Room #29 – Covered Lanai
Many people don’t know this, but my post’s inspiration, the enigmatic Bigfoot, had a brief career on the small screen as a star of one of the first TV shows examining alternate family structures. Bigfoot and Wildboy was ahead of its time and laid a path for many other influential family based series such as Who’s the Boss, Gimme a Break, The Cosby Show, The Facts of Life, Living Single and My Two Dads to name a few. He parlayed this success into a wildly popular story arc on the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman…but even with insiders projecting a lucrative path of continuous work and long lasting fame for him…Hollywood was missing something. Almost immediately, he felt the industry pushing to change him and decided that he craved a simpler life…one that only the wilderness could provide. Though he shunned his humble beginnings (thus his move to L.A.)…he quickly came to the realization that he’d rather forage for nuts and berries than nosh at the Polo club, be bedazzled by the twinkling light of stars and not the camera flashes of the paparazzi and frolic barefoot through the forests of his old northwest stomping grounds instead of dancing the night away at Studio One.
Sasquatch (he changed his name after he left L.A.) eventually took his earnings, bought himself a good chunk of secluded acreage somewhere outside of Vancouver, B.C. and built himself a modest cabin (only 1500 sq. ft. – which is pretty cozy for a Gigantopithecus). I found his place featured in an old House Beautiful magazine from the 1980s and loved how he kept his design plan simple and referenced his love of the outdoors, used natural materials and textures, peppered in an eclectic mix of wood furnishings and encapsulated it all in a subdued, earthy palette. Since his home did not have a decorated outdoor space (they weren’t as popular in the 80s), I decided that I would create my vision of an covered lanai that would compliment his home’s interior. I secretly hope he’ll read my blog and hire me to create this space for him…so Sassy (I hope he doesn’t mind my nickname for him)…if you see this and you like it…call me. I’m in Seahawks country, so we’re practically neighbors.
As a child, I LOVED reading everything I could about Sassy. I was fascinated by his adventures and wanted to capture his essence…his sense of naturalness, in this space. So I dug deep and just asked myself…What would Bigfoot do? I mean, he did his own interior decorating and it was spectacular…so I had some big footprints to fill. After meditating on the question, I decided that I really wanted something updated (not necessarily “modern”), but more organic and unexpected. I went for a look that references rustic staples, but goes in a slightly different direction and I think I found it in this design. Welcome to what I’m calling, “New Primitive”.
Take a gander at the coffee table. I chose something that riffs on old crates or shipping pallets, but it’s got a funkier, geometric, almost faceted stone look about it. I chose two jute rugs that are reminiscent of handmade, patterned country quilts, and found solid, hardwood side tables in unusual shapes to place around the seating. Speaking of seating, look at that monster (sorry Sassy, no offense) of a couch! Sassy can easily stretch out on that timber-sided beast (sorry, no offense again) and still have room for his faithful basset hound, Mr. Droopyface, to spread out too. I’ve also integrated a solidly built and gorgeously cerused daybed and a couple of nest-like (or even basket-esque), outdoor wicker chairs into the mix. Now when his clan comes to visit, everyone’s got a spot to relax. And what’s an outdoor space without a bar, bar table and bar stools? Boring…and Sassy’s anything but (he was a star in Hollywood, mind you)! The woven cane fronted bar keeps the critters out of the goodies while the hefty bar table provides ample space for said goodies to be laid out. The sculpted, leather topped barstools assures that no one suffers sleep-butt during the festivities. To inject some freshness, I’ve chosen a multitude of green/tan/brown accents, along with some real greenery. And though Sassy would rather enjoy basking in pure moonlight…I’ve chosen a smoky glassed pendant to hang above the seating and bar areas. You can never have enough mood lighting.
It tickles my tummy to think that Sassy has inspired a new design style, which I’m sure will be widely copied in the coming months (I’m looking at you Chip and Joanna Gaines…fyi, luv u guys…call me). So if you’re looking to infuse a space (before everyone else does) with my “New Primitive” look, you need to remember: 1) nature as inspiration is always a great choice, 2) mixing wood finishes results in a more energetic room dynamic, 3) a limited palette helps make a space feel current and 4) integrating unusual profiles provides a room with interest.
WWBFD? It’s my new mantra.