Growing up with a brother who was a horror fan, I have been surrounded by dark imagery all my life. There was a constant stream of horror movies in our house. He particularly liked the ghost stories, tales of haunted houses, or the monsters who lived in remote mansions. As a kid, these were fascinating rather than scary. While Halloween was never a thing where I was raised, I’ve always dreamed of dressing up like a vampire and going to haunted houses.
Later on, in my life, I’ve become a fan of the gothic aesthetic, listening to artists like Bauhaus, Siouxsie, and the Banshees, or Marilyn Manson influenced my personal style as well as my dreams. Today, I dream of moving into a Victorian-style mansion house that would welcome Dracula and all the other creatures of the night.
My dream house is a big, luxurious, old-looking yet very well-maintained mansion that sits in the middle of nowhere. Gloomy skies looming over us, a garden that you can barely look past, an exterior that screams ‘Don’t Come Closer’ yet still is intriguing and dreamy. High arches are one of the first things you will notice, all the windows come with arched tops, their frames dark and woody. Glasses are dull, they are not bright and they are not transparent. My privacy is protected by them, if not by the ghoulish exterior of the house. It’s a house from an Edgar Allan Poe story, a house which Mary Shelley would write into her books, a house you walk past and you know you’re not welcome. A house where the dark and the grotesque feast and flourish.
The interior is classy, not like a Halloween store exploded within. You feel the antique aura of each piece inside, yet it’s still modern and familiar. Upon entering, a living room welcomes you to the house, if you have come with well intentions. Dark floors and dark ceilings give you a sense of unease, yet the creamy white walls lighten up the inside. Cozy looking, velvet sofas are framed around a TV, in the middle a coffee table, it is black marble and screams lush. The top is filled with big black books, you know not to touch them. Several candles lay upon the books, melted into the cover, almost like a seal, a protection.
The walls of the house are covered in decorations, mirrors with black metal frames, all daintily detailed, very well kept off. You look at your reflection, but your reflection may not stare back. Artwork is found everywhere in the house, drawings of bugs, skulls, animals. Maybe a real animal skull and a real dead bug are among them. In the middle of the room, hangs a big chandelier. Colored black, with many candles on. You may wonder about who lights them one by one every night or you may not think about it considering the circumstances.
There’s a cat inside the house, it’s everywhere you look at, a black cat of course. Maybe there’s more than one, you don’t know. But it’s everywhere, yet you never see it move.
The kitchen still remains gothic while holding modern values. The cabinets are dark and wooden, tightly stacked side by side. Inside are tall glasses with silver handles, all match yet strangely unique as well.
A cabinet full of wine stands tall in the kitchen, you know that all of them are delectable reds. So enchanting, so taunting. The light marble countertops clash with the dark-colored cabinets, creating a balance, a visual flow. Holding it back from feeling too claustrophobic. Everything is spotless, not a sign of living, not a speck of dust, not even a single spectre.
A library to make Belle from Beauty and the Beast jealous lays in the heart of the mansion. A room full of shelves, walls covered, rows standing tall. Shelves are stacked with books on top of books, some of them are still on the ground. Soft carpeting covers the room, you need to be quiet inside the library. Single couches, loveseats, and study desks look welcoming, but one must not be tricked: time passes differently when one is engulfed inside another universe. The room, apart from the soft lighting provided by big and lush chandeliers, it is also lit by candles. The number of candles inside the library must be a fire hazard for sure, but without small risks, life is not worth living. The room carries that old book smell somewhat pleasantly. A dusty smell, somehow mixed with the smell of the candles, vanilla, and cinnamon, makes you feel home. May you never leave.
And finally, the bedroom. A room where only the ones invited are allowed. Wander and you may get lost. A big, tall bed lays in the middle of the room, tall beams surround it. A canopy bed with the most luxurious fabrics surrounding the bed itself. The top of the bed is covered with dark, velvet covers. Underneath are soft white sheets. They always smell clean and are extremely soft.
The curtains frame tall windows, allowing the light to enter lazily, not too intrusively. A chandelier floats above the bed, definitely dangerous, yet elegant. At the foot of the bed there is a bench, on top lies a beautiful robe de chamber, ready to be worn in the morning as I roam through the hallways, the tail following me, floating with each step.
This is a house for the debutante and the dandies, for the Draculas and night owls. For the up and coming, for the low and the lowliest. The house of terrors, laughter, and miracles. A house so dark, it stands out more than the bright. A house of dreams and shadows. A house where desire and aesthetics become one. A house to make Oscar Wilde’s wildest dreams look boring, a house of hedonism. A portrait hiding somewhere, a young man smiles at you. He never grows old, neither do you.
A gothic mansion, a home for the outcast, the misfit, the broken-hearted.
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