Monday, July 28, 2008

Cradle to the Grave (Our Favorite Resting Places)


A bedchamber should evoke a mood of grandeur and decadent opulence. A fitting backdrop for all of the intimacies experienced there. The bed is a place of birth and of death, of love and life in all its glories. A place where we not only sleep, but heal and refresh both body and soul.
One must create a worthy backdrop for dreams and slumber to truly flourish. In our experience canopies, cushions and quilts of gold lead to the sweetest of dreams…

We are looking forward to completing our own bedroom this fall. A collection of vintage and antique textiles will be used throughout the room. A color way of burnt orange, plum and cinnabar infused with black, black and more black. This palette brings to mind spicy Marrakesh…Marrakesh in hell that is.

We have begun work on an elaborate cornice and drapery for behind the bed. A beautiful set of Victorian draperies in terra cotta, black and gold have waited patiently for months (years?) for just this project. The cornice will be one of our original fabrications. It will be encrusted with antique metal tassels, bits of chain mail and hand printed silk medallions. And of course, at center point an ornate goat head mask upon a gilded pelmet (in the ever popular Vlad the Impaler meets The Arabian Nights style….)


These gloomy and brooding bedrooms by Scottish painter James Pryde have always been a favorite inspiration. As overscale and elaborate as a theatrical stage set, they suggest both intrigue and apprehension.

Let us not forget the eternal (infernal?) sleep, dear reader. Until next time, we bid you good night and sweet dreams.

Well I know it's hard for you
To know the reason why
And I know you’ll understand
More when it’s your turn to die
Don’t believe the life you have
Will be the only one
You have to let your body sleep
To let your soul live on.


(“A National Acrobat” by Black Sabbath)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Book Worship Volume I


Baroque Baroque: The Culture of Excess by Stephen Calloway

Baroque Baroque is the one book I would rescue from a burning building, put in a time capsule, or use to create a new religious order (The Church of High Design?)

From the book’s flourished cover and gilt drenched pages (which are acquiring a lovely patina) what is there not to adore? Baroque Baroque takes us on an unforgettable journey through the decades from the 1900’s to the 1990’s. It gives us a glimpse of the talented & inspiring people that have transcended the ordinary and created things that are truly sublime.


Stephen Calloway is simply the High Priest of design connoisseurship. We have always followed a design path less taken. As outsiders, he let us fit in. As purveyors of darkness, he has lightened our souls. As cynics, he gives us something for which to believe in.

He has shown us that design is a celebration, a coming together of many elements & disciplines. Some dark, some light. Some frivolous, some profound. Above all design is a cult of beauty that touches the soul...


Baroque Baroque: The Culture of Excess by Stephen Calloway
©Phaidon Press 1994 ISBN 0 7148 2985 4


Why should you think that beauty, which is the most precious thing in the world, lies like a stone on the beach for the careless passer-by to pick up idly? Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you. And to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination.

(Somerset Maugham / “The Moon and Sixpence”)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Secret Garden


We seem to spend more time gardening indoors then outdoors. This might have something to do with having no yard whatsoever, trespassing laws and general fear of daylight (all kidding aside, getting caught “gardening” in your neighbor’s yard is not a good thing…)

Plants of the domesticated variety grow on Victorian settees, atop piles of cushion and cascade from every shelf and cabinet top. Our parlor is beginning to resemble some eccentric lord’s whimsical topiary garden. Sometimes we get the overwhelming urge to sculpt our jade plants into mythical beasts of some kind. (Griffins perhaps?)


Odd bits of jewelry, fossils, and antique “hatpin headstones” decorate our collection of pots and planters. A baroque cemetery in miniature…

On the practical side of things we have found that dracaenas and Chinese evergreens make lovely companions, while orchids and begonias only live to break your heart.



"Born into a field of flowers, to slowly wilt away
Sheltered by wings, delicately smothered by blindness"


(“Angstridden” by Satyricon)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Back in Black

A tattoo such as this is a sensual thing, truly organic and alive. Although only skin deep it has delved much deeper into our lives. Seraph has become a beautiful living canvas. His body transformed and reborn, a celebration of the pagan in all of us


Some might see only darkness in this artwork and ask how can you perceive beauty in such a morbid vision? But, as Albert Camus stated “There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.”


I admit that I am quite enthralled with this tattoo. I have memorized every nuance, yet still see something new every day. Tell me, dear readers, does it intrigue you, too?






Seraph’s full back tattoo has become a true artistic ritual. Inspired by the magnificent European ossuaries and crypts, it has become a tribute to Odin the All Father, and the pantheon of Nordic Gods. The tattoo was created at the hands of expert tattoo artist John Fitzgerald of Slave to the Needle in Seattle and has taken nearly a year to complete.

“Eyes of the dead
Watching from their living walls
Broken glass reflections
Show your flesh eaten away
Beyond the gates I'll take you
Where the blood forever rains”
(Spirit in Black by Slayer)
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