February 5, 2014

Styling The Antique Commode

Do you remember the picture of the antique commode from our guest bedroom? After taking the picture, I started to wonder if I could make this small area look more decorated and less empty using the things I already have. 

I like to keep it simple when decorating a room, but I don't want the room to look empty either. I think there's a fine line between them, and I've been trying to figure out the ways to cozy up a room without making it look cluttered.   

When I purchase furniture, I choose them carefully and make sure I love them. I want each piece of furniture to have an art like quality, and display it in a way to showcase its beauty. I believe less is more. Designing a room with a few well-chosen pieces makes a bolder statement than filling every inch of the room with objects. Interior designer, Darryl Carter, is the master when it comes to designing a room with such a refined aesthetic. I respect his work very much. 

Darryl Carter
  
This is the "before" picture from the previous post. Two main pieces here are the antique commode and the Hollywood Regency gilt mirror. I want them to be the stars of this little corner, and I don't want anything else to detract attention from them. 


I think the rattan chair is providing the much needed texture in this picture. I actually moved the chair closer to the commode when I took the picture so it won't look empty. The chair usually sits further away from the commode.

My goal is to create a simple vignette like this. I think balance the key, and you also want to have different shapes and textures to create a good vignette.

Phoebe Howard

Do you see the three objects placed on the dresser making a slight V shape, framing the large mirror in the center - the lamp (left), wooden box (middle), and plant (right)? I think creating a V shape is a great way to dress up a table/dresser top without making it look cluttered. 

This vignette is also rich in textures and shapes. The lamp and the vase have shiny surfaces along with the gilded mirror and frames, while the wooden box in the middle has a rough texture. The lamp and plant also offer some curvy shapes and soft textures, while everything else has straight lines. 

With that in mind, I styled the antique commode in several different ways to see what works the best.

1) I added an alabaster lamp and stacked two books under the bowl. I might add a small vase of flowers on the right side to make a V shape and also to give different textures. The books offer straight lines, and the cloth book spine and lamp shade provide some soft textures. The gilt mirror, bowl, and alabaster lamp are shiny, while everything else is dull. 


Close up of the alabaster lamp.


This is a vintage lamp from Italy, and I purchased it from an Etsy shop a while back. I like its intricate carvings and the beautiful gray veining with all the white. 

I already had this lamp in the same room, and all I had to do was to update the lamp shade. This is an inexpensive lamp shade from Target that I paid less than $12 on sale. Its oval shape fits perfectly into this narrow space.

2) Two 9-inch plates (those are paper plates, by the way) flanking the mirror on each side.


3) Three plates on the each side of the mirror. 


4) Seven plates around the mirror.


5) Picture frames flanking the mirror (I borrowed the frames from our office/library space). I kind of like this one, even though this detracts attention from the mirror and the commode. I think the straight lines of the frames make this vignette work. Perhaps, I should try different frames in the same size?


I will eventually change the chair to something like this...
 
image via Trine Thorsen "Heidi's House"

A Louis ghost chair. I think a lucite chair looks great against antique furniture. I also like its classic line and the way it doesn't block the view of the antique furniture. This will also add a modern touch to the space.

So, what do you think? I am leaning towards either #1 or #5. 

Would you add anything else or subtract any of the items to make it better?


21 comments:

  1. I think I like all of them. I love that mirror and I loooooooove that lamp. What type of plates are you thinking? Also I am going to email you a photo of an alabaster vase I bought a few years ago and have never ever even touched since. If you like it I'd be happy to send it. I'm trying to pair down my "inventory".
    I have Ghost chairs in my salon and I love them so much more than I even imagined I would.

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    1. I'm typos galore today. PARE down. Yikes.

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    2. You're so sweet, Stephen! Yes, I'd love to take a look at the picture of the vase. If I do plates, I'd love to use white ironstone. I have some ironstone plates hung on a kitchen wall and love them. Where did you get your ghost chairs? If you have any resources you recommend, please do share! ox

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    3. I got the Ghost chairs at www.lexmod.com
      Couldn't find your email in your profile; when you get a second email me salonstephen@gmail.com!

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    4. stephen we know what's causing those typos. :) haha.

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    5. thanks Stephen for the link! ox

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    6. Lol Janet I'm just trying to do my part as an American to help the winemakers of California!

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  2. yuko i'm so bad at this. i have ironstone plates on ea side of my mirror and hate them. i take them down and prefer that but my friend M says put them back up so i do. what i'd love is a couple of daryl carter wall sconces there but that's prob never happening. i recently passed up a pair of gorgeous antique sconces that was only $20 for the pair and i still have nightmares about that. i'm sorry i cannot be of any help to you. i like all your choices though!

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    1. I think I have the same love and hate relationship with hanging plates. As I said (above), I have plates hanging on a kitchen wall, which I love most of the time. But some days, I can't just stand them and take them all off. I think it's very tricky to hang plates right. The only person who does it right (in my opinion) is Phoebe Howard and I'm no Phoebe Howard. That's probably why I'm leaning toward 1 and 5. Sorry to hear about the antique sconces...but you let them go so that you'll come across something better in the future (like the Daryl Carter sconces ;) )

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  3. i like the one with 2 plates on each side of the mirror, or i like it without anything on either side of the mirror.

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    1. Thank you for your input, Jenn! If I decide to hang plates, I'll probably do two plates on each side. I sort of like three on each side too, but I'm afraid it might look a little rigid. Hanging plates is tricky. I guess it all depends on what I come across when I go antiquing this weekend (fun part) :)

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  4. Hi Yuko! I love your new blog, I'm trying to get up the nerve to start one :) I adore your alabaster lamp, and recently got one very similar. I've been looking for the right lamp shade, and will check Target. Ebay has a good selection of Hollywood Regency sconces that would pair nicely with your mirror. Have you considered a beautiful stool for your commode?

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    1. Thank you, Deni, for your suggestions! I was thinking about sconces too, so I will have to check ebay to see if I can find something that fits my style & affordable. What type of stool are you thinking? I'd love to know. Looking forward to visiting your blog when it's up :)

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    2. Believe me, Yuko, I'm no expert but I pictured an antique vanity stool, maybe bamboo. You have a beautiful decorating style!

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    3. I love anything bamboo! And bamboo might be just the right touch (natural and rustic) I need. Thanks for your suggestion. ox

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  5. The Alabaster lamp along with the white and gold bowl look so pretty! You can never go wrong by adding a vase of flowers!
    E+J

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    1. Thank you, Eddie! And yes to the flowers. I'm currently on the hunt for a good vase, something simple with a bit of drama. I'm thinking a clean lined peacock colored vase with white flowers :)

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  6. Yuko, I like all the many ways you've styled that beautiful commode! When I was into decorating and furniture I could never settle on just one look and would swap things around all through the year. Something that really worked well for me was to use a big antique trunk and store all my decorating accessories in there. As the seasons changed I would swap things in and out and even change the hanging pictures and mirrors (they could fit in the trunk). I never felt like it was cluttering up the house because everything was contained in the one trunk and the trunk itself served as a decorating item. And I agree with you, your pieces really do have an "art like" quality to them and its extra nice to showcase them in an uncluttered setting.

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    1. Thank you, Gam! What a great idea to store decor items in an antique trunk. I've always liked the look of an antique trunk placed at the foot of a bed.

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  7. My favorite is #3. I really like the varying textures you've got going on. I think the addition of the ghost chair would be nice. I don't know what part of the country you are in, but I live in Baltimore and just got some new ghost chairs from DWR that I changed my mind about and am selling at a discount.

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    1. I live in upstate NY, much closer to Canada than NYC. Oh I wish I lived closer to you! Thank you for your generous offer though :) It's not easy to choose chairs that's just right, and I go through many chairs myself.

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