Friday, January 23, 2015

Frame Up

One day not so long ago Splendor came to the realization that her obsession with collecting textiles had taken a turn for the worse... she knew in her dark little heart of hearts that something that seemed like a FABULOUS notion at the time had amounted to an amassing of oddities that must be hidden from view. What was this horrid blight that befell an otherwise carefully curated (OK, haphazardly hoarded) collection of fabric related finery, one may ask? 



Nothing short of *gasp* a selection of vintage bath towels from the 60's & 70's, once sold at fine department stores now facing a flea market fall from grace. Now as the (unofficial) director of the Home for Wayward & Unwanted Housewares, Splendor readily sympathized with this sad state of affairs, comforting the trembling terrycloth towels and wiping away their tears. Truth be told, many a useless implement had been adopted using the old excuse that the object in question had simply followed her home. Tales are told of strange processions of furnishings joyously jostling at her heels, while bits of bijoux fluttered about her head. On one particular occasion, acting as the Pied Piper of Passementerie, Splendor rid an entire town of their troublesome tiebacks & trimmings in a single afternoon. As to how a stray washcloth joined this merry cavalcade of collectibles NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW...





Now in all fairness these towels were in fact quite lovely, festooned with dazzling motifs in a dizzying array of jewel tones, but subtle they were not... the term “eye blistering” has been tossed about by some, while others prefer the phrase “WTF!?!”. A favorite was fashioned in fuchsia & sapphire and blended a belligerent Fleur de Lis pattern with a mild mannered middle eastern motif... Oh, and let us not forget the set of sensuous stripes woven in tones of topaz & tourmaline, plush as velvet, with a border that can only be described as “medieval modern” (hmmmm...) Last but CERTAINLY not least, a single bath towel in shades of celadon & sea foam encrusted with an arabesque medallion and curlycue corners much like an exotic oriental carpet exquisitely rendered in strands of terrycloth... *rolls eyes* Each had it's own glittery label spouting nostalgic terms such as “Finger Tip Towel,” “Grand Damask,” “Moroccan Mode”. After the appearance of a bathmat emblazoned with the lofty title “Shanghai Serenade” (in a stunning ensemble of emerald & citron with a tint of chartreuse, if one must ask...) Seraph, fearing a toilet seat cover might be the next monastery to arise, promptly stepped in set set matters right... 





When queried as to the outcome of this curious collection Splendor declared that her treasure trove of terrycloth was to be conjured into a grand set of cabana cushions (true story, dear readers... hmmm) to be scattered amid an ornate oasis worthy of an ostentatious Ottoman overlord. Visions of plump banquettes and palatial carpets (and perhaps a pair scantly clad satyrs serving poolside) filled Splendor's head... There was talk of tufted medallions, tassel fringes and gilded galloons galore. Now if plans where to be made to transform a teeny, tiny bathroom (with one meager towel rack) into a sweeping seaside vista, Seraph stated that he preferred a grotto theme complete with Venetian shell chairs and a waterfall... He furthermore claimed that Splendor's garish plans were angering the sea nymphs and quite frankly PISSING OFF POSEIDON HIMSELF. As is most often the case, Seraph had better sense about such matters and the towel collection was relegated to duty as rags (rather ravishing rags, but rags nonetheless... humph)




 

Needless to say our petite powder room remains to this day decorated in the much sought after “Art Nouveau on Acid” style with peacocks aplenty and accoutrement in “tasteful” shades of blackened teal, burnt plum & gold... tell us, dear ones, have one of your collections gotten a bit out of control?  

Gathered here is a selection gilded portals and framed finery for your pleasure! Enjoy!

~Instrumental~

(Into Infinite Obscurity by Dissection)









Saturday, January 3, 2015

Where the Wild Things Are


There is a vile, soul sucking movement at foot, dear readers, that threatens the very foundation of decedent design. A threat so severe that there may soon be a sin tax on Scalamandre and a surcharge upon the purchase of satin sheets. What is this impending decorating doomsday you may ask? Well, nothing short of notions such as the 100 Things Challenge and other “live simple” manifestos that spout such nonsense as no more than THREE jeweled skulls per household (THINK OF THE CHILDREN) and a strict limitation on the quantity of candelabras that one can possess. Now the end is nigh if these conceptions come to pass for it will surely lead to the rationing of rococo furnishings and the hording of baroque bric-à-brac in broom closets throughout the land.



It would seem that every social gathering comes complete with a well meaning yet opulence challenged individual. At a fete a few years back Seraph + Splendor were cornered under a tree by a free spirited soul expounding the virtues of passing beyond the veil owning nothing more than a hymn book and a pair of sandals. Well, we politely pointed out when we pass through the veil it damn well better be: 1. black lace and second, held open for us by as cast of imps and demons AND if we are to be met at the Pearly Gates by a distinguished older gentleman in a flowing robe we are expecting nothing less than Tony Duquette himself or screw it we are going home. As for the hymn book? Baroque Baroque: The Culture of Excess by Stephen Calloway rather goes without saying... 



Here at Chintz of Darkness we prefer to clutter rather than cleanse. Why have one thing when a cluster of 32 would suffice so much better? Who in their right mind desires one lonesome and pouty lamp when a vast array of lanterns in various shapes and sizes can be suspended from the ceiling much like the glittering vault of heaven (ok, ok, rafters of hell, in our case... hmmm...) MORE IS MORE AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. Carpets are at their finest when placed like crazy quilts across the floor or tossed about haphazardly like a map to a magical land. Although several house guests have become helplessly lost after setting off on a rug fueled expedition, such decorating decadence is quite worth the risk. We in fact firmly believe that decorative objects have a certain sentience and enjoy gathering in groups gibbering and jabbering about the gossip of the day ... well, that is what we tell ourselves, anyway...



Perhaps there are those among us that require a bit of assistance when discerning “needful things”... a selection of silver encrusted hat pins are quite necessary while a sensible pair of slacks is not. An umbrella MIGHT have more utility than a unicorn figurine but an elegant array of table runners trumps a yoga mat any day and while practicality has it's place (we keep ours in the cupboard under the stair) it should NEVER dictate one's decorating decisions. Now dissenting opinions on such matters are surely to abound and if one can truly “be more with less” than may infernal blessings be on your tidy abode. 




From time to time we have heard the term “hording” bandied about as an insult and apparently “pack rat” has negative connotations to some... Every now and again even our (ok, Splendor's) compulsive collecting gets a bit out of hand. Stay tuned for a Thrift Store Confessional of sorts featuring the cautionary tale of a towel trove gone horribly awry (and yes, towel as in terrycloth... oh, my...) but THAT, dear ones, is a story for another day... 

A collection of flora & fauna themed finery... enjoy!


Dawnless - So it seems this sacred night.
Havenless - Beneath black sails with no land in sight.
Fathomless - The depths that lay before us now
Lawless - Before the courts of men we must not bow.



(The Wild Hunt by Watain)



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