Style Cure smorgasbord

I’ve been loosely following Apartment Therapy’s Style Cure, but a lot of their steps are either hard for me to complete or just don’t make sense given our plans. So I’ve skipped them… and then skipped other ones… and ultimately that sort of makes you not follow along at all. :) Well, now I’m stuck on bedrest and am feeling a little stir-crazy, so I figure that’s a perfect opportunity to go back and do some of the less physically intensive Style Cure chores.

Style Cure, Day 1: The Interview

First up is the initial Interview. But why, oh WHY, could they not have produced a fillable PDF? It’s 2013! I swear to the gods of excessive paper consumption that that’s the reason I didn’t initially fill it out! Have no fear, you silly geese; I hacked a fillable form with PDF Pen and uploaded my completed version here.

My baby-analysis of my Question 1 and 2 answers is that I tend to go for cleaner, sleeker classics with a modern twist. I like things that are a tiny bit trendy/edgy/fun but are mostly good solid choices that will remain solid choices for decades. For example, Vonnegut never goes off of high school kiddie reading lists; my love of Charlie Kaufman’s writing never dies; I’ve loved Robert Downey, Jr.’s classic handsome features and ability to play a slightly off-kilter genius since well before he was Tony Stark, although that role really makes him come alive; and  I’ve always gone for women who were beautiful but kinda sharp and angular, not soft and squishy. :) (Sorry, ex-girlfriends! Don’t take offense. Maybe I just seek that which my own body refuses to conform to.)

My favorite furniture stores smushed together are kind of at odds; one is sort of conservative transitional-contemporary with fairly muted tones, and one was Wild Bright Modern Funky Fun until it closed down. Turquoise in its various shades (especially brighter and more saturated) is still my favorite hue, and I’m increasingly drawn to the deeper peacock version of it for decorating.

I clearly value natural light (the living room I’m Style Curing faces directly west), having enough negative space/lack of clutter (I need to do some miniature furniture culling over time to meet this goal), bold colors used appropriately (I’m leaning black and white or cream with a turquoise or teal accent color), and a pulled-together coordination that we haven’t yet been able to pull off in our new house, at least not in that room.

Okay, most of this I already knew, but that interview was kinda fun and useful after all! I should quit being such an AT grumpus. :)

Style cure Day 2: The Treasure Hunt

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to easily do this in person, because as I said I’m stuck on bedrest. But fear not! I managed to make inspiration come to me, haha. Yes, part of my fairly massive Style Cure undertakings is to get new window treatments for the living room, and I had a local vendor come to me and help me look through honeycomb shade samples as well as linen and silk dupioni samples. There were some definite inspiration stand-outs, mainly the super slubby/slightly shiny silks, especially the rich color called midnight that really should’ve been called mermaid. The linen curtain swatches actually did nothing for me (good to know) but the faux-linen blinds were a lovely, natural, textured open weave. Those super-duper-natural-looking fabric textures always get me; they soften the glam of lots of textiles and they just scream quality to me.

The rest of my hunt has to be Pinterest-based, but that’s cool because I’ve been pinning up a storm with this room redo in mind (and nothing but time and a laptop). Here are some of my main inspiration points, annotated:

A swatch of Brazilliance banana leaf and sea grapes fabric by Dorothy Draper.This iconic fabric has been on my mind a lot lately, you know, from that Martinique Hotel wallpapered look. I toyed with the idea of buying yardage and having curtains made. However, in the long run, I think that won’t work given that the bold pattern may appeal less in a few years. I need something more neutral and timeless (aka “classic”) as window treatments, even though this pattern in and of itself is a classic. Plus I don’t know if Grant could ever be comfortable with curtains of this pattern, PLUS it might look weird to have something this tropical in the winter in Seattle, you know? But I do still love it. I’m thinking of having the seats of these vintage wishbone chairs I snagged covered in this fabric, or in the Tommy Bahama knockoff version, and painting the wood and wicker black to downplay/glam up their beachiness.

A pair of arm chairs decorated in Brazilliance fabric with hot pink piping.And although I could never do these, check out these chairs for inspiration! I ADORE that hot pink welt/piping. I just might do turquoise welt if I end up using that as an accent color; after all, I have tons of houseplants so technically this green would blend right in, right?

Rugs have also been on my mind, since we want to swap out our amazing Temple Garland rug for something with colors that are easier to design around. (That was my biggest regret in this otherwise stunning purchase; stay tuned for an entire post on avoiding rug mistakes like I made.) Ikea STOCKHOLM black and white striped rugRealistically, we’re probably going to go for this Stockholm rug since it’s a nice wool material (flat-woven so perhaps more cat resistant than tufted, turns out) and it’s so graphic and fun. But I want to make sure it looks okay with the sofas we’re planning on getting, which might be way whiter than this off-white. So we shall see. A turquoise and white patterned rug.Other rugs that have inspired me in my huntings are this crazy aqua-turquoise and white one, which is a bolder and bigger color commitment than I think we’re ready for given what a challenge weird rug colors were last time. Again, I want something more timeless, and well, stripes and black and white are pretty darn classic. And if we do choose an accent color, it should be on something cheaper and easier to swap out, like throw pillows, even though I know that’s a predictable and possibly dull way to add pops of color.

Silk bordered curtains from DrapeStyle.comNext up, we have curtain inspiration, which is a huge part of this process but tricky since I’m totally not prepared to shell out for the cost of the level of luxury I crave. I’m still investigating various options, including crying and begging my mother to custom sew them for me even though she’s very resistant because she says she sucks at curtains. I say let me be the judge of that, haha. But we’ll see. This image from DrapeStyle is a nice inspiration one, although we’d do different colors (probably black with white/off-white or gray detailing in the bands). I think we’d do a different pleat too, and it’s possible we’d do linen with silk for just the detailing. I just don’t know yet. Or it’s possible I’ll end up buying much cheaper ready-made curtains, hanging them with clip rings to fake a pleat, and begging Mom to sew on just the way more manageable detailing instead of sewing the whole thing. I’m still waiting for a quote. But in the meantime, it was also fun to toy with the idea of these bright blue raw silk ones, which are nowhere near neutral/classic enough but daaang.

A black, gray, and turquoise striped velvet upholstery fabric.And lastly, my more abstract inspirations come just as fabric swatches. This velvet pictured blows my mind, and perfectly ties together our ideal neutrals (except white or off-white) and accent color. But there are similar ones like this with more colors, and loads more incredible weaves and prints. I really do have a taste for the luxe; I bet this stuff is well over a hundred bucks a yard. But that’s why it’s mere inspiration, haha. For now! If I can track it down in a small affordable chunk I’m totally having my mom make a throw pillow out of it. Mmmmmm velvet.

A brass square-patterned open screen.Last sheer ridiculousness inspiration piece is this screen, which is way glam and blingy and Hollywood Regency and we would never have such opulence or pointlessness in our house (a screen that doesn’t screen? What) but man did it catch my eye. Maybe I need to amp up our brass accents to warm up the stately drapes and white and cool accent color we’re planning, and maybe I need to track down something with funky square-interlocky pattern like a pillow or blanket. For now, I’ll just leave this here.

Well, this was a LOT of blogging for just two days of belated Style Cure, so I think I’ll come back to blogging more after I feel like I’ve accomplished more. Despite the palette, the look I’m crafting here feels distinctly feminine, which isn’t gonna fly with my better half. But I’ll find ways to bring in more dude-like elements, maybe with a different accent color. We’re still pondering that turquoise, after all, and Grant tentatively OKd it but really we both know that’s MY color so I don’t want him feeling left out.

Sorry for being lazy about editing images here; I’m too zonked out on Vicodin to care that there’s a ton of white space on some but not others. I promise I’ll treat your design-bent eyes kinder next time! Oh, and I finally made a Style Cure Pinterest board, too.