Now let us speak of furniture.
Yes, we do have to. Or I could tell you about my latest visit to the dentist?
No? Thought so. Okay, here goes furniture: Vik took me by the arm (at my request) and marched me off to the area furniture stores. See, I’d been imagining that on some lazy summer day Larry and I would amble around antique shops and find several charming pieces, one at a time, that we could refurbish, re-cover, and deliver to the farm. There we’d arrange them, layout-ready for the Modern Farmer photo shoot. (I love Modern Farmer. It’s where I got the idea about the alpacas, but more about that some other time.)
We all know the above was fantasy, day-dreams. Back to reality. Vik took me off and after a preliminary stop or two, we arrived at Parker Furniture in Beaverton. One look told me that this was not the place from which to furnish a little-house-with-apple-tree. Picture a long, curved, white brocade sofa, overhung with a crystal chandelier, picture the blonde creature who owns it, along with her precious little dog and elegant manicure, sipping Pinot Gris. “Aren’t you so inspired?” asked the sales person as we made our escape.
And yet. (You saw this coming.) Vik had spotted a “fabulous” chandelier made of white antlers . . . “we’d be crazy to pass this one up. Must take Larry to see it.” Says the patient Viki.
“No!!! No white antlers for me,” say I. “We are not building a faux ski lodge transported from Aspen.” Still, I hauled Larry along and guess what. Not white antlers. No, instead, brass sculpted branches interlaced with 8 to 10 small bulbs like all the winter lights we see around the city in this season of lights. It’s honestly quite beautiful and I can only suggest that the sweep of white sofa blinded me to everything else in the store.
So, chandelier accomplished, we moved on to sofas of our own. By then, JoAnne, an in-house decorator, had taken us on. JoAnne with her curly hair and New York style and sense of humor. “Parker Furniture is exactly the right place for you,” she promised. “We do Little Farm House with the best of them.” She made a copy of our floor plan, arranged some little magnets on the copy and thereby determined what size living-room furniture would be comfortable.
Let’s move on to the blue velvet swivel chairs (isn’t “swivel” a funny word?) Vik noticed on the sales room floor. Studded with nails. I’m not kidding. We could sit in front of the window, turn to admire the bluebirds feasting on mistletoe berries, then swivel to admire the burning logs in the fireplace. Yeah, but blue velvet? These are chairs my parents might have chosen! Besides, what’s Larry going to say? “We have many fabrics from which to choose,” JoAnne gently reassured me.
Yep, swiveling chairs, albeit not blue. Check. Only things missing are the reclining mechanism and cup holders. I am kidding. They’re actually nice, and certainly comfortable. Little old-lady farm-housey, but hey.
Next up, plumbing fixtures. You know, faucets, drawer pulls, that sort of thing. Groan. But what’s all this to do with our conservation mission? Good question. We could have slapped up a nice double-wide, as one passerby suggested early on, and conduct our restoration project in comfort. I know. Who said we need nice furniture? I can’t defend it. I just know what I imagined that afternoon in the Honolulu airport when I began to dream of home.