Elizabeth's Art Deco Monkey House

Elizabeth's Art Deco Monkey House

Elizabeth Licata
Jun 27, 2012

My parents bought their place back in the early 1980s, and it was purchased fully decorated from a couple who had a taste for deco and what I'd later ascertain to be a near-limitless decorating budget. There were mirrored surfaces, white marble floors, modern crystal chandeliers, Creamsicle-colored velvet armchairs, and more. But all those elements paled in comparison with the monkey room.

Yes, the monkey room. The den or TV room was covered entirely in brown wallpaper printed with swinging white monkeys, and the couch was upholstered in matching monkey fabric.

"Oh my god," thought my parents, who don't have a taste for the art deco or the weird. "What is going on with these monkeys?"

The monkeys were the first thing to go when my parents were able to redecorate. But many years later, I saw the monkeys again. I was browsing the De Gournay website and imagining what it would be like to be able to buy those madly luxurious wallpapers, and there they were! The crazy monkeys of my early childhood were the Deco Monkey pattern by De Gournay. I calculated the cost of wallpapering a room in those monkeys, and I nearly had to go lie down.

Now, as an adult, I frequently think back to that monkey room and wonder what I would do with it if it stumbled into my hands. I imagine I'd do something like this:

1. Black Lacquer Oriental Mirror, Richard Rothstein
2. Deco Monkeys Wallpaper, De Gournay
3. Black Lacquer Sofa, Taylor Llorente Furniture
4. Wall Sconce, Aidan Gray
5. Vintage Art Deco Armchair, NY Showplace
6. Avila Lamp, Aidan Gray
7. Antique Taxidermy Monkey, because we're already here and we might as well embrace it
8. Vintage Record Player, Music Man Murray

(Images: As credited above)

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