05 June 2008

bad taste? (the under the sea edition)

you know who makes maison21 happy?

felicity, from all things bright and beautiful, that's who.
whenever she leaves a comment on our blog, we smile (and not just because she's always unfailingly complimentary, but of course, that doesn't hurt either!). when felicity posts on her own blog, or leaves comments on others' (like ours), her happiness, warmth and enthusiasm just shine through, and that is an AMAZING thing- especially when you consider she has 3 kids under the age of 3. i mean, maison21 would be a raving bitch if he had 3 little ones to take care of (like he isn't already- he can't even blame it on the tots).

felicity's recent comment on m21's post featuring the "arielle, the slutty mermaid" table, made us smile especially broadly, because somehow she managed to compliment us AND call us on our shit, all in the same comment!


are you trying to apologise for your fabulously left field taste?

I think she's rather splendid (and I think you do too:-)

Its pieces like this that make your blog unique - bring them on I say and influence blogland one marvellous brass mermaid table at a time !!

cuz she's right- that ugly ass table made maison21 MAD because he really wouldn't mind a mermaid table of his very own- just not that one! maybe caryatid-like mermaids forming leg supports...

you see maison21 has been on a bit of an under-the-sea kick lately, so that table, with it's weird proportions, tear-drop shaped head, and near obscene breasts and butt, really offended maison21's sensibilities. yuck. maison21 feels like 60's supreme court justice, potter stewart, who when asked to define pornography replied "i know it when i see it", and that's how maison21 defines bad taste- he knows it when he sees it- and that table is baaaddddd.

but then again, who is maison21 to judge? he knows that there are those out there in blogland who will think that the vintage under-the-sea themed tchotckes maison21 has been hoarding lately are in questionable taste as well. BUT there is a big difference between "questionable taste" and "bad taste", and this is where it turns into a judgment call (ie: i know it when i see it). you see, maison21 thinks "questionable taste" is actually an important part of decor- how are you going to know that the good stuff is really good, unless there is a quirky item or two in the room to compare it to? but "bad taste" is always a bad idea, because an item in truly bad taste (like an "arielle, the slutty mermaid" table), just drags down the good stuff with it and ruins the whole room.
so what do we think? are the above accessories examples of m21's " fabulously left field taste" ? (god bless you, felicity!), or are they in "questionable taste"? or just plain old "i know it when i see it" obscenely bad taste? have at it, kiddies.

**and yes, decorno, the little display of tchotchkes maison21 threw together for the above photo is a tablescape. deal with it. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Ok....the lobster is my favorite piece. I've always loved lobsters since I lived in Japan in the 50's. Mother had white china with huge painted lobsters across it...but the black eyes looked like the mice had stopped for a visit. She was so proud to use her good china for company. I remember at this tender age that the "company" was a bit startled for a moment. I love your blog, Ginny

Suzy said...

I love that somewhere in between you and Felicity you came up with a name even funnier than that table...Ariel the slutty mermaid. Fantastic!

maison21 said...

thanks for the kind words, ginny! love the mouse poop china story!

suzy- it is "arielle", the slutty mermaid, no relation to any other mermaid with any other names that might be similar. mickey and co. are notoriously litigious, and i don't want them coming after poor lil me!

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Ah Maison - it is you who makes ME smile!! Thank you! its made my day to have made yours.

I think your table scape is fabulous - wouldn't want to have to polish it tho :-)

maison21 said...


hugs from all of us-


c, m & r

Pigtown-Design said...

Oh no! If those funny brass items are tacky, then I am done for. I have my father's collection of brass bugs which are exterminating advertisements, as well as a brass crab or two... after all, I live on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, so crabs are mandatory here.

Style Court said...

Maison -- I agree with all of your points! Personally I like the lobster.

Who was the decorator who said every room needs a little "bad taste?" Now I'll have to look that up.

And you are spot on about Felicity :)

Niki said...

Fabulously Left Field Taste!

I bought these ceramic sculptures from Pier1 that I absolutely loved at the time...I was probably the only one. They are these blue chubby birds that look like they just ate too much and are about to explode. But I loved them! And I kinda still do.

If you love it...

Easy and Elegant Life said...

What's wrong with being a little bit brassy now and again? Me, I'd use the lobster as a doorstop. A crab would go over better here in The Old Dominion, and since we've damn near depleted the Bay of them, it might be as close as I get to the real thing this summer.

FancyPants-design said...

First time here! I love your blog!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with having fabulously left-field taste!! :-)

Anonymous said...

First - love all of the "under the sea" items...second, my first Design mentor showed me that tarnished brass can be WAY more beautiful than polished brass. My mother (of the old school garden-club variety) was so excited about that "tarnished brass" idea for like 5 minutes. Luckily, I can overcome her hang-ups and enjoy and actually EMBRACE my tarnished brass...after all, chances are it will never be polished as long as it belongs to me...

maison21 said...

meg and easy- glad you like the brass lobster- i'm searching for a brass crab companion as we speak. i prefer my crabs brass anyway- i remember being taking out crabbing on the chesapeake bay bay when i was five or six, and being absolutely terrified of the live crabs being hauled out of the water. i mean they were underwater spiders with big claws to tear away a child's flesh. i had nightmares for weeks. (and easy, my bedroom doorstop is a big brass conchshell).

style court0 thanks for stopping by. and thanks for bursting my bubble- i thought the every room needs something bad was a maison21 original. looks like i've ripped off the work of the designers that came before me, yet again! :)

niki and fancy-pants, thanks for the kind words and for stopping by- we always love new visits to the maison21 atelier!

megan- i'm so with you on the tarnished brass! i have no problem with it AT ALL, because polishing is a bitch! i tend to only polish if i plan to resell, otherwise give me some good old-fashioned patina any day!

Pigtown-Design said...

M21... if you've ever been pinched by the claw of a chesapeake bay blue crab, you'll never forget the experience!

as for mr. e&e, it's his state that depleted the crabs from the chesapeake, not mine. we have stricter rules that va does... and i have a brass crab whose back lifts up to use as an ashtray!

rochambeau said...

Yup! Felicity is one wonderful person! She has a terrific sense of humor too.

erika @ urban grace interiors said...

those tchotchkes would look so much better on this table:
just my $.02.

maison21 said...


was it your blog i saw that crab table on originally? i know someone did a post on it. i was both completely fascinated and more than a little repelled by it- i mean, it's rather grotesque but in the right environment it could be fabulous. just goes to show that like love and hate, there is a fine line between good taste and bad!

thanks for visiting!

erika @ urban grace said...

maison 21,
no... it wasn't on my blog, but i keep seeing it on the 'top 30' on 1st Dibs and am wondering who praytell is looking at that over and over. it is fascinating but completely "grotesque"... good choice of words.
love your blog, been here before but somehow failed to add you to my Google Reader til yesterday... you are now feeding me daily with your lovely images and hilarious commentary.