Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Feast for the Eyes

Welcome to the exotic and strange entrance to our kitchen...

Over the years we have heard odd rumors of what our kitchen looked like before it was renovated. Whispers of a nightmarish island of yellow linoleum surrounded by a sea of orange shag carpet, accented with brown appliances and Formica counter tops in fetching (retching?) shades of biodegrading tropical fruit.

The Sense of Taste / Jan Brueghel, the Elder 1618.
(This painting perfectly captures our dream kitchen...complete with a beastly servant)

Now we could laugh this off as some sick joke or creepy urban legend. We could, if it were not for the utterly disturbing KITCHEN CABINETS that somehow avoided removal!!! The aforementioned cabinets are coated with a strange rubbery brown paint that is now flaking away to expose an even stranger pressed wood composite material what was surely manufactured by the aliens at Area 51 (or perhaps at Studio 54 for that matter…) We will NOT describe the evil shelf paper that we found lurking in the lower cabinets for it will only give you nightmares. Suffice to say that brown daisies such as depicted could only grow at a sewage treatment facility or a defective nuclear power plant.
This brought us to quite a design quandary. When it came to decorating the kitchen, it became rapidly apparent that the cupboards were going to be quite difficult to disguise, so we decided on the tried and true design tactic of “SENSORY PERCEPTION OVERLOAD”. Upon a moment of critical reflection it appears our kitchen resembles a scene from Christina Rossetti’s lovely poem “The Goblin Market.”
Perhaps it is the entrance framed by a cloth of gold drapery beautifully tarnished to resemble bronze tinged iridescent beetle wings (complete with a gargoyle masked valance.) Or maybe it is the celestial skyscape (otherwise known as the ceiling). A glittering collection of colored glass lanterns, stars and moons that dangle mere inches overhead and have been known to jingle seductively when someone runs through the hallway (not that we encourage that sort of behavior around here…)

A few friends from Seraph + Splendor’s Kitchen Menagerie…

Small bits and pieces of counter space are left untouched by the encroachment of a bewildering folk art menagerie. Seriously, if one is in need of the stock pot or an extra set of wine glass, one must be prepared to move a three foot tall embroidered bull, an antique winged elephant and a pig on wheels. Bowls of enchanted fruit outnumber the “real” fruit bowls 3 to 1 at last count, and there are an exorbitant number of wooden frogs for such a limited space. (Don’t ask…no one is quite sure how the frog collection began or if there is a humane way to stop it…this probably is a good time to state that Seraph puts up with a lot of nonsense around here, and that’s one of the reasons we love him so much!)

For further inspiration, we have included these wicked and sublime centerpieces (below) created by Jim Hartley, a Memphis based formal designer. Now, precious ones, now tell us of your interesting kitchen experiences…

Avatars of powers from four worlds
Bathed me in jewels of belief
I drink the nectar of Goddess - my eternal mistress
I am Shiva, Hadit or Beast himself
And multitude of forms surpasses myself
I kneel before Isis, I - her god and slave
Coiled serpent lifts up his head and looks in my eyes
Third power and third eye create the One

(“Ceremony of Shiva” by Behemoth)


{Maison Classique} J Steinberg said...

I love this blog. Its like story time every night. =)

To see my kitchen torment, see the recent photos of my renovation on Maison Classique. Peeling flat paint from unprimed high gloss kitchen walls. Oh my. Also, its a vertical blind dungeon. I must remove them. I would like bright french doors. (Don't worry, I will put up a velvet curtain with bullion fringe as long as spaghetti should you ever visit).

Also, I purchased some Modern Alchemy candles today and seriously thought of you guys! I bet those are your favorite could you not love them with names like "Speakeasy" and "Twice Bitten"?

Fairwood Haven said...

A Fascinating Post-!
You Two are Incredible-!

That first image put me in mind of T.Duquette Treatment-! You must invite me to one of your Feasts.

Love your Folk Art Menagerie Vignettes and the Sublime Centerpieces-!

vyala said...

Ah Splendor + Seraph, my imagination goes wild seeing these images. How I would love to be a guest at your table. This is materialized phantasy in a sea of lovely decadence. How could one not give in to seduction such as this....


Ahhhhh, how I have missed visiting here and being transported out of this world. Great post!
Lisa & Alfie

Seraph + Splendor said...

Hey Lisa - it is great to 'read' your voice!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

And to thanks everyone for your awesome comments - they mean so much to us!


[Tara] said...

Your posts are a feast for the eyes as well! Your home sounds like a wonderland, and I love that you compared it to "Goblin Market" of my favorites!

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