Maybe it's good karma rubbing off from this book I'm reading...
...because I have what's known in horticultural circles as the dreaded "thumb noir". Even cacti wither around me. But speaking as a newfound optimalist, the bright side could be that I have undiscovered talents in composting.
Anyway, let's move inside, where the painters have been busy priming and painting since Monday. I have been itching to redo my upstairs office for a while now and, after much consideration, settled on Farrow and Ball's "Old White." It's a beautiful color, gentle and soft.
And I liked it for all of four hours.
(Tuesday, April 5th)
Unfortunately, as soon as it dried I had a huge revelation that what I actually wanted was the complete opposite. (Why do all revelations come after you write the check?) I craved drama, mood, mystery. My office needs to double as an occasional Lilliput-sized screening room and I wanted a destination that would feel sophisticated by day and ever-so-slightly sexy by night. A bit Babington House...
with just a dash of 18th century Spitalfields.
(Photo of Dennis Sever's house, which I discovered through a
commenter... Thank you, Linda! I am officially obsessed.)
Dark doesn't scare me. As you can imagine, life here in California is very, very sunny (to put it mildly). To me, the sun is a huge Klieg light in the sky with its spotlight relentlessly trained on every man, woman and child. It's fine for The Divine Italian; he's a heat-seeker. I, however, am Norwegian and Irish and I am a pale snail looking for a dark refuge.
So I bit the bullet and told the painters to come back on Thursday so that they could redo what they just that minute finished doing.
This time, I went with Farrow and Ball's "Railings", a deep bluey-black...
(Thursday, April 7th)
...and I can't believe how much more I love it. It's a totally different room. It was suffering from an identity crisis and now it's found itself.
And see, it still gets a lot of light. And despite its admittedly more masculine feel, right beyond those French doors are all those sun-loving roses, entwined in pink splendor. So it's all very yin yang.
Of course, now that it's painted, I am itching to change everything else. Like the curtains, the couch and the desk chair. Last November, I was lucky enough to visit Peter Dunham's "Gentleman's Study" at Veranda Magazine's Greystone Mansion Showhouse and I still can't get it out of my head.
I would love to create my own mini homage to it at The Kenmore Arms. His "Globe" curtains speak to me in a profound way. They're very Royal Geographic Society meets Diana Vreeland.
And I might have to reupholster my desk chair in his "Almont Stripe".