Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Design Gone To Pot

DESIGN PROBLEM:  A three-sided fireplace juts into a master bedroom, separating the bedroom proper and a seating area.  Is there something special that could be put on top of the marble fireplace that would help "fill" the empty space?  


A.  sculptural art piece
B.  found architectural  object
C.  decorative accessory or artifact 
D.  something from nature

"Before" photo of Master Bedroom

Hmm...to find the right art piece, contemporary or antique,  might take forever and a day, plus cost a whopper.  How about a large amphorae?  I perused many a pot and found the perfect one in New Orleans.  Now, the only problem was how to get it up here.  To save on shipping,  I considered putting it in the back seat of Emily's Honda, strapped in with a seat belt.  But even if we got it in, what if for some reason we couldn't get it out?  We're talking 32" high and 25" diameter.  Yes, it's big enough to hold a little kid, but might not be very highly regarded  as a legal child seat if pulled over by the police.

"Hey man, this pot ain't no good." 

We decided to opt for the traditional freight delivery.  But instead of coming directly north to St. Louis (11 hours), it was  shipped to Atlanta and sat for a few weeks as routing schedules were reconfigured.  Finally the happy word came that it would be arriving, albeit on a Sunday morning.  Never mind...let's close the deal and take possession!

As it was hoisted to its new home on top of the fireplace, my clients stood back, and thought, "Man, that is a big pot!"  I got the dreaded call of "You might want to check this out".  When I arrived,  my jaw dropped a bit; the big jar seemed ajar.  My clients like to laugh at how I'll react with  "Wow!" when I see a new delivery that really pleases me.  It  usually comes out loud.  In this case, a "Whoa!" was exclaimed that could be heard a block away. The scale and color of the jar was equivalent to someone in the chorus singing off key.  Did we get burned?

It just didn't look quite right. It was too big and where were the perfect color tonalities that I had specifically labored over?  We pulled out the IPad  and  found this crock was still on the website, but disturbingly, ours was gone.  Holy crap!  What if ours got delivered to someone else?  What if ours got lost or damaged somehow? Was this case all that it was cracked up to be? Finally things were sorted out between the  shop and the shipper,  and our pot was found, safe, sound and secure.

Amphorae, 19c Greek

This looks much better, don't you think? The coming of the second pot was eagerly anticipated as it journeyed from New Orleans to Los Angeles and finally eastward back to St. Louis.  Its itinerary was starting to look like Homer's Odyssey.  Once again, an inconvenient week-end delivery.  And this time, the White Glove Service got lost in  translation.  We got White Sox in Shower Shoes Service.  Must have been a menu choice that I missed.  Amusingly, an errant shower shoe got lost in the driveway.  

I arrived just seconds after this second deal and happily my response was the classic "Wow!" of approval.  Wonderful ingredients such as this are the makings for a spectacular room.  And man, this is some good pot!


  1. That pot looks heavy. Literally and metaphorically.

  2. that amphora (i.e. pot!) is perfect! i've always coveted having one like this......do you remember the (real) ones andriana had in her house at aetos on ithaka?

    as emily said, i bet it was really heavy! amazing that you were able to transport it - an odyssey indeed ;-)