Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Circus Act

Inspired by my recent trip to The Huntington, specifically the lithography exhibit, I decided to re-work one of my mood boards. This early 20th-century reproduction circus poster is going to kick off the new look.

First, let's see what I have to start with . . . this dining room I designed for the Mood Board Monday party I hosted in November 2009. My "clients" were a young couple wishing to entertain friends and business associates in their city apartment.

[click the pic to see the original post]

A pair of striped Bertram arm chairs from Anthropologie inspired the moody purples and greys of the dining room. I think they'll look just as great in a colorful new space inspired by the circus.

Fast forward three years, and my imaginary clients have since moved from the city to a house in the suburbs, one toddler in tow and a baby on the way. No longer desirous of a fancy "adults only" dining room, they've decided to simplify that space in their new home while shifting the pair of chairs into their new family room.

Fun Family Room

If you look closely at the two rooms, you'll see that I've pulled the grey rug and bar cabinet into the family room too. The cabinet will do a fine job in this room corralling games and project materials for the kids. It's clean, graphic lines look good in the room and its low profile makes it easy for the kids to get into. Plus, I believe most households with children would forgo the bar cabinet for something a little less accessible with regard to liquor storage.

So, I repurposed the chairs, rug and cabinet. Now, what's new? Affordable additions that take into consideration that my clients just put so much money into the purchase of their home. My goal is to find quality, stylish items that won't deplete their bank account and that reflect their new, more casual lifestyle. A hard-wearing, easy to clean navy denim slipcovered sofa is the main seating piece upon which I've piled a trio of pillows. One is textured and grey, another is constructed from a vintage mail sack, and the third is printed with a graphic from a vintage matchbox. The idea of an elephant pillow in a room inspired by a circus poster seems fun and yet this image is not too childlike.

The sofa is flanked by iron and glass end tables (from JCPenney, they're nearly identical to the Tanner tables from Pottery Barn but cost about $100 less per table). On top of those tables is a pair of ceramic table lamps that I love for their patinaed color and chunky base. Even the finial is yellow.

In front of the sofa is a white distressed coffee table. "Distressed" is always a good finish for a busy, kid-friendly room. The white color is good here because it brightens up the center of the room. Of course, if the homeowners choose to, the table can be painted another color when the room is updated or if the table is moved to another space. Other bright spots on top of the dark rug are the blue and orange leather poufs. Leather is super durable and the kids will love hanging out on these. For my mood board, I've chosen poufs from John Derian. They're pricey but come in great colors and the stitching is beautiful. More research might yield a less-expensive alternative but it probably won't have so much style.

Other art and accessory pieces support the bright graphic nature of the circus poster. I definitely want to use at least two—and possibly three or four—of these classically patterned prints, but I'd wait to choose which and how many until I saw the finished room. The metal star adds interest without being yet another framed piece of artwork and the colorfully patterned bowls would look great stacked up on a shelf or tabletop until they're called into action as snack containers. This pretty needlepoint pillow would be placed on only one of the striped chairs to keep them from looking exactly the same.

Here's another look at the new room. What do you think? Could your family have fun in a room that's inspired by the circus? (click on the board below to see sources and pricing)

Fun Family Room

Have you participated in a Mood Board Monday party yet? Sarah at pewter+sage is hosting the next one this coming Monday, March 8th. Click on the graphic below to see her inspiration items, get your decorator's thinking cap on and join us. Or, at least, stop by on Monday to see all the fun rooms.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Love the elephant pillow.
Elephants should always have their trunks up you know!

Tammy@InStitches said...

I like what you did with your board. I didn't know Mood Board Monday was still happening, I'll have to check it out !

Kathysue said...

I love this room!! It is so fun how you injected it with the circus but it did not become too thematic, Great job!!

Janet said...

I love the pouf's I wish I could furnish my whole house with them. ;) I am going to Anthro to buy those bowl now. Ta Ta. ;)