Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin’s egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don’t let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I’d like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you’ll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can’t go wrong! Now, this is the paper we’re going to use in the hall. It’s flowered, but I don’t want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There’s some little dots in the background, and it’s these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room – in here – I want you to match this thread, and don’t lose it. It’s the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it’s practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me…
Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?
Charlie, Painter: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.
Mr. PeDelford: Check.
Perhaps you’ve seen Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Cary Grant? Myrna Loy? It’s charming. This 1940’s black-and-white chronicles Mr. and Mrs. Blandings’ love affair with a house. As with all love affairs, it has its ups and downs. It’s worth seeing to have a chuckle over his outrageous advertising executive salary alone.
If you are skipping around the blogosphere it’s likely you are in the midst of a love affair with your own home. Mine began with my room at a very young age. The items in the hutches of my yellow chinoiserie bedroom furniture were in constant motion. Books here, mice there, Madame Alexander dolls there. Books, mice and dolls jumbled all together. Shifted again to make room for my 8-track. If I’d been a smidge older I might have known the term “tablescape.” I was massing gobs of junk on my walls a la Chile’s and TGIFridays.
And then I got sidetracked.
An issue of House Beautiful in 1998 rekindled a passion for a discipline, that, when done well, is nothing short of an art. As way of introduction, here are a few rooms of my own dream house.
Movie still top courtesy of moviescreenshots.blogspot.com