When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a small powder room with gold damask flocked wallpaper, a shiny gold sink, and fluted gold faucets. There was a conservatory full of plants, complete with the small brass spray bottle for misting the leaves. There were dressing rooms for the pool that smelled of cedar and bathrooms upstairs with seemingly endless doors. It was magic.
My own parents had a redwood coffee table with nooks and crannies perfect for parking our matchbox cars in "caves." There was a lazy susan coffee table that served as the kids table for big events, and the fun of rotating dinner plates with cousins was endless. The dining room had a wall of mirrors behind a huge assortment of potted plants; the doubling effect turned the room into a jungle. The leafy beige wallpaper didn't hurt, either.
When I came home yesterday, the tree wallpaper was up in the powder room. Clio, who is eight and weary of all the changes around here, went in and declared "I love it in here!" and immediately started finding hidden words in the leafy design.
I remind myself often that decorating is a luxury. But sometimes I am reminded that design can be magic.