Hello. Today we are continuing our look at the decorating plans for the first floor. So far we have gone through the plans for the entry and for the library. Today we move on to the sitting room/den. We call this room "The Circle Room". Right now it is my favorite room in the house and that is saying something! It's my go to room to sit and read if the opportunity presents itself during the day or to have a cocktail on Friday night with John.
The reason I call this room The Circle Room is because there are four chairs set in a circle around a coffee table. I have wanted a circle room for a very long time. I can vividly remember the first time I saw a room decorated with four chairs around a coffee table. I was fresh out of college looking through a home magazine and saw a picture that was taken in the sitting room of a beach house in Malibu. The four chairs were large, white and looked like you would sink into the cushions and enter heaven as soon as you sat down. The image was so inviting that I have never forgotten it.
This here house that I'm living in, with all of the work that needs to be done, has granted my wish for a circle room. When my older daughter and I walked through this house the very first time this possibility crossed my mind and when we decided that this is the house we would put an offer on this fact brought me some solace. I wasn't sure how John and the family would feel about the circle room idea at first, it was going to happen though! Thankfully, everyone seems to love it. It is both a great room for conversation and a great room for solitude.
We do not need to purchase any furniture pieces for this room. We conveniently have four identical chairs already (not that the chairs have to be identical in a circle room, ours just happen to be). These chairs were purchased over the span of four years. They were not purchased initially with the intention to be used all together (although once we amassed four the circle room idea has not left my mind). After we purchased the first white one for our Chevy Chase house we loved the size and comfort so much that we purchased the red one for our den in Baltimore, the leather one for our basement in Baltimore and the fourth chair (second white one) for our living room in Grosse Pointe.
The chest we have for this room was a gift from my dad to my mom for Christmas in 1971. For many years my dad purchased my mom an antique piece of furniture as her Christmas present. They always loved to antique together and as my family moved around while I was growing up and our homes' furniture needs expanded my parents looked to antiques to fill them.
My parents made a habit of keeping the purchase receipt/information for all of their "big purchase" antiques inside the piece. Here is the information stored in the drawer of this chest ever since 1971:
I have always loved this chest and my parents always said I could have it one day. It is bittersweet to have it now in my house because I would much rather it still be in theirs. I love seeing my dad's writing on the envelope and being able to honor the history of this piece though. The rest of my parent's "big antique purchases" have been split between my brother's homes, my home, and West Virginia.
For The Circle Room we also have a cowhide rug that I purchased at an antique show in Saline, Michigan years ago for our library in the fourth house, a bamboo cabinet that I purchased in Georgetown, D.C. for our Chevy Chase house, and a wicker coffee table that I purchased from Wayfair for our Holland house.
Here is the inspiration/mood board for The Circle Room:
source for room inspiration photo on board
I am going to have the three fabric chairs reupholstered in an ivory performance linen blend. I'm cringing at my hypocrisy as I type this after spouting the importance of having only white slip covers that can be washed and bleached for your furniture in my last post. This fabric claims to be tough as nails though so hopefully I do not eat my words (and I totally forgot about this fabric when I wrote the last post, oops). I was really tempted to use a boucle type performance fabric instead and John gave that a hard no. It looked so cozy to me, some battles are better left alone though. All of a sudden chairs in boucle fabric are very trendy though so perhaps it is for the best. The leather chair will stay as is - John's favorite chair. All four chairs will have a big down throw pillow covered in the Schumacher fabric. I am going to paint the walls Hale Navy. This pretty much seals the deal that I will not do too dark of a color in the library. Stay tuned on that one.
I want to layer the cow hide rug on top of a sisal or jute rug, similar to my plan in the library where I want to layer a vintage rug from my Nana on top of another rug (something like this). I was influenced by my mom at a young age to appreciate/love the look of layered rugs. I remember her showing me a photograph of a room that she wished our living room was like when I was young. The large room had several colorful, non matching rugs throughout it separating seating areas. The rugs were all on top of a large full room size neutral colored rug. Back then it was a plush wall to wall type carpet. The look has evolved to include all types of rugs and has gained a lot of popularity over the years. I continue to love it. The layering adds a welcoming depth and dimension to a room in my opinion. We had a sisal rug cut to fit our library in Grosse Pointe when we first moved in and when I added the cowhide on top years later it instantly elevated the room.
The display cabinet on the existing furniture board above is currently in the room behind one of the chairs. We will have to see how it feels in the room once the doors are centered and the doors to the library are added to know if the cabinet will stay in there. I do not want the room to feel too full.
Here are two inspiration photos of circle rooms that I have been holding on to for years:
Here is a photo I have also had for years of a layered hide rug:
Lastly, when I was looking through my old inspiration binders, I discovered this photo with almost the same display cabinet used that we have for our Circle Room. Isn't it well styled?!
To finish our discussion on the decor plan, here is the floor plan with the proposed furniture layout. Currently the leather chair is next to the chest and I want to move it when the room is done because I do not love the color of the leather next to the finish on the chest. Other than that, I plan to keep the furniture placement the same as it is right now.
It is now time to close the circle (room). Next time we will talk about plans for the family room/great room. See you then!
Thank you for being here today,