Nick and Nora were here
We see the back of a lovely girl (long dark hair, late 20s) as she faces the elevator doors. She is wearing Prada, Chanel, or Gucci—maybe all three. At her right stiletto, her constant companion, Lola, a bouncy Chihuahua wearing, by the way, a Hermes-logoed silk ribbon, perfectly tied around her little neck. Whoosh. Elevator doors open. Camera follows girl and dog from behind as they sashay down a dark paneled hallway with dark-patterned carpet. The lighting is low. They reach a set of imposing, dark-paneled double doors. Girl fumbles for key in vintage handbag. Click. Turn. Push.
Put down your popcorn: Kim Schlegel has come home. Okay, there’s no camera—and this is no movie. But, there is a Kim. There is a Lola. (The Hermes ribbon: that’s real.) And there is definitely a stage set of a place where the two live, high about Turtle Creek Boulevard. It is a glamorous pad, complete with a (real) double-door entry; a sexy, cave-like, dark chocolate-brown front hall; and a sweeping, side-to-side living/dining space filled with French ‘40s furniture, a baby-grand piano, a dangly capiz-shell chandelier and all manner of glamour. Oh, and the view: full of glass walls framing a panoramic vista over the Frank Lloyd Wright theater, across other glittering high-rises and as far north as the eye can see. Come fly with me, indeed. This is the apartment of your movie dreams, filled with Cinemascope, Panavision—that works. A terribly swish place that The Thin Man’s elegant Nick and Nora Charles would love.
Good luck wrestling it from Schlegel. High-rise living suits the owner of RSVP Soiree (a party rentals and invitations company) and soon-to-be authoress (her first entertaining book, The Pleasure of Your Company, from Gibbs Smith publishers, makes its debut this October) just fine, thank you. “It’s so easy,” she says, “and there is always someone around to sign for packages or check on you. I feel so secure.” When Beau Justin Whitman even hints at maybe finding a nice little town house for them to share one day, Schlegel tells him, “I am not moving out of here unless you can supply three valets, a concierge and a doorman!”
The 27-year-old Schlegel rented the 2,400-square-foot apartment for a year before signing the deed, then called on decorator Jan Showers to set the stage for a busy life. The two had worked together on Schlegel’s former apartment at the Terrace House and on her office at RSVP Soiree. “I already knew that I liked Jan’s style,” Schlegel says of Showers’ glam-goddess rooms shot with French modernity, “and I knew that she understood my style and what I was after.” Showers couldn’t wait to get her hands on the new project. “I was in love with this space from the second I saw it.”
But first, a little editing. The 1980s built-ins and burgundy marble: Cut! Pared-down surfaces and reconfigured rooms” Action! Walls get pushed around here and there to open and clarify the space and a former bar and closet become a tiny media lounge with a wall-mounted, flat-screen TV. With a freshened kitchen, a bedroom converted to an office and an enlarged entry hall, Showers and Schlegel turned DeMille and Dietrich working together (“It’s hilarious,” Showers says, “Kim and I know what each other is going to say”) to prop the place with a mix of new and old, French and American, pink and mink.
The production worked, and now Schlegel has a glam-girl lair to go with her glam-girl life. Books galore: tiaras, Cartier, Manolo Blahnik, fine art (Schlegel packs an Honors degree in art history from SMU). Snapshots everywhere: Kim and Fergie, Kim with George and Barbara Bush, Kim with Laura Bush. But this is no surreal soundstage. It really is a functioning place where the cell phone tweets, Lola yaps, the housekeeper whisks about the double doors swing open frequently—with walk-ons by The Hair Colorist, The Sister, The Delivery Man, even The Decorator. And if you squint just so, you can almost see Nick and Nora over by that cart of Bombay gin, against that Turtle Creek backdrop, slinging barbs and having a very swell time.
Almost as if on cue, Schlegel queries no on in particular: “Don’t we need some music in here?” She disappears, and in seconds a song begins to bounce through the apartment.
Yep, it’s Come Fly with Me.