Sunday, July 6, 2014

chicago to NEW YORK

 Last week I had the chance to be a tourist in my own city.  My mom came to visit from California before we all flew to New York for my brother's graduation.  I made it, literally at the last minute, for The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise.  The cruise was about 90 min, and took us up and down the Chicago River.  I actually went on this tour several years ago when I was visiting for a best friend's wedding, but it felt different this time touring it as my own city.

Second time around, I was really mesmerized by the bridges and the view of buildings from the bottom up.  Many bridges were raised up for boats to pass through.  This happens every season, but it still a sight to see!  I love the industrial look of these bridges, and there is a unique beauty to them.  They are strong and confident, yet modest blending into our busy lives each day.



I've been downtown many times and walk among the tall sky scrapers, but I've never had the chance to admire them.  Sitting on the boat in the river, I had a chance to look at them with a new perspective.  There is a lot of beauty in lines and geometry in a tall building that I don't think the average person sees. Here are some perspectives that caught my eye.

In New York I visited the Susan B. Anthony House and the George Eastman House.  The Eastman House was a great place to photograph.  Mr. Eastman completed his house in 1905 in the Colonial Revival style.  Beautiful columns, gilding, and furniture continue to adorn the home today.



I know I went a bit picture crazy, but I couldn't help it.  So, now let's get down to business! I've created a dining room that mixes downtown Chicago with upstate New York.  I love the tall, glass buildings and metal structures of Chicago- it's like a tall glass of water.  And I love the traditional moldings and stately shapes of upstate New York- they just take you to another world back when...See my comparison below~


The elephant hanging at the Eastman House is hard to miss- so that was the inspiration for this dining room.  First I found a 1900s style elephant with an umbrella, but it just wasn't working.  Once I changed elephant patterns, it all came together.  This elephant fabric by Spoonflower is a mix, in and of itself, which I love.  The oval staircase inspired my dining table selection by Barbara Barry for Baker.  I decided to use modern chrome -framed chairs to mix it up a bit.  They balance the substantial design of the dining table.  The red cushion on the Bertoia side chair and the teal fabric on the Pony side chair also pull the colors from the inspiration fabric.  Next I found this great pendant over the dining table. It's transitional style and colors works great in this space.  I wanted to mix metals in this space as well, so then I found this gold branch sconce by Circa Lighting.  It reminds of me of iron grills and greenery through the Eastman House.  Next I chose some drink ware by CB2, because they remind me of the tall skyscrapers downtown.  I love the circle pattern in the ceiling molding at the Eastman House, and this mirrored buffet is such a perfect tribute to it, and it's bring a bit more glamour into the space.  Curves are the real leading lady in this design from the glassware to the buffet, and from the pendant to the dining table.

These items may seem a bit 'missmatch,' but they work together through repetition of shape, color, wood tone, and metal finishes.  So, please, come dine with me in my Downtown Meets Upstate Collection!



Photography of Chicago and New York (by me)

Downtown Meets Upstate Collection:

(First line, left to right)
- Elephant fabric - Spoonflower
- Pendant - Euro Style Lighting
- Sconce - Circa Lighting
- Beer glass - CB2
- Champagne flute - CB2

(Second line, left to right)
- Chair - Knoll
- Dining table - Cabana Home
- Chair - CB2
- Buffet - Ethan Allen


  1. I really appreciate the playfulness of this combination.

    1. Thanks- I think the pillow print is so fun!


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