I've contemplated and rejected this topic for several months because I worried it would be misunderstood. I am not sitting here as some arbiter for style nor do I have any desire to show off: my gallery's for exhibitionism. However, the gods have been especially kind to me over the last year or so and I would like to share just how, and to what degree, I've moved past some previous horrors (and not of the design variety :wink I'll start by saying that I was in the furniture industry (low/mid/high-end, custom made, design trade only, etc) for about 25 years so my tastes have become fairly rarefied and unusual. I'm not one for buying off-the-rack either with my clothing nor my home fashions, because for various reasons they simply don't fit. And for those unfamiliar with my bio, I was involved in a nine-year relationship that not only exhausted me emotionally but which left me financially and spiritually bankrupt. I was convinced that the only "pure" path was a sort of ascetic abstinence: a sort of aesthetic flavorless broth. That doesn't mean that I stopped caring (and aspiring) as much as I was determined to strip materialism from my life. Because, if there was one very low common denominator in our nine-year relationship, it was the fact that we were awash in materialism. We had the money and spent lavishly on custom feather-down upholstery, custom-made essentials and carefully selected French antiques, ranging from Francois 1er (early renaissance) to Art Nouveau and Deco (with lingering stops as late 19th century copies of Louis XVI): everything was exquisite in its own fashion. I broke off the relationship not for its materialism so much as his uncontrolled compulsions/addictions, but blamed our materialism for much of it. It's only eight years into it now that I can finally begin to separate the wheat from the chaff and take pride in the new acquisitions (no matter where they come from) and re-assert my pride in living with fine things in my midst. The first of these is the attachment showing my bookcases. In the aftermath of my break-up, I went to Target and bought a system of black metal squares attached with plastic clips to make a grid. Even though the bookcases are actually nothing special, they're a giant step forward. When I moved to my new place on February 1, I chose to live alone, in a one bedroom apartment, for the first time in about 15 years: no roommates and a real-life living room to furnish. The results are the second attachment. The sofa, coffee table, bookcases, occasional chair and desk (to be discussed) were all purchased from a staging company: they stage empty properties for sale during open houses. The entire sale rang up at less that $700. The sofa, in particular, is worth discussing for a minute, The front (with attached seat and back: the antithesis of feather-down cushioning) is upholstered in a moss green chenille, whereas the sides and back panel are upholstered in a feature fabric of abstract designs arrayed in a grid of smallish squares. This is the type of upholstery more commonly found in hotel lobbies or in waiting rooms at banks: as such, it's what's called "contract" upholstery and made with more stringent standards than "retail" or "residential" types. It's formal, rather stiff, but exceedingly well-made. The apron under the fabric (which continues on each of its four sides) is fluted, which is another sign of superior craftsmanship. The dining area, adjacent to the living space, is where I keep my cherry table. It was one of the few things I insisted upon keeping during the break-up, and previously functioned as our kitchen table. I specifically ordered it unfinished so that I could give it a multi-layer oil (rather than lacquer) finish. I bought it specifically to be abused, as I abhor place mats and table pads. I wanted a surface one could use without worrying about the finish. I've had several different sets of chairs with it. Originally I had light-wood chairs that were comfortable and attractive but very poorly made: most of them broke under use. I eventually bought a rather expensive pair of ash chairs stained in a "cherry" finish, which I never found appropriate: they were also Windsor chairs which I, personally, have always found more attractive than comfortable. Those went with my ex to parts unknown. The chairs I have with it now have an interesting story. In 2004, right after the break-up, I found these four chairs rusting away at a sort of flea-market place, in a black finish and still upholstered in their original Mad Men sorta brilliant black/gray vinyl and felt they were a bargain at ~$35 for the set. At some point in December of last year, shortly before I moved out, my then-roommate's BF saw fit to desecrate them with an aluminum paint, which is what I get for leaving them in the garage. Between the new, "hammered gold" paint, batting and fabric, I've spent upwards of $200 making them look as good as they do; that might sound expensive until you begin to survey one's choices Though not everyone agrees with me, I happen to find the feature fabric in the sofa and the chair upholstery fabric to be a lovely, artful combination. I suppose the hidden star in this space is the wool and silk Tibetan carpet in the living area: it's appx 10 X 10. I got it from a wholesale/retail place in Cambridge, MA that specialized in them. After years (and probably $100,000 in wholesale trade for the shop I managed in CT), they sold me that piece of fine art for probably 1/2 wholesale: absurdly cheap considering its quality. It was made on a special loom by Tibetan refugees living in Nepal using 100 knots per inch; it was one of the very few things I insisted on taking in 2004. Unfortunately it needs proper lighting to be appreciated: underneath that banal moss green color leaps hundreds of subtle striations in wool and silk (which positively glows). More to follow, but in the meantime: feel free to post pix of your crib and tell us why you love it so much.