Decorating with the Jacksons

And I’m not talkin’ 20-dollar bills (although that would help).

As usual, I have been dreaming up potential living spaces more than ever. This kind of activity has only been increased by constant stalking of real estate listings, looking for the perfect bargain (sometime late summer, maybe?) My problem is that I’m phenomenally indecisive and can picture myself in many different kinds of places, decorated in many different styles. Kind of decor-induced multiple personality disorder, perhaps?

Now, since this kind of thing is my hobby, it’s a wonderful problem to have. However, at one point I entertained the idea, “What if I really didn’t like decorating? How do people who hate thinking about this kind of thing cope?” I remembered seeing pieces and sets of furniture entitled “Jackson” at all kinds of different stores, and decided it would be really funny if that was a person’s default way of decorating. Does it have my name on it? Okay then, I’ll take it! 

Jackson, no accessories

Sectional // Dining set // Bed
Desk chair // Desk

Everything here is titled “Jackson” so it’s kind of decorating no brainer. You know, this really doesn’t look like a half bad place… The modern couch and bed balance out the industrial-style dining set… the office chair lends a kind of bachelor pad look. I suppose it’s livable; it just needs some colorful accents…

Jackson, with accessories

Pull-down wall hanging // Joshua Tree pillow // Kilim pillow
Ikat pillow // Floor lamp // Plant // Desk accessories

Ahh… much better. I couldn’t resist. I really didn’t add that much, but already it looks like a person lives here! Just think how it would be with rugs, windows, lighting options…

Am I the only weirdo who entertains these kinds of fantasies? I hope not! Am I the only one who then creates inspiration boards out of them? Maybe! Hashtag design blog problems.

Barney Stinson’s Apartment

Over a year ago, I posted about creating a cohesive color scheme for our last house. I lamented the dark gray walls, gray quilt and dark brown wardrobe as looking too masculine, and I name dropped “Barney Stinson’s Apartment” from How I Met Your Mother–in all it’s gray-on-gray-on-gray glory. Surprisingly enough, in the past year I kept seeing “Barney Stinson” apartment-related terms show up under search terms that bring people to my site…. 197 times in total, to be precise.

So, it is official–I must please the masses and come up with an inspiration board based on Barney’s bachelor pad. To be honest, this was a really fun exercise for me, because as I’m sure you know, my friends, this is not my style. Sure, I have a dark gray mid-century modern couch, but I am pretty sure the similarities end there.

I started by looking at screen grabs from the show, which included his living room, bedroom, and kitchen. The color scheme is obvious: grays, metals, and a bit of brown here and there. The set designers on this show really got into the mind of the suit-wearing confirmed bachelor and committed to the motif. There are very few decorative pieces (especially when contrasted with Lily and Marshall’s eclectic abode). Let’s be honest–if his apartment was an outfit, it would be a designer three-piece suit. Here is where I ended up:

Barney Stinson's Apartment

The Paint: Unfortunately, I do not know what color the set designers chose. I do know that Farrow and Ball’s “Down Pipe” is the deep-gray of the moment around the blogosphere, and it seems fitting for this room. Benjamin Moore’s “Dark Pewter” qualifies as runner-up. Design Star Emily Henderson has a list of her favorite gray paints (with a healthy dose of Ryan Gosling) which may also be helpful.

The Couch: While the couch on TV is dark gray (choose “smoke” as color option–pictured), I would have selected a deep brown leather (amaretto) to break up the all-gray party!

The Tables: Barney’s side tables and coffee table feature the same look–metal straight lines with a wood or glass top. Cubes or rectangular box shapes are the key here. Men–you are in luck. This design is everywhere right now. The ones I chose are from CB2–console and side table. IKEA also has some similar options.

The TV: Sure, it’s not a 300-inch screen, taking up an entire wall, but at 90 inches–yes, that’s 7.5 feet–diagonal, this Sharp Aquos LED TV is one of the biggest on the market.

The Extras: Man-cave decor like Samurai swords or tribal masks make the man seem adventurous, while the few art pieces that hang on the wall are reminiscent of quirky movie posters or book covers. The Voyage and Lord Vader Prints from Society6. Duo table lamp from Room & Board.

Extra Credit: If you are in the market for Stinson-approved bedding, you are in luck. If you want your tabletop to reflect the motif, these are the dishes for you.

This was fun–I may make a series of inspiration boards inspired my my favorite TV sets. For more of my inspiration boards, click here

My Dream Office

Sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday (my loosely-adhered to schedule is MWF). I was going to continue that sentence with a “but it’s because I…” excuse, but I don’t have any! I spent yesterday cleaning up after having a friend over this weekend and ordering our family Christmas cards.  One of the nice things about being a blogger is being able to set my own schedule… and that includes staying up late at night putting together my dream office on Pinterest!

Quiana at Harlem Love Birds has touched on the idea of multiple profit centers and I love the idea. Perhaps you could call it restlessness,  but I have always liked multitasking and the idea of doing a few different jobs (some from home) has appealed to me more and more in the past year or two.

And if that’s the case… well then, don’t I need a fabulous office to spend my waking hours in?

I daydreamed about it all day, then I went on the internet and pulled all the elements together, and now I’m ready to show the world! …Of course, in my fantasy, I have a whole room to set my office up in, instead of my current nook.

Desk: I love the sturdy simplicity of this Crate & Barrel Sentry work table. I know that according to Pinterest, bloggers should have white parsons desks, but I think the medium-toned wood would hide scuffs and dings better, and continue looking good for the long haul.

Chair: I have been pining away for this West Elm Spindle chair for months, and it is currently marked down. Perhaps I should me-gift it to myself sooner rather than later…

Supply cart: I’ve checked out this IKEA RÅSKOG in person– it seems sturdy and the wheels roll smoothly. The teal color is just beautiful. It will be perfect for holding note cards, design catalogs, and other items that would otherwise clutter up my desk top.

Couch: I will use the couch given to me by my grandma. The one pictured is similar. (This will allow us to get a more nap-friendly couch for the living room).

Storage Cases: I have long promised myself that when I have an office, my college textbooks (which I can’t bear to part with) will live in a smart-looking storage setup like this. I’ll keep books in the bottom part and pretty seasonal decor items in the top part, ready to be pulled out and distributed around the house on any whim.

Rug: I have had my eye on this fluffy Istanbul rug for some time now. I am not a shoe-wearer if I can help it, and I think the yummy texture would be just the trick to keep my creativity flowing.

Paint: It is so hard to tell paint colors over the computer screen, so I’m not going to tell you what brand and shade this yellow is. To pick the perfect color, the best plan of action is to buy a couple test pots and paint swatches in the room. Evaluate how it looks with other items and make your decision after careful consideration.

Accessories: Curtains, Clock, Nespresso machine (wink), Rifle Paper Co. calendar, Sputnik Chandelier, Art.

I think in an office like this, I could be very productive indeed!

PS: If you want an inspiration board to get the ball rolling on a room of your own, be sure to check out the Design Services page!