I Am So Mad At This Chair

Look at this thing. I get mad every time I see it. In fact, I’m mad right now.

practically perfect except for one thing

I’m still on my quest for British Colonial ish decor. To me, that means elements of BC style but livable and attractive in the contemporary world. I’m not looking to recreate the Bombay Officers Club right down to the last authentic detail but I want to include the elements that make a style BC – light colors, traditional British furniture done in tropical materials, sheer curtains, natural fiber rugs, indoor palm trees, and locally inspired accessories. Basically, the British transported their furnishings and appurtenances and then adapted to the heat and the availability of local material supply.

So in the family room, I do have a thing the BCs never even dreamed about – a  cushy sectional sofa. Because I’m not entirely stupid and I want to be comfortable. But I wanted to add a rattan chair to the seating area to lighten things up and bring back the BC. This chair hits all the marks: it’s rattan, has caning, is the right neutral color,  is a minimalist modern interpretation of a traditional British wing-backed arm chair. And it’s very reasonably priced, as these things go , with free shipping from an on-line merchant. It’s practically perfect except for one thing: the seat is only 16″ high. Doesn’t that make you mad?

I could never sit in it myself because I’d need two strong men plus a crane to get me out of it. I could live with that because I only want to gaze upon it anyway and you can’t enjoy the view if you’re the one sitting in it. But I’m not so cruel as to make my guests even the ones with good knees struggle to get out of it. That would bring down any kind of pleasant evening and might possibly be the only thing they’d remember when the visit was over. So, I had to let it go. I got a very nice rattan arm chair from Pier One and it serves my purposes very well. But, still every time I look at this picture, I get mad all over again that some design dope somewhere out there couldn’t make those legs 2″ taller.

I’m also mad at a table. Although, truthfully in this case I’m mad at myself for buying the wrong thing. I wanted a small round table to put in a corner so we can play cards of just sit and have a cup of coffee together in the evening, (Reality intrudes: it’s very unlikely that we will ever be playing cards there and any evening coffee is going to consumed by Sami alone and it will be the McDonald’s senior citizen special for 38¢) so found a round pedestal table made of solid wood and stained the right shade of dark brown. I dithered for a while trying to decide on the 30″ version or the 36″ version. i finally pulled the trigger on the 36″ and it turned out to be just a tiny bit too big for the space. [Note to self: stick with your original plans.]

le sigh
le sigh

I did not look forward to any husbands around here backing those chairs into the buffet or scraping them against the walls while trying to squeeze into a seat. So after trying to live with my mistake for 2 full days, I knew I had to make a change. Disassembling it, repacking it and paying for insured return shipping and a restocking fee was not practical so I sold it. The ad was online for about 36 hours before someone offered me my full asking price and then took it away within another 30 minutes. My asking prices was what I paid minus what it would have cost me to return the item, so it was a bargain for them and a relief for me. I ordered the same table in the 30″ version and it arrives here tomorrow.

This is what has been keeping me busy.

Where The Wild Things Are

It’s a jungle in here!

Zebra seat covers in progress; Giraffe afghan; Animal skins needlepoint

One of my long-time blog buddies let me know that she too had plans for a  British Colonial decorating scheme “but over time, it became more like “world fusion”. I can totally see how that happens. Look at this one room: I started out with a BC  design vision that was already a mishmosh of What If the West Indies and the British Raj Had A Baby  and now I’m  drifting over onto the African plains. I don’t care though – those zebra seat covers and a giraffe throw. How could I not?

Also, look at that ivory colored faux bamboo mirror back there. I think I need to get out my can of Metallic Gold spray paint. What do you think?

Isn’t It Charming How Stedman Manages To Photobomb All Of My Pictures?

Is this picture hanging too low? I can’t tell because I’m not used to these 10 foot high ceilings. Everything looks low to me.

Disclaimer: that extension cord goes over to the snowflake tree and it is going to stay that way the whole holiday season because I am not going to get down on my hands and knees to plug/unplug it every day. Okay, maybe I could do a better job of tidying it up.


It’s an unfinished work. I should probably finish putting stuff onto the buffet before I make 6 more nail holes in the wall trying to adjust the picture. Needs some greenery – possibly a white orchid – and some more shiny things. Not a big fan of seashells and sand in a jar -something mercury glass, perhaps. Maybe a different tray. Or perhaps the giant golden fruit from Pier One that I really love and Sami really hates.

I have a tendency towards cluttering things up that I have to constantly fight down so I’m hoping to strike the right balance between stunning accessories and visible surface space.  I doubt I’ll ever use this buffet for its intended purpose of holding functional serving dishes so whatever I put there is going to be more or less a permanent installation. Permanent meaning until I change my mind.

No One Understands My Design Vision Except Liberace

My family was definitely not on board with this concept when I tried to convince them that this would be so good. But dang ! – look at it:

Stedman seems to be fully aligned with my design vision. Either that or he’s plotting when to take a bite out of it.

This was my big chance. I’m here alone for a few more day and by the time Sami gets here on the 21st, I’ll have the traditional tree set up so he can’t kvetch about this one too much. In the mean time, I’m enjoying the heck out of this. I always wanted to have a white Christmas tree I just didn’t know that it would manifest itself with $5 worth of plastic snowflakes from the Dollar Tree.

British Colonial ish Coffee Table


I admit that my concept of authentic  British Colonial decor for my new Florida home exists mostly in my head. I know exactly what I want and yet, I am distracted by every shiny gewgaw that comes along. This for instance …

Silver Finish Faux Crocodile Leather Waste Basket. “Dispose of your debris in style!”

… which I am getting to put in my home office. It’s less strictly British Colonial and more Souvenir of Liberace’s Safari Vacation. But I don’t care because I love it and after a lifetime of plastic waste baskets, I believe that I deserve to dispose of my debris in style. Still, this is how I get off track from the pure design that I have envisioned.

On the other hand, sometimes things work out. Such as this, my first Craigslist score in Florida:

Coffee Table – 42″long, 31″wide and 21″high


It was advertised as simply “Coffee Table – $80”  but its got all of the hallmarks of British Colonial:

  • very dark wood
  • Campaign-style X leg base
  • turned wood design
  • caning
  • removable butler trays

It’s not exactly the ideal. The legs for instance are a bit delicate – true BC furniture has much stockier turnings – but this is close enough. It needs a bit of touch up stain and possibly some glass inserts for the trays but all in all, I’m quite pleased with this. I’m in NJ at the moment still recovering from an epic Thanksgiving meal so I sent my bargaining expert  brother-in-law for this with the instructions of “Don’t try to bargain and risk losing this. Just pay the full ask and get it.” He paid 25% less than the asking price for it.

Pretty good. I’ll pick it up from him next week when I get back to FL and then build my whole family room around it*.

*notes: I already have a furry leopard throw for the sofa** and at least 3 animal skin pattern needlepoint kits waiting to be made into cushions. Souvenirs of Liberace’s Bargain Shopping Addiction

** I don’t have a sofa yet.