Saturday, January 3, 2009

Like Martha, Like Mother

When Martha was in jail, I swore my mother was trying to take her spot during the holidays. I had never seen so many decorations oozing out of every nook and cranny...

My parents are "Connecticuters" living in a traditional home filled with a collection of antiques, inherited treasures, and handmade crafts and artwork.

Zen and Belgian styles have been my mothers thing lately so this past year was more subdued. I think this is much to my father, an architect and builder's delight. Between the two of them and their definitive ideas and design requirements it is truly a huge accomplishment if something passes both of their taste tests successfully. This is not so much a compliment but a fact.

The Entry, with its celadon green stair runner, white poinsettias, green garland, and papier-mache Dorothy shoes that my sister made when she was in grade school.

A collection of antique inkwells.

Tree decorating is a serious event in this household that only a qualified tree decorator can do. My mother has always been the only one qualified!
The coffee table is an antique farmhouse table that my parents shortened and one of their antique blue willow platters is always atop it . Since no traditional home can be without some glitz and glam, the white feather wreath floats in front of the window like snow.

A drawing that my cousin made for my parents when they were first married hangs above another antique chest. The blue and white platter is a recent addition from my sister, who brought it back from Granada, Spain.

The Dining Room, post-party. The seats of these Chippendale chairs have been covered and recovered so many times over the years whenever a new fabric caught my mother's eye. The natural linen on them now is my favorite.

My sisters and I each had a dollhouse growing up... it probably was not a surprise that I became a designer as I "remodeled" and even added an addition to mine with a roof-deck and all. The furniture styles changed over time as well... country (age 5) to a pastel-ish chintz theme (age 8) to a sophisticated celadon silk/white leather/mahogany theme... hmm should I put photos of those in my portfolio? "Early Works". Ha ha.

Another vignette in the Dining Room with a tilt-top table inherited from my Southern grandparents and a modern watercolor by Paul Jenkins.

The fireplace mantle decorated with silver and gold grapes, my mother's passion du jour.

The guest bedroom, which was mine once upon a much more brightly decorated time! I really think I decreased the square footage of the room with how many paint colors I had in here over the years. At least I got my color experimenting over with early!

As soon as I left for college, the room was reclaimed and the shabby chic look prevailed.

Vintage Victorian prints, check.
White Wicker, check.
Iron and brass bed, check.
Christmas decorations all over the house, check.

A chair that was my Southern grandmothers, with now-vintage chintz fabric she selected for it in the 1960's (though it was only reupholstered recently). It totally works with the shabby chic look of the bedrooms. And the luscious black Coach purse updates it perfectly, don't you think?

Another vignette, in the only non-navajo-white room in the house. Strike that, the other rooms are navajo white cut in half, then cut in half again, and finally cut in half again. Particularity is hereditary, and I've got it coming from both sides. That's my story.

Bookshelves, an antique high-chair that would be so not-legal today, and a painting I did in high school. Design and flowers, some loves never change!

The kitchen chalkboard. We used it as kids, now my mom uses it. I honestly don't know who has enjoyed it more.

I love the idea and look of a chalkboard and turned a flea-market frame into one that now hangs in my own kitchen.

A pretty plate is framed on the wall.

One of the basement treasure finds, these bronze figurine lamps. Despite how much they dress up the surroundings on the basement floor, I think they might look even better in my living room!

1 comment:

MoePerkins said...

I enjoyed reading this piece, Alice. My kids got a kick out of "your cousin's drawing." Does your mom still have more than one Christmas tree? I think of her every year when I can't decide on a particular theme or style for my tree.

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