Monday, May 31, 2010

Create mystery...hide the rest

We hung these beautiful, but inexpensive, paper parasols at Nest, because the high ceilings and fluorescent fixtures made it impossible to achieve the intimate, mysterious atmosphere we were going for. So, we veiled the harsh lighting with the warm glow of parchment and chocolate brown. The parasols, hung overlapping and at different heights, created the cozy ambiance we wanted.

I got the idea for this years ago, when I moved into my first apartment. It was in an old house that had been divided up into one-room studios. My room had rotted wood floors, high ceilings with horrible, brown water spots, and a light fixture that consisted of an electrical cord hanging down about two feet, with an exposed light bulb at the end. But, it was mine!

I painted the walls a soft shade of lavender, and the yucky wood floors, glossy black. I had a hand-me-down dresser that I painted black, as well. I took off the ugly drawer pulls, and replaced them with elaborate antique ones. My bed floated in the middle of the room. There was no headboard, so I draped a huge, white spread over it, and piled on a bunch of pillows in all sizes and shapes. On my dresser, I placed a white alabaster lamp with a red silk shade, a bowl of exotic bangle bracelets, and a vase of red flowers.

But, what to do with that ceiling? I went to World Bazaar...remember World Bazaar? I bought twenty paper parasols. (In 1974, they were about a dollar each :) Mine were white with black borders, and each one had a red cherry blossom branch on it. I hung them from the ceiling at varying heights, so they would hide the water spots and mask the light bulb. Voila! The parasols took the room from exotic and mysterious!

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