my own personal battle of traditional vs modern

I’m feeling a little bit bothered about the lack of traditional furniture in my home.  I’m craving softness, curves, tailored perfection and a bit of flash.  What I really want is a carved french sofa.

French sofas.  Sigh.  Just thinking about them makes me feel happy and romantic.  Refined and delightful even.

via nuevo estilo

They are traditional, but not fussy. I love that they are classic, with just the right amount of ornate detailing.  Yet they still come across as clean and simple.
suzanne kasler’s showroom for Hickory chair

And despite their differences, they are the perfect compliment to modern furniture (and art.)
I’ve always been inspired Rashida Jones’ apartment.  She mixed a french sofa with black panton chairs (similar to my tulip chairs) and gorgeous, colorful rug
  via Domino
I’ve often wondered if I could incorporate a french sofa into my mix.  Much to my dismay, my place had been overtaken by midcentury furniture.  I’m hoping to regain balance somehow.

Lets review my current furniture situation….

Eames-Syle lounge chair and ottoman, from the side of the road
2 BRNO chairs in this lovely blue upholstery, Ebay
4 knoll saarinen tulip chairs, sans cushions for now, Craigslist

Framed, 60′s era silk scarf by Victor Vasarely, from Nana
for more info on my scarf art, check out this post 

arc lamp, from Structube in Montreal
… first of all… ACK!  how did this happen?  I used to have traditional taste!  I liked ornate and curvy and carved and substantial!  How did my house get so modern?  
How can I tone down the mod and add a few pretty curves?
Can I introduce this gal…
natural linen settee, wistera
Or does it just not make sense any more?
I think the solution is to pare down and separate.

1-I think we are going to sell the arc lamp.  It just doesn’t work in our space.  

2-And perhaps separate the Eames(ish) lounge chair from the BRNO’s??
What I’d really like to do is sell my stupid not-so-comfortable-sofa and get myself this little lady.
Shelter Arm Slipcovered sofa, Restoration Hardware


It’s a cozy dream, I love the skirted base and finally the dogs could be allowed back on the sofa. (thank you slipcovers!)

Could Shelter Arm and Linen settee work together?
And what if I mixed in the BRNO’s covered in worn brown leather like this.
leathahhh
Let’s ignore the fact that what I have proposed would set me back thousands of dollars and involve discarding a perfectly good 6 month old sofa.  What do we think?  Is it a good marriage of modern and traditional?
Or should I just be content with what I’ve got?

of course I treated myself to a few extra goodies… this is my day dream after all…


sorry for the long post!  I’m just feeling stuck in my current furnishings situation.
  1. I know how you feel — it’s so hard to get rid of perfectly good furniture. And such a hassle, too.

    I think a new sofa is in order. I know, it will be $$$, but the one you have is so modern. I like the Shelter — it’s versatile.

    Also, I’m not a fan of the eames lounge (I just think they aren’t all that good looking). Sell it and make some cash for the sofa!

    I like the arc lamp, but you know your space better than I do.

    Can you repurpose old thrifted leather jackets for the Brno chairs? Uh, now that I said that, I have all kinds of ideas about what to do in my own space… hmmmm.

    Anyhow, that’s my two cents.

  2. I agree with you, Erin, the Eames is a bit ugly, but it’s SO comfortable!! Then again, maybe if my sofa was comfortable, I wouldn’t need the chair so much. BOO… I wish I could rewind to April and buy a different sofa.

  3. baby. I live this daily. except I’m all traditional and need modern.

    love the french sofa idea. you have a great eye for finds – maybe you’ll luck up on one at a deal.

    good room board you’ve put together. that rug is yummy and the side tables? yeah baby.

    keep us posted. we are all out here with ya’…

  4. Its an amazing marriage! Geez that moodboard is good…and LOVE Rashida’s apartment so much!

  5. nkp

    Naomi, don’t give up just yet! I think you could make the french settee work. Remember how we talked about putting a settee in the niche between your bookcases in the dining area? What about that with a farm table and the tulip chairs. I see these settees on craigslist all the time for next to nothing. Also, I think an ethnic rug would be a huge help in getting over your modern slump. And yes, lighting with more classic, less modern lines might be just the ticket. Is there somewhere else in the house where your current sofa would work? If not, I suggest small changes in lighting and textiles before making a big splurge.

  6. I have those same feelings every once in awhile too…I DO have a french provincial sofa…and since i already bought my sectional it just doesnt fit . I SWEAR , one day I hope to use it…but for now, its put away in my garage with a LARGE plastic cover…
    I cant say i like the Eames…not my thing.

    :( Till we meet again french provincial……

    http://www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

  7. How about a curvy thrift store armchair or settee to start out with?

  8. i love what you have goining on in your house, but if you want to be more eclectic, i guess that’s not what it is currently.
    i went through this when i bought my dining room table, because i though i wanted modern and then i hated it. so i bought a more traditional piece and love it. we are all crazy and have multiple personalities-i guess!

  9. Ashley

    I’m bummed to hear your Mitchell Gold sofa sucks comfort-wise. Ours is great! But anyway, I have gone back and forth several times on pieces that push any of my rooms over the edge toward “too modern”. As a result, I’m constantly reevaluating what I have and selling things to get me closer to what just feels “right”. I think what you’re showing is that decor should be fluid and dynamic according to your tastes…thought I was the only one who felt like this!

  10. I just came across your blog and I have to say I love it. I also saw that lamp you have on your site on Pieces and fell in love with it. I also love to mix modern and traditional. I am working on it. I will start following you.

  11. Brittany Simmons

    I have been dreaming about a french sofa or settee since I can remember, and I think it is a great marriage between that ornate traditional and simple modern. I also love the wood painted and upholstered with a bright bold fabric.

  12. i would love any of these sofas! they are gorgeous and timeless! your mood board looks great xoox

  13. M-H

    Hi! I just found your blog while looking for comments regarding the Martin sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. We are seriously considering making the purchase, and I was wondering what makes you find it uncomfortable? Is it too hard/soft, is the seat too deep/narrow?

    Thank you so much for your comments!

  14. Hi M-H,

    It’s a fine sofa I just don’t think it’s very cushy and the back is very low so not as easy to sink into and cuddle up. I actually replaced my back cushions with down inserts and the helps out. Ultimately I do not think low sofas are great for TV watching.

  15. M-H

    Thank you so much for your comments, Naomi! I have to say, though, that MGBW sofas are amongst the most comfortable we’ve tried in our search.

Leave a Comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>