My Mazamet

Life at № 42

Chairs, China & Art – and detours

Remember how the dining room was nearly done? Oops. There’s been a detour.

I wasn’t happy with the balance of the lighting as we sat at the table. The right balance between light and shadow for eating isn’t easy. Especially with new bulbs. We decided indirect light might do the trick – and by coincidence I’d seen a pair of rather spectacular 19th century paintings of North Africa were coming up for auction in Madrid. Very similar in manner to the work of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (that’s the father of the more famous Fortuny.) They’re done on the scale of a miniature, except incredibly large. Stunning work, very unusual in terms of format. Anyway we decided to go for them and light them as a way to brighten up that wall (which required cutting channels, electrics etc.)

The chairs are back and look just wonderful. Having seen samples of work from various upholsterers, the one I was most impressed with was Christiane Besson just outside Mazamet. She has a good eye and she immediately suggested we do central flowers on each chair, 4 of one kind and 4 of the other for added interest. The result was superb.

 

Also, I wasn’t terribly happy with the dinner services we brought from Spain in the dining room. They’re in the green family whereas the room is in the blue family. So I found a very attractive Limoges set from the mid 20th century. A very Japanese, Kakiemon style pattern.

And here are some close ups of the paintings:

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44 comments on “Chairs, China & Art – and detours

  1. Steve Ruis
    November 8, 2018

    I dislike in the extreme bare light bulbs. I prefer indirect sources or heavily diffused sources which provide very even illumination. (Chandeliers give me the willies!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      We’ve got dimmers on all the chandeliers. They’re there for effect, the glint on the crystal is very charming at night 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande
    November 8, 2018

    I’m yet to see a Tiffany lamp. What’s wrong with you?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. MELewis
    November 8, 2018

    Wow, that is all very stunning! I agree that lighting is extremely hard to get right and so important for a pleasant experience at table. Also horribly expensive if you get it wrong….😭

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sirius Bizinus
    November 8, 2018

    Looks good. You’re a miracle worker with lighting. Personally, I would have given up a long time ago and put up a print of Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      Thanks! Lighting can make or break a room. And the LED factor has completely thrown off traditional mood lighting. People are still adapting to the new system but with old lampshades and positioning to start from, most of what I see leans too dark or too bright.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Bizzy
    November 8, 2018

    I love those paintings.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      In person they’re really quite something. Very interesting period in Spanish painting. These in particular are very close to the impressionist movement.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Kris Jennings
    November 8, 2018

    The accent downlight is a very soft elegant touch that warms the room. I hadn’t noticed the inlays(?) under the window. Another beautiful detail. You are the devil aren’t you? 😈

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      Yes, the panelling under the windows is fantastic, isn’t it? It looked a bit tired before, so we sanded the whole thing down (years of accumulated paint on top) and added the wood-carved central medallions to finish the whole thing off 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  7. foolsmusings
    November 9, 2018

    Omg would you hurry up. This house is taking forever :p

    Liked by 3 people

  8. acflory
    November 9, 2018

    Love those paintings, Pinky. They really do brighten the room enormously. I’ll be interested in seeing how they look at night.

    I have a favour to ask. I need to know what style of window is in a particular building in Sainte Anne. It’s the one at the following link:

    It’s a small thing and I could fudge it, but I’d like to get it right if possible. Couldn’t find anything on the internet. :/

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      Hi 🙂
      These windows are called fenêtres à petits carreaux – even though the squares are actually quite large…

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        November 9, 2018

        Thank you! -hugs-

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        November 10, 2018

        I thought you might like to know why I needed to know about ‘les fenêtres à petits carreaux’. Apologies, I’m experimenting with ‘humour’ and I’m a little heavy handed:

        ‘Despite being the only human currently located in the Sainte Anne complex, the AI made Stephen materialise in a small supply room that boasted little in the way of amenities. But it did have a glorious window made up of eight, individual panes of glass that all looked out onto a bush that was covered in delicate, soft apricot flowers.
        “What’s that?” Stephen asked, his hand pointing towards the view through the window.
        “They’re called ‘fenêtres à petits carreaux’,” the AI said.
        Stephen flared his nostrils but refused to give the AI the satisfaction of asking what the words meant. The damn machine knew full well he couldn’t speak French. All he retained of his school boy French was ‘le livre de ma tante’, and even that was pushing it.
        Nevertheless, as Stephen turned towards the door, something surfaced from his long buried childhood. Didn’t fenêtre mean window?
        Looking up at the ceiling, he said, “Say that again, in English?”
        “The window of little panes,” the AI replied obediently.
        Bastard, Stephen thought as he struggled to contain his anger.
        “Right. Now tell me the name of the flower…on the bush…outside the fenêtre.”
        “That would be a Rhododendron ‘Alhambra’,” the AI began, “of the subgenus Pentanthera-”
        “Stop! That’s all I wanted to know,” Stephen said as he threw open the door and marched out into the main reception area. He would never ask the AI anything again, ever.
        “Would you like directions, sir?”
        “No.”
        Still bristling like a porcupine, Stephen almost stumbled as the long stride of his avatar took him by surprise. Slowing his pace to a more manageable walk, he headed out through the imposing front doors into the glory that was Sainte Anne.’

        p.s. can you email me please? Just so I can add your email address back into my address book. I lost it when I switched email clients.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. makagutu
    November 9, 2018

    Pink, this is beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hariod Brawn
    November 9, 2018

    I think you need to shift those pictures up by about four or five inches.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      We started with them higher, but the whole point is that they’re seen by people sitting at the table, rather than standing up in front of them, so we ended up lowering them for that purpose 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t think we have seen the drapes before. They came out really nice. They add warmth without shouting LOOK AT ME!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 9, 2018

      They weren’t my first choice. The ones I wanted were from a shop in the US which *refused* to ship to France… Anyway, these are made of cheap Ikea (Aina) white linen. They let in light which is nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Anony Mole
    November 10, 2018

    So, are you done in there yet? I’m hungry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 11, 2018

      The last house took about 15 years for me to be completely happy (or as close as possible to that that I can get!) 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  13. midihideaways
    November 12, 2018

    I’m hoarding old-fashioned incandescent bulbs and even halogen spotlights! 😀 I’m really no fan of the LED bulbs, and I resent not having a choice on what to buy – the ultimate in nannying!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 12, 2018

      Aren’t those LED things just horrendous?!? Sometimes I walk into people’s houses now and the first thing I’m reminded of is the lighting of schools and hospitals from a long time ago. That cold light with hints of blue or green. Even the allegedly “warm” versions have something clinical about them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • midihideaways
        November 12, 2018

        And it’s not only the colour, I find that they create a kind of light “fog”, which isn’t really light, in some restaurants I can’t even read the menu… Appalling really!!

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Bela Johnson
    November 12, 2018

    Our house is always a work in progress. I’m always wanting to change something up, because I’ve spent more time here than Chris. I’ve had more time to really feel and observe. I’m grateful we are able to do this, many just camp out in their homes, which is their prerogative, I guess. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  15. wcs
    November 13, 2018

    Superb! The new lighting seems so much warmer, at least in the photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 15, 2018

      It does in real life too! It wasn’t an easy room in the sense that all the others had architectural features to play with, and that meant shadows and interest were built in. Here we had to “invent” the layers to give the impression of age and depth. Gorgeous beach/dog pictures, btw. Your blog link never appears when I click on your name for some reason…
      http://wcs4.blogspot.com/

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Luís D'Oliveira
    November 23, 2018

    It looks amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. theoccasionalman
    December 17, 2018

    How lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2018 by in art, Mazamet and tagged , , , , .
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