Decades before the press became enamored by Princess Diana, there was a romantic British royal couple who had an even more engaging story. It starts with the dashingly handsome Edward VIII, king of the world's most powerful empire. Edward decided to marry Wallis Simpson, a bewitching American divorcée, but British law did not permit such a marriage. Against determined opposition from the Royal Family and the British government, Edward held steadfast and abdicated from the throne of England in a dramatic radio address on December 11, 1936. The young King spoke to a stunned world “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.” The couple married in France six months later and lived in exile for the rest of their lives, mostly in Paris but also in the Bahamas and New York. With Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen as adviser and guide, the Duchess set about designing a regal home that mixed French antiques with English needlepoint rugs to remind the Duke of the English palaces he had left behind. She scoured the antique shops of Paris and hired the finest artisans to create the rooms featured below.
Duke of Windsor
There is nothing more romantic and rejuvenating than a bedroom with a fireplace seating area made cozy by a luxurious decorative rug. The moment the fireplace is lit, it's glow immediately puts us at ease and creates a feeling of connection and contentment. This year the icy grip of winter has extended farther south and lasted longer than at any time I can remember. It is sensible to start think of creating stylish, romantic and cozy retreats from the frigid outdoors. The 14 stylish bedrooms with fireplace seating areas and cozy decorative rugs offer lots of inspiration from the world's top decorators.
Thomas Jayne Studio,
Hernry and Zervudachi,
Tucker and Marks,
Michael S. Smith,
In the 18th and 19th centuries Aubusson rugs were designed by artists some of whom were established painters for the King of France. Because Aubusson rugs are designed by fine artists, they have highly sophisticated color palettes. This makes them easy to decorate with as long as you keep these guidelines at the back of your mind:
Michael S. Smith,
A common mistake in decorating a mountain home is to make it look too 'mountainy', says White House interior designer Michael S. Smith. “So many places are decked out with red plaids and antler chandeliers, it’s like walking into a Christmas sweater," Smith told Architectural Digest. Smith is critical of mountain and beach homes that feel impersonal, “A lot of vacation homes feel unlayered, as if they don’t belong to anyone in particular. My goal was to impart personality to the decor, so it feels like a living home rather than a place that gets closed up for a large part of the year.”
The 22 ski and mountain home interiors featured below avoid decorating clichés, and exude a sophistication that reflects the urbanity of the owners. Designed by Smith and other great decorators such as Bill Sofield, David Easton, Markham Roberts and Stephen Sills, these homes have beautiful decorative rugs, custom made furniture, antiques and fine art that reflect the home's mountain setting as well as the history of the land.
Michael S. Smith,
Lorenzo Castillo widely considered Europe's "It" interior designer, was asked by a client to modernize a palace in Seville while staying faithful to it's history. The palace was built during Spain's golden age, the 16th century, when the nation ruled the trade routes to the New World. Today's post will show how Castillo used beautiful fabrics, antique furniture and classsic decorative rugs to create interiors that combine 21st century comfort with sophisticated historical touches.