When I noticed the house on the Dutch realtor's website, a dirty white brick wall screamed out at me. My initial reaction was to find out if the wall could come down. When I saw the house in person, that idea was reinforced; the wall was horrid and dated. But we bought the house and there were so many cosmetic improvements needed, (thankfully, the house is structurally sound) the building work involved in knocking down the wall seemed like a tedious process, not to mention an unnecessary expense. And after moving twice in one year, we really didn't want to spend weeks living amidst construction chaos.
So rather than knock down the wall or try to mask it with art, I decided to make it a feature. I chose a teal blue inspired by the Rijksmuseum (much to the dismay of the painter, who clearly thought I was mad). The teal matches the William Morris Strawberry Thief fabric in the Arts & Crafts chair. I hung the circa 1830 French gilt mercury glass mirror and pushed the Napoleon III glass-fronted bookcase (bought from the grandson of a professor, who had it in his office at the Sorbonne) against the wall. Then I put the 1930s table in front of the mirror and topped it with glass scientific specimen globes to reflect more light. The arrangement of antique globes containing various curiosities are a winking nod to Miss Havisham's table in the latest BBC production of Great Expectations. A Napoleon III "bamboo" stool and a matching stand (holding an antique Buddha head) complete the grouping.
The rest of the room is a mixture of modern design and influences from the Middle East and Andalucia, Spain. It's an eclectic combination, which seems to work.
In case you didn't notice, the perfectionist in me is compelled to point out a pair of eyeglasses on the table that should not have been in the photograph. But in my bid to quell these annoying perfectionist tendencies, I am posting this photo, rather than take a more "perfect" one.
The ceiling is painted a pale blush pink, which helps "warm" the space in the winter. The pendant lights (of which there are six) are from Italy. The wool rug is handmade by the Bani Hamida Women's Weaving Project in Jordan. I'm looking for a different rug for this spot; ultimately the Bani Hamida rug will move either to my office or the guest room.
Stay tuned for more house "makeover" photos... Bon weekend!