Many peope have asked to see photographs of my home. I was hesitant because it is nowhere near finished. Then I recalled that this is exactly what my blog is about! The process.
The title I have chosen for this blog, Divine Theatre, is an expression of the way I approach designing my home's interior, as well as the exterior. I have a limited budget but I desire to create an environment that inspires my imagination as well as the imagination of those who enter. I have been deeply influenced by the stories in the books that line the shelves of my library. I also have a love of the theater, ballet and especially the opera! The beautiful backdrops were created to set the tone for the drama that was to ensue...
I have an affection for pieces that have a soul, though the cost is usually high. I have learned through the process of trial and error to replicate the appearance of age, of use and of history. My greatest lessons were born of my failures. I suppose that is the same for all of us.
I study old furniture to see the way it has been used . The patina. The signs of use. I think about the people who owned it. The craftsman who put his soul into it...I could go on and on...
I still need to take down all the orange wooden blinds, make curtains, change all the hardware on doors, sinks and cabinets, paint walls, doors and cabinets, hang chandeliers, and lay the oriental carpets...not to mention the gardens...
Here is the beginning of my process...
Frannie In Narnia
Narnia...French marriage armoire purchased from Craigslist. Antique corona on top. Reproduction French children's chairs from Wisteria Catalog.
This is Frannie's home. It took me three years to gain Frannie's trust. Three years of putting food and fresh water on the porch and waiting for her to come at twilight. I would worry so much when she didn't show on time. Three years of waching her eat and talking and singing to her to soothe her. She was abandoned by those she loved and she was frightened of the world. She hid during the day and waited in the shadows at night. She is still afraid of her own shadow but she really feels safe in Narnia. She has a nice feather bed and silver dishes to eat from. I carry her to the litter box twice a day so McGillicuddy won't "pull her pigtails". He is smitten!
Once she enters the realm of Narnia, Frannie has no fears, as a matter of fact, she is brave and free. If only she could somehow tell us of her adventures...
Dining Room Buffet. Mirror originally from Wisteria Catalog...purchased on Craigslist!
Family Room. Santos hand displayed in terrarium from local garden shop.
One of two matching sofas in family Room
Chest in Family Room., Archangel Michael. Horchow chest, originally $2,500...paid $300 due to broken back leg. I merely glued it back on! I made the lectern after I saw the one in Emeril's home, decorated by the renowned Tara Shaw.
Atticus, my angel, in the library. He is a gentleman. His tail was broken in two places and his hip was fractured when he wandered into our yard and our hearts.
Reproduction porters chair, Design Toscano.
Library. Horchow table, originally $3,000...paid $300 0n ebay.
Library...particle board shelves painted and added trim. Figural mantel, ebay. Gilded trumeau, Craigslist.
Family Crest! Fun to Make...I bought the wood cartouche from Van Dyke's Restorers.
Mirror with red pheasant Feathers...Craigslist. I put the feathers on for the Holidays and liked them so much I left them!
Kitchen island. The finials weigh about 50 pounds each, or more!
The cutting board is actually an antique marble table top purchsed on ebay.
The kitchen cabinets are in the midst of being painted grey. The island will be covered in a sheet of zinc, which is waiting in the garage! There is an excellent tutorial here.
Living Room, chair from ebay, table from Craigslist, added paint and ormolu.
Atticus, McGillicuddy and Mabel Being Adorably Adorable!
All my animals were former strays. I have found hundreds through the years but I am currently blessed enough to bring more into my home. They are my joy!
Shenanigan ...Craigslist chest. Mirror too! I keep forgetting to buy a drawer pull...
Master Bath. Can you tell I have a seven year old?
Master Bath, antique dolphin fountain spitter...Matching Venetian mirrors from Craigslist, one over each sink.
Master bath, ridiculously large tub. Orange blinds have to go! To be replaced with a stained glass window...
Silly plant ledge in Master bedroom...The cherubs are each four feet long. It is a huge ledge. I think I may paint a mural...in my spare time! LOL!
Left cherub detail
Right cherub detail
Dressing table waiting to be painted...I removed the mirror from the frame intentionally. Some people don't get my Phillipe Starck Louis Ghost Chair but I love it!
Handpainted Goodwill dresser. It took forever to paint! Will be adding large lion paw feet...
Husband's side of the room. I made the painting, French kneeler from Craigslist, frame from ebay.
Table from Craigslist. We bought it from a lovely, lively woman named Charlotte! It is simply known as Charlotte's table.
My side of the bed.
My side of the room...
Left cherub in Gracie's room, one of a pair flanking her daybed.
Right cherub in Gracie's room. I used ground cinnamon for the highlights on the columns!
Dental cabinet in guest bath...Craigslist.
I made the mirror and the beaded lightbulb covers. The table was a Craigslist find!
Ginormous Marie Antoinette painting next to $20 gilded French cheval mirror from Craigslist in guest room...
Gracie's antique French puppet theater...Craigslist...next to huge armoire, also Craigslist, in her playroom...You can almost see the reproduction Louis child's chair I reupholstered in red bird toile.
Huge Bouguereau painting, entitled La Charit'e, waiting to be hung.
Garden statue sundial used as side table in family room.
See Frannie hiding under Narnia?
Florentine mirror frame, Craigslist...
One of two, five foot tall angels flanking the living room.
Hand painted woodland chest, Craigslist. I picked it up last night!
Will is sporting a Gracie original paper hat...Library...
Library table detail...
Antique church pulpit in Library...ebay.
Craigslist armoire dining room...
Large milagro from Peru...ebay.
Hallway table...Ballard Design.
1980's Craigslist cabinet painted grey and gilded...
$30 clock painted to look like a Swedish antique...(I hope)! I may paint it white and distress it with alminum foil...keep the gilding, though.
*Edit* I opted for grey and the addition of a starburst applique. I will most likely change it again!
Kitchen window detail...
Fireplace in family room, soon to be remodeled...
Horchow sofa, originally $2,300, bought on ebay for $600...needed legs. One of two.
Second sofa...the openings to the living room will be drywalled soon!
Antique French pier mirror...Craigslist
McGillicuddy on repainted Craigslist Fauteuil. We found McGillicuddy one evening when out for a family walk. No one responded to the ads in the newspaper so he became part of our family. He is our adventurer and the equivalent of the WalMart Greeter when people come into our home!
Desk, free on Craigslist painted and added ormolu...
Silver dinnerware from Goodwill...
Sweet Shenanigan has come a long way since the day she followed Michael and Gracie home from the park. I had seen her for several weeks but she was very skittish. She was starving, poor baby.
Now she uses my husband as furniture!
Gratuitous photo of Faerie Princess...Faerie found me in an alley behind my apartment years ago. I cannot imagine my life without her! I actually named my daughter after her! Faerie Princess Olivia, meet Grace Olivia!
Mabel on the fauteuil opposite McGillicuddy. We call her Mabel Peekaboo, or Boo, or Bella. She was abandoned by her owner when she was no longer a kitten. She has the sweetest scratchy "meow"! She also has a big appetite. I am working on that. I want her to live a long, healthy life!
It would be wrong not to have a photo of Shenanigan too.
Napoleon, the little puggle man, ready for his walk! See the little Napoleonic bees on his royal blue collar? He lived in a high kill shelter in Kentucky before we were blessed to find him. He was so dirty and desperate for human affection.. He is resting at my feet as I write this...
Why did we name him Napoleon, you ask? See the resemblence? The French nose, the bicorn hat, the steely gaze?
I am participating in DebbieDoo's Newbie Party!