This partial view of a room in Axel Vervoordt's book Timeless Interiors is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I know the book has been around a while and certainly I have seen the image a number of times before, but this time it spoke to me. In fact, it resolved a dilemma I've been having about the walls in our place.
One of the first posts I did was about the older you get the simpler you want it and simple is what this room is, about as simple as it gets - as simple as couture tailoring, simple being a synonym for superb - superbly tailored and totally discrete.
The walls are unadorned except for an intrinsic finish and the furnishings are the essence of discretion. Clean-lined upholstered furniture covered in linen and cotton in tones of beige white and brown, sits on a sea-grass carpet, accompanied by Chinese tables on which bronze Chinese vases and Chinese ceramics are grouped. It's a simplicity belied by the fact that the pot holding the branch of fern is about two thousand years old, as no doubt are some of the other bronzes and ceramics.
The dilemma is whether or not the walls are left bare and if they are how are they going to be allowed to speak for themselves? Beyond discussion and negotiation, the dilemma is resolved.
The problem is, two coats of latex paint don't quite cut it any more.