So right now I am drooling over a house for sale in my area. It i called ‘Oaks Castle’ and was built in the ’20s for some Tennessee Supreme Court dude. The pricetag is a diminutive 2million dollars. Okay, that is alot but not for a castle y’all. It boats 14000 square feet! Noice.
The shitty thing is…the interior is hideous. It is outdated and just really not my style. Prior to going on the market it was used as a wedding venue AND simultaneously a medical clinic until the doctor got arrested while speeding around town naked with a bunch of guns in his car… allegedly. Heres a link to that story if ya’ interested CLICK HERE FOR CRAZY DR.
Moving on from that bag of crazy… as you can see the interior (this is the living room or ‘grand hall’) is a hot mess. Who paints the ceiling the same musty color as the walls. That, combined with the tragic fact that there is no overhead lighting makes the castle seem dim and dank ( I am sure that is why it appeals to some people with the ‘castle vibe’ but not me, dear)
To be honest, I loathe the woodwork and beams. It makes it seem more rustic instead of the stately home it once was. The oak wood does not appeal to me at all and my idea is actually to gold leaf the beams (and possibly all the woodwork). The walls, I can see a nice white or grey lacquer fitting nicely. Remember, the house was built in the 1920’s so a Hollywood Regency look would probably fit better than anything (well for my taste anyway).
Here are also some design ‘boards’ to show the furniture that would work for the room as well. It is a mix of vintage, antique and modern furniture at various price points.
A. A pair of very rare Knole sofas in ‘vintage condition’ from the 1920’s, This is actually my favorite type of sofa and the only style that I think works perfect for the house. It is both 1920’s glam and gothic castle rolled into one. These style sofas can be seen on Downton Abbey.
B.Curule legged side tables with nailhead detail. I originally paired the sofas with a pair of camel suede endtables with nailhead trim but found the textures of the suede and velvet were too similar. I like the openess – tables with too much bulk would look too stiff.
C. Gray glossy lamps with gold leaf shades: Gray is one of my favorite colors and its a hot color in interior design right now. (Mind you if the walls were grey lacquer I wouldn’t use grey lamps but you get the idea) Gold and gray in combination makes for an elegant look whereas grey alone could read boring…and gold alone sometimes reads tacky…
D. Custom Scalamandre le tigre print silk velvet pillows are literally EVERYTHING. Its animal print without being Jersey trash. Tiger is a helluva lot classier than leopard an cheetah. Again, this fabric is also historically period enough as well without seeming stuffy.
E. A modern rug really balances everything out. Sure you could use a oriental rug or savonnerie but it would instantly make it seem a little too….grandma’s place. I like the chevron pattern, modern and yet…deco like the rest. The colors also work. The red from the sofas is hinted at without being too much. (Fun Fact: red is my favorite color but I only like it in small doses)
F. The Tracadero chair: these chairs are modern and can be found sporadically at most online decor hotspots like OneKingsLane and Joss & Main or google “Trocadero chair”. They aren’t cheap but they give a great modern but still deco vibe. Couldn’t you imagine sitting in one of these in Paris circa 1922 drinking a martini.
G. A fine vintage eglomise coffee table set by legendary Maison Bagues. Lets be honest, a modern coffee table would cost as much as this genuine Hollywood glam table so its better to invest in quality.
H. Smoke glass votives. Obviouly candles are a big deal and make a place feel like a home. I hate candles with labels like ye olde Bath and Body Works or Yankee. Blargh. So tacky. Stay neutral. Also one clonky candle sitting on a table looks stupid to me, a grouping of smaller votive jars is elegant…. (Tip: only buy them if they come as a set, these do. You are getting ripped off at Pier One. OneKingsLane often has the best deals on quality votive sets)
I. Antique velvet lined tobacco box: honestly this is just an accent and to hide remote controls!
J. To be frank, I am sick of the coffee table tray trend. I like it but its played out. I think this is where a DIY project would be fun… I couldnt find a tray that really went with the look Im going for. Most trays are mirrored which doesnt work on a mirror table!
A. I love this antique mirror. I can’t remember where I found it and who it is by. If I am not mistaken it i either by Jansen or Maison Bagues. I love the chevron detail at the top…thats what sold me to be honest.
B. Blackamoor bust: This is also from the 20s or 30s and may be controversial. I am not sure how politically correct these are today but I know Coco Chanel loved blackamoor decor.
C. Console tables: I think consoles anchor a room and take up empty space behind a sofa or a lonely wall. I This is a modern piece but the bronze detail on the legs is pretty nice. Not deco but the hand painted butterflies remind me of asian lacquered furniture and chinoiserie which I love.
D. X Stools (Tabourets): I have always been obsessed with these type of stools. They don’t take up much room, they look interesting, extra seating when needed and often can be stored under a console table…and if you are crafty, use them as your coffee table when not in use. Im not about that life though.
A. Art Deco Eglomise painting of a horse: This is actually a massive piece that I think could take the place of that tapestry. Its glamorous whereas the tapestry just looks tacky to me. I do love tapestries as much as…if not more than most people but cheap tapestries dont fly. Unless you can afford a 17th century Flemish one, don’t bother.
B. Napoleon III sideboard/buffet: I think this could work as a console for the opposite side of the room. Normally, I am big on symmetry and would do two exact consoles but I think the butterfly piece would be far too much if there were two and wouldnt seem as special. Plus, this one has storage.
C. An antique black and white marble bust of King Tut: Egyptomania was alive and well in the 20’s and I was just in awe over the coloring of this. I think it may get lost in front of the mirror in similar shades..ideally I probably would just put something deep red on this table…maybe a nice ruby red Waterford crystal garniture.
A. Now here is where I start to get a bit ‘tacky’. This monumental and glamorous overmantle mirror isn’t too ornate (which is usually my thing…) and yet has enough of a Gothic touch to still fit into my 1920’s castle look. Its also simple and doesn’t detract from what is set infront of it.
B. I obviously chose this brass and mirrored screen mainly because of the French Royal crest emblazoned on… but it also mirrors (no pun intended) the look of the brass overmantle mirror.
C. This clock is likely too fancy for most people’s taste but I have GOOD taste. LOL. Its just very me…and it reminds me of Versailles. In fact, they have a very similar one. Clocks are an obsession of mine so you might wanna get used to it.
D. Crystal candelabra: Ideally, I would like something with at least four arms but I fell in love with the greyhound motif and do I even need to say it again…it echoes the art deco theme. (In case you didn’t know, greyhounds were popular motifs in the period, likely because they were easy to stylize into graceful murals and glossy statues.) These are not deco however…they are actually English Regency…. so its literally perfect.
E. Gunmetal glazed ornamental urns: these sorts of urns are actually another obsession of mine. They remind me of Neoclassical decor, which is another favorite and really…they just work with almost anything. I prefer these to overly stylized vases. You could literally use these forever, they will never go out of style.
There is room for two seating areas in the room and I like the idea of using the other as a more formal grouping.
A. Gothic screen with gray linen upholstery: this 7 foot screen is stunning and could be used to break the room into two areas or hide a corner that Im too lazy to decorate! I really just like the castle look and it would be a grey backdrop behind the salon set instead of another paining or mirror.
B. Gilt wheat tables: I picked these tables for a few reasons: thy aren’t too stuffy and Coco Chanel had very similar ones in her sitting room. Point blank, they work. Wheat is a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.
C. Victoria era gilt salon set with aubusson tapestry upholstery. I really appreciate the heft of this salon set. it isn’t dainty like most sets of this type. It has enough beef to take on this large room and honestly I’d fill the entire room with antiques of this caliber if it weren’t too ostentatious. A little gilt goes a long way and its nice thing to invest in before its sucked off the market and held in some antique store til kingdom come only to be reupholstered in glossy black leather by some hipster….
D. Again, blackamoors… this time in 6 foot tall torchiere form. These are from Venice I think and date to the late 1800s. Coco would have been proud to own these herself, she had similar ones but I actually like these better. I like the richness of the black and the burgundy color is hinted at again without needing to do anything too red.
I hope you enjoyed this foray into home decor and a look at my mindset and how I choose things and for what reason… this is probably more detailed than many bloggers go for but I like to explain! If you want to know where to buy something similar to these items (or the same one if you want) let me know.