Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The fastest relooking in the west!

You know sometimes when you've finished designing a room and it looks great and then you spend some time in there and slowly it starts to dawn on you that although you might admire it, you don't love it? Or does that just happen to me?

The sitting room in our chambre d'hote suite La P'tite Maison was the last room I decorated and furnished - it was finally finished (well, I thought it was!) in late autumn last year. I'd wanted to lime wash it but couldn't because of the mish-mash of existing finishes - it had been two rooms until we knocked down the dividing wall - so I'd made a kind of non-lime wash following a recipe I found on a French website, in a striking terracotta colour that I concocted from various ochres and burnt sienna. When I did it, in mid summer, it looked really great. When I laid the oak floor it looked great. When I put the first bits of furniture in it looked good. When summer turned into autumn it looked fine. As winter approached it looked okay. Are you noticing something here?

Then I kind of moved in to the room for a couple of weeks to do some curtain making. It was mid winter, and although we were still having lots of sun, the colour of the light had changed and my terracotta colour had somehow lost its warmth. And something about the whole room felt wrong - too square, too hard, too - um - masculine. We spent a couple of days moving furniture round, trying out different bits of furniture, new rugs ... to no avail. It still looked okay, but it didn't feel okay.

And so I spent Christmas 'relooking' it, as we say here: new paint/wash on the walls, new curtains, an art wall with lots of my framed photos on it, lots more texture, and my favourite antique bentwood chair - a real (and rare) Thonet Number 4, dating back to 1885 or so, picked up in a sorry state at the auction house in Watton in Norfolk for a song . It's almost finished - just the door curtain to make and hang, when I can finally figure out where the lighting cable runs behind the plasterwork (and that is a long story!). Here it is. What do you think?


Sharon said...

So jealous of the chair! and I love the feel of the room, it looks great.

Kalba Meadows said...

It's a great chair, isn't it? And I'm glad you like the feel of the room - thank you. I especially appreciate hearing that from you, because although we've not met I have a strong sense that we sing from a similar hymn sheet!

Sharon said...

Thank you. I'm just deeply admiring & ever so slightly envious of your lifestyle choice.Oh! to be brave.

the devolutionary said...

Wow. And yes - what a great chair!

Kalba Meadows said...

It's funny, this chair. I bought it about 10 years ago and it sat in our loft in Norfolk. Then we moved here and it sat in store for four years. And then I got it out and did not a lot to it - cleaned it up, put a seat on it - and now it's got fans!