PaperCity Magazine

May 2018- Dallas

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had a lot of parties." The famous duo converted the screened-in porch into a gallery and filled it with art. A glamorous house to be sure, but the Davenports' first month in it was bittersweet. After moving to the house in November 2016, George Michael died unexpectedly in London on Christmas Day. Because the house was the last- known Dallas address for Michael, a news crew set up in the front yard, and a reporter from the Daily Mail knocked at the door, all within hours of his death. Fans left flowers and cards in the front. "The fact that Kenny and George once lived here makes the house even more special," Brooke says. B rooke Davenport's passion for collecting began while at boarding school at Le Rosey in Switzerland. As a high school student, she often traveled to Tunisia and Morocco, bringing back porcelains and Turkish rugs. These days, the family is constantly on the move, offering plenty of opportunities to seek and find treasures. "We travel quite a bit, and Blake used to spend a lot of time in Beijing and Europe for business," she says. "He was collecting Asian porcelains before we even met." Locally, Brooke finds exotic gems at The Mews, Mecox, Nick Brock Antiques, and decorator Michelle Nussbaumer's emporium, Ceylon et Cie; in L.A., she hits Hollywood at Home for accessories and JF Chen for items sui generis. A zebra- hide rug and black-and-white photographs of exotic animals taken on safari remind Brooke of her childhood family ranch outside Austin, where kudzu, zebra, and other exotic game animals roamed. "You'll find something from every part of the world inside my house now," she says. For decades, she has collected sterling silver, including Buccellati ashtrays shaped like sunflowers, clover, and leaves. "I always have them out, and I like to group them together for impact," she says. "I also collect as many Tiffany silver and blue-enamel boxes as I can get my hands on." Books on fashion, art, entertaining, and lifestyle are everywhere, and a custom coffee table in the living room was designed to hold dozens of her biggest Taschen and Assouline tomes. "A coffee table with books makes a room," she says. "People appreciate my attention to detail, especially my little treasures." Her many special collections may turn heads, but the generous scale of her furniture and art steals the show. "My mother had a great eye, and she always told me, 'When in doubt, go large,'" she says. "Big pieces fill a room and make an impact. It's actually more cozy that way." In the living room, a pair of hefty rattan Ralph Lauren chairs balance the immense coffee table, and an enlarged, zoomed-in portrait of Brooke taken by Steve Wrubel covers a wall. The photograph, with its gridded treatment, was inspired by a photograph the French designer François Catroux had made of his wife for his Paris apartment. Catroux is a friend, and she counts him among her biggest design influences. "He has a sculptural quality to his work, and he also incorporates old pieces with new, so that it tells a story," she says. Part of the story chez Davenport includes a glamorous trumeau mirror procured during Brooke's earlier, self- proclaimed French phase. It went to and from California with her, and now hangs in the dining room. A 17-foot plaster wall plaque with a classical motif once belonged to designer Kelly Wearstler and now hangs in the Davenports' gallery. In a happy coincidence, it's about the same length as the table Brooke had made for the space. Throughout the house, contemporary art increases the drama. "My eye goes for bigger pieces because they make a bigger impact in a room," she says. Brooke's favorite spot in the house is actually a cozy seating area tucked at one end of the light-drenched gallery. A small, armless sofa from The Mews and two garden stools from Design Mix Furniture in L.A. create a charming place to enjoy the sunlight, have a glass of wine with friends, or to go over design ideas in her head. "Sometimes, my husband will be talking, and he'll notice that I'm not paying attention — and he'll tell me to stop decorating," she says, laughing. "I'm considering having this sofa copied for another seating area at the other end of the gallery … a house is never finished; It takes time. There's always so much more to do." "PEOPLE APPRECIATE MY ATTENTION TO DETAIL, ESPECIALLY MY LITTLE TREASURES — Brooke Davenport 54

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