Coffin-Shaped Book Case

McFarland Enterprises has some truly wonderful ideas displayed on their blog, Las Cruces Carpenter.  One of which is this novel, coffin-shaped book case:

Published in: on January 7, 2013 at 5:58 am  Comments (3)  

Victorian Parlor Design

If you’re not following Sarah Ferguson on Pinterest, you really ought to be.  I’m re-posting several of my favorite Victorian parlor designs that she has collected:

Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Black, High-Back Arm Chair

I’m absolutely in love with this dark, Queen Anne arm chair for sale by Taylor Llorente.  The price is rather out of my ballpark, but what a great idea for a do-it-yourself project with a little wood, velvet, leather, and ingenuity.  Here’s what the vendor has to say about this item:

Couture and stylised high back armchair. The highly stylised and exaggerated ‘Queen Anne’ style shaped back and wings on a shaped base with pronounced and stylised cabriole legs. Solid wood base finished in antique gold leaf. Other finishes from the collection available on request to include silver and copper leaf. Upholstery available on COM (customer’s own material) or alternatively in leathers and fabrics from our main collection. On request. This collection is also available as sofas, single armchairs and as a double bench. Coffee tables with stylisation in keeping also available.

Published in: on December 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Film Review: “The Woman in Black”

James Watkins’s 2012 thriller/horror movie “The Woman in Black” stars Daniel Radcliffe and takes place in a gloomy little Victorian era English burg.  The story revolves around a mysterious figure–a woman shrouded in black–whose appearance always foreshadows the death of an innocent child.  The movie isn’t as scary as I would like it; it depends more upon shock and surprise than psychological thrill.  Daniel Radcliffe’s character seems to just stumble from one creepy surprise to another, as though he were going through a haunted house attraction at Halloween.  There’s little storyline or mystery to solve, and many of the frightening signs that Radcliffe witnesses are gratuitous.  The atmosphere, however, is positively beautiful, and the decaying old mansion in which most of the film takes place is gorgeous.  I recommend watching the film, if only for the mere beauty of it.  It’s not a bad film by any means.  Just don’t expect to come away from it severely disturbed.

Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Moroccan Riad

The above picture is of a riad in the western Moroccan city of Essaouira, photographed by Christine Oakley.  The riads of Morocco are traditional palaces with interior gardens or courtyards.  Wikipedia explains the riad concept:

The riads were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed in the central location of most of the interior gardens and courtyards and the lack of large windows on the exterior clay or mud brick walls. This design principle found support in Islamic notions of privacy, and hijab for women. Entrance to these houses is a major transitional experience and encourages reflection because all of the rooms open into the central atrium space. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and possibly a fountain. The walls of the riads are adorned with tadelakt plaster and zellige tiles, usually with Arabic calligraphy, with quotes from the Quran.

I greatly enjoy this particular riad.  Its use of dark royal purple curtains contrasts wonderfully with the trailing green of the hanging vines.  The intricately decorated lamps, dangling from exaggerated chains, cast a nice subtle glow on the brown and black walls and hand railings.  It has just the minimal amount of light, and every part of the scene is a carefully thought out work of art.

Published in: on December 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dark Regal Bedroom Design

Take a look at this regal, black and white bedroom design posted on  The beautiful use of full length curtains and wrap-around drapery makes the room seem tall, while the busy, intricate patterns on the wallpaper and bedding make the room seem narrow and cozy.  The foot and head boards on the bed are covered in a wonderful, soft, black cushioning with patterns reminiscent of Chesterfield furniture.  The use of antique-ish furniture and plush adornments create a living space suitable for a Victorian aristocrat.

Published in: on December 24, 2012 at 9:50 am  Comments (3)  

Medieval-Style Game Tables

Thinking of buying a pool table, chess table, or poker table?  Emmanuel Couture creates beautiful, medieval/gothic style game tables.  See for yourself.

Published in: on December 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dark, Vintage Bathroom Designs

The ever-tasteful Sarah Ferguson has gathered a collection of delightful dark and vintage bathroom designs from around the web.  Take a look and be inspired:

(Click on each picture to view a larger version)

Published in: on December 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm  Comments (2)  

Antique Armoires and Cabinets

M. Markley Antiques has acquired quite the collection of antique armoires and display cabinets, particularly of the Renaissance, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV eras.  These beautiful pieces can be used to hold your wardrobe, to display books or heirlooms, or even to conceal more sinister things.  The woodworking is exquisitely intricate and the material is of undeniably high quality.

Published in: on December 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

11 Ways to Make a Modern House Look Victorian

Have you gotten stuck with a boring, plain, modern house?  You can easily turn it into a charming Victorian one.  Here are some simple and effective ideas:

1. Install Exterior Trim

2. Put Up Crown Moldings

3. Surround the Property with an Iron Fence

4. Switch to Vintage Plumbing

5. Mount a Few Gargoyles

6. Use Wooden Doors

7. Vintage Light Fixtures

8. Build a Greenhouse Conservatory

9. Frame and Display Portraits of Your Ancestors

10. Use Victorian Window Frames

11. It’s All About the Wallpaper

Published in: on December 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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