Guano

Few things make me happier than the arrival of Architectural Digest, and the December 2013 issue more than fulfilled my eager expectations. Savor with me this morsel from a feature on a Paris apartment (“A Backward Glance” by Mitchell Owens):

“And what about the hefty red-marble pedestals holding aloft two Japanese covered jars? They came from the Neuilly hôtel particulier of Chilean guano magnate Arturo Lopez-Willshaw, one of the mid-20th century’s most exalted cognoscenti.”

A guano magnate in a “hôtel particulier” in Neuilly-sur-Seine – you can’t make this stuff up.

And the next time you hang a picture, think about this Manhattan duplex and the way the owners chose their decorator (“Bridging Cultures” by Michael Cannell):

“Forty architecture firms pitched proposals to a nine-person selection committee comprising the clients and several family members and friends who work in the fields of art and design.”

And what did they get for all those meetings? Step inside:

“Nine stepping-stones span a reflecting pool fed by a 32-foot waterfall, a paper-thin sheet of liquid spilling quietly behind a white-onyx stairway lit from within by LEDs. Waiting on the far side of the pool is a full-scale wood-and-rice-paper teahouse constructed in Kyoto and assembled on-site by Japanese craftsmen.”

Just what I would have done. I can’t wait for January.

* * *

Read more about the amazing Arturo, “king of guano,” here.

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