I live in a saltbox colonial. When you come to my door, you will look for the doorbell. It isn't there. The man who built our house loved early American architecture. He incorporated many period-correct elements, like multiple fireplaces, wide-plank floors, and mullioned windows. But no overhead lights and no doorbells. I've always wanted to ask him why he stooped to include flushing toilets.
So guests are forced to announce their arrival by pounding. You can tell a lot about someone in that situation. A single gentle knock, the technique favored by my mother-in-law, indicates politesse and endearing optimism -- that we are right there, on the other side of the door, anticipating her arrival and reaching for the knob with alacrity. So sweet. Most people bang away because they're hungry, dammit, and they can smell the food from around the bend.
Recently, I purchased this chinoiserie bamboo shelf and mirror for my compact little entry way. Both pieces came from an estate sale held at a home fortified with two moats, cameras mounted along the winding driveway, motion sensors behind every shrub, and alarms aplenty. I kept begging my husband to create diversions while I looked for evidence of drug trafficking but he got caught up in the inspiring collection of rabbit's foot keychains.
I like the birds on this mirror. Back in 2013, I listened to Christiane Lemieux, the founder of DwellStudio, talk about design influences. She said that for the past several years, if she "put a bird on a product, it would sell." Bird popularity has not abated, which Christiane attributes to the way the internet works -- trends become deeply-rooted and consumers latch on and don't let go. If you ask me, that's a counterintuitive theory in an age of endless imagery and vast choices, but I think she's right.
The top of the shelf features an illustration of what could be Roman soldiers marching off to fight, I don't know, probably the Persians. Both empires missed the boat. If they had concentrated their efforts on depilatory solutions for their womenfolk, everyone could have been rich and happy. Speaking of cosmetics, both cane pieces probably need to be relacquered. But that is a problem for another day.
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If you like blue and white chinoiserie, you are in good company. Click on each image below for shopping information. More coming soon!
Thank you for reading! Enjoy this beautiful spring weather! Keep your eye out for birds, both real and manmade.
Photos by myself and Renn Kuhnen.
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