This year I was very restrained in my decorations in our living room; after all, this gold leaf Japanese folding screen and our Chinese Lohan sculpture make for rather dramatic decor all year-round.
For the holidays I just added ittala glass candlesticks, a rock covered in gold leaf, a bowlful of pommanders, a lantern with brass trim and the rope of brass discs I bought last Christmas.
So perfect, so lovely. Look again and you will see how we really live. The space under this Chinese altar table is our overflow book storage. I can't remember the last time it was bare. The empty spot on the table to the right of the Lohan is where my iPad lives. You can see the charger plugged into the wall in the first photo.
The library, where there are more overflowing books, is home to our narrow Christmas tree. A few years ago I finally got an artificial tree when I realized I just didn't have the energy to do everything required to have a live tree. This one fits nicely into corners where it can be out of the way at get-togethers.
The tree is next to an antique library card catalog whose top is another display surface. If you look closely you will see Sid, our ceramic dog, lurking underneath.
A large African mask fills the space between the tree and the card catalog. Mark did the painting, "Valentina's Paper Nose," from a photo he took of the daughter of a friend. She'd put the colorful paper wrapper from her ice cream cone over her nose. It's been the impetus to add other striped cones and noses.
On the wall to the right is this antique Miao embroidery. I like the fact that it is composed of traditional Christmas colors of red and green but does not look traditional or Christmasy.