Monday, March 9, 2015


{Gilded Goddess Cushion Collage}
As to the recent racket, dear readers, we have been hard at work on a glorious new endeavor! Well, truth be told Seraph has been laboring away hanging draperies and installing a rather wicked wallpaper; Splendor on the other hand has simply been LOOKING busy fussing with the tiebacks and plumping the pillows... hmmm... What wondrous workings are underway one may ask? Well, we cordially invite you to the Grand Opening of our new BLACK BAROQUE LUXURIES blog featuring our curious collections of decadently opulent pillows, cushions & objects. In this blog we wish to share with you the process of our creative conjurings, the artists & designers that inspire us and of course our strange musings on interior decorating. As for the reason for a new blog we simply wish to keep CHINTZ OF DARKNESS in it's current format and not clutter it's moldering hallways with objects of our own design. (In fact we are preparing a post regarding the Dark Lord himself and some strange public behavior on our part...)

To all of our wonderful readers - your participation in this new blog is GREATLY appreciated. We thank you in advance for sharing & following! Come by for a visit SOON! xoxox ~S+S


{Blue Bohemian Cushion Collage}

Friday, January 23, 2015

Frame Up

One day not so long ago Splendor came to the realization that her obsession with collecting textiles had taken a turn for the worse... she knew in her dark little heart of hearts that something that seemed like a FABULOUS notion at the time had amounted to an amassing of oddities that must be hidden from view. What was this horrid blight that befell an otherwise carefully curated (OK, haphazardly hoarded) collection of fabric related finery, one may ask? 

Nothing short of *gasp* a selection of vintage bath towels from the 60's & 70's, once sold at fine department stores now facing a flea market fall from grace. Now as the (unofficial) director of the Home for Wayward & Unwanted Housewares, Splendor readily sympathized with this sad state of affairs, comforting the trembling terrycloth towels and wiping away their tears. Truth be told, many a useless implement had been adopted using the old excuse that the object in question had simply followed her home. Tales are told of strange processions of furnishings joyously jostling at her heels, while bits of bijoux fluttered about her head. On one particular occasion, acting as the Pied Piper of Passementerie, Splendor rid an entire town of their troublesome tiebacks & trimmings in a single afternoon. As to how a stray washcloth joined this merry cavalcade of collectibles NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW...

Now in all fairness these towels were in fact quite lovely, festooned with dazzling motifs in a dizzying array of jewel tones, but subtle they were not... the term “eye blistering” has been tossed about by some, while others prefer the phrase “WTF!?!”. A favorite was fashioned in fuchsia & sapphire and blended a belligerent Fleur de Lis pattern with a mild mannered middle eastern motif... Oh, and let us not forget the set of sensuous stripes woven in tones of topaz & tourmaline, plush as velvet, with a border that can only be described as “medieval modern” (hmmmm...) Last but CERTAINLY not least, a single bath towel in shades of celadon & sea foam encrusted with an arabesque medallion and curlycue corners much like an exotic oriental carpet exquisitely rendered in strands of terrycloth... *rolls eyes* Each had it's own glittery label spouting nostalgic terms such as “Finger Tip Towel,” “Grand Damask,” “Moroccan Mode”. After the appearance of a bathmat emblazoned with the lofty title “Shanghai Serenade” (in a stunning ensemble of emerald & citron with a tint of chartreuse, if one must ask...) Seraph, fearing a toilet seat cover might be the next monastery to arise, promptly stepped in set set matters right... 

When queried as to the outcome of this curious collection Splendor declared that her treasure trove of terrycloth was to be conjured into a grand set of cabana cushions (true story, dear readers... hmmm) to be scattered amid an ornate oasis worthy of an ostentatious Ottoman overlord. Visions of plump banquettes and palatial carpets (and perhaps a pair scantly clad satyrs serving poolside) filled Splendor's head... There was talk of tufted medallions, tassel fringes and gilded galloons galore. Now if plans where to be made to transform a teeny, tiny bathroom (with one meager towel rack) into a sweeping seaside vista, Seraph stated that he preferred a grotto theme complete with Venetian shell chairs and a waterfall... He furthermore claimed that Splendor's garish plans were angering the sea nymphs and quite frankly PISSING OFF POSEIDON HIMSELF. As is most often the case, Seraph had better sense about such matters and the towel collection was relegated to duty as rags (rather ravishing rags, but rags nonetheless... humph)


Needless to say our petite powder room remains to this day decorated in the much sought after “Art Nouveau on Acid” style with peacocks aplenty and accoutrement in “tasteful” shades of blackened teal, burnt plum & gold... tell us, dear ones, have one of your collections gotten a bit out of control?  

Gathered here is a selection gilded portals and framed finery for your pleasure! Enjoy!


(Into Infinite Obscurity by Dissection)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Where the Wild Things Are

There is a vile, soul sucking movement at foot, dear readers, that threatens the very foundation of decedent design. A threat so severe that there may soon be a sin tax on Scalamandre and a surcharge upon the purchase of satin sheets. What is this impending decorating doomsday you may ask? Well, nothing short of notions such as the 100 Things Challenge and other “live simple” manifestos that spout such nonsense as no more than THREE jeweled skulls per household (THINK OF THE CHILDREN) and a strict limitation on the quantity of candelabras that one can possess. Now the end is nigh if these conceptions come to pass for it will surely lead to the rationing of rococo furnishings and the hording of baroque bric-à-brac in broom closets throughout the land.

It would seem that every social gathering comes complete with a well meaning yet opulence challenged individual. At a fete a few years back Seraph + Splendor were cornered under a tree by a free spirited soul expounding the virtues of passing beyond the veil owning nothing more than a hymn book and a pair of sandals. Well, we politely pointed out when we pass through the veil it damn well better be: 1. black lace and second, held open for us by as cast of imps and demons AND if we are to be met at the Pearly Gates by a distinguished older gentleman in a flowing robe we are expecting nothing less than Tony Duquette himself or screw it we are going home. As for the hymn book? Baroque Baroque: The Culture of Excess by Stephen Calloway rather goes without saying... 

Here at Chintz of Darkness we prefer to clutter rather than cleanse. Why have one thing when a cluster of 32 would suffice so much better? Who in their right mind desires one lonesome and pouty lamp when a vast array of lanterns in various shapes and sizes can be suspended from the ceiling much like the glittering vault of heaven (ok, ok, rafters of hell, in our case... hmmm...) MORE IS MORE AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. Carpets are at their finest when placed like crazy quilts across the floor or tossed about haphazardly like a map to a magical land. Although several house guests have become helplessly lost after setting off on a rug fueled expedition, such decorating decadence is quite worth the risk. We in fact firmly believe that decorative objects have a certain sentience and enjoy gathering in groups gibbering and jabbering about the gossip of the day ... well, that is what we tell ourselves, anyway...

Perhaps there are those among us that require a bit of assistance when discerning “needful things”... a selection of silver encrusted hat pins are quite necessary while a sensible pair of slacks is not. An umbrella MIGHT have more utility than a unicorn figurine but an elegant array of table runners trumps a yoga mat any day and while practicality has it's place (we keep ours in the cupboard under the stair) it should NEVER dictate one's decorating decisions. Now dissenting opinions on such matters are surely to abound and if one can truly “be more with less” than may infernal blessings be on your tidy abode. 

From time to time we have heard the term “hording” bandied about as an insult and apparently “pack rat” has negative connotations to some... Every now and again even our (ok, Splendor's) compulsive collecting gets a bit out of hand. Stay tuned for a Thrift Store Confessional of sorts featuring the cautionary tale of a towel trove gone horribly awry (and yes, towel as in terrycloth... oh, my...) but THAT, dear ones, is a story for another day... 

A collection of flora & fauna themed finery... enjoy!

Dawnless - So it seems this sacred night.
Havenless - Beneath black sails with no land in sight.
Fathomless - The depths that lay before us now
Lawless - Before the courts of men we must not bow.

(The Wild Hunt by Watain)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gilding the Willy Part IV: Deluxe Addition

Those dutifully following along at home will readily realize that we usually feature scantily clad and rather randy furnishings in this segment BUT there is a perfectly plausible explanation for this gap in protocol. The G.A.S.P. Department here at Chintz of Darkness (that is the division that oversees “Gentlemen Attired in Sparkly Paint” for those who overlooked the memo) has been busy as of late. It would appear that while dusting off our design books and refreshing our filing cabinets, a rather naughty calendar from the late 90's was unearthed... (apparently we WERE partying like it was 1999.) Perhaps the calendar in question was actually found between our mattress or perhaps not... NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW... 


(Photographs by Richard de Chazal)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Obscured by Shrouds

Now Seraph + Splendor have been lurking around the interior design industry for some years now, often incognito, sometimes in plain sight. We have the prerequisite shelves of design books, an overabundance of magazines and swatches coming out of our… oh never mind… We suppose we could even write a stylish and sophisticated design blog that was not full of gibberish about the comings and goings here at our Obsidian Halls, but where would the fun be in that? This got us to pondering where it all began, what cosmic conjunction caused our descent into design and decoration and made us the arbiters... er, abattoirs of taste that we are today?

One’s first foray into design and decoration most assuredly begins in childhood.  Splendor was often referred to as a “creative” child, but it was said in a way that implied “a beastly little heathen” instead of a clever young lady.  Hours on end where spent creating complex (some said disturbing) vignettes in her bedroom cupboards and bookcases.  Building blocks and bits of shells became rustic roomscapes fit for a fairy queen, while doll heads and daisies decorated doorknobs. Being an only child she was often accompanied on her artistic adventures by her stuffed animals, in particular an Indian horse named Boanerges and a threadbare Saint Bernard named Berry... (of note, during these escapades not only did Berry lose one of his ears but BOTH of Boanerges’ mirrored eyes fell out, but he was still an affable companion by all accounts.)

 Moving on to greater and more challenging decorating diversions, Splendor came across a lovely set of Victorian velvet drapes in a luscious shade of faded burgundy that had been curiously condemned to an upper shelf.  The budding young beautifier promptly requested that they be hung in her room as they would block out the sun and quiet the birdsong (such a strange child, they whispered...)  Splendor's long suffering mother had to her sit down and explain that she was in fact a LITTLE GIRL and should appreciate her yellow and white gingham curtains (complete with eyelet lace tiebacks)  …HA!  Not discouraged in the least, she dragged the curtains outside and up the largest tree in the yard.  Upon reaching a suitable altitude she draped the upper branches forming a chic, yet bohemian tented room… well, at least until the rainy season commenced and the whole contraption blew away like a velvety Gothic pterodactyl, frightening the cat and confounding the neighbors...

 This was far from the last jaunt into outdoor decorating... Splendor, gifted from the get go with an overactive imagination created vast landscapes of forts, castles and courtly abodes.  Constantly scouting for new territory to well, terrorize Splendor discovered a huge hedge of gnarled and twisted blackberry bushes in a derelict corner of the yard that had fallen into disrepair.  Now anybody that knows anything is already aware that an area such as this is likely to contain an enchanted entrance to the underworld.  Lo and behold, hidden at the far side behind a tree a small  hole was found cut into the vines just large enough for a small child (or a gang of bloodthirsty elves) to fit through.  Beyond this prickly passageway, a large circular chamber had been hollowed out complete with stumps for chairs and a small rickety table. Perhaps the home of a hobgoblin or tramp's tenement?  NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW for to this day not a living soul actually BELIEVES this story and in fact the dangerous and deviant hedge was promptly torn out and according to Splendor’s parents no such magical room existed and kindly suggested that she find some friends her own age and quit telling tall tales...

Well, this quite covers the formative years of Splendor's descent into decorating...  The next chapters shall include the era that is commonly referred to as “The Metal Years”... but that, dear readers, is a story for another day indeed...

"And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop--docile and omnipotent
At its own stable door."

(I like to see it lap the Miles by  Emily Dickinson)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Walk Like an Egyptian

In other noteworthy news of late Seraph + Splendor have welcomed a new baby girl into their lives! The blessed event happened a little over a year ago and the proud parents are as pleased as punch.. The little bundle of joy weighed in at whopping 31 pounds upon delivery (ouch!) and came complete with a handle on her head, a knee lift and JOY OF JOYS an automatic thread cutter! The young Missy thrives on a strict diet of thread, machine oil and broken needles and is quite content, thank you very much. Well, if you have not already surmised our offspring is indeed a shiny new sewing machine, which joins a already growing family of Pfaffs.

Now if truth be told, Splendor's long suffering parents were less than thrilled at the news and perhaps even a bit perturbed at the prospect of YET AGAIN reading bedtime stories to a nothing more than a BAG OF BOLTS. Quite understandable some might say after a series of less than desirable grandchildren including (but not limited to) a feral cat, a box of lint and oh, let us not forget about we adopted that.. oh, never mind... Now for others anxiously awaking the birth of Seraph + Splendor's demon child, you must be patient, patient as in NEVER... 
{In a dark corner of Obsidian Hall...)

Now, sewing can be a fulfilling pastime offering hours of enjoyment and... blah, blah, blah... do not believe that rubbish for a second, dear readers for in fact sewing is a DEATH DEFYING BLOOD SPORT not for the faint of heart or casual passerby simply wishing to sew a set of potholders. While Splendor is the embodiment of a human pincushion, Seraph Scissorhands (an apt nickname indeed) fights a daily battle with thread and foe alike. The Studio here at Obsidian Hall (now hidden in the eves and best approached by a flight of rickety stairs) houses casks and kegs of every imaginable implement, each more evil than the next and better befitting a medieval torture's guild than a quaint quilter's bee... 

Over the years as word of our talents (hmmm...) grew, we have been queried to create many strange and wonderful things (but then again we have been asked to conjure a pair of pantaloons for a pet money but THAT, dear ones, is a story for another day...) Much like the plague our creations have spread both far and wide, for in fact we once heard mention of one of our conjurings on the national news. What was this grandiose gewgaw worthy of praise by a thankful nation, you might ask?!? 

Why nothing more than a humble shower curtain. And by humble, we of course mean a fully functioning drapery contraption, complete with a shaped valance whose curves and curlycues were worthy of a contortionist. A dizzying orgy of Chinoiserie style applique was further festooned with solid silver medallions and a set of antique Turkoman tiebacks. As for the national news coverage, the albeit former owner of this ensemble currently serves time in a Federal prison for an elaborate (yet highly illegal) ponzi scheme and said drapery was seized and most like sold into white slavery... well, one must always look on the dark side, dear ones, so at least it was dressed for the occasion... 

Other interesting undertaking was the creation of a velvet robe for a life sized fully animatronic elephant. There was a collar commissioned as well but the first time the fearsome beast was fired up it was sucked into the gears of it's greasy underbelly, the remnants unceremoniously spat upon the floor... QUITE A PRIMADONNA PACHYDERM INDEED! Many more tales could be told of semi-sentient slipcovers that could forebode the future, carnivorous table treatments that consumes a party of twelve and of course the cushions for a set of five legged chairs ran off during their fittings, but we will save THOSE tales for a rainy day...
Tell us, dear readers, do you still believe that a stitch in time saves nine?

The Mighty Voices
Of my Vengeance
Smash the Stillness of the Air
And stand as Monoliths of Wrath
Upon a plan of writhing Serpents
(The Black Hand Of Set by Nile)

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