Picture of Vera Jane Cook

Vera Jane Cook

So You Think You Can Decorate

babetteIt seems easy but it’s not. We just got a new couch, Babette. That’s her name and she looks like her name, kind of sexy and saucy. She’s got a lot of style, nice rounded shoulders, makes her resemble some Victorian model, one of Asti’s nudes maybe. She’s chocolate brown but not at all plain. She’s adorned with beautiful jeweled pillows as soft as anything you ever felt. Roxie, my little mutt, loves them. She perches herself on them and looks like a little regal fox holding court. Since Babette likes dogs she doesn’t mind the attention. Lucky Roxie. You’ll notice that Carly and Peanut are sitting on her when the picture was taken, but she prefers Roxie, likes her color. Oh, Babette has nail heads too, French neutral I think they’re called.

The couch I threw out was about fifteen years old or close to it. I could have had her reupholstered for the same price but I wanted to move on, find new horizons from which to view my living room, my sanctuary. It’s a very lovely room, one of those prewar rooms with high ceilings and stately molding. You can’t go too contemporary in it but I mix. That’s kind of a reflection of me, I think. I’ve got a lot of old style but a very youthful energy, or so I’ve been told. My living room is more Ella Fitzgerald than Beyonce. Don’t get me wrong, I love Beyonce but what Babette calls for is Ella, no question, though she does seem to tolerate my Norah Jones music quite well. She likes Natalie Merchant too.

The only problem now is that once Babette graced our living room the old round chair had to go. I loved that chair but she never worked the way she should have. She definitely didn’t work with Babette. I hope someone picked her up off the street and gave her a home. She deserves at least that. So now we have to go out and get a new chair that will compliment Babette. We found him, King, he’s called, or Elvis, however you want to look at it. He’s got a great spice seat, can’t wait to sit in him. My two cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie are going to fall in love.

Problem is that now we also have to get rid of the mirror above Babette. It has too many peaks, peaks that conflict with Babette’s peaks. So the mirror has to go. I’m hoping my handyman, Marius, has good taste and will want it. It’s a very beautiful mirror but too formal. Babette needs to be surrounded by humor and gaiety. We used to have a handyman named Gus who gave his wife everything we threw out, the crystal lamp, the flying pig, a wicker table. Now every time Gus comes to our apartment he scopes it out for his better half. Since Gus doesn’t work here anymore I’m hoping Marius has a wife that digs our style.

We’re painting to compliment Babette. She needs warm tones, golden tones. Our French deco chairs will have to be redone. We’re shopping fabric now. They’re pretty sensational chairs but Babette must approve and she doesn’t. They have to be redone in earth tones, Babette’s tones. Oh, Babette, you are demanding but we love you. You make us smile.

Marybeth, Hollister & Jane is Vera Jane’s sixth novel published with Musa. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was Vera Jane’s second southern fiction novel and was a finalist in the ForeWord book of the Year Awards for 2012 and received a five star ForeWord Clarion review, as well as an Eric Hoffer honorable mention for ebook fiction in 2013. Dancing Backward in Paradise also received a 5 Star Clarion ForeWord review and an Eric Hoffer notable new fiction award in 2007, as well as the Indie Excellence Award in 2007. Also by Vera Jane Cook: Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.. Vera jane’s next novel, Pleasant Day, will be published by Moonshine Cove Press.