|Living Room at Belle Ami. Just how green can you get? click to enlarge, click again for details.|
Let's see, there are two salvaged piano legs, turned upside down. One holds a candle, the other a fern in a thrift-store dish that also catches drips from the hanging plant above. Then there's all the furniture, most of which came from estate sales, craigslist, and curbside on trash day. Beneath it's custom slipcover that I made from left-over fabrics, the sofa is really a red and green plaid hand-me-down from the photographer across the street. The black wicker chair is part of an antique set gifted by friends when they moved. The lamp is a yard sale find, with it's shade covered in fabric from a yard sale skirt. One of the pillows on the sofa has a cover made of more of this, plus left-overs from the scrap basket. The floorcloth is painted on a painter's dropcloth.
Then there's the extremely green window treatments. Far more green than meets the eye. The oatmeal beige drapes from the previous homeowner are still there, slip covered in fabric I found in a classified ad for $1/yard. This way, I get the insulation properties of the existing drapes (plus a layer!), I threw nothing in the trash, and I used about 1/3 of the fabric needed to make new drapes. Topping them is a valance made of salvaged table cloth lace, and some sheer fabric from the same seller as the drapery fabric, draped over branches that slough from my maple tree, and all wrapped up in grapevine my friend Beth asked me to help her thin.
Half of the house plants get double green points, too. The ferns were florist-bought gifts from my friend Cindy, who loves this room, but the rest are my outdoor plants from last summer, which I have managed to not kill for an entire winter. You are supposed to be veeeeery impressed by this. They were all planted in compost, since I didn't have any potting soil handy at the time, and none of them has had any fertilizer. That's more because I didn't think of it until just now, than because I would have to go find something organic that doesn't smell like rotting fish, or doesn't come packaged in a ton of not-green plastic (what is it with packaging organic stuff in multiple layers of plastic, anyway?).
I really don't know why the Boston fern in the window is doing so well. These are the ones you are supposed to mist twice a day, and keep away from heat sources. I barely remember to water my plants twice a week, and I have yet to find a plant mister that lasts more than about a dozen squeezes of the trigger, so I'm chronically without. Also, that's a radiator, hiding under a topper made of a salvaged cabinet door and left-over burlap, behind it. My best guess is that this is the room where I write my morning pages and do my morning meditation and prayers, and the energy of that somehow makes the fern happy. I sit next to her when I write, and when she's thirsty, she drapes her fronds across my shoulder.
Fantasy? It's an enchanted sort of a room.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Remember to get your green on, and watch out for the little people!