Sunday, April 05, 2009

My disappointing living room. I have a vision for my living room that is quite unlike its current state. I just want my living room to look as though some thought has gone into its appearance, rather than some share-house aesthetic that's about a jumble of cheap furniture.

If I had to summarise my tastes I would call them 'Hollywood Regency', which is a glamorous look that blends the ornate, the exotic and the modernist in a way that recalls the homes of golden-age movie stars. It was last year's Art Deco exhibition that really sparked this obsession in me, but then in the second half of last year I started to get into that modernist mid-century look, and Hollywood Regency kind of combines the two. Its furniture is like a more streamlined interpretation of French rococo antiques. There's also plenty of glass, gold and silver, Orientalist and 'primitivist' flourishes, and attention to texture.

I don't agree with all these things – a lot of professionally styled Hollywood Regency interiors look intimidatingly zany and over-the-top, with ugly crap like Louis XIV armchairs with brightly coloured upholstery – but what I like about the look is the way it evokes a lived-in, welcoming kind of glamour. For some time I have been trolling eBay for stuff like chandeliers, sofas, bevelled mirrors and sunburst clocks.

Yesterday I went to Ikea and bought a shelf to use as a TV stand/DVD shelf/bookshelf, and while I was there I saw a turquoise rug in the 'As Is' bargain corner. I have been looking for a rug for some time, ever since I read a magazine article about how to cut out noise in your home and thought to myself, "A rug! That will muffle the noise so I can actually hear the TV when someone is boiling the kettle!"

My ideal rug would be a Persian rug – in my mind I would juxtapose the rug with very simple, modern furniture in pale tones rather than the rich colours, fancy furniture and wood finishes in which you usually find them. But they are so expensive and are by definition a rip-off, whether you buy them actually in Iran, Turkey, Morocco, etc, at a perennially about-to-close carpet dealership here, or at a chain store, or on eBay. Also, I just can't settle on a design I like.

Anyway, the main problem with the rug I bought is that I think it's too small for the room. It looks so pitiful, as if it's afraid of the furniture. And Talor's coffee table – which I love, it has gold legs and edges and a marble-effect glass top – looks so lost, as if it can't decide where to sit. Everywhere I put it, it looks crap.

Also, I hate my lounge suite so much. I hate its dark brown wooden frame and its stupid shape and its colour. You can tell how much I hate it because I have tried to cover it up with cushions. I picked black-and-white ones inspired by Meep, who was curled up one day in the corner of a chair in a way that made me go, "Hmmm..." Also, they match the floor. And now they happen to match Graham, who quite liked the new cushion I bought from Ikea yesterday.

I would like to get another sofa and then get some fancy accent chairs, all perhaps in other shades of blue, or maybe white, to match the shelving units. Or maybe a deep rose-pink. I think a lot about sofas. I hate those turd-like ones you get at cheap furniture stores, and I also hate the boxy square ones. I love chesterfields but they are so expensive and nearly always only in brown and oxblood, both two colours I hate. If I got a chesterfield it would be black or white.

Anyway. It's a work in progress. I get so much pleasure from imagining my perfect living room, which is probably why it's so frustrating that the reality is so lame.

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