June 7, 2007

Carleton Varney, Part IV

When I get to Carleton Varney, the last part, it's going to be hard to remember which Roman numerals to use! As usual, I cracked open the book and something appropriate came up. Miss MA, my BFF has a) sold a house, b) bought a house, and had it fail inspection, c) bought another house, d) traveled to China for three weeks, e) adopted a baby girl and f) moved to the new house... all in less than three months.

I am helping her decorate her new house, which is going to be done in a British Colonial style. Sort of tropical islandy and sort of formal. She's pretty much starting from scratch as far as the rooms go, but she does have some furniture.
So it was perfect when Carleton Varney directed me to Tropic is the Topic. Although he advocates more the Pacific tropics rather than the Caribbean tropics, he's got some good suggestions. For tropical dining room walls, why not consider... a reedlike design of brilliant greens on a white background? ...Open-back natural-rattan chairs would signal the islands in your dining room.

This is especially funny in light of the e-mail I got from Miss MA this afternoon telling me that the wallpaper we'd ordered for her house came in today. It's green bamboo trellis on a white background. The paper is from Stroheim & Roman's Chinoiserie collection and is called Cathay Trelliage in celedon and cream. We are going to put it on two walls of her living room to make it look like a tropical garden.
Miss MA also bought some rattan chairs that have pillows, but she's going to get them covered in something that looks better than the current beige and black. They're also sort of a chenile fabric, which doesn't cut it in this humid climate.

I think the verdict is that tropical is still topical today. Think India Hicks and her look, Ralph Lauren and the Little Palm Island Resort in Florida and the island of Bermuda.

I peeked ahead to the next page in the book and it was about foil wallpaper. I think I will just shudder a bit and jump right over that suggestion.


  1. That's a great choice for wallpaper- love that pattern! Carleton certainly had a point about a tropical interior- works today too!

  2. Love the trellis wallpaper. Can't wait to see what it looks like when she gets it up. You guys are going to have so much fun!

  3. Yes, LOVE the wallpaper! Congrats on your mention in the Post.


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