Soon after I moved into the apartment, my beloved Grandmother emailed me saying that she’d been ‘holding some things for me’ in anticipation of the day I finally moved into a place I could decorate.
My Grandparents are lovely people, my grandmother is an artist, and my grandfather a former lecturer turned managing director of a steam railway. At one point in my childhood my Grandma had a shop in Whitby that sold beautiful things, and she’s one of those people who beautiful things present themselves to. She always has beautiful clothes, beautiful jewellery, and a beautiful, beautiful house, full of lovely art and furnishings and wood floors due to my grandfather’s hideous adult onset asthma (which my mother has just developed, so I am going to make the most of beautiful furnishings while I am young and strong of lung).
So anyway, my Grandmother just drops into conversation that she has four huge toile de jouy curtains that she’ll just post down to me. I think I only stopped screaming in delight a few days ago, and they’ve been up for six weeks now. Toile de jouy, and pink toile de jouy at that, is probably my favourite colour.
I don’t remember these curtains ever hanging in their house, and neither does my mother (but my mother probably wouldn’t notice them, not being her style).
So when I moved into this flat I realised that at some point there were curtains hanging in the living room, above the huge french windows, but they had since been taken down and the holes polyfillered in. I also realised that if I tried to put up curtain rails myself I would likely somehow trepan myself with the drill I would have to buy. Also they would be wonky.
So, I did what any modern woman does, and texted a load of anonymous men on the internet until one of them said he’d come and do the hard labour in exchange for cash. I had no idea who he was, but I took the day off work, he turned up, was delightful and Portuguese, we chatted about our misspent youths, he drilled my wall something good, I gave him money, and it was totally worth it. As the old Jeremy Hardy joke goes, DIY is scabbing and I am nothing if not a dedicated socialist committed to supporting my fellow worker.
So my dream curtains arrived from the mysterious place my Grandma is saving things for me (also indicated to include at least two tea services, which once you include the tea services my father keeps offering to post me means I have an option on five separate tea services. I am British but not that British. I also have capacity for maybe one cup of tea at a time) but now I am caught in the place where my bedroom, the perennial disappointment, needs curtains. And when I say now, I mean ‘since I moved in three months ago’. I normally sleep with the curtains open anyway so its not been a pressing thing.
Obviously all these episodes of Say yes to the dress have gone to my head, because these are the curtains I want:
They are also £400. And far too big. And are of course, cream, my least favourite colour as I have white walls and love colour. But these are giant fancy curtains and I want giant fancy curtains that are impractical and that I can get drunk and wrap myself in as I watch all the SYTTD episodes that are saved on the skybox.
I’m not sure exactly where this lust for silk curtains came from, but its here now. Its nice to have a hobby, I guess, and eBay is mine.
Anyway, here is what I’m deeming my 3 month living room update picture. This flat has a long way to go (although there is probably only so much I can do to disguise that it is a 1990s white box.
You can see the glory of the Aubusson rug, with the glory of the toile curtains and how they now totally clash with the green velvet floral sofa of dreams…but how I deal with this is something for the future.