Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014!

Before this week slides by, I just wanted to take a moment and say Happy Halloween!

For most of us it's a fun happy event, and one final breather before the onslaught of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, right? A day of frivolity before all the heavy stuff hits us.

But around here we don't do much for Halloween. (Well, nothing, actually.)

There's no children in the house, and with two sets of gates to get into the property, not to mention two barking dogs and cameras all over the place, this house is not exactly conducive to Trick-or-Treating.

In the past, if my employers happened to be in town and if they did go to some high-society Halloween party, they just put on their bejeweled eye masks from Venice, and that's that. Off they went.

The former Missus had a simple, elegant black mask with silk on the surface and small diamonds outlining the eye portals--dazzling in all respects, especially with her blond hair and sequined black cocktail dress.

The Mister just has a plain black mask (silk, of course) but it looks great with his tuxedo--which could be considered a Halloween costume in some circles, I guess.

As for my costume, if I do get to go anywhere I just go as myself--which is scary enough, I suppose. Stressed out and bleary eyed from all the nonsense and crap going on around here (or maybe it's the gin martinis), I'm sure I give the appearance of a disoriented wild-eyed escapee from a lunatic asylum--no costume needed.

So that's about it as far as Halloween goes at this house. Next up comes Thanksgiving and there's menus to plan--not to mention all the horrifying house guests that might be headed our way.

But at least we can relax and have a little fun for this one special evening, right?

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Furniture for the Rich!

Our friend Justin Dew recently sent an inquiry as to where rich people buy furniture. While I might have described the house and furnishings briefly here and there, he made me realize I've never written about this particular topic in full, and there's so much fun stuff to tell.

The thing is, a lot of busy rich people (especially the new rich) rely almost entirely upon their interior designers to do all the work and fill their homes and rooms with whatever fits their needs. This can be tricky of course, since the new rich often don't have a clue as to what they need or want, and the end result depends upon the imagination, creativity, and expertise of the designer engaged.

Depending on what kind of budget he's given, the designer might just shovel in a truck load of nice looking upper-middle-class stuff from Bloomingdale's and call it a day. Given a larger budget, however, he'll probably check out some high end furniture purveyors, like Horchow, or the Italian Bakokko Group, not overlooking Neiman Marcus, of course. And if he's worth his salt, he'll mix in some real antiques here and there that match his overall scheme and design.

The danger is that these decorator-designed rooms, without the personal touch of the homeowner, can come across looking impersonal, stiff, and uninviting. You see it all the time, and wouldn't want to sit down for even a minute in these picture-perfect rooms.

Now having said all that, many rich people take a huge interest in working closely with their interior decorators, both in designing and continuously adding to their home's comfort and beauty. And they do, after all, have plenty of free time to do so, right?

You'll find them browsing through antique shops throughout their travels in America and Europe, or perhaps attending an estate auction after some old rich biddy in their hometown kicks the bucket--which is always a little amusing to me. While reasonably respectful in form, you can't deny these estate sales resemble a flock of scavenger birds, swooping down for the pickings.

The former Missus of the house was fond of checking out the renowned furniture auctions at Christie's, where documented and historic antiques can bring in huge sums of money. Not to mention the bragging rights when someone asks, "Wherever did you find this?"

For knickknacks and ornamental fillers, she also loved to browse through distinguished shops like A La Vielle Russie on Fifth Avenue in New York, known for getting their hands on items from the Russian Imperial Court's jeweler, Carl Faberge--including his world famous Faberge Eggs. And she always looked forward to visiting London and browsing through the Aspery Collection.

For the super rich, accumulating unique and interesting items for the home is a never-ending, ongoing hobby. Their attics are full of furniture and ornaments they're grown tired of, and their homes are constantly evolving, not unlike a museum, with new displays coming in all the time--something amazing to observe, from my point of view.

Thanks for asking the question, Justin. I hope this has shed some light.