Sunday, September 3, 2017

What Do You Think of This (Salon)?

Oh, Park Slope, you give so much to the people of means:

Emily Blunt's home, courtesy of Apartment Therapy. I cannot believe she's selling it?!?!?!
Note to Reader: You have to look at the whole house tour to get a sense of how truly massive it is.

Kristin, what do you think of this? Well, I love it, but more for the architecture and overall vibe than for the interior design, which could have been made a zillion times more functional. I mean, who needs 2 chairs looking at a mirrored wall?? But hear me out.

This is effectively the layout of my house. Sure, my first floor could fit in this room (if you folded it in half) but see that bay window? The foyer? The orientation of the staircase? People, I can relate. When I first walked into my home, I knew I would buy it and it was because it channeled this vibe, writ mini.

I love many styles - mid-century, Edwardian, Victorian, chalet, robot-modern industrial, pretty-well anything English-looking in a dark-walled, brooding way - but this is the architecture that makes me wonder about past-life theory. I mean, I cannot encounter it without feeling entirely at home. I've been here before. And I'm super habitual. It's a mark of how much I like the rug that I wouldn't rip it out in favour of those wood floors, unhindered. Look at those freakin' floors.

Now, I do think you've got to have a shit ton of space to waste it so spectacularly on this layout. This room is not for living. It's for waiting in or passing through. And that's ok, I guess, though I would do it differently. In fact, if there's one thing about this house I dislike (in terms of the architecture), it's the massiveness. Hard to feel cozy here.

But what about this, other than the gift of its bones, do I love? The admixture of modern lighting and original features takes a sassy approach. I approve. I love the mash-up of painted wood in the salon against the original wood in the foyer. (In this respect, I'm no purist. You try living in NYC in winter. One needs light.) I think highly of brightly-coloured furniture against a minimal, neutral background. It's punchy, but it doesn't overwhelm.

So, what do you think?


  1. First, one can still get the link to when they bought the house in October which includes a picture of the front of the house. It is only 20' wide which is not massive. Second, one can then have opinions about what they did ie painting. Third, the layout is very typical of these brownstones but also San Francisco Victorians. It is very deep (triple parlors with pocket doors) so that is different but the layout is very familiar to me. I grew up in a Portland (Oregon) Victorian which was not a townhouse but detached but it had this layout (without foyer). Fourth, I think there is architecture which speaks deeply to us on an individual level and I think scale is the singular element which resonates: what each of us feels is "cozy" or "homey" (which may not be cozy in the sense of enclosed space). I don't think anyone every really lived here and now it is staged for sale so go figure how people would live here.

    1. I know! I should have mentioned that. I totally get that 20 feet wide is not that wide (though my house is 15 feet wide) - but I read somewhere that it's 5500 square feet which, in my universe, is huge. And I hear you on the painted wood :-)

      I totally agree with you that certain architecture speaks to us deeply! I like many styles but none as much as this. When I was a child, I always loved going to see small homes (my parents were open house junkies who moved constantly). My fave house growing up was the smallest. So maybe the proportion I love is the mini-Victorian. All the pomp without mass.

  2. Love the high ceilings and the bay window. Most of the baseboards and trims are great, but I am not a fan of the mirror and the fake pillars. I agree that the furniture and layout could be much better utilized. It is wonderfully bright and cheerful looking, though.

  3. I love this! I love the painted wood in the salon and the way it sets off the natural color of the wood in the entry. I don't really like the mirror with the columns, but I see it came with the house, and it does probably add a sense of light. Aside from that I love everything about this room except the way it is furnished. Not cozy. But then the house is too huge, and at one time I would never have said that.