I have a long background in architecture and design. And restoring the architecture of the Cross House is MUCH easier than trying to figure out how to decorate the place!
For, I have never decorated a house built in 1894. To me, the challenge is trying to create a decor which complements rather than mimics a Victorian-era decor. I have no desire for a decor which looks like it could have been lifted from an 1894 image. No, I really like that the Cross House has been a witness to a 122-years of history and design, and want the finished house to reflect this.
So, while the parlor will have a period-correct gas/electric chandelier and sconces, the adjacent library is going to have five hanging 1970s Hollywood-Regency pendants hanging low over a shelving island. In the parlor, I am desperately seeking a classic marble-topped Saarinen tulip table to sit under the gas/electric chandelier rather than a coffee table (I loath coffee tables — too low!), and fit well with the curvaceous sofa:
In short, I am vying for an eclectic look.
It is fascinating trying to artfully blend together 122-years of decorative history while at the same time complementing the 1894 structure. The whole process seems to have a magical quality — ideas take hold then fade while other delicious concepts are dashed by the dreaded OUT OF STOCK notice as initially unpromising thoughts grow and are nourished into fabulous possibilities — and it will be interesting to see what I finally end up with.