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The "Weathered" Look

Whenever I get a new Restoration Hardware catalog (or "source book" as they now call it), I get a bit overwhelmed with the whole "weathered" look.  Not that I don't love it, because I do like the cozy, time-worn, earthy vibe a weathered finish conveys, I just struggle with how to correctly and beautifully incorporate it into my own space.  I have a lot of bright, light furniture and finishes, and lots of cooler tones, so sometimes I get lost at how I would bring in something weathered without having it look completely foreign in my space.  That said, I'm on a quest to be inspired by interiors that provide a mix of old and new, weathered and modern, and do it with effortless class.  Its a tricky mix, because not all of us can afford to go hog-wild and change styles based on what commercial/retail trends are putting out there.  Nor would we want to, really.....a mixed up/collected over time look is better anyways.

The above photos illustrate my point.  I understand that the company's mission is to sell this "look", but that's a lot of weathered oak/driftwood/distressed/tea-stained/Belgian linen covered stuff.  After a while it seems a bit like a dead flower arrangement to me.....where's the "life"?

That's more like it.  The above two spaces integrate a piece of weathered furniture beautifully with other elements--some antique, some modern, all having that "collected over time" look.  The cowhide rugs are also a nod to a natural look, and its amazing how the addition of simple greenery brings so much life.

This open concept kitchen, belonging to my favorite Ina Garten, mixes clean white cabinetry and classic furnishings with a dramatic rustic beamed ceiling.  The pairing of bright, light and simple with the weight of those beams is spectacular, and makes this space so inviting.

I love this space!  Who would have thought mixing super-contemporary cabinetry, countertops and fixtures with those stone walls and weathered floor would work so well?  It looks effortlessly pulled together (love that antique mirror in lieu of upper cabinets), and the addition of greenery injects just enough "life".

The mod pendant lighting and acrylic Ghost chairs provide just the right amount of tension with the barnboard wall and rustic farm table.

While this kitchen has a decidedly "country" vibe, there's still a great mix of elements.  I love the white cabinetry with the antique benches and time-worn table.  If this space had been all wood (as in wood cabinets and wood floors), it would be all wrong.  Its the mix that makes it interesting and "right".

That crisp white sofa provides the perfect backdrop for a unique rustic piece.  I'm starting to be inspired.......


I think I'm ready to move into this space!  The balance of crisp and rustic elements, differing wood tones, and glam crystal chandeliers is just perfect.  Those reclaimed wood beams set the tone for the space, but the more classic/modern additions really bring it all together!

Well, I think I'm inspired to believe that it can be done.  If you have any other great examples of rustic-meeting-modern in a smashing and spectacular way, let me know!  Hopefully soon, the lonely little piece of driftwood that I have managed to incorporate into my living room will be joined by a few other "weathered" pieces.....


Sarah said...

I agree Kristen, I like the weathered look, but not enough to change my whole house! I love color way too much and prefer a mix of vintage and modern!! :))

Angela said...

I like to refer to Restoration Hardware as the "abandoned look"