This glass bowl most likely dates from the 1960s.
A new but old centerpiece adds a lively contrast to the green and blue tones of my library/dining room. With its northern exposure the room needed some color punch, and orange was the perfect choice to serve as a complimentary color. Now that most of my new furniture has arrived, I’m slowly adding thoughtful details. And each object must pass the color, shape, purpose, timeless, and quality tests.
Finally I was able to photograph my newly decorated office. For several weeks now I’ve been waiting for the sun to stay consistently bright from 1pm through 2pm in order to take these photos. Unfortunately, while waiting, the oak tree fully leafed out causing the light to not be as bright as it would have been while the tree was dormant. The sun wasn’t my only problem. With two other very different light sources, incandescent and fluorescent, I ended up having some strange color issues, which I will gladly point out to you in the following photographs.
Used instead of glass. I have a large collection of books that don’t happen to be fancy sets of gilded leather bindings that would provide a uniform and elegant look on open shelving. My dining room is a small space and could easily feel cluttered and claustrophobic with all the mishmash of various book covers. I have seen decorative wire grille used in the libraries of many historic stately homes and thought that by using a grille with elegant silk café-like curtains lining the inside of each cabinet door, I could trick the space into feeling unfettered and more spacious.
Six years ago, when I started my internet search, I wasn’t even sure what term to use. I finally found some decent wire grilles on Van Dyke’s Restorers’ website, but the pickings were scant. First I ordered a box of their samples, which was well worth the cost. Relying on the abbreviated online specifications and a low resolution picture was too risky for an amateur like me. Nothing is as effective as physically holding each piece, measuring the mesh opening, seeing the metal color choices, and placing them in the library/dining room environment with the other selected finishes and colors.
Since then, it appears that even more styles have become available, which is a bummer for me. One of the newly added styles is so very close to my inspiration example. Because this new grille option is nearly double the cost of what I finally settled on, you would think I would feel relieved and grateful. But I don’t. I have doubts.
I have yet to see an acrylic or urethane finish that can compete with the old-fashioned paste wax in looks and practicality. Practical only because it’s easy to clean and repair small patches (something that one can’t do with acrylic and urethane). When the time came to sand and refinish the original wood floors of my house, the only stipulation I had was that the finish must be wax. But the color was all Charley McKenney’s doing. As my designer, he envisioned a deep reddish brown hue. After the sanding, we (the floor guys, Charley, and I) made up a small sample combining one cup of Dura Seal‘s #221 Golden Brown and gradually adding one teaspoon at a time of Dura Seal’s #122 Mesquite Red. We then wiped this on the floor in different areas of the house to see how the variances of natural light affected the color. At three teaspoons the perfect blend had been achieved. Unfortunately, with precise math (1.5 cups of red per 1.5 gallons of golden brown), the final blend was an undesired dark brown. So more mesquite red was added, and the final formula ended up being 2.25 cups of mesquite red per 1.5 gallons of golden brown (that is if my notes are correct). Our contractor had also given us a choice of wetting or not wetting down the floors before applying the stain. After experimenting on spots with and without water, we chose to wet down the floors. There was a richer difference between the two choices.
The next step was to apply the sealer. There’s absolutely nothing environmentally friendly about this poison. It seared my eyeballs, deadened my brain with pain, and burned my lungs, causing me to return to my hotel room earlier than I planned. Fortunately, my dogs were not phased. But there was something good that came from this process, the color became even more enhanced. When it comes to making the choice of being environmentally correct or incorrect, color and sheen are the determining factors for me. The green choices just weren’t up to snuff. At least they weren’t for me.
Then came the final step, Dura Seal Paste Wax was applied and buffed to a soft sheen before it had a chance to set and harden. And as you can see in the above photo, the results did not disappoint. Thank you, Charley!
The clothes and accessories. Produced by Silvia Venturini Fendi of the famous Fendi family, the film could be considered fashion porn. The leading star, Tilda Swinton, was entirely dressed by Jil Sander’s Raf Simons. The house of Fendi dressed the men and also provided extraordinary furs for the magnificent Marisa Berenson, who plays the perfectly put-together mother-in-law with a preference for vintage ’70s furs. In fact, all of the Recchi women favor a classic look. The impression is that clothes in this family are passed down, not shopped for. Tilda, in an interview, described the choices as an expressive wardrobe. “There were moments when, for her to wear a red dress at the point which she falls in love, there’s a control one can expect on the palette of the film if one works in that way.”