"A Candida Hofer photograph surmounts the living room's custom-made sofa, which is flanked by vintage floor lamps by Gaetano Scolarie and Stilnova; pre-Colombian objects stand on the Yves Klein cocktail tables, and the bronze crocodile side chairs are by Claude Lalanne… Olga de Amaral created the room's gilded tapestry; the chair, daybed, and pillows are all clad in Romo fabrics."
—Architectural Digest, September 2013
I'm continually amazed at the lengths to which Architectural Digest writers go to ensure that every piece of furniture, every floor tile, every sofa pillow and every objet d'art in the homes of the rich and famous is attributed to the proper designer, creator and/or purveyor.
Presumably they do this so that brand-conscious and covetous readers can acquire these very same items in order to stay au courant with what's Twitterable and trending in home décor among hedge fund managers and Hollywood celebrities.
But what about those of us who might have a different reference group for our home decorating fantasies?
Imagine, for example, an Architectural Digest staff writer dispatched to West Monroe, Louisiana, home of A&E's hit redneck reality TV show, "Duck Dynasty." The resulting piece might read something like this:
A SHOT OF SOUTHERN COMFORT
Nail aesthetician JoBelle Odom and her husband Vernon, a sales consultant at West Monroe's principal auto parts emporium, deftly combine old, new and gently used elements in their "manufactured" home.
The Odoms' tidy green double-wide, situated on a wooded quarter-acre delineated by a no-nonsense chain link fence (which serves to contain the couple's Redbone Hounds, Tank and Diesel), is a testament to JoBelle's talent for frugal decorating utilizing inherited and locally-sourced materials.
A Da Vinci Last Supper reproduced on black velvet surmounts the living room's vintage Hide-a-Bed, handed down by JoBelle's mother and upholstered in its original avocado green boucle. A Barcalounger, clad in burgundy Naugahyde with a patina of cigar ash and Budweiser stains, occupies pride of place in front of a commodious fiberboard entertainment center rescued from the West Monroe landfill.
The 102-inch plasma TV from Wal-Mart is flanked by Vernon's bowling trophies and a polystyrene bust of Bear Bryant, a tribute to Vernon's alma mater two states to the east.
The master bedroom features a queen-sized faux mahogany fourposter, acquired by virtue of Sears layaway. The bed is dressed in 250-thread count no-iron linens topped by a pre-owned lavender polyester satin comforter from Rejoice Resale of Greater Monroe. JoBelle's cousin, Sadie Tarwater, created the contrasting hot pink heart-shaped throw pillow, embellished with a full-color photo-transfer portrait of JoBelle and Vernon on their wedding day.
The adjoining bathroom, which replaced the home's original plein air facility when the county extended the sewer line to the Odoms' rural retreat, is outfitted with fixtures from Home Depot. The floral plastic shower curtain is from Family Dollar; towels are from K-Mart, and the toilet paper was purchased in bulk from Sam's Club.
Each to his own taste and budget. And just between us— when it comes to comfort, wouldn't you take a Barcalounger over a bronze crocodile chair any day?