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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A decorating family tree

Tech entrepreneur Trevor Traina's San Francisco house of rainbow splendor is unfurled in all of its recession-thumbin' glory in the newest issue of Elle Decor. What you may not know is Traina's famous and semi-famous relations include stepmother Danielle Steel (yes, that one), social fixture father John and professional muse half-sister Vanessa. The family shares an affinity for pricey real estate and the carcasses of dead beasties.

 The living room sofa is a Michael Taylor reproduction.

 The bespoke wallcovering is made of one bajillion peacock feathers. 
Give or take.

The master bedroom sitting area. Faux bois et framboise.

The recently deceased John Traina was a vitner and old school playboy who, several years after his divorce from Steel, bought a historic San Francisco firehouse and, um, let his freak flag fly.

 These photos have earned a permanent place of honor 
on Z Gallerie's office inspiration boards.

Schlock authoress Danielle Steel owns this 55-room Beaux Arts stone heap in San Francisco, a Paris apartment filled with taxidermy (Deyrolle delivers) and a surprisingly low-key California beach house, below.

 Don't let the silvered shake serenity fool you...

If Michael Taylor had a dalliance with Ettore Sottsass 
on the sales floor of Kirkland's, it would look something like this.

 The zebra from Daddy's landing found a new home.

Vanessa Traina is a freelance stylist, muse to fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra and a Chanel global ambassador. Which is to say, she gets paid to wander the globe until she finds her Mr. Right and can be photographed in Vogue modeling her Chanel wedding gown and a Joseph Altuzarra trousseau.

Monsieur Tigre wonders what he ever did to earn such karmic retribution.

Trevor Traina house photos: Simon Upton for Elle Decor.
John Traina house photos: via The Wall Street Journal.
Danielle Steel house photos: John Bedell for The Wall Street Journal.
Vanessa Traina apartment photos: via Harper's Bazaar.


NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

I'm so glad to see that you have not completely given up blogging! :)

Martha said...

Fantabulous post - you hit it on the head! Have missed you tremendously.

Blue Fruit said...

I think I lost consciousness when I got to the peacock feather room....

Kate said...

This post has set the precedent for my week. I have run the emotional gamut and am not sure why I have a tear in my eye.
May the rest of the week live up to such high expectations!

Teri said...

How can I get a gig as a muse?

And, why is it that people with horrible taste have the money to decorate? What I could do with a small amount of the money they have spent. Without harming a single animal!

Teri said...

Ok, hold the phones- the peacock feather room is the library! How can anyone get any reading done in such a busy room with such uncomfortable chairs?

My Interior Life said...

Okay, this was so informative on so many levels. I had no idea. When I read the story in Elle Decor, I was rather horrified by their blase attitudes toward their crazy wealth. I wonder how does one become a muse and global ambassador? I guess just have oodles of money, right? Wow. Speechless. Thanks, Raina.

David said...

What's with all the raspberry colored upholstery?

And that firehouse would be super, after it was emptied out.

La Boheme said...

And I was just so happy that I secured A ROOM in SF. But all is good, peacock on the walls isn't my dream home anyway.....More importantly though, glad to see you blogging :)

Karena said...

Who wants the job of gluing the peacock feathers or moving the taxidermy!? Too much!


Art by Karena

alison@MLHP said...

Now, this is when I get bitter about people having more money than God. DO SOMETHING BENEFICIAL with your fundage, people!

As an aside: Christian Louboutin claims Danielle Steel is his #1 client. I'm sure there's a Saudi Princess somewhere who is pissed.

Kathy said...

R...I love this post! have a real gift...thanks for sharing it...k

The Down East Dilettante said...

"Deyrolle delivers"


Modern Country Lady said...

My former mother in law would have gotten on just peachy with the deceased John- her Holland Park pad was practically identical to his firehouse... I guess you need atleast one nut bag in each generation.Champagne, darling ! :-)

Jessie said...

I love this post! Raina, you always deliver some of the best lines.

P/S: Come by and enter my giveaway!


Elizabeth said...

If anyone is interested, there is a book written by Traina's former stepbrother, cleverly titled, "Oh, The Glory of it All." It really skewers DeDee Wilsey, Traina's mother and San Francisco social doyenne.

Alcira Molina-Ali said...


If I recall, the dining room-cum-orangerie in the young Traina couples' pad is beautylicious.
The peacock feathered hammam/meditation room, not so much.
I'm still in convulsions over the hilarity of the Vanessa Traina qualifiers. After all, wandering the globe in search of Mr. Right is a pastime I'm vaguely familiar with.
Stellar post -- cuz there's nothing heavily moneyed eccentrics can't do.
Cheers and so glad you're back with a bang, Alcira

Nutbird said...

Re: Eat the rich. Most people these days make their own money. If they make it, they are entitled to spend it anyway they want. Spending it is better than keeping it under the mattress. (the multiplier effect) Most people of wealth and accomplishment use decorators, so blame the decorators. Danielle Steele's twenty something year old son died a tragic death several years ago. She is entitled to buy as many shoes as she wants. Unless this happens to you, don't criticize. Ann

Margaret said...

What planet is this on..? They look like us, close enough. I wonder if they like to share?

The Down East Dilettante said...

Goodness, you pulled a Dilettante here!

Run over to All Things Ruffernian for pictures of the firehouse in John Dickinson's day. So clucking brilliant.

Raina Cox said...

Nutbird - Steel's eldest son had bipolar disorder and committed suicide at age 19. Steel owns over 6000 pairs of Louboutin shoes. Imagine what could have been accomplished if she had donated even half of that money to mental health care and research.

mdrnpntofvu said...

Ha!! Down East, I noticed it too. Ironically, I was literally JUST looking at the Ruffernian post and noted the stove.

Love it!! I was shocked!!

Many thanks for the post ITLSF.

Now if I can find one of the animal paw tables.....

Bromeliad said...

That was some kind of place all right. Had no idea of the back story. Fascinating.

wellfedfred said...

Late commenting but had to leave a thank you for this post. Especially for the line about the sales floor of Kirkland's. Oh, and mustn't forget "Deyrolle delivers." Thanx again.