I Think I'm really a Caveman

I'd like to get a little rant out of the way. I'm fed up, and have to put my two cent out there.

I'm guessing this view won't be popular (nor will the silly things I fawn over in this post), but nothing is worse than exotic animal print. Cheetah, tiger and leopard. Nothing worse. Sorry, Elsie de Wolfe, but the age of leopard upholstered footstools has passed. I just wish I could get everyone else to agree with me. Could anything be more repellent? And frankly kinda matronly, at this point ... no offense to the matrons.

I'm a big fan of real materials.

That bit of pontificating out of the way, can I blame this passion for all things furry and tack-studded on my family history, and exposure to cowhide upholstered facades at an early age (alla Wort Hotel)? Whatever the cause, I love incongruously furry objects. I lust for a German tornister ...

And would gladly join Oppenheim for tea in porcelain glazed with Chinese gazelle:

So imagine my delight when Steven and I found this at the Scituate Art Fair:

Wait, what's that? Is that an ... NH?!? As in, Nick Heywood?

But why, oh why, did the condition have to be soooo appalling? I almost broke down and got it anyway, but it looked like something wicked had been chewing on it, and the whole thing was kind of mangy. But oh, I'll never forget what might have been. I think it was probably from the first or second quarter of the 19th century, and I would guess that it's covered in pony skin, but really don't know.

Reminds me of one of my favorite passages in Diana Vreeland's incomparable memoir, DV, where she talks about how she used to strap a chest covered in reindeer hide to the back of her Bugatti (before the days of the integrated trunk) for picnics. The past really was better. Or look at this fantastic seating around the perimeter of an auditorium at the University of Aarhus, in Denmark (my apologies for the reflection):

Or altar stool in one of architect Gunnar Asplund's chapels at the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm, covered in sealskin:

I feel the need to clarify here. All of these animals have been dead in excess of 50 years, and I see no point in burying their skins to make a point ... and I think they're pretty. I feel I should also say that I only care for skins used in an extremely tailored way: not at all into the millions of cowhides with irregular edges thrown all over the floor of wannabe modernists, with some Charlotte Perriand (oh, sorry, LeCorbusier) chaise -- faux-edgy is a sad thing, especially when the idea is 60 years old.

Geez Louise, I'm bitchy today. Sorry guys.

Though I must admit I'm into this staircase, and I can't for the life of me figure out why, except that it's in fawnskin, which I haven't seen before. I kinda love it:

Ugh, maybe I hate it. I'm torn.


Allyson said...

Yes yes! Go with the hate. That staircase is terrible. No one should have to walk on Bambi to get upstairs.

That chest is lovely, though. It looks like the chest version of Hagrid's Monster Book of Monsters from Prisoner of Azkaban. ... nerd out!

Jacqui said...

that is NOT real fawnskin. But the texture would be awesome if it were...the stuff on the stairs is pixellated! And don't worry, leopard turns anyone into a bitch.

Alexander said...

While generally I agree with you, I think you are missing the most practical and common application of the animal print and that is to increase the low-class, trashy quality of "fantasies".

So if we can agree that low-brow trash has an important and useful place in the psychology of human desire, then we agree on the rest of this post.

Gabriel said...

I have to admit that I would love a fur backpack to take to class.

Ryan said...

I was looking for wool blankets today on ebay and found a queen sized rabbit fur bedspread. Brown and cream stripes. I couldn't decide if it was completely horrible, or wonderfully cozy. Either way it wouldn't work on my bed I guess.

Mlle Paradis said...

THANK YOU FOR THAT! I am totally with you as far as animal skins. Especially of the leopard and zebra ilk. The staircase runner is much more original and subtle but I have to say, animal skins in the house creep me out a little, not to mention my veggie husband. I saw a very cool Orla Kiely green shearling bag once (cube shaped) in the spirit of your German rucksacks. The furry part was INSIDE. My husband said, "Why do you need to keep your money WARM?" (And why WOULDN'T I NEED TO KEEP MY MONEY WARM?) Not exactly prone to flights of fancy, that guy. Just discovered your blog. Love it. Will be back. Thx for letting me blab.

Mlle Paradis said...

p.s. Alexander is a genius

Marija said...

I think there is good animal skin and bad animal skin and as a general rule, any animal skin with nailheads falls into the latter category. Not into the stairrunner though I do admit I do a double take whenever I see that stark carpet. Maybe I do like it after all??

Nutbird said...

I think the stair covering is supposed to be ocelot, or antelope. That particular pattern is the height of Waspiness. I've always coveted it, but I don't have any friends that have it. I guess I'll just have to see it in design books. Ann

Anonymous said...

Long live " fur " in Interior Decorating!

Anonymous said...

Long live " fur " in Interior Decorating!

Anonymous said...

you're a fukin dipshit.
fur of all ilk is appropriate in any manner.

you can cover your refidgerator in in the skins of infant mammals of any breed. you can swath your self and domestic artifacts with hides ripped from the backs of worthy beasts.

How did you draw the conclusions that you make the rules?

Fur for all.

Anonymous said...

I always feel sorry for the animal when I wear a cloth or hat made out of it.

-Zane of ontario honey

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting on Nick Haus! I look forward to seeing what you have to say. Unfortunately, I had to stop taking Anonymous comments -- too much spam, too much vituperative. Come out from behind the curtain, ye nasty Anonymous! Everyone else, please, I love to hear from you.

Related Posts with Thumbnails