recent home tour intrigued us with its direct and appealing simplicity. In contrast to the oft-expected masculine abode, this one is low on the usual suspects — black leather, dark wood, door-sized electronics — yet it exudes an appealing and rugged sensibility we wouldn't mind appropriating for our own home. Some tips and resources for recreating the look in your space.
- Wooden pieces with simple lines: Farmhouse tables and nightstands with square lines made of solid wood. Old cabinetry devoid of flourishes and curves. imperfect finishes welcome and encouraged.
- Choose rustic (but not itchy) fabrics for upholstered pieces: Generously upholstered furniture in natural linen, devoid of details like piping and welting, is inviting and not fussy. And yes, your grandmother's camelback sofa can translate to your home: strip the wood (a mix of paint thinner and denatured alcohol gets the job done quickly) and swap its fussy florals for a natural colored linen, canvas or denim.
- Metal office furniture makes a good counterpart to soft furnishings: Industrial style chairs and stools (think medical office, classrooom, lab).
- Stay away from strong vibrant color: Soothing tones of brown, beige, grey and cream are the foundations for this look. Find washes of color in the faded blues or greens of painted and distressed furniture or in the subtle red or blue stripes often found in linens.
- Accessorize from nature: plants, terrariums, rocks, shells, skulls displayed in simple clay bowls add a tactile and intriguing touch
- Farmhouse tables: Big box stores like Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel and even Ikea carry boxy wood tables. They can also be found at flea markets and antique fairs. Look for simple lines without too much embellishment. Pounce on distressed or worn finishes. Or have one custom made. Pine furniture fabricators exist in many cities. In Los Angeles, we like Arbor Exchange for tables made of reclaimed wood from local resources and built to your specs.
- Metal furniture: Rehab Vintage and Grizzly Metal Furniture are two resources.
- Office task lighting: At the low end, try Ikea (the Forsa lamp resembles an expensive French lamp from the 40s); classics that are well worth the money include Jileide, La Lampe Gras. For antique resources, try Early Electrics.
- Mounted staghorn ferns: Buy them readymade at specialty garden stores and nurseries or mount your own.
- Linen couches: Basic couches can be found at all price points. Reupholster antique, Goodwill or flea market finds. Gray Line in New York is a good resource for linen and linen blend fabrics.
- Accessories: Check flea markets or try Red Chair Antiques for vintage linens, often from Belgium or France. For new linens, high end cookware stores like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma are good resources. Look for rough texture and red or blue stripes. Gold bug in Pasadena and Evolution in New York both carry a variety of natural curiousities.