The Dutch Door House

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Last year, I was invited to tour a house by a mutual friend of the owners who thought I would like to show it on the blog.   I was all ready to go with the story  back then, but there were still a few things that had been ordered by the interior designers that had yet to be installed.   So, we decided to wait for these last few finishing touches and now, it’s all ready for its debut.    Most houses in this inner loop neighborhood are very nice, but this house stands out even among all the others.  The appeal is in its differences – it has been custom built – and it’s uniqueness is evident right at the front door, a charming wooden Dutch door with its own peep window and brass knocker.

 

 

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Looking down from the staircase, the front door is a wonderful Dutch that opens at the top – a real plus on Halloween!   Here you can see the brick arches that run down the entry hall, separating it from the living/dining room.

 

Once you enter the house, the interior details that make  it  unique became evident immediately:  the floor is a stained concrete, the ceiling is beamed, and a series of brick arches run down the long entrance hall.   The wet bar sits behind its own brick arch.     The current owners bought the house from the couple who had it built and who have now built another house nearby.   Since moving in, the couple have spent their first few years here changing up the decor, making it their own.   They enlisted the design team of Lyndon West to help with the interiors: Charlotte McFadin and Traci Thompson headed up the project.    These beautiful photographs were taken by Julie Landreth who specializes in both family and design photography.   Enjoy!

 

 

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Looking down the entry hall towards the front Dutch door.   The living/dining room are to the right behind a series of brick arches.   The bar sits next to this chinoiserie desk behind its own brick arch.   The stairs are next to the front door.   Here you can see the unique flooring – a stained concrete. 

 

 

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A beautiful English antique chest sits in front of the stairs.  The furnishings are a mix of antique and new, some pieces are even a soft contemporary.   On the stairs, a new patterned carpet runner has recently been added to the décor. 

 

 

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Across from the entry hall is a large living room/dining room combination.   Above it is a beautiful wood beamed ceiling in a grid pattern.   The furnishings are a mix of antique and new – here two  French chairs sit next to a more contemporary side chair.   The large bookcases are painted to blend in with the walls.    The owners opted for textured blinds instead of curtains on this side of the room.  Underneath is a muted, light colored area rug. 

 

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Looking from the living area towards the dining area.  Here you can see on the very right – the wet bar behind the brick arch.   The entry hall leads back to the family room/kitchen area.  

 

 

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Dividing the living area and the dining area is a trio of windows up high.   Each side of the room has its own built in bookcase.   Here, a contemporary chair sits next to the antique styled coffee table. 

 

 

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A zinc topped arched element console table sits behind the sofa which divides the living area from the dining area.   The arches in the table repeat the brick arch motif found in the hallway.    Aidan Gray sells a similar tin top “Arched Cathedral” console.   HERE.

 

 

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Looking towards the other direction – I love the juxtaposition of the classic English console with the more trendy console!   So pretty!  And I love the contemporary, simple glass lamps on the console.    This space is between the living area and dining area.

 

 

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The dining area has its own matching bookshelves, minus the closed cabinet doors.   I like the way the shelves were designed with the heavy “foot.”   The light fixture is wonderful – again a more trendy, contemporary style to mix with all the antiques.   The light fixture really makes the room – I just love it.   Similar ones can be found at Brown and Restoration Hardware.   The wood table is antique looking, while the chairs are more transitional or classically styled  – notice how the heavy chairs weigh down that side of the room – perfect!!!

 

 

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In this view, you can see out the window to the back  yard.  Here, there are curtains to soften the dark, wood stained French doors.  In this picture you can really see how perfectly proportioned the light fixture is to the table and chairs.   

 

 

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Here, an antique clock with a trendy white wash finish looks wonderful against the brick arch.  I adore the pitchfork in the corner and then, following the eye, lower still, the corner Oriental cabinet.   I love how the eye goes from high to low here with a mixture of the fine and the rustic.   The bar is seen here through the arch – the kitchen and family room are at the end of the entrance hall. 

 

 

 

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The large kitchen/breakfast/family room sits at the end of the entrance hall.   Behind the sofa through the door is a screened in porch.   The kitchen cabinetry is painted a soft blue gray.   The grid ceiling is continued through into this area, as is the concrete flooring. 

 

 

 

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The countertops are a combination of white marble and wood.  

 

 

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The breakfast room is in the corner – a screened in porch is on the right side behind the windows.   So pretty!

 

 

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Going up the stairs is a window seat and here you can see the patterned carpet that runs up the stairs and down the hallway.

 

 

 

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I really like flat weave patterned carpets like this – in a trellis pattern especially, or in a small dotted pattern.  So much better than just plain carpet.  I also really like carpet when it is two-toned as opposed to tone on tone.  Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.   The guest room is to the right.

 

 

 

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Lyndon West had just completed the guest room when I had been in the house and this was my favorite room  - I loved the doors!  These were found at an antique mart and the colors of the room were taken from the turquoise blue found in the doors.   I love the mounted sconces.   So clever!  The headboard was custom made for the spot and the proportions are perfect, which is why one hires an interior designer!

 

 

 

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Here is a close up of the vintage doors with the mounted sconces.   The old drop leaf tables are the perfect choice – a nice contrast between smooth and rough.

 

 

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Leading into the master suite is a series of oriental watercolors – all framed alike.    Framing anything alike makes so much more of a statement. 

 

 

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The master bedroom is large and includes a fireplace and a seating area.   The bed fits into the niche between the bookcases.   Do you remember when I discussed my love of the Robert Allen fabric Eleria HERE?    Well, this is where I first saw the fabric!   The homeowner has it in the other colorway, Biscotti.   The Biscotti has a lot of deep aqua in it – the exact color of the walls here, plus there are touches of orange that run throughout it.   I just ordered 80 yards of the Eleria in the Green Tea colorway for a client’s curtains.  I only pray they turn out as pretty as these did.    Cute dogs!

 

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On the other side of the bedroom is the sitting area – with a great French chaise, half burlap-y, and half linen.    More Eleria curtains.  Notice the beautiful highboy behind the chaise. 

 

 

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And across from the bed is this large French armoire, painted.  

 

 

 

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Here’s a peek at the daughters bathroom – all in purple paneling, with white marble and tiny black and white tiled floor. 

 

 

 

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The curtain shower and towels were coordinated in bright colors.   So cute.  I wish there were pictures of the kids bedrooms – there is a loft area above the rooms.  Oh well – maybe next time.  

A HUGE thank you to the homeowners for sharing their beautiful house and a thank you to the designers from Lyndon West and the photographer Julie Landreth for sharing these pictures.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!!

WAIT - There is More News:

 

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I recently told you about one article I wrote, Updating Your Décor,  for the new issue of Antique Shops and Designers HERE, but I also wrote another article about the house owned by Ruth Davis of Found for the Home fame.  HERE.  The house is an original in the classy Old Braeswood neighborhood, dating back to the 1930s. Davis and her business partner/interior designer Aaron Rambo have filled the house with a mix of Swedish and French antiques along with contemporary art work and iconic furniture pieces. 

 

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Ruth Davis’ living room – filled with antiques and contemporary furniture and artwork.

In the article, Ruth confesses she is thinking about moving on, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when last night I got an email from Houston real estate superstar Cathy Blum.   Cathy informed me that the Old Braeswood house is now up for sale!   Just thought I would pass this info along to anyone who read the story and might be interested in buying it.

 

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Davis’  dining room overlooking the back yard has a large French table surrounded by antique French chairs. 

If you are interested in touring the house with Cathy Blum, this is the link to the listing with all her information on it:   HERE.

 

 

AND, finally, one more piece of business for Skirted Roundtable listeners:

 

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Blogger Meg Fairfax Fielding on the Nate Berkus show.   Nah – we’re not jealous, NOT at all!!!  ahahah!!!!!

 

We have a new Skirted Roundtable up!  It’s an interview with Pigtown Design’s Meg Fairfax Fielding.  Meg, who has written her blog for almost 4 years now, recently found a new vocation.   Nate Berkus, former Oprah interior designer, discovered Meg and he recently had her on his show – twice, with more appearances scheduled in the future.  Calling her The Junk Whisperer, Nate talks to Meg about her flea market finds, like the $2. Hermes scarves.  Yes.    It’s not everyday that a blogger ends up on national TV, so we just HAD to find out how she did it!!!  Tune in to listen to one of Baltimore’s most famous daughters – Meg!   HERE.

BTW, this past Monday, we had interior designer David Easton on the Skirted Roundtable.  Let me be so bold as to say – it was really, really interesting!  He is such a character – warm, friendly, charming, and funny.  We had a great time.    The Easton interview should be up next week.  And that’s all, finally!!!

Cote de Texas: Antique Giveaway from Paris Hotel Boutique!!!

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What’s in a name?   When people ask me about blogging – how to get their blog noticed, what it takes to attract readers - one of the things I stress is to think up a good name for your blog.  It needs to be catchy, memorable, and at the same time, it needs to explain something about yourself and describe your blog in some way.  I struggled for weeks for a name, finally settling on something that speaks to both my love of French design and my location:  Cote de Texas, meaning, in French,  I live on the Texas coast.   Also, it’s a play on words for the French magazine, Cote de Sud.   Hopefully, anyone interested in Texas and/or French design would be willing to give my blog a chance after they saw my name.  

 
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Lynn Goldfinger-Abram, owner of the Paris Hotel Boutique
 

When I first heard of the web store Paris Hotel Boutique, the name alone intrigued me:   French antiques with an emphasis on hotel silver.   The name of the web store and blog is catchy enough to attract readers and it gives a clue to what’s in store.   Plus, it’s easy to remember.   Who could resist taking a peek with a name like that?    Paris Hotel Boutique is owned by Lynn Goldfinger-Abram, and after visiting her website, I was hooked.  Lynn has a feminine flair – with an infectious interest in the glamour days of bygone.    She has a passion for antique hotel silver – those wonderful pieces that once graced the dining tables at the most elegant hotels.   The initial core of her business, started in 1995,  was this much sought out silver, but now, she sells a variety of antiques including hotel china, jewelry, lighting, accessories, furniture, and rare, first-edition design books.   Lynn’s discerning eye ties it all together.  The web store is charmingly arranged like an old hotel elevator – which only adds to the visual appeal.   One of my favorite emails is the New Items announcement from the Paris Hotel Boutique.  I always immediately click on the site to peruse the newest arrivals because the best tends to sell quickly.     Over the years, I’ve bought  from Lynn and have always been thrilled with the actual item.   Her pictures are accurate, there are no surprises.   One surprise though, was a personal connection between Lynn and myself.    Her husband’s name sounded awfully familiar to me – Leif Abrams – not exactly a John Doe kind of name.   But why?   They live in San Francisco, how would I know her husband?  As fate would have it,  years and years ago – when we were both single - Leif and I met when we both attended a “Singles Mission” to Israel - and he actually dated my roommate during that trip.

 

 

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I dug out this old, old photograph from the 80s – that’s moi on the bottom, with Leif, Lynn’s husband, and my roomie and bff Mindy on an Israeli Singles Mission.   We sure were “handsy” in those days.  And btw, the Singles Mission was a huge bust for me.   I remained single after going on TWO missions!!!!   But, we sure had fun. 

Do you notice something interesting in this picture?   Hanging on the hotel wall in Jerusalem is a huge suzani.   I wonder if it is old?  And no, I never noticed it at the time.

 



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Besides her web store, Lynn writes a charming blog HERE.  Over the years on the blog, she has shown pictures of her house – which has been publicized in several design magazines.   One of my favorite rooms in Lynn’s house is her breakfast room – here you can see a part of her hotel silver collection.  It’s amazing!!!

 

 


 

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Another picture of her breakfast room.  Lynn attends all the auctions of the old grand hotels when they close their doors.  Betty Lou Phillips has a similar food warmer in her own dining room.  



 
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My favorite at Lynn’s house is this antique map.  Wow.  Incredible!!!



 
 

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Besides hotel silver, Lynn collects hotel china.   It’s all so romantic!!



 
 

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What’s for sale at the Paris Hotel Boutique these days?  Here are some of my favorite items:   these vintage French chairs in white with blue fabric. Beautiful.



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I am loving this charming chandelier with the pink glass teardrops.

 




 

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This is an antique apothecary scale.  Really beautiful.



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Lynn has this large set of bound NY Times newspapers from the 1930’s.   I wish I could afford the entire set!

 
 
 

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And I can’t resist this hotel sugar bowl from 1900 Paris.  I love the pink and gold trim.




THE GIVEAWAY:

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I was thrilled beyond belief when Lynn offered to host a giveaway for Cote de Texas readers!   One reader will receive this beautiful antique convex Lyre-shaped mirror from the early 1900s.  It measures 26-1/2" tall, 15-1/4" wide and is approx. 2-1/4" thick. The convex mirror is 9-1/2" in diameter.   Lynn says the mirror was probably once mounted on top of a dresser.   The mirror’s value is $675.  

 

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How to enter the contest:   In order to win, you must first go to the Paris Hotel Boutique web site at http://www.parishotelboutique.com/store/lobby.php

Once there, please look around at all the items offered for sale, and pick out your personal favorite.  Then, come back here and leave me comment telling me your favorite item from the Paris Hotel Boutique.  That’s all!   Remember – if you enter, you must leave your name and email address!!   The lucky winner will be chosen this Thursday at 12:00a.m.  So hurry!!!   One entry per person, please. 



And finally, I want to offer a huge thank you to Lynn for hosting this giveaway!!!    Thanks Lynn, you’re the best!!

The Hottest Photographer Going

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The latest Town and Country magazine has a spread on the gorgeous house of Cosima von Bulow.   Her living room is especially beautiful, with its cranberries and blues.   But it’s the photograph over the sofa that really got my attention.   Taken by Candida Hofer – she is the hottest thing in upscale decorating according to the design magazines out this month.  I counted three of her photos used by different designers just this month alone.  When was the last time that happened? 

 

 

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Here’s #2 - in October’s Elle Décor – Frederic Fekkai’s dining room featured a photograph by Candida Hofer, interior design by Robert Couturier.  Notice how large the photographs are.   In recent years, Hofer’s photographs have gotten bigger and bigger.

 

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And #3, in the latest Veranda, this apartment by Timothy Whealon featured a Candida Hofer photograph on the landing.  Notice the gorgeous walnut door!  Whealon told All The Best Blog that his most prized possession was a Hofer photograph HERE.   Three magazines, one month, three houses – all Candida Hofer. 

 

 

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The Trinity Library – Whealon’s most prized possession is this photograph.

 

 

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And, a little different angle from Whealon’s web site – showing the photograph more clearly.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Museum of Archeology in Venice – this is the photograph in Whealon’s Veranda spread.

 

 

 

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Looking through a few older magazines showed evidence of more Candida Hofer:   Jill Stuart’s NYC apartment by Annabelle Selldorf – seen in Elle Décor, October 2009.  The Hofer photograph is seen behind the sofa on the left.

 

 

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Seen in Metropolitan Home – a Hofer photograph over the mantel.   It’s almost impossible to figure out which photograph this is.

 

 

 

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And another Hofer of an Opera Theatre, seen in a dining room.

 

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Elizabeth Mayhew also talked to Ronda of All The Best Blog – HERE.   Her most prized possession is her art work, including this Candida Hofer library photograph.

 

 

So, who is Candida Hofer who has attracted the attention of so many of the finest interior designers and art collectors?   Born in Germany, Hofer trained under avant garde German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher.    She first gained notice with her series on “Interiors,”  “Rooms,” and “Zoological Gardens.”   While her early work showed exteriors and people, her later work became increasing devoid of people and featured interiors exclusively.   She says she does not do landscapes.   Her later, most famous work concentrates on libraries, theatres, museums, and a series of works in Italy, all published in gorgeous coffee table books. 

 

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The artist stands in front of two of photographs.

 

I am not an art critic, but I know what I like – and her images of public buildings are beautiful.  Always taken from a dead on perspective, the interiors seem so alive, though not a soul is captured.     I can see how this contemporary art work works so well in interiors that are neither strictly contemporary nor traditional.     But, the art does seem much more at home in a New York highrise than a Texas ranch in Round Top.   There is much written about Hofer on the internet, if you are interested in perusing it.   I had a field day reading all about her in detail.  Most of the reviews are positive, there is very little negative written about her work.    Below are some of my favorite images – most are rather recent works, as opposed to her earlier, more stark and depressing subjects. 

 

 

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Le Louvre – Candida Hofer did a series of photographs at the famous Paris museum.

 

 

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Another photograph from the Louvre Museum

 

 

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Salone di Castel Capuano, detto anche “Salone dei Busti”

 

 

 

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Palais Garnier

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And, Palais Garnier set for a dinner.  

 

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Her photographs of libraries are spectacular.  Here, Naples.  This would make such a stunning image in a living room or library. 

 

 

 

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The gorgeous Abbey of the Library at Saint Gallin.  A rare photograph that includes people in it. 

 

 

 

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The State Library in Naples.  Incredible building. 

 

 

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Naples State Library – another view.  What a gorgeous library, the tiled floor, the carved wood shelves.  Beautiful.

 

 

 

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This library has beautiful marble floors and carved wood columns.

 

 

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Philadelphia Library.

 

 

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Amazing.  The books are so incredible.  I couldn’t resist showing this image so large, you can see so much more detail this way!  Look at the handrails!    Remember, put your monitor on maximum view.   

 

 

 

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Hofer has taken many photographs of beautiful theatres, here - The Theatre of Naples.  Gorgeous!  Another photograph that I can see in a living room or a dining room, especially in a room with dark blue velvet.  

 

 

 

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Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.

 

 

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Masonic  Temple in Philadelphia.

 

 

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Theatre royal de la MonnaieKoninklijke Muntschouwburg

 

 

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What does one cost?  I don’t know, but in 2006 – this signed photograph of which there are six, sold for $90,000.00.  Yikes!

 

 

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By contrast, this lithograph, of which there are 100, sells for around $4,000 – much more affordable!

 

 

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1976, a series of Turkish workers,  included people, of course – something her work never shows today.

 

 

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In my opinion, not all of Hofer’s photographs would be as desirable to hang in an elegant dining room as others.  Some of  her work is depressing or unattractive – not nearly as beautiful as a photograph of a Venice museum.

 

 

Other Photographers:

 

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What if you can’t afford an original Hofer?   Photographer Don Menges took this shot of the Monroe County office, emulating the style of Candida Hofer.  I’m sure his work goes for a fraction of what an Hofer does.  Look at more of his work HERE.

 

 

 

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Other photographers that designers like to use:    Here Miles Redd used a Andrew Moore photograph on the right in this apartment.

 

 

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Two Thomas Struth photographs flank an Andreas Gursky photograph in this Metropolitan Home feature story.  Struth and Gursky are both peers of Hofer and they all studied together under Bernd and Hilla Becher.

 

 

 

 

 

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This photographer is shown a lot - David Armstrong.   The blurry images are confusing to me. 

 

 

 

Candida Hofer Books:

Here are a few of her more popular books – order from Amazon by clicking on the title:

 

The book on the Bologna, Italy series:

 

The gorgeous book of libraries:

 

The book on the Naples, Italy photographs:

 

And finally – Candida Hofer’s most acclaimed work – Architecture of Absence:

 

 

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AND – WHOA!!!!   The new Elle Décor features Suzanne Rheinstein’s pied a terre in NYC.  It’s beyond gorgeous.  The gray murals are unbelievable.   Just look at them!!!   And those gilt French chairs.   The velvet stools.   SWOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    This apartment also stars in her new book.  I got my book today and it’s a killer if you love Suzanne.  First – this apartment is shown, along with her own L.A. house showing rooms never seen before.  Her most famous job – the Virginia house - is also shown – the master bedroom has been UPDATED!!!!!!   Many of the houses have been seen before, but each shows newly refurbished updates and never seen before rooms.  The book is fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Her choices of antiques floors me – the chairs, the tables, the accessories, the mirrors, it’s all mostly French, a little Swedish, a little Italian and a little English.  GAWD.  Kill me now!!!!   I want this apartment.  Seriously.   I want this!!!!!     AND Suzanne is scheduled for the Skirted Roundtable, along with David Easton, Haskell Harris, Kathryn Ireland, and Chris Madden.   What a line up!!!!     To order the Rheinstein book,  go here:

Click on the title below:

 

 

NOTE:     I will be having a fabulous giveaway in the next few days – be sure to watch for it!!!!!