Atta Babe

When the double wide meets Avenue Foch.

With Opening Day upon us, everyone’s thoughts turn towards The Babe. For me that would be Mrs. William S. Paley.

Babe Paley was one of Truman Capote’s Swans, elegant chatelaines known for their jet set originality. In Babe’s case it was the seemingly effortless soigné she brought to her personal sense of fashion and decor.

My favorite quote of hers (which happens to be the only quote I know of hers) is that you have be able to mix the dime store stuff with the good stuff. Although her collection was more Jansen where mine is more Woolworth’s, I couldn’t agree with her more. It’s not so much what things are but how they are perceived.

Sans souci chic

I’ve always been too impressionable for my own good. And now I’ve become obsessed with Amazon. I want to buy everything, they make it so easy.

Lately its been those tacky plastic coverings that are used to make windows look frosted. Although I am savvy enough to see through the ad copy B.S., I am completely seduced by the photos. I really want to believe what I’m seeing is true.

The pictures make the windows so dazzling, they sparkle like fine case crystal. When the box arrives and is opened, however, the coverings look and smell like something out of a raunchy motel in the Smokies.

Undaunted, I was determined to use them in some manner. So I layered them on top of the Evans & Brown wall paper to cover the bedroom door.

The results were inconclusive. The side with the stylized cross pattern shows promise. It has an MCM feel to it (that would be mid-century modern to the unwashed) but shows glue spots in some of the frosted areas. Fortunately this is on the backside. And, unfortunately, very few visitors get the closed door experience these days anyway.

The front was a complete disaster, two days of effort and $9.98 wasted. I’d ordered the 35″ width but received two rolls of 17.5″. Trying to create an invisible center seam then match the dizzying 3D pattern into a straight, horizontal line was Sisyphean. Fine print must have been missed somewhere (calling the aforementioned ad savvy into question). Though one would be mistaken to think I’ve given up.

I doubt that Mrs. Paley would have used this technique in any of her homes. I do think she would have appreciated the spirit behind it.

Pussy Rout: the Cat’s Eye pattern produced Cat’s Liter results.


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