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Glamour Shots for the Narcissistic Homeowner Set?


THERE has always been a certain status attached to owning a home that is featured in a magazine. And a certain pleasure, for a homeowner, in leaving the evidence lying casually on the coffee table.

After Julia and Malcolm Butler renovated their 1852 town house in Savannah, Ga., left, they commissioned a photographer to shoot it, “much in the way you might have portraits of your children taken,” Ms. Butler said.
But now there’s another way to flaunt the importance of your house, and your affection for it: hire a well-known photographer yourself to immortalize it. To some, that’s even better than a magazine photo spread, because the results can be displayed in entry halls and over fireplaces, just like any piece of art, or bound in a book.

“We fetishize homes now, in a way that we never used to,” said Todd Eberle, a photographer whose work appears in Vanity Fair and in prominent museums. He has been hired by many celebrities, including Martha Stewart and Bill Clinton, to document their homes and offices. His clients, he said, want him both to memorialize their homes as they really are, and at the same time to “take it to a different level, and somehow improve upon the reality.”

...One client is Laura Bohn, 67, an interior designer with offices in New York. She hired Mr. Kaufman to photograph her country house in Pennsylvania and two apartments in New York, and said she regrets not having her homes photographed sooner. She and her husband have moved eight times, and though pictures of many of her homes have been published in design magazines, she said it’s not the same because a magazine doesn’t have the staying power, or the beauty, of a glossy hand-bound book.

“Ultimately, I’d love to have one big coffee table of all my homes, divided into chapters,” she said. “It preserves that moment in time and in your life, and it’s a way to keep those memories alive.”



Suzy said...

Maybe it is a little narcisistic, but I actually kinda like the idea. Not to show off to others - but more of a record of your life.

S. said...

Mmmm, not so much. Stop recording it all, and just live it.

drwende said...

These are the articles that leave me feeling faintly unclean for caring about decor.

Anonymous said...

I would totally do this, but NEVER admit it to the NYTimes.

(and, like other unclean art forms, I would keep the photographs under a mattress).

Molly said...

I totally understand why someone would want to have their house professionally photographed, if they could afford it; but displaying the pictures seems a little silly. Reminds me of Paris Hilton wearing a t-shirt with her face on it. My boyfriend's parents, who live in Pennsylvania, have glamour shots of the PA house on the walls of their condo in Florida. I could tolerate it a bit better if the house had any character or architectural merit, but sadly it's the worst kind of generic late 90's McMiniMansion developer schlock--but they're so PROUD of it. Then again though, they also named the house. It's a brand new house, on about two acres of land next to a golf course in a former mining town in Pennsylvania, and it has a two-word name which is proudly emblazoned on a pillar at the foot of the driveway. They're nice people but holy crap, is that pretentious.

Sparkie said...

I like the idea of the coffee table book with all the places you've lived. But do it yourself. There's something icky about having a professional photog come in, no matter how good he/she can make your abode look. It smacks of a "decorno" (ie. porno) shot of the bad kind. Do it yourself and send it off to one of those book sites. I would love to see some of my old apartments as the visual memory fades..

Jules said...

I don't want my house photographed, but I am saving my pennies to have PVE Design illustrate it! My husband absolutely loves our house (I do too, but he's obsessed) and I know he would be thrilled.

Rebecca said...

Oh, the class of new money.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Once you get to know Old Money, you find they're just as tacky.

pve design said...

you give me great inspiration to illustrate homes for clients as well as interiors!
thanks jules for saving to have one of your very own
pve design illustrations!

Mary said...

If I did it, the album would have the title "When the House is Clean.. it looks like this" and I would leaf through it to be inspired to dust and put away junk.

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