What Would You Change?

It’s New Years Day, 2015. So I figure this is a good time to change a few things around here. Freshen up, clean out, add and subtract and shuffle around a few things in our home; this is the best part about home ownership. If I want to paint my room with pastel polka dots…I can. Not that I would, but this person from Home Design Inspirations did and look how cute!

Home Design Inspirations Polka Dot RoomOne of the fun parts of design blogging is that readers will often reach out for decorating ideas or DIY dilemma solutions because they know I might be able to help or offer suggestions. Oftentimes on my Facebook Country Design Home page, bloggers and companies will post a pic of some room or decor with a caption that reads: “if you could change something”, or “do you like this”, “are these lamps too big” or something along those lines. Sometimes I respond, sometimes I share them and check out what other people have to say about a particular style or space. I know what I like, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world shares my country style and design aesthetic. Typically, a few people might respond and share the pic and we all move on. So, the other day, when I spotted this photo from Architectural Digest that came across my feed from Lamps Plus with the caption: “The first thing you would change in this living room is___________________”, I decided to share it on my Facebook page.

Peter Marino Living Room Fireplace ViewWhy? 1. because I thought it was very eclectic & interesting and 2. there were many parts of it that I personally didn’t care for, but a lot that I really liked, but I was curious what other people thought. Well, imagine my surprise when it reached well over 1000 views and garnered loads of comments!! Most of the comments were fairly negative (I did ask people to play nice : ) but many offered some constructive criticism such as painting the walls, removing the green couches, paint the fireplace mantel (I think that’s marble, so a no-go there), taking the box of Evian water off the modern coffee table…which they also did not like.  So I searched online for the origins of the room, which I traced back to internationally acclaimed Architect Peter Marino,  whose work was in the home of Muffy and Xavier Flouret in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and featured in Architectural Digest. According to the article, Muffy’s instructions were: “Let’s do it stylish, original, fun.” Which is exactly what the homeowners got: it’s fun, eclectic and every item in this room is an absolute conversation starter! On the AD website, I  discovered additional photographs of the same room, and this one in particular with a full view of the entire space.

Peter Marino Living Room AD 2012To me, the one piece that anchors the room is the large painting on the far wall that clearly inspired the color palette in the furnishings, wall color and accessories. So I posted the new pic, which again created another firestorm of activity; all told, between the two pics, we are presently at 2300+ views and 90 comments!  Now, everyone knows that I am a huge fan of color…the more the better…and even here I think it could work. But its the clashing patterns everywhere that are throwing me off. I re-imagined that if this were my room, (if I were so fortunate to have an apartment on the Upper East Side…) I’d keep the green and orange sofas ( I love those!), remove the brocade wallpaper and repaint the walls a creamy gold. Also replace the plaid drapes with a soft drapey silk, keeping the coffee table but recovering the top to remove the primary color splashes and change the artwork on the fireplace wall to more proportional pieces that don’t compete so much with the brown marble swirls. And that all made sense to me, which again is just my personal opinion. But THEN, I discovered the third photo, from the opposite vantage point of the fireplace. With the cool gigantic black & white cow painting by Donald Baechler. 

Peter Marino Design AD 2012 Living RoomAnd now I am at a crossroads about the space, so I am curious as to what you all think? Love the couches? Or not? Love the big fruit painting? The coffee table? The artwork? Why or why not? And how about that cow? Did the designer accomplish his goals for the homeowner: “stylish, original, fun” ? Remember to play nice and offer good advice: this is an exercise in constructive design choices : ) Hope your 2015 is off to a fun and stylish year!! Susan


  1. chris aka monkey says:

    i am all for color and fun but i find this a little too much take out the orange armchairs and replace with small wood end table, repaint the coffee table just one of the colors, and redo the artwork on the fireplace wall to tone the fire place down, i love the cow but why does it have to have the color blocks?, and i also love the giant veggie pic but i would remove the seating and maybe just put a small wood console table there, i am sure this room would as is would make me jumpy and uncomfortable xx


    • countrydesignhome says:

      lol Chris- why does that cow need those color blocks?? I love so many parts of this room, but all together I just am not feeling it. But it would be a great party room with all kinds of conversation starters!


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