30 June 2011

Nixon in China and TLC

My second project in Amsterdam. (The first one is progressing very nicely - next update will show you how the foam board model is coming to life...)

Step into sitting room of project 2 and the two strategically placed chairs could make you think of Nixon in China, back in 1972. Spittoon and antimacassar are missing, but Mao Zedong is surely not far away. This north facing room is not a jolly affair and none of this not-so-Chinese family use it. The lady of the house prefers receiving friends in the kitchen over their own Great Hall.

Enter the large family room at the back, and even though you wouldn't think of China, it could do with a bit of TLC. I know this is London estate agent speak, but wouldn't you agree?

Predominant colour: brown. A stern bookcase. Old newspapers piling up next to the sofa (I am not implying that the house isn't well-kept. Wouldn't dream of such improper statements on my dear clients...). 
The teenage sons use the room to watch television, fight, eat sandwiches and drink milk (yes, this is Holland). The family dines here as well.

Clients want to rearrange the furniture, give the place a general update and improve the lighting. They also want to use the front room more. The couple is quite different in style and taste. He thinks the place is too packed, she thinks it is a bit empty. He likes clean lines, though not excessively modern, she comes with family knick knacks. 

Based on most of the furniture staying, this has to be a careful update, tying together the old and the new, brightening the place up without repainting everything, improving the flow and lighting.

I propose the feel of a lobby of an old Italian family hotel, cozy, but spacious, a family history with beautiful colours and some contemporary light fixtures (think Artemide Tolomeo) next to more traditional lampshades.

The dining table goes to the under-used front room. Negotiations are on-going (no, not in the Great Hall of the People) on the chairs. I propose Dutch Orignals, Gispen 101, the chrome will add a lightness to an otherwise sombre room. The family room will have two separate seating areas. I propose two big rugs one monochrome, and one with a pattern. Rugs are great for a cozy feel, whilst at the same time keeping a place spacious. Part of two walls will painted. 

The hundred flowers campaign will start in a few weeks time. Progress will be charted here.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Pat was there as well in 1972.

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