Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sister Notorious's Home for Wayward Medievalists


Does your end-of-semester grading have you in Babylonian captivity? Are you suffering a black plague of "medieval pheasants" in your essays? A great schism between the fun person you used to be and the jaded academic you've become? What seems like a hundred years of war between you and That One Colleague (let's call him "The Black Prince")?

Sister Notorious knows your pain. And she has a solution. A retreat center. Where we can all speak in Latin and drink unaged wine and let the serfs take care of all that pesky day-to-day living stuff.  Presenting the new site of our Home for Wayward Medievalists:

Friends don't let friends drink and decorate.

This is, I swear to you, is an actual property you can buy. And it's actually a bit of a steal. And located near a stretch of the Oregon coast, which is just the thing to recall the damp of England or Brittany.  On the down side, there is everything else.1 It's like a Renaissance Faire got drunk and took up interior decorating and forgot that there were such things as different historical eras between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. This particular decorative mode might be described as "back in the day."

Which, I think, makes it just the place for medievalists suffering from end-of-semester loopiness to retreat to. Perhaps with a cask of artisanal hypocras.2

Scroll through the photos and see for yourself. But be warned: you can't un-see it.

Happy Holidays!

1 I will confess to loving the kitchen. Though I'm not sure that a faux-tapestry runner is the best food prep surface.

2 It's only an hour or two from Portland, and even closer to Eugene, and if there aren't hipsters there brewing up mead at the very least, I'll eat my fancy medieval headdress.


clio's disciple said...

That is amazing, by which I mean amazingly terrible. It looks like the setting for a murder mystery. Professor Plum did it, with the stag's head on the kitchen wall.

And what really gets me is that it looks like a perfectly ordinary house from the outside. Who on earth thought this was a good decorative scheme?

Notorious Ph.D. said...

As I say in the photo caption, Clio: Don't drink and decorate, kids.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

What a thing to do to a respectable late-mid-century house! It is stunning, in its way, but it definitely needs a special buyer. I think you may have a good idea going . . . maybe a Crowdfunder or Kickstarter campaign? But my usual question about real estate sprang immediately to mind: Who is going to clean it? It looks like a cleaner's nightmare, all those dust-catching carvings and hangings.

Flavia said...

Holy upside-down-Jesus on your bedroom ceiling!

That is...remarkable. And if Newport is anything like the coastal Oregon town in which my aunt and uncle live, there aren't a lot of buyers with that particular taste. (Here in what was once a bumptious Midwestern center of shipping & industry, there are a lot of crazy 1920 mock Tudor castles, and I think they still appeal to the local bigwig burghers. But they wear their crazy out the outside, rather than hidden within.)

Bardiac said...

HOLY COW! Unpretentious on the outside...

I do admit to liking the ceiling beams all carved and such, and to wanting to know if they had the stained glass made, or if they somehow imported old windows (and if so, the provenance).

I'd donate $10 to a kickstarter if you'll let early modernists come for a visit, too.

Contingent Cassandra said...

Oddly, the more restrained rooms (e.g. the ones pictured above) actually somewhat resemble ones in my undergrad and grad institutions, one of which has a full-on medieval architectural fetish/case of Oxbridge envy, while the other has scattered instances of same, including the dorm/dining complex in which I lived for several years. So I have memories of studying, and otherwise academizing, in such settings, and might well feel right at home (this may, of course, merely indicate just how badly said institutions have warped my perspective). It's also quite affordable by the standards of where I live (which doesn't mean I could afford it, but $400,000 is basically the absolute minimum price for a single-family home in my neck of the (long-vanished) woods, and, around here, such a price tag might well indicate that something essential, like, say, working heating or plumbing, or an electrical system that can be turned on without burning down the structure, is missing).

Still, no, I don't think I could work in that kitchen (oriental rugs are very sturdy, but there are limits), or, especially, sleep in that (second/guest?) bedroom.

And you do have to wonder how hard the real estate agent was biting hir tongue as (s)he wrote that description.

heu mihi said...

Ohhhh, you guys! I kind of like it. Well, okay, the Renaissance-fair-loving-fourteen-year-old part of me REALLY likes it. I do admit, though, that it would be somewhat oppressive to live there. And clean. And the mural on the ceiling (what do you call a mural, when it's not actually on a *mur*?) is creepy to say the least.

Bardiac said...

OMG, Heu mihi, I JUST made the connection (thanks to you) between walls and murals and the "mur" (wall) in cycling up hills. I feel so . . . unworldly!

Belle said...

I've been to Newport OR, and... ummm... this is not indicative of the place's vibe. I imagine it was somebody's fantasy home, and the nightmare of the realtor. It might, however, make a fun academic's hangout. Think about celebrating the end of term here with lots of spiced (or un-) wine and some mead.

I find it more welcoming than some 'modern' decorating!

Susan said...

I think you get the surfs to clean it. It's the only way. Like CC, I attended an institutionlike Hogwarts where this was a style, and I still find it redolent of patriarchal privilege. But yes, I feel sorry for the realtor. The advice is always not to be too idiosyncratic.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Okay - I admit that I kind of love it. Yes, it's impractical, and a cleaning nightmare. But it's like my fantasy house. Immediately after scrolling through the pictures, I looked up at the ceiling in my "library" and thought, "What can I do with this ceiling?" LOL.

I would certainly do away with the Jesus on the ceiling, for sure, but the rest is freaking awesome. I don't care if it's gaudy. I love it! I'm sending the URL to hubby and explaining that Christmas is coming... ;)

undine said...

Step inside from the 1970s to the 1470s (except for the can't-disguise-it rock fireplace). I kind of love that someone had this vision, even though it's not my vision, and it's definitely not boring. It takes a lot of imagination (and money) to transform a suburban split-level into a medieval court.