Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I am becoming obsessed with all things watery and blue and green - seas, rivers, lakes, ghostly galleons, fish ..... and yes ..... mermaids.

Poseidon's Horses by Walter Crane 1893

Lady of The Lake by Graham Reading

Victor Nizoutsev's magical Mermaids are breathtaking

"I must be a mermaid, Rango.
I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living."
— Anaïs Nin

The Little Mermaid, bronze sculpture by Edvard Eriksen, 1913, modeled after a story by Hans Christian Andersen; in Copenhagen harbour.
© Spectrum Colour Library/Heritage-Images

Undine a great read with wonderful Rackham illustrations

Despite paying homage to Frederic Lord Leighton's 'Flaming June' and the Bard's Midsummer Nights Dream in our last post summer has still refused to shine here. It is warm, but very humid with little bursts of rain.

Edward Matthew Hale (1852-1924) oil on canvas, private collection,
this illustration is from "The Mermaid's Rock"   (1894)
Sulimith Wulfling The Mermaid

It is no surprise therefore that instead of sun and sand I find myself thinking of the sea and mermaids.

The Little Mermaid illustrated by Christian Birmingham

It's probably also because we are decorating a bathroom. It was last given attention in the 80's when someone rag rolled and stencilled over horrible wallpaper and patterned tiles instead of removing them and starting over. The 80s have a lot to answer for on the home décor front. 

It's a tiny room with one small window and bad lighting that was originally the third bedroom in our Victorian worker's cottage. Imagine - in those days the toilet was outside and the family bathed in a tin bath either in the kitchen, or if you were lucky, in front of the fire in the sitting room. We cannot afford to do a complete makeover as we would like so it is what I refer to as a 'half-way' decorate.  One day we will decide whether or not we change the boiler, get rid of the linen cupboard and water tanks and convert the loft to a more useful life. For now all we can do is tear off that painted stencilled wallpaper we can no longer with with. We are keeping the aqua floor tiles and woodwork.  We do have a new basin, and a vintage washstand on which to perch (excuse the pun!) it but that may take awhile to install.

Each piece of wallpaper we pull away takes half a ton of 150 year old plaster with it .... I can see that this bathroom will not be a Mermaid den until sometime in the future. But meanwhile I can dream, and dream I will.

 basin and tiles for a Mermaid, from Fired Earth

On a limited budget it is hard to summon the magic that Victor Nizoutsev has in his Mermaid paintings, but this is what I want. All that golden, coppery green and turquoise. And the glowing light. How to infuse that into something as mundane as a bathroom?

I have a Mermaid wish list which might help channel the look. Some of it goes in the bathroom, and others just outside. Even Mermaids cannot stay in the bath forever.

inspirational colours

A mother of pearl shower

Lalique to catch the light on the windowsill
Old glass bottles to keep flowers in
Turquoise and quartz

'Mermaid's tears', sea glass to scatter in an abalone shell

jade green shells
A fine collection of Mdina glass
A little something from the jewel chest

A watery coloured cabinet to keep things in

A turquoise velvet shimmery throne chair with a gold cushion

Seed pearls and green jewels

Bedrooms by Caroline Quartermaine


  1. Ah, all my favourites!
    I love the idea of beach glass in an abalone shell and shall copy it this weekend, having both glass and shell.

  2. Nice pictures and so fun to see the mairmaid from Copenhagen at your blog. I like the little chest. Have a great evening.


  3. hey- thanks for your comment...your bathroom makeover has made me realise how much ours needs doing!

  4. capturing victor nizovtsev's feel and channeling it has been the idea behind my living room makeover, and it brought me here.. this post is on my favourites list ;)


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