An Old Chinese Chest and Its Flawed Complexion

On this Saturday afternoon, I happened to look up and see sunshine streaming through a west-facing window at the right — and very brief — time to illuminate the Chinese chest in our family room …

As you can see, it has many nicks and dings, some better described as gouges! Scratches. Cracks. Wear. All these flaws make me appreciate and adore it even more.

For these flaws are not faults. They’re the result of having had a full life.

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Cochin: Furnishings Found

Yesterday’s post about Crafters in Cochin shows fantastic items to be had there, but those items are eye candy for us now and not for the apartment. We bought a few things. Not many now, because we’re still a ways from fully furnishing the India pied-à-terre. And even then, it will be minimally furnished because it’s not a full-time home. But we could not pass up a few items.

They are a mix of styles but that is what I like, a global blend.

This lounge chair will rest before big balcony doors, thrown open on breezy days. Its undulating waves offer natural lumbar and knee support. So comfortable. The weave breathes on hot days. I’ve been waiting for a decade to get this chair! Since I first saw one on my first trip to India. It will be tough knowing I’ll need a plane ticket to sit in this chair:

Buddha hands as drawer/cabinet pulls. We got two to go on cabinets hiding the washer/dryer — why not make everything special:

We got one of these lanterns to add electrical and hang from the ceiling in the alcove.

The lantern will cast beautiful shadows as I’ve blogged about that inspiration before.

And this table for a coffee table. We liked the shape of the legs and how it is not too heavy visually. I like how it’s light but yet feels strong, masculine.

This table is older. Crafters also has shinier new ones. This old one needs repair in some spots, as you can see, but I like the patina on old pieces. We will set glass into it to make an even table surface. Here are more (shinier) tables available at Crafters:

Finally I just had to grab a Singer sewing machine base, because I sew home decor items enough that on the next trip here (whenever that is) I’ve already planned to bring my sewing machine to work here. The Singer base can double as a guest room nightstand. Right now it has a cheap wood top that can easily be painted or replaced:

Singer stands are pricey in vintage stores at home in the U.S. (unless you can score one on Craig’s List) but common here in India as they’re still in service everywhere.

The chair, table, Singer base and lantern are being shipped from Cochin to Chennai. They may arrive on Friday. Or they may not arrive on Friday. Whether they do or do not arrive on Friday, I leave to return to Chicago on Saturday morning. I may see these in the India pied-à-terre during this trip, or I may have to wait until the next trip. Such as it is! I’ve learned to accept the pace  in India as I alone cannot change it.

However I did pick up some smaller pieces at Crafters that can fit in a suitcase and will make a blog appearance when I get back to Chicago.

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Can Sectionals Be Stylish?

I’ve always believed sectionals belonged only in rooms with fake wood paneling where you watch Three’s Company and track time on a digital watch.

Do they belong in today’s rooms? I sense this question could pit people on opposite sides like Big Ten football. Or politics. Or people who can wear skinny jeans and people who can’t.

Well, we’re considering a sectional for the Chennai apartment’s living/TV area. We’ve been plopping down on sectionals in stores and they sure are comfortable. I like the idea of putting your feet up, nestling in and watching a good movie after a tough day in Chennai traffic and heat. But can sectionals be in stylish rooms? Let’s see …

Via Martha Stewart:

Via Houzz:

Via Desire to Inspire:

Via Desire to Inspire:

Via West Elm:

Via Restoration Hardware:

Via 1st dibs, photographed by Tim Street-Porter:

From Arhaus:

Where do you stand in the sectional debate? For? Against?

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Dining Table: His vs Hers

During our India trip in November/December we will visit a gentleman in Mysore who creates furnishings from reclaimed wood. Recycling old pieces into new is all the rage right now and it fits with our belief that not everything should be built with entirely new resources. With all the economic growth on this planet, we should repurpose as much as we can, everywhere.

A dining table is the perfect piece to make of reclaimed wood as it’s chunky and big and consumes lots of wood.

The master of the pied-à-terre wants something like these dining tables from Arhaus, and big like 72″ diameter (I better get better at converting to metric, stat!):

The lady of the pied-à-terre sees something different. She has been thinking about dining tables for awhile, as she wrote about them back on December 28, 2010. Such as this from Restoration Hardware:

And this, very cool from Costatini:

You see a few differences here? You remember that show on HGTV where the designer found the common ground between the differing styles of the man and the woman of the house? He diplomatically brought the warring parties to compromise.

You can see a few potential compromises here, if we went the compromising route. The master of the house likes the round shape and the curved turned wood bases. The lady likes the farmhouse feel of the trestle and the space efficiency of a rectangular shape. Here’s an option with both:

In a few months, we shall see what dining table winds up in the pied-à-terre! Thus far our his n’ hers collaborations are producing a wonderful kitchen and bathrooms and open style living space (pics soon, soon …) and I’m confident we’ll create a beautiful dining area too!

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