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Image © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist; sofa: Maine Cottage; table & lamp: Crate and Barrel; paintings: David Mandel; rug: Madeline Weinrib.
Recently, I looked around our house. And once I averted my eyes from the scattered piles of Legos and the epidemic levels of paper that seem to affix themselves to every available flat surface, I realized something. While I spend hours of my free time designing textiles, there is virtually no space in my house that lends itself to the things I design. Shouldn't a designer—even an amateur one—use her home as a canvas?

That's all well and good, but circumstances (I'm talkin' about YOU, student loans) prevent me from scrapping all of the furniture in my house and starting from scratch. It helps to have a goal, though, right? So, with that in mind, I fired up ye olde computer and put together a couple of looks that incorporate pieces of art and furniture that I already have with other pieces I'd like to make or buy over time. I do have a nice, slipcovered sofa whose color and sillhouette can change in a flash and at a pretty reasonable cost; my husband's abstract paintings already hang on the walls; and I have a simple, functional glass-top coffee table that I've also worked in. Still, for all the items I've retained for these looks, both looks are a HUGE departure from the feel of our house right now, which is much more traditional and muted in tone and is anchored by an ornate Turkish hereke rug that was a wedding gift (a beloved one, to be sure—I just want to take a wee break!).

The big-ticket item that goes the furthest to change the look of my living room also ties both looks together: the zigzag rug by Madeline Weinrib—I am afraid to even find out how much it costs. I love it because it is bold and patterned and yet completely neutral. But, most importantly, it allows me to put my textiles at center stage! And there are two looks because, well, in my dreams, I can redo my living room every season! What? (Why am I humming "Don't Rain on My Parade" right now?)

Image © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist; sofa & end table, keyhole lamp: Maine Cottage; glass table: Crate and Barrel; paintings: David Mandel; rug: Madeline Weinrib.
If it wasn't already clear, I sort of superlove patterns. And now that I've set a goal of incorporating my own pattern designs into the decor of our house, it seems much more do-able. Mixing pieces with antique lines with mod geometrics will allow me to incorpoate the many hand-me-down and inherited pieces I already have without having to spend a fortune on new pieces.

So, what about you? When you re-do a room, do you work with a plan in mind, or do you just set out for change and let the paint chips fall where they may?

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Reader Comments (7)

Oh man, I keep scrolling the page up and down, up and down, trying to decide which one I like better! But I guess you could potentially swap things out seasonally or as the mood strikes - great idea to keep the bones the same.

I sometimes have a plan, but, like you, I tend to always be thinking I'd like to change things up and never get around to it. Money is an issue for not just diving in and completing a room all at once. I do incorporate inherited pieces with mod pieces b/c I like soooo many styles!! I just try not to let any one style dominate. Have fun!!!!

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjan : daisy janie

Your husband's paintings are tremendous and really do a great job of pulling each look together!

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjan : daisy janie

Thanks, Jan—I had a feeling we were kindred interior design spirits!

I am so lucky to have my husband's paintings all over the house. And his photography, too. And him!

July 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterCameron Blazer

STOP with the Christmas tree -- too clever for words. Love both looks -- why not four seasons?!

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBoo

I am in love with the antique chair. It would be the perfect addition to our master bedroom.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjenn h

Love the looks! I saw a tutorial for painting your own zig zag rug a while back. Of course I can't find that one, but here's another one to try: http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/2010/01/i-am-so-proud-of-my-diy-zig-zag-rug.html

The one I saw was painted on a real rug, not just a floorcloth. Good luck - I'd love to see more of your home decor ideas.

August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather HS

I am so in love with that sofa, you don't even know. Sooo Madmen. :)

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKitchen Improved

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