Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Day 213's odd couple

In all of the excitement about the new house and potential kitchen renovation, I noticed a pattern. Wes and I were going through my dream kitchen images, it became apparent that I like the look of a Saarinen tulip table with a banquette and some funky chairs, just for fun.

Now this is exactly why I have so much fun looking at and hanging on to pictures from magazines and Web sites. It really helps me narrow down the styles I like and inspires future decisions and purchases. There are so many options for home decor that shopping without a clear vision or goal can be really overwhelming. It's much simpler to define your style as best you can and then hunt for pieces that fit your vision.

The best way to do this is to get your hands on as many images as you can, and store the ones you like. It's really fun to see patterns in those you keep (and occasionally wonder what in the world you were thinking when you cut out a picture). One thing I wish I started doing sooner is hang on to the source information as well. If you are dying for a chair but have nothing but a picture, it does you little good. Sourcebooks should be your best friend!

This unintentionally turned into a tutorial that most of you probably don't need. So, without further ado, my favorite breakfast areas:

This is where it all started. Cottage Living published interior designer Lisa Rowe's house last year (I think), and I put the entire home into my "favorites" file. She miraculously created a kid-and-pet-friendly home without compromising an ounce of style. I totally dig her charcoal-gray living room and (you guessed it) her blue bedroom. Her recommendation on the durability of a velvet sofa inspired one of our recent purchases.

But what I love most are these kitchen chairs! I will die of joy if I ever come across vintage beauties like these.

This image is from, but (sadly) that's all I know about it. I'm pretty sure Wes and I could build something simple like this, and just imagine the storage options! Stay tuned for that.

Cottage Living staffer Lindsay Bierman has got killer taste. You can't really see his Saarinen table because it blends so well in his fab all-white kitchen, but it's there. And it's nestled up to a ridiculously handsome custom banquette decked out in plaid wool that's to die for. Mmm yes sir.

Click here for a personal tour of his newly-renovated kitchen (don't miss the driftwood lamps!)

After my speech about sourcing, it's only fair that I help you out. You can find reproduction Saarinen tables at all price points at Design Within Reach and Ikea. Try Ballard Designs or Wisteria for chic Louis XVI-style dining chairs like Lindsay's.

And if I were a good little blogger, I would proceed to wax poetic about the history and relevance of Saarinen's furniture. But ... this post has gone on long enough, don't you think? Inquiring minds may click here or here learn more.


*Brit* said...

What? Nothing from Elle Decor? I'm sad :(

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

If you want an easy way to keep the source info for your inspiration images, Google Notebook should be your new best friend :) I wrote a post about it on my blog. Feel free to check it out.