English Muse: Favorite Things

As promised, I have a few more guests joining me here on decor8 this week with their favorite things... so I'm going to let them have the floor and talk to you about their cherished possessions and what inspires them. First up today is the English Muse. Enjoy!

Hello from Pasadena, California. I'm Tina from English Muse and I'm very happy to be visiting the lovely decor8. I live with my husband, my daughter, two cats and a little mutt dog in a small English Tudor style house on the edge of the San Gabriel Mountains. I have many favorite things gathered from years of prowling the flea markets and raiding my father's art studio. They form a colorful hodgepodge in every room in the house. Many of my parents' friends were artists--their homes filled with folk art, pottery, hand-carved furniture, Chinese antiques and bookshelves lined with English literature. Stepping into their haciendas was like wandering through a magical paradise of erudite pursuits. It's a sensibility I love, which is why I wanted to start my blog. Beauty comes in all colors and from all cultures.

English Muse

Everyone needs a favorite chair. This one is mine: an old club chair covered with an antique suzani from Uzbekistan. (Bought on eBay). The fabric is soft after years of wear, faded to a deep rose-red. The swirling, colorful embroidery is so beautiful, made with thick strands of silk. At the moment, this chair is stacked with magazines and catalogues -- as are many of the flat surfaces in our house. My plans to get organized continue....

English Muse

My elderly father has been very sick lately, so my most cherished possessions are his gorgeous paintings and watercolors. With their colors of blue and green, they form mini-galleries in various places in our house. I especially like this collection, lit by a skylight in a long hallway.

English Muse

Of course my most favorite things: The people and animals who live with me in this little house.

English Muse

I hated the idea of keeping all my Polaroids in a box. I put together this art installment of sorts on the refrigerator. The picture of my daughter in the bunny ears is my favorite. There's also a picture of my husband with one of his funny grins. It makes me laugh.

My inspiration: I grew up in New Mexico where the sunsets are purple and pink, the furniture and doorways are often painted blue, and the mountains are named for the color of the soil: Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ.) I'm convinced that a beautiful home is all in the little details: A pretty perfume tray, textiles from locals around the globe, whimsical things like a bouquet of colorful umbrellas, weekend papers spread across the floor for reading, art with deep grooves of oil paint, dried flowers on a dressing room table. Thank you for letting me visit! - xo Tina

(images: english muse)