October 6, 2008

Carleton Varney, Part XIV - Decorating with X's and O's

It's been a while since I've opened the magic book, but when I was trying to make some order out of all of the books that I've got next to my desk, I found it. The book magically opened to a little piece on decorating by tick-tack-toe!

Carleton Varney says ...consider a great glass coffee table with a stainless steel base shaped like an X... we find X's in dining room tables, end tables, chairs and sofas, too. There are many wooden card tables with bamboo-wood-turned X bases that look extremely attractive with director-style chairs with X bases. One of the really classic mid-century examples of an X-based chair is Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chairs and ottomans. An example of X and O combined is Verner Panton's Cone Chair, here in a vibrant blue. He also made tables to match.
The O's have style too... Big round tables in lucite, wood, glass and laminates are everywhere. There are round rolling bar carts, round dining room tables and great round ball chairs made of white plastic on a white swivel base. One of the most well-known round tables is Eero Saarinen's Tulip table, just a perfectly-balanced base with a beautiful round top.
These mod round chairs are really personal screening rooms!
This Eames walnut stool/table looks almost like an African drum.
Which has it? The X's or the O's?


  1. quite novel - the personal screening room - looks like an egg cracked open - public waiting room of the future?

  2. I love the X's! I have a Barcelona ottoman that I use to change my shoes on everyday -but not a chair -maybe someday!

  3. I'm an X person too, especially that chair. I'll take 2.

    Love your new header, of course! ;-)

  4. Hmmm. Well, I covet a round or oval dining table which will replace the square one which will go into the library.

    And I'd really like a bamboo look shelving system for the hall upstairs, but am struggling with the choice as we need cupboard space for linens...

    So the circles have it this time as more do-able. But I like X's more.


  5. X, i'm the part of the X factor. I like the strength it conveys I think.

  6. BB8 - I have such a great mental image of you being strong!

    I am probably an O, if that means encompassing and encircling!

  7. Love using the Eames stool and the Noguchi table, simply because they aren't so commonplace. Yet.

    London or bust!

  8. God bless Carleton Varney and his kelly green, white lattice, yellow leather world. For years, he had a column in The Washington Times (still might for all I know) that I viewed as "everyman" decorating. Do it on a dollar kinda thinking. It was fun reading.

  9. Love the Barcelona chair, but I'm also loving that Eames stool/table... hmmmm. Do I have to choose?

  10. is the barcelona chair really mid-century? it was designed in 1930?

  11. The generally accepted era for Mid-century modern is from 1933 to 1965. So maybe not strictly speaking, but more-or-less of the same style as many other MCM items.


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