Some, Gentle Reader, have kindly expressed an interest in the appearance of my new digs. So I am going to waffle on about interior decorating, demitasse teacup collections, steampunk, tribute from readers, and the like in this post. There are also lots of pictures.
I am a huge fan of interior decorating and design blogs. Almost as much as fashion, in a few cases, more. Renting this office space was an opportunity for me to stretch my nascent decorating wings, although it being rented I could not do any major modifications to walls or carpet.
One of the things I love about design blogs are before & after pictures. I will start with those images, and then let you in on a few secrets as to the details of my professional life in object form.
Note the spiral staircase? The office has two levels. I wanted to turn the downstairs into a meeting/tea/reception area and the upstairs into a writing and reading zone. The challenge was that the downstairs has this kind of L shape to it, not very conducive to a conversation pit.
Managed it only just, with a small angled couch-let (Home Decorators.com), chair, end table as tea trolly, curtains (all Ikea), silly throw pillows (Ross & TJ Max), globe tissue dispenser and shag rug (Amazon). The pictures on the wall, the orchid (Mr. Ambassador) and its sphere container, and the vintage scarf draped over the couch came with me. Those are my scrapbooks of the Parasol Protectorate journey on the bottom shelf of the tea trolly.
I put a bamboo rug in the hallway (Amazon) by the tea preparation zone (Ikea). I thought bamboo might be easier to clean of food and foot traffic, plus I think it goes with the Victorian nature of the building. I was very concerned that visitors might bop their heads on the spiral staircase, so I got some paper pompoms (Amazon, sold as a streamer) and hung them on all the corners. Hopefully they will act to catch on people’s peripheral vision if nothing else. They reminded me of this dog:
Inside this entrance I put the tea zone. One simply must have a little area for food prep with a fridge (for tea milk) and a kettle (for tea).
Cabinet is the Besta (designed to hold TVs I think) from Ikea, fridge and kette from Amazon.
Opposite the tea zone in the entrance area I put a Billy bookcase (Ikea) full of all my books, from foriegn editions to author copies.
This corner has a bathroom door and a closet to deal with. So I nested a display cabinet in that area (Ikea) and my parasol collection in a large Ikea vase.
Inside the display cabinet I placed my demitasse teacup collection. This collection has been in storage for almost 20 years!
It was so so nice to get the teacups out again (although not all of them fit). I also put in some of my favorite steampunk items, and gifts from readers. If you’ve gifted me something and you don’t see it on display, please don’t be upset. Much of the fan art has gone into my scrapbooks, some jewelry items I wear regularly, and other tribute objects were too big or off color to really fit properly. Others I intend to rotate in.
In the odd unusable corner, I added the big poster of Soulless (gift from Orbit), a small alarm clock (Amazon) and three Godey’s fashion plates, framed, inherited from paternal grandmother.
You would not believe how complicated it was getting desks up and down a narrow spiral staircase. We made it easy with six people, two passing up, two lifting over, two on the stair guiding. But I elected not to take this table (which came with the place) back down. Instead, I just covered it with a sheet and a bamboo runner (Habitat a long time ago), and cute little lamp (Ikea) and two plants (the Mum). This desk area has become the sewing and depository of stuff zone.
Upstairs has to be more practical. Hence the ugly wall calendar (Amazon) ~ its the only way I can keep track of all my events and deadlines. I put up all my framed (now unused) degrees. What not? The sitting glass desk is for in-and-out processing and editing (it’s a floor model I picked up from Office Max super cheap that as now moved five times and is rather rickety), pod chair (Ikea) in white, perhaps not the smartest choice, file cabinet (CB2), printer under a cover, planters as pen pots (Ikea). (Map of victorain London in slip magnet on front of file drawer.) The painting is by the artist Tom Field, a Beat period California based impressionist. He often painted areas of the coast, including the ones I walk on and swam off as a girl. This painting was my father’s, who briefly ran a gallery in the 50s. I’ve lived with it my whole life and I love it. I find it very peaceful.
This is my real desk, where most of the action happens. I like to write standing up. Both it and the bar stool (tucked under) are from CB2 and I’ve had them for a while now. The desk was sold as a free-standing wet-bar, but it’s the perfect height for me (at 5″6′). I’ve a Wellness mat to stand on (Amazon) which I hope to replace in a nicer color after fiances have recovered from the move (they are not cheap). On the desk you can see: my teacup (gift), scrap paper, a tiny lamp (Ikea), docking station (Amazon), orchid (TJs), S-shelves as laptop lift (Westelm), wireless keyboard and mouse (Amazon).
Maps of Victorian London 1870s torn from Baedekers. Picture of a character, Scorch, done by one of my beta readers. Scorch is from the Unpublishable Blightness of Being series.
My spine bookcase takes center stage in this area, with all my primary sources (mostly Baedekers) adding a pop of red. The shoji came from Ross a long time ago. And finally I have enough space for my dummy! I missed her so, it’s hard to tailor clothing on yourself.
One of the other reasons I rented this office ~ besides the historical Victorian setting, the quirky two levels, and the private bathroom ~ was the light. It has great light. However, we had a really sunny day last week and I discovered it was too much light! So I pin screened over a vintage tablecloth from my grandmother to filter it. The cloth was stained and rather sad, so I don’t mind abusing it. (I’m not one for storage and preservation of objects for their own sake. Perhaps this comes from being an archaeologist and handling really old artifacts, but I think objects should be used and lived with, otherwise why have them at all? With the possible exception of demitasse teacups.)
The final reason I rented this space was the nook. I think it was meant to be storage.
Wanna see what I did with it? Do ya? Oh yes you do!
Bookshelves bellow and within, step stool, curtains (all Ikea), comforter cover and vases (Westelm), pillows (TJ Max, Ross, Amazon), silver boxes (Ross), map of 1895 Indian coast, LED Christmas lights, dimmer switch, and melted clock (Amazon).
It’s a book nook! A place to curl up and read, perhaps watch a costume DVD. Isn’t it adorable? I am beyond excited by it. Too many pillows perhaps? Is that possible? I’m such a girly girl. But don’t you just want to cast yourself into its cloudy puffy goodness? I know I do.
The AB’s comment?
“Only you could fill an office with that many pillows.”
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1855-1865 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
via Heather over FB from an old contest
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Quirky Victorian Term explained: Peruvian Bark? “This valuable medicine is the bark of the quinquinna tree, growing only in Peru. It was discovered by the Jesuits, whence it is frequently called Jesuits’ bark.”
~ Mangnall’s Questions, 1830
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Good blogging advice for writers from the fashion blogger perspective.
PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Writing rough draft.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date November 2013. Await ARCs.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition possibly Nov. 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.
BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!
The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.
The manga editions, both now available in print.
Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!
The first Finishing School book ~ OUT NOW, The second Finishing School book ~ Nov. 5, 2013?
Errant Easel says, “Despite it’s early calendar debut, Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Book the First was hands down my most anticipated book to be released in 2013. I was not the least disappointed.”
Quote of the Day:
“Hands have they, yet steal not – clocks. Legs have they, yet walk not – tables. Teeth have they, yet chew not – combs. Lips have they, yet kiss not – pitchers. Eyes have they, yet see not – needles. Hearts have they, yet the pity not – cabbages. Ears haev they, yet hear not – old book leaves. Arms have they, yet toil not – chairs.”
~ Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine November 1872