A quality common to the decorators' work featured this week and last, is that of timelessness. Many of the rooms, in their own ways, have seemed as contemporary today as they were when first published. And so it is with these rooms from the mid-1980s designed for himself by Kalef Alaton.
Mr Alaton bought a five-apartment building in West Hollywood, gutted and remodeled it into these bewitching rooms, spacious, light-filled, simple in form and finish - unarticulated white stucco walls, concrete and terra-cotta tile floor - all connected by an elegant spiral staircase, and filled with a resplendent and personal collection of fine and decorative arts.
It is a truism to say that space is a luxury, and here space is used lavishly and luxuriously. Not for Alaton, the filling of every corner, the layering of surfaces with bric-a-brac: rather a considered placement of well-curated objects and furniture, allowing the eloquence of negative space, and combining elements of theatre, display, scholarship and hospitality.
The list of valued and valuable objects in the living room is long: a 17th century Flemish painting Battle of Ostend; cane-backed Régence fauteuil; Régence giltwood mirror; needlepointed Régence bergere; a pair of signed Louis XV fauteuils; gilt Louis XV table with faux-marbre top; 19th century Baccarat chandelier; Regency armchairs; a lacquer and gilt Chinese table; famille-verte vase; Japanese lacquer table; 2nd century marble bust; an Apulian volute Krater; Sino-Tibetan deer, and a Qing ginger jar on a Portuguese chest-on-stand.
Alaton's bedroom, with two tester beds is, in its own quieter way, as curated at the living room: a Turkish carpet; a modern leather-clad chaise longue; a limestone fragment of a horse head backed by a Indian brass door; book-filled bookcases and a mahogany Regency table with a gilded winged-seahorse base on which stand pre-Columbian objects and Cypriot vases.
The master bathroom, below, as spacious as the rest of the house, has a sitting-area with a Russian armchair and two tufted chairs, a 19th century Italian carved marble mirror, Italian bronzes, Asian and European ivories and Roman glass bottles.
Often where there are many objects of history and pedigree there's an atmosphere of dusty suffocation but here in Kalef Alaton's home because of uncluttered space and freely-admitted light, that feeling is lacking.
A year after these pictures were published, Kalef Alaton died of complications of AIDS died at the age of 49.
For no reason other than I fancy it, today's cocktail is a Negroni - my aperitif before dinner with friends tonight at Atlanta's latest bistro.
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz gin
Put all in an old-fashioned glass with ice and stir. Garnish, if you must with an orange slice.
Photographs by John Vaughn from Architectural Digest, May 1988.
List of furniture, etc., quoted from text by Michael Webb.