Thursday, August 25th, 2011
A common challenge for me is dreaming up the perfect piece (for an interior or my wardrobe), sometimes based on a sketchy memory of having seen something like it somewhere once upon a time, sometimes just completely invented. Then I have to try to find it out in the real world. I can drive myself bonkers with this search because of course now I know EXACTLY what I want and I don’t want to settle for less.
Recent case in point: I want an etagere (basically this is a bookcase with no side or back panels, often they taper towards the top) for an otherwise wasted odd corner of a room. I see the ideal version with sides that curve on each tier, and I want it brightly colored. I can draw a quick sketch to show someone, but finding an example image is much more effective. The open shelves on an etagere are great for decorative displays of stacks of books, small boxes and little decorative items.
So I scrolled through my digital image library (I don’t have time to go through my stacks and stacks of magazines and piles of hard copies of design images) and managed to find one example! Yeah!
See it in the back left corner? The open shelf on the right side is an etagere too, but I don’t want that gold leaf finish and rectangular shape.
I was soo excited to find it along with sources for the items… but wait, it’s for SIMILAR items.
Here is the Tall Curvee Shelf from House Eclectic that they recommend as a similar item. It is only available in black or white, but even more of an issue is the fact that it’s only 38″ high. Grrr.
Another option would be this Lia shelf by Oly Studio . It’s close, but doesn’t come in any bright colors. But I could make the white version work.
Here’s an example in a good height (67.75″) with a tapered shape, but no curves. I could live with this, and the antique red or black options are nice. But I want deep orange or kelly green. I want to be playful. This is a little too traditional in this shade of red for the room I have in mind. It could skew Asian influence or cottage in other settings, which is great.
Available in only black iron, this has a bit more whimsy with the top detail, but the black iron doesn’t feel right for my space.
This limited edition piece by Jonathan Adler has the fun punch of color and the mod styling is great. But the price is high for a piece that’s not supposed to be the star of the room, but the funny supporting character.
So, I’m still on the hunt. I’m sure I’ll find something that will work, but will it be the piece in my vision? Maybe not. But will anyone else really know how it differs from that vision? No. Will it still be fabulous? Absolutely.
Of course, if it was an important piece in the room that I didn’t feel like compromising on, I can simply design the piece in my head and have one of my custom furniture guys make the perfect piece for me with the curves, dimensions and color just right for my project. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get the right piece that makes the whole room come to life.
And that’s the reality of what I do. It’s the vision I have for that great piece that’s going to take the room to the next level that the client would never have come up with on their own, and the ability to track down items that will bring that vision to life.
But I’m still searching for that short sleeve wrap dress I saw in a dream the other night…. =)
Photo source: Inspiration room by Catherine Brophy for Real Simple, October 2010.