I almost got to live in a mansion once. My then-husband and I had spotted a 2000-square-foot apartment in the “for rent” ads. The rent was so low, it seemed too good to be true…and as we found out later, it was.
But we didn’t know that yet, and as we pulled in to the driveway, we were dazzled by the sheer grandeur of the place and its location overlooking the Genesee River far below. And we both gasped as we took in the dimensions of the living room. In truth, it was a ballroom. Cinderella could have danced across those acres of parquet flooring, pausing to rest on one of the window seats. The tall windows were framed by floor-length curtains of deep red velvet, faded but still plush. The effect was sumptuous. And the billiards room—for one simply must have a billiards room—featured custom-crafted stained-glass windows. Each panel depicted a favorite pastime of the famous industrialist who built the place.
But there was a third room that left a lasting impression on me that day, and that was the kitchen. I was unmoved by the appliances and the other practical amenities. They were ordinary. What transfixed me was the wallpaper. [Read more…]