Aug 4, 2009

Designer's challenge

Here is my little living room a few months ago. I'm trying to redecorate a bit. I'm getting tired of it. There's not a lot of leeway I have, however. It may not look like much,

but you have to keep in mind some of the challenges I faced when I first moved in:
Nothing can be bigger or wider than 24 inches….(the width of the stairwell)
No holes may be put in walls (as per lease)
No walls may be painted (as per lease)
Everything must be portable. (as per Katrina)
Curtains must be at least 99 inches long.
Entrance to horrible kitchen must be covered somehow
Two ghastly 1970s window units must be dealt with
Irremovable ugly “ye olde colonial” “chandelier” must also be dealt with somehow
Bathroom is 5 feet by 5 feet (handy for using the toilet and washing your hands at the same time)

All items must be purchased in the few stores open post-Katrina.
(in which at least three separate salesmen told me that any furniture I bought "would take a minimum of a month or longer to arrive.")
You must purchase :
1. a bed,
2. box spring and mattress,
3. bedding, comforter, sheets,
4. Towels,
5. lamps,
6. a dining table and chairs,
7. rugs,
8. a sofa,
9. a coffee table, and side tables,
10. a television,
11. microwave, toaster, pots, pans, cutlery,
12. dress 7 windows,
13. etc.
Oh, and all four rooms must be furnished for under 1500 dollars and within three weeks.


mrpeenee said...

I think it's charming. It already looks better than any of the crap the Design Star morons have cranked out so far, so good for you.

Pier One has giant globe-shaped paper lamp shades you can hand over the ye olde chandyloo.

Holes in white walls can be spackled over when you move, or 3M has the removable sticky things that can hold pretty heavy pictures.

Buy everything online and have it delivered s you don't have to go driving all over the West Bank looking for accessories.

Any permanent damage can be blamed on the Renuzit lady across the hall.

jason said...

Thanks Peenee.
I tried that witht the paper lamp idea...couldn't get it to work.
(hole's too small) And then the fire hazard.

I've succumbed to putting a few tiny holes in the wall, however. To hell with the deposit, I guess.

I'm planning on lots more color...maybe even beige!

MJ said...

Could you swing nekkid on the irremovable ugly “ye olde colonial” “chandelier” until it breaks and has to be replaced?

jason said...

What do you think I'm doing right now?

MJ said...

Is Mean Dirty Pirate there with you?

jason said...

No. Unfortunately, I was running short of cash and food stamps and he just wasn't having it.

Muscato said...

Given the challenges you list, it's really quite remarkable. I'm not sure we'll be visiting, however, as I fear that both Mr. Muscat and I would have issues with those stairs...

I've started to like one neo-Arabesque decorating trend common out here, which is to have a sleek, modern look like yours, but with a few barococo touches. Perhaps, in that vein, you could hunt around online for silly fringed/beaded shades for the chandeliers, and/or add some strings of beads, drops, or other baubles?

jason said...

that's a good idea, Mr. M.
I might just do that.
The building is actually from the early 20s and vaguely hispano- moorish already.

"Tommy" said...


dilemma ......

well i know you can do it....

you are up for the challenge !!!!!

anyway you can pack your stuff and head this way if the winds get to howling to hard in the Gulf.....

David Toms said...

I think changing the shades on the chandelier, maybe black vellum or similiar would be a good idea.

"Just David!" said...

Amazing job!
I had this little rat-hole apartment in the Quarter once that everything had to be lifted and twisted to get it between the house and the wall to get it in the back to the slave quarters. Best apartment ever, I had so much fun there! My mother always referred to it as "bohemian", she wanted me Uptown.

Jill said...

Your already on the right path...check out West Elm online and Room and Board.

ayem8y said...

Well I think it’s fabulous. I love working with small spaces and you’ve done an excellent job meeting your requirements. I think you’ll be safe this week for the evacuation elimination round but I’m sure there will be a storm brewing in the gulf in the weeks to come.

*Swinging sex from ye olde colonial chandeliers costs extree*

Elizabeth said...

I think Muscato's "neo Arabesque" suggestions would be perfect - simplicity and drama at the same time! You've got the simplicity. All you'd need to do is order pillows/throws/lampshades to add the Arabesques. And how fun would it be to say, "Oh, you like it? It's neo Arabesque."

Ur-spo said...

hire a decorator - a queer one.

Michael Guy said...

It really looks sweet as is; nice pad!

I'd skip the shades on the brass chandelier entirely. All that will accomplish is draw additional attention to the realities of trying to hide it. Buy those white, 15-watt vanity style/makeup mirror ROUND bulbs. I think those could give a rather blase chandelier some Jonathan Adler kitsch/funk! Couldn't hurt...

And please have the damn thing on a dimmer switch, I beg you! :)