Radiator Building—Night by Georgia O’Keeffe.
Lance Lawson, owner (with Jim Wetzel) of Space519, has all sorts of thoughts on stylish living. After all, the whole idea behind his and Wetzel’s “refined general store” is editing down the best of the best in multiple lifestyle categories. What better person to finish this week’s sentences?
1. Every home should have a dog. Nothing makes a house feel more familiar or comfortable than a pet. Dogs help you keep your home real. If you can’t have a pet, then bring one home in a painting or on porcelain. The wall going up the stairs at our house is dedicated to paintings, prints and photographs of animals (an idea borrowed from Brooke Astor). It makes me smile every time I climb the stairs.
2. If I could live in any movie or TV setting it would be the great black-and-white screwball comedies of the 1930s. The larger-than-life Art Deco sets of My Man Godfrey, Cary Grant’s and Irene Dunne’s fantastic personal style and witty repartee in The Awful Truth, and the thrill of a great road trip in It Happened One Night all stir something in me. To me, glamour taken not so seriously is a great style philosophy.
3. My current libation of choice is a chelada—Tecate and fresh lime juice poured over ice, with a salted rim—at Big Star. It makes me feel like I am on vacation in Mexico during even the coldest Chicago night.
4. The most aesthetically pleasing place I have visited recently was The Lion, a terrific new restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village. The food is great, but the setting is fantastic. They remodeled a vintage restaurant space with the perfect measure of modernity and old-school charm. The dining room is a two-story atrium with huge windows looking out on a garden. The walls are covered with original art and black-and-white archival newspaper photos, all hung gallery-style with certain pieces overlapping, creating this amazing effect.
5 . The ideal music for a dinner party is on theme. I’m not talking theatrics or costumes—I mean coordinated music, food, and cocktails. Next weekend, my friend and I are hosting a fried chicken and waffles dinner party at my house. You can bet we’ll serve lots of brown liquor and have old-school country music playing.
6. The best book I’ve read lately is Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe by Laurie Lisle. I picked it up when I was last home visiting my parents in Santa Fe. O’Keeffe’s dedication and determination are awe-inspiring. And it is fascinating to learn more about the years she spent painting in New York during the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. We all associate her with Southwestern themes and life in New Mexico. But her cityscapes are lesser-known treasures, especially Radiator Building—Night.