Mediterranean Homes Design
Kitchens are tempting sites for displays of ephemera -collages of bright labels or orange wrappers, filched menus, or stacks of decorative tins. A huge felt-covered pinboard – either criss-crossed with elastic held in place with drawing pins or stuck with baize or fabric and studded with thumb tacks – could bear an anarchic collection of tickets, theatre programmes and postcards, or a careful composition of exotic sunset or food postcards. Discarded printers’ type cases can make a grateful setting for really tiny treasures: you can hang them vertically, or use them as drawers on wide shelves.
But the problem with kitchens is that everything can get very dusty and sticky. Cleaning a myriad of bijou little objects on open shelves can sour the sweetest temper. The alternative, if you want to admire a dust-free hoard of, say, egg-cups with amusing chicken motifs, is glass-fronted shelves and cupboards.
Collections in bathrooms
Bathrooms are the perfect homes for collections of precious tiles, for example the bold, art nouveau designs of William de Morgan. Victorian tiles in a limited colour range make the richest patchwork; a tapestry of tiles in warm browns and reds, or deep green and indigo, is a glorious and practical way of finishing a side-table top, or of making a surrounding for your bath and wash basin.
Bathrooms invite frivolous and amusing collections: of ducks and swans, shells and fish. Or you may feel that baskets of fragrant pearly soap may be more appropriate. Think also about making exuberant displays of bathroom packaging – decorated soap boxes, glass-stoppered bottles, or an alchemist’s array of prettily labelled pots and jars. They cost the manufacturers big money to produce and design, and they are just about the prettiest visual treat you can lay hands on for nothing.
Bathtowels and bedlinen have a comforting charm about them – shelves full of neatly folded, colour-coordinated towels and embroidered sheets and pillow cases, studded with the odd lavender bag, can look beautiful in their own right, particularly if they are ranged in an old armoire whose shelves have been covered with fabric.
A Dutch crown Once intended for hanging decomposing game, this gruesomely named “Dutch crown” is now put to less malodorous use displaying a spectacular array of antique kitchen equipment. Cooking paraphernalia does not have to be ancient to be beautiful. A carefully edited collection of modern enamelware can look just as good and does not need to be polished. Add bunches of herbs or strings of garlic and onions for a suitably rustic look.
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