Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chinoiserie Valance

It all started with finding seven odd feet of Chinoiserie 1880's molding at the flea market. I knew I had to have it, even if I didn't know what to do with it. So I brought it home, and displayed it on top of the bookshelves in the living room. Then it occurred to me that there was enough of it to construct two valances for the windows in the bedroom, which a singer/carpenter friend from the opera did for me.

Once in hand, another opera friend who worked in the costume department went fabric shopping with me—both of us being taken with an Italian cotton fabric emblazoned with dragons. When the curtains were made with a third friend in the same costume shop, I decided that passementerie might make the whole thing sing. Right or wrong, I finally finished everything this past week with the installation of new blinds which mask the top of the window, and create a nice long line.

The deco Chinoiserie bedside lamp is from the flea, as is the ebonized Victorian frame and Japanese box. A few more photos may appear when the new carpet is laid in. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

World of Interiors Collection 2001-2015

I can hardly believe that I am doing it, but I've decided to part with my World of Interiors Collection, which spans the years from 2001-2015, and can be found at Ebay. Right now it is offered for Local Pick-Up only, but if a reader is serious about it, I might be persuaded to post it. However, since we talking about six linear feet of shelving, postage is not going to be inexpensive. 

Why the heretical move? Simple really. Living in a modest Manhattan apartment means there is only so much space for books even with two nine-foot book cases. 

I love World of Interiors. It's provided me with a rich visual education that could not have been gained any other way, and would be happy to know that it is going to another student of interior decoration. 

If you, or someone you know, is interested in acquiring this Collection, please drop me a line. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lunch for 6

A close friend from undergraduate school (we're talking a long time ago) texted me Friday morning before Memorial Day, letting me know he would be in town, and would I like to get together for lunch with mutual friends at a place a couple blocks away? Sure, I said. But why not meet at my place? We'd have a much better time, right?  

So we did. 

I ran out to the market and bought three pounds of salmon, which I poached to perfection with blanched French beans and boiled potatoes—the salmon served with a garlic sauce—courtesy of Mark Bittman. Dessert was an apple tart from a fabulous French bakery around the corner. 

Since we were six, I put out the six salt cellars I hardly ever use, along with six ivory knives from London which I found at the flea here in Manhattan, which, unfortunately, no longer exists—the building having been torn down to make way for a skyscraper. 

The table was set in a flash: I threw on all the antique glass paperweights I could find, along with a gothic candlestick (also from the flea market), and a glass-clawed table leg that was turned into an objet by my father. 

Snap went the picture before a green candle was found, while a guest—unbidden—brought orange tea roses.

There is nothing better than being with wonderful friends. 

Friday, June 10, 2016


After creating Chinoiserie curtains with dragons some years ago, I finally sewed on the passementerie  that had been sitting in a box for the longest time, and ordered new blinds to complete the effect of a long line from valance to window sill. 

Apollo now stands guard in the window ready to take flight, he being a 1950's Italian reproduction made with marble dust that was found at the flea market about a decade ago. 

Can I say that my curtain conception struck me as too fussy at first after being completed? Now it's growing on me after having moved the bed to another wall, better picture placement, and a complete editing of the space and its contents. 

The Feng Shui people talk about having one's feet facing East during sleep, and you know, I swear there is something to it. But don't quote me. I just know the space feels very different, and more comfortable even though the room is rather tall and narrow.