Monday, February 2, 2009

A room imitation of epic proportions

Last week I brought together pieces to recreate a designer look captured by photographer Andreas Johansson. This time, instead of an outfit, I will be recreating a room: actress Claire Forlani's living room - a beautiful merging of stereotypically masculine and feminine design.

Claire Forlani's living room, featured in Domino, October 2006

Personally, one of the main aspects of this room that really strikes me is not in the decoration, but in the architecture itself. The ridiculously high ceiling and ultra-large window fill the space with light, and allow for maximum air to circulate throughout the room. The dark chocolate beams give the space more character and create a nice contrast against the stark white walls.

I realize not everyone has the luxury of high ceilings and beautiful wooden beams; however, you can recreate the look simply (read: stylishly and inexpensively). Purchase some wide chocolate brown ribbon (nearly black, even) and encircle your space, attaching the ribbon to the walls approximately five inches below the ceiling. This has the same effect as contrasting molding or beams, and draws the eye up to give the illusion of a larger space.

To echo the white ceiling, an inexpensive natural-colored Flokati rug like this one below will work perfectly. If you're willing to spend more on your Flokati, this article lists things to look for in a higher-quality rug.

Flokati rug via Pottery Barn

I hate to seem brief with the coffee table category, but this glass one from Treadway Gallery is a near perfect match! Not much more to say about this one!

Although the chairs in Forlani's living room are more of a mid-century modern design, the Abbott T-Cushion Armchair from Berhardt's Martha Stewart Collection will have to do. Even though it lacks the originals' slender wooden arms and frame (one of my absolute favorite aspects), it has a similar silhouette, and the same sort of low, comfy cushion design. (P.S. Has anyone else noticed how Martha's collections are always so perfect??)

Now, the sofas were the biggest challenge of recreating this look. I was able to find sofas with similar lines, but they didn't have the right button tufting. Or the right arms. Or the luxurious texture. Or, most importantly, that beautiful medium blue shade. As it turns out, the sofas were custom designed and manufactured by Forlani and her husband (how convenient). I've decided that, of all the variations I came across, the Hutton sofa from Room & Board (in Indigo, of course), is the best bet. It would also be much less expensive than a custom lounge (hey, not all of us can be celebrities)!

The John side tables from Indochine Decor are an absolutely perfect substitute! And I can guarantee they're less expensive than the actress' originals.

What could end up being a boring room is livened up by a somewhat random assortment of pillows. The array of patterns is brought together by a similar color palette of blues and grays. I scrounged around on Etsy (one of my favorite sites of all time for handmade goods) for some time and found these three, which I felt embodied the living room's variety of cushions. You can find these pillows by searching Etsy for their sellers, listed below each option.

Last but not least (besides your own personal tchotchkes and a delicate, pale pink bouquet on the coffee table), the lamps. They may be different in shape, but their height, color tones, and lampshades are very similar, pulling them together seamlessly. Combining the base of the multi-colored lamp below, and the shade of the classy black gourd lamp would create a perfect substitute. To be honest, I prefer the second lamp on its own; however, the first is simply more interesting and unexpected.

And there you have it! I hope my creation inspires you throughout the rest of the week!


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