Imagine our excitement when a dear friend (and art-loving client) came to us and told us that, according to the elves, she has been a very good girl. Santa had agreed to give her a mini-makeover for her living and dining room. Would Huff Harrington Home like to help? There were a few pieces that had already caught her eye…
Of course, we said oui, oui and oui and spun our little selves to sleep for many nights imagining what we could send her way.Now, the first thing you need to know is that this client’s home is already fabulous, gorgeous and filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind antiques, art and special “found” pieces that she has picked up in her many travels. The home has been photographed and published numerous times. This Madame possesses a very keen eye and has wonderful taste so we were anxious to listen carefully to what she had to say.
The Living Room: Before. It’s elegant, sophisticated and full of special, one-of-a-kind objets. We were worried…how could we possibly improve upon this?
The Living Room: Before. We love the lines of the pretty antique bench and the glass side tables that sit on the wall opposite wall to the armoire.
Our client spent an hour or so with Sam (our interiors wizard) and the two of them came up with a nice little wish-list of what the homeowner would love to see.
She wanted a new look for her dining room and was willing to replace the light fixture and the table and chairs for something with a little more oomph. She also requested something that was a little more “user-friendly” for her pretty living room, although we were having a hard time envisioning anything prettier than what was already there.
The Dining Room: Before. Our client was preparing for a party so the rest of the chairs had been moved out. We love the existing Italian slipped chairs.
(And, by the way, what made this even more fun is that the Madame was going out of town for a few days. We had carte blanche to do as we wished while she was gone…)
So, first on the list was a long, clean-lined white linen sofa that we had custom ordered for HHH several months ago. It’s bench-made by a small California company, took forever to arrive but when it did, we all fell in love with it. It’s squishy and comfy but very, very good-looking. We would constantly find clients lounging on it, texting furiously as they took a little break from the madness. To us, that is the sign of a good sofa.Then there was a crunchy and texturey low-slung coffee table that looked and felt like driftwood. The client adores the the beach and we loved that she wanted to incorporate that passion into the room. And, to pick up on that beachy, casual and relaxed vibe, there were two extraordinary chandeliers that she immediately gravitated to.
We weren’t sure which one the client would end up with….
Madame, our client, had spotted some other things at the store. There was a fantastic, 19th century oak dining table that seats twelve at the drop of the hat. Ann and Linda found it in Belgium and recognized it immediately as the perfect example of the authentic Belgian-Dutch design that is so hot right now. Aged and limed oak, graceful but strong lines and incredibly functional and strong: this is a table to linger at and pass down to future generations. Our client spotted a set of nicely-shaped neutral upholstered chairs to go with the table. (We recommended new chairs as opposed to antiques because we find the old styles simply aren’t as comfortable for lounging around the table as we know this client likes to do.)
We thought these would be a nice counter-point to the woodsy Dutch dining table our client fell in love with.So, in a pouring December rain, we packed up the truck (our loyal guys from Distinguished Transport in Atlanta helped us out) and drove off to the client’s home. And then the fun began.With Sam leading the charge, we rearranged, rehung, repositioned and then sprinkled the whole concoction with a smattering of gorgeous accoutrements.
The pretty living room, before. Pretty darn gorgeous and hard to improve.
The new living room: the yummy linen sofa sits where the armoire used to be and is flanked by two scrolled iron lamps. And there’s the texture-y driftwood coffee table now accessorized with some of the the client’s books, a horn bowl and two mounted tortoise shells. The client’s own abstract (by Bonnie Beauchamp Cooke) hangs over the sofa. We’re crazy about the interior Frenchy shutters and couldn’t resist adding a walnut table topped by another mixed media figurative painting by Tracy Sharp. And, we do adore the trio of crystal obelisks and the African antelope horns, all framed by graceful windows.
The armoire moved to the opposite wall and is now flanked by two slip covered armchairs…one of them sports our very favorite Union Jack pillows (done in a very cheeky pale blue…)
Looking into the dining room….
Here’s the impressive 19th century Dutch dining table, the homeowner’s own rustic buffet and lovely Louis Philippe mirror…and an edgy abstract by George Marks. We love the pattern that the driftwood lantern throws up on the ceiling. Sam also insisted that we remove the seagrass rug…and voila: the room feels even more spacious. The French doors lead to a cozy little porch that the owners use all the time.
We couldn’t live without the existing Italian armchairs having a major role in the room…we love the play of curvy Italianate married with chunky and strong Dutch. Quite the European union.
The homeowner already had the crusty buffet and Sam had the brilliant inspiration to pair it with an elegant Louis Philippe mirror that the client already owned.
The dining room with George Marx’s abstract hanging behind the table.
Flanked by two floor-to-ceiling windows, this curvy French table is the perfect backdrop for crystal, African antelope horns and a sexy painting by Tracy Sharp.
The story has a happy ending: the client arrived home with lamps softly glowing, candles lit and everything looking cozy and inviting. She was happy and loves her new spaces. And we were thrilled with the results of our very first professional “install” — and can’t wait for the next chance to mix, marry and merge all the things we love.Ta ta.