Ever since Dara and the Domino crowd took over Veranda, it has become one of my favorite shelter magazines. Instead of Belgian beige, now we are seeing fabulous color and modern styles that keep me dog-earing page after page in every issue. The new issue is no exception, particularly with regard to Dallas designer Kelli Ford's magnificent home.
Ford's home is incredible, a mansion full of art by Chagall and Picasso and in true Texas fashion, decorated to the hilt (by Ford herself with the fanciest fabrics, wallpapers, and custom furniture that (A LOT OF) money can buy. No one would ever describe this home as understated or demure, to say the least.
Here are a few glimpses into Ford's amazing Dallas home, as photographed for Veranda:
MoS Washington and I poured over this issue together this weekend, commenting on this no-expense-spared home. Yet we stopped dead in our tracks when we got to the living room.
Sure, it's pretty and memorable. But among the inlaid ceilings, hand-woven textiles, custom furniture and and room-size carpets were four chairs that looked oddly out-of-place and oddly familiar.
In this over-the-top family room of this over-the-top home of this over-the-top designer are 4 very recognizable $249 slipper chairs. You've seen them everywhere- at Amazon, Overstock, and Pier 1. Veranda's sourcing identified them as Anthropologie (but we all know they are really from Anthro's less expensive little sister, Urban Outfitters).
I know there are some designers who aren't afraid to mix high and low, but Kelli Ford does not strike me as one of those designers. Particularly not in her own house, and particularly not with such a recognizable chair. I'm just not buying it.
Are the chairs in this room the handiwork of a magazine stylist? With the exception of Architectural Digest, shelter magazines do varying amounts of styling before photoshoots. Some may just add flowers or a bowl of fruit. Others do significantly more. When I was interviewing for an editorial position at a large magazine, I felt like I had just learned the truth about Santa Clause when I was told that the scouts often look for a home to serve as a clean backdrop so that the magazine's designers can bring in a truckload of rugs, furniture, accessories, and fabrics to make the home magazine-worthy.
Certainly Kelli Ford's home was magazine-worthy, long before the photographers showed up. So did a stylist think that adding inexpensive chairs would make Veranda readers relate to this room? Did the original chairs just not photograph well? I am convinced that these $249 chairs are not sitting in Kelli Ford's living room as I write this blog post today. Is this just a case of styling for the masses? I'd love to hear your thoughts.