Custom Search

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Inspiration: Frugality and Aesthetics

As I pore through books and magazines thinking about my various house projects, I realize how seldom one sees a middle-class house done with a middle-class budget.

My dream bathroom would be an original from the 1930s or 40s rescued from a house about to undergo renovation. I have two friends with original bathrooms and I am so jealous. The funny thing is that they are indifferent and I think at least one would renovate extensively if money were no object.

One source of inspiration for me is Mary Cooper, a New Orleans chair caner who now is a color consultant. Check out her beautiful house. Anyone can paint a room turquoise.

Her dining room is even featured in a fancy coffee table book. There it sits, a humble space amid many rooms decorated by the eminent for the rich and famous.

My mother-in-law had a small, beautiful, and eccentric garden in Pasadena. It was so beautiful that it was featured in a book. Like Mary Cooper's dining room, Virginia's garden is humble in origin: it is the only one created and maintained by a homeowner. All others were designed--or at least maintained--by a squadron of gardeners. Some, of course, are public gardens.

Do you have any humble spots of beauty?


Duchesse said...

What a house! Thank you so much for the link. Occurs to me that she is completely opposite to conventional reno advice (neutrals, so someone else will buy your house one day.) She also has the eye and ability to mix her own colours.

B/f we decided to move, hired a woman like her to help me choose colours for turning one son's room into a large guestroom. Her rx for poaint: saffron, deep red, purpley-grey and almond. Absolutely fantastic. So think I'm mostly done with safe neutrals (thought there are places for them, too as Cole shows), and those intensely saturated colours cost no more than white.

re "anyone can paint a room turquoise": helps if they can do edges with great precision, and know about colour as it applies to volumes.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Saffron! Wow. Would love to see a picture of that room. I'm getting bolder and bolder.