Friday, December 31, 2010

Anchors Up

May your ship of dreams set sail in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Celebrities, They're Just Like Us

Except for the sand in the coffee table and the Newton nudies in the boudoir.
This is where Trudie gets Stung.

Behold the Centripetal Centipede

He's clearly inching his way -- nay -- presiding over the salon.

Puttin' on the Glitz

Nero's mentioned time and again that Houston is a ripe stomping grounds for house stalking. The real estate listings alone supply much glam fodder and a simple drive around town can make for a titillating romp. Exhibit A, below, is one of our city's such bijoux. Designed by locally-renowned architect Allen Bianchi and belonging to a glamorous power couple who feature prominently on the social scene, the home spent a sojourn on but has recently been taken offline. Nero knows not if it's a temporary hold until the market starts to blossom anew or if the owners experienced seller's remorse and dodged a golden bullet -- I know I'd be hard-pressed to pony up that louche outdoor lounge and pool area. But at any rate, the views are glitzy and rather spectacular. I'm particularly enamored of the clean, open kitchen space with its decadently veined marble swath. Nero wouldn't kick the albino peacock outta the coop either.

Of Porcelain and Nymphenmania

Hi Everyone, my name is Nero and I'm a Nymphenmaniac.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

La Maison Grise

Back in December of 2007, PaperCity Houston ran a piece by Laurann Claridge which featured one of our city's top trend-setting doyennes, Cathy Echols, and the home she had recently renovated. Nero, in the throes of nesting and neck-deep in experimental decor was enthralled by the moody, daring redo. Echols had taken a home dating from 1979 and finished all the walls on the first floor in a tempestuous and muddy gray Venetian plaster treatment, washed in a paint color appropriately-called "Seine." This alone struck me as a particularly brazen move in an older home with modest ceilings -- it added depth and character, not to mention a very Parisian blend of gritty sophistication. The carpets had been ripped out and replaced with knotty, limed maple planks of humble provenance.

The article surfaced just before the Belgian tidal wave broke over the American design scene, ushering in with it all shades of grays, nubby linens, grain sacks galore, limed woods and white-washed slips. But there was something different about this space. It didn't feel like an American interpretation of a European look, no, certain spaces felt like they'd been lifted directly from a Left Bank flat in an uppity arrondissement.

Nero fell hard and dog-eared the tearsheets to shreds with overzealous caresses (Echols' intimate dining room, with the juxtaposition of an intricate Moroccan lantern and plastic Ghost chairs whetted Nero's appetite, and her red bar officially cemented my infatuation with black Bertoia barstools). The home was later featured in Domestic Art: Curated Interiors, also part-authored and edited by Claridge. About a year or so ago, it popped up in the market. Nero came across the listing and continued to cyber-case the joint, which languished without a buyer for some time. Interestingly, as often happens in the world of real estate staging, several months into the listing, the walls were repainted white and much of the existing furniture replaced with more staid, French and Belgian-style antiques. Was the seller pandering? Fishing for a bite? Perhaps. But Nero sincerely hopes, yes, I like to dream, that Echols swooped in and soldiered away her glamorous goods to adorn a heady homestead elsewhere.

*I've just heard from Paloma over at LDV that Cathy's latest home incarnation will be featured in an upcoming issue of High Gloss, so keep your eyes peeled.*

These images are from the initial real estate listing:

The images below are the original PaperCity tearsheets:


Urban flâneuse, armchair observer, absent-minded scribbler, occasional epicure and carpool line cultural attaché, my nom de plume is Nero. Join me as I catalog a compilation of earthly delights and stuff that I dig. Alcira Molina-Ali



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