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I love a good cut velvet fabric. The weight and thickness of a quality silk velvet makes for a luxurious textile indeed. While I have long admired Koplavitch & Zimmer's (a high end, to the trade textile house) "Panthera" pattern, its $400 a yard price had kept me away. I have been particularly drawn to the "Navy" color way, since I am after all, a lover of blue. You can buy this fabric for around $100 a yard here, which is awesome, but a few months ago, while poking around on Ebay, I found this fabric.
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Yes, it looks different in the photo, but computers do crazy things to fabrics and hues, so I thought I would try it. I needed a yard of it to make two pillows that would give a little edge to my very traditional 1920's library. I paid my nearly $30 (hello STEAL!), and friends, I was amazed when I pulled it out of the bag.
The stairwell in our home is right in the center of the house, and it gets a ton of traffic. To the right of the above photo is the kitchen, and to the left is the living room. This pass through area is small, but I see it so much that I want it to be pretty.
It has gone through a few changes since I started this blog a few years ago. First, I painted the back wall Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy for a little punch.
But this setup just wasn't doing it for me, so I sold the fabulous yet bulky Dorothy Draper chest, framed out Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon wallpaper, moved the West Elm Parsons Console from the entry hall to this space, and hung a mirror I found at an estate sale.
The stairwell has looked like the above photo for about a year and a half now, and this past weekend, I decided we were due for a change. I liked having the big basket there for boots and other large, miscellaneous items that like to clutter this space, and of course, I love the vintage blanc de chine lamps and the antique prayer box. With all we have had going on here lately with continued bathroom construction, and a collapsed porte cochere, this little area had gotten fairly frantic with things that needed to be put away. Once I had gotten everything clear, it was time to figure out how to give the stairwell a fresh look.
When I am rearranging a space, I try to get it as bare bones as possible so I can really see what I am accomplishing/not accomplishing. So I cleared everything out except for the console which I knew needed to stay there. I also find that taking photos of each look as I add/take away things is really helpful - I do this with clients, and I do this for my own home, too. Seeing your space in a photo can really help you find the strengths and the flaws in what you are creating.
For a split second, I did ponder exchanging the console with the chest in the dining room, but I decided since this area is so slim, having a piece of furniture that is open at the bottom is best as it lends a more airy overall feel.
Side Note: By the time I finished cleaning up the collected clutter, it was nighttime, so sorry these next few photos are not the best.
I also thought about switching out the rug, but the vintage one I have there compliments the wallpaper so well, and I did not have another good option in my house, so that stayed, too. After staring awhile, I decided to switch the mirror I had there with the mirror from the dining room.
I liked how the black outline on the mirror picked up on the black silhouettes in the wallpaper, so I added what may be at the top of the list for greatest Craigslist finds, my newest Craigslist treasure, a vintage Sarreid chest.
I originally moved it over to the far left because in my mind, I thought I could still put my big basket next to it. It did not fit, plus it looked weird, so I decided to center it, and added the lamps from the living room. The basket is going to go in the closet to the right of the console table for now.
I thought the lamps may work, but the ivory shades were a little blah, so I switched them out with black ones I have from Target.
I really really liked those lamps there, but my husband enjoys seeing the chinoiserie lamps there because of how pretty they look at night. Therefore, the next day, I switched the lamps back, added an oval brass tray, some books, and my favorite bust, and stepped back...
As you can see from the Master Bathroom Inspiration Board I created above, the tub was a front-and-center element for me. I love baths, and it was important for the tub to be comfortable and beautiful. I'm a tall girl, so the tub needed to be long, and I wanted it to be deep. Oh, and I also wanted to stick with the original tub's material, cast iron. It holds heat longer, and I wanted to keep with the time period of my home. My husband was iffy in this - cast iron is so heavy, and he worried about getting it up the stairs. I will tell you, it was no small feat, it took eight burly men!!
I originally wanted the silver matte looking finish shown in the above picture. Through a little research, I learned this is TRULY silver leaf, and guess what, it tarnishes. The lady I spoke with told me this was the type of tub you put in a bathroom "you don't use much". Uhhhhhh this is the Master Bath, and who has a bathroom they don't use much?! So that was out as I do not plan on polishing my tub every time I use it...was there a way to mix Beauty and Practicality?
Why yes, there is.