COTE DE TEXAS: The Most Famous Sofa is No More!

The Most Famous Sofa is No More!



When you think of famous sofas, just a few come to mind.  There is the Knole Sofa, from the 1600s, the first and most important sofa made.  Though modified for today’s comfort, this version of a sofa is still widely made today – including this one that was just installed in Provence:


A modern day version of the Knole sofa seen at the “Le Mas des Poiriers.”


Another iconic sofa is the Chesterfield.  Long thought to have been first made for Lord Phillip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, in the 18th century, this has never been authenticated.  Still, the Chesterfield remains one of the most widely recognized sofas in the world.



And then there is Lee Radziwill’s famous silk velvet Tiger sofa – seen above.

Though not as famous as the Chesterfield or the Knole, it’s hard to think of another personally held sofa that is as well known as this one.  Radziwill custom ordered the sofa in the 1960s when she moved from London to New York City.  The sofa was placed in her library with its lilac walls.  Radziwill kept the sofa for years and years and when her son Anthony moved into an apartment, she gifted him with the sofa.

Is this the most famous sofa of all times?  Surely it’s not as famous as the original Knole sofa but it’s hard to think of a more well known one.

 

In the new Veranda, this house features a tiger sofa in Scalamandre silk velvet, inspired by Lee Radziwill’s own sofa.  The sofa was the setting off point for the decor of the entire house.

The Radziwill sofa is so well known that when Lee’s daughter-in-law, Carole Radziwill, wrote her memoir, she included this story about the sofa: 

“I have bumped up against history.  It won’t be the first time.  Most things here, I am learning, have a story.  The tiger couch, for instance, is not just a couch, but one his mother had custom-made at De Angeles. It has been photographed for fashion books. People in certain circles know this couch, just as people in other circles know this chair.”



Carole Radziwill is famous for all her many lives, like the cats she is now fostering.  First she was a single, very respected TV reporter working in war torn areas.  Her career as a reporter earned her three Emmys and a Peabody Award. 


Carole and Anthony Radziwill at their wedding. 


While working as a reporter, Carole kissed her Prince and got married.  And he was not just any Prince, but he was also the nephew of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  The title is from his father, who comes from a long line of Polish royalty.  Apparently Anthony Radziwill never used his inherited title although his cousin and surrogate brother,  John Kennedy Jr., used to teasingly call Anthony “Principe.”   The two couples, Anthony and Carole and John and his wife Carolyn, became the closest of friends, and the four were inseparable.

Anthony was a testicular cancer survivor when they married and he suffered a recurrence of cancer on their honeymoon.  Their five years of their marriage was marked by sickness, operations,  and heartache.   During this stage, Carole was the young bride but also a full time nurse. 


John and Carolyn Kennedy’s ashes were sent to sea.  Anthony was very, very ill at this stage.


After valiantly fighting to beat cancer, Anthony was very ill when he and Carole received the horrifying news that Carolyn and John Kennedy had died in a plane crash.  Anthony clung to life for just three weeks before he too died.   Suddenly, Carole was a young widow who lost not only her husband, but also her best friends.  She was grief stricken for years.

Five years later Carole released her book “What Remains.”    It’s a gut wrenching tale of cancer and death and loneliness and what remains left behind.  I highly recommend it.


(to order the book, just click on the cover.)

Carole was the celebrated best-selling author in the next phase of her life, although she mostly stayed under the radar, that is until producer Andy Cohen, a friend, talked her into joining his hit Bravo show – “Real Housewives of New York.”   On the show, Carole plays the role of the intelligent, mature housewife although she was embroiled in a bit of a scandal when she started dating someone about 20 years her junior.


Carole and her young boyfriend Adam Kenworthy

Hey, it’s good enough for our President AND the President of France!


Carole lives in an interesting building in between So-Ho and the West Village in an Historic Landmark District.  The five story Queen Ann building was built in 1886 as a grammar school.  Her apartment has large windows and 16’ ceilings in the main living room.  A tiny kitchen and bedroom ring the expansive living room.   Carole ran for and won a place on the co-op’s board of directors.

A few years ago, Carole made a big splash when she completely decorated her condominium in gold and caramel tones with green accents.  The color scheme was chosen around the famous Radziwill tiger sofa. 

The renovation  was beautiful and it made all the blogs and websites.

The issue though became the sofa itself.  The silk velvet fabric is so expensive that most can’t afford even a pillow made out of it, much less the 30 yards needed to cover an entire sofa.  After almost sixty years, the velvet was becoming rather decrepit.

About ten years ago, Carole had pieced the velvet back together by taking fabric from the back of the bottom cushions that was then used to cover the torn parts.

Now, ten years later, the repairs were failing.  The sofa was badly in need of a restoration – but at those prices, who could afford it?

When the new season started a few months ago, the sofa became a talking point.  The other housewives commented on how bad it was beginning to look.  Carole had started fostering kittens for Howard Stern’s wife Beth Stern and their claws had destroyed the fragile sofa completely.

On Andy Cohen’s late night show, even he asked about the famous sofa and Carole told him it was an issue, explaining how well known it is and that people are invested in it!

So it came as a complete shock to look at the Architectural Digest web site today and realize that the famous Tiger Sofa is no more!!

After all these years, the most well-known tiger sofa is forever gone.


Here’s a look at Carole’s condo – Before her first remodeling, The First Remodeling and The Newest Decor from today!


BEFORE:  Before the first remodeling, Carole had an architect add these rather scary-looking, but stunning stairs up to the second bedroom.  Underneath the stairs, she had a piano.



BEFORE:  Another view of the dark floors and modern staircase.  Definitely in need up a decorator.



DURING THE FIRST RENOVATION – Carol added a large chandelier and the apartment got a new coat of paint.



RENOVATION #1:   For the first renovation, Carole hired Wayman Robertson.  He refinished the front hall in Philip Jeffries Rivets wallpaper.  At the opposite end is the kitchen with its new striped floors.



RENOVATION #1:  The gold rug, the tiger sofa, the two chairs now covered in green velvet.  Large new mirror between the windows, new chandelier, long console behind sofa.  A small dining table and two chairs were placed under the large mirror.


RENOVATION #1:   The windows are not the same width – but by dressing them alike, it’s not so noticeable.

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RENOVATION #1:  The view behind the sofa.   Art work, matching lamps.



RENOVATION #1 – A big change was the addition of the gold velvet sectional underneath the stairs – the piano is now gone.  Notice that the upholstered feet mimic the feet on the tiger sofa.



RENOVATION #1 – The ceiling was wallpapered with silver leaf in a square pattern.  This helps to warm up the room and draw the ceiling back down to more human proportions.


RENOVATION #1 – A night view of the condo.


RENOVATION #1 – Carol posed in front of the new velvet sectional.



And here, in front of the staircase.   The dining table and chairs have been moved over here for some reason.


BEFORE:  Carol doesn’t cook so she decides to turn her kitchen into more of an office space.  Of course right after the renovation is completed, she meets a budding Chef who moves in and starts cooking up a storm in her “office.”



BEFORE:  Carol  talks to her architect about turning the kitchen into more of an office.


RENOVATION #1 – The kitchen was updated.  New mirrored subway tile backsplash.  New striped floors.  Counter space is turned into desk space by moving the sink over.



RENOVATION #1:  Carole’s small bedroom is downstairs.  Here is covered in a suede fabric on the bed and walls. 



RENOVATION #1: The second bedroom is upstairs.  Carole turned this small space into an office/closet.


The first renovation was given high marks. It looked good in photographs and on blogs and even better when Carole was filmed in her apartment for Real Housewives of New York.



But, this season, Season 9, the sofa became an issue.  Looking back to an early episode, I should have realized a completely new renovation was in the works:  fabric samples in blue tones were laid across the back of the sofa.  I just didn’t really notice those!



In a later episode, Bethany comes over to talk about the sofa.  She tells Carole that the destruction “looks intentional at this point.”  She says the sofa looks like it has gone through a ginzo knife and a Cuisinart.  They decide to turn over the cushion.


And here you can see the bottom cushion is covered in a plain brown fabric, since a decade ago, Carole had already used that fabric to repair the sofa.

There was just no way to go on with the sofa like this, especially with a litter of foster kittens running around. 

When Carol meets John Bossard, a designer, in Aspen, she asks him to redecorate for her.  Perhaps he already knows about the famous Radziwill sofa.  No one can be sure of that.   It’s hard to believe but Bossard does not have a web site up, yet.  Oy.  NO WEB SITE?!?!?

At first the order was just to redo “THE” sofa but of course that never works and John’s work was not finished until the entire apartment was redecorated from top to bottom, just a few years after it was all done before. 


Bossard kept the Jeffries paper in the entry but the rug was updated with a more traditional design which suits the small space much better.  The kitchen was closed off with a frosted door that lets in light but keeps out the distraction of ovens and refrigerators.    The ceiling was painted a dark color and a contemporary sputnik fixture was added along with a collection of mirrors.  And it looks like all the trim was painted a darker brown.  The changes are subtle, but the space is much more elegant than it was before.



WOW.  WOW.   The new apartment is completely different!!!  It’s now icy blue and silver and very sleek much like Carole is!!  The tall mirror remains but now there are blue curtains and a fabric shade, along with window seats in blues.  The arrangement is different too – the curved sofa that was under the stairs has been moved across from the Radziwill sofa that is now –EEK – in an icy blue fabric by Lee Jofa!!!

Say a goodbye prayer for the most famous sofa that is now just a memory.


And here is how it looks.  Bossard said he had to rebuild the sofa, replacing the filling and reconstructing its original form.  It looks wonderful and brand new and good to go for another 60 years.  Carole’s twin Brutalist table lamps, wearing new icy blue shades,  remain on the console, next to a new piece of art work.  There are all new tables – the wood coffee table is gone, as are all the side tables.   The one thing I miss are the Chinese chairs that once flanked the console.  I don’t understand why they were tossed.


Carole’s original Dunbar chairs,  now recovered, remain, as does the shelf and cabinet.  The floors were also redone, they are now a silvery gray brown.  

I love the new furniture arrangement – it makes more sense like this.


Another banquette was added to the corner, this time it becomes a small dining spot, which is handy when your boyfriend is a chef.  The sunburst mirror remains, but everything else is new.


The view in front of the cabinet and shelf.  The faux sheep are at the right and at the left,  the plant is actually a lamp!



A close up of the new icy blue sofa.  In the corner, an acrylic pedestal.



The kitchen aka office has a new fabric wall, but that’s all.



The first floor bedroom has also been completely redone.  In silvery blues with pink accents – it blends with the living room decor.  The walls are upholstered and there is a new petal art exhibit by Bradley Sabin above the beds.   The vanity was moved down from the second floor closet.



There is just enough room for another window seat in pink.



And upstairs in the second bedroom, the once office closet is now a large dressing room.  The room was carpeted in leopard in homage to the now long gone tiger.  The ceiling was upholstered and everything is now dramatically lit.  It’s for a star, that’s for sure.  But it’s hard to believe they actually sell this space as a “second bedroom” when in reality it is just a small closet!

And so, this sofa that made it through the swinging sixties, the Vietnam war days, the Bonfire of the Vanities 80s…..


to the advent of the internet, through the new millennium, to the destruction of the twin towers and to the age of social media!!!  Whew!!


Do you think it will last another 60 years?  I doubt it.  Surely it won’t be remembered as a blue sofa!  Long live the tiger sofa!!!



112 comments :

  1. Thank you for the informative post! Love your blog. Long live the Scalamadre le Tigre couch!

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  2. RHONYC is my guilty pleasure. I spend so much time in academia that i need something completely opposite to unwind and this show hits the spot specifically because of Carole Radzwill. Thank you so much for this update and a chance to have a proper look at her apartment. A Historian.

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  3. wow joni what a fabulous story. so well told. i cannot image the gut wrenching day the sofa was redone. it would have killed me. i really love all the blue, she looks fabulous in it. x

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  4. Was there a part of her that was liberated when she let "le Tigre" go? I know how attached I get to things - sometimes it's good, sometimes not so good. But she's always manged to survive. Good for her. The new design is very nice.

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    1. "She's always managed to survive"...Her husband died, sadly and unfortunately, I know. Did something else happen to her?
      Sheila

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  5. This is fascinating. I love the tiger sofa and its many lives, but I have to admit that I wasn't shocked to see it in blue--that whole reincarnation looks great.
    The sad tale of cancer is one that should convince us to get the smartest kids into university to study science because who knows which of them will find the cure.

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  6. I have never seen any of the "housewife" shows, maybe I am too afraid of becoming addicted! Love the new blue look...gorgeous!

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  7. I can't even stand looking at this woman (Except from the rear; she has a very nice posterior which you can view on Instagram.) but the new iteration of her apartment is certainly a vast improvement from the old décor. The hall wallpaper was great, and I see she kept it. Everything else looked to me like it came from The Goodwill Store. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; I shop thrift all the time. Her stuff was actually probably very expensive; I personally just found a lot of it awful.) That gold rug with the tiger sofa, no. Lamps, ugh, most of it, ugh, and don't even get me started on those goofy, wheel-chair inducing stairs. We all have very different taste, of course. Thank goodness. Yes, new décor is a real improvement.
    Of course she has a pillow with her monogram...ha! She won't be letting go of that anytime soon.
    Sheila

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    1. I have finally figured you out, Sheila. PIA. That is your goal in life. You fill it perfectly.

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  8. Joni, As soon as I saw this article I thought of you, and wasn't sure wether you would take it well, or if in friendship, I would indeed send you flowers.
    While I don't follow HW's, I was familiar with her home per your blog, I do like the color transformation, but certainly don't like every piece, actually a lot of them. But here's to you Joni for bravely posting her new design!

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  9. Don't watch the Housewives show as I loathe almost all reality TV. But read "What Remains" some years ago. Heartbreakingly powerful true story - so well written. Very much admired her courage and intelligence. Remember reading that while Anthony was still alive they were redecorating their NY apartment but were worried about the costs as though both were journalists they didn't seem to be well-off. As well as the tiger sofa from his mother, they'd also been given an old rocking chair by Jackie Kennedy. The twin of another that she'd kept. They'd been used by President Kennedy as they were comfortable for his back. It had definitely seen better days and didn't suit the new style of the then refurb but they kept it because it was such a special gift. However years later when some of Jackie Kennedy's furnishings and personal things were being auctioned, the twin of their chair went for hundreds of thousands. So they decided to contact the auction house and ask whether any of the bidders who'd missed out might have been interested in buying it. Forget the exact amount but it was sold for hundreds of thousands which paid for their renovations.
    Doubt that Lee Radziwill would have minded that the sofa was recovered in a different fabric. LR kept some of her things for many years but also changed the look of her apartments when she wished. Carole had obviously done her best over the years to preserve the original fabric - but time and animals had done their worst. Perhaps it was a relief to Carole when it was no longer viable as she could then make her own colour and style choices for the room, not being trapped by what would work with the original sofa.
    Remember also reading in "What Remains" that as well as flying over to attend a family wedding John and Caroline Kennedy were also going to visit the Radziwills because Anthony was dying and they wanted to spend some time with them. JK junior was going to deliver the eulogy at his cousin's funeral. But sadly, it was Anthony who delivered the eulogy for John and then died himself only a few weeks later. So terribly sad.
    Many thanks for a very interesting post Best wishes, Pamela

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    1. PS Love the drama of the dark hall! The contrast must feel fabulous walking from that into the beautiful light filled salon. The different blue tones give it a lightness and freshness. Pamela

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  10. omg I am hyperventilating. The most recent (blue) living room is divine sublime exquisite brilliant. I live in a small-ish space so I have been intrigued all along with Carole R's space.

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  11. Joni, Thanks for this wonderful post! I have been watching Carole on BRAVO for the past few seasons. I must say, I prefer her apartment before the newest "blue reno" as I would call it.... It was so much more warm and inviting... I think this new blue scheme is a bit "icy and cold"... And darn.... the tiger sofa is no more.... ahhhhhhhh..... I wonder if parting with it was "sweet sorrow" for Carole....

    Xo,
    Ivy

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  12. I was wondering when you would post about this sofa. Apparently, you didn't hear me yelling your name when I saw the swatches on the back of the sofa! It was inevitable, but I did love the first iteration of that apartment.

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  13. Surely she had a pillow made from part of the fabric. If she didn't, I bet the upholsterer did!

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    1. If he had a brain! All over ebay for $400 per 12" pillow!!!

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  14. Loved Carole's book What Remains. I love the story of her decor journey -- it seems to mimic her ability to adapt and thrive. Great story Joni!

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  15. Thanks for a great post, Joni!! I am not familiar with Ms Radziwill (I live in an intentional bubble :) but I loved the transformation and the story.
    Best,
    Kay

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  16. The apt looks nice but it doesn't have the character it once had - it looks "decorated" because it was.

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    1. very well said. yes.
      I am a decorator......and I want none of my jobs nor my house to look like they were "decorated"!

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  17. Fabulous post!!! I really love the new fabric on the sofa. But I will miss that old one. It was my favorite! Do you see the difference in the color of the one in Veranda??

    Different color. I think the fabric is wider also; and not nearly as dense. You can truly feel the difference. The original loom is very narrow. Now it comes in normal width; but not as nice to me. Just my opinion!

    The original sofa was warmer; but not everyone wants warm. Fantastic education!!!

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  18. It was a very interesting post. Thanks!

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  19. By the way; the original lilac room (I believe by Mongiardino) is out of this world. Nothing comes close to it. Drama, comfort, understated elegance. Perfection to me.
    The original velvet on that sofa is carried by Brunschwig and is still made on a 25 and 5/8" loom. Still made by hand; a very slow process. They have carried it since 1956; but do not have an exclusive! Fabulous fabric!

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    1. I agree that Mongiardo room knocks any of this out of the park.
      The powerful lilac with the tiger print is gutsy and genius.
      Great post Joni
      Kris in Seattle

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  20. Slightly off topic, Joni I hope you and your family are safe. We're all praying Texas pulls thru with no more loss of lives. God Bless
    Kris in Seattle

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  21. Another exquisite post.....I adored that sofa...the new blue one is lovely; guess no matter how much money you have, spending $50,000 to re-do a sofa in its original fabric makes little sense...I don't watch her show but now I might tune in, out of curiosity. After all she has survived, I hope she is happy.

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  22. Kris in Seattle........I agree. You get it! Not for everyone! Out of the Park! Well said!!!

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  23. ....praying for you joni...and all those you know and love...please let us know how you are...blessings...laney

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  24. Hi Joni,
    Hope you and your family are safe and dry, in all this madness. Our prayers are with all of you in the great state of Texas. I hope you will let us know you’re okay.
    Catherine in Sweden

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    1. Joni posted a message on her tweet account. She is safe and dry, Catherine.


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    2. Thanks, Leticia!! I tuned into the comments here to try and find out some (GOOD) news about Joni!! Thanks for sharing:))

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  25. Worrying about you and your Texas family. Looking to the comments to see that you are ok. Out prayers are with you all.
    Fondly, Marta in California

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  26. Dear Joni,
    I am a devoted follower of your blog and always appreciate the level of detail and research that goes into each and every one of your posts. I was especially excited to read this post as John Bossard is my interior designer and very dear friend. While he is a New Yorker by residence, he is definitely a child of the South like so many others in his profession. What is it the water below the Mason Dixon line that produces so many creative types? You can see a more diverse sampling of his work on his Instagram page. While this project is definitely more contemporary, his vernacular is also very much rooted in classic design....or his "inner granny" to use his phrase. Thanks for shining your light on this lovely and very talented fellow!

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  27. Sending along all good strong thoughts for you and your family's safety during the flooding in Houston!
    Just a thought about the new renovation above --
    Although the new renovation was pretty and elegant - I thought that the choice and context of the modern artwork/photo of Marilyn Monroe with the red (bloody?) X through her naked form was odd ... to say the least.
    Perhaps the artwork does not portray Marliyn - but the gal does look like her!
    Odd choice considering her history with the Kennedy side of the family.

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  28. Thank God you are safe and dry. We are so sad for Houston.

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  29. thinking if it was me designing the new room I might have designed the sofa with a blue animal print for fun and for the history behind the sofa ... but it is possible that she asked for any thing but animal print for her new room... I am in the middle of refreshing my living room (in my head until the new sofa I want from my store, Lazboy comes out in November) it will be my 3 rd new sofa in 9 years but it needs to be changed again for my happyiness ! this time it will be in a flashy fun colour and leather with black studded arms... so love changing out the old 2 year sofa when its just not making me happy....

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  30. Why not recover it? I never heard of such a thing!
    Replacing with a new sofa???

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    1. Only higher-end sofas are really worth recovering.
      Sheila

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    2. You hit the nail on the head, Sheila! That is why I encourage my clients, children and friends to buy the best upholstered furniture they can possibly afford! I am proud to say that my daughter has in her living room 3 sofas from my mother! Her grandmother. Beautifully made, sofas with the best frames. They are still made today.
      They have been recovered umpteen times....still so comfortable, lovely, and great proportions. Unlike the ugly things with oversized arms and backs in every Pottery Barn store; made in China.
      If a young couple starts out with well made upholstered furniture (high end, as you call it) they can keep it all their lives! and hand it down!
      De Angelis, who made that original tiger velvet sofa for Lee Radziwill.....is still in business.
      I just believe in investment furniture; and it goes on. handbags, clothes...jewelry. Buy it once, buy it right......it will last a lifetime....
      I am so happy to see these lovely sofas in my daughter's living room.

      Just my opinion! Divide the cost by around 90 years! I am not kidding! These sofas were made in the 1930's!! Other than needing new down in the cushions every 15 years or so; their frames are better than ever! My other suggestion to clients is to buy sofas made in the 30's,40,s through the 60's at estate sales.
      They will outlast every single thing made in China by triple years! Also very good for the environment! Better proportions also. And even less expensive than Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. That is JUNK!
      I may write a blog about this!
      "No better bargain than high-end sofas in the long run!"

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    3. Agree with Penelope, but just one note that I have an 18-year--old Pottery Barn English roll-arm sofa by Lee Industries. If only the retailers so easily available to all would get back to this quality and offer traditional styles that fit normal-sized rooms.

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    4. Penny you are right on! I bought my sofas and club chairs from estate sales, they are 1960 Baker and Henredon frames. When I took to the upholsterer he said you can't find this solid of wood anymore in frames
      Kris in Seattle

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    5. Not the Smithsonian......I think that was a joke. And a good one. It just should have been donated to decorators who could have cut up the remnants and made pillows. Just my opinion!

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    6. Kris in Seattle......right on! Nicely done! They will outlast all of us! As they should!!!

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  31. Love the new design and good riddance to that tiger sofa fabric.

    Be well, Joni...stay safe.

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  32. I'm dying over this reno. I absolutely love it. I do, however, agree with the post above that says she better have made a pillow out of the old couch fabric!!

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    1. I could have made countless pillows. It is like a tapestry that is falling apart. Do not dispose of it......rescue parts. So sad.

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  33. I would have bought all that old sofa fabric. And found lots of parts that could make great pillows! Call me a "scavenger"! I would have bought the entire pile in a second!

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    1. Kind of like buying a completely falling apart tapestry....and making pillows of the parts. I love that!

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    2. Penelope,
      This tickled my funny bone when you replied to your own comment...ha!
      Sheila

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    3. I do it every now and again when I am not quite finished!

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  34. PRAY YOU AND YOURS ARE SAFE! MY SON WORKS FOR UTMB AND VOLUNTEERED AS A FIRST RESPONDER FOR HIS DEPARTMENT AS HE LIVES ON TIKI ISLAND. HE EVACUATED HIS DOG AND CAT WITH A NEIGHBOR TO FORT WORTH, TX LAST THURSDAY. MY SON'S CONDO ON TIKI IS FINE...HOWEVER, THE CAUSEWAY IS FLOODED SO HE REMAINS ON CAMPUS AT A FRIENDS HOUSE. SO FAR HE HAS POWER AND IS ACTUALLY REPORTING TO WORK TOMORROW. WE WISH EVERYONE A HEALTHY AND SAFE EVENING.

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  35. I read Carole's book when it first came out, and I was recuperating from 10 breast cancer surgeries and eight rounds of chemo. Little did I know my husband would died unexpectedly on Christmas Day a few years later while out running on our ranch in the Hill Country. Like Carole, I've hung on to the old--but not as famous--pieces and pulled everything out of storage and am redoing my house in San Antonio. My Barcelona chairs, I bought in my early 20's, have seen better days. They have 40 years worth of cat claws and buttered popcorn fingers and have been faded from the sun, but I've decided to keep the cushions as they are. In the same room is a pair of early 18th C rectory chairs with the original leather cushions. The leather seats are remarkably in good condition and they flank a 3/4 life-size B&W of Keith Richards, taken in 1985, who also was in remarkably good condition at the time. A little of the old, a little of the new and some nice memories... That's my design philosophy. Brenda

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  36. Dear Joni;
    Thinking of you and wish and pray for your recovery and safety and all those in harms way in Houston..

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  37. Joni,

    Hoping you, Elizabeth and Mr. Slippersocks are OK.

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  38. Just saw Ginger Barber's apartment in the new Milieu magazine. It is so beautiful. Any more pictures? What do you think of it?

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  39. The Radziwell sofa for me, is an iconic piece, with important heritage. I'm uncertain that I would have recovered it. Of course not being in possession, who knows? I think I may have chosen to donate it to the Smithsonian Museum of Interior Decoration, where it may have been restored, then placed on display as an example of classic design. I'm on the fence about the blue fabric. In my humble opinion, the foyer changes are stunning, also the addition of the glass door in the kitchen, stunning and smart. The new design plan is wonderful. The grey/blue shades upon the pair of Brutalist gold lamps is pure art.
    Thank you for posting this chapter on the sofa, very interesting.

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    1. I don't really think Lee Radziwell's sofa deserves to be in the Smithsonian regardless of the famous behinds that have perched upon it.
      Sheila

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    3. nothing to do with behinds. I think it was a joke kind of that Andi was making. And a good one! Icons live on......not necessarily in the Smithsonian!

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  40. Hi, Joni- I am not a blogger, but I have loved reading your blog for years! Your advice and opinions are authentic and have helped me wade through design decisions many times. I want to "second" the favorable comments pertaining to purchasing furniture and household goods from estate sales. I work for an established local estate sale company here in Houston specializing in high-end sales. The antiques and nice vintage furniture we sell (at Very Reasonable Prices) far out-weighs the quality of today's retail furniture. It is the smartest way to furnish or refurnish a home!! Stay safe and dry!

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  41. Are you dry Joni...thinking of Houston...with love and prayers, Mary MacRae

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  42. Lovely combination of colors. I like it :)

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  43. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!!! We are fine. No flooding at all. In fact, my entire famile escaped flooding except for my cousin. We are so lucky.
    Thank you so much for asking and praying for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You all made me feel so supported.

    Joni

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  44. ummm. That should say Family. Not Famile. lol. OMG - we have cabin fever so badly!!!!

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  45. Has anyone milked their association with the Kennedys more than this woman?

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    Replies
    1. I have watched the Housewives of NY for quite a while and I had no idea Carol was associated with the Kennedy family. This is the first I have heard of it.

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  46. Joni, I am happy you and your family are safe and sound. I am in Canada but I have friends in Texas and my heart is aching for everyone there. The devastation is just unfathomable. I enjoyed this blog post very much. I am not a big "Housewives" franchise watcher, but I do watch the NY version, mostly because it is one of my favourite cities to visit. I had no idea that Carol was married to a Kennedy, but throughout the show I have noticed her sofa and have been absolutely baffled by it! Thanks for the explanation! Carol is one of my favourite housewives. I just love how thoroughly you research your posts, I feel like I am getting a history lesson! Again, I am glad you are safe and sound.

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    Replies
    1. She was not married to a Kennedy. She was married to someone who was the son of someone who is the sister of someone who was married to a Kennedy.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. She was absolutely not married to a Kennedy. One comment said that she has "milked her association with the Kennedys". She was associated with the Kennedys because of her husband's relationship to his cousin JFK, Jr.
      Has she milked it? I don't know enough about it. All I know is that I loved that sofa! (I don't want one for my house.....but I would have loved to make pillows out of the scraps!)

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    4. She was married to JFK, Jr.'s cousin, Jackie's nephew. Before her husband's body got cold, she published a book about her relationship with John and Carolyn Kennedy. I doubt seriously if her former mother in law gives her the time of day.Were it not for the relationship with John and Carolyn, no one would have known her nor had an interest in reading her book.

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    5. She was married to a Radziwill, not a Kennedy - she was related by marriage to a Kennedy. And you are so wrong. Her book came out five years after her husband died. It wasn't exploitative of John or Carolyn at all, she told no secrets although I'm sure she knew them all. It was about her journey through cancer and death and sadness. It was beautifully written, and devastatingly honest. She is still close to her mother in law who does give her the time of day. It's obvious you never read the book becacuse I doubt you would be so say anything after reading it.

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    6. Joni,
      Would she have been on the Housewives show if she hadn't had the Kennedy/Radziwill connection?
      Sheila

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  47. Hey Joni! I know you don't have major flooding at your house...We are so happy for you! Just so you know; you are invited to stay in our guest house any time! I mean it! It is tiny....but I would love showing you around Santa Barbara! Other than a few days in September; and a few days in October (P.Gaye Tapp is staying for a book signing); we would love to have you and your husband...(it only fits two barely!)

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    Replies
    1. You are the sweetest person I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

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  48. Oh my!!! I need a handkerchief made out of that original tiger upholstery to wipe away my tears from seeing that hideous icy blue monstrosity!!! Surely she saved swatches of that beautiful masterpiece of a sofa!!!! Wonderful post as always Joni!! So glad you and your family are okay from the rising waters from Hurricane Harvey!

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  49. I apologize if I am out of line for this off topic post. Will any reader please let me know where I can find the following photo I think I saw in this blog. It is a photo of a dinning room. The chairs are upholstered in a white fabric that has stripes (not solid at all) formed by an organic design in black. The organic black lines are very thin. The back of the chairs are the foreground. A credenza (or something like it) can be seen in the background. The style reminds me of Mark Sikes or perhaps maybe even Michael Smith. I looked at over 15 blogs and I just need to quit now. Thanks for any help.

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  50. CLUELESS????? do you remember anything else?

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    Replies
    1. The dinning room photo I was searching was initially seen in your blog about Nancy Mayer's home! The chairs were upholstered with a beautiful toile. https://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2009/12/uncomplicated-nancy-meyers-own-home.html

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  52. Regarding making tiger pillows from the old fabric, I believe several tiger pillows would have looked great on the blue sofa. They would have pulled the black from that buffet thing across the room, and also from that weird Chinese tree of life thing, or whatever it is. Would have looked good, and also given a nod to the past. And because I hate the patterned fabric chosen for those two toss pillows. Doesn't go at all.
    Sheila

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  53. Whether that picture is Marilyn or not, it looks enough like her to make it a really strange and creepy choice.
    And besides that, it looks ugly in the room. And if it does stay there, the big black Chinese tree thing to the left of it just doesn't go; it's too close to the red-X photo and doesn't look right there at all. Even though I hate the red-X photo, the composition of the room, and the importance of the piece would be enhanced by removing the black tree thing. Black tree thing looks like something I've see in many Chinese/Japanese and other restaurants for wall décor. Just doesn't go here. Period.
    Sheila

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  54. I was blown away by that hallway renovation! The mirrors on the opposite sides of the walls were a nice touch too. Thanks!

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  63. Hi Joni,
    Just a quick thank you for the mention via Carole Radziwill.
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    ReplyDelete
  64. For those of you who are saying that Carole's artwork with the "red X" is Marilyn Monroe, it is not. It is Carole, herself! She posed for a friend who was having an art exhibition.

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