Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Emperor's New Den

There was clearly a market, back in 1960, for rooms designed especially for small dictatorial men. Just in case they wanted to decorate their dens. In case they wanted to? Oh, but of course they wanted to! They demanded it. Actually, some flunky (retro Josephine, perhaps) did all the work. He just stood around with his hand in his jacket, wearing a funny tricorn hat.

The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement says we can learn a lot from this room:

Yes, we do "know at a glance" that this person is obsessed with the "Little Corsican." But the lessons we are going to learn are not about grouping objects effectively or using a solid color to offset all those gilded tschotchkes. No, no, no. This room shouts not: I know how to decorate but rather: I only answer to Your Highness! Now go invade Russia, and don't come back unless you're packing some premium caviar for my afternoon snack!

The velvet armchair is perfect for lounging and for ordering people around. And all the little medals and helmets and doodads are the ideal visual cues for friends - they'll know better than to ask difficult questions like: Got any good snacks? Can I play with the fringe on those epaulets on the wall? or, Hey, how 'bout that Battle of Waterloo?

13 comments:

Erica said...

Argh... it's so BLUE! My eyes are watering.

Tori Lennox said...

The mind just boggles....

Me-Me King said...

Eee-gads! Can you say, "monochromatic"? It's definitely Waterloo Blue. Hmm, I wonder if Martha Stewart offers this theme?

jan said...

I remember that color. It was everywhere. Why?

Amy said...

wow um that's an awful lot of blue, if the person who owned the office also wore blue, he/she could camouflage themselves...just a thought...

Lidian said...

Erica - Napoleon demanded an excess of blue!

Tori - Yes, it sure does.

Me-Me - I love that! Waterloo Blue - of course! Martha S, please take note.

Jan - I think it was supposed to be sophisticated...My father's office had a carpet that shade, now that I think of it.

Amy - Napoleon has probably got a blue costume in that very shade. Or else he could just hide behind the drapes.

Heather Cherry said...

People are always asking to play with the fringe on my epaulets.

*so annoying*

This room is exquisitely hideous.

RE Ausetkmt said...

Lord Have Mercy, No You Didn't

"gilded tschotchkes"

my hubby is a napoleonic scholar and he says the color is Prussian Blue; which is a darker version of Parisian Blue which was the official color of the Military under Napoleon-1;

as you do realize they were a dynasty, like the louis.

yes dear lidian, that is quite a drawing room. but I didn't see any Napoleon Brandy in Baccarat ?

you realize that lil bastard had to "use it" since he didn't have much of a way with the Ladies. yes I said USE IT.

you know it was rumored he was actually well.. Gay.

thats where the whole Napoleon Complex thing comes from supposedly, not just his height.

Bill said...

The only thing missing is a bullseye mirror. You know, the kind that makes the beholder really big, and everything else quite small.

Margie and Edna said...

Miss Lidian, how did you get a hold of a picture of our living room?

Lidian said...

Heather - I can imagine how annoying that must be! :)

RE - Lord have mercy, yes I did! :) And I believe the brandy is in a locked cabinet. Also, I reckon that the Prussian Blue is altogether wrong for Napoleon - guess those 1960s decorators didn't know any better...

Bill - Yes, that would be perfect.

Miss Margie and Miss Edna - Well, I reckon you must have had a guest back in the 60s who was a decorator, who took a picture while you were making tea...

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