June 1, 2023

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Your Dream House

COTE DE TEXAS: My Design: Family Room

COTE DE TEXAS: My Design: Family Room

Well, the big day finally arrived. The sofa, pictured above, that I picked out months ago was delivered this week. It’s an old cliche, but very true: A designer can decide in a nanosecond what her client needs, but when it comes to the designer’s own home? Forget it! The hold up was I couldn’t decide what chairs would look good with the sofa because it has dramatic lines, with a high curved back, great depth, low – almost nonexistent – arms, and gorgeous, dark wood mouton legs. The truth is, I have waited my whole life for a George Smith sofa and arm chairs and I guess I’ll be waiting for another life time. It’s just not going to happen this time. As hard as I tried to make a pair of Smith’s club chairs work, they just didn’t look good next to the French styled sofa. So, after a few months of turmoil and indecision, back and forth, I finally decided on French wing chairs with mouton legs. The lines of the chair are very similar to the sofa. Decision finally made, chairs built, voila – it’s here. As big of a change that it is to me, if you walk into my family room today, you may not even notice there is any new furniture at all, unless, of course, you’re a design freak. Both my old and new sofa and chairs are slipcovered in white linen. The old wicker arm chair, my former perch, is now gone, replaced by the wing chair. But still, the overall effect is the same: white slipcovers contrasted with dark wood furniture. While the new furniture is not from George Smith, it is custom made, with all down cushions and it is tres comfy. Here’s what my family room looks like with the new couch and chairs:

The only decision left concerns the pillows. This is what I’m thinking about – it’s new from F. Schumacher, thick linen, gray and white – birds, of course, with the Quadrille negative-color toile feel. The fabric pops on the white sofa and repeats the high contrast of the white against the dark wood. What do you think? Should I use this fabric, or perhaps zebra, or even, dare I say, kwid or lulu?

Below, is another F. Schumacher fabric that seems to coordinate with my first choice. Or would a solid in deep raspberry or dark charcoal be better? What is your opinion? Do you have another suggestion?

AND…. One last design note. On my coffee table (which I would like to replace with a zinc one!!!) is a large blue & white Oriental bowl. It’s huge and it’s from Tozai Home, the upper-end division of Two’s Company. Inside the bowl, I keep tons of loose photographs and old Christmas cards. I suggest this to all of my clients, especially the ones with myriad tacky picture frames cluttering every table and shelf. I’ve discovered that loose photos placed in a bowl invites conversation. At family gatherings, inevitably, one or two people will sit by the bowl and go through the whole thing, picture by picture. When was the last time anyone really looked at all your pictures in their frames? Toss those frames, put the photos in a big bowl, and watch your friends actually look at your photos for the first time.

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