Reader Question: John’s Blank Slate Part 2

Two weeks ago we shared the first part of our answer to reader John’s question: how to furnish and decorate his blank slate condo.  John was unsure of where to begin, but knew that he likes mid century furnishings, and a cool and collected but definitively adult eclectic look (see pictures of John’s place plus his inspiration images here).  We picked out the big furnishings, and our task this week is to add in all the pretties that make a space feel special.  As a reminder, this is the layout we came up with for John’s space:

Red House West || Reader Question

Poring over John’s Pinterest images, we noticed that he is drawn to warm colors, vintage rugs, and rooms that look like they would feel good, rather than being overly decorated. Because we didn’t talk about a color palette with John, we wanted to give him two options.  This first is the brighter of the two, with hints of orange and red from the rug, plus mint, navy, camel, and gray.

Option two is a bit more muted, and feels to us to be maybe a bit more fancy.  On part 1 of this post a commenter mentioned that Butterfly chairs aren’t comfortable, so we wanted to give John another option. The leather chair in this mood board doesn’t look like the height of comfort either, but it’s visually airy and sculptural, and we think it would suit John’s space.  (There’s no coffee table in this board, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still think John should have one).
Reader Question Living Room 3

Rug || Gray Chairs || Leather Chair || Couch || Light Pillows || Tasseled Pillow || Kilim Pillow || Blanket || Floor Lamp || Side Table
In the first post we recommended that John buy a slim console table (we like the clean lines of this one) to go behind the sofa.  We don’t have dimensions for John’s home, but assuming it would all fit, we still think he should do that.  It makes looking at the back of a sofa much more pleasant, and would be a great spot for a table lamp, a few books and artful objects, and a plant.

Many of John’s Pinterest images featured gallery walls, and we think the space over his two end-to-end Ikea cabinets would be a great place for one!  Here’s the inspiration photo we shared with him in the last post:

Red House West || Reader QuestionChoosing art for someone is a tricky proposition but we came up with some options we love, and that seem like a good fit for his style:


Clockwise from top left 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

That Joan of Arc poster is from Anna Dorfman’s shop on Society 6 (nobody does self indulgence like Morrissey), and all the rest are from Etsy.  Isabella di Sclafani’s quirky portraits have been mentioned on this blog before (we both have her work in our houses); she has a ton of great options, but we’re especially fond of that blue-shirted dame in the lower right corner.

We also gave some thought to John’s dining room.  His inspiration photos feature a lot of mis-matched chairs, like this:


We think this could be a great way to bring some vintage items into his space and, since he lives in the Craigslist mecca of southern California, we recommend he do some looking there.  Since it’s pretty much our dream come true to be actually in need of chairs – rather than being in a position of having to part with a surplus – we did some vicarious shopping:

Red House West || Reader Question

1, 2, 3, 4

That rope chair on the left is a beauty, isn’t it?

So there you have it!  John’s slate is blank no more!  Thanks for reading along, and definitely send your questions our way (just use the ‘contact us’ link at the top of the page).  Have a great week!

5 responses on “Reader Question: John’s Blank Slate Part 2

  1. Alienor

    I love the chairs, prefer the second option and wonder if John has anything personal he could have framed for the gallery wall? Even if he gets some great art on-line he will enjoy his own stuff made up to look grown-up. You can frame ANYTHING; it is astounding what a framer can do with knick-nacks, even.

    Any news on the design sponge gig?

    1. Katie

      Yes – he should definitely include his own art! We just wanted to throw in a few ideas that might appeal to him too. As for the DS gig, I just heard back and I didn’t get it. Ah well; onward! Thanks Alienor!

  2. John (this charming man)

    You two nailed it again! I’m currently seeking out pieces and have already done some rearranging. Super excited to make this happen and get back to you with the finished product.

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