A Woman After My Own Heart

I love posting great finds and sales on styleNorth but your encouraging comments aside, it sometimes feel likes like I’m shouting into the wind. And then I hear from a reader like Rosanna who found exactly the dining chairs she was hunting for thanks to my post about Skypad. Well, maybe they weren’t exactly what she had in mind, the avacado green leather and corduroy probably wouldn’t have been anyone’s first choice but by God, she’s made them work.

What I love about Rosanna is that she uses Craigslist, Kijiji, blogs and Google to hunt down not just what she’s after but the cheapest possible version of what she’s after. She found her former Duncan Phyfe dining set on Craigslist for just $200; she cleaned it up, recovered the seats and enjoyed it for awhile before trading up when the next great thing came along. Sound familiar? She resold the Phyfe set on CL and made her money back, money that helped pay for the $100 Brno chairs.

As sexy, durable and comfortable as the Mies chairs are, they also pose a challenge, namely finding a table tall enough for them to slide under. Rosanna’s answer, and such a stylish answer, is the Saarinen tulip table. She scoured the internet and found an unlicensed knock-off online at Furniture Toronto for $1,500: “Ordered on Tuesday, in my home Wednesday evening,” she reports.

“The Venetian masks and prints seem to still work in the new room,” writes Rosanna, “some of the colours are picked up in the leather of the Brno chairs. I was sort of inspired by art deco glam, which is pretty obvious in the wallpaper (Home Depot Graham & Brown – the middle diamonds are actually silver, as are the thicker chevrons above and below them) and the light fixture is from Union Lighting; the paint is called Dorian Gray from C2.

“I added the cowhide as an afterthought,” concludes Rosanna. “I originally purchased it to cut up and recover some Louis XIV chairs, but I couldn’t bear to destroy such a nicely patterned hide so I thought I’d tie in the black and white from the top of the room down on the floor.”

Rosanna invited my feedback and all I really have to say is, “Wow, great job! What a transformation!” I think painting out the woodwork would lighten and freshen up the room even more but I know this is an emotional decision and also a bit of a domino; if the trim and paneling in the dining room is painted shouldn’t the rest of the main floor be painted out, too?

The only downside of having such a stellar dining room is that the rest of the house needs to live up to this high standard. What do you think Rosanna, how about a full-on house tour?

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 846 posts on styleNorth.

9 Comments For This Post

  1. Troy Says:

    Really disappointed to see SN featuring an interior with knock-offs.

    While it is unnoticeable in the photos that the Saarinen table is fake, the “Brno” chairs are highly suspicious. I’ve never seen them with metal screws or studs on the back…

    In my unsolicited opinion good design is using authentic iconic pieces (sparingly) or finding original unique items…

  2. eyeseepretty Says:

    I think the modern chairs and table look fabulous in the space. Rosanna, nice job!

    I am disappointed that those commenting feel the need to get on their ‘design high-horse’. If you can’t say anything nice…

  3. rouquinne Says:

    some of us can’t afford “authentic”.

    what’s wrong with design that pleases the individual at a price they can afford???


    Rosanna, i look forward to seeing more of your home.

  4. Lois Says:

    Good evening, I like the juxtaposition of the traditional room, done in a Danish Modern flavor. It doesn’t matter to me what is real or fake, but good taste is always in style, however achieved.
    Nicely done Rosanna, would anyone like to see my run down just bought project? This is why I read Style North to inspire, inspire, inspire

  5. Chris Says:

    Troy, you know my personal preference is ALWAYS to buy the genuine article. But I’m not going to condemn those who don’t feel the same way.

  6. Lin Says:

    As one who worships at the altar of Ray Eames I have to agree that original pieces are highly desirable when possible but let us not forget that designers such as Ray and Charles devoted their professional lives to providing affordable, well designed, and finely crafted products to ordinary people. They were not elitists and they were opposed to the idea that good furniture should be available only to the wealthy.

    P.S. Rosanna, that wild wallpaper was an inspired choice!

  7. tawn Says:

    i’m in the market for a round dining table and that is really inspiring.

    can i say how envious i am of the beautiful wood trim? i am envious because our original 80-year-old trim was finished in an ugly reddish colour. we have spent months removing, sanding, and staining it a nicer colour (benjamin moore’s smoked ebony). holy project.

  8. cat Says:

    Very bold transformation, and great use of colour.

    Love the light fixture. Anyone know if stock drum shades are available to cover existing chandeliers? These always seem to be marketed pre-paired, but I’m looking for an easy update for a simple five-arm brass fixture.

  9. Shannon Says:

    Great choice of wallpaper! What about painting the ceiling black/charcoal from the wallpaper? That’s a great trick to help balance out the heavy woodwork down below. It will also create a sense of intimacy in the dining room and draw your focus to the center of the room!

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