Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Apartment -- Pre-Raphaelite Inspirations

Home decorating is a passion of mine. I don't claim to be good at it, but I DO claim to enjoy it greatly. I also love to voyeuristically peek into the homes of other people, especially other like-minded people. Among the most beautifully decorated homes I've ever seen, I can confidently list Anita, Lisa, and Jen.

The other day, I was looking around at my house decor and noticing how much of it was inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites and Arts & Crafts. Of course there's also plenty inspired by whimsy and fairy tales, but I think they are in about equal measure. I thought it might be enjoyable to do a series of posts with images of my apartment decor.

Sadly, although my apartment is a quite unique set-up, it's difficult to capture in pictures, so there are a lot of close ups. The apartment is a townhouse, with the living room and kitchen all on the main floor. The main level has vaulted ceilings (wonderful for fitting all my large scale artworks on the walls), and the bedroom and bathroom are upstairs, with a wonderful little "look-down" into the living room that makes me feel like Rapunzel every time I peer from it. There's also a carpeted basement, but we use that as our "geek / tech room" so I won't share pictures of that. As always, the pictures are a lot bigger if you click on them, so feel free!

The front door, with our favorite wedding picture above. I love how this picture blends in well with all of the Pre-Raphaelite art I have at the same level around the room.
The first thing one sees when one walks in the front door is this side table with a box featuring the art of Evelyn de Morgan, and an antique book by John Ruskin.

The corner cabinet beside the window features a vase found on an excursion with Tess. She has a matching one in her Morris dining room, as we both feel it's quite Arts & Crafts. The Snow White box from Tess' Benefit Auction is also sitting here waiting for its new home.

In a post I did during my first month of the blog on how to decorate like William Morris on a budget, I mentioned Artscape Magnolia stained glass window clings, and how wonderful they are for the budget or apartment-dwelling Arts & Crafts aficionado. These are the Artscape windows in our apartment. Sadly the picture does them no justice.
Tucked beside the front door of the apartment is this little fireplace. Above the fireplace on the small ledge mantle, I put four decoupaged picture frames that represent my husband Tom and my great hobbies/interests. His two are Spider-man and Death from Sandman (he's a big comics fan), and mine are Waterhouse and Kinuko Craft.

A better look at the living room walls, with my favorite framed artwork, Circe Invidiosa, looking down. The living room walls were painted with two whimsical faeries (the second one is to the left of the iron grates, unpictured). The faerie pictured was inspired by an artwork by Charles Vess.
Here's the look-down I mentioned, from the bedroom to the living room! How romantic! The Lady of Shalott is one of the first things you see when you walk into the apartment and look around.

An overall view of everything you've seen so far:

Plenty more pictures to come!


Margaret said...

You've done a lovely job decorating the apartment, Grace! It definitely has a strong pre-raphaelite/medieval feel. It looks like such a relaxing retreat!

Hermes said...

Love the look and the atmosphere you have created. Only one thing missing to complete it - a big tapestry.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Grace!
Thank you for such a compliment! You have given me an idea for my blog this weekend. I am at school right now, so during lunch I am going to get cozy and look closely at your apartment and comment! I can't wait! I'll be back in an hour or so!!!! You are great! Anita

Grace said...

Hermes, there are a few walls I haven't shown yet! ;)

Thank you Margaret and Anita! Anita, I look forward to hearing your further thoughts!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Ah! Lunch break! Now, I just want to say that your decor is stunning. I can feel the medieval charm and coziness and your use of the pre-raph art is soooo exquisite. Imagine, seeing the Lady of Shalott every day in your home! The elements I love are the wrought iron candle sticks, tapestries and the art. You captured it Grace! So this is a townhouse...would you be allowed to decraled your windows? Can you invision how that would change everything? I really like the photo with the old book and the tapestry runner on the table. This style never dies; my husband and I say daily how much we enjoy coming home to tuck ourselves into the world that we created with this sort of mood. I am sure that you and your husband are happy as well. I am going to post pictures of my interior this weekend Grace, thanks to your genius! I wasn't sure what I was going to do but I remember you asking me when I would show more pictures of my house....this weekend! I have several tapestries that I will showcase. That gorgeous large wall you have would also look great with a large tapestry! Oh the possibilities. Keep a look out for my post this weekend and I can't wait to see more of your medieval abode!!!! Have a great day out there in Ohio! Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Me again!
I just wanted to add that lighting also adds a great effect. I don't know about you, but one way I get this mood is by candle light, but I don't use candles. I will take photos of my lighing methods. My favorite part of the day is the early morning when no one is up. I put on my candle lights, sip my cup of tea and meditate by candle light. I dream quite often of what it would be like to live in the time of the subjects of pre-raph art! Then the evening, when we are all settled in, again with the candle light. I play my harp (I play mostly celtic music and some classic) and away I go with my imagination! What do you enjoy to evoke the mood within your surroundings? Anita

KeKe said...

Your place looks great~I agree with you on your list of decorating afficiondos. I'm jealous of all you!! :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

It's me again! Wow, I am very flattered that you would include me in with these two women for having beautifully decorated homes...I just visited both and my heart literally skipped a beat, really! All three of YOU have THE LOOK. It takes years of collecting and finding the right pieces. Jen's room especially, with the little alcove tucked in with the blue chair, what a perfect place to just hide with a good book and a cup of tea. Her leaded glass window in the library is really cool too. Thanks again for including me in this! I will deliver some photos this weekend for a home tour in my neck of the woods! Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good evening Grace! The wall I am referring to is the one below the second floor banister; a large tapestry would look awesome there! I have one in my bedroom that I am going to post on the weekend; you will see how it looks. I love to look at it often because it transports me to the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine or even Marie Antoinette...I got it for a song in Paris! Until the next time...Anita

ruthie said...

Thank you for sharing, the atmosphere you have created in your home is perfectly pre-raphaelite/medieval inspires, beautiful indeed.

oonagh-fey said...

Your decorating always inspires me. I long to make my home just as wonderful as yours.

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