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Things are the Sons of Heaven

My parents and my grandparents had lots of mahogany furniture. My grandmother gave my mother some of her furniture including an enormous solid bookcase and my mother spent a great deal of her own time scouring auctions from where much of our furniture was sourced (I used to sit beside her quiet as a mouse because she told me if I moved at all, items would be knocked down to me and I was terrified). This was great when my parents lived in a big house but not so fantastic when they moved to a smaller Edwardian semi-detached house which basically had to be organised and extended around the furniture. I remember one of my friends commenting when he came to my parents house first what a curiously old-fashioned house it was.

Anyway, doubtless due to my peculiar upbringing, I love dark furniture. I think mahogany is a lovely, lovely wood. And it is out of fashion so truly beautiful pieces are going for a song. I want to cry every time I see a big house auction and fantasise about bringing all these items home to my terraced Victorian house. Although, frankly, with the items we have already imported from my parents house and the sofas of doom, there isn’t a great deal of space. Furthermore, I am not at all handy and so the round mahogany table which should tilt sideways, is permanently slightly askew, let us not even speak of the piano, the wardrobe door will not close (my grandmother gave me the wardrobe and I love it but it is inconvenient to have to wedge one door shut with a child’s old sock) and one leg is collapsing and there seem to be no carpenters who are at all interested in mending these beautiful things. It is all a bit depressing. I saw in the Irish Times design supplement one Saturday (which I find curiously appealing, I know what you’re thinking, stop it) an exhortation to readers to go out and buy mahogany furniture cheap at auction and then paint it over with pretty pastel shades. I think I nearly did cry when I saw that.

Am I entirely alone in my love for cluttered living with dark furniture? A whole generation of Victorians can’t be wrong.



5 Responses to “Things are the Sons of Heaven”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    the way to use it in modern settings is to keep everything else light.

    It will come back.

    An evening class in carpentry for you or Mr Waffle?

  2. Christina Says:

    I love old dark furniture and we have plenty of it, not all mahogany. My favourite is a wardrobe, dark walnut, beautifully made with velvet drawer linings. So much nicer than my daughter’s white soulless Ikea wardrobe (she loves it for those very reasons). I would definitely cry if someone painted my beautiful furniture a pastel shade!

  3. belgianwaffle Says:

    Jennifer re evening carpentry class, could easily put us over the edge.

    Christina, your wardrobe sounds truly beautiful. I am hoping our children will come round to these things or, in the long run, they will all be for the skip. Sigh.

  4. WOL Says:

    Instead of looking for carpenters to repair your wardrobe, try furniture repairers. Also, if you call around to reupholstering firms, they might be able to recommend somebody

  5. belgianwaffle Says:

    That is a good suggestion re re-upholstering, thank you!


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