Monday, July 9, 2012

My Harlequin Romance

Growing up, my mother collected music boxes, and one of my personal favorites was a small piece containing the figure of a Harlequin, who danced when the box was wound.  For my third birthday, she hired a real French Pirouette to entertain the neighborhood children.  My memories of that day stem mainly from stories and pictures, but I've always held a special fondness for French clowns, maybe because they seem more refined and less garish than typical circus clowns, and they were such a special part of my childhood.

Another treasured music box with a tiny clown.

This clown dances when you open the drawer.  Notice his ruffled collar.

For the past year, I've had a huge crush on the Harlequin Rug, created by Allegra Hicks for her collaboration with West Elm.  It's no secret that I'm a West Elm fan, and I especially love their willingness to work with artists from all cultures and backgrounds, from little-known Etsy artists to designers like Hicks, who is Italian and married into the famous British design family that includes her legendary father-in-law, David Hicks, and her sister-in-law, India Hicks.

The Harlequin Rug initially caught my eye with its bold pattern of raindrops that mimic the folds of a harlequin's collar, and I love the muted colors printed upon the natural jute material.  I first discovered the rug before we redid our floors and much of our decor, but I knew I wanted to use it somehow, someday.  Finally, my patience was rewarded when the rug went on sale recently, and I was able to purchase the blue runner for a steal.  It recently arrived and I am in love, though I had a little trouble finding the right home for my lovely harlequin to live.

After spending two months in a house undergoing renovations, I'm in no hurry to finish decorating, if such a thing truly exists, and I believe in allowing your home's furnishings to grow and evolve over time.  I really try to find pieces that I love and will use for many years, and I had my eye on the Harlequin rug for quite a long time.  I just wasn't sure where I wanted to put it, so I did a bit of experimenting.  I wanted to brighten up the main hallway a bit, so for now, the rug is here, and I think it works well.

West Elm's Allegra Hicks Harlequin Jute Rug, in my main hallway.
Another view of the rug in my main hallway, where it currently resides.
A view from the kitchen.  I really like how the colors play against each other.
Layered over another West Elm rug in our master bedroom.  It works well with my Marie chair, but not so much with the duvet.
I also tried it at the front door (just ignore the mat underneath), but it was too long and too narrow.
And finally, back in its current spot, where I like it best for now.
I'm so thrilled to finally own this little piece of heaven, and it was certainly worth the wait.  The blue color I chose is now sold out at West Elm, but they still have the smallest green size in stock.  Of course, I might have to get that one, too, for the area near my kitchen sink.

Is there something you've had your eye on that you finally brought home?  I'd love to hear about it.