Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
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: