Thursday, May 28, 2009

Birds of a Feather

Recently we took part in a conversation regarding a powder room dedicated to the Dark Lord himself (no, not Seraph, although that would make an interesting design scheme complete with tattoo inspired wallpaper and spiked towels. The corpse paint dispenser would of course be Splendor’s…summer is hell on the complexion. No, we are speaking of a room dedicated to Satan himself. Now this sounds well and good on paper but in practicality it is impossible to find good quality Luciferian themed decorative accessories, not to mention mundane objects such as toilet paper holders (you try to get a demon slave to stand still for hours on end…)

This inevitably led to an analyzation of our own powder room here at Chintz of Darkness. The first thing we discovered is that 1) it contains no actual powder and 2) it has morphed into a strange yet oddly lovely Peacock Shrine without our complete knowledge or consent. In fact we are not sure exactly where and when our collection of peacock related ephemera began, because SERIOUSLY peacocks are NOT top on our list of design themes. It seems on reflection that we have amassed a small army of cloisonné vases which for the most part are peacock shades of blue and green, as well as a gilded Italian tray in a wickedly iridescent emerald green. There is also an antique curtain panel / shower curtain that has contributed to the problem by being a dreamy shade of faded cornflower blue with a baroque brocade motif vaguely reminiscent of peacock feathers.

Other favorite pieces from our Peacock Shrine include a distressed mirror that we pretend is from a Cocteau set and a collection of vintage cosmetic tins with intriguing names such as “Encharma” and “Talco Apolo”. We have tried opening a few of these but instead of the rapturous scent of feminine loveliness it caused a cloying hazy stench of funeral flowers and baby powder. Needless to say we replaced the stoppers before we released the genies…damn, it is treacherous around here sometimes and yes, the carpets are still after us for what we said about them…

Perhaps our most beloved object is a large champlevĂ© vase filling the corner of the room. This heavy encrusted vessel is crowned with an arrangement (disarrangement?) of witchy silver birch branches hung with antique chandelier crystals. We will NOT mention the miniature cloisonnĂ© peacock that resides there, because we are fairly sure that peacocks do not roost in trees or lay faceted crystal eggs in bronze filigree bird’s nests…surrounded by blue prisms evoking images of astrological orbs illuminating a pale yet glittering sky…OK, OK we will stop, we know we take our vignettes WAY TO SERIOUSLY for our own good. Does it surprise you that we have about a half a square foot of counter space left? We thought not…Tell us, dear readers, have your design projects ever gone in any unexpected way?

A peacock rests alone in the vitreous valley
With an innocent pose like it does not know
On its feathers ventaglia thousands of eyes
Empty since the end of oracles

("Heaven Below" by Septic Flesh)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Inside Out

As previously discussed we have had our fair share of difficulties in the gardening department here at Chintz of Darkness. While we are fond of all things dark, a BLACK THUMB is not so enviable and in no way chic…Things have only gone from bad to worse due to a particularly gloomy winter (and now spring) full of angst ridden storms, apocalyptic blizzards and demon frost worthy of an Immortal song…

Now some of our problems can be attributed to the apartment patio that serves as our “garden”. The lovely patio in question is situated at an odd sun angle, much like the shadow world between the mortal realms and the fey kingdom. This seems to greatly confuse our plants. Are they to grow like “normal” Creeping Charlie or Charles the Elf Warrior astride a warhorse made of petunias and snapdragons??? This confusion seems to lead to fungus, root rot and an inevitable yet untimely death. Even our stoic ivy has become despondent and no longer enjoys the resident squirrels sticking peanuts into every nook and cranny of its being…Ouch…And while a contributing factor in our ongoing gardening mishaps it has been agreed that there is no reason to include the words “rats” or “crazy upstairs neighbor” in this post…

Our current deathly shadow garden is actually an improvement over the street garden in front of our previous studio. Now street gardening might sound all hip and urbane, but that is far from the case. The highlight of our experiences include our daisies being trampled to death by herds of drunk girls giving each other piggyback rides, unsuccessful bicycle riding lessons carving pathways of destruction though our planters and a particularly malicious pair of tall and slender greyhounds. As we remember the wicked dogs were only 2 inches wide but 14 feet tall, and had the aim and intensity of a set of duel fire hoses…we kid you not, dear ones.

This has brought us to the conclusion that a new approach is needed to alleviate our flora and foliage woes. We have become much inspired by our childhood memories of our family’s sunrooms. Seraph recalls his Grandparent’s sunroom as a mystical place seeped in rustic Victorian grandeur. Tales are told of moldering yet exquisite wicker tables and sofas draped in down filled coverlets festooned with baroque bouquets of roses… Splendor’s head fills with visions of her Grandmother’s home. Grandma’s sunroom was packed with vases, pots and figurines in every imaginable size, shape and color. All of these assorted vessels became a refuge for every odd and stray plant clipping in the neighborhood, all growing until there was but a narrow and perilous path leading to the dining room…

Perhaps we shall create our own baroque garden salon complete with crumbling furnishing and feral and self sustaining devil vines (NOTE: you cannot buy those at most nurseries, they must instead be conjured or captured by other nefarious means.)

Gathered for your enjoyment are a series of greenhouses, sunrooms and secret gardenscapes that capture the fanciful essence of a garden path less taken…

A spectral spirit kingdom rise
In storm screens
Covered by eyes
Night emits its shadow
There is no difference
Between the ravens
They have come for me
They will come to me
To the cursed realm
Of the winterdemons

("Cursed Realms of The Winterdemons" by Immortal)
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