Guest Post From Mise of Pretty Far West: Entertaining The Archetypes

I’m rubbish at home decor. Luckily for you,  there are others with the gift. Among my favorites is Mise, of Pretty Far West. Yes, she was  one of my Bloggers Who Can Turn A Phrase, but she’s also a talented home designer. Her own house has been featured in Ireland’s House and Home. She even put subway tiles behind the a yellow stove in her kitchen. Today Mise gives us ta special Valentine’s present inviting the Archetypes on a trip, Pretty Far West.

The Privilege Style Archetypes are alive to me, having insinuated their way into my mental storehouse of characters and taken on familiar personae. The Sturdy Gal is P.G. Wodehouse‘s Aunt Dahlia, robust and forthright, with perhaps a touch of Queen Elizabeth II. The Artsy Cousin is represented by Lucia, from Mapp and Lucia by E.F. Benson, trailing bright scarves and quotations in her wake as she cycles to Italian-style yoga class. And the Grande Dame is a confused mix of Mrs Bott from Richmal Crompton‘s William stories and Barbara Cartland.

When Lisa asked whether I’d care to contribute an interiors-related post, I wondered whether my house would rise to the occasion if the Archetypes crossed the Atlantic Ocean and came to call. Could I accommodate a comedy of manners?

Image by Paul Sherwood for House & Home

I’d show the Sturdy Gal straight into the kitchen and sit her down for tea and scones, her boots drying by the range after a bracing walk on the beach. She’d be tolerant, I think, of my children’s drawings and the freestanding furniture, of painted wood and open shelves.

The Artsy Cousin could arrange her peacock folds on one of the patterned sofas…

…or perch on the dressing room steps with a vodka cocktail, speaking of chiaroscuro and the New Poetry. 

It’s the Grande Dame I struggle with most. She’d find my house disconcertingly vivid, worryingly lacking in silver cream jugs. Where, she’d wonder, is the monogrammed leather wine-bottle holder, as she gazed at the wine-bottle, puzzlingly unheld.

She might deign to sit in a winged chair, with its nod to tradition, but would seek in vain a mahogany side-table for her glass. I’m sad about letting her down.

And Lisa herself, the watcher, the Aristotelian narrator? She’s not a clearcut specimen of the Archetypes but, if pressed, I’d place her at the fragile end of the Sturdy Gal spectrum, represented by E.M. Delafield‘s gentle Provincial Lady, with her pragmatic social sense and warm humour. I suspect Lisa would settle with sure grace into anywhere in the house, but where I like to imagine her is perched with me on a shed roof as we watched the seagulls circling above, eyeing the madeleines on china plates I’d winch up in readiness.

“Pearls on the shed roof: yes or no?” she and I would debate as the sun went down and the shadows lengthened over the stage of increasingly disconcerted Archetypes, now looking about for their lost mentor as the familiar world of suitable shoes receded and jetlag took its toll.

Thank you Mise.

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  • hi lisa,

    i think she is right on in her descriptions and her home is drop dead gorgeous.

    happy valentines to you~


  • Lovely.

  • Cool friend you have there LPC…the imagery just perfect for the moment…wished I was atop a warm roof as the sun was setting with pearls on!

  • I would want to spend a lot of time in that kitchen. I love the yellow stove!

  • I obviously need to read more books. (And have Mise come style my home.)

  • Gone visiting – hope you enjoy your view from the shed roof. One can see the world in a different light from the shed roof.
    Aunt Dahlia is definitly the sturdy type and I do not know that I would want to be the recipient of her tough-love remarks. Don’t worry about Babs, you have enough pink in your house to make her feel at home even if you are short on servants.

  • I love her use of colours…she’s got a great eye.
    It’s comforting to know that pearls have their place on the shed roof in the sunshine!

  • I just love it! And yes, pearls on the shed roof!

  • I can just picture you two on the roof with teacups and madeleines! Hopefully the suitable shoes would keep you from sliding off!!

  • Oh, Mise. Such style and wit. What would we do without her?

  • I need to spend some time in that lovely house — don’t suppose you’d give me the directions, hm?

  • Mise is absolutely one of a kind. Of the best archetype :)

  • What a wonderful post. I live the sheds with their cheery red doors and the light palette that paints the house’s interior.

  • I think those ladies will have the time of their lives pretty far west,
    I think you should share the madeleines though.

  • I want to thank Mise again. I can’t tell you how much I admire her writing, and enjoy the sense of fun that shows up in text and her house choices. I am honored she came to visit and terribly honored she’d invite the Archetypes to tea:).

  • And thanks for having me here, Lisa, and thank you to all the Privilege readers who called by or emailed or commented; you are all just as courteous and friendly as I’d expect from LPC’s gang.

  • Mise would you pour another cup of tea as I’d like to join you on that shed roof; me and my sensible shoes. Such a fun post but as always! Terrific blog.

    Cheers ~ Deb

  • Oh no, the hardworking florist came late to the party. Has everyone moved on?

    Please, no more trips on Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day for that matter.

    I so wanted to meet everyone.

    xo jane

  • Great post well done to Mise. Sinead

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