Juste Pour Moi

Some of you will probably gag over my new colour scheme but something about my new space has moved me to throw colour caution to the wind. I have no desire to spend money on new stuff so I’m working with what I’ve got, save for a few essential purchases, and it so happens that what I’ve got hits most of the points on the colour wheel.

I recognize that my work should be a calling card for potential clients but in this case, in this space, I’m really decorating solely for myself. The main room — there’s a separate kitchen, bedroom and dressing room/bath — is just 14.6′ x 14.6′ and I have a lot of living to pack into that little box; lounging/TV, dining and home office.

One of my pet peeves is an entryway that comes straight into a living room so I created a little foyer at the door with bookshelves on one side and my shoe cabinet on the other.

I hadn’t intended to leave the back wall cream but I could only manage to paint the other three walls before major shuffling became necessary and I decided I liked having the office wall a different colour. It adds to the feeling of being a different zone.

Upon entering the space you confront my little dining nook, below. The bedroom and kitchen are on the right with the living space on the left and the office on the other side of the bookshelves.

I had to store my large brass and marble table and to tie me over I purchased this compact, 40″ Knoll tulip table from a collector. The vintage Gunlocke chairs ($300 for the pair on Craiglist) are the same colour as the table top and are also exceptionally comfortable. If someone joins me for dinner I slide the sofa out of the way and pull the chairs around.

The living space is similarly malleable. If a coffee table is required I pull the yellow rattan side table out from under the TV stand and presto, a place to set a drink or eat a snack. The sofa can be moved for TV lounging and the little footstool under the TV console frequently comes out to pair with the high-back chair. When I’m not watching TV I lean a framed print in front of it.

The place is undeniably small but I honestly love it. Everything is at hand and because it’s just me I don’t feel at all cramped. As for the brick-y wall colour (Farrow & Ball Red Earth No. 64) was pulled from my artwork and the rug.

It’s warm and enveloping and the space feels a bit like a gentleman’s library, which agrees with me. The apartment faces west so I wasn’t worried about making the room feel dark.

The bamboo blinds are a bit ghetto but the price was definitely right ($45 for 6′ x 6′) and if I decide I’ll be here for awhile then I’ll invest in better window coverings. In the meantime, they keep the summer sun at bay.

So that’s my progress so far. I have big plans for the bedroom but I’m not ready to reveal that yet. And my little, New York-style kitchen will never be anything to write home about but it’s functional and has lots of character thanks to the open built-ins.

It feels sooooo nice to be settled again after the misstep of my last place. Praise be!

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Monday, July 2, 2012 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

32 Comments For This Post

  1. Lin Says:

    Love it!

  2. shescomeundone Says:

    Color therapy. Back to roots. Going with ones gut. Revisiting what actually works and damn the torpedoes! Whatever you call it, only you Chris would so brazenly encourage and suffer judgement by your peers. KUDOS, in spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds.
    You know how to deal the decor deck!

    Sometimes it is what it is, and it is honest and authentic. YDBomb!

  3. Lois Says:

    Good evening CHRIS, it reminds me of your pending India motif. Colorful warm inviting…Lois of lovely

  4. Raina @ If the Lamp Shade Fits Says:

    I love your fearlessness!!

  5. April Says:

    I think it looks totally fab, Chris. LOVE the deep colours and the flexibility of your pieces and of the space overall. It looks wonderful!

  6. margo Says:

    I totally love the great use of space Chris, the colors blend so well together and make this a nice place to come home to.

    Thanks for sharing, may you find joy and peace in your new home.

  7. VVires Says:

    Your Chinese cabinet is quite phenomenal. From the picture, it looks exquisitely hand painted. And knowing your bargain hunting savvy, I bet you got a good deal on it!

  8. Karen J Says:

    Love the use of the space and I agree with VVires that cabinet is something!

  9. Bev Says:

    Your new stylish space looks wonderful! You have a great eye for colour. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Gabi Says:

    FABULOUS! I love it, a great eye for colour and textures!!

  11. Linda Says:

    Quite honestly, I love it! I think in today’s design world where the use of colour in multiples is being embraced more and more, using that many IS a colour scheme and I think it is vibrant and very cool!

  12. Cathy F Says:

    You new place says HOME. Is that not what a home should be! Love what you have done and looking forward to seeing your bedroom. Give yourself a good pat on the back. Even the way that you describe your home one can feel the happiness and joy in what you have accomplished. Again that is what everyone is striving for is it not! Wishing you the best in your new home.

  13. Nikola Says:

    Great job Chris! Place looks awesome.

  14. Angela Says:

    i ADORE that wall colour!

  15. Lisa Says:

    I love it! It’s very Upper East Side/Palm Beach.

  16. VegHead Says:

    Carving an entryway out of an already small space is completely counterintuitive. You had very limited wall space for those bookshelves so by floating them in the room you’ve created good spatial division while also giving you a place for your books. Smooth move.
    As for your color choices, they’re not trendy but they really work. Feels kinda Moroccan to me.

  17. VegHead Says:

    one more thing. I think you need to paint that desk wall ;)

  18. Chris Says:

    VegHead, I’ve come to the same conclusion about that back wall. Funny how seeing a space in photographs can alter your perceptions of it. Thanks all for the votes of confidence, it’s reassuring.
    VVires, the cabinet was from an indoor garage sale, appraised for $1,200 and purchased for $500. I’m on the fence about keeping it to be completely honest; it went well with my old decor but not so much with my current stuff.

  19. Tim@DesignMaze Says:

    Job well done Chris! Love that you decorated your own space solely for you and not what the potential client(s) would think! I think you have showed them that you are talented and flexible with your design approach. More importantly, your sense of taste and what you truly love by showing us how you creatively divided up the small space into different zones. May have to steal your bookcase divider idea in the future! LOVE IT!

    I so wanted that table from Kevin!! if you ever decide to part with that, I’m the first in line to get it from you Chris!

  20. Cat Says:

    Warm and rich, your place looks lovely. I hope you keep that gorgeous Chinese cabinet– it’s now so beautifully set off against those walls. Eclectic, you do it to perfection. Bless your new house.

  21. Chris Says:

    Remember Tim, I refinished that top for Kevin so it’s only fitting that it should come back to me in the end. It’s a beauty and come to think of it, a project I never blogged about.

  22. mary Says:

    This space feels ALIVE which I think is a great compliment.

  23. Taylor Says:

    Chris, it looks elegant, inviting and fun. I agree about needing to paint the desk wall but I actually really love all the colour. I am so glad to see you settled in.

    I love the new table and chairs in the space. They’re so lovely, I’d imagine it makes storing your beautiful marble table a little easier…

  24. Jay Says:

    That’s a good New Order album, too!
    Love how you used the bookcases.

  25. Neville Says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing these photos of your new home.

    I know you said the apartment is small but it certainly feels spacious. The bold colours really work.

  26. Robin Says:

    I think your color scheme is GREAT! You have put forth the right amount of punchy colors, without it being over-the-top.

  27. An Orange Moon Says:

    WE DIG HOW YOU VIBE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, I love it all

  29. kay* Says:

    Above comment was mine but accidentally posted before I was finished…
    I love it all! The colour, the dual purpose of many of your pieces, the space’s all wonderful. As a fellow Torontonian currently apartment hunting I know how difficult it is to make these characterless boxy apartments feel interesting and you have done a wonderful job! Even the way you handled the “entry” brilliant. Kudos to you.

    And what is the name of that fabulous paint colour? Please share :-)

  30. kay* Says:

    Oops! I see the paint info!

  31. Wallis Says:

    Chris, I love this space! It looks and feels much more like your home than the place near to the park. The colors, the textures, WOW! So you!!!

  32. Marie Says:

    Wow! I’m new to your blog and so just came across this entry. I love your mix of colour pieces, congratulations to you. I see this was over a year ago, so maybe you’ve already changed things up.

    I particularly love the blue end table and lamp. Is the table a vintage pieces and what colour is that blue?

    I love that all this wonderful info and source material is close to me in downtown Toronto.

    Keep up the good work Chris!

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