Mr. Blandings attends a conference every year in Las Vegas. I haven’t gone for a while as it falls during the last week of school, but when the boys were still at home and not demanding my attendance at programs and parties off I would go arm-in-arm with Mr. B to the city of sin.
I adore Las Vegas for all of its excess. On our first trip there together we were behind a rather scandalously dressed young lady at the Bellagio. Mr. Blandings leaned over to me and whispered, “Get a load of that outfit.” “Darling, she’s a professional.” “What?! Can’t be – they don’t let them out; they keep them someplace.” You can see why I like him.
So when Maison 21
posted this chandelier
and confessed that he found it jolie laid I had to agree that it was magnificent in its extravagance. In fact, I commented that it would be great fun as the starting point in the decoration of a house of ill repute. Then M21 raised the stakes and double-dog dared me to do just that. Here’s my vision of where “they” would “keep them” in Las Vegas.
I usually flip right by the “Opulent” chapter of Influential Interiors, but today I use it as my inspiration. No one does old world over the top like Albert Pinto and Jacques Garcia.
Reds and golds and greens with lots of gilt seems just the thing. I think you get the idea.
To begin, let’s imagine the outside is quite discrete. Non-descript, but with helipad for the L.A. traffic. Indeed, a private club. A gentleman’s club, and, to further qualify it, let’s say MSW. Catering to a straight clientele enables us to focus without swinging both ways. As you swipe your card to enter, a lovely young woman would take your bag and check your phone; no photos please. This vestibule would be paneled with sheets of malachite off-set by brass fillet similar to the Astor library by Albert Hadley.
The floor, a black, honed marble covered by this handsome beauty, soft beneath your shoe.
A quick check to ensure you are still as dashing as you remembered.
A little shaggy? Happy to fix you up if you are in need of a little trim.
All set? Up two honed black marble steps into the main room.
The ceilings would need to be two stories; the chandelier is a monster and would need to be well hung in the dead center of the room. Civilized and sophisticated, the clientele would surely settle in for a drink and perhaps a game of pool.
You’d want to unwind, shake off the daily grind. Another associate would be happy to fix you a drink.
Let’s use this charmer to set up the bar. Even here, the Victorian wall-length bars seem unsophisticated. A cigar? Certainly.
Men, I’ve found, like the idea of being stylish, but not at the expense of comfort. The one exception to this rule may be women as they often choose based on aesthetics and find themselves with a difficult and itchy match down the line. So, following the style of Pinto and Garcia we will use comfy sofas, perhaps a pair of these
and then this in another seating area
and scatter lots of chairs like this
and these, as I couldn’t’ resist them and the leather is so yummy, to assuage the gilt a bit.
in fabrics like this
This would give our lovely working girls some spots on which to drape themselves. I have in mind a stable of the Eastern Block lovelies resembling those who have graced the runways over the last few years.
I think the establishment could benefit from upholstered walls, so I’d use a red wool. It should be red, agreed? A patterned broadloom to keep everything cozy and easily cleaned.
On the walls, some antique oils, nudes, of course. You know. Classy.
And I can’t resist the thought of this Walton Ford. A little tongue-in-cheek poke at the natural essence of the business sprinkled with a little ugliness.
As an aside, when I as interning at Nightline my senior year in college a visitor to the show had seen me in the production booth and inquired if I were Sydney Biddle Barrows
. Of course, the producer corrected the error, but was surprised that I didn’t see the humor in the anecdote. “Who knew you were such a prude?” “Prude? Never! I can’t believe he’d think I was she. She must be ten years older than I. At least!”