Indigenous North Americans commanded by Spaniards carved the cherubs’ faces in this grand cathedral in Salamanca, Mexico that Chris and I visited in May 2005. The wealth of the New World meant sufficient funding for this paint job, too—all the gold on the walls is…gold. The floors are all gray marble, the chandeliers are draped in crystal, and pale green contrasts the floor-to-ceiling golden icons.
Note to self, I thought at the time: stone, gold, crystal, pale green in a light-filled space = refined opulence.
Apartment hopping from state to state doesn’t give much time to compose these elegant arrangements, but with some little color adjustments we might have something workable for the living room (currently built around a beautiful sailboat-on-the-sea painting flanked with framed architectural sketches of Anastasia Island’s lighthouse, with aqua and plum pillows on the taupe couch). I bought this alabaster vase in Cairo, Egypt’s Khan el-Khalili (خان الخليلي) in 2003 (the other is glass, on sale at World Market). Two-tone roses in gold and coral contrast our olive antique U.S. Army footlocker/coffee table. Replacing the aqua and plum pillows with brown and olive accentuates the gilded picture frame on the edge of the couch and has our living room sailing smoothly from summer into…well, end of summer. I like to think of it as Sunset over Salamanca’s Cathedral.