Friday, September 14, 2007

A little help from my friends

I simply cannot make a decision, and would love input from anyone who sees this post....

The dilemma: my foyer/front hall has been barely decorated for two years now. I purchased a beautiful Niermann Weeks mirror, and the chest that I originally had in the front hall was hopelessly wrong (a Hickory Chair French chest). So, the mirror has been hanging ALONE for all of this time! I am tired of not having something there, and am ready to make a purchase.

The mirror stands alone....and measures 57"h x 35"w

I love the look of a mirror in a front hall. It is great to do a quick once over before leaving the house. Also, the mirror reflects two beautiful art pieces (which are directly across from it) and works well in the space. Because of the lightness of the floors (I am not taking on that project right now!) and the mellow gold of the mirror, I feel that something dark would work well.

What I can't decide upon is whether to purchase a chest to go under the mirror - very functional and useful (I have plenty of storage in the house, though, and do not need the storage). But the appeal of a console is definitely there for me. I have also considered a bench, but I have so much seating in the living room and dining room, plus I have an antique French bergere to the left of the front door. There really is not a need for more seating!

So, if you take out space planning (20 foot double height ceiling), and look purely at what would go well with the lines and color of the mirror, what do you think? Should I look at something with straight lines to contrast with the curves of the mirror? Or, should I look for something curvy to repeat the curves of the mirror? Any other piece of furniture come to mind? Any other finish?

Here are some of the candidates:

Murano chest by Hickory Chair. I think that a black or dark piece of furniture would be a nice contrast with the mirror. I have seen this chest in French gray, but I have never seen it in black. The scale of this mirror is similar to the scale of my mirror (but a different shape, of course). Size of chest is 36.25"h x 47.5"w x 20.5"d

A friend recommended this Baker chinoiserie chest, but I am simply not a fan of chinoiserie. I hate it, in fact. So, that's out.

Niermann Weeks Baltic console. I have seen this in person, and it is stunning. Dimensions are 70w x 25d x 34h (also comes in 16d version).

Christine console by Oly. I have also seen this in person, and I love it. The gold accents are really nice. However, the top is mirror - which I love - but I think it would look better with a great piece of contemporary art above it, not another mirror. Size is 71"W x 18"D x 33"H.

Nancy Corzine Svea Demilune - this piece is really gorgeous in person. It is a demilune table, but a large size. The finish is beautiful...I saw it in Tetre Negre, with burnished gold. The size I am considering is 60"W x20"D x 34"H.

This is from Ethan Allen, in their new Modern Glamor collection. I love the lines of the piece, and the mirror above seems to be the same scale. However, I saw it in person, and the 'zebra pattern' veneer did not appeal to me. I really like a smoother finish. I still like the shape...I even thought about buying it and painting it a chocolate-black! It is very reasonably priced.

Many thanks in advance! You can see that my thoughts are all over the place. Generally I have softer style than the Oly piece, and the dining room that opens to the front hall is very traditional (inherited furniture....not what I would have picked, but beautiful quality and style).

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  1. I like the demilune table because of the curved front! Things seemed a little hard and angular, and if you don't want a soft bench, I think a curve would be quite nice! That is my thought, without actually seeing your whole room and how it all works together.

    I'll go back and look at it again, but that was my first thought!

  2. I also really like the texture of that first piece, the murano chest...

  3. Sorry for the triple post, I keep going back to look. If you went with the demilune table you could also stack or place something else below it. If you felt it need a little something more.

    I am sure you will get other differing opinions (just to add to your confusion!) but hopefully something will eventually click for you, I know how hard it is to decide!

  4. Thanks so much for your great input! It was a nice surprise to have three posts. That is my delimma...there are positive aspects to all of these pieces. I often get into these delimmas...I get mired in the possibilities. I just remembered one more piece that I was looking at, and I am going to add it now.

  5. I think I like the Murano Chest the best. To me, the consoles look too wide for the tall mirror unless you flanked the mirror with a pair of lamps. Also, there's an ebony chest with gold accents in Kelly Wearster's book Modern Glamour on page 184 that I immediately thought of to go under the mirror. I think it might be Dorothy Draper but I can't remember. Check out the book if you have it.

  6. Good Morning, So far I like the Ethan Allen table.
    At first I did think something with texture..... color.... like the bench you posted by Charles Spada, Aug 16th, maybe slipcovered....then have a changing display of favorite pillows... throws, books etc. possibly an accent in orange.
    The tables you are currently considering, beside the Ethan Allen seem a little stark somehow.
    In your post on circles, I think you are a circle lady which to me is feminine, and the square is masuline.
    Also the home you loved in Atlanta seemed to have softer lines than the lines of the tables you are considering.
    I think the things you have posted about are your true loves.
    It is pure speculation, to say with just the one photo of the entry. I hope I am not too far off the mark. Heddy

  7. I would suggest the Larson console by Julian Chicester - it has a wonderful French 30s Prou feel.


  8. First of all no fair asking for help when we don't get to see the rest of the room! We're working in the blind my friend. Anyway I would choose the demilune console. It looks like it would compliment the chair I got a tiny view of in the mirror. Since you seem to be drawn to a more boxy look to balance the mirror I would then place two small chest or benches underneath the the console to fill in the negative space. By the way I must compliment you on your fabulous taste in vendors! Nierman Weeks? My wallet is hurting already. Good luck

  9. Jackie's idea was exactly what I was thinking after I left! That is why I came back, I thought I had the perfect idea! I knew I liked Jackie!

    I love the demilune table, but like I said it seemed like it needed a little something more. As Jackie mentioned, I think adding two little benches below would fill in the space and complete the look. I think you need a little softness there.

    There you go, now you got me obsessing over it right along with you!

  10. Thank you so much for the kind comments! I am short on time right now, but I just wanted to express thanks...

    I buy one really nice piece of furniture every year for myself, something that I will keep for a very long time, so I am willing to spend the $$$! Like someone said in another blog - was it 'Life in a Venti Cup'? Spend twice has much, buy half as much, it will last three times as long.

  11. These are all lovely pieces. I do like the idea of a chest better, it seems to need the weight of it. I am so sorry, I am just noticing that I might not have linked to you - I am doing that today. Good luck! I love the hunt almost as much as the acquisition.

  12. Great comments, everyone! It just shows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! But, to Jackie's point, I barely gave a glimpse of the space, so I appreciate the brainstorming.

    Before I bought this mirror, I had a really cheap mirror with my Hickory Chair chest, with a few Anna Weatherly plates on the top and antique sconces on the side. It looked nice, but I was bored with it and tired of the plates and mirror. However, a chest did work well in the space.

    Melissa - I love the demilune and the murano too!

    Habitually chic - I too wonder whether a console is the right thing. There is no room for floor lamps or chairs to balance things out on the side.

    Heddy, I was touched by your comments! Thank you for reading my blog. I went back to look at the post you mentioned. You are right, my posts do reflect what inspires me, and although I think that the straight lines are more modern, I have such a love for the circles, the serpentine shape, the curve.

    HBC - I love the Chichester piece! Very very daring and cool. I am such a fan of the art deco style in furniture. I am going to check out the showroom that represents them. Thank you SO much for introducing me to this line!

    Jackie - thank you for the kind words and the input! You are right, a console would need something else. One of my favorite memories of a console is from Blenheim Palace. I was able to tour the private quarters of the Duke of Marlborough (he was gone for the day...not because of connections!), and one of my favorite memories is of a beautiful oak console with many ginger jars of varying shapes underneath, all in blue and white. There was a magnificent picture of the Duchess of Marlborough, Consuelo, who was an American; her dress had the same blues and the ginger jars, and it was striking. The picture is in one of Henrietta Spencer Churchill's books.

    Mrs. Blandings...thank you for the comment...and thank you for the link! I relate so much to your posts, and love your blog.

    CDT - thanks for the behind the scenes help!

    This has made my day quite fun! Thanks for the comments, everyone!

  13. Great mirror! I always err on the side of storage, so I would personally go with a chest of drawers. I really like all of your options though. Though I agree that the size should not be too much wider than the mirror width. Good luck!

  14. Now see, I love chinoiserie but if you don't, then I vote for the Nancy Corzine Svea Demilune. Gorgeous mirror and space! I like Melissa's idea of something under neath it...maybe a pair of upholstered stools under the table or even two giant foo dogs or something hefty. Hard to say without seeing the entire space. I am sure you will choose something most excellent!

  15. I like the first choice very much! But have you considered looking for an antique? In some cases you can get lucky and find something that is in the same ball park as something new. LOVE your mirror!

  16. I think the first piece (in a dark timber or black lacquer) or the last piece in dark timber. You can definitely put some more interesting lines/shapes in there as it seems the colours and details are quite neutral.

  17. Thank you so much for the comments, Brilliant, Amber, Katie, and Suzy! I am SO glad I posted my design delimma. All of the perspectives were so valuable!

    At this point, I am leaning towards some sort of chest. I may paint the French chest that was originally in the space - a friend of mine loves to use Pratt & Lambert's obsidian on furniture, because it is a very warm black. I may also keep my eye out for an antique...some of your recommended that in e-mail and on this post.

    Some day I would like to own that Corzine demilune, though...I love it! If my ceilings were not so high in the front hall, I think it would work better. Or, if I moved the mirror to the dining room and got a huge fantastic piece of contemporar y art!

  18. my vote is for the Ethan Allen inspired ensemble. It gives the entryway energy, texture, interest... I enjoy the airy nature of the shelves an the options for varied tablescaping. You can enjoy a mix of design books, greenery and pieces you've collected during your travels....

    that's my vote ;)

  19. i love the hickory chair piece, but if you want something black take a look at the new pottery barn catalogue. they have a really nice new chest (i cant find it on the website)

  20. Hello Sarah...I'm a tad late to this post.

    I kept going back for another look at the photos.

    I love the idea of the demilune.

    But then you mentioned the contemporary art and my ears perked up! That sounds lovely. What are the pieces you mentioned, that are reflected in the mirror?


  21. I am late posting as well....I think you'd really need to see more of the hallway to assess properly, if there is a chair on the other side of the door, the consoles may look too "leggy" /not "weighty" enough (unless you add items as others have suggested to fill negative space)....

  22. Hi- Thanks for the additional comments! Linda, I think you hit the nail on the head....because the hall is so tall, yet not huge, a console in the space would probably end up looking very leggy and empty (unless I put benches there). There is not room for both a console and chairs flanking it. Several of you suggested checking out an antique option for a chest, which is what I will do. I have been looking for something for two years, I can keep on looking! I wish I could see the murano chest in person in black...you never really know how you will like something until you see it in person!


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