Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I invited Dorothy Draper to my house.....and she accepted!

I love Dorothy Draper.  Not only was she a pioneer of the interior design industry (at a time when very few women were pioneering anything) but she was bold, dramatic and a little "in your face" about it.  I love that about her...her bold, graphic, over the top, grandiose neo-traditionalism.

The lobby at the Greenbrier Hotel.  Notice the pops of bright color that she juxtaposed with black and white.

(Photo: Van Nes-De Vos/Courtesy of the Collection of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc and the Carleton Varney Design Group)

The Crystal Room corridor at the Greenbrier Hotel.  How current is the Moroccan inspired lighting?

(Photo: Van Nes-De Vos/Courtesy of the Collection of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc and the Carleton Varney Design Group)

A Draper designed console at the Greenbrier Hotel.  She used a lot of painted furniture.

(Photo: Van Nes-De Vos/Courtesy of the Collection of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc and the Carleton Varney Design Group)
The lobby in New York's Essex Hotel.

(Photo: Van Nes-De Vos/Courtesy of the Collection of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc and the Carleton Varney Design Group)
The Hampshire House, 1937

(Photo: Van Nes-De Vos/Courtesy of the Collection of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc and the Carleton Varney Design Group)

Enough of the interior design history...back to Dorothy Draper coming to my house.  While my fabulous friend Nora and I were thrifting at our local flea market, I found two fabulous Draperesque mirrors.  They were probably from the 70's, so not truly Drapers but oh, so close!  Made of resin (chi-chi-fon-fon for plastic!) and suffering from way too many layers of paint and close contact with a heat source (see close up photo), they needed me to channel Dorothy to save them.

Here is a pic of what they looked like when I bought them.

This is a close up of the melted portion of the frame.

And the detail of the top of the mirror-

And with a bit of clean up, some light sanding and 3 coats of Garden Sprout by Behr....they really are fabulous!  Have a look.....

I definitely have to improve the photog skills!!  Please let me know what you think! 


Monday, April 18, 2011

I am definitely making progress...

And from the discontent of man the world's best progress springs.
- Ella Wheeler Cox

The master bedroom is finished!  T'is  a long tale, this bedroom.  One that starts with a bed and some beloved fabric.  My very good friend, Theresa, gifted us our bed, the Ikea Floro.  It comes with a solid, dark taupe cotton duck canvas slipcover.  In our apartment, I made draperies from an Ikea fabric that I really, really love.  In my house, I didn't need the draperies but still wanted to use the fabric so I decided to make a new slipcover for our bed using the fabric.  Here is a photo of the fabric as draperies in our old apartment-

Very graphic, bold pattern of black, charcoal, chocolate and a gold-y chartreuse on a white background.  Now remember, we're just looking at the draperies!

This is the bed from Ikea-

Because of the nature of the print on the fabric, I had to consider how the slipcover would be constructed.  I decided that the print was too large to have it on the "bed skirt" of the slipcover....that it would get lost and wouldn't make sense.  So if I didn't put it on the bed skirt portion, then would it look disconnected from the head and foot boards?  I finally decided, after much thought and "drawing"(in my mind) of bubble diagrams, that I would run the print up the head and foot boards only and use white canvas duck on the skirt.  Since the width of the fabric was not sufficient to cover the width of the head and foot boards AND the fabric was directional so I couldn't just "turn" it on its side, I had to come up with a way to make it wide enough and still look intentional while also pleasing to the eye.  So I centered the fabric on the head and foot boards and used the white duck to extend it to cover the width and added black welting between to aid the transition.

A close up of the transition- and a tiny hint of the finished project!

More later!!  Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where, oh where to begin???

I have been stressing over where to begin my blog.  Well, I'm going to take Nike's advice......and Just Do It!!!

I really love the whole concept of "upcycling" objects, furniture, name it!  I appreciate how you can take a piece of furniture that most might feel is irrelevant and suddenly it is the hippest of hip!  My design aesthetic is modern with clean lines and breathing room.  That is why it is so much fun for me to take a very conservative, traditional piece and completely make it fresh and relevant.  I have been collecting furniture at estate sales, yard sales and ebay with plans of upcycling them.  This sweet, little coffee table was purchased at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago.  Here is what it looked like when I bought it:
The table was structurally sound but had years of dirt buildup on the wood surfaces as well as the little brass feet.  The glass was intact but appeared to have cracked veneer under it???

Here is a glar-y close up of the "cracked veneer" ?

So I proceeded to completely dismantle it so that I could paint it and found that the glass actually had a film of printed veneer under it and that is what had cracked!  My plan was to put a beautiful handmade paper under the glass but that certainly was not going to happen with the faux veneer/glass that I uncovered!  Off to the glass shop I went to have a piece of glass cut to the exact measurements of the faux veneer/glass.  I then sanded the piece really well with a 220 grit sanding sponge after removing the brass feet. I then primed and painted the table in a high gloss white.  Using Brasso to shine up the feet was a snap and they look awesome.  I ordered my paper from PaperMojo, cut it down to size, dry-matted it to the masonite board that held in the old faux veneer/glass and then put it all back together!!!  And here is what she looks like today!  What do you think???  I could totally see this in a shabby chic living room or a teens bedroom in their very chic sitting area.
This shows the bright and shiny newly polished brass feet that were original to the table.  I even nailed them back in with the original nails.  I also kept all of the original hardware with which to put the table back together.  For some reason, paying respect to that detail just makes me happy!!

The glare is awful in this photo but it shows her beautiful legs and woodwork!

This photo shows less glare.

This view shows how really beautiful this handmade paper is!! The movement in the paper is really phenomenal, don't you think?
So, this is my first upcycled piece of furniture that I have posted on my blog!  Please feel free to comment on content and photos!  I promise I will show it as part of a room.......just as soon as I get one pulled together!!  Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  I first found out about Paper Mojo from Jenny at Little Green Notebook.  If you haven't had a chance to check out her fantastic blog.....wake up and smell the non-VOC paint!!!!!  She's great and I have learned so much from her.