Mark and Susan Laracy on collecting, ageing, and changing tastes
We started collecting in our early forties, facilitated by the success of the perfume company we founded after Mark’s separation by firing from corporate life. The premise of Parfums de Coeur, “Designer quality fragrances not designer prices”, proved powerful and enduring...we sold it after thirty years of success and profitable growth.
Early on we acquired a noble white brick colonial on nine acres in New Canaan, Connecticut. Designer-magician, Albert Hadley transformed it into a place of great comfort, luxury, and beauty and he became part of our life for twenty six years. We collected American antiques, furniture and art, John Brewster, Amni Phillips, Goddard Townsend. We wanted to project a life of conservative comfort, solid old money—of course, nothing could have been further from the truth!
“Timing IS everything!"
Come 2005, we were empty nesters, Susan decided to depart Connecticut and move to New York City. We wanted change, foreign films, newness. We found a co-op at One Fifth Avenue, starting a long running love affair with Greenwich Village.
In early 2007 we sold our antiques collection and New Canaan house, talk about blessed timing!
Ours proved a familiar collecting arc; brown furniture and folk art gave way to mid-century modern furniture and contemporary art. We were tired of dark; we wanted color, newness, more space! In 2010 a Greenwich Village townhouse came our way. We had never stopped buying and collecting and we were always redecorating!
We continue changing our lives. We are building a new mid-century modern style house in Beverly Hills. Again, we wanted change, to be near our only grandchild, in La La land. We will be bi-coastal—New York and Los Angeles—straight urban energy full on.
Another motivation was realizing Mark has proven unable to maintain three houses; just too, too much. So we are selling our Florida home at the Bears Club and our 1917 Summer home in Weekapaug, Rhode Island.
By now you see the contents of those two houses will not easily fit into one new smaller house, thus our parting ways with these long cherished objects.
On one hand we’re sorry to see these go. However, these memories will always be with us, the wins and misses at so many auctions, Albert Hadley’s special eye on our handful of houses, most of all what a lucky and mostly happy life we have had together. We are passing these on, and, dear reader, we hope these bring you the same pleasures and good fortune we have so enjoyed.
P.S. A mild antidote to the above admitted orgy of fat cat disease: we regularly give to and support Harlem Children’s Zone and KIPP. This, and our two wonderful sons, is what we are most proud of...