Decorating with Needlepoint Rugs

The inspiration bedroom for the guest is of course, Tory Burch’s Bird & Thistle bedroom in the Hamptons.

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Architectural Digest, Tory Burch – Asmara Ferncroft rug

While the wallpaper was easy to identify, the rug was not tagged and I had to deep dive the internet to identify the rug as the Asmara Ferncroft. Tory has layered multiple rugs in this room as you can see from a photo taken at an alternate angle. It is unclear to me if this rug is also Asmara, but it does not appear to be.

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Architectural Digest, Tory Burch – Unknown layered rug

Both rugs are beautiful, but at >$6,000 for the size we needed, they were out of budget, so I shifted the search to Ebay and found the perfect fit 6’x9′ for <$400. There are plenty of needlepoint rugs on Ebay to choose from. Most important for me was to find a larger floral pattern that would compliment the Bird & Thistle wallpaper well. Matching a rug to wallpaper is a bit like matching a tie to a shirt. You can mix and match patterns but the sizing should complement and the colors should coordinate, but don’t need to match perfectly. The rug that I purchased was $450 including shipping, a far cry from the thousands of dollars you could spend on a new rug, and this rug is new itself, but made in the 1990’s.

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Aubusson Needlepoint Rug, 1990s, from Ebay

You may remember the rug that is currently in the guest room from this post,  but here is a refresh:

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Surya, Grace cotton rug with crochet edging, in off-white

The rug lays flat, is an off-white color, has crochet edges and is 8’x10′. I am currently selling this rug on Ebay. Here is a picture of this rug in our room, before we swapped it out.

The Surya cream rug works well, but is basic
The nightstand – A Chairish find!
The pattern works perfectly with the wallpaper
And, more pattern with the Liberty quilt, made by my mom

The new rug in position couldn’t be more perfect and I love the play of pattern across the rug, quilt and wallpaper.

A Chairish Makeover

Re-upholstering a Chairish find

I am a big fan of the Chairish app and the great deals that are available there. Chairish is like a garage sale without leaving your home. The shipping costs can be a bit tricky, but overall there are some incredible finds on this platform. I recently nabbed two chairs for $315 on Chairish, had them re-upholstered in Colefax and Fowler Bowood fabric, and they are now like new!

Cowtan & Tout, Colefax and Fowler Bowood Fabric

The most important part of getting a good total value here is to pay as little as possible upfront. This helps to accommodate the high price of fabric and labor. Otherwise, you may be better off buying a brand new chair and providing your fabric direct to the manufacturer to upholster. Before I begin searching, I get a rough idea of the dimensions that I need the chair to be, then I sort by these dimensions. I am typically flagging (“hearting”) every chair that has a good shape and size and am not discriminating based on price (I always negotiate). A particularly good tip is to find slightly dirty or oddly colored chairs that generally won’t sell well – and bargain down. My first offer is always the lowest price the slider will allow, and then I see what happens.

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SRQ Vintage chairs, purchased from Chairish

In this case, I found a pair of great chairs from SRQ Vintage in Bradenton, Florida that were in perfect condition. They were listed for $595. I offered $315 and I got them. Off to a good start! Shipping was $369 which is really expensive, but I have since learned that if you speak to the seller you can get much less expensive shipping options.

On delivery day, the chairs are in great condition!

The chairs were white-glove delivered to our home and were the perfect size and fit. However, they were missing swivels so I had our upholsterer add a new base. Comfort Upholstery did an amazing job re-upholstering these chairs quickly (and well) and picked up and delivered when complete.

Upholstered Bowood chairs by Custom Upholstery, Chicago

From start to finish this project took 2 months total from the day I ordered (April 7) to the day the chairs were delivered from Chairish (May 9) to the day I sent to upholstery (May 18) to the day they returned (June 6) and I love them!

Bowood chairs happily re-covered and in place in the living room

The chairs required 16 yards of fabric, but there was a good amount left over that has been sent away to be made into throw pillows!

Master Bedroom

Relaxed roman shades

We decided on relaxed roman shades for the master bedroom in a privacy-backed linen. The shades are a perfect fit and match the walls well. They are from Restoration Hardware, were custom fit, and took approximately one month to arrive. We completed the install ourselves and it was easy.

RH relaxed romans in the bedroom

Each of the shades have a chain continuous loop that has been mounted to the window frame.

RH relaxed romans

Master Bedroom

Art finds a home in a traditional space

The master bedroom was painted Wimborne White and is a great fresh slate for art, which was installed last weekend!
As a reminder, this is where the master bedroom started:

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The master bedroom was all floral in the listing photo

Today it is a fresh slate, painted Wimborne White, for art, and for a more modern aesthetic, in a traditional space.

Farrow & Ball Wimborne White wall, perfect for hanging art

My favorite piece of art that we own has found a new home in this room. This piece is by Charles Mayton, who is represented by David Lewis Gallery.

Charles Mayton, David Lewis Gallery

A great improvement from the faded florals of yesterday!

Guest bathroom remodel

In ming green 3×12, Kohler, Grohe and subway

It has been too long since I’ve written about this little gem of a guest bath. Since then, there has been a ton of progress! As a reminder of where we started here is a peek back at the listing photo:

Small Guest Bathroom, Tiny Bathroom renovation
The bathroom BEFORE

What did we save: we saved the 1) Duravit 1930s pedestal sink, 2) subway tiles
What did we add: we added the 1) Kohler Underscore Bathtub, 2) Ming herringbone Ann Sacks floors, 3×12 blocks, 3) molding to update the subway look including baseboards, finishing molding and a rope detail, 4) updated Grohe fixtures on everything including the sink, 5) Kohler Verdura LED medicine cabinet (built in, for storage). Here is where we are today with some work still remaining:

Bathroom with new Grohe fixtures, Kohler toilet and tub and Ming floors by Ann Sacks
The tile floor is such a great compliment to the Bird & Thistle guest room

While initially we wanted to try to save the toilet, we ended up needing to replace it anyways since the original wasn’t the appropriate rough-in size for the space. Compare the traditional Kohler above (10″ rough-in) with the Duravit 1930s style toilet that we replaced, below.

This toilet was a 12″ rough-in which was too big for the space and had to be replaced

The ming tiles (custom cut 3×12 by Ann Sacks) made a huge difference in overhauling the look and feel of the space.

The floor in process with new baseboards

The rope and finishing molding in addition to the baseboards finished up the subway that was already in place.

Rope and finishing molding was added to the subway that was already in place

There are still a few details left before this bathroom is complete including painting, updating the can lights and potentially adding glass sliding doors to the shower / bath.

The Story / Sapiens Bookcase

How I make a good looking book stack

Design Within Reach has finally re-released the famous Story Bookcase in a short and tall version here. I purchased ours on Amazon in 2017 before the re-release here. The Amazon version is 79.6″ high, 14 shelves and $285 + $43 shipping. The DWR version is 75.5″ high, 12 shelves and $295 + $21 shipping. If you’ve ever seen this bookcase in a photo and wondered how someone can possibly stack their books so neatly without them falling over, well, this is how.

The Sapiens Bookcase from Amazon

While the bookcase is a bit pricey, I love it because it can hold a ton of books in a super space efficient way and it looks chic.

 

Large to small, white bindings out (or pages)

I stack my books from large to small, bottom to top (I wouldn’t recommend any other way), with white bindings or pages facing out. Yes, this means that if the binding is colored, it is facing pages OUT and binding IN such that the entire front of the stack is in shades of white. Of course you can stack any way you’d like.

Time consuming exercise to get this right!

To most quickly order the books from tallest to shortest I first line them against the wall to gauge height and organize on the floor first, into groups, then transition to the shelves.

 

 

I leave a bit of room at the top for extras that tend to collect around the house

The Sapiens Bookcase is such a great architectural piece that adds nice interest to any room. If short on floor space, the short stack can be added to the top of a desk or console for equal impact.

Ann Sacks Kelly Wearstler custom floors, in production

Sample received from production

The custom floors have been in production for approx 4 weeks now and I just got my first peek at them! I misunderstood the timeline and had thought they would be delivered in 4-6 weeks, but both the production process AND shipping EACH take 4-6 weeks. Needless to say, the floors are not here yet!

As a reminder, the rendering of the stones we selected, for our specific floorplan, looked like this:

Production just came back with a swatch of floor for approval before they start to produce the entire footprint. Here it is:

It has a nice neutral look to it, while being bold and forward. It will go really well in this traditional home. The only stone that is missing from this swatch is the rubicon black (stripe), but otherwise this is the finished product.

I’m very excited for these floors to be installed.