Thursday, August 13, 2015
A House Made for Instagram
On Instagram, I have noticed that there are certain photos that seem to garner many "likes". Rooms with a traditional, European sensibility are popular, as are rooms painted in moody shades of brown, green, or blue. Photos of blue and white ceramics are always pleasers, especially when the blue and white is grouped en masse. Detail photos of interesting collections displayed on table tops are sure to get hundreds of likes, as will nighttime photos that capture rooms bathed in pools of warm light. Of course, these are but a few of the types of photos that keep people coming back to Instagram seeking design inspiration.
As I was perusing a 1981 issue of Architectural Digest, I found an article that featured all of these types of photos. The article's subject, a renovated 15th-century house located in 's-Hertogenbosch, Holland, belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Clemens van der Ven, both of whom were collectors. The home was filled with elegant antiques, including blue and white porcelain, centuries-old writing implements, and a Dutch Louis XIV cabinet filled with 17th- and 18th-century silver. The living room, painted a sophisticated shade of green, boasted a sublime 18th-century chimneypiece, while the dining room had walls covered in tooled and gilded leather panels. And, as was typical of Architectural Digest at that time, all of the home's rooms, with the exception of the Garden Room, were photographed with table lamps aglow. (I think that I might be one of the few people who likes interior photos taken with room lights turned on.)
Traditional, elegant homes such as this one are the exception rather than the rule these days. But thanks to Instagram, I'm finding that rarefied taste in décor not only still exists, it seems to be generating some excitement, too.
All photos from Architectural Digest, April 1981, Kees Hageman photographer.