I was pretty pleased with my last post. I thought it hit the main strategies for using an eclectic decorating style to blend tricky items into your home’s decor. That feeling lasted about 2 hours until I got a reality check via email from my sister.
She emailed me with the subject line “Challenge”. Ironically having yet to see my post, she wanted advice on what to do with an antique clock that is nothing like the rest of her house.
Challenge was right. I know the clock and know her house – they have zero common. My first reaction was, “Woah, I think this might be too much.”
But then I decided if I’m worth my salt at this blogging thing, that I can’t give out advice on a very specific topic and then ignore it a few hours later! So, I took a shot at it…
This isn’t any old clock, it’s a very special old clock. It was our grandparents’. Apparently it was an antique when they inherited it from our grandpa’s, great aunt’s, uncle (we think!?) It’s beautiful, with incredible craftsmanship, in great condition and of course we have special memories of it being in our grandparents’ house.
Have a look:
Pretty, isn’t it? It looks like it belongs in a museum, not in my sister’s house (no offense Sister, it’s true!)
Her house is all contemporary style – in the construction details and the furnishings. There are clean lines throughout, nothing is ornate or embellished; there are no other antiques.
You’ll catch a glimpse of her style in this second photo.
You can’t see much of her decor from this image, so you’ll have to imagine a bit. The furniture has simple lines (like this table). The color palette is dusty earth tones: the walls a warm grey (Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Grey), deep grey curtains, lots of brown tones and some deep greens and terracotta as accents.
My Solution (Via an Eclectic Decorating Style, of Course)
This table is right next to the front door; the way their floor plan is laid out, they don’t have a foyer or formal entry. So I thought we should take advantage of this table to make a little “landing spot” for things that are handy to have out as you’re coming and going.
My goal was to create to balance within this table composition. Hoping that by blending the traditional style of the clock other more contemporary objects within this vignette, that it would look more at place within the larger scale of the room as a whole.
So I took her photo into Photoshop, and this is the rendering I came up with:
And how about a little zoom?
I think it works!
Keep in mind this is a rendering in Photoshop (like a photomontage), so it’s not a 100% true-to-life representation of how it would look in person. It should be pretty close though.
The clock makes more sense in this grouping because there are other objects that relate to it. And since the composition includes some touches of contemporary style, it should connect with the rest of the house. Maybe that sounds abstract. This is what I mean:
Does that help to make it clearer? The clock still has the most traditional style in the arrangement, but the print and letter holder hint at a similar style which helps to unite them visually (That was tip #4 from my last post.)
Another trick that helps make this grouping work is that I stayed with a fairly tight color palette (tip #2). I wanted to carry the green and gold colors through to the other objects. You don’t want to introduce too many extra colors if you already have contrast between the decor styles. High contrast colors on top of highly contrasting decorating styles can be overwhelming.
This is the color palette, notice how the objects stay within this range of colors:
There’s just one more are I’d like to point out, which are the personal touches.
I was lucky to find this print of Paris. Not only are the colors and style perfect for the composition, but my sister loves Paris. She talked about it so, so much as a teenager. I – as any good big sister would – used to tease her about it. So here you go Sister, since you loooove Paris so much, I put it on the internet for you! Ha. (She doesn’t have a blog so can’t get me back, right?)
There are a few other useful details in there too. As I mentioned earlier, this is the first touch down spot when you come in the front door. So I added a bowl to hold their keys, a letter holder for incoming/outgoing mail and a little spot for the dog’s leash below. (The leash is to scale, it’s a small dog.)
I think that’s about it. This is what I’d suggest for styling our family heirloom in a way that works in her contemporary home. I hope you liked it!
Did you like this rendering? Do you have your own design dilemma that you’d like help with? Our e-decorating services could be the solution, check them out here.
Paris Print – 20×200, Artist Fund, Vue panoramique de l’Exposition Universelle
Green Vase – Ikea, Ocksa
Flower Image – Flickr, nedrai
Slate Tray – Slateplate, Sushi Plate
Birch Boxes – CB2, Birch Storage Boxes
Wooden Box – IKEA, Dragan
Letter Holder – Etsy, TheGildedTassel
White Bowl – CB2, Bento Mini Bowl
Dog Leash – PetSmart, Kiss my mutt, Driftwood striped leash