Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mark Hampton and the Single Fabric Scheme

A double-height Drawing Room
decorated by Mark Hampton.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
Having worked with a number of 'name' interior designers, I am often asked if there are formulas for decorating.  Yes and no.  There are some themes that are often used in developing an interior décor and one is what I have termed the Single Fabric Scheme.  Popular for years and still used today by both professionals and amateurs alike, the concept is based on choosing one particular fabric for a room and then using it on just about everything.  Success largely depends, as you might imagine, on the fabric.  Also, all of the furnishings and the architecture of the room must be able to be compatible with the unyielding effect of the material.  An example of the Single Fabric Scheme may be seen in this project decorated by Mark Hampton.

The Drawing Room of a townhouse
decorated by Mark Hampton.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
Featured in the April, 1983, issue of Architectural Digest, this Beekman Place, New York City, townhouse belongs to Dr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Mendoza of Caracas, bought by his parents in the 1940s.  Blessed with a big, double-height Drawing Room, the article said the house served as a family meeting place for the six children who were in school in the U.S.  Following the Sister Parish practice of providing three seating groups - themes of furniture arrangement will follow in future posts - a sofa faces the fireplace while two others flank the chimney breast.

The seating group opposite the fireplace
in the Drawing Room.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
The same silk damask from Brunschwig & Fils covers two of the sofas, two upholstered club chairs, a set of four slipper chairs, a pair of folding screens, a tufted pouf, the walls above the chair rail, and the swagged curtains of an enormous window.  Welcome relief is provided by a suite of nineteenth-century, gilded, Louis XVI style chairs and canapé covered in Aubusson tapestry.  Silk of a creamy pink color is used for a pair of round, draped tables and fringed accent cushions.  A rug made from multi-colored, patterned Stark carpeting also offers some variation in the scheme.

The Library of the Beekman Place townhouse
decorated by Mark Hampton.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
The Library overlooking the Drawing Room has walls painted with a glazed lacquer effect in dark green to match the linen velvet upholstery.  This would be considered a variation of the Single Fabric Scheme.  A patterned Stark carpet in dark green and cream also coordinates with the cream painted millwork and cabinetry.  Hampton's associate Lino Correia was credited in assisting in the additions and changes to architectural details.

The Master Bedroom decorated by Mark Hampton.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
The Master Bedroom is another variation of the scheme.  Although the same floral chintz is used for all the upholstery and bedspread, another fabric - a subtle strie - was used for the curtains.

The Dining Room decorated by Mark Hampton.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
It appears that the same bedroom curtain fabric was used for curtains in the Dining Room.  And it also appears that the same carpet from the Library was used again here.  Although the text makes no mention of the wall decoration, The Devoted Classicist guesses that it is the work of noted decorative painter Robert Jackson.  The elements of the fretwork pattern work out too perfectly not to have been custom painted for the room.

The Entrance Hall painted by Robert Jackson.
Photo by Peter Vitale for Architectural Digest.
The text does reveal that Robert Jackson painted the walls of the Entrance Hall with the Chinese-inspired design.  Robert was one of this country's best decorative painters in the second half of the century, and his work is always a delight to see.  (For a look at a room painted by Robert Jackson for two of my own projects, click here and here).

Is the Single Fabric Scheme a good approach to interior decoration?  As seen here, it cannot be carried through a whole house or apartment without at least some variation, room after room, but it can be an effective solution for one space in a residence.  The advantages of this approach are many; it is relatively easy, and if the designer's fee is based on a mark-up, bolts of an expensive fabric rack up a big commission fast.  But whether it is the best approach is a matter of preference.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who Picked The Rug?

A Kips Bay Show House room by Robert K. Lewis
featured in an ad for F.J. Hakimian.
Architectural Digest, January 1990.
In the days prior to internet exposure, decorator showhouse rooms were often an ephemeral commodity.  Although a popular venue such as the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Manhattan would have several thousand visitors a day during the 3 to 4 weeks duration, a photo record of the rooms was not guaranteed to be otherwise circulated.  Sometimes, a newspaper would photograph a room or two, but that usually would not extend to out-of-town editions.  In the 1990s, vendors who had supplied their products for these rooms might place a glossy advertisement in a national magazine, however, that featured the room and its designer.  The rug vendors were particularly helpful in promoting these showhouse rooms that might otherwise have not been seen across the country.  One of most appreciated series of these advertisements were those done by the firm F.J. Hakimian who headlined their ads with "Who chose the Hakimian?".

The Kips Bay Show House room by Juan Pablo Molyeux
also featured a ceiling commissioned from
Anne Harris Painting Studio loosely based on
Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"
that depicted the decorator's face on an angel.
Typically, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House is located in an Upper East Side townhouse that is on the market for sale.  (There have been instances, however, that such a property was not available).  Usually there are at least a few rooms that already have architectural interest, but the others depend entirely on the décor for success.  In any case, the foundation of any decorating scheme can always benefit from a terrific floor covering.  Both Robert K. Lewis and Juan Pablo Molyneux benefited from their rooms have good 'bones' as well.

A Kips Bay Show House room by Mario Buatta
featured in an ad for Stark Carpet.
Architectural Digest, June 1991.
Mario Buatta does his best work when he is his own client; his show house rooms are never a disappointment, and often the most memorable of the year.  This room, pictured, also benefited from good, existing architectural detailing, but the real spark came from the talent of the decorator, putting all the furnishings together to create an attractive room.  Here Stark Carpet was the patron who featured the room in an advertisement.  First with the addition of Old World Weavers fabrics, and now including Lelievre, Fonthill and Grey Watkins fabrics among others, the conglomerate known as Stark has become an even more prestigious To-The-Trade source, and promoter of show house designers.

A Kips Bay Show House room by Arthur E. Smith
featured in an ad for Stark Carpet.
Architectural Digest, November 1992.
The room decorated by Arthur E. Smith was in the same 1992 show house at 32 East 70th Street, New York City, as Molyneux's drawing room, but located on the fifth floor.  A former protégé and business partner of legendary decorator Billy Baldwin who took over the office at the elder's retirement, only the use of sisal and kraft paper lampshades give a nod to his mentor.  The late Mr. Smith, who also had an especially stylish antiques shop, was a well-respected talent in the NY area, but not particularly well known across the country (until his connection with gallery owner and accused killer Andrew Crispo was publicized).

A Kips Bay Show House room by Michael LaRocca
featured in an ad for F.J. Hakimian.
Architectural Digest, June 1993.
A gothic revival library was decorated by Michael LaRocca for the 1991 Kips Bay Show House at 121 East 73rd Street.  The 1908 Federal Revival townhouse is located across the street from a John Tackett Design project at 128 East 73rd Street which held his field office for almost two years, coincidently, so this writer was very familiar with the house.  (Additionally, assistance was provided to Mariette Himes Gomez who decorated the dining room for the same show house:  a photo from a previous post may be seen here.)

A Kips Bay Show House room by Justin Baxter
featured in an ad for Stark.
Architectural Digest, December, 1993.
Despite the prestigious neighborhood, the 1993 Kips Bay Show House at 813 Park Avenue was in an awful apartment building consisting of a maze of rooms.  The renovated spaces were all poorly proportioned and some had ceilings less than eight feet high.  Justin Baxter had one of these less-than-desirable rooms, but did an admirable job of pulling it together with the use of striped wallpaper and mirrors.

A room by Bennet & Judie Weinstock
featured in an ad for Stark.
Architectural Digest, April 1994.
Based in Philadelphia, the husband-wife team of Bennet & Judie Weinstock have been regular participants in the Kips Bay Decorator Show Houses over the years.  This writer does not happen to remember this particular room, however, although it is assumed to have been a show house presentation.

A Kips Bay Show House room by Dennis Rolland
featured in an ad for Stark.
Architectural Digest, September 1996.
This sitting room by Dennis Rolland was remembered, however, and thought to have been featured in the 1994 Kips Bay Show House which was a double Georgian Revival townhouse designed by architect Charles Platt for Sara Delano Roosevelt and built 1907-08.  In addition to the large red-pencil drawings that decorated the room, another notable feature was the soft gray ceiling which was reportedly colored with graphite.

A Kips Bay Show House room by Kenneth Alpert
featured in an ad for Stark.
Architectural Digest, March 1997.
The sitting room by Kenneth Alpert is another that, sadly, this writer cannot identify by year or address.  But it featured a whole range of Stark products, most notably the popular carpet pattern of leopard spots and roses designed by Mrs. Stark, herself.

A Kips Bay Show House room by Scott Salvator
featured in an ad for Stark.
Southern Accents, March/April 2001.
Scott Salvator is another Kips Bay regular and this writer is not sure of the date or address of this decorator show house.  Notably, Mr. Salvator has also designed showrooms and offices for the Stark Carpet group.

A note of appreciation goes to both Hakimian and Stark for showcasing these interesting rooms and their designers in their advertisements over the years.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Andalusia, Historic Courtyard Apartments

A view of the central courtyard at Andalusia,
the West Hollywood apartment building.
Photo by John Vaughan for Architectural Digest.
A number of Spanish Revival courtyard apartment buildings were built in Los Angeles in the early decades of the twentieth century, inspired by the Franciscan missions and the early tourist camps.  But one of the finest and most influential of these was Andalusia a 1926 complex of ten units designed by the husband & wife team of Arthur and Nina Zwebell.

A street view of Andalusia,
1471 1475 Havenhurst Drive, West Hollywood.
Photo via Wikipedia. 
After visiting Los Angeles in 1920, the Zwebells moved there in 1921 to make their fortune in the building boom.  Arthur Zwebell had made a nest egg with profits from a company he developed with his brothers that offered a roadster sports car body for a standard Ford chassis.

Arthur Zwebell was a self-taught architect and Nina provided the interior design services for the furnished apartments, even having furniture made to compliment the architecture.  They built eight of these buildings, living in Andalusia and working out of home offices there.

Vintage views of Andalusia,
showing the outer courtyard (upper)
and central courtyard (lower).
Photos from
Each apartment had a unique floor plan with the Zwebells' unit having a two story living room and three fireplaces.  Zina had an infamous built-in pipe organ;  the bellows were located in the basement with the pipes installed at opposite ends of the living room.  The Zwebells lived at Andalusia for only four years and then gave it to their neice, Marian Uhl.

Andalusia Ground Floor Plan, Roof Plan,
and Building Section.
Drawings from the book
Over the years, Mrs. Uhl rented apartments at Andalusia to a number of Hollywood actors and writers such as Clara Bow, Clair Bloom, Cesar Romero, Jean Hagen, John Payne, Louis L'Amour, and Anna Kashfi (later married to Marlon Brando and mother of Christian Brando).  Mrs. Uhl lived in the building until her death in 1990.  She had kept an archive of blueprints, photos, repair bills, and fabric samples that revealed that the building had been preserved and hardly altered.

A publicity photo of actress and singer
Bernice Claire at Nina Zwebell's organ.
Photo via Wikipedia.
In 1990, Los Angeles interior designer and antiques dealer Craig Wright bought the building with business partners Don and Alice Willfong.  They restored and subtly updated Andalusia while remaining conscious of its architectural integrity.  Plumbing and wiring was replaced, doors and windows were duplicated as necessary, and a laundry was installed in the basement along with air-conditioning throughout.  Some apartments were combined to reduce the total to eight units which were rented furnished.  The third courtyard had a raised swimming pool which was not original, it was removed and the area became an annex for displaying garden ornaments and stone furniture from Quatrain, an antique gallery and reproduction business owned by Wright, and a part of the extremely stylish San Francisco-based stores that are grouped under the name of Therien.

Another publicity photo of actress
and singer Bernice Claire
who appeared in 13 films
in the 1930s.
Craig Wright took the Zwebells' apartment as his own residence.  He turned the upstairs tower room that the Zwebells had used as their office into his Master Bedroom.  The former master bedroom downstairs is now a Guest Bedroom.  After ten years, Wright moved to a house he renovated in the hills above Sunset Boulevard that was featured in the February 2001 issue of Architectural Digest that can be seen here.  But the photos by John Vaughan of Craig Wright's Andalusia apartment from the December 1993 issue of Architectural Digest are presented as follows.
The floor plan of what was originally the owners' apartment
from a 2010 MLS ad via Curbed.
One end of the Living Room with the
stairs up to the Master Bedroom and Bath.
Photo from the December, 1993, issue of
Architectural Digest.
Wright used furnishings of several periods and styles from Quatrain in addition to shelves of books to give the Living Room a Continental feel.  
Another view of the Living Room
as it appeared in the December, 1993,
issue of Architectural Digest.
In the Dining Room, a mix of furnishings, again from Quatrain, provide a rich contrast to the double-thick brick walls, developed for earthquake-resistance.

The Dining Room as it appeared
in the December, 1993, issue of Architectural Digest.
The ground floor Sitting Room (labeled Sunroom on the 2010 MLS floor plan) is an intimate space that Wright used for reading.

The ground floor Sitting Room as it appeared
in the December, 1993, issue of Architectural Digest.
The Tudor-style bed had been used in films such as "Tom Jones" and "Mary Queen of Scots" commands the ground floor bedroom that Wright used as a Guest Bedroom.

The Guest Bedroom as it appeared
in the December, 1993, issue of Architectural Digest.
The walls of the Master Bathroom were painted in a manner to evoke the feeling of Pompeian frescoes.  The lavatory is set into a neoclassical console that Wright found in Rome.

The Master Bathroom, as it appeared
in the December, 1993, issue of Architectural Digest.
The central courtyard plantings were revitalized by landscape architect Robert Fletcher.  The pool and outdoor fireplace were original features that were restored.

The central courtyard pool and outdoor
fireplace as it appeared in the December, 1993,
issue of Architectural Digest.
After the collapse of the private housing market in 1929, the Zwebells went into work as set designers for the movie studios, furniture design and production, and later attempted a business to manufacture modular housing systems.  With the exception of three houses designed for his family, Arthur Zwebell did not practice architecture again.  He died in 1973 and his wife died the next year.  Their contributions to traditional urban housing form of an adapted California courtyard is still valued today, however.  Andalusia is now a condominium and the owner's unit of 1,589 square feet was listed and sold in 2010 for the asking price of $990,000 according to Redfin.  (It was a resale since Craig Wright's occupancy).

For more about the other apartment buildings designed by the Zwebells as well as other similar buildings see the valuable reference book COURTYARD HOUSING IN LOS ANGELES by Stefanos Polyzoides, Roger Sherwood, and James Tice, now in its fifth printing after being originally published in 1996.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Where The Southern Cross The Yellow Dog

"Where The Southern Cross The Yellow Dog"
by Carroll Cloar, 1965.
Casein tempera on Masonite.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Image copyright estate of Carroll Cloar.
It is the 'Summer of Cloar' in Memphis with a series of events surrounding the exhibition "The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South" at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.  (For a previous post of The Devoted Classicist on the original architect of the museum, James Gamble Rogers, click here).  The show is a centennial retrospective covering about 45 years (he destroyed most of his earliest paintings) of the work of Memphis artist Carroll Cloar, 1913 to 1993, organized by the museum's Curator of European and Decorative Art, Dr. Stanton Thomas.

"The Artist In His Studio"
by Carroll Cloar, 1963.
Casein tempera on Masonite.
Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker.
Image copyright estate of Carroll Cloar.
Born on his family's cotton farm in Gibson Bayou, about three miles north of Earle, Arkansas, the sights and traditions of the rural South played an important role in his paintings.  The portrayal of people is predominant theme, along with the landscape.  But vernacular 19th century and early 20th century architecture is also a reoccurring subject, often presented in the background, but as a strong secondary theme.  White clapboard houses, weathered barns, or cubist-simple commercial buildings offer contrast with the bright color of the landscape.

"Sunday Afternoon In Sweet Home, Arkansas"
by Carroll Cloar, 1971.
Acrylic on Masonite.
Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker.
Image copyright estate of Carroll Cloar.
Although Cloar considered himself a Realist, some of his paintings fall into the stylistic categories of Regionalism, Pointillism, and Precisionism.  The events depicted in the paintings were often from memory although the settings still remain.  The painting of the Earle train station marked the artist's annual family trip to soak in the medicinal waters every morning and attend the movies every afternoon at Hot Springs, Arkansas, when he was a boy.

"Waiting For The Hot Springs Special"
by Carroll Cloar, 1964.
Casein tempera on Masonite.
Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker.
Image copyright estate of Carroll Cloar.
Although Cloar's paintings sometimes showed children of different races playing together, as was his own experience with his neighbor Charlie Mae which he documented in several notable works, paintings that featured adults were usually either all-white or all-black.  Perhaps it was a practice to avoid conflict with potential buyers, not wanting to bring up the issue of integration of adults;  the answer is not known.

"The Smiling Moon Café"
by Carroll Cloar, 1965.
Casein tempera on Masonite.
Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker.
Image copyright estate of Carroll Cloar.
The painting at the beginning of the post, "Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog" portrays a location in Moorhead, Mississippi, in the heart of Blues country.  The title comes from the W.C. Handy song, "The Yellow Dog Blues" which includes the line "He's gone where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog", referring to the crossing of two railroad lines that made Moorhead an active passenger and freight connection for decades.  (To see Eartha Kitt sing it accompanied by Nat 'King' Cole on YouTube, try the link here).  The painting is representative of the impoverished locals of the Delta relocating to a place that, hopefully, offers a better life.
by Carroll Cloar, 1960.
Casein tempera on Masonite.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
Image copyright estate of Carroll Cloar.
In "Halloween" an adolescent girl frolics in a field wearing a grotesque mask while hooded figures, "Klu Kluxers", emerge in the distance.  Are the occupants of the house asleep?  Or is it abandoned?  A comment on the future of the South as seen in 1960?  It's up to interpretation.  This one is more ominous than most in the exhibition.  Other paintings are more hopeful.  This is just a handful of the ones that have architecture playing a part of the message, an interesting vehicle for subtext in the mid-century work of Carroll Cloar.
The exhibition, which includes almost seventy paintings, includes loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Hirshorn Museum and Gardens, in addition to the collection of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and private collections.  The exhibition continues at Brooks through September 15, and then travels on a national tour that includes the Arkansas Arts Center and the Georgia Museum of Art through 2014. 
For those reading the version of this blog via email subscription, please remember that the regular web version of The Devoted Classicist offers additional features for your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Katharine Graham, Georgetown

A late Edo period Japanese screen is mounted
flat on the damask-covered wall above a George II
style side table flanked by Irish armchairs in the
Entrance Hall of Katharine Graham's home in the
Georgetown district of Washington, DC.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
People often ask who has been my favorite client or my most memorable client.  That is impossible to answer definitively, but certainly the name of Katharine Graham would come to mind.  My architectural work for Mrs. Graham was of a relatively small scale, but it involved her apartment at United Nations Plaza in New York City as well as her house in the Georgetown district in Washington, D.C.  Although the names of the clients are not usually associated with the photos and drawings of my John Tackett Design projects that are shown here at The Devoted Classicist, the interiors of Kay Graham's Georgetown house were featured in the December, 1994 issue of Architectural Digest, so they are presented with the owner identified.

Katharine Graham in the Entrance Hall
of her Georgetown residence.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
Probably best remembered as the publisher of The Washington Post newspaper during the famous period of Watergate coverage that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, Katharine Graham was an important figure in the realm of international politics for years.

Katherine Graham at The Washington Post
with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
Photo via
Her multi-millionaire father, Eugene Meyer, had bought the newspaper at a 1933 bankruptcy auction, and when he was named the first president of the World Bank in 1946, he named his son-in-law Philip Graham publisher of The Washington Post.  Philip Graham was very active in political policy-making in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a practice that would be unacceptable in journalism today.  The Grahams became an important part of the Kennedy-Johnson campaign and administration, and their Georgetown home, unusual because it was on a large parcel at the top of the hill known as The Dumbarton Rock, became one of the social-political centers of the time.
The garden elevation of the Graham residence.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
Bought in 1946 with her father involved in the negotiations, the Grahams and their children lived in the house pretty much as it was until a 1960 renovation that was completed in time to give a party for President and Mrs. Kennedy the night before the inauguration.  (Intended as a drop-by cocktail buffet for 600, a snowstorm turned it into a trek with about 200 arriving by foot).  Among the changes were combining two rooms to become one large Dining Room capable of being divided by folding doors, and replacing the rear porch with a large terrace accessed by new French doors.  The former stables, slightly down the hill, were converted to garages with staff quarters above.  Legendary decorator Billy Baldwin was among others over the years who established a chic interior for what would become the site of many high-profile gatherings, making Katharine Graham one of the most notable hostesses of the Capitol.
Katharine Graham (right) with Jacqueline Kennedy.
An undated, uncredited photo from USA TODAY.
Adding Newsweek magazine and television stations, Philip Graham continued to develop the media conglomerate until his 1963 suicide, at which point Katharine Graham took the helm.  After her parents' death, a number of antiques came from the Meyers' house on Crescent Place in 1972.  Mrs. Clayton "Polly" Fritchey and Joseph Alsop helped incorporate the inherited furnishings;  both were more noted in terms of hospitality and party-giving than taste in decoration, however.  (Joe Alsop was later portrayed in the Broadway play "The Columnist," and the 1994 Architectural Digest article was written by Joe Alsop's wife, Susan Mary Alsop, a member of Jacqueline Kennedy's Special Committee for White House Paintings, pictured on a previous post here).
Jacqueline and President Kennedy arriving at the
Georgetown home of Joseph and Susan Mary Alsop in 1961.
Photo by William Smith/Associated Press
via The New York Times.
Despite all of her accomplishments, particularly unusual at the time for a woman, it was not until reading all of the coverage of the famous 1966 Black and White Ball that The (young and impressionable) Devoted Classicist first took notice of Katharine Graham.
Katharine Graham with Truman Capote
greeting guests at the entrance to
the Black and White Ball
New York Times Photo.
Flush with cash from the success of his book IN COLD BLOOD, Truman Capote was at the height of his popularity as an author/celebrity and wanted to celebrate with a memorable party for his society friends.  Inspired by a 1964 black and white ball given by his friend Dominick Dunne and also the 'Ascot scene' from "My Fair Lady", he decided on a masked ball with the dress code limited to black and white. As most of the guests were among the most famous in the world, the idea of masks added a dimension of fun.  (It also allowed a mischievous factor for Capote to relish as he also invited some not-so-famous acquaintances such as his U.N. Plaza doorman and elevator operator to mix anonymously).  Fearing that throwing a lavish party for himself would be seen as vulgar, he avoided potential conflict among his "swans", as he called his beautiful society lady friends, by choosing Katharine Graham as guest of honor.  In George Plimpton's 1997 book on Capote, Mrs. Graham is quoted to say, "Truman called me up that summer and said, 'I think you need cheering up.  And I'm going to give you a ball.' . . I was . . sort of baffled . . I felt a little bit like Truman was going to give the ball anyway and that I was part of the props."  Held in the ballroom of the Plaza Hotel on November 28, 1966, the event remains a highlight in the history of social gatherings, often referred to as the Party of the Century.
The Dining Room of Katharine Graham's
Georgetown residence.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
A pair of George III dining tables with a collection of George I and II walnut chairs furnish the double Dining Room.  The armorial porcelain is circa 1815 Flight, Barr & Barr.  These items are among those inherited from the collections of her mother, Agnes Meyer.
A circa 1775 George III giltwood mirror
and a circa 1810 to 1815 Empire
Denuelle Porcelaine de Paris centerpiece
in the Dining Room.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
The red Living Room is also said to be evocative of the taste of Agnes Meyer.  It was still as decorated by Billy Baldwin when this writer worked at the house, and quite charming though slightly worn twenty five years later.  (The tied-back silk curtains in the west-facing bay window were tattered in the folds, but noticeable only when the Secret Service required them closed during a visit by President Regan).  The curtains were more-or-less reproduced in an early 1990s redecoration by Nancy Pierrepont who also introduced the striped upholstery fabric.
The Living Room as it appeared
photographed by Derry Moore
for Architectural Digest.
The Library also essentially kept the Billy Baldwin decoration, complimenting the paintings by Morris Louis and Diego Rivera.
The eastern half of the Library.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
The western half of the Library.
Photo from HORST INTERIORS, 1973, via
Style Court
The Master Bedroom.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
Mrs. Graham's bedroom was among the areas decorated in the mid-1980s by Albert Hadley assisted by Gary Hagar.  In addition to the Entrance Hall and some Guest Rooms, they also decorated Mrs. Graham's Study in anticipation for her retirement from the Washington Post Company and the writing of her memoirs.  (Her book PERSONAL HISTORY was published in 1997 and received rave reviews;  it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998).
Katharine Graham's Study.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
My architectural contributions involved improvements to the Entrance Hall, Master Bedroom, Study, and a Packing Room (not shown) for which I designed built-in fittings to allow the steaming/pressing of clothes and packing/unpacking of luggage for Mrs. Graham's frequent travels.
A recent view of the house from the sidewalk.
Photo from Washington Social Diary.
Katharine Graham died in 2001 from the head trauma she suffered after falling on a sidewalk in Boise, Idaho.  She is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery across the street from her former home.  Mark D. Ein, owner of Kastle security company and the tennis team The Washington Kastles, bought the house in 2002 for $8 million.  At last report, he never moved in and the house has been vacant more than ten years.