Once you reach a certain stage in life, less is decidely more. Thus, as former Mayor Bob Lanier, 87, and Port Commissioner Elyse Lanier look to the future, they are taking a step toward downsizing, having sold their 13,386-square-foot River Oaks home in late March.
"After being on three floors for all these years, it will be nice to be back on one level," Elyse said as she contemplated their move later this month to Inwood Manor. "You downsize at a certain time and this is that time."
Even though the Laniers are combining two apartments high above street level, the couple has accumulated far too many riches in their 27 years of marriage to fit into their new home. So for two days next week, Judy Robinson Estate Sales will be handling a wealth of furnishings, artwork, silver and porcelains from the house and a fashionista's dream of fab clothing from Elyse's Best Dressed Hall of Fame cache.
Their new quarters are being created by the famed "prince of chintz" designer Mario Buatta.
"I'm cleaning out the closets. I mean I just don't have room to fit it all," she said.
The Lanier sale will take place at the Houston Design Center, Suite 262, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 9 and May 12.
If you've ever been in the mansion overlooking River Oaks Country Club golf course, you've seen the wealth of antique furnishings (the to-die-for English mahogany dining table and Chippendale chairs), the Chinese Chippendale tea table and the Eastlake secretary bookcase, all going on the block.
Various rugs including Heriz, Aubusson and Kerman will be offered as will antique music boxes, table linens, Dresden porcelains and sterling tea services. Items in the sale range from the priceless to the whimsical — a set of antique Limoges dinnerware, two baseballs autographed by Roger Clemens and a handmade German cigar box in the shape of a hunting lodge.
For those who have envied Elyse's collection of designer handbags and designer eyeglass frames, this will be your chance. With limited closet space in the new apartment, Elyse is parting with handbags by Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Alexandra Knight. Alligator pumps by Manolo Blahnik, couture clothing from Yves St. Laurent, Bill Blass and Prada will be on the block.
While Houston's former first lady is saying goodbye to some of her fine jewelry and costume pieces, don't expect to find anything from her collection of David Webb. She says she is definitely keeping those works of art.
Of course, the Laniers aren't selling everything. They are maintaining a number of favorite pieces for their new quarters that are being created by the famed "prince of chintz" designer Mario Buatta.
The couple's River Oaks mansion with six bedrooms and nine bathrooms has been of interest since it was first put on the market almost two years ago with an asking price of $12 million. In December, the price was reduced to $6,995,000. A real estate source said the house sold for just over $6 million.