Henrietta Spencer-Churchill’s Great Georgian Style Books

Classic English InteriorsClassic English Interiors– Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is a must read author on the style of English classical decorating.  She has been in a position all her life to appreciate and develop a knowledge about quality antiques, and classical interiors, being the eldest daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough whose family home is Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

Henrietta studied at the Inchbald School of Design before forming her own highly successful Interior Design Company, Woodstock Designs in 1981.   In 1986, Henrietta formed a separate Company, Spencer-Churchill Designs producing a selection of furniture, fabrics and wallpapers and since then her international success has enabled her to establish a US design company, Spencer-Churchill Designs Inc, in 2003.

“I have always loved architecture, architectural detailing, furniture and antiques. I was lucky enough to be brought up in beautiful surroundings, and I suppose that must have had a huge influence — it sort of fed into me through a process of osmosis.” She tells 1st Dibs.  Henrietta Spencer-Churchill has become well known for her concentration in the niche area of English designs and furniture.

The first, best-selling “Classic English Interiors”,  opened up  international opportunities in North America, where she designed numerous houses in cities such as New York, Atlanta and Dallas.  Since then she has written a dozen other books about English decorating and entertaining.  Her books all follow the same theme, Regency, Georgian styles at their best, and how you can borrow the looks for yourself.  She has also teamed with Maitland-Smith to launch a furniture line, and her  latest book, The Life of the House: How Rooms Evolve, is available  now on amazon.

Quotes From Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

“Antiques can be bought Incredibly well at the moment,” she said. “It Is a shame the younger generation do not realty appreciate them and tend to think they are rather fuddy- duddy – but they should look at the quality of the way they are made In relation to a lot of new furniture from high street and chain stores- self-assembly, not built to last and expensive for what they arc. Quite frankly, I would rather have a antique chest of drawers than that, and It Is amazing what antiques you can pick up- they arc really good value. – oxfordtimes.co.uk

Quotes from Ladue News

LN: What are the most common mistakes people make when creating the interior of a large, expensive

HSC: Making the rooms too large, thus un-inviting, and having too many rooms which have the same function (i.e. for TV-watching).

LN: What do you make of ‘McMansions,’ the architectural invention designed to impress on the outside by
virtue of large scale and multiple elevations?

HSC: I think many newly built American homes can be and are very stylish. I have seen a lot of these, especially in the South around Atlanta and Dallas. But some of the pitfalls are trying to encompass too many styles within one building (i.e. a bit of Gothic, a bit of Tudor, a bit of French, etc.). which looks mismatched.

LN: Do you think it is a mistake to use modern furnishings in an older, classically styled architectural

H SC: Personally, I prefer to use antiques and furnishings suitable for the period, but this is not always possible or practical. Certainly you can use contemporary art and the odd piece of modern furniture, but I think houses benefit from being authentically furnished

Quotes From The Insider Interview:

FI- Are you driven by fashionable trends or would you describe your works as timeless?

H SC:  I am rarely driven by trends and don’t think they are as relevant to interior design as they are to fashion. Fabric and some furniture companies may see the need to follow fashion but this is less evident in buildings and architecture.

FI- What is the fundamental design tenet you always abide by?

H SC: Good scale and proportion – applied to both rooms and their contents.

Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, noted authority on using traditional style in contemporary settings, examines how the Georgian era is inspiring today’s interiors. Associated by most Americans with Colonial Williamsburg or Jefferson’s Monticello, the Georgian style confers a sense of comfortable luxury that makes any home a haven, as well as a showcase.

Proceeding room by room, she examines how updated Georgian style relates to contemporary living. In addition to the staple interior spaces such as living room, kitchen, and bedroom, the book uncovers new applications of Georgian style in such contemporary “must-haves” like home offices, media rooms, fitness rooms, and the transformation of the bath into the home spa.

Each chapter is illustrated with photographs that demonstrate the meaning of pleasing proportions and good layouts, complete with detail shots of fabric swatches, color samples, and drawings from the author’s design portfolio. A key feature is the focus on design flow to bring consistency to the entire home, and how to juggle spaces for the less formal, family-friendly orientation that is the hallmark of contemporary living. Applying classic design principles to indoor/outdoor lifestyles and eco-friendly living is also discussed.

Classic English Interiors– Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Classic English Interiors is a sumptuous showcase for a distinctive style that is now as popular in Manhattan as in the country houses of England.

The book is divided into two parts. The first half reveals the private and the public side of Blenheim Palace, her ancestral home, explores the country houses of Oxfordshire from which Lady Henrietta drew much of her inspiration and features selections from Woodstock Designs portfolio.

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is the elder daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, whose family home is Blenheim Palace. Her interest in interior design began when at the age of 16 she traveled to study fine art and languages in Florence and Paris. Later she returned to England to finish her formal studies at the world-famous Inchbald School of Design.

Her fascinating text reveals life behind the scenes in some of Britain’s most beautiful country houses. Hundreds of specially commissioned photographs show she translated the confident sweep of classic English style to produce homes of great elegance; comfortable family spaces; fresh, simple schemes and smart, stylish ones.


By Amazon Queen- A book of grace and perfect taste. A good book to come back to when you need another idea… end tables, curtains, carpets, furniture placement…… lovely ideas…ideas that can work in a small apartment, modest colonial or grand house….. it’s the 1 book in my collection of 50 or more interior design books that I would NOT sell… it is my favorite….


By – A Customer- Classic English Interiors is a great book depicting the more upper-scale homes/interiors of England. The photos are exceptionally good too. If you are contemplating using English style in your decorating scheme, this is surely a good book of information and photos.


By bas bleu-Yes, Classic English Interiors showcases huge homes that many of us will never live in and probably would not want to live in due to the sheer practicality of cleaning and upkeep of such a large home.But, Classic English Interiors is also Hugely Practical for Every Style, because no matter what your style is there is genius within these pages, inspiration for furniture arrangement in all your rooms. Wonderful color advice and examples of how to combine colors for the greatest overall impact. Important examples of juxtaposition within styles and scale.The book ends with an extensive lexicon of many and varied tips/ideas for walls, floors, window dressing, coffee tables and footstools, fireplaces, collections, storage, camouflage, kitchens, dining areas, bed and bedding , bathrooms, lighting, flowers and plants.I reach for this book often. When I need to bring myself back in balance it restores the clarity of my style to me, because I like so many different styles I sometimes cloud my own perspective, this book gets me back on track. One of my top 5 favorite decorating books.I have had this book for about 3 and a half years now I bought it in December 2009, that is a good testimony to how much I use this book.


Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, noted authority on using traditional style in contemporary settings, examines how the Georgian era is inspiring today’s interiors.

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill said, “The Georgian period, in my view, was the most influential and enlightening architectural eras and it is one that has stood the test of time. Governed by classical principles of design, it is a style that is immensely pleasing to the eye.”

Each chapter is illustrated with photographs that demonstrate the meaning of pleasing proportions and good layouts, complete with detail shots of fabric swatches, color samples, and drawings from the author’s design portfolio.

Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Classic Interior Design: Using Period Features in Today’s Home

This beautifully illustrated guide from top interior designer Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill reveals the best of architectural and furnishing detail from England and America’s most enduring decorating
styles of the last 400 years.

A companion volume to her 2001 Classic Design Styles, this book focuses on architectural details from seven distinct historical eras and identifies the vital details of each period. Carved stone fireplaces, marble columns, tapestry wall hangings, eighteenth-century windows, and plain and painted plaster wall finishes, as well as cushions, tassels, and curtains are all detailed with an eye to applying them to our homes today.

With in-depth historical surveys of each period, illustrated feature by feature, the book is
filled with beautiful photographs and hundreds of creative ideas accompanied by insider tips, practical advice, and inspiration from one of the world’s top interior designers.

Spencer-Churchill combined painted paneling and antique furniture in a grand Regency-style bedroom in Northamptonshire.

Feature On Henrietta Spencer-Churchill From 1st Dibs

Feature On Henrietta Spencer-Churchill From 1st Dibs

My space: Blenheim Palace’s Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill- Interior decorator Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill reveals her favourite space in Blenheim Palace, her family home, to Maria Fitzpatrick- The Telegraph

Blenheim Palace- Vanity Fair- 9 Pictures

Photos: Inside Blenheim Palace- The sprawling home of the Dukes of Marlborough for more than three centuries, Blenheim encompasses 187 rooms—from the sumptuous reception halls to the equally magnificent private quarters. Herewith, a virtual tour of Blenheim’s grandeur.

A Look behind the book – Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living – See Kevin Sharkey’s Post with more pictures from this book

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Classic Design Styles is a beautifully illustrated chronology of European and American period styles from the medieval to the end of the nineteenth century. Top interior designer, Henrietta Spencer-Churchill shows us room-by-room, how elements of classic decorating styles can be adapted and used in the home today. Over 200 new photographs of previously unseen interiors accompany insider decorating tips and practical advice on how to recreate period living in your own home.

In Classic Design Styles well-known author and interior designer, Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill turns her attention to the history of American and European classic interior design traditions including: Victorian, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Colonial, Federal Style, Queen Anne, Georgian, Empire, and Arts & Crafts. Spencer-Churchill outlines the enduring decorating movements of these classic styles, explaining and illustrating the distinguishing characteristics of each one. She show how elements of these classic decorating styles can be adapted and used today to recreate period living in your own home.

The first section is a richly illustrated chronology of period styles and a guide to the history of European and American interiors from the medieval to the end of the nineteenth century. In the second section, Spencer-Churchill takes us on a room by room tour of one spectacular house decorated in each style. She explains in detail the theory and methods behind each look, how to interpret traditional styles for your own home, and the enduring value and allure of each period. Illustrating how to work with an existing room, Spencer-Churchill includes a section on architectural and furnishing details like walls, windows, fabrics and paints. Beautiful and practical, Classic Design Styles is an insider’s guide for decorators and enthusiasts of period living.

A childhood spent in the Baroque splendour of Blenheim Palace gives Henrietta Spencer-Churchill all the authority she needs to discuss classic design styles from Medieval to present day. In this gloriously illustrated work, she reveals the best of those designs, highlighting how individual elements can be incorporated into our homes today. She emphasises the importance of complementing the architectural with the furniture and furnishings to present a style easy on the eye and in keeping with the age of the house. Country cottages, palaces, manor houses and Victorian homes are all featured, accompanied by a history of the style of the time and gentle instruction on how the rooms depicted have been put together in such a way as to make them perfect partners with the house itself. With the easy availability today of reproduction furniture and mouldings, even houses which have lost touch with their origins can be restored to bring back their original feel. Architectural salvage and antique markets unearth features for those with a more perfectionist mind. But repro or original, the art, as Henrietta stipulates over and over, is to stay in tune with the home’s initial style. A high-beamed Medieval hall was not designed for a plethora of heavy Victorian furniture and artifacts. Similarly Victorian houses were not designed for minimalist tastes. Careful study of the individual designs will result in a more natural and beautiful look for your period home. Ostensibly aimed at owners of period homes, the book will also appeal to those who appreciate the finer things in life. The visual feasts of Andrew Wood contain a wealth of inspiration for those just looking for classic design ideas. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Life of the House: How Rooms Evolve

This book is almost a ‘sister’ to Georgian Style, and follows a similar table of contents. This book features lavish libraries, great halls, byways of media rooms, ‘working’ kitchens, as well as a tour of some of the greatest stately homes of England and Wales. Captions and text are informative, and she offers floor plans, a rarity in any design book.

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill’s Feature in May 2012 Architectural Digest

Henrietta discusses the extensive refurbishment of Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Henrietta discusses the extensive refurbishment of Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Russian-born fashion mogul Leon Max moves into Easton Neston and brings the English Baroque masterpiece back to award-winning life

Circa-1800 French riverscapes share the garden hall with antique marble busts depicting the four seasons; the painted benches were designed in the manner of 18th-century British architect William Kent.

Henrietta discusses the extensive refurbishment of Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Graced with a wrought-lron balustrade, the great staircase ascends from a hall outfitted with Georgian antiques, Italian Renaissance statuary, and paintings by, among others, 17th-century artist Sir Peter Lely and his studio. On the gilt-wood table stands a pair of Louis-Philippe oil lamps.

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

The master bedroom is dominated by a majestic 17th-century Brussels tapestry by Geraert van der Strecken; a late-19th-century Chinese embroidered-silk coverlet dresses the gilt-wood bed. The parcel-gilt armchairs are by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sene and the table and side chairs are 18th-century Italian; the carpet is a Louis XVI Aubusson.

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

 Stone columns crowned with 19th-century statues flank a gravel walk in the gardens.

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

The Life of the House by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill (Rizzoli).

The Life of the House by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill (Rizzoli).

Decorating Cues From Ballinlough Castle

Ballinlough Castle is just one of the many amazinginteriors that Todhunter Earle  has re-designed.  The castle was featured in the magazine Image Interiors in the Aug 2007 issue.  Ballinlough Castle is hidden in the Irish countryside, and an hour from Dublin.  The castle is home to the same family for almost 400 years.   The main part of the castle was built in the early seventeenth century.  The newer wing at Ballinlough was added by Sir Hugh O Reilly in about 1790.  The ground floor contains a large drawing room and dining room with four first-floor bedrooms.  The interior has what may be the tallest windows in a private house of this period.  The castle overlooks the woods and lake. The chimneypiece in the drawing room is identical to a Wyatt chimneypiece at Curraghmore, Co. Waterford.  Todhunter Earle has designed everything from castles to well known restaurants, yachts and nightclubs throughout Great Britain, Europe, Russia, South America and the United States. Below are some pictures from Ballinlough Castle as well as other photographs from Todhunter Earle with a Colonial Regency appearance that you can draw inspiration from for your own home.

Todhunter Earle shows us that wallpaper makes a huge impact in a home.  Bedrooms and guest rooms are ideal for wallpaper.  Consider a print that matches closely with 18th century English patterns for a bold statement.  Coordinate matching drapery and bed linens from a bolt of fabric that will work with a dramatic wallpaper print.   Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment is a perfect example of how beautiful upholstered walls, and matching linens can look.  He choose to upholster his walls with a gingham print and use the same fabric for the drapery that lined the windows.

Ballinlough Castle has a bedroom with a green floral wallpaper.  The bed linens match up beautifully with the wallpaper.  Wallpaper En Vogue 687092 is a very close match to the wallpaper found in this room.  Using the same bolt of fabric gives the room a very cohesive appearance that most 18th century English bedrooms have.

Todhunter Earle also shows the importance of collecting antique or reproduction paintings.  Ideally, if you are looking to decorate in an 18th century look, find paintings that give the impression of that time period.  Oil paintings can give your room a very formal appearance.  Very heavy frames also can make a statement on a wall as seen in many of the rooms of the Ballinlough Castle.

Frames grouped in pairs looks amazing.   Suzanne Rheinstein’s18th Century dining room is a perfect example of this look.  Gathering a number of photos that work together with consideration of the rooms colors can present a well designed space.  If the room is based around green tones, consider hand drawn sketches in orange, brown, or green for an eye catching look.  Leonardo da Vinci is famous for his hand drawn sketches. Reproduction oil paintings and sketches on ebay and Amazon make it very affordable to get an established look for your rooms.  Buy oil paintings in collections, or collect prints from books, and photocopy them and frame them for your walls.  Collect only what you truly love and adore, and you will truly love your homes rooms for years.

Regency Decorating Ideas- The Ballinlough Castle

Regency Decorating Ideas- The Ballinlough Castle

Todhunter Earle Interiors Regency Furniture and Decorating Inspiration Ideas

Regency Decorating Ideas

Todhunter Earle Interiors Regency Furniture and Decorating Inspiration Ideas

Todhunter Earle Interiors Regency Furniture and Decorating Inspiration Ideas

British Regency Furniture & Decorating - Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle

British Regency Furniture & Decorating - Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle

British Regency Furniture & Decorating - Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle

Todhunter Earle Interiors Regency Furniture and Decorating Inspiration Ideas

Todhunter Earle Interiors Regency Furniture and Decorating Inspiration Ideas

Todhunter Earle Interiors Regency Furniture and Decorating Inspiration Ideas

Regency Classic Decorating - Inspiration

The Best Books About Legendary Interior Designer Albert Hadley

Here, in his own words, is the first complete look at the career of Albert Hadley, legendary interior designer. A lavishly illustrated celebration of more than half a century of stunning interiors work, the book explores Hadley’s personal and professional influences.  Albert Hadley, with his partner of twenty-five years and fellow Hall of Fame member “Sister” Parish, is responsible for transforming some of the most remembered rooms in design.   Some of the most distinguished rooms were for Ambassador and Mrs. Henry Grunwald, former Vice President and Mrs. Albert Gore, Dr. and Mrs. Patrick Maxwell, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols, Ann Getty, William s. Paley, and Mrs. Vincent Astor.

Hadley was a student and then a professor at Parsons School of Design, where he became a close friend of Billy Baldwin and was by turn a student, friend, and colleague of Van Day Truex; to his working with Eleanor Brown at McMillen, Inc.; to his influential partnership, Parish Hadley, with the venerable Sister Parish; to his current work as the head of Albert Hadley, Inc.

This book explores Hadley’s design philosophy and process in great detail.  This book covers the rooms that made design history, from the magnificent Rosedown Plantation to the Kennedy White House to Mrs. Vincent Astor’s library. This book is enriched with dozens of new and archival images, as well as Hadley’s acclaimed sketches. Albert Hadley is the definitive, exclusive look at one of the most brilliant designers this country has ever seen.

In a New York Times article called “Master Class” interior decorator Albert Hadley has some strong words for young designers.

Here are some of quotes I found interesting:

So many young decorators today are trying to reinvent the wheel, and the results are sometimes very dubious,”  Albert Hadley says “They’re looking to do things that have never been done before. And quite often it’s done without authority, without knowledge or a background in taste.”

Growing up in Nashville, Hadley acquired a precocious thirst for high style at Saturday matinees. “I had enormous curiosity about my idols,” he recalls. “First, Joan Crawford and Garbo and Hepburn and all the beautiful guys who were their playmates.”

He’s less taken with current popular-culture icons. “Look at the Academy Awards!” he says. “Some of those girls and boys are very pretty, but they’re not stars. They don’t have a presence that anyone would wish to emulate, except the young people today who do emulate them. And it’s sad.”

And what is the net effect of all this on contemporary design? Things that strive for sophistication but somehow look exactly the same. “They’re all doing beige rooms,” he groans. Hadley wishes that young designers would take more time to educate themselves about Versailles and the twenties and “ancient history.” “It’s all about acquiring a richer vocabulary,” he says.

He also believes strongly that if you’re in a position to walk away from a client you can’t help, you should. “There’s no point creating anything beautiful for somebody who’s a slob,” he notes. “Housekeeping is part of the art of living. If you don’t have that, forget it.

Sadly, Albert Hadley passed away in 2012.  Former Parish-Hadley employee Thomas Jayne wrote an article for the  NY TIMES blog,  which included some photos that may not have seen before.  Anthony Barzilay Freund wrote a fitting tribute for 1st Dibs , as well as, Elle Decor, and VERANDA magazine has a similar tribute in their May-June, 2012, issue.


Hadley chose a flattering parchment color for the living room walls. An untitled painting by William Auerbach-Levy dominates the wall above a large 19th-century bookcase with cane shelves. On ebonized floors, two of Hadley’s signature zebra-pattern hooked rugs; nearby chairs wear a Brunschwig & Fils fabric with leopard stripes. The Directoire-style bergère is covered in a robin’s egg silk strié- Home Beautiful Magazine Picture By Fernando Bengoechea

The Résumé of Albert Hadley- Home Beautiful

The dining room has a light blue ceiling, a favorite Hadley hue for the upper plane. The American Empire mahogany armoire is topped by a Tibetan gong. Next to them are two works on paper by Connecticut artist Mark Sciarillo, also a metalworker, who made the sculpted bronze base of the living room’s coffee table. The vellum lampshade, the Eyelet gold-on-ivory wallpaper, and the chairs are all Hadley’s designs. -Home Beautiful Magazine Picture By Fernando Bengoechea

The Résumé of Albert Hadley- Home Beautiful

Albert Hadley chose a soft off-white and a pale gray for the clapboard and shutters of this 1820 Colonial in New Jersey.  

On the table that marks an imaginary “center hall” in the house, Asian wood figures surround a bronze censer. A well-polished old barrel holds the owner’s collection of new and antique canes.

In the living room, a Louis XVI fauteuil, one of two French chairs amid a sea of English and American antiques, has been newly reupholstered in a neat small check. The pair of club chairs and other seating have been slipcovered in white cotton. The combination of the white walls with pale gray painted floor seems airy and clean. Like exclamation points, black lampshades punctuate the windows at the far end of the room.

Albert Hadley’s Colonial Home- Home Beautiful

The centerpiece of a cozy seating area is an antique English settee that’s still dressed in the Schumacher chintz Albert Hadley selected when he decorated for the client the first time around, forty years ago.

“You know what I also like about having that vintage fabric on this settee? It looks really nice against all this freshness,” he said. “There are times when it works well to have something with a ratty past.”

5 Unforgettable Rooms by Designer Albert Hadley- House Beautiful

An Albert Hadley Design for Brooke Astor

Architectural Digest

New York City philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor approached Hadley to decorate her Park Avenue apartment’s library with the help of British antique curator Geoffrey Bennison.

Immediately Hadley wanted to remove the faux Louis XV wall panelling and paint a rich red lacquer with brass accents. “While it should be classical in spirit, it must also be a room to live in,” he said, adding plenty of lighting and chairs for curling up with a book.

Albert Hadley’s own home in Naples, Florida.

This mostly-white living room features pops of yellow, wood and brass that keep the eye grounded.

See scans of this home at the The Devoted Classicist Blog

Decor Arts Now Blog scanned in some of the most stunning pictures from the American Furniture and Folk Art auction from Sotheby’s featuring Albert Hadley’s furniture choices.  

See More from this post – Some Rarely Seen Albert Hadley Interiors

Decor Arts Now Blog- Some Rarely Seen Albert Hadley Interiors

Decor Arts Now Blog- Some Rarely Seen Albert Hadley Interiors

Other Books To Consider:

Parish-Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design by Christopher Petkanas, Albert Hadley and Sister Parish(Nov 1995)

Albert Hadley: Drawings and the Design Process by Mark Hampton, Mario Buatta, David Anthony Easton and Mariette Himes Jayne(2004)

Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton by David Easton and Albert Hadley(2010)

Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator by Adam Lewis and Albert Hadley(Oct 26, 2010)

Sister Parish: The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer by Bartlett, Apple Parish, Crater, Susan Bartlett and Hadley, Albert(Nov 15, 2012)

Frances Elkins: Interior Design by Stephen M. Salny and Albert Hadley(Jul 17, 2005)

The House in Good Taste by Elsie De Wolfe and Albert Hadley(Jun 12, 2004)

Sister Parish Design: On Decorating by Crater, Susan Bartlett, Cameron, Libby and Corsini Bland, Mita(Oct 27, 2009)

Sister Parish: American Style by Martin Wood(Nov 8, 2011)

Van Day Truex: The Man Who Defined Twentieth-Century Taste and Style by Adam Lewis and Albert Hadley(Oct 29, 2001)

Van Day Truex- New York Apartment- Seen On A DecorativeAffair Blog

Van Day Truex: The Man Who Defined Twentieth-Century Taste and Style 

Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton

Get some more looks from David Easton at Cote de Texas – David Easton and the Center Table

Libby Cameron For Sister Parish

 Born into a prominent New York family in 1910, Dorothy May Kinnicutt (better known as Sister – a nickname her brother gave her) spent her childhood attending elite schools, sailing yachts and going to coming-out parties. She met her husband, Henry Parish II at her own debut party. During the Great Depression, Sister was compelled to work and launched her first design firm in 1933. Her design ability coupled with her social connections, allowed her business to prosper.  Over the decades, Albert Hadley joined Parish in 1962, and together formed a list of clients including the Rockefellers, Astors, Gettys and Kennedys.

Sister paved the way for the “American Country” style. She championed the humble striped cloth called mattress ticking, which had traditionally covered mattresses, and used it to cover chairs and throw pillows.

“She taught me that it doesn’t have to be perfect. That it doesn’t have to match. To follow your instincts.” – Libby Cameron – Parish’s last apprentice.

Sister Parish famously decorating the Kennedy White House – here, the Yellow Oval Room explores her love for color- Take a look behind Sister Parish Design: On Decorating with Kevin Sharkey

Sister Parish -White House Dressing Room

Empty Nest? Decorating Ideas For That Spare Room

NY Home Of Literary Agent Lynn Nesbit From Elle Decor

Whether you just said goodbye to your oldest or your youngest, chances are a room opened up that you haven’t had access to in a while. Sure he or she will come home from college to visit every once in
awhile, but for the majority of the time the space will go unused— unless you revamp it. Take control and makeover the area into a room you’ll have more use for:

Hobby Room

Clear out hardly used items and make your spare room into a space you’ll actually use. If you want a place for guests but they only visit once a year, invest in a small couch that converts into a bed. Then, depending on your hobby, pair it with a table, shelving units and cube organizers for materials. Ottomans that double as storage units make it possible for you to hide and have easy access to fabric, thread, glue or paint while still providing ample seating.

Media Mania

If you clear your living room of the enormous TV, you’ll be able to decorate however you want. Put it and all the cords, piles of DVDs and comfy couches that go with it in your spare room. Because it’s dedicated to movie watching and media, you don’t have to decorate with any thing else in mind. Remove overhead light fixtures and opt for cans or lamp lighting instead. Paint the walls in dark blues or browns and use floor-length grommet curtains in similar colors to block out sunlight. For some added fun, mount vintage posters from your favorite movies to the walls and accent them with recessed lighting.

Put it On Display

Do you collect something or have a life time of memories you’d like to display? Dedicating a whole room to your favorite mementos enables you to fully enjoy them (instead of just tucking them away for safe keeping). Use shadow boxes and recessed lighting to accent family heirlooms. Uncover your children’s certificates, sports trophies and beauty pageant sashes and hang them on the wall. Frame and mount family photos from years past. Include a bench or chaise lounge under the window to turn the area into a place you go to relax and remember.

For the Grandkids

Even if your house isn’t decked out in breakables, kids still appreciate a place they can freely play. Dedicate your spare room to your grandchildren. Decorate depending on their age. For younger kids, baby-proof the room and include a bassinet or crib for when baby stays over and needs a nap. For toddlers, consider covering an accent wall in chalkboard paint and providing baskets of colorful chalk. Designate a shelf, magnet board or wire ran between two knobs as a place for kids to display their artwork. A thick rug, sturdy table and ample storage units are all items they won’t outgrow.


Even if you appreciate the new age of e-readers, turning your spare room into a library may still be appealing. You can dust off your favorite bound books and put them on shelves to rest until the pages
beckon for you to open them again. Built-in bookshelves will give you more floor space so you can add a desk and several chairs to the mix. Create a reading nook in the corner complete with a comfy chair, throw blanket and reading lamp.

Authored By Marie Bernard–  A Native of Paris, Marie now lives in Virginia, where she also teaches French to college students.

Old Fashioned Libraries From hautemamasfaves.tumblr.com

British July 2010 House & Garden 

Photo Credit Architect Design Blog

The Goya Room.

Liria Palace, Madrid, Spain.

The Goya Room. Photo by Ricardo Labougle via World of Interiors.

Bagley Mischka featured in Elle Decor

Sills Huniford Associates

Seen On Mrs Howard Personal Shopper Blog

Beautiful Old Fashioned Library Appeal- wordpainting.tumblr.com

Phobe Howard Design Headquarters, Charlotte, North Carolina.

 Luxe Pauvre

The Library of Liria Palace.

The Library of Liria Palace, Madrid, Spain.

Photo by Ricardo Labougle via World
of Interiors.

The Green Room In Liria Palace, Madrid, Spain.

The Green Room In Liria Palace, Madrid, Spain.

Abbotsford House- A historic house in the region of the Scottish Borders

Designer Jacques Grange

 Julia Reed’s House in New Orleans

Home of John Coote, Bellamont Forest

British July 2010 House & Garden 

Photo Credit Architect Design Blog

Home of John Coote, Bellamont Forest

British July 2010 House & Garden 

Photo Credit Architect Design Blog

Martha Stewart Rooms