Monday, June 7, 2010

Corner of my parlor

Corner of my parlor

I'm restoring a turn-of-the century bungalow in Mobile, Alabama. Although the out side looks like a 100 year old Art's & Crafts home the interior has nice plain details. As I plan to have a more mid 19th century look inside of the home as most of my furniture dates from 1820-1860. The inside needs lot's of work. Plaster repair. The original hardwood floors are covered in linoleum. Two weeks after moving in I was trying to figure out what color blue I would paint my parlor. I had the colors of the room. Blue, Gold and Burgundy. The walls would be some color of blue. My mid 19th century Rosewood Rococo Revival furniture would be covered in a period silk wine damask and a few pieces covered in burgundy silk velvet.
Before moving back to Mobile I bought 4 pairs of burgundy damask drapery that are over 100 years old. The gold would come from the many gold leaf framed artwork, including a pair of portraits in ornate gold frames and a large 1850's gold leaf pier mirror with marble base. Although I know what I like and want I'm not that good with picking color at first. I was going to go with a dark color of blue when my friend David {who is fabulous with color} dropped me off to my home after a lovely visit at his 1859 Greek Revival cottage stepped in for a min. He picked up a 1830's French Louis Philippe engraving I had on the table and held it up on the wall between my gilt leaf pier mirror and antique drapery.

The engraving depicts a nude woman in a bedroom interior. The mat was a topical faded French blue mat you see on Antique French prints. "This is the color you should paint your walls" David said. I looked at the mat and engraving and noticed it had all of the colors of the room in and it worked very well. I said I will paint the room that color, the next day I went to Sherwin-Williams and had the color custom made from the antique mat. Boy that was easy it's nice having friends that can help you out with decorating.

The 1830's engraving that started it all

I decorated a corner of my parlor in the early 19th century Federal style. Painted Baltimore Classical fancy side chair circa 1830-40. Painted Baltimore Federal pier table attributed to John and Hugh Finlay circa 1810-1825. On the pier table a 1790's Old Paris porcelain Neoclassical Navette shape dish by painted by the Deroche factory and made by the Petit Carousel factory in Paris . A pair of reproduction 18th century style brass candlesticks. A rare French Empire ormolu gilt chariot clock circa 1805. Over the table a 1820's Thomas Sully framed pier mirror found in Baltimore. Over the chair a Louis XVI framed Old Paris porcelain painted plaque of a American subject with Greek Revival building in Background. I marbleized the baseboards to look like Black Egyptian gold vain marble popular in America during the first half of the 19th century.                                                                  


1839 pincushion that belonged to King Jerome, brother of Napoleon

Detail of stuff

On the chair a dated 1839 pincushion that belonged to King Jerome of Westphalia, brother of Napoleon. The central figure of Napoléon hand embroidered is coped from the figure of Napoléon on the bronze NeoClassical Column in the Place Vendôme in Paris, France. Jerome had visited Mobile, Alabama in the 1820's and his guitar is in a period house museum here in Mobile. On the table a 18th century cup and saucer made by French Queen Marie Antoinette's Paris factory called Rue Thiroux decorated in the cornflower pattern that she made popular during the last quarter of the 18th century.  

1830's Paris porcelain portrait of a American gentleman with detail of a Greek Revival building and dome.



  1. Andrew, your posts on your house are overwhelmingly beautiful! The blue you chose is perfect. The marbleizing you do looks fantastic. That is a skill few people have. My couch is Rococo Revival so I know exactly what style you are talking about. I love all of your Old Paris; I've never owned any, but I know what it is. And the pin cushion...I love any piece with a past! I am amazed at everything. Marshel

  2. Hi Marshel Thank! My place still has a long way to come. I'm very happy with the blue and this was the first time I did marbleizing on this scale as I'm use to a smaller scale in my painting. Old Paris porcelain is my first love I'm addicted to the stuff. When looking at your fabulous place the only thing missing was Old Paris. Maybe it's not your cup of tea but it was very popular in Alabama during the antebellum period. Do you see in around the area you live in?