Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Your House Isn't a Home Unless You Have a Conversation Piece

So the other day, I was browsing the online collection of Architectural Antiques, when I stumbled upon this curious item (at left). I had absolutely no idea what its purpose was, but it appeared to be extraordinarily life-enhancing.

It turns out that this lovingly carved wooden bear is not only a professional life-enhancer, but is also a very serious Schnapps set. I'm not sure how much it is, but if you are in the market for a Schnapps bear, then money is probably no object in your pursuit of this rarified work of art.

Most homes are in dire need of items like these. These less-functional, lovingly crafted objects used to be called 'conversation pieces.' You know, whimsical shaped ashtrays, lamps shaped like a lady's leg, that sort of thing. Sure, possessing a chandelier made of novelty shot glasses won't get you on the cover of Architectural Digest, but it will banish awkward small talk from your parties. Short on conversation? Not so current in your knowledge of current events? Then move your Schnapps bear to the center of the room and watch your guests perk up (as is the case when liquor and carved bears are involved).

Just one small touch of whimsy is all you need to rescue your decor from the Blah Beige Syndrome (everything being so tasteful and correct that you no longer notice anything). You don't need to go so far as the Schnapps bear, but you can easily hang a more creative chandelier and not lose any style points. If your budget allows, go off to the splendidly named bahdeebahdu gallery (309 Cherry St) for the theatrical light sculptures. Site permission is needed to post photos, so you'll just have to see for yourself.