I perhaps still live a bachelor’s nomadic existence. Even though I have been in a committed relationship for over eight years now and have been back in Dallas (where I intend to stay) for over six years. I bought a condo that I moved into in August 2019. We had been living in a large loft (over 30-foot-high ceilings) in the Cedars neighborhood but moved to a 1980s style condo/townhouse which is quite a bit smaller. That said, finding furniture has been challenging. (Some say I should lean into the whole 80s aesthetic which I can’t quite grasp – does that mean purchasing a waterbed and some Patrick Nagel paintings to hang above some lacquered furniture?) So, unlike some others that Christy will potentially be featuring in this weekly post, I do not have a bunch of furniture with a significant provenance (ie: didn’t buy from a Sotheby’s auction), designer dishware (although I do have a Hermes ashtray) or chic lighting fixtures. However, I do have quite a few things that have moved from city to city (I’ve lived everywhere – NYC, L.A., Miami, Seattle, Atlanta…) with me that I truly cherish.
Here are Five of My Favorite Things that live with me, Mike, and Theo (our rescue rat terrier) …
I did my undergrad and graduate work in art history, so art is very near and dear to my heart. I continue to live with affordable IKEA furniture, but am fortunate to have collected some wonderful pieces, primarily from artists I know (many were gifts or were done for trade – writing a press release for them or doing a studio critique). This piece was done by William Harper. He is the father to one of my oldest and closest friends, Meredith Harper, who currently is an art consultant residing in NYC. I met Meredith and her father when he was a professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Yes, she and I were small-town kids with dreams of living in the big city – where we both have now fortunately found ourselves. William is primarily known as a jewelry designer and his work is found in major museum collections around the globe, but he also draws and paints. This work he gifted me for my birthday a few years ago and it is hung in a place of pride in my home.
I love blue and white porcelains. This is just one of many pieces I have found throughout the years. Perhaps it’s my inner WASP that always wants to find a way into my décor choices.
Most people who know me understand that I spend the bulk of any funds I might have on clothing and things for my wardrobe. I could easily assemble a list of my favorite items from my closet (actually just five would be hard – perhaps top 25), but I know that Christy wasn’t looking for that in terms of responses. I love this Gucci train case that I purchased at Vintage Martini years ago. I then took it to Kris Ammon (@kcadesign) to personalize. My general monograms are WGF (my actual initials – William George Fong Jr.), NERD, JOCK (I used that only once when I had Brooks Brothers pajamas personalized to wear when I had broken my arm in two places playing tennis), and PREP. I use this case primarily as a conversation starter in my bathroom (you never know when you’ll have a lull in your conversation), but also to keep special pieces of jewelry (some items from my mother, my collection of Hermes bracelets, and skull rings).
Back to art, my partner, Mike Stabile, is a creator. He is a plumber by trade, but spends a lot of his free time painting, sketching, making videos, carving rocks … He knows that I adore blue and white porcelains (see #2) and has decided to do things with his own quirky spin. He did a series of photographs of these items I have collected and then manipulated them to interesting effect.
Having worked at museums for close to 20 years, I amassed a sizable collection of beautiful exhibition catalogs. I honestly should have searched for a home with a formal library to house all of these tomes. I love a chic coffee table book and have too many to count. In fact, I try to re-curate my coffee table at least every few months and put up some nifty new accessories and sizable books. This is one of my favorites – Bals. This massive Assouline piece, in addition to being highly decorative, is a go-to source when I need inspiration. It has wonderful information and glorious images of some of the chicest parties of all time — including the Proust Ball (1971), the Cuevas Ball (1953), and Truman Capote’s famous (or infamous) Black and White Ball (1966).