“I love Broadway! It’s so exciting–there’s nothing like it!” Ellen Rosoff informed us when asked how she decided on the theme of her living room. With an extensive collection of playbills, posters and cast recordings, she’s ready to prove her love the moment anyone tries to challenge it.
The evidence was neatly displayed in what she fondly referred to as “The Broadway Corner” of her bedroom. But, when it hit her one day that most of the time spent in that particular room was with her eyes closed, she asked us to help her move the collection to the living room, where she could enjoy her passion and paraphernalia with eyes wide open.
The search began for furnishings that would compliment her collection but before Ellen could even ask us if a big, plastic Lion King shaped chair could be procured, we added a last-minute scene change. This Broadway production will be eco-friendly.
Visions of tan-colored, hemp futons and sea-grass rugs immediately came to mind, but Ellen felt better when we told her that, these days, there are a myriad of sustainable furnishings that don’t look like they’re ready to be rolled up and smoked!
A long accent wall was painted with Anna Sova’s Healthy Wall Finish; made with food-grade ingredients it smells like brownie batter when it’s wet and it is completely odorless once it dries! They even offer aromatherapy that you can add to your paint which will last for up to six months.
Ellen’s posters and playbills were to serve as a busy backdrop for the eco-furnishings that would soon fill the living room. Frames and matting scraps, which we re-cut for our project, were purchased at Cheap Pete’s in San Francisco. Pete may be cheap, but his frugality helps save discontinued and overstock frames from going into landfill or sitting for years in a warehouse. We also uncovered a treasure in a friend’s garage.: the 18 year-old, 7’ tall, framed poster from John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves was snapped up and promoted to a place of prominence.
The colors and styles of Ellen’s relics seemed to call out for bright, retro décor. An old sofa was saved from going to landfill when we had it re-upholstered in banana-yellow, recycled, polyester fabric from the “Sustainable Initiatives” line by Designtex. Mid-century, turquoise arm-chairs and bi-level side tables were found at Cruz Vintage in Venice Beach and an old, coffee table was found in an in-laws attic. At the eleventh hour we found yet another prize sitting next to a dumpster! The retro-style credenza needed only minor repair before it became a new home for the television and its amenities.
To complete the look we added a hand-woven, naturally-died wool rug from Valley of a Thousand Hills, a rewired antique phone from Art Thang, bright green organic silk draperies from Anna Sova and a pair of hand-me-down, mica lamps from a friend.
“I never thought of all the ways to design that are eco-friendly,” said a satisfied Rosoff. “You can re-use old pieces and that’s recycling; you can find companies that are working to protect the environment and purchase from them. It’s cool to get the look you want and know that you’re helping the earth in the process.”
And being able to watch the Tony Awards in a Broadway themed living room is cool, too.