What do I (we, I have a hubby somewhere around here) display on my walls, and what am I trying to convey?
Well I once got into reading about Feng Shui, but as I’m in the Southern hemisphere I’m suspicious of the books written for the bottom half of the world – and I don’t like their colour proposals. So in every room I try to achieve an effective d’ecor based on a specific item or piece of furniture. So I’ll take you on a tour of the house, room-by-room, starting at the front door (which is on the polar face of the house).
Right in front of the door is a period shelf attached to the corner (of the minor bedroom closet through the wall). It holds the telephone on the top, directories in the shelf below. The right wall has a cream painted heating radiator. Very dull.
Above the radiator is an oil painting we’ve owned since ’77, a Stephen Allwood. To our shame the radiator heat has “cooked” the surface he painted on, so flecks of paper rust show through in patches. But as it’s an abstract of a tumble-down wreck of a farm house, it looks as if it’s meant to be there as part of a gloomy sky.
On display in the floor below the shelf is an antique copper and brass fire extinquisher, beside that a display of fake flowers of the same colours – it creates a shiny warm-looking welcome.
Follow the hall around the corner to the left, and the left wall is covered with all Certificates, Awards, (oxford comma there) and Degree and post Grad Certificates we’ve earned. Why work your butt off studying and not show your kids you still think it was worth the effort?
Opposite are two small water colours – one very aged, greenery and violets, one a pale green and pale blue waterfall – both side by side. The former came from hubby’s Aunty’s estate, the latter came from my Mum’s estate. I like my own kids to see we value family “treasures”. Along from these is another Stephen Allwood abstract of a waterfall down a NZ bush-covered gully. Beautiful.
First door left – on one wall a blue and white patterned Kimono and the pair of Japanese wooden platform sandals. On the opposite wall is a Shoji (sp?) screen which wraps one third around the corner by the bed head, and two sections along the other wall. An antique mirror in a black frame (again from hubby’s Aunty) reflects the flower arrangement of orange beads, dark blue roses in a slender vase with patches of the same colour. Each bedside cabinet has a plain mat on it, with a square ceramic tile – one blue, one orange. A real calligraphy set sits on top of the second cabinet. It’s our guest room for couples. It looks “oriental” or at least “ethnic”, and again, gives pleasure to those who visit.
Second door off the hall to the left – a twin room, has only one item on the wall- a red framed, aged red cut-paper picture from China. We’ve owned it for years, having bought it for our son. We keep it on display so the siblings can see that we still remember and respect our eldest child and his achievement in the face of difficulties in life. When he comes home (rarely) that is the first thing he checks on.
Off the hall at the end to the right is our master bedroom. As our bedhead is a beautiful mole brown we have duvets etc which tone. This is my ethnic extravangaza – On the walls are: a miniature black African mask, long and thin; a circular Australian painted plate – golden brown with their unique dotted pictures representing hunters and crocodiles; an oil painting showing the sheep penned in the sales yards; a framed print of an owl; another Stephen Allwood of the lagoon, reef, The Gap, and Castle Rock at Castlepoint Beach resort.
On the furniture is a china model elephant, a carved wooden miniature chest decorated with black carved elephants, a black china owl, and a black glass vase holding black roses and black sea grasses (all fake, obviously). In spite of the dark browns, they are balanced by the paler colours and brighter colours – and brightness from patio doors which open out onto the equator-facing patio.
Back along the hall to the lounge/sitting room (a corner of which is my “office”). The walls display another Stephen Allwood oil abstract of the metal crusher plant that used to be in our home town. He used wild colours – red sky and ground and gravel piles. As our sofa is a red and blue tartan, and the door mat leading out onto that patio I mentioned earlier is red, this had to be the only room in which to also hang two matched mass printed red tulips – tall prints, framed in black, long and thin. We’ve just re-jigged the furniture arrangement, and hubby bought red CD boxes to slip into the black book shelf we’ve laid along the floor instead of standing upright, Now all the furniture is low, the room looks bigger.
Dining room – three walls of yellow/gold curtains and the fourth being a glass cabinet displaying our glass and crystal, coffee and tea cups, and one section devoted to period glass ornaments and vases. Through the cabinet we can see into the kitchen – grey upper walls, lower walls around the oven and sink being tiled a red colour. Oh I nearly forgot – a glass-doored small spice cabinet (with “Spices” scraped off but the painted flowers left) displays part of my collection of miniature owls of brass, wood, china etc. I want that in the room as I love seeing my owls, and occasionally swap some with more in storage.
Oh – from my computer I can see out into that entry hall – and there’s another Stephen Allwood abstract oil of a run-down woolshed.
I fell in love with his art in ’77 and bought five in ’77 & ’78, and my Mum bought some more, so we all got one each from her estate. He’s worth megabucks now, painting realistic (almost photographically so) huge “urban landscapes”. I might give you a post about Stephen one day.
Well I know I’ve listed everything displayed on our walls. I may not have conveyed very well how much we enjoy each room.