Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shopping in the closet

When you are as design obsessed as I am, it is good to change things around from time to time. And as the Arabic saying goes, once a home is "finished" it is dead and we certainly don't want that feeling now do we? There are certain restraints. Part of our rental contract forbids us from putting holes in the walls or in the wooden beams in the ceiling as the apartment is listed as a Historic Monument. Hmm, what to do with massively heavy mirrors and artwork that was collected to fill our old house? Luckily, there is the laid back style of stacking--on shelves, on tables, on the floor. And as things aren't attached, it makes it much easier and much more fun to shift pieces from room to room depending on my mood or the season.

The gold-framed antique mirror that was resting on the mantel of the bedroom fireplace (another nail-biting tragedy of our contract is that it has been closed off, though we have a sneaking suspicion that it works) wasn't really glowing like it should and seemed imposing in the space despite the high ceilings. Shouldn't a bedroom be as cosy and welcoming as it possibly can? For anyone that has had as much trouble sleeping over the years as I have, the answer is a resounding "Yes!". A little softness and comfort go a long way in luring one off to dreamland. Here is the little tableau I came up with below. One of our favorite ochre drawings of a voluptuous Indian goddess in a garden, a Buddha brought back from China and a small terracotta statue from Mali. How fun to rediscover these treasures. I also added a leather and velvet topped Victorian bench, Remi brought in a lamp with a gold-lined lampshade and for good measure, we lit the candles. 

I have always loved the simplicity of the living room fireplace--look at those lines! It is the real thing. The iron plaque in the grate dates to 1777 and I wouldn't be surprised if the fireplace was original to the house.

But there are only so many spaces that can accommodate such a large mirror, so off to the mantel it went--an idea that I had initially resisted as being too traditional but I have to say, if folks tend to put mirrors over their fireplaces in France, there is a reason--it truly makes the room sing. I also think that Remi would have killed me if I had asked him to lift it another time! It seems as if we are going to be in this wonderful apartment for longer than we had originally thought. Life hasn't yet shown us the right opportunity to buy, so we are slowly relaxing into being in this space, enjoying it while it lasts.


  1. Well, my dear, you're hired!! Come to my house ASAP--I can pay you in dog kisses and fur on your clothes :)

  2. Oh my gosh, I am only seeing this now! How I would love to! And that would truly be all the payment I need!


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