A Rare Glimpse Inside the Rienzi Kitchen

Sunday was a big day for decorative arts fans, John Staub die-hards, and nosy Nellies of all stripes. Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston-owned house/museum in River Oaks, hosted a rare "Upside Down/Inside Out" day, in which certain furniture pieces and areas of the house that are usually off-limits were opened to the public. A healthy crowd turned out to gawk at the European decorative arts and peek inside the cupboards, snack on cookies and chase kids on a scavenger hunt around the landscaped grounds.

But by far the most exciting part for Art Attack was the kitchen. Usually off-limits to visitors, the kitchen eschews the continental grandeur of the rest of the house, in favor of the 1950s style of the era in which it was built. Enlarged in 1972 as part of the Hugo Neuhaus addition to the building, it's all glass-front cabinets and stainless steel countertops (a la the Eames House). Add a wall of windows facing an indoor sunroom and a collection of vintage cookbooks and entertaining magazines, and it's not too strong to say we were smitten. Fortunately, the Rienzi docents were kind enough to let us whip out a cell phone and snap some pics, so you won't have to wait 'till the next "Upside Down/Inside Out" day to catch a glimpse.

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Jenny Staff Johnson