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Reader request - a modern dilemma

Today's reader request comes from Hillary: "I've recently been gifted a Corbusier chaise lounge. (I know, right?) It's fantastic, but I'm really having a hard time incorporating it into my existing surroundings. My partner and I have been living together for about 6 months now and because we're in India (not my native place) and I moved here two years ago with only a backpack and he's living on his own for the first time after college, we have no other furniture. Well, not none. We have Indian mattresses spread on the floor covered with pretty fabrics for seating, and an old door (surrounded by more mattresses) for a dining table. How can I start to meld these two seemingly polar-opposite styles? I think what will help is that soon I am inheriting an old chair and pouf from my boss that I can reupholster and paint black. Do you know of any good examples of successfully combining something so high-modern with a surrounding that is so... not high-modern?" Talk about a SWEET gift! (The first photo below is of the chaise Hillary is referring to). What I really love seeing in spaces is a mix of different styles because it's unexpected, interesting and quirky. So perhaps most people would not think to pair a Corbusier chaise lounge with Indian mattresses, but WORK IT GIRL! I would do something like this: Pick up a couple small sheepskin rugs (faux if possible) and throw one on the mattresses and one on the chaise. Stick a pile of Indian covered pillows next to the chaise, then add some simple modern side tables on either side of the mattresses (Kartell Componibili storage units would be cute). Something along those lines, where the Indian/ethnic and modern items are blended together. Based on that idea, below are some photos of spaces that made me think of your dilemma, where I can see both that chaise and Indian mattresses/fabrics working. (Hillary, do send us photos when you think you've got it figured out - we'd love to see what you come up with.)

Living Etc.
The Selby
Sköna hem
Bolig Magasinet
Jordi Canosa
Mail Online
Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi
Nuevo Estilo
Sköna hemIna & Matt
The Selby
Tripod Agency
Lori Dennis
Roman and Williams
Tripod Agency

Reader Comments (15)

Comfy and lux. Love the idea of the mattresses and cushions with the Indian Fabrics. The colors are wonderful.

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSing

I want to be gifted a corbusier chaise lounge too!!! (I figured Christmas is approaching fast, now's the time to give the universe a shout-out for my dream gift lol) Well, indian style + modern. This could be really interesting.

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

You know the first rule of design: buy what you love ... then everything will work together. If you don't love the Corbusier chaise lounge, then don't use it in your design. Don't let the gesture of a gift dictate who you are or how you decorate. One has to wonder WHY your boss would give you a Corbusier chaise lounge in the first place ... I mean, sure it could be considered a nice gesture, but not if s/he was simply trying to make room for something else and would have felt bad taking it to the 2nd hand shop, or throwing it in the dump. I have a rule when it comes to gifts: it must be consumable in one seating ... like a bottle of wine or Champagne, gift certificates to my favorite restaurant, or theatre tickets. Don't "guilt" me into accepting something because you are my superior or because you think you "know" me. Maybe you can sell the Corbusier chaise lounge on craigslist and use the cash for something you reall love. Peace, love, and design

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Saaristo

I say it's all about textiles! India is THE place to get beautiful fabric, right? Find one or two great pillows that work with the fabric on the mattresses, throw them on the Corbusier and yer done! Both the Skona hem pics have great examples of modern furniture softened with Indian (ish) pillows. Fun project!!

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSueE

Corbusier and Indian that's easy. They go beautifully together! Rustic, ethnic and modern is my idea of perfection. Sleek modern spaces are cold but, add some old African masks, natural wood burl tables, ethnic textiles and voila'...AWESOME! The same is true for the rustic, ethnic space. It could look too "old hippie" but throw in the modern and you got it baby...MAGNIFIQUE! The Corbusier lounge and the old Indian door are going to be AMAZING together.
I should have such problems. Corbusier lounge chair as a gift. WOW! Have fun with it!!!

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterD of dogland

i should have her problems LOL. all I ever get in the way of hand me downs is of the Early American-Lately Ugly variety. What a sweet dilemma! I look forward to seeing the posting of the results of her effort to integrate the lounge chair-should be awesome and inspiring. SOOOO jealous!

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBev65

To Hilary:

I agree with Tom. When you collect stuff that you love, they will all come together. Because of the stiff price tag, it took me years to bite the bullet and get myself an LC4. My other stuff are mostly oriental and I have this oversized sofa which I got years ago and would like to keep simply because it is so nice to lie down on. BUT, somehow, I think my tiny living room somehow came together.

My pictures are not good enough for desiretoinspire ... but do have a look ... hope it helps:

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

i love all the inspiration in this post! i would love to have been gifted such a chair, but if you don't love it...

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLourdes

Kim, thank you for saying "faux, if possible" about the sheepskins.

Sheep do not vote for being skinned, nor subjected to the painful practice called "mulesing." The great thing about faux is, it never suffers. ; )

9 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterholland

beautiful, beautiful pictures! jut the inspiration i needed!! thanks!

10 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlala

anybody konws where i can get that lamp from the 13th picture!??
i have dreamt about it for such a long time

10 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlala

Anybody know where I can get the lamp or shade from the 2nd picture?! That shade is to die for!

10 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie Singh

This is a fabulous array of photos. Thanks so much for putting it together.

10 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLin

Great pictures, thanks.
Good luck in the decorating dilemma!
Mix what you love, sell what you don't love. It's worked for me for years. Well, that and having a decorator as a friend who can force me to edit ;)

11 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPriscilla

For Corbusier -- lucky duck -- you want to get the words right. It's "chaise longue," meaning 'long chair.' ( You pronounce it 'chaise long.') There's really no such thing as a chaise lounge. All the best to you !

14 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjinxie

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