Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 3: Overcoming the Heebie Jeebies

A confession. The basement spooks me. I know it's irrational, but most of the rooms are underground. Bandwidth says a part of the brain warns us about risk and danger. We don't like to sit with our backs to a window or to be enclosed in dark spaces. I'm a person who needs light. If I can't have light, I need my surroundings to be cheerful.

Today's goal: create a mood and trick the brain.

I like the bright pillows. That's a start. But I also like the splash of color on the wall. I bought this seascape in the late 80s and it reminds me of happy times. I borrowed the chairs from Mother's room, and I think she'll like the slipper chairs much better. The round mirror may return. I'm auditioning "stuff."

Note to self: This will be a place where design rules are broken. Matching wood tones and complimentary styles/periods can go live somewhere else. So can the heebie jeebies.



  1. What Bandwidth said about risk, danger and the brain is so very true! I just had a similar conversation with my husband...
    I don't like the bed near the door... for me, it should be against the wall opposite the door. (I feel "safer.")
    Your basement rooms are stunning... Your decorating brings it FAR beyond the heebie jeebies! I'd say the space deserves oooooo's and ahhhhhh's :)

  2. Love what you did! Didn't like the round mirror there, huh? I have a thing for animal print so love those chairs!!!! Great job, ML! XO, Pinky

  3. I'm auditioning stuff. The round mirror may return! :-)

  4. Ok, so I have to tell you that I am absolutely IN LOVE with the leapoard print chairs on the blonde zebra rug. SPECTACULAR! Did you see the showhouse that Richard Mishaan did for Town&Country? I didn't like the whole thing, it was a little too ... um, all over the place for me, except in the bedroom where he did this amazing job with pairing up prints. He did a black and white zebra rug with a cheetah print dressing stool. Really stunning! Anyway - this my dear Gollum, is a winner! I love it! Having gone back and reviewed the older images from when you first "came out" I recognize that capital pedistal from your mother's room. It had a fern on it right? It's super beautiful as a table! have you tried floating the sofa to face the wall? Then you'd sorta be looking to the exterior light through the adjoining sunroom space? You could flank that mirrored chest from mama's room with these amazing chairs, and then hang the painting above it? A console table would be a good place for your lamps ... or perhaps floor lamps on either side would make for an even more eclectic feel? I'm sure you have, but I thought maybe that'd help with your heebies! :) I'm so happy you're posting daily! I missed you!

  5. I don't have a basement, but I do have a room that causes me a bit of your "heebee jeebee's" as you call them, but I probably have a different reason.
    Since a few weeks ago the entire house, including ceiling, floors, woodwork and have been redone. Every square inch and I am hoping this might help me overcome them. I also am doing a bit of auditioning. Actually, all there of the pictures you show look warm and cozy. I'm ..not so sure about the round mirror even though I like round and ovals. It isn't that it doesn't look good, it does..maybe it's the heavy frame.
    Whatever you choose will look wonderful! You are an amazing decorator! Just amazing!

  6. Michael Lee, From your photos I can see that your room is looking cozy. At least you don't have (eerie music playing)... overhead lighting! Now that gives me the heebie geebies!
    I noticed in a recent post that you used an oriental "fish bowl" on a stand and put glass over it to make a table. I just LOVE that idea! I am using that imspiration and finding my own way to use one. And here you have a pillar with glass. Very sophicated. You do have a wonderful southern style (and that is the highest compliment coming from a northerner like me who has a southern heart). Warm, inviting and a splash of formality. Time honored yet chic. And very beautiful.
    I am learning a good deal from you.

  7. Yvonne, the fishbowl table was in our breakfast room in another house. I have such sweet memories with that table. It's a touchstone. Artie, that's such a great idea. I'm going to try it!

  8. I forgot to say...the column came from Ballard Designs back in the early 90s. I had glass cut to make a coffee table. Artie, you're right--I used the column base as a fern stand in my mother's room. I have been turning things upside down today!

  9. I shall bring my all my ammunition and shields...Heebie Jeebies be vanquished...

    Certainly cannot have that!

    Looking good so far :)

  10. thank goodness I am not the only one who can't stand the basement!!! I avoid mine most of the time too...and it has the big sofa!!

  11. I think this room looks beautiful, you have a nice flow going on. I love that tiny cushion and the painting and your moldings are gorgeous. The heebie geebies have no place here my friend. We have no basements in California but I know what you and bandwith mean, the London tube (underground) scares me silly. have fun, Kathy.

  12. Michael,
    we don't have basements in my part of Texas, but I also like light and probably wouldn't like to go down there either. What you have done down there is beautiful, so maybe with a few other people, I could do it.
    I have been off computer, so just want to say, awesome giveaways.


  13. Well, first of all, I'm drooling over the rug-fabulous! And I think Artie's ideas are brilliant (though it sounds like Mama will end up needing a new room!) It's funny you should mention the heebie jeebies and light-I've been thinking that you have wonderful light for a basement. Must be your fabulous pictures! And I, too, love the table in the background. I had one like it in another home and one of my biggest regrets is having sold it. I want it back!
    xoxo Pattie

  14. * What FUN you are having, n' boy! Am I personally glad to say "WELCOME BACK", girfriend! I've missed your decorating blogs sooooo much!~~

    I wish I were there w/ ya, running around & trying out different things/ideas~~~ now THAT's what I call FUN! (And taking breaks to feed & pet & love on your dear animals!)~

    I... LOVE... THAT... ROUND.... MIRROR, Gigi! IMHO, it has to stay there... somewhere!

    And you know we don't have basements here in AZ, but have had them in Illinois & in Germany, & the Illinois one was kind of nifty, actually (and we were sooo young!), but the one in Germany had 9" thick stone walls & several rooms w/ "special doors" & was reeeeeally kind of spooky!~~~ (Vincent Price would've loved it!)~

    Keep us posted, GG!!!

    Love, Linda in AZ*

    Note: My Sis, her daughter, & HER twin 5 year olds arrived last nite for a few days to "visit Auntie La , cheer her up & play nursemaid to"! Woke up to those two lil' angels (plus 60# "Belle", of course) this a.m. & thought "Poor Jim, he's MISSING this!). We were all in bed laughing & gigglying & the girls were loving on Belle and it was T*H*E most BLESSED WAY to WAKE UP n' START THE DAY!!! (It almost makes me forget I have a broken back~~~~ Oh kids! Best "get -well" gift in the whooooooole wiiiiide wrold! Loving it! WHAT broken back??????~~~)

  15. It looks great! Will you come and do my basement over?

  16. I am enjoying each and every installment, Michael.

    I love those chairs, in the latest arrangement.

    I especially like the softness of Day 3.

    We lived in an Earth Home. It was one of the early ones, late 70's, J's attempt at energy efficiency. It had thick walls and the sort of windows (5 windows, two skylights and 2 sets of french doors) that had the appearance of those in centuries old homes, but not as charming. That home is the reason we have over 30 windows, in our present home. We were like people emerging from a cave after years of living in darkness!:-) Reading what Bandwidth had to say explains a lot about how I felt quite often, during the years we lived there.

  17. Bring the round mirror back! It's so pretty and mirrors = light! But, this does not look like your usual dreary basement! Don't you have a lot of windows down there?

    Justine :o )


  18. Michelle,
    The room is coming along beautifully. I know what you are saying about basements but unless you told us that beautiful room was in a basement - no one would guess.

    I am getting ready for the big push in my studio/office. Just need to get a few things out of the way and then I am going in and not coming out until it is "picture" perfect!


  19. I like this one even better than the one with the Frenchy chairs. I like the color on the wall that the painting provides. It's also (along with the pillows) picking up some of the blue in the sunroom. The glass-topped table seems a little "airier" than the previous coffee table. I like the cheetah chairs. They add a bit of whimsy and tie in with the zebra-type rug you have in there.

  20. Not remotely a dungeon! This room is calming and classy! I can see it's coming together...

  21. You know, back in the old days, they used to bring a whole foreign country into their rooms with scenic wallpaper(they use it at the White House). Perhaps Zuber or Dufour might be a little pricy (I think a room's worth is a couple hundred grand!) but I think there are other's out there... you can surround yourself in Eldorado and it won't feel like a basement!

  22. LOVE those chairs with the rug! Also, love the two lamps instead of just one — brighter and cheerier. I can see one leg on the end table and still love the curved legs with the rug. The base of the table with the frame is working really well. The seascape? Now you're talking my language!

    I'd love to sit in this room, drinking tea and chatting with friends!

  23. Oh, nope...I don't like basements or ANY room without windows. I would absolutely die if I had to be put in jail...no windows there!

    This is a beautiful room, Gollum..really beautiful...even without windows! :) You are so good at this.

    I want to sign up for some of these wonderful prises but not sure now how to go about it all. O dear...I stay in a state of confusion...*sigh..
    Congratulations on finishing your book.
    xo bj

  24. I love this grouping, especially the seascape,pillows & lighting. I'm not a big "animal print" fan, but really love those chairs!

    My "basement" is an upstairs playroom/office area withonly 2 windows, making it a dark place too. I have lamps everywhere!!!

    You are inspiring me to dig in & get to work! Happy re-doing...

  25. What a smart idea to wait; look what you came up with! I am loving this room. And the chairs are so awesome in here. Love the round mirror will it work in here. Can't see the whole room.

  26. BJ, just leave a comment on any post and your name goes into the hat. You can click on the mixer (sidebar) for more ways to get your name added. This week's give-away (Foodie Friday's anniversary), will be held Tuesday, Feb 23, and the winners will be announced.

  27. Michael,
    I love the seascape! I have complete faith that anything you do in this room will be wonderful! You want to talk "heebie jeebies", I have an upstairs playroom that will chill you to the core;-)

  28. Just love the round mirror-It has a zing. I love the way mirrors reflect light giving such a nice ambience. It is not the cookie cutter mirror look. The round mirror makes me feel happy.

  29. Hi Michael! Your basement does not look like a basement at all b/c I see a lot of windows. I also really like your zebra rug and the mirror...Christine

  30. LOL I agree...my basement sort of creeps me out, too! Yours is looking more beautiful with every passing day. Oh! I know how to make you feel better about it. You can start calling it what all the decorators here call them in the million+ homes...it's the "terrace level" darlin'.

  31. My back is aching, but I'm pushing onward. I peeked into the garage today and quickly slammed the door. :-) Well, maybe I'll tackle that when it's warmer.

  32. Hi Michael Lee~ ~ Love what you've done here. The lighter look of the chairs appeals more to me than the big heavy ones. I liked Artie's suggestions too. Wish I could stop by to help you push the furniture around? When I was a teen it was my favorite passtime. Mom would come home after school and I had moved all the furniture around. It happened about once a month if I remember correctly. What fun.

  33. Isn't it funny what bothers us and when. The room is looking great and from the photo, I'm not getting any closed in claustrophobic feel, so that's a good thing right. Just imagine that your basement is your dollhouse and you are going to have so much fun moving and changing and updating and so on and on.

  34. Oh Yes, Have got to remember to mention the 12" copper pan. What a pretty in my kitchen.