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.

The couple's living room, which was brimming with well-chosen antiques.



A Dutch Louis XIV cabinet, which held 17th- and 18th-century silver.



The couple's dining room, with its tooled and gilded leather-paneled walls.



An 18th-century Japanese cabinet with blue and white porcelain.



A collection of antique writing implements and boxes.



Mrs. van der Ven's collection of miniature 19th-century dinnerware, which she began collecting as a child.



The Master Bedroom.


The sunny Garden Room.


All photos from Architectural Digest, April 1981, Kees Hageman photographer.

14 comments:

  1. Gorgeous Jennifer. The Garden room is so lovely with the blue ceiling and their collections, ahhh!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Nicoletta Belletti

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    1. Karena, I covet that Garden Room!

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  2. It's absolutely divine. They certainly have a good eye. That collection appears to be 18th century snuff boxes and etui and one seal. Thanks for sharing. It's quite an eyeful. "My" kind of decorating!

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    1. Cynthia, We obviously have similar taste in décor because this is my kind of decorating, too.

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  3. I never cease to be amazed how in the past, the very wealthy could have a home which was filled with museum quality antiques and porcelains, but still manage to make it highly livable and NEVER pretentious. Not so today! How have designers lost their way so badly, or is it that their clients actually WANT their homes to be pretentious stage sets? A bit of both, perhaps?

    This home is an excellent example of the former - exquisite furnishings but warm and welcoming and clearly a home that is loved and in which live is well-lived.

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    1. srb, I don't understand why so many people today think that elegance and comfort are mutually exclusive. This house is proof that they're not.

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  4. Let's bring this aesthetic back---at least elements of it. And no arrogance. Thanks!!! Mary

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    1. Mary, I agree. It's such a refined yet comfortable aesthetic.

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  5. love this. designing with classic antiques never goes out of style. my only complaint -- the wall to wall carpet in the living room. pull it up and paint the floor that celadon color! hahah!!!!!

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    1. Joni, I'm with you on the wall-to-wall carpet!

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  6. This is perfection in my opinion Jennifer, thank you as always for your informative work !

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  7. wow, this house is beautiful. Not sure about that china though...

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  8. Barnabus Collins7:42 AM

    Ummm, Jennifer, can you scour around for more grandeur of this type, please?

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    1. Barnabus, Believe me, I am on the hunt for more interiors of this caliber. I'll post once I find something. Stay tuned...

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