Domicidal Maniac

I’m obsessed. I’ve long loved decorating and thinking about decorating, but now that my new husby and I are getting an apartment together, I have an opportunity to actually do some decoratin’ damage and I’ve thought of little else for almost a year.

Though I would dearly love to have the same kind of  white-on-white apartment as genius and deific Kelly G’s , I fear my lifestyle makes that impossible. And by lifestyle I mean all my goddamn dogs and birds. Had I known my Jean Harlow meets Syrie Maugham fantasies would be forever out of reach I would not have gone the crazy lady animal route. But now it’s too late, and muddy paws and strewn seeds and fruit are a never-ending reality.

Still, I want to try and be as soignée as possible. I am very, very partial to marble, crystal chandeliers, and lots of molding. Also mirrors, Lucite, chinoiserie, prints, wallpaper, Jonathan Adler, Serge Roche, Tony Duquette, Miles Redd, striped walls and checkerboard floors.  Think Marie Antoinette meets Dorothy Draper. But I also can’t help but love kitsch. So make that Marie Antoinette meets Dorothy Draper meets Liberace. (And maybe throw in a Gabor sister or two.)

But, I have several restrictions in addition to aforementioned paws and claws. I own several things I just can’t get rid of:

Adam Wallcavage's Dixie LaRue chandelier

1. My big pink octopus chandelier. Adam Wallacavage made and installed this for me, isn’t it amazing? (I just discovered Adam even named this style after me, a Dixie LaRue. Exciting!) Since I have a gorgeous pink-ish abalone chest in the bedroom, I was thinking of putting it in there, for that luxe undersea brothel look.

2. Lotsa art. I own a lot of art, paintings, charcoal sketches, photography, lithographs. Most of it is fine art, plus paintings my grandma did and also some lovely kitsch. I’m trying to whittle down how much I have through eBay, ClampArt and Etsy, but I still have a LOT. This includes some giant pieces, including a portrait of moi by Danielle Lamberti and two hu-u-u-ge framed Jill Greenberg ape photos.

3. Several marble busts.

4. My Dorothy Draper Espana chests.

5. John Stuart 40’s desk.

Stark Lillea rug

6. This rug. I impulsively bought a big Stark rug because a) it was majorly on sale, and b) it was pretty awesome. It is very Versailles-y and I pray my dogs don’t utterly destroy it.

7. Two mid-century lounge chairs. One is in apple green vinyl (sounds horrible, but trust me, it’s cool) and the other’s an Eames lounge and ottoman I inherited from my mom. One day I’d like to reupholster it in leopard or zebra or something.

8. Big 30’s movie theatre Jean Harlow “personality poster”.

9. My extensive 30’s carnival chalkware collection. I’m thinking a high shelf in the parrot room/TV den. Though I’m kinda used to the Plaster of Paris chorus line staring me down in the bedroom.

Then there are the things I’m not quite sure about:

My various lamps. Sigh. I have a lot of lamps…a Verner Panton floor lamp, a Miss K, a stacked Lucite table lamp, a glazed apple green cowgirl lamp (better than it sounds),  and an array of nutty but nice mid-century lamps, including 3 Moss spinners.

Wallpaper. That needs its own post.

Too many bureaus. There’s a Russell Wright chest of drawers, 2 Heywood-Wakefield chests of drawers, and the aforementioned super fab abalone chest.

Heywood-Wakefield tables of various sorts.

My taxidermied birds. Don’t ask why but I have several antique birds mounted under glass cloches, including a two-headed duckling. Poor things.

Gnomes. I have several Philippe Starck gnomes and tree stumps. Also 3 inflatable ottomans with plastic roses inside.  Sigh.

Well, I’m very, very lucky to be getting some advice from my one of my favorite interior decorators, Kelly Giesen, tonight.  She’s one of the best in New York and I’m so grateful that she’s giving me her time and expertise. Stylish and super nice, no wonder she’s my new girl crush!

Dixie Laite - Dame Town Writer

Author: Dixie Laite

Hi, I'm Sarah "Dixie" Laite, and I live in New York City with 5 parrots, 1 dog (Dr. Waffles) and 1 husband (Jeff). I love classic movies, animals, and haunting flea markets, ebay and TheRealReal.All my life I've been obsessed with figuring out how to navigate life as a woman. There are endless books, TV shows, gurus, guys, movies and magazines out there to guide you. But now that I'm closing in on 60, I noticed that the old rules don't apply, and most of the role models aren't old enough.I'm older now, I know more and weigh more. I'm eager to be inspired and to inspire others in return. Let's get a handle on this shit and figure it out together.

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