Monday, September 20, 2010

Curiosity Look Book

Knock knock. It's the case of the creeping curiosities.

Antique hand door knocker from Buenos Aires

As I look around my house I notice there are many curious objects. It probably started when I was girl and wanted to be a scientist. I collected the typical nature specimens we all love as children: birds nests, insects, butterflies, shells, rocks, maps, old books.

Visual Vamp front door

I also loved old and crusty and rusty things, found objects like old keys and bottles, and broken bits of corckery I imagined came from "olden times".

Vignette on the front porch

Specimen charts and natural objects have found their way into mainstream decor accessorizing HERE.

Cholo loves this chair by the window with a sheepskin on it

Step right up and take a tour of Chez Vamp, where every room seems to have a curiosity or three.

The entry table is rusty
Birds, old keys, old house numbers

Rusty old house numbers and keys
Insect and bird antique plate

The door stop is huge chunk of amethyst

The dining room table has cowhide and metal antlers
And hooves on the table legs

A globe, butterfly specimen, botanicals in the dining room

Flower botanicals in the dining room
Sand in the hurricanes

Owl print on a very old vintage calendar
Oyster plate

Even though it is still 90 degrees in New Orleans, it still feels like Fall. A certain restlessness piques me. Recently Alberto and I started a kitchen revamp, and my beloved life size skeleton charts that were hanging in the breakfast area, were removed, rolled up and stashed away.

The living room then - wallpaper mural hides a door

But I missed them, and couldn't think of where to hang them. It's not easy finding a wall space in my house, much-a-less a space for two six foot tall anatomy charts!

Then it came to me! Behind the credenza in the living room!

The skeletons side by side in the living room
The mural is behind the one with the back view

Of course, this invited a whole new look for the credenza, a styling opportunity to use all the curiosities!

Styling with curiosoites

I added an orange branch with a lady head bust, a metal V recently purchased at the new Anthropologie in New Orleans, an antique mercury pharmacy bottle, a large clam shell, a framed letter on sationary with a pelican on it, a framed print of Madame Pontalba (one of the founding mothers of New Orleans). The lamps made from chippy old porch posts add just the right amount of glam decrepitude.

Metal V for Vamp!

Antique mercury pharmacy bottle

The vintage Baker credenza is nine feet long, so there is plenty of room to clutter it up. No matter how many times I self edit, I start to miss the layered look I love and can do in my sleep.
So I say forget it, so I'm a clutter queen.

Bird pillow from Dwell Studio
I also brought the tree print pillow in from the bedroom

Antique mercury pharmacy bottles, a gold wood egg, tortoise shells

An antique painting with chippy paint was also added

The bedroom has a few curiosities too. I took the hide off the couch in the living room, and threw it on the floor.

Visual Vamp master bedroom

There are a couple of trays of shells on an armoire in the bedroom.

Shell collection in leather trays

In the kitchen, with the skeletons gone, photos of New Orleans in the 1940's took their place. I hung them like a film strip. A hide appeared under the table.

Visual Vamp breakfast area now

Here's a look at the then breakfast area where the skeletons hung for a very long time.

Visual Vamp breakfast area then
Skeleton anatomy charts in the kitchen

The skeletons also once hung in the guest room
I bought them in a flea market in Lisbon 8 years ago

Curious little owls on the mantle in the breakfast area

Visual Vamp breakfast area in kitchen now

Curious little details are fun! They make me smile if nothing else.

"Keyhole" on the guest room door
I cut it out from a Fornasetti book

Vintage concrete frog doorstop

The inside of an armoire looks like science class

A mercury glass beetle on a light switch

Is Fall making you restless to revamp and redecorate and rearrange things? Tell us what you are up to, and send photos to me if you'd like to show us. I always love to post what you all are doing.


Sharon in Chicago said...

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice...

Once I saw the keyhole in the guest room, I could no longer restrain myself from posting a favorite Alice in Wonderland quote.

Love your curiousities and the personal quirkiness they imbue into your space. Also love the fact that in this day of streamlined, ultra-organized decorating, you proudly own the fact that you are a clutterer. A refined one, of course.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I loved this tour of your curiosities. Loved seeing so much of your house. It's still in the 90's I'm not feeling like fall...yet. I usually don't till first of October when I'll go all out with Halloween stuff. For now, I'm trying to finish up some projects and get them put away before I haul out all the Halloween and make this place spooky.

Irene said...

Love your door knob, and the rest of your home looks wonderfully curious. I love all these wonderful items, so do my kids, but it does get cluttery. Oh well, we must be happy in our homes.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

I LOVE this reveal into the Vamp abode!! Loverly!

You know one of my fave things is the keyhole lookie lou! Brilliant!

pretty pink tulips said...

Looks like someone's ready for Halloween!!! :)
xoxo elizabeth

home before dark said...

I think your soul lived in New Orleans long before you did.

Debra Phillips said...

val, loved this tour of your charming home. it's highly personal, bits of whimsy (keyhole...crazy for that)and eclectic.....FAB.
but i did get a strange feeling as i read; thought i was the only little girl that wanted to be a scientist....back in the day....and i have so many of the same curiosities, science bits and sentiments. must be kindred spirits

pve design said...

I think they need you at Anthropologie.
You have such personality and wit and I love how you always keep changing things around and keep us all guessing.

La Petite Gallery said...

So when can I come over? I love the door knocker. I will dream of it. The sand in the candle is a great idea. I too used to collect old keys.

great and fun post.. yvonne

La Petite Gallery said...

So when can I come over? I love the door knocker. I will dream of it. The sand in the candle is a great idea. I too used to collect old keys.

great and fun post.. yvonne

camdesign said...

Oh my, that was the nicest tour I have ever been on of someones home are so talented, amazing!
Love the orange bust, I have the same one I think, I just might have to repaint her orange like yours, I love the punch of colour...
Regards, Carol Ann

Appletree said...

It's so quirky and unperfect that it is just perfect. And kudos to you for posting your own home, I love bloggers who do.

Anonymous said...

and every time i think, 'well, that house can't get any better than this,' it just does, growing (better) like topsy!

lovely, miz v! don't let cholo hog all the laurels. m


Anonymous said...

I so relate to your look. I've been following your blog for a while and you're so me. I love everything you do.

I wanted to share some of my clutter.


Emom said...

I just stumbled over here from "Belgium Pearls", and I am so glad that I did! Your home looks like so much fun....reminds me of my grandmother's home when I was a child....of course, she was a southern lady through and through....smiles.

my favorite and my best said...

those skeletons are my favorite bit in your house i think...
but that beetle looks familiar!
mine's on my bar set up!!!
i like him very much.

Anonymous said...

I love your style! Fall always makes me shift into nesting high gear. Right now I have so many things I want to do, I can't decide where to start first.

Renae said...

Love taking a close peek at all of your collectibles! My mind and focus is on the wedding (4 weeks!) although I am getting a bit antsy to get some painting done!

Barbara said...

Love all of your collections and
decor -- after all shouldn't a home be a place for personal expression.
And thanks for revealing all the
skeletons in your closet (LOL).

jlonit said...

The photo of Cholo sitting in the wing chair by the window is lush and beautiful. I thought it was a Paris apartment with the elegant high windows.

sherry said...

Dang got some neat shit! How have I not been here before???? I am following, so don't jump off a bridge or something.

Lauren said...

Valerie- i love everything!!! love your look and your "clutter"-- i'd take that kind of clutter any day

also - i have those little owls too!!! are yours s & p shakers???


Rachel said...

I always love seeing bits of your home - it's so creative and interesting!

And I'm loving the color in your dining room!

Thanks for the tour :-)