Modern Eclectica Etcetera

I remember the first time I experienced that holy trinity of salads: the pear, the gorgonzola and the toasted walnuts. When it arrived in front of me, I thought, toasted nuts in my salad? Then I tasted the tangy gorgonzola dance with the juicy pear on my palette, and it tasted to me like I imagine a tango might…if a tango could be tasted. I then realized that all is not what it seems; I felt betrayed by my mother’s contention that iceberg lettuce and vinaigrette a salad makes. From that point on, one is not meant to dump a bag of salad in a bowl and drown it in store bought dressing. The same goes when making a home. Even if one has the means, one is not meant to open the Pottery Barn catalogue and waive one’s Amex card over a two-page living room layout as if to say, “Make it happen.” Know this: unless you hire the stylist and set designer from PB, your house will never, I repeat, never, look the same as the pretend Pottery Barn house.

Process your disappointment; it’s not all bad news.

Think of the best homes you’ve been in. What’s so great about them? In my opinion, the best homes are ones that are filled with love and stories. People also relate to things, times and places. So, where do stories get told in your house? I like to cook, so in my house many stories are shared around the dining table. Lets start there.

Follow along as I take you through a dream house scenario. Currently, I have a symmetrically matched set up for dining room seating. I’ve got two benches, and two upholstered chairs on the ends, comfortably seating eight for dinner, ten in a pinch, and twelve if we really like each other. Now, in my ideal dining room, I will mix and match some iconic mid-century chairs, probably the Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair with Dowel Legs and the Verner Panton chair. I’ll take several of each. (Who am I kidding? I need ten chairs total. If I’m going to throw down in the kitchen, I’m going to do it for at least ten people). Realistically, I’d have an easier time talking my significant other into purchasing plane tickets to Hawaii than I would getting a wholehearted green light on ten mid-century Design Within Reach chairs at once. This will leave me purchasing them on the DL, meaning one or two at a time, max. This is a long way around to saying that, even in my dream house scenario, I’m going to be looking at mismatched chairs for some time. The first two will be easy; I’ll just replace the two upholstered end chairs. The next one I can probably use as a desk chair until the time is right. The following two I can probably slip into the living room, or off to the side as extra occasional seating. Stay tuned as I finagle the great chair switcheroo…

In the meantime, check out some mismatched dining rooms and imagine your family and friends making new stories.

Featuring a royal blue wood dining table, a mix of persimmon colored metal chairs and walnut dining chairs, a houndstooth rug and plenty of yellow and gold accessories, this space is sure to win you the eclectic eatery award of the year!


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