Sunday, August 17, 2014


Summertime is the perfect season to go on a picnic.  Last weekend I went to a concert in the park with my husband and a friend.  We did not have our own checker print picnic blanket, but I did see them laid out around the Pritzker Pavillion lawn.  So I thought I would do a series of collections inspired by the all American check pattern.

When I think of checks I think of the Ralph Lauren look.  I think of horses racing fast at the race tracks.  I think of confidence and stability.  I think of a cozy space with a good reading chair.  I think of a place for in-depth conversation, and where the men retreat to for after-dinner drinks.  I see an old set of encyclopedia, and a collection of books collected through the years.


It only makes sense then that I design a home library.  Ironically, my first selection wasn't a checker print- weird, right?  I wanted to start with the largest piece of furniture in the room, which would be the bookcase.  To keep the room from feeling too traditional I decided on a mid-century style bookcase.  The warm wood tones really welcome you into the space, and the slender profile is not over bearing in a small room.  I also like that it has open and closed storage so you can highlight your favorite books and collectibles.  Next I looked for an area rug for the reading nook to feel cozy on your feet.  I found this traditional oriental rug from... you guessed it- Ralph Lauren Home. The blues and reds have the Americana appeal, plus it pulls in the warm tones of the bookcase.

After the rug, I also found the perfect artwork to be featured on the wall.  I'm by no means an animal lover, but this horse print has an essence of strength, independence, and ambition which I'm really attracted to.  The black and white is also classic.  Finally it was time for my checker print.  Initially I was planning to feature that in my drapery, but instead decided to upholster a chair in it.  I think it's the perfect dose of checks that keep the room feeling more contemporary.  And of course the room needed a handsome leather chair- it just feels right!  I chose a solid copper pillow to break up some of the pattern, and used a blue pillow to tie into the leather chair.  I also brought in a round ottoman to repeat the circle stitched in the pillow and the medallions in the rug.  Now we have repetition of the wood tones and the color blue, as well as circles, to bring this collection together.  I added an industrial floor lamp, and simple linen draperies to finish off the room.  The linen draperies repeat the ottoman fabric, and also brighten up the space.

I really love how this 'missmatch' library came together.  Can you cozy up with your favorite book in this Handsome Checker Collection?


Shirts - Ralph Lauren
Bookcase -  West Elm
Horse print - Pottery Barn
Checker chair - Ethan Allen
Leather chair - Ethan Allen
Copper pillow - Crate&Barrel
Blue pillow - Target
Round ottoman - All Modern
Floor lamp - West Elm

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