etc. (all 24"x36"), which I think will work well with the chairs (I want some of the rug edges to hang over the chair edges). And the cost is reasonable ($67 on sale, plus $23 shipping in Canadian dollars, which is around $150 in total for two rugs plus shipping in USD). (All of the other rugs except Ikea ran in the $70-$80 range and become significantly more expensive when you add square footage. Ikea at $30 might have won my vote, but the items aren't sold online or at any store near me.)
I also appreciate that 1) I'm ordering from an adorable, family-owned Canadian company; 2) it feels like the rugs are not terribly mass produced (and I have to offset the feel of my chair purchase), which means I can pretend that everything was done humanely; and 3) they showed me a photo of the backside of the rug, which is hard to come by online (and was stressing me out); and 4) upon checkout, I got a free pair of sheepskin mittens! Oh, Canada...!
I can't wait to receive all of my loot and to try it out! Here is a mockup of what I think the chairs will look like in my living room! We shall see what really happens!
'Til then, here is some photo inspiration of cool modern chairs with sheepskin throws from Pinterest to get you in the mood!
Happy shopping and fireplace lounging!
I am an artist/designer and former financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and my two boys Michael and Theo and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.