Friday, January 20, 2012

Silver Lining: I Can Redecorate

Dorothy Draper, who in 1923 established the first interior design company in the United States, also wrote the first design book, Decorating is Fun! 

This prima donna of design was right! Just this week, nineteen weeks post-disaster, we finally reached a settlement with the insurance company. With this nightmare behind us, I can begin the enjoyable process of choosing colors, fabrics, flooring...

Where does one start when furniture was not damaged, but flooring, ceilings, and walls were? My goal is to update, so I decided to begin with a monochromatic palette.

A lovely Tabriz carpet with a raspberry field had been foundational to my home's color scheme.   Unfortunately, with all the standing water in the living room, the natural dyes ran, rendering the rug a complete loss.  We found a neutral Tibetan rug with just touches of celadon to replace the Tabriz. Without the raspberry, celadon and a neutral cream became the colorway.
Long before the deluge, I had ordered upholstery fabric in ivory, the pillow color, for the sofa.  The flood just gave me another incentive to update this classic piece.

To further eliminate the pink, I had an expert seamstress remake the silk Brunschwig &  Fils draperies, tucking the raspberry stripes in seams, leaving the variegated green stripes and neutrals visible.

 I also plan to lose the topper for a more contemporary look.

When we move back in, the raspberry throw will go; the celadon French daybed and two library chairs will stay.
Mohair at top is on the daybed; the cut velvet on the bottom on the library chairs.
Two other French bergere chairs in the room will be covered in a neutral silk fabric.

Removing the raspberry also dictates replacing the Schumacher raspberry striped wallpaper in the entrance.

Even though it was not damaged in the flood, we decided we will cover the cost of a neutral Stroheim grasscloth with a very subtle celadon damask glaze.

The dining room opens on the opposite side of the foyer from the living room, so a complimentary color scheme makes sense here, too. As it turned out, removing the hand-painted, silk Gracie wallpaper in the dining room was not debatable.  The extreme humidity in the house after the flood finished lifting off sections of the paper. In its place, I have chosen a companion to the entranceway paper, a Stroheim plain Saipan sisal.

To neutralize this room,  I plan to hang simple sheer drapes using Lee Jofa Phoebe cream fabric with trapunto embroidery in the same color of tan.

(The computer screen distorts many of these colors., but in person they all flow.)
For sixteen years, I have enjoyed the vivid colors in my home, but now I am ready to embrace change. Getting to redecorate is the silver lining behind our water-filled cloud. The sun has come out, so let the fun begin!


  1. Oh my goodness. I just read about what you've been through. I was knee deep in candles and wasn't reading many blogs during all of this.

    I'm glad you will soon be back at home and that you can have some fun decorating at least. Oh my.

    I'm so sorry to just be finding out about this now...I could have been praying or helping.

    We were coming back from Potter County that day. It was surreal to drive up through Harrisburg and see all of the water. Our Mikey and his friend thought they would go out and ride in Fishing Creek but were amazingly bright enough not to drive into that water which surely would have caused them harm.

    Many praises. So glad the contractor and plumber were honest and that God had all of those who needed to be there, right there.

  2. Thank God for silver linings! Beautiful!
    Enjoy re-decorating. Looking forward to seeing more :)