Wednesday, 18 July 2012

STORYTELLER ~ Old Wardrobes


We prefer living in old cottages and houses but there are a few problems you must overcome if you are a collector of many things. The main stumbling block is storage, unless you are lucky enough to find an affordable cottage which is larger than the norm. Old houses rarely have built in wardrobes or bookcases and many do not have the space to build them either. So my life has been scattered with a lot of Lion, Witch and Wardrobe moments with ancient quirky pieces of furniture stuck in hallways and corners in which to store our belongings. 


A lovely bedroom, but hardly room for the books let alone the clothes!
I've always been fascinated by old wardrobes even before I had read the story, and ever since there lurks the possibility that such a piece of furniture might just be a portal to another world, even if only because it contains a treasured outfit with the magical ability to transform yourself once worn.


When we lived in a  large house we possessed several of these beauties which had to be sold when we downsized. One of them is hard to part with though and sits in my studio, full of fabric and clothes waiting to be transformed into something more useful than what they are. I know I ought really let it go so it might become a portal for someone who can fit it into the house. It is kind of sad in the studio. But then after all the Narnia wardrobe was shut off in an attic.

To invoke Narnia and other wonderful lands a wardrobe must possess certain qualities. heavily carved, most likely dark wood and maybe a Green Man hiding in the carving. Large, probably without a mirror (well, that would be Through The Looking Glass surely?) As much as we love the shabby chic Rachel Ashwell, slightly French look of this one it does not stir the imagination towards Narnia. Versailles and certain Kings perhaps.


An open drawer is not the same kind of invitation as an open door. Nice as this chest of drawers is, and it even has a Lion for drawer handles.


This one has so many more possibilities.
And this one, well .... it is of course the REAL one.

I guess with summer being such a non event my thoughts seem to already be turning to my favourite seasons, Autumn and Winter. Isn't that naughty? Old heavy wood carved wardrobes seem to belong to the colder days and nights. While mine is still stuffed full of summer clothes that will not now be worn in this rainy deluge I am thinking perhaps it is time to get it ready for a good season by clearing it out and wallpapering it inside. In a paper covered with trees, like a dense wood.

Like this one. Currently starring on tv in Once Upon A Time in Grannies Cafe.
It's by Graham and Green.
Or maybe this one would be better for Narnia,
do not want to get our legends mixed up.
By Cole & Son.

19 comments:

  1. What a lovely wardrobe filled with all your treasures. I think I would find it hard to part with as well. I love the wallpapers. They could both conjure up a slightly mystical, almost sinister atmosphere with dark wood and low lighting!

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    1. Yes, you are right, it could be slightly sinister. I like that edge, something lurking just over there.

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  2. Love the heavy wardrobes and tree wall papers!
    Narnia is a winter story and I too am thinking about Autumn descending upon us, where has Summer gone?
    Thank you for the lovely mention in your previous post and I do collect butterfly brooches as well, especially the enamel ones.
    It was great to see that huge fairy painting at the antiques center. The vibrant colours truly sing!
    Have a magical week.
    Jo. xx

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    1. How fabulous that you too collect Butterfly brooches. I should have known! x

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  3. What a wonderful idea to put a beautiful wallpaper inside! I too love Autumn and Winter and the cosiness of those seasons and filling wardrobes with warm comfortable clothes.

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    1. Thank you! We can start dreaming of cosiness now can't we? x

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  4. Slightly off topic but reading your lovely blog post, I'm recalling one of the most heartbreaking moments in Shadowlands when when CS Lewis (as played by Anthony Hopkins) finds Joy Gresham's son in his attic crying in front of Lewis's beautiful big wardrobe pushing the back of the wardrobe saying "it's not real, there's nothing there"! Or words to that effect! I remember watching this film in the cinema and totally thinking, no, it's real,it must be real!! :-)

    Take care
    x

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    1. I remember that too! Shadowlands is a beautiful film, very poignant and wonderfully shot. x

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  5. Would you believe that I have never seen the movie, but I have read the book many times since my childhood. Perhaps I am afraid that the interpretation will spoil my decades-long mental images. It seemed so perfectly real the first time I read it... and it still does today.

    Thanks for these images and for nudging my memories.

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. I know what you mean. I too was worried about seeing the film, but it is relaly very close to the book and the characters are quite as CS Lewis intended them I think. Perhaps take a look if it is on tv one day. x

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  6. I love this post! To me the most exiting thing about the story was the arriving in the snow with the street lamp. We live fairly near Primrose Hill and late on a winters evening in the snow, with its old fashioned streetlamps and all the trees, it can sometimes really feel as if we HAVE stepped through the wardrobe.

    I hadn't thought about which type of wardrobe was best, but your comments have crystallised my vague imaginings.

    BTW I was never as interested in what did happen after getting through the wardrobe, it seemed to tail off for me after that. :)

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    1. Jenny, How funny about it not being as intresting once they got through the wardrobe. I kind of felt like that as a child also! I love primrose Hill and know exactly what you mean about those magical street lamps. So wonderful that they are still there. x

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  7. Thank you for visiting me and your kind comments. I'm so very pleased to have found your blog, we seem to have many shared interests! I love the Narnia books and as a great re-reader still enjoy them to this day. Jane xx

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    1. Really enjoyed reading your blog too, we do have many things in common, especially books! Thank you for stopping by. x

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  8. Thank you for your visit, it gives one a chance to discover new blogs!
    I've always thought how wonderful it would be to step into one of those huge old wardrobes, and find a new world!

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    1. Nice to find you, we will keep in touch! Sadly so far all I have found in my old wardrobes is a lot of clothes1 ha ha!

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  9. Oh yes, you speak truth my friend. We are also in desperate need for more storage space and old, huge cupboards are on the shopping list. I absolutely love your idea of wallpaper depicting trees on the inside, totally Narnia! x

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  10. Hi Minerva, just letting you know I've awarded you the Kreativ Blogger award, hop on over to mine to collect! Have a lovely sunny weekend Sharon:)

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    1. Thank you so very much Sharon, I posted a little message to you on that post! Well done to you too for winning it! Much deserved. Mrs Black and I will have to live up to this now ...... xxx

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