For two custom silk rugs by Stark Carpet. The color-match sample took three months to arrive. So I will have to wait at least another nine months for the finished products, which will be two area rugs, one each for the living and dining rooms. With the exception of dimensions both are the same color and design—a square version for the dining room and a rectangular one for the living room. Hopefully the carpets will arrive before I become an ancient relic too old to appreciate their beauty.
One can never own too many hand fans. At least not here in Dallas. Perhaps you remember an earlier post of mine which showcased a few fans from my summer collection. I also have a winter collection which I will share with you at another time. I have found that unique, contemporary fans are hard to come by. Perhaps it’s because there isn’t much of a market for them. On the other hand, antique versions are plentiful online, so I’ve recently started collecting them. To see each one opened, click on the link below.
One last hurrah before our sweltering summer. I have now used all of the Irish turf and the old firewood. And while allowing the embers to cool, I will enjoy the smell of their smoky goodness which tends to linger in all corners of my house for at least a week. The following photos will show you two of those corners.
A new, but old, living room accoutrement. Would you mind sitting next to this fellow at my next cocktail party? This little beauty serves two purposes with the perfect balance of form and function. If you still don’t know his raison d’être, then I’ll give you a hint: In my mother’s day, Steuban crystal would have sufficed. Still don’t know?
These four new, but old, sconces will add some much needed light to my north-facing dining room. For some time now, I’ve been aware that my library/dining room needed more sparkle or illumination after dark. I can always use candles for dining, but what about those other evenings when there’s company for cocktails and such? Guests would arrive through the front door into a well lit living room and then cross through the dark dining room on their way to the kitchen and back areas of the house. Relying on the overhead ceiling fixture as the only light source was less than optimal, because the space has been too well designed to consign the book cabinets to the shadows. Charley McKenney, my architect, came up with the sconce concept which is something I originally didn’t think was feasible. We did consider other sconces, including a custom design, before he found these fixtures at John Gregory Studio in Dallas’ Design District.
With these two chairs added to my dining seating arrangement, I can now accommodate six dinner guests comfortably. When not needed for dining, they make great additional seating in the living room. Charley McKenney discovered this French (c. 1960) pair at Mecox’s Dallas location. Their small scale and copper linen upholstery compliment both rooms perfectly while adding a much needed vibrancy. The furnishing of the living and dining rooms may be complete, but I still need to add more floor lamps, accent pillows for the dining chairs, and accessories for the table tops. What’s a home without some knick-knacks?
What’s new and different in this table setting are the Venetian goblets, the Mottahedeh porcelain, and the silver mint julep cups. I ordered my goblets while on vacation in Venice, and they are by far my favorite. But unfortunately, after eleven years of use, I only have a few left. I am currently trying to reconnect with the Murano shop where I purchased them and my chandelier, but their website has disappeared.
This dress rehearsal had been long overdue. Mixing the old, the inherited, and the new on my new forty-eight inch round dining table has worried me for quite some time. I knew it would be a challenge. And after setting up this first arrangement with place mats, it’s now obvious that only four guests can be accommodated. If I were to have five or six guests, I would need to use a linen tablecloth with one or two additional and much smaller chairs, and limit the number of items at each setting. But since I don’t own a tablecloth or the two smaller chairs, I’m only allowed to have three guests for now. If you feel inclined to see more and read up on the details, continue on for more.
The original Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix was commissioned by her husband Camillo Borghese and executed in Rome from 1805 and 1808 by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. This life-size semi-nude evokes the ancient Roman tradition of depicting a mortal individual as a god and was considered daring for those times in that a lady of high rank was portrayed in the nude. Even though I have seen numerous copies, I never knew their provenance until one found its way into my living room.
Designed by Charley McKenney and built by my contractor, Bert Watford, this contraption is not intended to cover up a giant hole or a bad plaster job, but is meant to conceal what most folks take great pride in displaying.