Monday, August 24, 2009

Not sewing, but inspiration

Today I went downtown with a few friends to visit the O Street Mansion. I'd never heard of it; turns out it is a private club/hotel/event space near Dupont Circle. Once a year they have an extravagant rummage sale, opening all the rooms in the mansion; everything in the place is for sale.

First of all, the place is totally overwhelming. There is stuff crammed on every shelf, nook and horizontal surface -- including the floor. The rooms are decorated in unique styles, from high modern to lodge rustic, and everything in between. The whole place is a rabbit warren of passages, stairways, doorways, nooks, crannies and hidey-holes. Totally fun.

It was difficult to capture the flavor of the place in photographs, so these really don't do it justice, but should give you an idea of the kind of place it is.

This bookcase covered the wall of this tiny back staircase. I'm not sure how we were supposed to access the items on the upper shelves.

This Yellow Submarine themed jukebox was in the billiards room, which was festooned with Beatles memorabilia. The jukebox was priced at $12,000.

One of the guest rooms. Every room had lush bedding and at least a dozen pillows.

Another guest bed. The walls were all covered in artwork; all of it for sale. It made me wish I had more wall space in my house.

This was a very interesting bathroom. Here you see the shower stall, and a soaking tub to the left of it. What is not easy to see is that the shower and tub are at least four feet higher than the rest of the bathroom.

Hmm. I really couldn't figure out how one was supposed to get up to that platform to use the shower? Then someone in our group figured it out.

Pulling on the railing revealed the hidden steps to access the shower and tub. It was beautifully made!! And, quite clever, I thought.

An adorable little door knocker on one of the guest room doors. I think it was only about 3 inches high.

Another bathroom done to excess; this one had a wooden tub. You can just see the corner of the glass table at the lower right that held a chess set. Chess in the bathroom?!?

Yet another bedroom, sumptuously arrayed. These were two twin four-poster beds put together to make a king-sized bed.

The sitting area in another one of the bedrooms. There were a lot of these little nooks and conversation spaces scattered throughout the mansion.

I loved this clever ceiling treatment. The lattice served as both crown moulding and cornices for the windows. The ceiling was painted to resemble a dawn sky, tinged with pink. If you look closely you can see the vines painted over the trellis, and there are also some bugs thrown in too. The closets in this room were also decorated with branches painted on the wall; on one of them, the artist included a tent caterpillar nest.

So what did I buy?
I only purchased a few items, but my favorite of all of them is a genuine ostrich egg. This is now sitting on a shelf in our "Anthropology Room" -- the room containing the odd little items from our travels, and from our parents' travels. It looks right at home!


I think this was one of my favorite rooms. It was completely draped in fabric, and was filled with John Lennon memorabilia, even in the bathroom.


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