I always put in one controversial item, it makes people talk. ~ Dorothy Draper
Those of you that know me know that I have an old home that is basically decorated with a traditional flair but if you are visiting here for the first time you may not know that I also paint furniture and I am part of a fabulous group of women called The Traveling Door. Our group recently had a sale and I would have to say that considering the economy, it was a huge success. I did have two pieces, though, that did not sell and rather that store them in the garage until our next event, I brought them into our home.
To try and meet the needs of an ever changing market I am trying to honestly evaluate why these items did not sell. That sounds kind of whiny or that I am fishing for compliments and I don't mean it that way. I get it that wildly crazy pattern pieces just aren't going to appeal to everyone, I did sell pieces very similar to this one so I am comfortable that there is a niche market for these kinds of conversation or statement pieces. My altered furniture is definitely unique - controversial even, but I think the bigger hurdle is that people see these pieces in the store and can't imagine them mixed in with their more traditional furnishings. So I thought I would show a couple of examples of how well I think these two styles compliment each other. I like to think that mixing these two looks gives a room such an edge and a thrill of the unexpected. To me this light hearted look says, "I don't take myself too seriously".
This is a four drawer chest I brought back home and placed at one end of the dining room. I know I am breaking a rule by placing it in front of a window like this but hey some rules were made to be broken.
*Those of you that are more observant will notice that I changed out the dining chairs for the captain's chairs. What do you think works better stripes or floral?
I also have a clock that did not sell and I tried putting it in the dining room as well but I think one statement piece like this in a room is enough.
So I moved it to the living room.
My living room is also very traditional. So much so that I am itching to have a chance for a do over but I need the auto industry to make a come back first. Keep in mind I pulled this room together ten years ago. My tastes have evolved and our life style has changed dramatically since then. Regardless, I think the whimsical touch of the funky clock helps to dial down the formality of the room. Well, at least it's a start.
Not every room in our home is so formal. Painted pieces work easily with a more casual style as well.
So when something unusual jumps out at us I think we need to not dismiss it because of it's uniqueness or it's color or pattern. It is scary to do something bold but safe is so mundane. So seek out something controversial. Embrace it. Update a tired look or give new life to your tried and trues. Think of a new ways to use what you have. Paint them, stripe them, cover them in polka dots. Perhaps that piece you see at the store would work in a foyer, or bathroom, or child's or teen's room. For some reason it seems easier to do something a little out of the ordinary in those spaces first - at least until you become more comfortable taking a decorating risk. Think outside of the box. Use pieces in unintended ways. Then when people come to visit they will leave your home feeling inspired and motivated and they will owe it all to you and your creative style.