Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life on the Walls

" A work of art goes through many phases of development ..but in each phase it is always a work of art "- Hans Hoffman

This quote comes to my mind when friends often ask me if there is some-thing "missing" on this wall- since its lacks the 'expected' symmetry. Our ever-evolving dining room, and the collage of art work on its walls keep changing with time.

When we started our lives together many years back, decorating our modest apartment became our most-cherished pastime- like many of you. It was all very clean lines back then, awash with white walls & white linen with simple, modern & colorful accessories. However, over the years, experimenting, and out of sheer boredom and the need for change, our design ideas kept shifting. About 2 years back, Joe had a new wave of inspiration and started collecting old paintings ( the ones with gilded frames , very traditional ones ) which were such a contrast to our initial years. However, we were so mesmerized by the sheer beauty of some of the worn-out frames and faded-tones, that transitioning to another phase of decor happened as a natural phenomenon.

As much as I would love to fill up our wall with many paintings ( the ultimate plan is a salon-style wall), as most of you "collectors" already know, one would pick up a piece only when one absolutely falls in love with it, at which point the artwork becomes a "must-have". And so we keep adding one by one to our collection based on our hunts and trips. So now you know why the wall lacks symmetry !!

Here are some pictures on the journey of how this wall & the room came to be, since we moved into this house 3 years back.

Above : In recent times, kitchen's have become the new "gathering places", for your close friends and family to spend time. And the natural spill-over would be into the dining room. The bench above offers a great solution there, it easily accommodates 3-4 people in a informal gathering without feeling too crowded during lunch or dinner. It also serves another purpose - and here's the fun part: The men folk would usually sit backwards on the bench, facing the kitchen, and participate in the lively "kitchen-discussions"!
Above : A few weeks later, the center chair, which is slightly taller than the sides ones was added (we were experimenting and it worked well). The interesting part to note here is that NONE of the elements here belong to the same dining set or series- they were all individual pieces which we put together to create our own mix! (That was a risky move, but Joe was trusting his gut-feel). The chair also got a make-over from Joe. He had just got these ormolus and he "had" to try it on something, giving it a french feel.
Above: Wall treatment. The first thing to go on the wall behind was a mirror and it stayed alone there for a long we were thinking of what else to do.
Above: These additions came about a year back from estate sales. A vintage lithograph, a small chinese oil floral , another animal oil-painting from a Australian artist, and a watercolor from an Argentenian artist. We took off the Kangaroo couple of months back to give him a better-ground and put up the "LaMode Illustree" fashion plates there (see below).

Below:We featured this pair of beauties ("LaMode Illustree" fashion plates) in a separate post on this Blog to give the whole history of these amazingly beautiful pieces. They still remain one of our most cherished pieces on this wall.And so the story of our wall continues to grow! Will we fill up the whole wall? Who knows? One day we might wake up and do just that .. ;-)


  1. I love the look! We've only just started on our home decor phase and our experiments are tiny, to say the least! But I am inspired, especially with the mix and match concept - lovely!

  2. Rose,Thanks ! Be sure to chronicle the different phases of your decoration journey . As time goes you will be amazed to see how your taste and rooms evolve.
    Talking of tiny experiments, in our very first apartment, we used kitchen-ceramics ( like cups and bowls)for decor accents. They worked great, serving double duty: on the shelf as well as on the dining table :)
    Good luck with your experiments !!

  3. I guess I am one of the many who asked the question of "asymmetry" :) One of my fav hanging place for so many reasons-- lovely memories,all "themed" group pics taken with that wall as the background,nearer to kitchen........

  4. What can I say! You amaze me! I don't have this kind of patience or time for home decor and aesthetics.

    You home looks great!

  5. I love your salon-style!

  6. Soja, Thanks for the reminder..Actually those group photos are the best part :) I feel I should have mentioned that in the post !

  7. Oh Mr.Menon, Thanks for the compliments !

  8. Aditi,Thanks. I just saw your salon-wall in your latest post.. You have made it so personal with framing the bits from your life. I would have never thought of doing that.Great idea !


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