Of Blue Brocade and Builder Brass

So, we got photos of our apartment in Vienna. Which is awesome. I mean, really, it is!  We have never had a truly cool house in the Foreign Service before. I am so psyched.

But, there is one little problem. And its name is Drexel.

Awesome fireplace: chair from Goodwill. Yep, it’s the Dreaded Blue Brocade.
Gorgeous dining alcove: Aunt Mabel’s furniture. Oh, and the builder-grade brass chandelier from my first apartment.  (How did it follow me to Vienna?)
More blue brocade *sob*

Well, duh, you may say, what did you expect? Honestly, I did expect exactly this. I was just in denial about it after several years in the States enjoying my own furniture. Some of which does actually come from Goodwill, but it’s been refinished, and it was way better than this hotel-quality stuff to begin with. And there is NO brocade–none!

OK, so this time I am determined to deal with it, no matter what the cost. Slipcovers, throws, tablecloths, whatever it takes. Maybe we can just pile the ugliest stuff in a closet somewhere and close the door on it. Fine.

A conversation I had this morning reminded me that I had once looked up Drexel online and thought some of the stuff was OK. I looked again today, and some of it still is. A very small percentage. Some of the leather sofas and chairs are nice (though most of them do look like they are designed for 300-pound men.) Some of the sofas are quite modern. The Savoy collection is OK. Their dh Wood collection even looks a little Ikea-ish, which would certainly be more appropriate for say, European apartments.

But most of just makes me thankful for our fuddy-duddy Queen Anne stuff. Because it could be so much worse.  Seriously.

First of all, do you remember the State Department’s unfortunate fake wicker phase? Believe it or not, Drexel still sells the stuff!drexel1-1

And then there are these gems…drexel2-2 drexel3-3 drexel4-4 drexel6-5

I just really don’t think there’s anything else to say here. Go hug your Queen Anne china cabinet. Sigh.


  1. The apartment looks lovely, the drexel horrible furniture not so much. Maybe you will get some of the new collections, at least it is (mostly) solids and no wicker! I had that crap in Jakarta and the kids kept sticking their fingers in it and breaking off little bits of wicker. Thank goodness it was so old they didn’t charge me for the damage.


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