Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chinoiserie Pelmets

The late 19th century Chinoiserie molding that was perched on the bookshelves during the Holidays a few years ago was finally sent off to a carpenter friend: returning in the form of pelmets from which I hung Italian cotton curtains with flying dragons. Very grand for the shoebox of a bedroom. But you know what? You have to think big in a small room.

My style has been called gemütlich, a word which rings true, at least in this space. I'm not concerned with obtaining a high polish and getting everything perfect. Rather, a pleasing combination of form, symmetry, color and texture interests me more than anything else. Often, what I find interesting and beautiful isn't perfect to begin with. Witness the chinoiserie molding. I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I found it. I simply knew that an idea would present itself, and that I had to bring it home. It turned out that I had the exact amount for two pelmets.

The ceilings are nearly twelve feet, and the window treatments lift the eye up, a necessary thing in the narrow room where the pelmets are located. They'll be finished when a blind descends from behind each pelmet to the windowsill, creating one long line. A work in progress: one thing leads to another. This is how the best English Country House Style is done, right? That's what I tell myself anyway. However, I could see myself living on the twentieth floor in a modern building with floor to ceiling windows, modern furniture and lots of glam and glass. But I think it's smart to play with the bones you've been given.

What interests me in the picture above is the critical mass that was achieved. The place was stuffed with objects. The molding finding its usefulness made quite a few things move. The process continues: soon there will only be one big mirror.

We'll see how long the red curtains stay since I've got green on the brain.

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