This room in the March 2016 issue of House Beautiful absolutely takes my breath away.
Yes, I know—chalk paint is passé.
But surely the people who make those pronouncements weren’t talking about this room, this “writer’s room,” as it’s called, in the Montreal townhouse of designer Garrow Kedigian?
I remember reading in one of those end-of-2015 articles about what would be hot in 2016 and what was on the way out that chalk paint had worn out its welcome—not because Americans don’t like the look or idea of it, but because they don’t like their handwriting.
No handwriting here to worry about. Just swirling acanthus leaves, shadowed lines punctuated by diminutive rosettes, and a frieze of egg-and-dart delightfulness—classical lines opulently etched in a transitory medium, something that never goes out of style.
The only handwriting we’re apt to see here is something on paper, done at this desk, though it doesn’t appear to be the desk of a serious writer—too small, uncomfortable seat, and where’s the laptop? Or paper and pen for that matter?
Aha! Here are some pencils, placed here when we weren’t looking. (Actually, this photo came from Kedigian’s Instagram account, rather than the HB shoot.)
But are these chalk pencils? Is this entire room a pun?
You know that Bible story about Belshazzar’s feast? The arrogant king of Babylon held a party and drank from the temple vessels. A disembodied hand appeared and wrote on the wall. The prophet Daniel was sent for to read and interpret the message, which was basically that the king had been weighed in the balance and found wanting. He lost his kingdom to the Persians shortly after.
There’s no impending doom here that I can see. But what I wouldn’t give to read the title of that book on the table!
Puns aside, the only person “wanting” here is me. Something in me wants this room, impractical though it may be for me. I’m incredibly clumsy. I’d have the chalk embellishment marred beyond recognition by the end of the first day. And the chalk dust would make me cough.
But you have to admit it’s beautiful.
I could stretch out on that chaise longue right now, wait for the words to take shape on the walls or the ceiling or in my head…
Or not at all, and be happy as a clam either way.
For more info and more stunning photos…
“What is a neutral? It’s just something that’s not jarring. I want the colors to be dramatic but not overwhelming. Everyone always wants white walls, but I think white makes it much harder to design a successful room, because the palette is so stark. For me, white is jarring.”
|Susan Lawson / BoHo Home|
One thing you will miss if you don’t check out the HB print version is the little bubble on the last page of the spread, which directs you to “the best room in the house, page 77!”
Which is, of course, this room whereof we (I) speak (pontificate), embellished by New York artist and sometimes actor Rajiv Surendra.
Here is Surendra at work on Kedigian’s room. Remember him from Mean Girls?
He played Kevin G, a math geek who raps in the school talent show. The Toronto native now owns a bustling calligraphy business in the Big Apple.
Here are a couple more examples of his work. You can also follow Surendra on Instagram.
Beautiful stuff, no?
Indubitably! But this one is still my favorite. I think I’ll settle into that chalk room in my head and wait for some words to materialize. Wake me when my novel’s written. ;->