June 18, 2009

A Visual Tour of Jentel: Part Two

...also known as "Soon I'll start writing, I promise."

Welcome to Main House!

When you step inside the house, the first thing you notice is all the visual texture. Original art and international antiques are scattered throughout the house, curated by Neltje (our benefactor; "Jentel" is a namesake). To be honest, the very first thing I noticed was the stack of hula hoops in the mud room. They prepare you for every occasion.

Hard to imagine a kitchen big enough to fit six residents, each with their own groceries and recipes, but here you have it. One glory of a newer facility: efficient gas burners and fridges, plenty of place settings, and a general lack o' grunge and grease scum. I love you, VCCA, but your kitchen leaves a lot to be desired in comparison.

The living room is home to Scrabble, thunderstorm-watching, and a wood-burning stove. The leather couch is especially comfy and capacious. The smartest thing they did was build a house big enough to accommodate 10--and then house only six people at a time.

Mid-climb up the stairs, you get a sense of the tall ceilings and general airiness.

This is the entertainment room--complete with DVD, VHS player, and what looks like the entire VHS stock of a Tower Records bought on closing discount. Last night we inaugurated this room with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I bring it to every residency; it is my favorite contemporary movie.

A lounge in the upstairs library, which looks out onto a balcony. With this photo, we enter a second phase of the house tour: the nooks. This is the land of a thousand reading nooks.

Under the stairs: the overpillowed nook. Kind of looks like a Mediterranean casbah. (Where's the Jentel hookah?)

The south-by-southwest nook, just inside the front door.

"Lawdy, I'm feeling too faint to even make it down this hall. If only there were a settee for me to rest my tired, artistic feet...."

A brief detour: even the bathrooms are scenic.

This is kind of a funny nook. It makes me think of Tom Sawyer, assigned to whitewash that fence. Or dunce caps.

The red chair nook. Every colony should have a really red chair.

The rocking chair nook. Although I wish this was an outside rocker, they gain many points for the sink-turned-planter.

My nook! In my room. I always wanted one of these chairs, growing up. My friend Ashley had not one but two in her downstairs basement, which I took to be irrefutable proof that her family was rich.

As in my studio, even the functional--shelves and a dresser--are transformed into an art installation. I call this "Still life with towel, shawl, and bottle of Glenlivet."

Each room is named after an artist or writer; I am in the Henri Matisse Room, which is surely the inspiration for this bed. Lush, bright, and thoroughly floral.

..And finally, the back view, as you leave the house. But why would anybody ever want to leave this house?


Renaissance Girl said...

Wow: jealous and happy for you, simultaneously, and wishing that I could go away and write for a month or so.... But I'll have to content myself with writing after the kids are asleep: my imaginary jentel.

Anne said...

It looks really, really lovely! Thanks for letting the rest of us live vicariously through your words & pictures. :)

giulia said...

The Matisse room? How lucky are you...that's grand. Offline, unwillingly, here-in-DC at midnight. But looking at all my Henri M. & asst. books will help.

Have a great, productive time.


Leslie said...

I'm drooling...this looks so amazing. I love that kitchen! Oh, and everything else.

nate said...


I absolutely love that you love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's definitely one of my favorite films as well, absolutely brilliant.

You get two points for that reference. You may use them at any juncture in redeeming anything you'd like...