"Shaken, not stirred" is Ian Fleming's British Secret Service agent James Bond's preferred preparation of his martini cocktails.
Why the James Bond reference? Started a new job that will be "shaken not stirred." New client has the suavity of Agent 007. He's also an antiques special agent: Robert Morrissey, owner of Robert Morrissey Antiques and Fine Art, 132 N. Meramec Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105.
Mr. Morrissey has quite an eye for the refined and has accumulated a collection of important antiques, decorative arts, and paintings, including artists such as Frederick Sylvester, Stan Masters, and Arthur Osver. That's why this chapter is called "Diamonds are Forever." I'm gettin' to work with jewels.
The Challenge: make the home more comfortable, livable, inviting. Speaking quite frankly, remove the stick from you-know-where. We've talked about the possibility of me doing this, and now it's a reality. Quoting Mr. Morrissey as we talked, "I'm willing to listen, I may not act."
Below are some photographs of the house as it is now. As you can see, I have the honor of working with some pretty incredible objects in a house that reads well. I have a challenge. STOKED AND READY.
View of living room. Just a tad stiff.
Closeup of tablescape next to sofa. Look at these incredible objects. Lamp will get a close-up soon.
Vignette of dining room. Notice cat plate stands on bottom shelf (you'll see them again later). Look at these f-in' paintings! They're everywhere.
View of sun room. Notice the marble statuary. She's gonna find a new home.
Master bedroom. This room is gonna get a kick-ass makeover. Bed soon to be made up in white linens, and walls painted pale steel-gray.
Vintage Stroheim and Romann toile, for window treatments. Rich royal blue mohair for headboard, and vintage crewel embroidery for a Louis XVI chair.
Dressing room, part of the master bedroom suite. There will be lots of stirring. The French gallery rods GOTTA go. Will be reassembling the collection of paintings throughout the house into gallery hangings that enhance the ambience of the different rooms. Grouping pieces together that complement each other, mixing sizes, media, and periods.
This is the breakfast room. Today's plan was to discuss different possibilities and get a little more comfortable telling him how things gotta be. Earlier in the meeting, Mr. Morrissey said, "I'm willing to listen, I may not act." Well, Mr. Morrissey did some listening, I did some acting.
Look what happened! Table moved from center of room. Nicked a pair of leather chairs out of his office, the other is on opposite side of the room. Large painting stolen from den in basement. Arthur Osver painting on right, ran from the bedroom and hung itself. The cat plate stands have found a new life as sculpture. Museum-quality porcelain adds a refined touch. Tole lamp escaped from the living room and loves its new home.
More chapters coming soon.
Shirley Bassey, "Diamonds are Forever"