So now you’ve seen our finished and improved Family Room, but we have a second space we spend a lot of time in as a family: our formal Living Room.
Seriously. We really live in our Living Room!
This time of the year the fireplace is the big draw. It’s a heat-producing gas insert that quickly warms this room a good ten degrees. When you couple our fabulous eight foot long Napping Sofa where two adults can comfortably stretch out, with plenty of space throughout the room for all four of us to spread out with books, it’s a favorite place on a snowy Sunday afternoon. Add in a chai tea latte and The New York Times crossword puzzle and I’m in heaven.
And in warmer weather, we love the sunshine and cross breezes we get when we open the doors and windows to our patio and the window to our covered porch on the right. While window treatments are on order for most of the house, this room is so flooded with light that we are leaving these completely open to enjoy it all!
Those navy velvet chairs are possibly my favorite example of “high-low decorating.” After searching everywhere for chairs just like these, I finally found the look I wanted. At Target. And I scooped them up. And promptly accessorized them with the Schumacher Chiang Mai dragon print pillows I’d been obsessing about for years.
My Grandmother’s walnut buffet houses an assortment of blue and white Chinoiserie we’ve collected, including some takamakura, or Geisha pillows.
And in front of what must be the world’s largest and ugliest radiator, I’m attempting to draw the eye forward with my beloved giant glass floats. Just pretend it’s working, OK?
When we lived in Tokyo, I studied sumi-e painting with Mother-Daughter senseis for three years. It’s one of my favorite parts of my Japan experience and the last piece I completed was a byobu traditional screen modeled after Korin’s famous irises. It took me nearly a year to complete and now hangs over our mantel.
And across the room hangs a gallery wall of paintings that includes the only other painting that took me a year to paint: a high school assignment to copy a great master and I chose Van Gogh’s Still Life: Vase with Irises. I chose this particular painting after seeing the original at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam with my grandparents on a special trip to celebrate my Bat Mitzvah. It was there that I learned of Van Gogh’s affection for Japanese art and it’s influence in his work.
Never could I imagine what influence Japan would someday have in my own life and what affection I would have for her!