This weekend I am making my inaugural visit to High Point Market to celebrate the launch of two furniture lines designed by friends who are both trailblazers and influencers. I relish seeing new things. As the anticipation builds within me, so does the a little bit of bit nervousness about the best way to conquer the epic showrooms within High Point. It’s a mere 180 Buildings and 11.5 Million Square Feet of show space. The organizers tell you to use the app and plan out your time at Market and that sounds stellar…Yep. Didn’t. Grrr.
My sort of unsettled feeling reminds me vaguely of the Grand Tour I took after graduation from college. I had exactly one thousand bucks in hand to carry me through a dozen countries over the course of 6 weeks. We didn’t really have an itinerary, and of course part of the thrill of a trip is anticipating what you can’t anticipate. About a week into the trip, my companion and I split up. She’d had enough of night trains and youth hostels. She wanted a Hilton.
In the Rome train station, I joined up with a dynamic duo from Dallas and we three girls set out to conquer Rome, quite literally, in five days.
The reason behind all the travel is projects. I’m hungry for new. I like to meet the vendors personally and learn about their craft. Although I live in a huge city and we have two major design centers, the showrooms can’t possibly fully represent everyone. Picture a grocery store in Asia or farmers market in France. You always see something you have not seen at home, right?
I’m off to pack. Wishing you happy journeys always…C’est toujours le bon moment,
Once upon a time, it seems about 100 years ago, a young Texan was planning her wedding. During a fitting for her gown she noticed some black and white photographs laying on a table in the dress shop. She was mesmerized by the images. They were unposed and unpretnetious. The close ups were very close up. They felt like Life magazine. They reminded the bride to be of the glorious images taken on September 12, 1953, Jackie and Jack’s wedding day. The curious girl inquired about the photographer and learned he was a university professor and accomplished photographer in the throes of a divorce and might be willing to shoot a wedding. She hired him on the spot.
Fast forward to now, nineteen years later. Geoff Winningham is near and dear to my heart.
Most years, in December, Geoff opens holds a studio Open House and offers a few pieces for sale. During this exact week 8 years ago, we purchased our first piece.
You can find Geoff’s photographs in most major collections in the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the major art museums of Texas. But why just rent when you can own?
The Brandon Gallery Houston cordially invites you:
Opening December 12, 2014
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Exhibition runs through January 9, 2015
Pozos México 1990’s
Gulf Coast 2000’s
“Please join us for an unprecedented look at the far-reaching career of photographer Geoff Winningham. During a career that spans over four decades Winningham photographs the life and landscape of the Southern United States and Gulf of Mexico, offering us insight into this complicated sociopolitical and geographical landscape. Part photo documentarian and part keeper of the South’s secrets, Winningham’s work opens a space from which to examine the precarious relationship southerners have with the natural forces that surround us; be they the oil that built a city’s fortunes or the hurricanes that tear them down.
In this exhibition we are given a glimpse of the Houston of the 70’s, where glistening wrestlers light up the coliseum and demolition derbies carve up the Astrodome. Winningham shows us the excesses of an oil boomtown of the 80’s and the melancholic post-Ike Galveston. He will also be showing a selection of photographs from his most recent book, Of the Soil: Photographs of Vernacular Architecture and Stories of Changing Times in Arkansas, which was published in October of this year by the University of Arkansas Press. These images of vernacular architecture exquisitely render disappearing relics of Southern American culture.” –The Brandon Contemporary.
One of my (many) character flaws is my dislike of Christmas. If only the holiday was just about Christmas…
I won’t go in to the details or blame my mother, but really…it can be a challenging season for me. My hubby, desperate for me to love the tinsel and the endless carols on the radio, pleaded with me yesterday, desperate to offer a solution. My hubby is, after all, Father Christmas.
If I ran the world, the celebration Christmas would involve revolve around four things:
1. The birth of Christ
2. Cooking with my family
3. Dancing in our kitchen
It would N-O-T involve black friday. It would N-O-T involve FLOCKING our homes with things made in China. It would N-O-T involve meeting relentless expectations imposed on us by Madison Avenue.
While I have no personal knowledge of what happens inside the homes I highlight here, I dream they are filled with warm kitchens, happy lazy dogs, and people delighted by their children, families and friends.
Tonight, we decorated our tree and our daughter climbed the ladder to turn the lights on the angel. My favorite ornament was hidden in a box marked fragile because it is homemade. PURE JOY.
A sweet spot if there ever was one…just 3 short weeks ago across a span of 8 days, Sotheby’s, the global powerhouse of second hand goods, marked an all time record, hawking one billion dollars of art. Curious about Sotheby’s cut? It’s 25 percent of the first $100,000; 20 percent from $100,000 to $2 million; and 12 percent of the rest.
“History, legend, taste — you had everything tonight,” Lionel Pissarro, a great-grandson of the painter Camille Pissarro and a Paris-based art dealer, said as he was leaving the auction.
Forty-three pieces came from the Bunny and Paul Mellon’s five homes, including the the 2,000-acre estate in Upperville, Virginia where Bunny resided during the later years of her life. The work of the artists she held dear, Rothko to Picasso to Diebenkorn, brought in $158.7 million, about $40 million more than the high pre-sale estimate. A few days later, her jewels and furniture brought in almost $60 million more.
Aside from collecting art, Bunny adored gardens and became a noted and respected horticulturalist who redesigned the White House Rose Garden at the request of her friend Jacqueline Kennedy in the early 1960s. You may remember Mrs. Kennedy’s 1996 auction which contained over 5,000 of pieces and brought in $34.5 million, the equivalent of $52 million in today’s dollars. I bought that auction catalog in 1996 and flip through it occasionally. You can buy a sealed copy here. It contains pieces from her everyday life; from her pearls to her BMW 3 series.
In November, Christie’s achieved a personal best selling $853 million of contemporary art in just two hours but just today, Steven Murphy announced he is stepping down as CEO. Less than two weeks ago, Sotheby’s announced that it’s CEO,William F. Ruprecht would leave his post after 14 years. Neither have announced what their next move will be, surely they both have stacks of messages to return and ventures to consider.
The move comes amid surging sales in the global art market driven largely by the wealthy Asian collector. Those same stylish and savvy consumers who are buying Birkins are also bidding up contemporary art. In November 2014 the combined sales of these two firms totaled $2.2 billion. Astounding, staggering and captivating for sure.
I am loving my Facebook feed today as many of the artsy Houston tribe post from Miami where they linger amidst warm breezes and hot art at Art Basel. Next year I hope to see what all the fuss is about. Until then, keep sharing your favorite spots sweet friends, thanks!
During an initial walk through of a home with a new clients it isn’t uncommon for me to hear, “We need some art, but…”
It’s their reasoning that pulls me in for more.
This past Friday morning, my friend Galveston Girl and I stepped away from Costco and other pressing duties of the Houston Suburban-set, as in motor vehicle, not location of our homes, to visit Texas Contemporary, an international art fair, dare I compare to Art Basel? Probably not.
Although historically my taste in art does not reflect a modern slant, there is much to be noticed at an event such as Texas Contemporary. It reminded me that continually endeavoring to occupy spaces that bring us joy and to create spaces for others that do just that is a mighty noble cause.
Two years ago today we moved in to a “built new from scratch” home and I began a crying jag that lasted nearly 3 months. My soul ached for our ‘quaint’ 1942 vintage; freezing in the winter, hot in the summer, single pane glass hacienda. One day, as quick as a cricket, my tears dried up and I felt peace wash over me. Surely you are on the edge of your seat trying to predict what remedied my sadness?
We unpacked and hung our ART. Actually, we have a team we call that does such tasks.They hung it.
That one, simple, action brought our walls to life. The pieces which we have collected over throughout our 100 year marriage were suddenly before me again. Each piece represents a happy event in our lives: a suite of historical botanicals in water gilded frames purchased with my first bonus check from my first job on the trading floor. When we learned we were expecting a pair of hand colored drawings of sheep for the nursery seemed appropriate. Hubs huge nautical charts he employed while circumnavigating Sweden, vacation inspired watercolors created by Hubs mom and grandmother and the works of Geoff Winningham and Shirley Sheldon capture most of our Houston hacienda wall space.
We are also making room for a new friends work, R Michael Carr. Each summer we seek him out during the Wickford Art Festival and in hopes of discovering a piece to tuck away for our Someday House. And so a collection begins.
It’s good to be back in the saddle.
P.S. On the scale of 1 to 10, your walls rank where???
Summer is nearly upon us and I find myself longing to over-pack my trusty Jeep and begin the 30 hour journey to my adopted summer sneak away spot Saunderstown, Rhode Island. The tiniest state in the US was also the last to join the original 13 colonies. Things in Rhode Island don’t tend to change much from decade to decade. I think that’s why I find it so charming.
Most people are at least vaguely familiar with the fabled stories and summer cottages of America’s earliest tycoons. The Breakers, Marble House and Rosecliff are carefully and lovingly maintained by the Preservation Society of Newport County and open to the public almost every day of the year. Before your trip to Newport, consider joining the Preservation Society and supporting their heroic efforts and you’ll be rewarded with a “front of the line” pass for your tour. Newport is a highly coveted summer destination (i.e. CROWDED) and I would nudge you in the direction of a smaller town (Saunderstown, Wickford or Watch Hill) if you have more than a few nights to spend in the area. I’m normally the kind of hotel guest person who drives the front desk manager crazy by switching rooms at least twice before settling in. At The Ocean House and 41° N, I gleefully thank the bellmen and let the merriment begin. However, if you plan to stay a week or more, consider renting a charming coastal cottage. I’ve learned from experience that the only thing that really matters aside from location is cleanliness.
What you may not know about Rhode Island:
1. Rhode Islanders know where their food comes from. You can visit a Rhode Island Farmer’s Market nearly every day of the week. Farm Fresh RI.
2. Rhode Islanders think ice cream and iced coffee should each be designated a food group. Ask 5 Rhode Islanders where to get the best ice cream or best iced coffee and you will likely get a slurry of different answers.
3. Rhode Islanders all know each other and they can recognize a tourist in a flash but if you are nice, they will open their circle and make you feel at home.
4. Use your iPhone for directions in RI. Don’t ask the locals. If you do, be prepared for them to say crazy things like, “Follow your nose.” They also give directions based on long ago demolished landmarks. And for added fun, most roads in RI have multiple names.
5. Be open to the idea of falling in love with Rhode Island and coming back year after year. The housing market is among the slowest to recover in the country and there are plenty of “Someday houses” that you can call your own. View RI Real Estate here. My favorite Ocean State realtor here.
Where you will find the locals:
1. THE BEACH
Don’t expect to go anywhere fast on gorgeous days. The beach traffic can be daunting but don’t give up and turn back. This isn’t East Hampton! It usually looks worse than it is.
Sail Newport offers daily rentals of family friendly boats.
4. Scouring for treasures at YARD SALES. We count the signs every day as we meander down the two lane beach road near our rental house. It’s fairly common to spot a handful of hand lettered signs beckoning us to stop. “Fresh Berries” “Tomatoes” “Bouquets” “Baby items” and the one that assures I stop “Fresh Eggs.”
5. Matunuck Oyster Bar. THE place to eat in Southern RI.
Photo credits: All photos by Lisa Hough for The Hough Post except: 2. Ocean House 3. Forty-one North 4. Farm Fresh RI
Sometimes you have to put aside the routine and invest in yourself despite the obstacles and second thoughts that get in the way. Last week, I made an unforgettable investment in my design business. I hopped a plane to LA to preview the fantastic design community event LEGENDS and to meet a handful of amazing artisans I knew only by phone. What a treat to be invited into their workshops and showrooms.
Today, a few highlights…
Marjorie Skouras design empire is admired by many and glorified by every shelter magazine in the US. Her ever growing line of luxury home products including mirrors, tables, seating, hardware, rugs and lighting are immediately recognizable. Her Empire chandelier is my all time favorite and it was a thrill to see the first one ever created hanging in Marjorie’s hot pink living room.
I never considered LA to be a walking city and was quite happy to discover most of the shops and showrooms on my list are on two streets (La Cienega and Melrose Ave) that intersect.
Good news: I could walk from one shop to the next.
Bad news: I wasn’t wearing walking shoes.
My hubby treated me to a walk on the beach in Santa Monica at the end of every day. A dip into the icy water helped my little sausages immensely.
Photo credits: 1. Marjorie Skouras 2.-6. Lisa Hough
Have you visited Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog Goop? It was here that GP and Chris Martin announced their “conscious uncoupling.” While I’ve never been much of a Coldplay fan or GP movie fan, I am insanely concerned about what will happen to their chic LA abode decorated by Windsor Smith once they are splittsville.
Goop has a knack for uncovering meaningful establishments that promote healthy living. I was overjoyed last week when I learned that Beautycounter received the Gwyneth Paltrow’s endorsement. Beautycounter is a line of chemical free, gorgeous skincare and cosmetics founded by Miss Porter’s School Ancient and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur Gregg Renfrew. Gregg’s first claim to fame was The Wedding List, a bridal registry which was acquired by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2001.
Gwyneth’s team at Goop also offers cool city guides for New York, London and LA. I’m perusing the Goop city guide for LA as we speak. While not endorsed by Goop, In-N-Out Burger will be my first stop upon arrival in the City of Angels. Last year at the conclusion of my week at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, it didn’t seem appropriate to dive into a burger joint after a week of no meat, no dairy, no caffeine, and no sugar. My brain told me my stomach might likely reject the delicacy served at this LA landmark.
Also while I am in LA, I’m hoping Google Maps will lead me to: Hollywood at Home, JF Chen, Dragonette, Jasper and the others located in the La Cienega Design Quarter. After some deliberation, I reserved a rental car. My hubby says I am “not exactly a world traveler” and he doesn’t want me driving in LA, but really…I traversed Europe for 8 weeks, crossed 12 countries on 50 trains, with $2000 cash. Doesn’t that make me qualified to drive in LA with an iPhone and a VISA?
Photo credits: 1 & 2 Veranda 3 Ranch at Live Oak 4 LCDQ.com