Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ménage à trois and the chunky brass doorknocker.

A few decisions have been made about our place in the country. First, Robert would like to give it a name. Second, he fully galvanized into action on the decorating style of our home; French Provincial meets eighteenth century Americana meets ‘homestead’. This ménage à trois motif was arrived at thanks to an armoire, the single piece that Robert had set out to purchase one day for the bedroom. His search took him to a few Ottawa shops and had inspired a frenzied spree to fill our home.

When the dust settled arrangements had been made for the delivery truck. Its first pick up would be from Yardley’s Antiques on Bank Street, and the final pick up would be from the Emporium on Main Street. Stuffed, the truck would then waddle off to our little casa in the Gatineau Hills by Rivière Blanche.
Among the more interesting pieces were a neon Labatt’s Blue Beer sign with an accompanying Canadian Maple Leaf that says, “GO ORANGE” (which I assume is rooting for a sports team as opposed to the fruit), and a beat up New York Mets pennant, both of which have found a home in our main floor powder room. Being unfortunately oversized, it has become a sort of in catch-all that, but for the sink and toilet, might be otherwise referred to as shed.
Also within the confines of this room is a rather substantial Moroccan door knocker, which was given to Robert during our recent trip to New York. It is a dividend payment of sorts for Robert’s investment years ago in “Rick’s Cafe” in Casablanca, which an old friend of his who was living in Tokyo at the same time in the 70’s/80’s created, when she was with the U.S. Department of Commerce drumming up trade for America. She loved it and decided to build the one thing Casablanca didn’t have ... Rick’s Cafe.  Somehow a chunky brass doorknocker seems to work alongside the Labatt’s Blue Beer sign, and until we find a more suitable place there it shall remain.

Robert has also decided that he would like a huge wrap-around porch, so he took the logs of the three dead birch trees we had to get cut down and made an enormous outline on the lawn, which framed the house. This was done last Thursday while waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting ...... for the delivery truck to arrive down the steep hill of our dirt road, with the armoire, beer sign, two American/Provençal wing chairs, a Pennsylvania Dutch hutch to be used as a wine rack, six 19th century ‘Arkansas-hills/Quaker-inspired’ fan-back chairs and an accompanying round, hand-hewn, pine dining table.  
After spending Canada Day in the city to watch the fireworks from the 22nd floor of the Westin Hotel, we packed up the Jeep and headed off to the country. When we arrived, Robert first gave me a tour of the new furnishings, ironically, minus the armoire as it had been too big to get up the stairs, and then took me outside to show me his log template.
Then  we sat on the front veranda in our new grey/powder green rocking chairs, made with twisted and turned twigs – you know the kind, but these are curiously attractive -  and marvelled at how nicely things had come together. It was during this discussion that I became inspired and offered my suggestion for the name of our homestead, Big Deck. To my surprise this was not met with a warm reception. Hey, it’s not bragging if it’s true.

Robert’s thinking more in the line of Tara...(the main house in ‘Gone with the Wind’)

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