I don’t quite have the nerve to paint my doors black ( I know, Joni, I know) but giggle with delight at Vreeland’s red door which reminds me neither of the church of Arden or the Church of England. In the article Vreeland reminisces on her home in Brewster, New York, “It had one pink door, one blue, one yellow. And I had a ball getting each color just right. The painter did the samples fourteen times.”
As often happens, once I’m on something it tumbles around in my head a bit. I’ve had the article on the Vreeland apartment on my desk for a week now and every day I’m noticing something new. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the color and miss all the wonderful stuff.
(Slightly off subject, matching cuffs have held long-time appeal and both sets of Vreeland’s that are pictured in this piece are enviable.)
I was struck by Vreeland’s quote in the article, “I was always working, not hunting valuable antiques. Couldn’t afford them anyway. Frankly, antiques bore me to death.” And yet. And yet her home is layered and sophisticated and some of her stuff is quite good indeed.
Megan’s post yesterday made me flip back to this page as Vreeland, who was a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar and editor-in-chief at Vogue, used several fashion sketches on this wall.
Included in the jumble is this picture of Winston Churchill (natch) guarded by a prowl of porcelain leopards, a gift from jeweler Jean Schlumberger.
Chic! Unique, no? But then there’s this. Staffordshire dogs.
And this charming Staffordshire couple. Staffordshire is just the type of collectible for society women, of which Vreeland assured she was not one. And here, they are part of a salon set just on its ear, staged as “garden in hell.”
This little tablescape of shells makes a happy home for the coral necklace with the jade clasp. It does seem many of Vreeland’s things were gifts including many of the Scottish snuff horns with silver tops and cabochons. Seems folks would catch wind of what she liked and her collection would grow “one by one.”
For a different view of the apartment do check Jennifer Boles at the Peak of Chic here. Style Court’s Courtney Barnes has a terrific post on one of Vreeland’s portraits and Aesthete’s Lament has captured some of her wisdom here.
All images House & Garden, May, 1988. Photography by Oberto Gili except the image of Vreeland in grey, which is by Priscilla Rattazzi. Interior design by Billy Baldwin. Also, there were similar pieces of Staffordshire at Suzanne Cooper’s (45th & State Line) when I stopped in last week. Suzanne is transitioning into semi-retirement and much of her inventory is greatly reduced.