Thursday, August 25, 2011

Outside the Box

Just a quickie today to say hi and share a thought…

Charming Suitor and I are finally starting to see a light at the end of the Purge and Merge tunnel, and for the first time, we’re reasonably sure it isn’t a train!  We’ve been working very hard to get this place feeling like us, and slllloooooooowly the apartment is becoming truly ours.
The floors have been covered in CS’s beautiful rugs.  We’ve got him set up with a cozy man-cave where he can rock out on his bass, or watch the eleventh basketball game of the day when I can’t take one more free throw.  The little knick knacks and treasures we picked up on our honeymoon are displayed proudly.  Every room is slowly being integrated, so that we are fully blended.  Having our “peanut butter in my chocolate, chocolate in my peanut butter” moments if you will.

I know that many of you are facing the same dilemmas we have when you decide to co-habitate with your sweetie.  And I know I have shared before some of my philosophies about making that process easier emotionally.  So today I wanted to share one of the smaller touches and, I think, most interesting of the discoveries we’ve made as it relates to getting your décor just right.
I’ve never been an art collector.  In this apartment, where the walls are big and the ceilings high, I always went with more of a “random crap hung on the walls to take up space” than “thoughtfully chosen works of art to display”.  But CS went to art school, and has been collecting since he was a pup, we have dear friends who are artists whose work we love, and we love to support them.  For an engagement gift, I gave CS a piece done by one of our best friends that he had commented upon when we were at his studio.  So all of my EBay treasures were pretty easy to take down to make room for actual real art by real artists.  Except for one room.

The dining room.  Where all the walls were adorned with a collection of antique gilded Florentine wooden trays.  These traditional Italian decorative pieces are hand painted, and I’ve been collecting them for over 20 years.  I loved how the gold would pick up the lighting in the room, especially candlelight, when I had dinner parties.  They are all shapes and sizes and interesting patterns.  People always commented on them.  But there was no way to give up four optimal art walls for the sake of my trays; it truly would not have made sense.    I figured it was just going to be one of those sacrifices, and looked to the heavens for strength.  Where I was faced with my ceiling. The one with the rafters that make 20 inset open squares.
Oh no, she didn’t. 


CS and I picked the 20 best of the collection (feel free to insert mocking/threatening of Hoarders appearance here, and no, I will not tell you how many didn’t make the cut) and found some appropriate mounting brackets.  It nearly put my poor hubs in traction getting them installed.  But we both LOVE the way they look up there, it is a really wonderful design feature, and while there was a brief moment of worry when we were getting ready to begin the project, after the first one went up we knew we were on to something.

So my recommendation is to be willing to think outside the box, repurpose, reimagine, and while you may lose some beloved décor items in order to keep your beloved happy, you might be surprised at what you can keep if you are willing to move it somewhere unexpected.  Even the ceiling!
What are some of your special decorating touches that you just love?
Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. That is an awesome idea! It looks like a funky version of some intricate tin ceiling tiles. Nice way to think out of the box and do something that makes you both happy. I'll keep an eye peeled to HGTV when they start copying this idea!

  2. That is incredible! Each platter has its own frame and the eclectic mix is so eye-catching!

  3. Beautiful! I just moved into a home with the same ceiling treatment in the dining room. Now I know what to do with it, if only I had 20 of your leftover trays to work with.

  4. what an inspired idea, and a very cool thing to collect! My favorite decorating thing in my house is the paint job on the built-in shelves that are on either side of my fireplace. They are just plywood, with the wall as the back, not fancy. I used to work in theatre, so I had a scenic artist friend come over and wood-grain them. Now it looks like I have beautiful, rich old wooden built-ins. Ahh, the magic of theatre!

  5. You are a genius! I totally love it! I'm sure it would be "designer-approved" because it looks gorgeous!

  6. That is a genius idea! I don't have any cool ceilings to do something unique with but, you really came up with something awesome. Looks very warm and cozy :)