Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Fortune

Mr. Man never felt "settled" into the Maison (our previous house).  We would get into tense discussions, because I wanted to buy furniture, hire Juans to make built ins, and he would just kind of try and put me off.  When we did decide to buy furniture, I was lightening quick to pick it out, lest he would change his mind.  Also, I was so ecstatic over buying furniture that I wouldn't sleep until I had purchased it.

One time I was over at a friends and she was saying, "My husband is after me to pick out the living room furniture, but I just can't seem to get around to picking it out. It's been 6 months!"  I think I stood there speechless for a good five minutes, that was THE most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. How could you not just drop everything and shop!?!?  
Now fast forward several years, I've matured and re prioritized a bit.  I'd rather spend my time playing with Rupert than shopping the furniture stores. (Isn't he adorable?)  I really have turned into a home body, which you would think would make me want to get my home in order. 
Currently when you come over, you step into my bland, boring living room. I will usually try and usher you out to another room, because I'd rather you didn't fall asleep while visiting, succumbing to the sudden bout of narcolepsy my living room infects you with. Don't even look at my fireplace, it will put you into a coma.
Back in November, Mr. Man insisted on buying that handsome brown couch.  Then he said, "Buy some chairs!"  I knew I wanted something formal, tufted, and armless.  I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I just kind of let it go.  Mr. Man kept bugging me, "Buy some chairs!" It became awkward with guests, all sitting there on the couch staring straight ahead, nodding off while trying to converse

Then on Saturday I drove by my neighbors house just in time to see them walking this beautiful gold antique chair out of the house towards the moving van.  I thought, "That's exactly the type of chair I want, I should scour antique and thrift stores!"
When I drove back home, I noticed that beautiful gold antique chair that I had lusted after, sitting on the curb with a "FREE!" sign, next to a dreadful looking barbecue.  I pulled over, jumped out and popped it in my car, then I decided I should say goodbye to my neighbor.  She, like most of the neighbors, have lived here for 30 plus years. I gave her a hug, wished her well as she moves into a retirement village. I mentioned I snatched up that gold chair and was thrilled to have it.  She said, "Oh, then here let me give you the other one, I was going to have the movers set it out on the curb."

I nearly fell over, huzzah!! She told me all about how she had bought them at an antique store when she first bought her house in 1960 for $100. Her children would make up stories about who had owned the chairs prior to them. They would pretend they belonged to Presidents, Royalty, or Pirates.   My sweet neighbor also told me that Dorothy* and her husband would come over and sit in these very chairs and have cocktails most Sunday evenings. It only seemed appropriate that these chairs make their way up to the Chalet.  They would benefit from some new upholstery, but overall they are in fantastic shape.

Now, I'm getting excited for the prospect of a decorating this room.  I have a mantle for the fireplace, and will be scouring the internet for an area rug, that isn't brown.  These chairs will get reupholstered into something a little more bold over the summer if I can work up the courage.  Anyone have thoughts on my living room? Wall Color?  Chair colors?

Today, I'm toasting my neighbor as she embarks on a new chapter of her life and I'm grateful she is passing on a little bit of history to our family. After spending some time with my new to me furniture, I'm pretty sure the chairs lived in a summer home in Southern France in a previous life.  Oui?

*The Chalet was built in 1953 by Dorothy and her husband.  She was expecting her first child, and they raised their two boys here.  When they moved in, they bought all new furniture, mid century modern, and they left much of it here behind.  They loved this house, and were very happy here; you can tell this house had a very happy vibe. They loved the deer and spent their time painting with watercolors on the patio. Dorothy's husband died ten years ago, and Dorothy passed away in 2010.  The neighbors still refer to this as, "Dorothy's house".

When we were adding on, I would often yell out to the heavens, "Dorothy, I'm so sorry, but trust me, you'll love the end result" as I picked up a sledgehammer to demolish a wall. I love that there has only been one owner, and hope to live in this house a very long time. Dorothy's ghost is welcome here, to sit on my new chairs and enjoy a ghostly cocktail.  Cheers!


Cimblog (tm) said...

Brick red. A wall should be brick red...

Anonymous said...

Wendy, check out! It's AWESOME, fantastical and uber addicting. Tons of great ideas for all styles. And I LOVE your chairs! Even better that they come with a story, and that Dorothy sat in them. ♥Mindy

Anonymous said...

Huge orangish red flowers on a white background; rounding in flowers will soften all the straight lines you've got going on. Something bold and hip. Calif. poppies?

You need that same orange red in a vase on the mantel. That's my 'not a decorator bone in my body' 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

OK, I left the orangish red poppy post... :-P I forgot to sign my name.


Melanie said...

You truly are one of my most favorite people. I love that you blog. I love that after all these years, you are still my one of kind friend that does it in a one of a kind way better than anyone I know.