My party is over! The Vincentennial was a resounding success, the details of which I'll have to lay on you at a later date. I am a weary, bleary mess of a gal this morning, but I think it was worth it!
Yesterday, in the midst of shelling twenty-four eggs for devilled eggs, pinning bacon to water chesnuts (which I later forgot to put out, meaning mock rumaki for breakfast!), and mixing concentrates into a fine gloop of what was eventually party punch, I did manage to do a little housework, and thought I would show off my favorite room in my house.
Behold! The clean den! As opposed to the den littered with Goodwill finds and clothes and magazines! Neat as a pin. The couch is my favorite piece of furniture in the whole house-- it, the lamps, the side tables, the coffee table, and the yellow chair you see below all came from the same estate sale...for $90. STEAL. OF. THE. MID. CENTURY.
The panelled room in my house was originally a garage, but some time in the seventies the first owners closed in area to make a finished den. I was going to paint the faux woodgrain when I moved in, but the finish was so scarred by the earlier renters (Lord grant me the strength not to launch into a full blown harangue about the people who lived in my house just before me), I decided this was the perfect room to practice my "too much is not enough" design aesthetic. I always liked the idea of having a gallery like those Regency mansions you'll see on...um, I guess documentaries about Regency mansions... with great, ornate paintings hung from ceiling to floor, very close together. I went with that and just hung every thrift store wall hanging I actually owned at the time in this one room.
The tv is an UNBELIEVABLY HEAVY 1960 RCA color television, which took my dad and a fireman that was attending the sale a LOT of gruntwork to get down a narrow flight and a half of stairs in a 1920's house in West Meade. The owners of the house had six boys, so I guess they had built in helpers when they first put the tv in the upstairs room. This is the Cadillac of early 60's tv's. I saw it online in an ad for an estate sale that started on a Friday and actually took a day off work to be there when they opened so that I could buy it. I didn't know how many vintage tv's I would eventually see at estate sales at the time or I might not have been so nuts about getting to this one, but I'm still glad I did. It came with the original sales slip and the booklet on how to use your new, color tv. ABC and CBS weren't even in color in 1960! You could only watch NBC in color! It's hard for me to wrap my head around that concept.
The mannequin was my grandmother's, and is wearing an impossibly small hipped, but unbelievably Mad Men esque ensemble of belted dress and matching scarf. The console record player sadly does not work, but wow what a beaut! It's an early sixties Telefunken from Germany, with extra tubes and all intact! I tried in vain to find a schematic for it online, but honestly it more than does its job in the looks department.
The hand stitched poodle runner was in one of the drawers from a bedroom suite I bought at the same estate sale as the living room suite came from. I bought two roomsful of furniture at the same place, and gosh wasn't everything there a) so stylish and b) so inexpensive. The people running the sale were the children of a couple who had been neighbors to the woman whose house it was-- she had passed away and left them the estate, and they were trying to clear the house on the last day of a not very successful sale (I guess they were just waiting for me to come and literally take two truckfulls of stuff). The magazines are from 1962, just some decorating/housewife-ish books I picked up at Great Escape when they'd just opened their Charlotte location for I think fifty cents.
Bob Hope statuette from my grandmother, race car drapes from Goodwill, a sheet where a door to the laundry room will hopefully one day be.
Here's a piano our friend Louis gave us! I'm not sure of its provenance (other than "from Louis"), but it sure does add a touch of "class" to the whole set up. It's an electric keyboard mounted in a baby grand body for that sophisticated look (ah ha ha ha). Babu's a professional musician, so I sometimes press him into service to learn some of the thirties sheet music so I can sing along. It's totally fun. The oil painting is of Bab's grandparents on his dad's side. His grandfather (who passed away about a year before we started dating, and who I really wish I could have met) was an extremely well-liked and gregarious senator from Missouri in the 60's and 70's, and his grandmother, who still lives in St. Louis, is possibly one of the nicest people on this green earth (we were on a trip to see her when that tornado tried to blow me to Kingdom Come). Visitors have expressed surprise that at least ONE portrait in my house is actually of someone I know (terrible vintage photo addiciton).
The lamp is one of those great 50's whipstitched edge, fiberglass shaded numbers... the beige piece at the bottom is a little faux marbled Bakelite insert that's part of this neat "night light"feature where a separate switch turns on a little light at the foot of the lamp. The guy at the yard sale I bought it at said his grandparents had bought it "when they set up house-keeping in 50's". Fifteen bucks. I kid you not.
And that's my den! And gee is it clean! That's the twenty-five cent tour. I sure am proud of it now that it's all put together like I want it to be. The only downside to this is the limiting factor of not having any more rooms to left empty to decorate, buuuuuut so it goes.