Above are the flowers my kitties (yes, kitties, not kiddies) got me for Mother's Day! They were a wonderfully pleasant surprise on Saturday morning. Those thoughtful cats,Cluny and Cuervo, included a box of chocolates with the flowers. Needless to say, the flowers are still here, but the chocolates are gone!Now I've been working on the living room. Our grand piano is in Arkansas so anything I do now will be temporary since we will probably have to put it in the living room eventually. In our family, while we do buy furniture, we are also very conscious of keeping pieces that have been in our families. The living room is proof of that. Most of the living room furniture that is in the townhouse came from my mother's-in-law house. The sofa was in her formal living room as was the rug, the coffee table that you see here, and the two chairs that are upholstered in the same lampas fabric. The French chair to the left is one we bought some time ago; the ottoman that goes with it is under the table so that it will be out of the way. The pretty table that sits in the bay window was also in my in-law's house behind the white sofa that you see here. It opens and one of the four legs swings back to make it into a square table. Although I hadn't used it that way before, I decided that it would look better in the bay if it were open. Sitting on it are figures of saints, a wooden angel, and another tin retablo, this one of St. Michael, who is the patron saint of lawyers.
I love the coral colour of the walls, and chose it especially to go with my collection of icons and religious paintings. The largest painting on the wall is of St. Barbara; I found it in Brazil and my husband bought it for me for my birthday. To the left is a tin retablo (framed for protection) of the Madonna and child, one of the first retablos I ever bought, from Mesilla, New Mexico. The other icons were gifts (the one with open wings from my son and daughter-in-law when they were living in Portugal) or I bought them while travelling in Greece, Mexico, and India as well as other countries (I have figures upstairs of the Holy Family that are African - gifts from my son and daughter-in-law). The coral colour is a perfect foil for the paintings and icons since some of them are rather dark.
I also collect landscapes; here are three on a small wall separating the living room and formal dining area. We also have a collection of cut glass.
The small entryway is basically part of the living room (ah, downsizing), but there is still a place for a chest and a large mirror so that I can check my face before going out or before someone comes in. There is also a small powder room to the left (you can barely see the white door frame). On the chest is a small metal sculpture and a large gold leafed figure of the Madonna that is quite beautiful. I've meant to replace the light fixture here with a different type of lantern or a small chandelier. However, not being bothered by bright brass, I rather like the way the bright gold of the lantern enhances the gold leaf of the nice mirror (this mirror from my in-law's French guest-room; the chest is ours). The mirror to the right is rather high, necessary because it has to be above the electricals and because I want it to reflect the crystal chandelier.
I decorate slowly over time, so I will have to live with this arrangement to see if it works. We still have cut glass, paintings, and sculpture that is currently in our house, so everything will eventually change a bit. While I have tons of framed photos of family, I tend not to put those in the formal rooms.If you have any ideas, please be sure to share!