disco dining room + hot pink
I say it about every room in my house, but I really mean it for the disco dining room: this is my very favorite room in the house. And it's coolness is entirely due to Kathryn Whitman, my architect/design co-hort/friend. I would have absolutely ruined this room with my crazy ideas and bizarro objects I wanted to pack in here. As always, Kathryn helped me minimize the clutter to maximize the impact. She's a better designer than I am, but I like to believe that I challenge her too, if only by exasperating her with wanting to paint everything hot pink or suggesting a wall of silver faux antlers and taxidermy. Oh, and "definitely needing" an enormous photograph of a pink flamingo. Perfect for a farmhouse, right?
But I think the compromise (or middle ground) is amazing and perfect. And I got the glam I wanted with the Tom Dixon light, aptly named Mirror Ball. I was originally going to re-hang a Nelson light that I packed away in my garage after moving from Maine, but a squirrel used it as a squat over the winter and stained it with leftover nut chips. So I tossed it. But it all worked out, because look at this amazing light I got instead.
Then we came up with the idea to do a wall installation of vintage photographs. My original idea for a theme was "hunters and brides." Don't ask. Anyhow, Kathryn saved me again and came up with "funny human tricks." So I set to work scouring the interwebs for vintage snapshots of people dancing with goats, human pyramids, neighborhood snake charmers, home contortionists and any variation of backyard circus tricks. The installation is a great conversation starter for anyone awkwardly not knowing what to talk about (usually myself). I just say, "check out this grandpa in a weird superhero costume that his wife made for him to do his side project of juggling weiner dogs." That usually breaks the ice.
At some point it became clear that the room was going to be all about white – with pops of hot pink. Because hot pink makes me happy. So I was on the lookout for hot pink objects. I landed on these: 1. The hot pink Bertoia chair from Cast and Crew, an etsy shop that powder-coats and restores midcentury wire furniture. Then I screen-printed the hot pink geometric pattern for the seat pad. 2. I traded the hot pink painting of positive/negative trees (and mutant bunnies?) with my uber-talented friend Zoe Bissell of Formed+Found for a table I no longer used. 3. I made a stack of pillows from my screen prints, which of course have hot pink in them.
As for the rest of the room, the motto was "paint it white." Thus, everything was painted white. And I thought it would feel sterile and not exciting enough for my drama-seeking soul. But I was wrong. Because the room is full of drama, but not in a way that will land me in jail or on Jerry Springer for spray-painting "hope he was worth it" on the stripper's car that my boyfriend's cousin I'm having an affair with is cheating on me with. It's more like the drama of subtle textures that are more pronounced with a monochrome backdrop. Yep, that's how I get my thrills these days.
Then I decided to go with chrome Bertoia chairs for more bling. But let's be real, midcentury wire chairs look great but sitting in them is torturous. I would tell the enemy every secret code and sleeper cell just to get out of one of those chairs. And the pads they come with are so...boring. I couldn't resist covering them. I chose more of my geometric screen-prints on black and white nubby linen. It also gave me the idea to start a line of screen printed covers for mid-century wire furniture, like Knoll's Diamond chair or Woodard's Sculptura chair or Baxton Studio's Avery chair...the list goes on. Because with all things retro that were once cutting edge, times have changed and designs have evolved. I want to be part of that evolution, bringing another idea into the mix and hopefully inspiring more ideas to follow. And of course those ideas should always include hot pink.