Now, 18 years later, I’m still in love with The Manor, and still pleased with choosing Italian limestone, antique marble fireplaces, Dutch cabinets, and more.
I’m all for haute couture and most of haute cuisine.
In fact, I was so taken by the fashion that I discovered, in France, the term “haute couture” is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris. The rules state that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves” of the label haute couture. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945 and updated in 1992.
I’ve been at fashion events where I’ve heard someone scolded for using the term “haute couture” inappropriately for non-dressmaking activities, such as fine art, music, and more.
I never thought about “Haute Living” until I saw the magazine. I remember thinking, “Would I qualify? Would a commission allow my house in this category?” Better than a commission, I was asked by Haute Living Publisher Seth Semilof to write a by-lined piece about my house.
I thought I’d be way ahead of the “haute living” curve because, although my home is referred to as “The Manor” (or “Spelling Manor”), I originally referred to it with a French phrase, L’Oiseau, because of its shape like the wing of a bird.
The shape actually disguises the size of the house, although that was not my intention. I admit it. My house consists of 56,500 square feet, but the ultimate compliment I hear is, “Oh, Candy…it doesn’t look that big.”
My intention was always to create a home, a place we could live comfortably, entertain, a house that would be useful as well as a fantasy world, but most of all for it to be our home. My children wanted a ranch—in the middle of Los Angeles. Although my husband produced such legendary television programs as Fantasy Island and Dynasty—shows that would later be described as “aspirational”—we did not have the ability to build a ranch in the middle of our city.