22 September 2011

Almost Worthy of the Name

It's been a while since I've shown what's going on in the great room. There's still a lot of work to do (real window coverings, anyone?), but it's looking a little, uh, greater than the last picture I shared.

So here it is:

The biggest difference is that I finally put a right-sized piece of art on the wall between the windows -- this print of the Picasso painting, Paul en Arlequin.

I've loved this painting since the year I spent in France during college. There was a Picasso exhibit in Venice at the time, and this picture was used in posters advertising the exhibit in train stations all over Europe. If I were ever going to steal anything, it would have been one of those posters...but I didn't, so I later bought the print from art.com or something. Background on the art: Paul was Picasso's son, and the title refers to his harlequin costume. Probably my favorite thing about this painting is how it's unfinished at the bottom, with two sets of feet sketched in, showing that Picasso was considering positioning Paul's legs and feet differently.

(This painting used to hang in the hall of our condo, where the stairs were and where we had space for three fairly large framed pieces and some smaller pieces. We called it "the gallery." Without stairs, and with surprisingly few large walls, we are struggling to find places to hang all of our old art now, so most of it has been in boxes for more than two years. Finding places to hang all of it, at least temporarily, is finally moving up on our list of small-project priorities.)

We've gotten more creative with accessories, trying different configurations of items and switching them as often as we feel inspired to try something new. Nothing is set in stone, right? I've been loving those intricate blue and purple dishes since I bought them several months ago, and then I found this egg-shaped blue vase on clearance at West Elm a while back and popped it inside. I'll change it sometime, but for now I like the way the shape of the three items together plays against the smooth grey bowl on the other side of the table (which I put, along with some cloth coasters we've had forever, in a gold leafed tray from West Elm).

Then there are the shelves, which have started to come together a little more. The left (which I've already tweaked since taking this picture a few days ago):

And the right (some adjustments here, too):

The challenge is to find ways to break up the three-three-three configuration of the things on display. I guess I should start studying Pinterest for pictures of well-done bookshelves.

Our latest addition? The black, white, and silver vase right in the middle.

It's Missoni (the fancy-pants Italian designer Target featured for about ten minutes last week, before everything sold out). Ooh la la. (Or, to be culturally appropriate, ciao bella.)

In front of the shelves on the right side, between the chair and the fireplace, I put this garden stool I picked up on clearance from Ballard Designs:

I needed something to raise the peace lily up off the floor (so Benjamin won't keep trying to eat it), and I loved the idea of a garden stool that we can use in the great room, the screened porch, or even, you know, the garden.

But that's not the only stool to come into our lives recently. I also picked up this hexagonal storage ottoman from Target. I thought its nubby texture and deep grey color would be nice in the guest room, but the height didn't quite work how I anticipated, so I moved it to the great room, where it works with the low chair. (Update on the guest room coming...someday.) And the flowers? Plumbagos that I grew myself! In my garden!

So, to recap:

Great room five months ago:

Great room after:

Not a ton different, but a little greater, I think.

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