Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chez La Vie Home: Living Room

During the past few months, we've engaged in a bit of amateur interior design here at Chez La Vie. In February, I shared with you our updated Dining Room, finished late last year. We purchased paint for our living room too last fall, but when it was apparent that we weren't going to get around to doing the work ourselves, we finally (and for the first time) engaged the services of a professional painter. Also, we treated ourselves to a long over-due new sofa and chair!

We selected our paint, Benjamin Moore 1640, based on a living room from the March 2003 of House Beautiful. That room coupled dark furniture with metal and mirrors and the effect was airy but elegant. Unlike that room, we have red accent pieces that we didn't want to part with, so our room is less ethereal. Still, because of the many windows, it's sunny and bright in the daytime yet cozy at night.

Our new sofa is white leather, from Elite Leather by Lulu Kwiatkowski. The pillows are mostly from Pottery Barn.

We also indulged in a comfy leather reading chair.

My writing desk was purchased using funds from a year-end bonus years ago; it was designed by Alexander Julian. In this case, I had clipped out a picture of the desk from a 1999 issue of Victoria magazine and when some extra cash came my way, I ran to the furniture store to order it!

Above the piano is an R. Atkinson Fox print of a sweet cottage surrounded my an amazing English garden. It once hung in my grandmother's farmhouse living room; if I recall correctly it was a give-away from the furniture company when she and my grandfather purchased their living room set. I think RAF might have been the cheesy equivalent of Thomas Kinkade in his day, but I don't care. If you are into this sort of thing, I've seen a mess of RAF prints in antique shops, for cheap.

Below are very special caricatures of the family that my husband drew with crayon long ago when he was coloring with our young sons. The baby at the bottom is now 19, almost twenty! As you can see in my portrait, although my hair was short then, I am wearing my trademark red lipstick!

What's next? I don't think I'm going to bother with draperies. We're exhibitionists thus not really concerned with privacy (;-P), and I like all the sunlight. I realize that I am going to need to do something about the eyesore speakers surrounding the armoire, but right now we'll take sound quality over expensive aesthetics. I'd really like a rug--I love hardwood floors but they're not very conducive to sitting on, especially in front of the fireplace in winter! French doors leading out into the garden, where the armoire now stands, would be lovely. However, we don't know how long we'll be here and there's other house repair things we should do to buck up our resale value. And I still have my grandmother's old sofa--the one with the springs poking out--that I'd love to re-upholster. Right now it's sitting out in our backyard waiting for me to decide how to proceed. I have the fabric picked out, but we're currently saving for a trip to Germany this summer so funds are an issue.

And so it goes--life dilemmas. Hope you enjoy this peek into Chez La Vie!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feeling Chanel

I'm sitting outside grading papers. Making the task more bearable is a cup of Harney's Paris tea and marking the students' work with my favorite Cross fountain pen with Levenger Pinkly ink.

Also, it doesn't hurt to be surrounded with small Chanel luxuries:

tortoiseshell shades

and Nouvelle Vague lacquer on my toes.

Also breaking out the Bonnanos!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Husband's Quote of the Day

"Sometimes I can't reconcile my pretty, sophisticated, fashionista wife with my silly, prankster, farting wife."

Poor beleaguered Husband with his new Kiel James Patrick bracelet.