Wednesday, January 14, 2015
My tastes tend to be fairly eclectic and I guess my resulting style is unique. When I gave my study/dining room a new look in 1998 I remember most people being very sceptical about the finished results when I told them my plan of dark red walls, ochre yellow curtains and very red carpet. When the room was finished, I held a "big dinner" for about 12 people, my then closest local friends, I guess, and the room was unveiled with some ceremony. Everyone liked it. Since then everyone else has seemed to like to too, often to their own surprise. The red really isn't overpowering.
The overall decor, furniture and function of the room, including shelves full of books, CDs and clutter, haven't changed, though from time to time little bits and pieces get added. The latest of these, two new small pleasures, are these Indian wedding garlands which I've hung either side of the mirror over the fireplace. They're made from a card base, I think, with much gold thread embroidery and sequins. My maternal grandparents brought them back from India in 1935 and since then they've been used mostly as Christmas decorations by my mum, who recently offered them to me because "they're just your sort of thing." They certainly are. I'm so pleased with them hanging up, now permanently, in my study.
In the centre of the mantelpiece you can also see a miniature chest of drawers, another recent addition. This chest of drawers was made by my paternal grandfather, in the style of Gordon Russell. Gordon Russell started out as an Arts and Crafts furniture maker in Gloucestershire and the bedroom where I slept in my grandparents' house, also in Gloucestershire, was furnished throughout with Gordon Russell furniture, though I didn't know it as such back then. I just always liked it. As an adult, though, the Arts and Crafts Movement has certainly been one of my influences as an artist and my love of things miniature and the link to my grandfather are the icing on the cake.