In his own New York apartment Thomas O’Brien layered collections, art, his own renderings and personal ephemera in the spirit of the 19th-century collectors, reinterpreted with a modern point of view. From American Modern: Thomas O’Brien; photography by Laura Resen.
The handblown glasses and personal decanters are part of a set by Del Vicario.
Donghia used essentially only two colors, gray and white, in his bedroom. Gray wool suiting fabric was used on the walls, bed and banquette upholstery while quilted white fabric was used for curtains, the bed’s coverlet and pillows. Donghia often used this room for small dinner parties during the winter, pushing the bed aside to make space. With low, plump banquettes and a chaise on which to lounge beneath the golden sheen of the tea-papered ceiling a Bacchanalian atmosphere was assured.
Architect and decorator Thierry Despont is finally getting his due. Or, perhaps, it’s just a case of a passionate aesthete doing his life’s work happily without much fanfare. Whatever the case, I have long admired his work but remain dismayed by lack of accessibility to his near-forty year ouvre. Even his own website has little to suggest that he has created magnificent properties, from the ground up, inside and out, for some of the world’s heavy hitters, including the Gutfreund’s, the de la Renta’s, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Leslie Wexner. But alas, Vanity Fair published a wonderful tribute in their Holiday Issue to his genius as architect and decorator, with special focus on two prestigious current projects for the Ritz Paris and the conversion of New York’s iconic Woolworth Building tower into trophy residences.
And though you’ll be bombarded by Game of Thrones tours—the cavernous main hall off the town square which is chockablock with merchants once doubled as a home for Daenerys’ dragons—resist! Instead, wander the ancient city and learn its vast history or crawl it for its food (definitely do an olive oil tasting at Uje Oil Bar). Eat as many truffles as you can stomach, and then stuff your face with gelato from one of the many, many stands throughout the palace.
Discover otherworldly, high-altitude landscapes and salt-brick hotels in the Bolivian desert.
Greetings, and Happy New Year to each of you! I have been away from writing for The Art of the Room for some time, I realize. And I apologize for not providing explanation in my last post. But, you see, at the time I had no real inkling I would step away for as long as I have. Professional projects and personal obligations have taken precedence, and as the holiday season fast approached I found myself running to catch up. So, in the spirit of a new year and a fresh start, I share with you a magical property that has long captured my imagination since I first discovered its secret charms, Las Tejas in Montecito, California.
From House & Garden, October 1991. Photography by John Hall.
In addition to Quito being a destination unto itself, it’s also an ideal base for making day trips to the Bellavista Cloud Forest, the ruins of Pucara de Rumicuccho, or Cayambe, a snow-capped volcano favored by avid mountain climbers.
Insider Tip: If you’re the adventurous type, book a spelunking trip through one of Belize’s many palatial caves.
Why It’s Wonderful: Kuwait City has emerged from the ashes like a Phoenix. This is the place where you can find superb shopping and ambitious art museums among the blissfully quiet desert and green ocean, but all on a more manageable and less competitive scale than in the much-visited United Arab Emirates. Shopping is, like in most of the Middle East, a national pastime, and malls such as 360° offer all the designers you could wish for. Likewise, the Museum of Modern Art and many small galleries showcase Arabian talent in traditional settings. A walk along the 10-kilometer coastal walk, the Corniche, past the oh-so-Instagramable turquoise Kuwait Towers, is a relaxing way to experience the contrast of tradition and modernity that is Kuwait. Kuwait is an alcohol-free country, but instead offers plenty of superb smoothies, fresh juice, and hot chocolate cafes alongside excellent regional and international restaurants.
When to Go: Many of the island’s hotels are seasonal, closing in October and reopening in April. Summer (especially August) can get crowded and hotels tend to book up. For fewer crowds and lower prices, go during the shoulder season, in late spring or early fall.
This is the story of a decades-long love affair and fascination with the Far East, and with the tradition of fine European antiques and objects. Long before the Belgian-Dutch look was en vogue in the states Betty Gertz, owner of antiques emporium East & Orient Company in Dallas, Texas, discovered its Old World allure while traveling to Europe and meeting antiquaire and decorator Axel Vervoordt at the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires, who at the time had done very little work in America. This chance meeting developed into a quick friendship that lead to a collaboration between owner and decorator on the design of the Gertz’s 1919 Georgian-style house in Dallas.
Why It’s Wonderful: If the thought of your hair whipping beneath twirling blades in an agave field isn’t enough, well, we’re just getting started. In the past year, Guadalajara has bolted from the shadows of Mexico City and emerged as one of the top travel destinations in North America. For one, they’ve got Tequila—the town and the liquor for which the liquid sunshine was named. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the colonial town produces all the world’s tequila, and you can tour distilleries and throwback samples of the glorious spirit. Sober up at the pre-Hispanic ruins of Los Guachimontones, considered the place for enlightenment during the spring equinox. For mucha cultura, make March your “go” month when Guadalajara hosts Mexico’s most prominent international film festival. If margaritas and mariachi are more your thing, the Mariachi Festival dominates September, honoring 18th-century musical traditions in the city where it all began. Throw in wondrous shopping, restaurants, museums, and nightlife—and you’ll know exactly why tech companies are flocking to Mexico’s Silicon Valley.
Joya de Cerén, sometimes called the Pompeii of the Americas, showcases the archaeological remains of a Mayan village buried by a local volcano more than 12 centuries ago. Tazumal, near the Guatemala border, is one of the country’s best surviving Mayan pyramids. Along its Pacific coastline, El Salvador offers excellent surfing, especially at Punta Roca and El Sunzal. In San Salvador, don’t miss the stunning beauty of the modern El Rosario Church. And countrywide, enjoy plenty of delicious pupusas, El Salvador’s national dish—thick handmade corn tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese, beans, or all three.
For a small room with a high ceiling off the drawing room Saladino commented “I paneled the room, keeping the paneling low to reduce the scale, and painted the upper part of the walls a shade of blue-gray. What had been an awkward space was transformed into a cozy refuge.”
The camerino’s ceiling is decorated with the representation of Fame, announcing herself with two trumpets — one made of gold, the other of silver.
Why It’s Wonderful: Founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as a means for the tsar’s growing navy to gain access via the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg, Russia is often referred to as the Venice of the North due to the city’s intricate lacework of beautiful canals, bridges, grand boulevards, and elegant baroque and classical style plazas. Couple that with ornate Italianate mansions and palaces that line the River Neva—the bloodline of the city—along with priceless works of art found in the Hermitage Museum, a world-class ballet, and the fabulous display of eggs at the Faberge Museum, and you’ll find that 300 years later, modern-day St. Petersburg is as beautiful and resplendent as ever.
Many books in the library date back to the “Philosopher Earl” (1670-1713). It was Nick’s first challenge to safeguard the collection and put it back in order.
In order to control the overwhelming scale of the drawing room Saladino referenced the classicists by introducing a large scale trompe l’oeil coffered ceiling painted by Christian Granvelle and a de Medici tapestry hung high, flanked by a pair of columns to represent the residential scale over a high-back sofa, which represents human scale. This formula of three scales, in effect, allows our eye to experience a sense of proportion and harmony as it travels up and down throughout the room. The floating high-back facing sofas of Saladino’s design further establishes a distinct zone and carries the sight line from the top of the other sofa to the center of the room. A secondary zone at one end of the room is designated for music, and at the other is an area dedicated to books. Of course, all of this, too, adds a great sense of theatricality and opulence, combining antiques with his own comfortable contemporary designs based on classic models.
Mirrors in the downstairs entrance hall refract the black-and-white spindled staircase whose graphic punch is repeated in the door surround and geometric floor pattern. A table lavishly draped in metallic fabric displays Donghia’s affection for Asian arts. But, please, no more lacquered fans!
Argentina’s friendly and energetic capital is an edgy blend of Latin and European cultures.
Where to Stay: Besides the incredible architecture, the main draw for visitors to Chandigarh is the brand new Oberoi Sukhvilas, a luxury property with tented suites that come with private pools where you can eat breakfast overlooking the forest with nothing but the sounds of screeching peacocks to disturb you.
Why It’s Wonderful: Gentle trade winds, fantastic year-round weather, and a host of incredible beaches are normally drawing cards for anyone considering Mauritius as their next beach vacation destination. But beyond the high-end swagger of the resorts lies an island with a diverse mix of cuisines of French, Indian, Chinese, and Creole influence and a wide range of biodiversity to enthrall visitors beyond just catching a tan. Explore volcanic mountain ranges with thick forests filled with endemic bird and mammal species, unleash your thrill-seeking side by kite and windsurfing along the dramatic southwest shores, or admire the exhibitions of the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, a platform leading the way in the development of contemporary Indian Ocean artists.
Belize is full of rich history, rewarding explorations, and natural beauty that may not be around forever.
The first floor mirrored entrance hall extended to the second level hall that introduced guests to the living room. Horizontal and vertical reflective planes created a dramatic affect that brings to mind the fractured quality of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. John Dickinson’s iconic galvanized metal faux draped table holds a Japanese vase filled with quince blossoms.
Donghia’s Key West living room, 1977. Donghia bought a Key West house in the mid-1970s, at the height of his career. The living room’s toga-wrapped chairs and bamboo furniture reflected his elegant informality.
The only photo of the guest room I’ve located is this one which, I assume, is also not quite as dark as it appears.
Where to Stay: San Salvador’s Sal & Luz is an intimate and modern boutique hotel with very friendly and attentive staff, located in a quiet neighborhood on the city’s west side. In the ultra-charming town of Suchitoto, the soothing Los Almendros de San Lorenzo offers large rooms surrounding a Spanish colonial courtyard in a fantastically restored and art-filled two-hundred-year-old home.
Cecil Beaton posing in the solarium of Reddish House as featured in Vogue in 1968.
When to Go: Late spring (October – November) is best, before summer humidity and when jacaranda trees reveal dazzling purple blossoms. The city will host the third Summer Youth Olympic Games in October and the world-famous Argentine Open polo tournament in November.
The conservatory at Carolyne Roehme’s Connecticut home is a garden aficionado’s delight. From At Home in the Garden by Carolyne Roehm, featured on One Kings Lane.
Insider Tip: If food is your focus—as it should be when in Israel—join a guided food tour with Delicious Israel to navigate the backstreets of Tel Aviv’s best markets and street food eats. You’ll be in good company with the locals who spend their days around the open-air Carmel Market, polishing off bowls of warm hummus and lounging in hipster cafes drinking the world’s best cappuccinos.
Where to Stay: The Tierra Patagonia Hotel is opulent rustic luxury with incredible views and gourmet dining. For a fully immersive experience, EcoCamp Patagonia is fully sustainable and equipped with bathrooms (some domes offer options for electricity and heat).
Insider Tip: Take a boat tour with Personalized Italy and get around like the locals do. Their talented guides will show you where to find the best cappuccino, take you trekking in former volcanoes, and lead you to the beaches featured in Ferrante’s books.
The Shaftesbury’s use the Green Drawing Room – which incorporates a comfortable mix of upholstered furniture and Victorian and Edwardian ancestors – as their private sitting room. Enough family portraits survived the sales in the 1970’s and 1980’s to furnish the restored state rooms. The flock wallpaper was carefully copied from unfaded sections of the original early 19th-century paper that once hung here.
Catherine d’Erlanger and Oliver Messel photographed in the Central Hall by Cecil Beaton.
A limestone solarium is at the heart of a Philadelphia house decorated by Thomas Jayne Studio, featured in the July 2011 issue of Architectural Digest; photography by Pieter Estersohn.
Insider Tip: Forego the francesinha, Porto’s sloppy signature sandwich, in favor of the pulled pork and sheep’s-milk cheese slider from Casa Guedes, a no-frills hole in the wall frequented by locals. The perfect pairing? A thirst-quenching bubbly rosé bottled specially for the restaurant.
The ground floor bagno dei cavalieri — men’s bath — features an antique type of Verona stone with an 18th-century faucet. The bust is a plaster copy of a Roman work in the Vatican collection. The windows were made by a technique, developed in Venice in the 17th-century, in which a drop of molten glass is twirled at the end of a rod into a small disc-shaped pane. The panes are then welded together with lead.
Modeled after the 18th-century Château d’Asnîeres outside Paris, The Elms was designed for coal magnate Edward J. Berwind and his wife, Herminie, as their Newport “summer cottage” by architect Horace Trumbauer in 1899.
The light and airy conservatory is a welcome relief from the formality of the rest of the mansion, and contains five of the original marble pieces not auctioned with most of the estate’s furnishings in 1962.
From Architectural Digest Historic Interiors, 1979; photography by Richard Champion.
Ally Coulter layered masculine forms, past and present, in this clubby paneled den she decorated for the 2012 Holiday House.
Note: The algorithm tries reconstruct a spelling for the new word after generating its pronunciation, and sometimes this spelling isn’t quite right. If you’re able to read IPA you’ll find a more accurate pronunciation in the “Pronunciation” column on the right.
Insider Tip: Spend at least a day wandering the Bywater: Start with a walk in Crescent Park along the Mississippi River, then head to StudioBe’s warehouse of larger-than-life graffiti portraits. For entertainment, pick from a choice of venues and dance clubs on St. Claude Avenue. End with romantic dinner at the coveted garden tables of N7 or Bacchanal.
Insider Tip: Indulge in the must-have P.E.I. sandwich, the lobster roll. A favorite with locals, Lobster Barn Pub & Eatery is in idyllic Victoria-by-the-Sea, an Instagram-worthy shore village between Charlottetown and Summerside. The secret’s in the homemade mayonnaise and generous amount of shelled lobster.
When to Go: December and January are the best months to visit, with landscapes still green after the end of the rainy season, which runs April to November. Surfing is best between May and August. The colorful Festival of El Salvador del Mundo, the country’s patron saint, happens in early August.
Insider Tip: Much of Mongolia’s soul lies in the countryside, so don’t hesitate to rent a Jeep and a driver to explore the vast grasslands, the remote temples of Genghis Khan’s capital at Karakorum, and the Flaming Cliffs in the Gobi Desert. Adventurous travelers may even rent a motorcycle, though there are few road signs outside of the cities. In Ulan Bator, visitors can support nomads by purchasing cashmere and yak wool products and purses made from recycled traditional Kazakh tapestries at Mary & Martha Mongolia.
A seating alcove set into one side of the cross in the Central Hall as photographed by Paolo Martin.
With direct flights from Denmark and Iceland, Greenland is easy to get to, but getting from town to town still requires hopping flights or helicopters during winter and ferries during summer. In capital city Nuuk, watch skilled weavers make Greenland’s traditional Inuit dress at Kittat or trace history over centuries at the Greenland National Museum and see its well-preserved Qilakitsoq mummies.
Richard Keith Langham channeled Dorothy Draper for the design of this Vogue Regency garden room in an Alabama Georgian manor. Photographed by Fernando Benchoegea for House Beautiful in 2002.
What to Read: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
My husband, Michael, and I recently returned from holiday in Montecito. In another life (not so many years ago!) I lived in southern California, where I was enrolled in UCLA’s Interior Design program. While working as an outside sales representative for Jack Lenor Larsen I became acquainted with Montecito, calling on interior designers and architects such as Mark Weaver and Jack Warner. Instead of stopping for lunch I would drive up Olive Mill Road into the hills below the Santa Ynez mountains and get lost in their amazing rugged beauty, dotted with walled estates on expansive properties inspired by the Grand Tour, in particular the romantic revival styles of Spain and Italy. Growing up in northern California I was not immune to the Golden State’s love affair with Spanish and Mediterranean-style architecture. But this was on a wholly different level than anything I had ever seen. And so, while driving along Olive Mill Road this past December we passed the turn for Las Tejas Road. My heart leaped! I knew the estate for which the road is named well from its publication in a 1990 issue of House & Garden and John Saladino’s monograph Style By Saladino. There is no gate, only a long, narrow road leading to the villa’s actual address on Pichaco Lane, where a formal gated entry guards the property. There are many narrow and private roads like this in Montecito, lined with towering mature eucalyptus and framed by private walls, luring us into their promise of a hidden paradise.
Why It’s Wonderful: The Guggenheim Bilbao may have just celebrated its 20th anniversary, but the Frank Gehry-designed museum remains as relevant as ever with its timeless permanent collection of works by Rothko, Chillida, Warhol, and other major artists of the 20th century. But there’s more to this unsung Basque metropolis than modern art: Homey bars and restaurants like Pentxo—far less uppity than the pintxo bars of San Sebastián—serve soul-satisfying meals that won’t break the bank. To see for yourself how Bilbao has evolved from a gritty industrial hub into a world-class city, rent a kayak on the Nervión River and paddle past architectural marvels including the Isozaki Atea apartment complex and San Mamés stadium.
Where to Stay: The Island House, on New Providence Island’s quieter western end, opened in 2015 as the island’s first true boutique property and has an in-house cinema, spa, two fine-dining restaurants, and enticingly minimalist rooms. And with its collection of colorful wooden bungalows fronting the sea, Compass Point Beach Resort remains a favorite away from the mass resort scene. The biggest opening for 2018 will be the Rosewood Baha Mar, slated to bring a touch of British Colonial charm to the massive resort and casino complex on Cable Beach.
Posted February 18, 2016. Filed in Chateaux, French Country Houses, French Style, Hubert de Givenchy
A doorway on teh first-floor landing leads to the Handel Room, named after the composer, who often visited the house. The fourth earl was his patron.
In the entrance hall, for example, a seventeenth-century Flemish tapestry hangs behind a chest on which a pair of Belgian lamps, made from cast-iron balusters, guard a terracotta bust of Madame du Barry, Louis XV’s last mistress.
Keith Richards eschews disciplined order in favor of lived-in comfort in his highly personal London library . Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes.
Or, if you’re looking for something with few frills without sacrificing a beautiful oceanfront view, there’s the Surf and Sand Lodge in Fort Bragg.
Insider Tip: Not only is the Hotel Emma fantastic, but the entire area around the former Pearl Brewery (an area called Pearl, obviously) should be explored—it’s full of restaurants and shops, plus it’s home to the aforementioned Culinary Institute. As it’s right on the River, you can buy a $10 all-day Rio Taxi pass and easily wander between Pearl and the River Walk.
For a London flat Jonathan Reed layered sober modern forms, natural materials, and handcrafted objects with a palette inspired by nature. The World of Interiors, March 2015. Photography by Simon Upton.
The approach to St Giles before (above) and after (below) the grounds were returned to their original plan.
Bertie Landsberg set up his bedroom in the Room of Prometheus, photographed sometime in the 1930’s by Osvaldo Boehm.
What to Read: The Jukebox Queen of Malta by Nicholas Rinaldi
“There are not very many creative designers in America, but Angelo is one of them.” — Halston
Thierry Despont poses in the living room in front of a 19th-century pastel of an art collector and a curator.
The walls of the attic bedroom were painted freehand by artist Dawn Reader, in a design that echoes the colours of the Le Manach fabric on the bedcover and curtains. Paolo was drawn to the nineteenth-century French bed because the ‘PM’ initials carved into the headboard are his own.
A Louis XIV door marks the entrance to the property’s outer courtyard.
Where to Stay: HS Khaan Resort Hotel, located 50 minutes outside of Ulan Bator, provides the ultimate glamping experience: traditional gers, or Mongolian-style yurts, outfitted with the finest amenities and bathtubs overlooking the grasslands. The Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel offers surprisingly reasonable, high-end comfort within walking distance of Sukhbaatar Square, while backpackers and long-term visitors will appreciate the complete kitchen and fridge available in the affordable J Hotel. Gers, ranging from simple to well-stocked, are scattered throughout the remainder of the country.
Why It’s Wonderful: If you follow California’s famous Pacific Coast Highway north, you’ll eventually come to a place where it’s subsumed into the 101, continuing north toward Oregon. But those intrepid enough to take on the single narrow road that leads toward the shoreline will be rewarded with some of the most beautiful untouched landscapes in the U.S.
Never heard of Stompin’ Tom Connors? Immerse yourself in the sounds of the strumming troubadour who earned his nickname by keeping time on a square of plywood at the new Stompin’ Tom Centre in tiny Skinners Pond. Stick around for traditional kitchen parties and cèilidhs with local musicians.
The winter garden, designed in collaboration with Jacques Grange, at the late Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s Château Gabriel in Deauville, Normandy, was a recreation of 19th-century style, inspired by Princess Mathilde and always filled with orchids. Photography by François Halard.
Why It’s Wonderful: The birthplace of rock-n-roll, the blues, and arguably some of the best BBQ on the planet, there’s no denying the fact that Memphis is a city with a lot of soul. Even Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, has continued to attract more than 20-million visitors over the years. First-timers and veterans alike are attracted to the bright lights and good vibes of Beale Street, where the party tends to go all night. Longtime Memphis staple, BB King’s Blues Club is the perfect place to post up for some live music. On the third floor, Itta Bena’s speakeasy-style restaurant and bar is not to be missed, while lunch or dinner at The Kitchen Bistro won’t disappoint. If you have time to spare, a trip to Shelby Farms Park, a 4,500-acre stretch of land is an oasis of boating, picnicking, and horse-back riding.
Mark Hampton created an Edwardian-inspired bower off the garden of a home in Munroe, Louisiana. L. Blaine Hickey photography.
Why It’s Wonderful: A small and rocky archipelago perched in an ancient trade route between southern Europe and northern Africa, Malta has seen a long series of rulers influence its culture including the Romans, the Arabs, and finally the British before Malta gained independence in 1964. Both English and Maltese—a concoction of Arabic and Italian dialects—serve as the national languages. After the European Commission designated Valletta as a 2018 European Capital of Culture, Malta prepared a yearlong program to showcase the country’s unique heritage and contemporary art. Opening ceremonies and fireworks kick off January 14, 2018. Fans of classical music and exuberant architecture will delight in the Valletta International Baroque Festival, also in January. In addition to getting lost in the charming side streets of Valletta, the rest of Malta offers a diverse palette—from fortresses to shipwreck dive sites to pineapple cocktails on Comino island.
Unadorned windows help control the harmony of light and shadow in the Central Hall. “The frescoes, based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and painted by Battista Franco and Giambattista Zelotti, were added later,” says Foscari. Given the architect’s preference for unadorned walls, Foscari adds, “it’s possible Palladio saw the frescoes as a breach of the purity of his vision.”
Why It’s Wonderful: Just 20 years ago, travel to the world’s coldest continent seemed as treacherous as trekking up Everest. Now, you can sip a gorgeous glass of Argentinian Malbec on your balcony while anchoring near Antarctica’s shores. Since the early 20th century, the White Continent has lured explorers and scientists curious to discover what lurks in the most remote—and wildest—place on Earth that’s home to 90 percent of the planet’s ice. The summer season brings a bevy of expedition vessels ranging from 50-500 passengers setting sail from South America and slipping around the Antarctic Peninsula. Still, fewer than 20,000 people step foot on the continent each year, making it one of the last frontiers for many to check off their must-visit list. Even on the most luxurious of expedition ships, you’ll feel like you’re on a true adventure. Itineraries are loose and can easily change shape depending on the weather, meaning you never know exactly where you’ll end up. One day you may be sea kayaking around volcanic Paulet Island, home to over 100,000 pairs of tiny Adélie penguins, and the next you may be spending the night camping near Neko Harbour’s landmark glacier.
The master bedroom is a study in warm white utilizing texture and a variety of shapes and materials for contrast and interest.
What to Read: The Miracle of Dunkirk: The True Story of Operation Dynamo by Walter Lord
Where to Stay: Located less than a 10-minute walk away from the palace, the Hotel Luxe is a comfortable, modern property that can often be booked for under $100 a night. If you’d rather be right in the heart of it all and can spend a bit more, stay right on the central square at the Piazza Heritage Hotel.
The Apollonian meets the Dionysian as the classical lines of the villa La Malcontenta rise up among the willows of the river Brenta in the Veneto area of Italy. The façade, which is plastered in powdered marble called marmarino, is famed for its Ionic pronaos, or pillared portico.
Signature of Cecil Beaton in the visitors book, August 1929.
When to Go: The salt flats are at their most magical between February and March, when the rainy season transforms them into a vast mirror. Arrive any earlier (November through January) and the water can be too deep for vehicles.
Posted January 29, 2016. Filed in Axel Vervoordt, Belgian-Dutch Style, Belle Époque, Bunny Williams, Carolyne Roehm, Chateaux, Elsie de Wolfe, Garden R ooms, Gilded Age, Haynes Roberts, Henri Samuel, Interior Illustrations, Jacques Grange, Jean-Louis Deniot, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Lorenzo Castillo, Madeleine Castaing, Mario Buatta, Mark Hampton, Michael S.
Smith, Miles Redd, Parish-Hadley, Pierre Bergé, Renzo Mongiardino, Richard Keith Langham, Robert Shapiro, Studio Peregalli, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent
The Georgian-style home had many years prior been decorated by Dorothy Draper. The stained and worn silver-and-blue Chinese tea paper covering the walls of the dining room was the only design element Gertz retained, against the advice of everyone else, except perhaps Vervoordt, whom extols the virtues of patina. As seen elsewhere in the house, four-hundred-year-old Ming dynasty porcelain from the legendary Hatcher trove is not only displayed, but used. Silver gilt chairs are copies of George I originals from Gertz’s collection. With its romantic silvery light, what a magical place to dine, day or night!
Why It’s Wonderful: With white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and 300 sunny days a year, why wouldn’t you want to go to Tel Aviv now? Add to the beautiful setting a culinary scene inspiring major food trends; an entrepreneurial spirit that is impacting global technological innovation; beautiful art, museums, and architecture; and it’s easy to see why Tel Aviv is one of the top destinations for 2018.
New Orleans isn’t the only town celebrating the big three-double-oh in 2018.
Insider Tip: Join the locals every Sunday for reggae, steel pan music, and barbecue at Shirley Heights.
In the bedroom gallery Despont took what could be considered kitsch and made it monumental via repetition: along the top of the bookcase he placed a row of Liberty flame souvenirs. Portraits of French artists and writers are hung on the walls.
The beams in the main bedroom, as in the rest of the barn, were bleached to create a lighter effect.
Catherine d’Erlanger and Oliver Messel photographed on the portico by Cecil Beaton.
When to Go: Reliably warm winters are a draw for tourists in the busy high season from mid-December through Sailing Week in late April.
What to Read: In the Woods by Tana French, Dubliners by James Joyce
Where to Stay: The beautiful and intimate Hotel Schlössle offers five-star luxury along a quaint, centuries-old cobblestone street in the Old Town. Also well-situated in the Old Town but a bit more affordable is the charming My City Hotel. A bit farther afield but still central is the just-opened Centennial Hotel, so named in honor of the country’s 100th anniversary of independence in 2018, and with design and art based on the past century of Estonian history.
Insider Tip: There’s a thriving artisan and maker scene in Sri Lanka. In Colombo, Galle, and Kandy, look for handwoven clothes, linen, and toys as well as all kinds of artisan foods that are made at home and sold in local restaurants and markets.
Posted October 1, 2015. Filed in American Chic, Angelo Donghia, Classic Contemporary
Long side-stepped as potentially perilous, El Salvador and its myriad charms are finally being discovered by travelers.
For Princess Galitzine’s Rome living room Renzo Mongiardino created the atmosphere of a winter garden enhanced with Oriental flourishes. To temper the abundant use of gold and sheets of mirror framed with appliqué decorative elements of malachite and lapis lazuli the designer introduced simple rattan seating.
Photographer Henry Clarke captured the Russian born fashion designer with her poodle, Tschort, for Vogue in 1973.
Helen Thorne traveled far and wide – from Italy, France and England to the Far East – in search of beautiful and timeless sculpture for her gardens. Here, a marble statue of Quan Yin still resides in the arcaded tea pavilion overlooking the lotus pond.
The private bathroom is furnished with pieces found in the attics and restored. The 18th-century watercolors depict the surrounding St Giles Park.
Insider Tip: President Harding visited Talkeetna in 1923 and died just a few days later, and today locals rather proudly claim it was the food at the Fairview Inn that did him in (or rather, his wife or mistress who poisoned it—yes, he brought them both along on this trip). You can still stay at the Inn, but really it’s the bar area that deserves a visit as the town’s go-to hang-out spot (with very little risk of poisoning, unless you’re an adulterous president). Part dive bar and part Alaskan cultural institution, you can count on live music and locals who love to tell tourists all of Talkeetna’s rowdy tales.
Compared to its neighbors, the Bahamas was largely spared the wrath of the devastating 2017 hurricane season. And Grand Bahama, hard hit by Matthew in 2016, has largely recovered with the re-openings of the islands anchor hotels including all-inclusive Lighthouse Pointe and boutique property Pelican Bay, among others.
The designer playing host at one of his legendary parties in his townhouse during the mid-’70s as photographed by Bill Cunningham.
When to Go: The best time to visit Kuwait is in spring or fall, as summer is too hot for comfort. Avoid Ramadan (May 15, 2018 to June 15, 2018), as you won’t be able to eat in public during the daytime.
Cabinets from a homeopathic pharmacy were remodeled for storage in the master bedroom. Shelves display drawings by Mike Glier, antique globes, and another Liberty flame beneath old ledgers which recall the apartment’s original use as offices.
Insider Tip: To mingle with a diverse cross-section of creative locals, head to Telliskivi, a one-time industrial complex beside the main train station that’s been transformed into a cool mini-city of shops, restaurants, start-ups, and NGOs.
The small Winter Garden of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg rendered in gouache by Konstantin Andreyevich Ukhtomsky, c1850.
Jannis Kounellis installs his sculpture in the Room of Promethus, 1992. Photo by Claudio Franzin.
Madeleine Castaing converted a former laundry at 30 rue Jacob in Paris into her eponymous shop in 1941 and ruled from there well into her nineties. Photographer Derry Moore was witness to her inner sanctum, open to the public, which appeared abandoned, a Ms.
Havisham’s a la Parisienne. Castaing’s passion for 19th-century furnishings was inspired by the novels of Balzaz and Proust, with their detailed descriptions of rooms. A haphazard mix of styles and provenance, from Directoire to flea market finds, identified her idiosyncratic oeuvre.
When to Go: The Cook Islands doesn’t really experience a rainy season, but it can be slightly cooler in the winter (June-August).
American designer Mark Hampton created an an extraordinary Neoclassical-style library for Susan and Carter Burden’s Fifth Avenue apartment in New York that could have easily been pulled from one of London’s exclusive private clubs. Piled high with books and layered with exotic collections this library would be the envy of many a bibliophile and world traveler.
Where to Stay: For a true back-to-nature experience, ook one of the open-air bamboo suites at Bambu Indah, where you can swim in natural pools and eat fresh fruits and veggies from the garden. For beaches and air-conditioned accommodations, AYANA and its sister property RIMBA offer everything from budget-friendly rooms to luxe villas with butler service. And in Uluwatu—famous for the Hindu temple perched on a cliff overlooking the sea—wellness-focused brand Six Senses will open a luxurious all-suite and villa resort in spring 2018.
Insider Tip: Buy a beautiful Balinese sarong at one of the many shops in downtown Ubud and wear it to the Hindu temples. Both women and men—Hindu or not—cover up with sarongs and sashes when entering the temple complexes.
The kitchen was once the bathroom of Nick’s great-grandmother, the ninth countess.
Following a retrospective of de Givenchy’s genius in the world of haute couture by Vanity Fair in October of 2014 at the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain, the eighty-nine-year-old couturier and his longtime companion since the 1960’s, Philippe Venet, invited them back to his 16th-century manor for le déjeuner. It was then that Vanity Fair Espana interviewed the couturier and photographed some of the rooms that many of us have fallen under the spell of since they first appeared in magazines and books.
When to Go: The country takes on an ethereal quality during cherry blossom season, usually from late March to early April, when soft pink petals blanket the countryside and urban parks.
Posted September 10, 2015. Filed in English Country House Style, English Country Houses, Nicholas Haslam, Paolo Moschino, Philip Vergeylen
The living room in Donghia’s New York City townhouse, featured in the November/December issue of Architectural Digest, made a star of the magazine’s editor, Paige Rense, and catapulted Donghia further into the design world stratosphere. Mary Tyler Moore loved the Venetian chandelier so much Donghia installed it into her New York City dining room.
When to Go: The weather is beautiful in spring, when festival season is in full swing.
The Culinary Institute of Canada in historic capital city Charlottetown re-opens after a $7.5 million renovation in June 2018 with a new series of full and half-day Culinary Bootcamps. The island’s most famous fictional resident, the eternal-optimist title character of Anne of Green Gables, is never far from view. Tour Green Gables Heritage Place, which sees a surprising number of tourists from Japan, where “Red-Haired Anne” has a huge following.
An undiscovered wealth of culture, history and natural beauty in Romania’s most well-known region.
2017 welcomed in several new flights to the islands, including a nonstop from Frankfurt, Germany to Nassau on Condor. More open to the world than ever and increasingly world-class in its tourist offerings, the Bahamas is hard to beat for a close-to-home escape.
Why It’s Wonderful: Few words capture the feeling of gliding past icebergs several stories high in UNESCO-heritage Illulisatfjörd, racing Greenlandic sled dogs across frozen tundra as Inuits have done for over 5,000 years, snowshoeing up mountains with panoramic views over Nuuk, or chasing shimmering green ribbons of the Northern Lights as they unfurl across dark Arctic skies. Greenland remains one of a few places on earth that truly invoke a deep sense of adventure and remoteness.
And with a massive birthday on the horizon, San Antonio is preparing to have a giant year-long bash. And this city knows how to throw a party—they literally have a Fiesta every single year (fiesta means party for all you monoglots)—and there’s every indication the city is going all out in 2018.
Insider Tip: Sunday in Buenos Aires is a day for family, and the scent of asado (barbecue) is everywhere. Experience your own Sunday feast of grilled meats—and plenty of malbec!—at one of the many parilla (steakhouse) restaurants. Later, join a milonga (public tango session) with locals of all ages.
A light and soft coral hued toile from Lee Behren Silks defines the romantic lower floor guest room, which opens onto the gardens.
One end of the gallery-like entry hall introduces Saladino’s restrained vision with architectural interest as passage from one room to another. The pair of pedestals supporting alabaster urns, the 18th-century console, and Régence-style stool beyond in the dining room came from Quatrain in Los Angeles.
Insider Tip: The city is known for the quality of leather shoes and sandals, so you might want to take advantage of purchasing some beautiful and unique footwear. A toy museum, el Museo del Juguete, has pieces dating back to pre-Colombian times. Trujillo is also known for its marinera dancing and its Peruvian paso horses—try to see a performance that includes the marinera as performed between woman and horse.
The solarium, or “White Room”, as it was referred to, is one example of Vervoordt’s achievement in the juxtaposition of opposites. Just off the living room, with its rarefied collections and soberly elegant ambiance, the new solarium designed by Vervoordt was a retreat for the senses, a spare and rigorous contemporary setting. There are so many lessons to be learned from this room – a room of contrasts of form, texture, hue, shade style and period, all seamlessly married into one cohesive decorative resolution. The creamy white of the walls, marble floors, upholstery and window treatment creates a soothing envelope for a curated and restrained selection of antiques, art and objects. The rich palette of Concert, painted by Jan van Nijlert, above the sofa, stands in counterpoint to a rare Empire giltwood gondola chair from the Chimay collection, floating as a work of art before a 14th-century Thai bronze, each extending the rich tones from the painting across the room. Though not discernible from this photo, the modern base of the coffee table supports an Italian pietra dura marble top featuring a design of interlocking circles in the same rich hues. Another nod to the Classical past includes a Renaissance terracotta tondo framing one side of the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking a park.
Leave the resort to see what the South Pacific really has to offer.
What to Read: The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
Where to Stay: Take advantage of the town’s proximity to Mount Denali and stay at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, which comes with some of the best views of the mountain in the area (and plenty of outfitters to help get you there on a flightseeing tour). If you want to stay in downtown, check out the quirky Talkeetna Roadhouse (one of the oldest establishments in the village), and be sure to indulge in their legendary breakfast that’s been featured in several Food Network shows.
Insider Tip: The best way to connect with locals is to dine with them at Hueso, a contemporary restaurant with a communal table running down the center. Foodies-in-the-know book days ahead at funky I Latina, where a chalkboard menu tempts diners with tuna tacos and mezcal cocktails. Don’t leave town without watching Lucha Libre ringside—Mexico’s version of WWE, where colorful masks and free-flowing Corona make for an entertaining night.
Where to Stay: In a city already revered for its hospitality, Zero George has raised the bar among boutique Charleston accommodations with its celebrated onsite restaurant and cooking courses. 2017 brought the opening of The Dewberry, a 155-room luxury hotel located directly on Marion Square. It will soon see competition from Hotel Bennett, slated to open in early spring 2018 just across the Square, and equally ambitious in its opulence.
New drool-worthy resorts and beach clubs are spurring ever-increasing interest in Bali and the islands of Indonesia.
The bed is set on a traditional platform that holds blankets and linens. Photo by François Halard, 2001.
Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 painted by Marcel Duchamp, 1912.
There’s never been a better time to drink in the rich culture, traditions, and frenetic energy of Tokyo.
Antonio Foscari and Barbara Del Varario created a master bedroom from the Room of Bacchus, as photographed by Aldo Ballo in 1979.
In the barn, the cupboard in the main room is by Nicholas Haslam.
From blues and BBQ to the bright lights of Beale Street, Memphis is a city that feeds the soul.
Why It’s Wonderful: Backpackers have been piling out onto the world’s largest salt flats, el Salar de Tunupa–more commonly known as El Salar de Uyuni–for years. It’s only now that this high-altitude corner of Bolivia is seeing an influx of quality accommodations and tours making this salty playground more accessible.
The multipurpose Music Pavilion designed by Elsie de Wolfe at her beloved Villa Trianon reintroduced the art of treillage, which remains en vogue to this day. Watercolor by society portraitist Scot William Bruce Ellis Ranken.
Insider Tip: When in Singapore, eat like the locals in an affordable hawker center, such as Maxwell Food Centre. Slurp up big bowls of laksa (a spicy, seafood noodle soup), dine on char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles), or hunker down for a heaping plate of Hainanese chicken rice.
Hedges of boxwood and yew have been restored to their lyrical past, framed out by walls of yew and Romanesque columns supporting a pergola draped in wisteria.
Passing through a frescoed bedroom or bathroom, or one of the many dining areas, is part of an artistic itinerary. “Each room”, says Foscari, “is related to the others like the notes in a symphony.” Though spacious and grand, La Malcontenta retains an informal air. Fireplaces heat the rooms; electricity — with a few necessary exceptions — is out of the question. As in the 16th century, the main source of light in the evening is candles.
Why It’s Wonderful: The Last Wilderness is aptly named: even with its strict visitor regulations, the land has experienced its share of damage from tourists (multiple fires have destroyed large swaths of native forest). Six national parks within Patagonia include mountains, steppes, glaciers, ice fields, forests, lakes, rivers, countless endemic flora and fauna, and very, very few people. The sightings are as unique as the landscape. Between climate change and a boom in interest, Patagonia seems likely to become endangered and/or overrun. Go while it’s still untouched.
Posted September 16, 2015. Filed in American Country Houses, Bunny Williams, English Country House Style, Gracious Living, John Rosselli
Bunny Willams acquired a Greek Revival house across the street as a place to house her collection of family heirlooms and overflow guests. It’s most charming attribute is the predominantly green scenic mural that wraps the dining room’s walls which is accented by more verdant color and blue-and-white porcelains, which pulls the sky color right off the paper. What a delightful and welcoming home for guests. I’d never want to leave. You know how the saying goes: “Don’t make your guests too comfortable. They may never leave!”
A portrait of “Givenchy, Le Grand”, as he is referred to by the world of high fashion.
Renzo Mongiardino brought the garden indoors at Turville Grange, the Oxfordshire home of Lee Radziwill photographed by Horst P. Horst in 1971.
Insider Tip: While in Lille, treat yourself to moules frites. In Dunkirk, the specialty is salty yet delicious mini crevettes (shrimp), which can be found at the Sunday morning market. Throughout the region, enjoy potjevleesch, or “potted meat,” a classic French Flemish dish along the lines of pâté.
In Chengdu, the capital of the province, US travelers can now enjoy nonstop flights between Chengdu and New York aboard Hainan Airlines, as well as direct routes from Chongqing, a major port city in Sichuan, to Los Angeles and New York.
The Room of Prometheus as photographed by François Halard in 2001: the fireplace surround in the Prometheus Room is made of marble from Verona; the sofa and white chairs are upholstered in fabric from Tessoria Asolana, Italy; the straw mats throughout the house are squares assembled according to the size of each room. I love the languid atmosphere of this room — so hauntingly beautiful yet unpretentious and livable.
The “men’s room”, past and present, tend to exhibit a propensity for honeyed wood paneling, mellowed and worn tobacco hued leather seating, and a generally restricted color scheme of camel, brown, black and white – and most any Anglophile’s favorite private club inspired green-and-red scheme. For centuries men and women alike have found comfort in the clubby atmosphere of this timeless aesthetic , recreating its sense of permanence and respect for time-honored traditions in their own homes. Whether thespian or billiards’s pro, the richly appointed rooms to follow are certain to attract your inner masculine magnetism.
Why It’s Wonderful: Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Chandigarh, India is a literal breath of fresh air. This planned urban utopia is the antithesis of chaotic Mumbai or Delhi, with organized streets and distinct architecture that mixes Brutalist, Mid-Century Modern, and traditional Indian structures. The city was built in 1949 as the new capital of the Punjab region, which was split between India and Pakistan during partition. Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier was brought in to build the government administration buildings, and the creations are unbelievable public facilities that have recently been awarded UNESCO status: breathtaking modern courthouses, avant-garde sculptures, and strangely colorful public buildings that seem at once totally out of place and also right at home in India. Beyond Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex, the houses in Chandigarh (many designed by Le Corbusier’s cousin, Pierre Jeanneret) are picture-perfect Mid-Century Modern abodes. One of these houses, where Pierre Jeanneret lived while working in Chandigarh, was turned into a museum dedicated to the designer in 2017, with photos and furniture that transport you to the 1950s.
Roubi L’Roubi’s Veere Grenney-designed penthouse in London is a modern take on the 19th-century cabinets d’amateurs. Architectural Digest, May 2015. Photography by Björn Wallander.
Where to Stay: The Heritance Kandulama near Sigiriya is regarded as one of architect Geoffrey Bawa’s most impressive achievements. In the historic fort area of Galle, Fort Bazaar is a renovated 17th-century townhouse offering chic rooms at affordable prices. In 2018, look out for boutique hotel brand Alila’s newest offering Alila Koggala, an eco-friendly design hotel on Koggala Lake in Habaraduwa, close to Galle and Ahangama Beach.
The Basque Country isn’t all beaches, pintxos, and Michelin stars.
Insider Tip: Nassau’s Fish Fry at Arawak Cay is a tourist hotbed when the cruise ships are in port. But visit on a Friday evening and you’ll find a mostly local crowd tucking into freshly prepared conch salads spiked with tropical fruit and downing plastic tumblers of sky juice (a gin cocktail mixed with coconut water, nutmeg, milk, and sugar that tastes much better than it sounds).
The Smoking Room at London’s Reform Club, originally designed as a library for this 1836 institution, is replete with suites of handsome worn tufted leather upholstered furniture. The World of Interiors, November 1984; photography by John Vere Brown.
Where to Stay: The sleek new 114-room MACq1, the first hotel built on Hobart’s harbor in over a decade, has resident storytellers on hand to guide visitors through the rich history of the city. The hotel’s restaurant, Old Wharf, uses culinary creativity (and a lot of seafood) to pay homage to Tasmania’s fishing and mining pioneers–all with a view of the boats bobbing in the pretty River Derwent. Satellite Island, off the coast of Southern Tasmania, is a luxurious private island getaway and the perfect place to unplug.
When to Go: Optimal weather is November through March, when you’ll get cooler temperatures, sunny days, and little rain.
The atmospheric dining room in Diane Burn’s early Italianate San Francisco residence evokes the ancient past with a mix of Roman, Venetian and French furnishings and decor. Photographed by Russell MacMasters for the September 1978 issue of Architectural Digest.
Why It’s Wonderful: A perennial bucket list favorite, the Indonesian island of Bali needs little introduction. Beautiful beaches, lush tropical jungles, terraced rice paddies, Hindu temples, flavorful food, thumping nightlife, incredible spas, and a strong artistic tradition—Bali might be the ultimate island paradise. Improved infrastructure, new hotels, and beach clubs mean more reasons to go now. Ngurah Rai, the island’s only airport, is getting a much-needed expansion, and there’s talk of a new airport being constructed in the north next year. In addition to the picture-perfect Rock Bar perched on a rocky cliff above the crashing waves, AYANA Resort & Spa Bali recently debuted the 1960s-inspired Kubu Beach Club, where you can lounge on daybeds sipping tropical cocktails in coconuts and nibbling on satays. In Ubud—the island’s spiritual heart—Elora Hardy (founder of design firm Ibuku) is adding dreamy new bamboo treehouses to the eco-chic hotel owned by her father and step-mother John and Cynthia Hardy, Bambu Indah.
The garden room was where Donghia lived out daily life. In Angelo Donghia Retrospective I posted a photo of the garden room during an earlier period – a riot of color and pattern. The room later became more architectural, less boho and clubby, with an austere black-and-white scheme that introduced his plump furniture designs and the occasional burst of color in the form of a turquoise painted bamboo table, art, textiles and flowers. We are witness not only to his private domain but to his home as design laboratory, where art is mobile and casually propped, cushions are tossed on the floor, and curious objects are displayed for pleasure. The reflective high gloss of the white painted walls and graphic floor pattern is crisp and exacting, yet the overall atmosphere is relaxed and highly personal. From 1973, when the redecoration of the garden room first appeared in Architectural Digest, to the time just before his death in 1985, the room remained unchanged. Only a chair here or a table there were moved – a testament to the designer’s contribution to mobile furniture arrangements and a contemporary style of living.
A plaque in the Avenue Room celebrates the memory of the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, and contains echoes of the family motto: “Love, Serve”. As its contents indicate, the space has for a while been used as a general store room.
Mary Tyler Moore loved the crystal beaded chandelier from Donghia’s apartment so much that he decided to install it in her New York apartment, which he designed in the early 1980s.
Angelo Donghia; Design Superstar will be on view from September 17th – December 5th at the New York School of Interior Design Gallery, 161 East 69th Street, New York City; www.nysid.edu
The clubby appeal of the library, hung with English horse paintings, is imbued with a rich palette, from the burnished oak of the paneling to the cinnabar of the mohair sofa and terracotta velvet of the wingchair, to the chiaroscuro of the still life painting above the fireplace and the richly patterned French needlepoint rug. The ceiling is painted with a sepia-toned map, which include stars indicating places where the Gertzes have lived.
In the Room of Time a washstand column with hinged top was designed by Del Vicario. Photo by François Halard.
Gutsy mid-Century furniture, bold forms, exotic appointments, and contrasting materials revealing the patina of age fill David Cruz and Richard Hochberg’s Schiff House in Los Angeles. Photography by Tim Street-Porter.
Outside the city center, visitors can get a taste of the Himalayas, with extensive hiking and biking trails in the 7,000-acre Siswan Forest Range.
Get a taste of local life in South Africa’s creative capital.
Why It’s Wonderful: Armenia’s rugged mountains and fertile valleys, full of ancient monasteries and traditional villages, are an eco-tourist’s dream, and new hiking trails and apps are making it easier to explore the country’s great outdoors. Since a 6,000-year-old winery was discovered by archaeologists in Areni village in southern Armenia a decade ago, the area’s winemaking—and wine tourism—has been experiencing a rebirth. An Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown segment filmed in Armenia and set to air in spring 2018 is sure to set mouths watering over culinary specialties such as khorovats (barbecue) and tolma (stuffed grape leaves). Though it’s nearly 3,000 years old, capital Yerevan has a youthful energy, with new cafes, wine bars, boutiques, and restaurants opening by the day.
ANTONIO BATTISTI, Rami cinque architettonici numericamente descritti, 1779.
Designer Melinda Ritz imbued the library in the Tudor revival home of Will & Grace creator Max Mutchnick with a rich palette, solid forms and strong contrasts. Elle Decor-April 2012
Why It’s Wonderful: A trip to Kilimanjaro means spending a week climbing up the 11,000-year-old snow-covered peaks to gaze out across the lunar landscape and savannah plains on the highest point in Africa. As one of the world’s highest volcanoes, Mt. Kilimanjaro is considered to be the “Everyman’s Everest”—it’s the easiest of the Seven Summits around the world. It is also considered a sky island, home to an array of unique species found only along its jungle slopes. Not only is Mt. Kilimanjaro incredibly biodiverse, but it is the center of long-term climatic studies. The famous snowcapped peaks are vaporizing at an incredibly alarming rate and that iconic picture of Mt. Kilimanjaro could all but disappear as soon as 2050.
What to Read: Chandigarh Revealed: Le Corbusier’s City Today by Shaun Fynn and Vikramaditya Prakash, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Why It’s Wonderful: Singapore never stops reinventing itself. Last year, the city-state unveiled its renovated National Museum. And this year? The country welcomes the highly anticipated renovation of the famed Raffles Hotel—a 19th-century grand dame and birthplace of the iconic Singapore Sling. The updated heritage building joins a long list of thoughtfully restored colonial-era buildings in the Chinatown District, such as Potato Head and Esquina tapas bar—both food and beverage meccas built inside former Chinese shophouses.
Upon taking ownership of the villa from its previous steward, Hierschel de Minerbi, Bertie Landsberg discovered the most elemental requirement was to “liberate” the spaces from all that filled them. As objects, furniture and art were removed Landsberg experienced greater purity and perfection, exalting the harmonious quality of Palladian architecture through subtraction.
When to Go: Mauritius is at its white-sand-cobalt-sea best from June to December. Don’t miss November’s Festival International Kréol for cultural immersion, or Diwali, the beautiful celebration of light, in October.
This Italianate-inspired garden room was designed by architects Ferguson-Shamamian and decorated by Bunny Williams. Photo via Ferguson-Shamamian
Barstools from a 1930’s Italian yacht line the kitchen counter and a Bugatti dashboard inspired the gridded brass backsplash.
This manly study designed by architect Thierry Despont resembles a movie set for the film Dick Tracy. From Maison & Jardin. Photography by Pascal Chevallier
The maestro of atmosphere, Renzo Mongiardino, converted a subterranean space from two converted mews houses in London into one fantastical salon de réception for Drue and Henry Heinz – an imagined formal garden the hostess named The Lombardian Room after Mongiardino’s foothold in Milan, which resides in the Lombardy region of Italy.
In the tradition of the great Italian masters Mongiardino employed his talented artists to the task of creating trompe l’oeil vistas on canvas replete with abandoned gardens filled with mythological figures and painted objects juxtaposed with actual columns and doors, creating tension between the illusory and the real.
A vaporous mist appears to shroud the garden in reverent nostalgia. From the February 1991 issue of Architectural Digest; photography by Massimo Listri.
The newly created garden room in Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts’ château in the Vendôme region of France is romantic, airy, relaxed and comfortable. From House & Garden; photography by Pascal Chevallier.
In c1744, Henry Flitcroft created the white-and-gold Palladian decoration in the Great Dining Room. Ravaged by dry rot, the wall was partially stripped back to its bare brickwork in the 1970’s, and has been deliberately left as is.
300 years later, the most unique city in America has more to offer than ever before.
Why It’s Wonderful: Often overlooked, French Flanders is a region that includes Lille and Dunkirk, cities that are all rich in culture, activities, nature, and sightseeing. Dunkirk is one of the top seaside destinations in France, with stunning beaches and over 400 shops to visit. In 2013, the city was named the French Regional Capital of Culture, inspiring the city to flourish with cultural offerings. According to the French, Lille, “Capital des Flandres,” is France’s most underrated city, even though it is the fourth largest in France and the largest in the region. Lille’s Sunday markets and annual braderie (street market) in September is reason alone to visit. In between Lille and Dunkirk, there are also dozens of hills where people can hike and enjoy nature.
Why It’s Wonderful: It would be easy for Porto to rest on its laurels as a wine destination—after all, the world-famous port wine has lured a steady stream of tourists here since the turn of the 18th century. But recently, Portugal’s second city has exploded onto the scene as a hotbed of cutting-edge dining, art, and culture, giving Lisbon a run for its money (sorry, Madonna). In 2017, The Yeatman—one of the city’s top restaurants (and hotels)—turned food critics’ heads when it was awarded its second Michelin star. Casual international dining blossomed this year, too, with the opening of Portugal’s first kosher and Hawaiian restaurants, Ball Falafel and Honolulu, respectively. Souvenirs like handmade emollients—from the just-opened Claus Porto flagship store—or evocative posters from the gift shop at modern-art museum Museo Serralves, will keep Porto on your mind long after your trip.
The Chinoiserie Room’s private bathroom was most likely installed at the end of the 19th-century, when the 9th earl embarked on a program of modernization, including electricity and a new plumbing system. Boxed-in toilettes, like this one, were de rigueur at the time.
Insider Tip: If you have more than two nights to spare, spend at least one exploring the Atlas Mountains. Only an hour from Marrakesh, Kasbah Toubkal is a delightfully authentic hike-in (don’t worry, it’s less than a mile) retreat with unbelievable views of Morocco’s highest peak. If you’re more interested in the desert than the mountains, Scarabeo Camp offers a luxe glamping experience less than an hour from the city.
The view from the loggia takes in the classically laid out gardens and cascading water features culminating with the tea pavilion.
For a Palm Beach dining room Jeffrey Bilhuber layered an oak leaf painting by Chester Arnold and Moroccan fretwork over an existing panoramic mural and a mix of disparate styles, from Regency to modern and refined to humble. Photographed by William Abranowicz
The original 1920s Art Deco cabins have all been painstakingly restored by its owner, the luxury hotelier Belmond. There are three dining cars and two for drinking. Single and twin cabins can be booked (per passenger price starts at £585 and that’s only from Paris to London), and for the deeper-pocketed, stunning suites are available. In March, they’ll unveil their new Grand Suites, which promises to be the finest manner in which a lady or a gentleman can wander throughout Europe.
Personal events in the years of 2004 and 2005 and their memory will forever be emblazoned on the psyche of one Nick Ashley-Cooper of Dorset, England. It was in the year of 2004 that the then twenty-four year old Brit, a techno DJ and events planner living and working in New York City, learned a horrifying and haunting fate: his father, the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, had been found dead, murdered, in a ravine in France. His older brother by two years, Anthony, had been preparing himself as heir apparent and found himself instantly thrust into his father’s role as the 11th Earl of Shaftsbury and chatelain of their ancestral estate, St Giles House. However, in six months time that would not come to be: Anthony would die of a heart attack at the age of 27. And if this were not enough, his father’s third wife, Jamila M’Barek, a Playboy model turned prostitute, and her brother were convicted of his father’s murder.
Another conservatory at Axel Vervoordt’s s’Gravenswesel compound in Belgium appreciates the balance of form, texture and meaning. From Vogue Living. Photography by Michael Paul
A high achiever since childhood, Donghia was president of five organizations in High School. He later went on to the Parson’s School of Design, and upon graduation in 1959 he decided to apply for jobs with three interior designers: Michael Greer, Yale Burge and Billy Baldwin. He happened to call Yale Burge first and was offered a job on the spot, which continued until Burge’s death in 1971 after the duo had formed a partnership, Burge-Donghia. It was during their partnership that Vice Versa was formed exclusively for Donghia’s rug and fabric designs. To display his fabrics he used the furniture he had designed for customers, which he eventually sold through the same outlets. By the age of forty-five the creative polymath had amassed four distinct corporate entities : a fabric company (Vice Versa), his eponymous furniture company, a licensing company and a growing collection of design showrooms to the trade throughout the country – all successfully without so much as fracturing his reputation in the eyes of high profile clients the likes of Halston, Ralph Lauren, Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Walters, and Liza Minnelli. Particularly rare among his peers of that era, Donghia successfully navigated the creative waters of high style interior design with assured business acumen, securing his success and longevity. His design and business models have since inspired a host of designers, providing a framework on which to build their growing businesses into successful enterprises.
Where to Stay: From boutique hotels to sprawling haciendas, you’ve got tons of options to choose from. In the historic center is the newly opened Alborata Boutique Hotel. This elegant, 17-room darling is dwarfed by the flashy-new NH Collection Hotel overlooking the Cathedral and Teatro Degollado. Feel noble at Villa Ganz, a 1930s historic mansion converted into a luxury boutique hotel. Located in acclaimed Colonia Lafayette, it rivals the artsy, sleek, and spiffy Hotel Demetria less than a block away.
The design of the poolhouse was intended as a happy memory, incorporating a Colonial-style entrance salvaged from Gertz’s former home.
Prince Jean-Louis di Faucigny-Lucinge in La Malcontenta’s garden, 1926.
In the orangery of a lakeside villa in Switzerland 19th-century birdcages are suspended from a ceiling hand painted by Florentine artisans; the walls are decorated with framed dried flowers, the stool is wrought iron, and the cocktail table was made in Florence. From the June 2011 issue of Elle Decor; photography by Simon Upton.
Posted February 16, 2016. Filed in Axel Vervoordt, Belgian-Dutch Style, Chinoiserie, Villas & Villa Style
By the 1980’s the Great Dining Room, which looks through to the Tapestry Room, was stripped out to cure dry rot. Family portraits are stored behind thick canvas drapes on the right.
The entry hall, up until recently, had been glazed a warm cantaloupe with floors painted white – at once cheerful and warm, a welcoming gesture come all seasons. The Greek key border at the crown molding was eventually removed by the time the entry appeared again in An Affair with a House, and the prettily painted Italian chairs were switched out for simpler English ones. Today the entry is painted a complex neutral that goes from green to blue to gray and the floors are stained dark, patterned with a darker stencil design. The atmosphere is more sober, serene and edited. A new leopard pattern stair runner adds a dose of high style glamour.
The Room of Giants as it appeared under Bertie Landsberg in the 1930’s. Photo by Osvaldo Boehm.
Where to Stay: The Oyster Box Hotel in the bougie Umhlanga beachfront is over-the-top chic, with a guest list to prove it. For a hefty price tag, you can book the presidential suite and take a dip in the private pool where Khloe Kardashian and Nicky Minaj splashed around (presumably not together). They have affordable rooms too, so you don’t have to be a celeb to stay here and enjoy the views of the coast. If downtown is more your scene, the Hilton Durban has been recently remodeled, with luxe and comfy rooms just a stone’s throw from downtown’s major attractions.
Where to Stay: The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Hotel is a large, clean, full-service resort in-line with beach resorts the world over, complete with spa and gym facilities and cultural and culinary events. But for the more adventurous travelers, bungalows, beach houses, villas, and apartments are plentiful and super affordable.
OTTAVIO BERTOTTI SCAMOZZI, Le fabbriche e i disegni di Andrea Palladio, vol. III, Vicenza 1781.
A visit to this isolated stretch of Northern California’s coastline is like a getaway to a long, forgotten world.
The large, lofty rooms in the villa are balanced by more intimate spaces, such as this small room, or camerino, in a rear corner of the piano nobile. The Room of Fame photographed by Aldo Ballo, 1979.
Why It’s Wonderful: Mongolia is a land of pristine blue skies that stretch for miles, rolling mountains and steppes covered in sweet Mongolian grass, mirrored Khövsgöl Lake, and vast desert landscapes. In the countryside, where locals don their ornate brocade deel and sip airag, a fermented horse milk wine at intimate Naadam celebrations, while racks of fresh khuruud cheese dry atop gers in the arid breeze. As climate change leads to desertification and pushes nomads into the capital city, Ulan Bator, these quiet scenes of Mongolian life are quickly vanishing. While the capital is undergoing a cultural and culinary revolution, 2018 might be one of the last years where visitors can experience the subtle splendor of the Mongolian landscape and nomadic lifestyle, while also enjoying the raw metropolitan energy of a city being reborn.
Why It’s Wonderful: You can’t help but be inspired by the New Mexico landscape so it’s no surprise that for centuries, artists have called this place home. From the abstract landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe to the secret carved caves of Ra Paulette to the genre-defying alternate universe of Meow Wolf, New Mexico continues to nurture creative minds. At the juncture of art and nature, you’ll find funky towns like Madrid and historic haunted cities like Santa Fe. Any trip to New Mexico should include a visit to at least one otherworldly natural wonder: Georgia’s “white place” near Abiquiu, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument near Albuquerque, or White Sands National Monument near the Texas border. New Mexico truly lives up to its name: The Land of Enchantment.
Tables are piled with decades of photographs, letters, mementos, sketches and personal caprices in Givenchy’s studio. A bas-relief of a dove by Giacometti surmounts the fireplace.
From the March 2013 issue of House & Garden. Photography by Simon Brown.
The Rococo curves of the water chain, softened by yew hedges, contrasts the angular formalism of the reflecting pool lined with stone urns planted with agave. Beyond the next tier, framed by a broken stone balustrade, is the lowest tier, ending with an Italian-Renaissance-style pavilion. Archival photos taken in the 1920’s were referenced when restoring the gardens created by landscape architect Helen Thorne.
I featured the following image in my post The Men’s Room, an interior indicative of a learned man who enjoys the arts and travel, and the occasional game of billiards. But, as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving. At the time of publication in House & Garden in 1991 Despont shared the apartment with his then wife, Anne, and two daughters, Catherine and Louise. To the contrary, this was a family home, not a bachelor’s pad, despite the evidence leading us to believe so – the clubby Edwardian-style paneled rooms, iconic modern furniture, Constructivist art, architectural renderings and a sober scheme of mellowed off-white walls seemingly stained by years of tobacco smoke and furniture covered in brown and black leather and simple natural cotton. All but for one dramatic flourish, the gold curtains revealing a shock of peridot lining, we are witness to a masculine point of view. But then this was the early 1990’s, the decade of the power suit (think Armani) and powerful women (think the fictional Alexis Carrington Colby). A defining moment when women were flexing their masculine muscle. Or was it really only the case of architect creating home as portfolio.
Awaken a sense of freedom and adventure as you climb through four seasons in one week on the rooftop of Africa.
Posted January 21, 2016. Filed in Clubby, Mark Hampton, Mens Rooms, Ralph Lauren, Thomas O’Brien, Veere Greeney
Walls limed the color of burnished apricot form a complimentary backdrop to the honeyed wood tones of an antique Belgian secretary bookcase in the master bedroom. The painting is by Ida Barbarigo.
The living room represents an accumulation of objects, art, and books, and much of the furniture is 17th-and-18th-century English, with many pieces attributed to the workrooms of Thomas Chippendale. One of the finest pieces in the room is an 18th-century carved wooden games table by Daniel Marot I, a Franco-Dutch designer who worked for the princes of Orange and the English royal family. Within an envelope of creamy white the subdued color scheme draws from the 17th-century Persian Isfahan rug with shades of burnished terracotta, repeated on the taffeta window treatments.
Meanwhile, American robber barons were gilding the lily in their monumental estates, such as here in the Palm Court at Biltmore House in Ashville, North Carolina, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1887.
From Architectural Digest Historic Interiors, 1979. Alderman Studio photography.
A hurricane survivor overflows with cultural and historical treasures.
Insider Tip: Download the Inside Yerevan map (or pick up a print copy for free at one of the establishments listed) for young locals’ opinionated suggestions of where to eat, drink, shop, and explore.
Why It’s Wonderful: Prince Edward Island is an irresistible combination of rolling green hills and excellent beaches and seascapes, with bountiful shellfish, a gentle pace and a lively music scene.
Yesterday, we published our No List, which underscored many of the challenges we face as travelers—as human beings, really—around the world. Sometimes it’s scary out there. Bad news seems to be everywhere, constantly upsetting our daily lives with fear and sadness. But resist, fellow mortal! Have hope for this extraordinary planet and its curiously charming inhabitants. This planet is, at heart, a magical place that’s worth exploring.
In addition to The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph you can read more about St Giles House at their website
Two strips cut from a rare tapestry portrait of the bewigged Augustus III, King of Poland, hang either side of a door in the Shaftesbury’s private apartment.
What to Read: The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway, Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly by Dave Eggers
Where to Stay: Carlisle Bay offers luxurious contemporary accommodations directly on its alluring namesake beach. If you’re looking for something more down to earth in price, Siboney Beach Club is an affordable beachfront oasis on a quiet corner of Dickenson Bay. Others may be more impressed by The Admiral’s Inn, offering historical ambiance with boutique hotel comforts in a waterfront location right in Nelson’s Dockyard.
Why It’s Wonderful: It just needs to be said–Split is weird. When you first enter town, you’ll be bombarded by the same drab, box-like architecture that so dominates much of Communist Europe, but soon you’ll see it: Diocletian’s Palace. It started oh-so-long ago as a retirement home for the Roman emperor Diocletian in the fourth century—Split was to be his Golden Girls Miami. And while most cities would either preserve their history museum-style or bulldoze it, Split has gone with a third option: to spend centuries building and evolving a millennia-old structure to create a thriving metropolis out of an ancient wonder. Diocletian’s Palace is now a vibrant maze of bars and restaurants, shops, and even apartments.
Insider Tip: Cruise the coastline in a rented yacht for the perfect ocean sunsets or, better yet, hire a car and drive along the east coast—drink in the sights at your own pace and stop for swims in various little beach coves.
Where to Stay: Bella Muzica is a historic, three-star property situated in the heart of Brasov is over 400 years old, lending an intimate, authentic feel to your stay. Alternatively, outside the city overlooking Miorita Lake, is Hotel Aurelius, a contemporary spa resort in the popular ski town of Poiana Brasov that offers the perfect mountainside relaxation.
Next up … Angelo Donghia’s super-glamorous New York City townhouse!
The Raspberry Study of Empress Maria Alexandrovna at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Watercolor by Edward Petrovich Hau, c1860.
The most charming town in Alaska is also (quite proudly) the weirdest.
Why It’s Wonderful: New Zealand is blessed with otherworldly scenery, but one of the most stunning spots in the entire country is Fiordland, the country’s biggest national park, located on the southwest coast. This area has World Heritage status for its natural beauty, which includes 14 fiords surrounded by towering cliffs, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks. Visitors can explore the fiords of Milford Sound, which Rudyard Kipling described as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” or Doubtful Sound, the deepest fiord, home to bottlenose dolphins, seals, and penguins. The best way to soak up the scenery is by boat—the new Fiordland Discovery is a luxury ship offering day and overnight trips—or by hiking along the 300 miles of trails. Intrepid travelers can also explore by scuba.
Insider Tip: Be sure to book well in advance if you’re looking to do iconic hikes in the area such as the Milford Track or Routeburn Track. If you’re doing a day trip to Milford Sound out of Queenstown, have a backup day in case of rain. Fiordland is famous for temperamental weather and gets over 20 feet of rain a year.
The living room of a private client, completed in 1977, with Donghia’s Two Tier chairs and few architectural trimmings
The years at La Malcontenta have inspired Del Vicario to create lines of furniture and handmade glassware that, like the house, are rooted in classicism. Her designs include chairs that reinterpret ancient Roman seating, and an octagonal “column” that opens into a cabinet. Her pieces have a purity of form and a craftsmanship that makes them, like Palladian architecture, successful in any context. “One never gets used to beauty — One keeps being surprised and inspired by it,” Del Vicario says. “I think that’s the lesson of this house.”
This ad for Vice Versa appeared in the July/August, 1979, issue of Architectural Digest.
This tropical-inspired loggia in a Tudor-style house near the Hudson river renovated by California-based architectural designer James Nigro and Manhattan-based interior designer Alexa Hampton. From the February 2007 issue of Architectural Digest, with photography by Scott Frances.
What to Read: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place by Barbara Buhler Lynes
Why It’s Wonderful: Right between Anchorage and Mount Denali, you’ll find the small village of Talkeetna, a place known as both the gateway to Alaska’s most famous national park and as the town that elected a cat named Stubbs as its mayor for 20 years. This confluence of the great outdoors and silly local tales sums up the town quite nicely (and made it the quirky inspiration behind the hit 1990s television show Northern Exposure). Today, visitors come for the multitude of outdoor activities offered (hiking, rafting, fishing, and flightseeing up to the peaks of Denali are just some of your many options) and stay for the community of artists, musicians, and craftspeople who give the town its true charm. Art galleries and handcrafted gift shops line the main streets here, with a growing assortment of brewpubs and weed dispensaries thrown into the mix. But the best part is getting to know the locals, who are happy to tell you about the annual Wilderness Woman’s Contest (which is thankfully quite self-aware and raises money for local domestic violence programs), the late Mayor Stubbs’s many assassination attempts, or how President Warren G. Harding’s mysterious death in 1923 came just days after he visited Talkeetna.
Henri Samuel’s winter garden rendered in watercolor by Jeremiah Goodman.
Why Go Now: On May 5, 1718—yes, coincidentally Cinco de Mayo—a Franciscan priest set up shop along the San Antonio River in order to keep the French far away from Mexico. It worked! But it also laid the foundation for what would become a thriving town. And three hundred years later, San Antonio is the seventh largest city in America; a glorious concoction of Latin American, North American, and European cultures; the home of World Heritage sites, including the Alamo (remember it, damnit!); a surprisingly fun River Walk (you can buy cocktails to go!); and one of the best cuisines the U.S. of A. has to offer.
Where to Stay: If you like a river view and want to be in the heart of the city, the Omni del Mansión Rio is perfect. It was built as a school in the 19th century and transformed into a luxury property in 1968. Though an old school sounds creepy, it’s decidedly not. And, unlike close-by properties such as the Emily Morgan Hotel, this one is ghost-free. But perhaps the finest hotel in the city is the Hotel Emma, in what was once the Pearl Beer brewery. The hotel is named after the wife of the founder of the brewhouse, as well as his mistress, and nurse, all of whom were called Emma. So, yes, the guy was a pig, but the hotel is beautiful.
Renzo Mongiardino tempered his characteristically bold palette with an airier one in the late 1980s for a villa near Rome’s Appian Way owned by fashion designer Valentino. The stenciled walls and ceiling of the dining room were inspired by an 18th-century Sicilian veranda.
Photography by Derry Moore.
What to Read: Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell, The Last Flight of the Macaw by Bruce Barcott
When to Go: Visit Porto in the summer, when outlying beaches are warm enough for swimming and surfing. Fall and winter offer the best rates—and the rainiest weather. If you live in the New York metropolitan area, you’re in luck: Starting in May 2018, United will offer direct flights to Porto from Newark.
Insider Tip: Take a day trip to Bruny Island to take advantage of a full range of delectable Tasmanian produce—from freshly shucked oysters to sweet raspberries—and then go wildlife spotting on the coast, keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals, and migrating whales.
The World of Interiors met up with Nick Shaftesbury in 2012 to report on the earl’s leviathan responsibility and his progress in restoring St Giles over the past seven years. Shaftesbury had cleared away debris and brought order to generations of furniture, paintings and things with a family connection. Realizing the need to begin somewhere the library was the first room he sought to bring order to, where stacks of books were piled on its floor in no particular order. After clearing the room each book was dusted, cleaned and put on a shelf, organized by period with the assistance of a Christie’s book expert. And so it has gone with many of the other rooms at St Giles since. In 2009 he and his wife Dinah made the decision to permanently move to St Giles after several years of commuting between the estate and their apartment in London. With the assistance of Philip Hughes, an historic-buildings conservation specialist, they devised a $1.97 million plan to renovate part of the south wing of the house to create a three-bedroom apartment for his family. The World of Interiors was invited to return to St Giles to celebrate their achievements, which you can read about in this October’s issue.
Why It’s Wonderful: Vampires aren’t the only draw to Transylvania, a region in central Romania encased in the Carpathian Mountains. While the area is best known for Bran Castle, a Gothic fortress reputed to be the former home of Dracula (although history would argue otherwise), the sweeping mountains are filled with small villages, endless forests, and surprisingly good skiing. Brasov, encased in ancient Saxon walls, is a lively town that lends itself well to travelers of all types, as are nearby Sibiu and Sighisoara. It’s notably less crowded (and less expensive) than other Eastern European destinations, and Romanian culture and history are endlessly fascinating, particularly when you get beyond the requisite talk of blood-suckers. Nature lovers and hikers should visit Apuseni Nature Park, where vestiges of prehistoric humans have been found in its approximately 1,500 caves.
For the front parlor in a New York brownstone Mark Hampton created an Edwardian atmosphere with potted palms and a Bennison chintz mixed with Napolean III and Louis XVI furnishings. Photography by Scott Frances.
Where to Stay: Accommodations in St. Petersburg are relatively affordable. If you’re looking for luxury, it doesn’t get much better than The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel, opened in 2013. While the hotel is located across the river from the Hermitage Museum, the property’s luxurious hydrothermal pools are the perfect place to post up after a long day exploring the former capital city. If you’re looking for something traditionally Russian, the Trezzini Palace is every bit as ornate and over-the-top as you could hope for. Located directly along the banks of the River Neva, this historic property is well within walking distance to many of St. Pete’s most popular establishments including St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Hermitage Museum, and Peter and Paul Fortress.
For the 1997 Kips Bay Show House Mario Buatta transformed a landing into a conservatory as garden fantasy, replete with painted, carved and real flora. Thibualt Jeanson photographer.
The collection of Tournai porcelain was amassed over several decades.
Rooigem House in Sint-Kruis, Belgium, is the idiosyncratic creation of antiques dealer and designer Jean-Phillipe Demeyer. See it here
This Mediterranean land of sun-kissed cliffs and prehistoric temples also stars as the 2018 European Capital of Culture.
When to Go: Shoulder season—spring and fall—are the best times to visit Bilbao if you prioritize low rates and short lines. Summer is when the city is at its liveliest, thanks to BBK Live (mid-July), a wildly popular rock music festival, and Aste Nagusia (late August), a nine-day bacchanal filled with dancing, fireworks, costume contests, and traditional Basque sports.
Workers help restore books damaged by dampness and dust before the renovation of St. Giles House.
Why It’s Wonderful: Tasmania occupies a special place in the collective Australian imagination. When you mention the tiny island state, eyes twinkle and words like “magical” begin to tumble out. The 2011 opening of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)—repeatedly named one of the world’s best modern art galleries—first put Tasmania on the international map, but its influence is rapidly growing. Over the last two years, capital city Hobart has experienced a culinary renaissance, with dozens of new openings from chefs drawn from all over Australia. These new locavore restaurants are the perfect complement to Tasmania’s outstanding natural produce—everything from sweet honey and smoky paprika to dry sparkling wines and creamy goat cheese. Visitors can also hike snowy Cradle Mountain or pet a wallaby on Wineglass Bay’s white-sand beach. And in 2018, you can discover another aspect to Tasmania’s diverse offerings with The Aboriginal Land Council’s Wukalina Walk, a guided four-day tour that highlights the culturally rich and ruggedly spectacular homeland of the Palawa people.
When to Go: Festival season runs from mid-February to mid-June, with beach weather commencing in late March. To capitalize on warm (but not sweltering), dry weather when crowds have diminished and fall harvests have begun to stock restaurant kitchens, book a trip in late September and early October.
Insider Tip: You haven’t been to Sichuan until you’ve tasted the famous cuisine. Harnessing mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, dishes here tend to be fiery, colorful, and aromatic. Sit down at Qiqi Shanyu Hot Pot in Chongqing to dip vegetables and fish in a cauldron of bubbling oil.
Bertie Landsberg with Claud and Marion Phillimore at La Malcontenta, 1932.
French interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot created a sumptuous Winter Garden for a new build classically-inspired mansion in New Delhi, India. From the November 2013 issue of Elle Decor; photography by Richard Powers.
Travelers normally arrive here at the end of three days of surreal landmarks, including the blood-orange Laguna Colorada where thousand-strong flocks of James’ flamingos congregate, and the Dali-like rock formations that rise out of the desert. But the salt flats are the real stars of the show. This surreal white landscape of crisp, unblemished hexagons of salt bookended by sky-skimming volcanoes leave most feeling disorientated; a fact leveraged by imaginative tourists to snap silly, perspective-skewing photographs.
Angelo Donghia at his uptown New York City townhouse in 1970, seated on a chair from his Vice Versa collection.
Why It’s Wonderful: Over a decade after Hurricane Katrina and approaching the city’s 300th birthday, the New Orleans of today is a mix of honoring the old and welcoming in the new and different. For visitors, classic appeals like jazz, Mardi Gras, and Creole cuisine aren’t going anywhere, but new and exciting cultural attractions will delight and surprise. Food and music are at an all-time best: hot newcomers like N7and Turkey and the Wolf garner national attention alongside 100-year-old decadent Southern dining rooms and po’ boy stands, and contemporary local acts like Big Freedia, Sweet Crude, and Tank and the Bangas find a place among the brass bands and traditional jazz. With tons of smaller fall and spring festivals sharing the calendar with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, opportunities to let the good times roll endlessly abound.
Insider Tip: This town often reeks of sulfur–but, don’t worry, everything’s OK. Split is built on natural sulfur springs which were said to be the reason the rheumatic Diocletian wanted to retire here in the first place.
A conservatory in a 1920’s Beverly Hills residence decorated by Thomas Beaton merges traditional and orientalist design. Photography by Melanie Acevedo for House & Garden.
Jannis Kounellis photographed by Claudio Franzin in the Central Hall, 1992.
Naturally, the presence of Audrey Hepburn was formidable at the Thyssen exhibition considering the success of Sabrina that skyrocketed Givenchy to global stardom. These sketches and reproductions of photographs of Audrey Hepburn, who Givenchy met in 1952, were on display in his workroom at le Jonchet.
The designer reflected that on some mornings the phone rang in his atelier and it would be Audrey: “I just called to say I love you.”
A mecca for artists in one of America’s most awe-inspiring natural settings.
When to Go: Summer in Romania is very hot, so spring and fall are the most pleasant times to sight-see. Skiers should consider December through March for snowy slopes.
Within a classical envelope of formal architecture, including a pedimented door surround and dentil moldings painted crisp white, relaxed and over-scaled Donghia-designed furniture floats within a cocoon of deep viridian on a pale bleached wood floor beneath a glittering silver papered ceiling in the main living room. A wonderful balance of high and low pervades the room, where a central seating arrangement is defined by an imposing Coromandel screen from the estate of Coco Chanel and upholstered furniture covered in white satin and cotton duck is placed with mobility in mind. Donghia understood the times in which he lived, creating glamorous, highly edited and sophisticated rooms that were equally youthful, modern and comfortable. He also introduced us to changeable arrangements where furniture, art, and objects can be moved easily from one place to another. While working on Mary Tyler Moore’s Manhattan aerie the actress fell so much in love with his beaded glass chandelier that installed it in her dining room (you can see it here). In 1977 his friend, film producer Joel Schumacher, lived here while doing the costumes and sets for Woody Allen’s Interiors, and while writing The Wiz for Sidney Lumet – using the banquette as his bed. If you have an opportunity you can view an interview with Schumacher and others at the Angelo Donghia retrospectivce, Angelo Donghia: Design Superstar, at the New York School of Interior Design.
Stylistically Donghia stood out from the crowd. From his early designs we are witness to the influence of his classical training that segued into a brief fascination with bohemian exoticism in the later 1960’s until arriving at his unparalleled classic-contemporary vocabulary. By the 1970’s he had defined his style, introducing overscale furniture like none seen before it into spare yet glamorous backdrops in which to showcase select pieces. A product of the times, his rooms were as sexy as his Studio 54 clientele. He approached color in much the same way one would to dress themselves, enveloping his clients in the same colors they felt comfortable wearing. His preference for neutrals allowed the nuance of form and texture to predominate while providing a quietly elegant backdrop in which to display important pieces. He was, as is now, particularly known for his use of large-scale, “fat” furniture, men’s gray flannel suiting for walls and upholstery, and reflective high gloss painted walls and silver-foil ceilings. Many of his furniture designs are still in production and near vintage pieces can be found on sites such as 1stdibs and Viyet. Furniture can sometimes be like clothing: Just when you’ve decided they will never come back in vogue and you dispose of them, they do. I wonder what became of my cream chenille c1994 Luciano club chair? But more importantly, I wonder what Mr. Donghia would be up to today. He would be eighty years old. In some small way, this post is an homage to one of our greats. Hail Donghia!
Faded blue striped wallpaper lined the walls of the main staircase, and names above the doors — “Rose Dressing Room” and “Avenue Room” – – recall a golden age of country-house life.
Photos and descriptions for this post from Southern Accents with photography by Peter Estersohn, and from the December 2015 issue of Architectural Digest, with photography by Björn Wallander.
Why It’s Wonderful: In the Lowcountry, social gatherings are guided by the abundance of the season. During winter, nearly every event is an oyster roast. Come summer, backyard cookouts are likely to include a steaming table of Lowcountry Boil, piled high with seasoned shrimp and corn. Charleston’s culinary history has paved the way for a dining scene boom, including avant-garde concepts like the recently debuted 16-course ticketed dining at Sean Brock’s revamped McCrady’s or the category-redefining vittles at the newly opened Edmund’s Oast Brewing Company. During the first week in March, the region’s top chefs come together at the 12th installment of the Charleston Wine+Food festival. Make plans to visit during the 17 days of Spoleto USA in May and June, when visionaries like Philip Glass and major European opera houses and theaters bring the U.S. debuts of major works to Charleston’s historic venues.
The North Drawing Room’s walls had once been covered in yellow silk but were redone in a dark green by Nick’s parents. A large portrait of the First Earl of Shaftesbury is flanked by the next earl and countess.
Insider Tip: Experience some of the best seafood Malta has to offer by visiting Marsaxlokk, a fishing village on the island’s south coast famed for its colorful luzzu (traditional fishing boats). Nearby St. Peter’s Pool is a natural site popular for swimming, cliff jumping, and slacklining. Dedicate at least a couple days to explore Malta’s quieter and less developed sister island, Gozo. You can hire a scooter when you’re there and head to the Blue Hole, an underwater cave with mesmerizing blue-green hues.
The Room of the Giants photographed by Paolo Martin in 1997 appears to conveys crisp contrast. In reality the tones and hues lie somewhere between white and rich cream.
But what do you think of when you hear this: the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express? Perhaps you see a countess wrapped in ermine, or a monocle-eyed gentleman in tails, seated in a wood-paneled dining cabin, champagne in hand. It’s a bygone era, right? It’s just an Agatha Christie fever dream or a footnote in history, right? No! It’s real! It’s a real thing! It’s not a travel mirage! And it’s spectacular.
“The layer of whitewash covering the walls could be likened to a veil, which concealed a mystery, and this added to the fascination of the building that was already imbued with enigmatic messages” wrote Antonio Foscari.
What to Read: Randomly pick up any John Grisham novel–chances are it takes place in Memphis.
Ferrante Fever is set to put this island in the spotlight in 2018.
Henri Samuel created a beguiling fantasia for the Jardin d”Hiver in Valentino’s Château de Wideville, a multipurpose chamber furnished largely au chinois. From the October 2012 issue of Architectural Digest. Photography by Simon Watson.
My original intention was to essentially write an essay based on what I have learned and discovered about La Malcontenta from the article featured in House & Garden magazine and Antonio Foscari’s book Tumult and Order. But after reading them both I couldn’t imagine capturing the inspired and magical story of this remarkable house and the fascinating people who have inhabited it over the past ninety years nearly as poetically. The story belongs to them, after all. My suggestion would be to read both and savor every word and nuance. However, the House & Garden feature is out of print, unless you happen to own a back issue. So, as a gift to you, I have reprinted it verbatim so that you may experience the story of “the most beautiful house in the world” as it was written by Marella Carracciolo for House & Garden. As for Tumult and Order it has become one of my favorite love stories. You can also learn more about the villa, and view many of the archival photos featured in Tumult and Order, at La Malcontenta.
Thomas Krens, center, with Barbara Del Vicario, right, 1990.
Since I began my blog two years ago I have wanted to write a post about American interior design icon Angelo Donghia. And now, with a retrospective of his work in full swing at the New York School of Interior Design Gallery, there may never be a better time to honor one of America’s most influential interior designers whose signature style and business savvy changed the landscape of interior design.
When to Go: For mild weather and smaller crowds, visit in May after Golden Week (a national holiday usually celebrated the first week of May). Christmastime is also magical in Tokyo, as Western Christmas traditions are reinterpreted through a Japanese lens to stunning effect. However, it gets cold and very rainy, so come prepared.
Why It’s Wonderful: With its flair for the creative, Buenos Aires has long attracted lovers of art and design. Each fall and winter bring important events: ArteBA in May gathers the works of about 300 artists from 50 countries, and BA Fashion Week in August is a dream for fashionistas. But the city is ramping up to become an even bigger star in the art world. Buenos Aires was recently named as the first “Art Basel City” in the world, which has kicked off a multi-year collaboration with the Art Basel team, including a week of specially curated public arts programming in September 2018.
An eighteenth-century walnut table hides the back of the sofa in the drawing room.
The entrance hall merges garden and interior into one light-filled gallery highlighting exceptional items of furniture and art selected and arranged with the eye of an artist and curator. To the renovated space Vervoordt installed old Carrara-marble slabs and trained bougainvillea onto lime-painted plaster walls applied by Flemish artisans. In the first photo a canvas by Japanese artist Norio Imai crowns an 18th-century marble console. In the next photo, just inside the front door, a Khmer bronze torso, an abstract painting and a 19th-century hibachi create a three-point composition. The last photo features a root table beneath a minimalist artwork by Axel Vervoordt.
Native forests, coral reef-fringed islands, and a heady mix of cultures make Mauritius far more than a luxury beach destination.
When to Go: Only two seasons exist in Antarctica: summer and winter. Expedition season runs from late October through March, but the best months to visit are December and January when the days are longer, penguin chicks are hatching, and humpback whales are feeding before their long migration north.
The cozy and inviting kitchen incorporates the breakfast room and highly organized systems for storing their extensive collections of dinner and service wares. What could be more welcoming than a crackling fire on a crisp day? Certainly motivation for preparing a tasty feast. Little has changes, save for different dining chairs. Simplicity and warmth is all that’s needed here.
Tel Aviv’s backdrop makes for perfect Instagram-worthy adventures for foodies, party animals, beach bums, and families.
A marble bust of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, who campaigned vigorously for better working conditions for the Victorian poor, has now returned to the new entrance lobby.
In another corner of the living room a rare Dutch rococo corner cabinet was used as a champagne bar. Today it can be found in Betty’s bathroom (see below).
The south-facing Regency library was added by the sixth earl.
When to Go: Fall is by far the most comfortable time to visit after the intense summer heat, and before the winter damp. It’s also time to partake in a traditional Moon Festival outdoor BBQ.
Insider Tip: There are countless once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in Patagonia: drink from a glacier; spot pumas, guanaco, condors, foxes, and flamingos; watch avalanches; spot the famed turquoise lakes. A guide or expedition, easily coordinated with your accommodations, is the best way to make sure you hit each item.
In the poolhouse, antique Chinese porcelain from one of the famous Hatcher cargoes perches on plaster brackets designed by Axel Vervoordt.
Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you’ll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.
From the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair; photography by Pablo Zamora.
La Malcontenta means “the unhappy woman”. The name most likely has its origins in the term mal contenta, meaning “badly contained”– a reference to the river’s former tendency to flood its banks at the site of the villa. But the more interesting explanation behind the villa’s name is the legend that the wife of one of the original owners was banished to the house for living too loosely in Venice. If she was sad, Palladio was joyous.
Timothy Whealon looked to Le Style Jean-Michel Frank for the design of a conservatory in a Monaco residence. Photography by Simon Watson.
Curiosities in one end of the double drawing room include two of Paolo’s collection of silver tortoises.
Crumbling leather and piles of books invokes a sense of lived in comfort in the library at Southside House in Wimbledon, London, England. Photography by Tim Beddow.
Fire is the theme in the Room of Prometheus, a spacious living room in La Malcontenta’s east wing, as photographed by Mark Smith in 1997.
The main salon is reminiscent of a private gentleman’s club, featuring old prints, 19th-century-and-20th-century drawings alongside Despont’s own work hung stacked, salon style, as in the Louvre. A cubic layout of floating furniture includes a pair of facing George Smith sofas, an Anglo-Indian cane campaign bed as coffee table, and Marcel Breuer armchairs facing a pair of Dakota Jackson club chairs. In one corner a pair of French moderne armchairs are covered in Art Deco patterned velvet. The tattletale in the room is the pair of Donghia side tables, which gives the age of this room away. Then again, how many designers are creating neutral spaces today?
Bunny Williams’ passion for gardening led her to transform neglected land into a series of enchanted gardens. Utilizing stone and hemlock hedges to create structure and formal gardens, the effect is one of intimacy and nuance as you pass from “room” to outdoor room. Over the years a cutting garden was added to provide annuals and vegetables as well as formal parterres to frame the barn and conservatory.
The traditional light-filled solarium of a California home designed by Miles Redd was featured in the January 2015 issue of Architectural Digest. Photography by Roger Davies.
The library opens onto the villa’s central inner courtyard on one side, evoking the spirit of an ancient Roman villa.
One of Asia’s most progressive, flourishing cities strikes a balance between nature and modernity, past and future.
Insider Tip: Don’t let the mountain fool you: It’s still a heavy climb, so it’s important to go with a reputable operator with a strong safety record. And if you’re wanting something special, why not try a meticulously timed moonlight summit under a blanket of stars?
The living room has evolved over the years from a chintz-enveloped paean to English country house style to a quietly elegant version of itself in subsequent years. The first photo was published in House Beautiful in 1987, after Williams removed the floral wallpaper and curtains and replaced both with solid material. I cannot determine whether the windows are stained or painted to match the walls. About ten years later the living room would take on a simpler, lighter look and feel with walls painted a warm yellow inspired by the Michelangelo designed loggia at Villa San Michele in Fiesole, Italy (see my post A Tale of Two Villas), with trim painted a crisp white. Accents of sylvan browns and greens ties the interiors to the gardens beyond their windows and doors in a quietly subtle homage. Williams told Veranda “I’ve come into a confidence that only time gives you. I’ve cleaned up. I’ve gotten stronger. I want big scale. I’m not so interested in little stuff in a room. I’m more serene about what I’m doing.” The results of her evolution are clear: elegant, edited, comfortable rooms that are pleasing to our senses and intellect.
Barbara Foscari and Jannis Kounellis on the portico, 1992. Photo by Claudio Franzin.
The villa was the first major commission from a family of the city. In the early 1550s, Palladio had gained celebrity in nearby Vicenza. But the Venetian’s were deeply suspicious of anything endorsed by papal Rome, Foscari says, and Palladio’s architecture, rooted in the same classical language that was resurfacing in the new buildings of Renaissance Rome and Florence, was seen by many as a threat to Venetian individuality and integrity. The Foscari’s offered Palladio a unique opportunity to show off his talent on a piece of land by the Brenta, the main travel route between Venice and Padua. “Boats were passing by constantly,” Foscari explains. “Because of the bend in the river at this spot, people could observe the building from all angles.”
On the outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium, interior designer Axel Vervoordt allows creeper to climb the walls of his orangery furnished in his imitable style. Photo from Axel Vervoordt.
Posted January 22, 2016. Filed in 1920’s-1930’s Style, Classical Moderne, Clubby, The Aesthetes, The Collectors, Thierry Despont
Saladino introduced a garden atmosphere into the dining room by referencing an imagined view from Villa Farnese, on which the Mediterranean-style villa was based, with trompe l’oeil frescoes evoking the illusion of dining in an Italian loggia. Furthering the indoor-outdoor quality of living so distinctive to California are pair of large-scale outdoor Adam-style lead urns on plinths, which conceal stereo speakers.
When film and television producer Carole Weiswiller went in search of a home for herself in Paris she turned not to the formidable Right Bank where she grew up but rather to the less bourgeois, bohemian Left Bank.
She called on decorator François-Joseph Graft to create a Proustian atmosphere utilizing 19th-century tiles from her family’s house on the place des-Etats-Unis to blend with furniture that had originally been found by Madeleine Castaing, creating a romantic jardin d’hiver in the center of the City of Light.
From Private Paris, 1988. Photographed by Philippe Girardeau.
Why It’s Wonderful: Seemingly overnight, Warsaw has emerged as one of Eastern Europe’s great capitals of culture, its streets lined with chic cafés, boutiques, and cocktail bars. Though there’s no shortage of checkered-tablecloth pierogi-and-pilsner joints, the way Varsovians dine has evolved recently with the reopening of historic markets Hala Gwardii (fall 2017) and Hala Koszyki (fall 2016) as chefy hotspots—places where international-inflected meals can be cobbled together by strolling from stall to stall—and Nocny Market, a permanent night market that breathes new life into the defunct Główna railway station. The best part is, you can visit Warsaw on the cheap, thanks to competing budget airlines (Ryanair and Wizz Air) and a forgiving exchange rate.
In years prior, Betty Gertz’s late husband’s petroleum business provided travel to Hawaii, Guam and Hong Kong, where the couple also maintained residences, stimulating Betty’s eye for Asian decor and culture. With her growing obsession for antiquities of the Far East, as well as her abiding love of fine European antiques and objects, the couple amassed a staggering collection that led to the opening of East & Orient Company in 1979.
The Art Nouveau restaurant La Fermette Marbeuf in Paris was created between 1898-1900 as the dining room in Hôtel Langham, later covered up when the style had become unfashionable. It was rediscovered by accident in 1978.
Owner and architect Barbera Del Vicario on a sofa covered in a custom fabric that copies a design in the fresco in the Aurora Room, as photographed by François Halard in 2001.
Edward and Wallis Windsor’s signatures in the visitors book, August 22, 1954.
Friedric von Martensen, Palazzo Foscari in Malcontenta, c1820.
On Count Antonio Bolza’s 3,000-acre estates in Umbria his architect son, Benedikt, converted a Modernist tobacco-processing plant into offices queuing the Industrial Age. March, 2015, issue of The World of Interiors. Photography Tim Beddow.
Del Vacario updated the design of the dining room with chairs based on a Roman model. She also designed the candle holders on the table, and the columns on either side of the doorway come from her Ottagono line. The chandelier of sixty Murano glass bowls is made for candles. Photo by François Halard.
When to Go: Due to its tropical rainforest climate, the city is hot and humid most of the year. If you can, avoid the rainy season from November to January. For best weather, time the trip between February and April.
A rendering for a classically crisp entrance hall that was decorated sometime in the 1960’s.
Where to Stay: The guesthouse-style Villa Hotels, with rooms in restored historic buildings decorated with local crafts, offer warmly hospitable places to stay in Yerevan and Gyumri. Newly opened Messier 53 is a sleek and contemporary addition to Yerevan’s accommodation offerings. Luxury property The Alexander, Starwood’s first hotel in Armenia, is set to open in central Yerevan in April 2018.
The spacious library – divided into two sides, each with a fireplace – is the heart of the house, a virtual cabinet of curiosities designed for reading, relaxing and dining. To create a copacetic background for Gertz’s beloved collection of fine English antiques and objects from the Far East Vervoordt devised bookshelves built around c1700 French pilasters and installed timeworn wood parquet set into patterns for the floors. As your eyes scan the room you will identify many of the furnishings and objects used to furnish her previous home – the cinnabar mohair covered sofa from the library facing an English one from the living room; in one corner a chamois hued English leather chair pulled up to the round games table designed by Daniel Marot I from the living room; a 17th-century English wing chair from the library, its velvet wearing thin on the arms; as well as various lamps, objects and art. Gertz loved the silk covered books table from her previous home’s living room so much it was repeated here, now covered with a Flemish tapestry. And in a daring stoke, the room’s walls are not neutral but eggplant, to which soft pink silk was selected to recover the English sofa and a pair of ottomans. Like the finest homes of Europe, the worn fabrics and rugs mingling with centuries old antiques and art imbues the home with the patina of age, as though it had existed here as such for generations.
A New York City apartment designed in 1981 featured a warm palette, textured walls and upholstery, large scale art and reflective ceilings.
Decadence and grandeur are alive and well in Russia’s imperial city.
The early decor for the library in its Spring and Summer dress reminds me of a Merchant Ivory film. Can you not imagine coming here from the garden, an overflowing flower basket set upon the library table, to break for tea and a few pages from Byron? The cool and powdery blue glaze of the walls is warmed by an open floral pattern linen with shades of pale wood, blue and green to coordinate with the pale blue-gray striped linen slipcovers all from Colefax & Fowler – grounded beautifully by a round English chinoiserie lacquer table. In later years the mood retained its richer Winter incarnation with golden tawny walls, fabrics the color of toast and masculine furniture and art. Today the room is more eclectic, furnished with Bunny’s shapely Nailhead Sofa and two-tone Black Beauty Side Table, along with dashes of crimson and red ocher.
When to Go: While Memphis is a popular city to visit year-round, every May the city plays host to a month-long International Festival aptly called Memphis in May that includes the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the Great American River Run. In October, the Memphis Food & Wine Festival invites local and nationally acclaimed chefs to show off their talents.
Like many of you my mind has been drifting to Springtime, the season when everything begins to appear dew fresh and full of promise. The greens are greener, the days longer, and the light stronger. While falling down the rabbits hole that is Pinterest I discovered photos I had never seen before of Hubert de Givenchy’s country house in the Loire Valley, Le Jonchet, which he purchased in the 1970’s (you can see more of it on my post Le Jonchet le Doré). Resplendently poised amidst lush green gardens it seems Château le Jonchet embodies the old adage “Hope springs eternal”.
When to Go: Try to visit in the shoulder season, from October-November and April-May, to avoid the crowds and avoid peak rates.
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After Lynn von Kersting, owner of Indigo Seas, purchased the legendary George Cukor estate in Beverly Hills she turned the oval screening room into a Victorian era garden room straight from a Merchant and Ivory film, retaining the room’s original copper cornice installed by movie star turned decorator William Haines. The Syrie Maugham sofa once belonged to actress Ina Claire in the 1930’s, whose portrait by Cecil Beaton hangs above the 19th-century jappaned highboy. Photographed by François Halard for House & Garden.
After years of neglect, the home’s collection of heirloom paintings and furniture had been left to rot; now they have been carefully restored.
We compiled it with the hopes that it might be a reminder to hold strong to your enthusiasm for exploration. To be a part of something enormous. To observe and experience. To allow your mind to expand and your heart to enlarge. To travel, witness life and earth, savor the varieties, and marvel the majesty. To look around you. To be alive. To get going. And to always, always, always remember what a wonderful world this is.
Lord Shaftesbury’s study in lined with an assortment of family photographs and engraved portraits.
Leo Castelli and Cy Twonbly photographed by Robert Petersen, 1970’s.
When to Go: Summertime in Alaska (June through August) has the best weather for outdoor activities, but crowds are at their largest. May and September usually still have decent weather with fewer crowds, although not all hotels or operators are open. Winter, albeit very snowy, also brings its own charms like the month-long Winterfest and a chance to see the Northern Lights.
What to Read: Game of Thrones (just kidding!), The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
Insider Tip: If the two buses that circle the ring road aren’t easy enough for you—just flag them down, and they’ll drop you anywhere—rent a scooter or hail a tuk-tuk to get around.
What to Read: Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons by Gerald Durrell
Since An Affair with a House was published in 2005 shelter magazines, the Homes sections of print and digital media, and bloggers alike have waxed poetic over Bunny Williams’ slice of bucolic heaven in the countryside of Falls Village, Connecticut. Which may bring you to ask, “Why are you, then, writing this post?” Well, I simply couldn’t resist. For one, a current reiteration of Bunny and John Rosselli’s Connecticut rooms appeared last week on One Kings Lane, the impetus for writing this post. For another, I had launched The Art of the Room six years after An Affair With A House came out and felt that it had been duly covered yet wished I had included it. And if these reasons aren’t enough then I must admit that I simply and selfishly want to add Bunny’s beloved country home to the Categories section of my blog to reference whenever, and wherever, I like.
Where to Stay: The luxurious Norman boutique hotel offers 50 rooms and suites in two elegantly restored 1920s eclectic buildings close to the city’s hotspots. If you want to be in the heart of the city, and the Norman is too flashy, try the 65 Hotel, or another of the Atlas Hotels, a well-priced Israeli boutique hotel chain with lavish breakfasts included. Two notable openings set for 2018 are The W and The Setai, both in restored historic buildings next to the Old City of Jaffa.
This concludes our tour of the forever romantic Las Tejas. Should any of you possess photos which I have not included, and you would like to share them, please forward them to [email protected] I will, of course, credit your contribution!
What to Read: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, obviously.
New Zealand’s Fiordland is one of the most beautiful and rugged areas on the planet.
When to Go: Marrakesh is worthy of a visit year-round, but it can get beastly hot in the summer months. Visit in late fall or early spring, when there are fewer tourists and temperatures are cooler. If you decide to visit from May to September, make sure your accommodations have a pool.
The crisp and classic entry hall of the Gertz’s previous Georgian-style residence featured a William Kent-signed George II carved giltwood console, a George II bookcase and a comfortable sofa with rounded contours to contrast the overall rigorous austerity of the space.
The secret’s out: Sri Lanka may well be the perfect vacation destination.
For several years — since 2001, to be exact — I have safely guarded an issue of House & Garden that features what the author suggests may be “The most beautiful house in the world.” La Malcontenta, formally known as Villa Foscari, was built around 1560 by Andrea Palladio for brothers Nicolo and Alvise Foscari on the banks of the river Brenta in the Veneto region of Italy. Sadly, following the downfall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, the Foscari’s were forced to sell the villa and its legacy transferred to other owners who, too, fell under its spell. Fast forward to 1940, a young Antonio Foscari and his father (descendants of Francesco Foscari, the doge of Venice at the inception of the Renaissance) retained pride in their ancestors summer villa, often bicycling to it from their own villa nearby, concerned for its fate following blasts from air raids during Hitler’s occupation. There it stood before them, their ancestral villa, decay amid grandeur, awaiting its own renaissance.
The Room of the Giants as photographed by Aldo Ballo in 1979 betrays the actual tones of the frescoes, giving them a tea-stained quality.
Lorenzo Castillo re-imagined Madeliene Castaing’s romantic classic style in the solarium of his Madrid residence. Photography by Simon Upton.
For gardener and art collector Enid Annenberg Haupt, Sister Parish introduced a romantic atmosphere inspired by the 18th-century to the living room where the owner’s prized tulips, roses, chrysanthemums and lily’s were on constant display. Photographed by Karen Radkay for the September 1985 issue of House & Garden.
Where to Stay: Bed down in your own wooden cabin with Nuuk Bay as your panoramic view at Inuk Hostels. For more creature comforts, Hotel Hans Egede is the only 4-star hotel in town. With straight-on views of icebergs drifting in Disko Bay, it doesn’t get better than Ilulissat’s Hotel Arctic, considered the world’s most northerly 4-star hotel, with its observation platform and outdoor igloo rooms.
When to Go: Summer is high season, although there’s lots to do late spring to early fall and the weather can be fine. Lobster seasons run May until late June and August through October. Anne of Green Gables: The Musical starts its 54th season in June. The International Shellfish Festival runs September 13-16.
When to Go: While Greenland truly comes alive during the summer months, if you can brave the cold, Greenland’s grandeur is best experienced during winter as Aurora Borealis dance across the skies.
Posted August 19, 2015. Filed in Italian Villas, Palladian-Style
Long ago, before the Man Cave, there was the private gentlemen’s club. In the 17th-century the British male aristocracy formed private clubs in which to meet their peers to discuss business and pleasure, make connections, drink, relax, read … and, yes, escape their wives and family obligations. As the middle class became more affluent they, too, wanted their own clubs. The area around West London became saturated with these clubs, predominantly around St. James Street, which became known as Clubland. While many of these continue the men’s only tradition, many more now accept women as members, as they, too, have become more affluent.
When to Go: The best weather is from late spring to early fall, with July and August being the most popular dates for tourists. The official 2018 Naadam Festival–Mongolia’s national games–will take place throughout the country July 11-15 (with smaller, regional festivals throughout the year).
Tallinn’s gorgeous and easily walkable Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating from the 13th century when invading Danes began building what would become one of the area’s most important trade hubs. Tallinn’s windy cobblestone streets are lined with lively cafes and a remarkable variety of shops and boutiques. At the heart of it all is the centuries-old Town Hall Square, still one of the city’s most popular meeting points. Just above the Old Town is the hill fortress of Toompea, where you’ll get a fantastic panoramic view of the city’s red roofs. Closer to the waterfront is the wooden-housed Kalamaja neighborhood, once home to local fishermen, and now a burgeoning bohemian district.
The drawing room is composed of two smaller rooms. Can you recognize the barley-sugar torchière, one of a pair, by Jean-Michel Frank from the living room of their London townhouse?
Long a natural wonder, Tasmania has become a culinary and cultural powerhouse.
Years later I discovered Antonio Foscari’s remarkable book Tumult and Order, published in 2012, chronicling the story of Albert (Bertie) Clinton Landsberg (a German nobleman), Paul Rodocanachi (a refined man of culture), and Catherine d’Erlanger (baroness and society hostess) and their ensuing love affair with a dilapidated Palladian villa they discovered whilst vacationing along the Riveria Brenta in 1924. These three uncommon friends would dedicate years to the villa’s restoration, entertaining the beau monde and intellectual avant-garde of their era until the advent of WWII would bring it all to a close. Years later Antonio Foscari would go on to become an architect with a deep appreciation of Palladio’s oeuvre and a profound reverence for the understated elegance created by Bertie Landsberg at La Malcontenta. Then, one providential day a man appeared at his front door to deliver a parcel. The man was Claud Phillimore, the present owner of the villa. Inside the parcel was the visitors’ book which Bertie Landsberg had kept. He had always considered Antonio Foscari the rightful inheritor of Villa Foscari. This love affair with a house, like many a classic love story, concluded with a happy ending. Foscari and his architect wife, Barbara Del Vicario, purchased the house in 1973 from aristocratic English architect Claud Phillimore.
This bedroom’s chinoiserie wallpaper probably dates from the end of the 19th-century or early 20th-century.
Why It’s Wonderful: Ancient Mayan secrets are being unearthed daily at historical locales all over the country. Chances are, you will see a team of archeologists at any of Belize’s Mayan dig sites during your visit. Part Caribbean and part Central America, Belize feels untouched by the rest of the planet, making it seem like a true getaway. In today’s world, how much longer will we be able to find a destination so unplugged?
Where to Stay: Casa Ellul, a small boutique hotel in Valletta, offers luxury in a Victorian Palazzo. If you want closer access to beaches and nightlife in popular St. Julian, there’s the tasteful Hotel Juliani, with balconies overlooking the sea.
A nineteenth-century French chimneypiece anchors the densely hung pictures and the symmetrical seating in the cozy sitting room just off the entrance hall, in the front of the house.
What to Read: The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee, The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The kitchen features an Ottogono cabinet by Del Vicario used for hanging smocks. Photo by François Halard.
Insider Tip: Shady Dell, a part of the trail also known as the “Enchanted Forest,” is home to a grove of aptly named candelabra redwood trees. The unusual shape of the trees, which results in the branches growing in a crooked manner resembling a candelabra, is thought to be the result of the strong winds and salty air. Whatever the cause, these redwoods are a strange yet magical sight to behold.
Betty Gertz’s new Dallas home is one part contemporary villa, another Belgian manor. Calling once again on her friend Axel Vervoordt, the minute he laid his eyes upon her new home he made it clear he didn’t like it one bit. The two-story house is narrow and set deep into the lot, with little room for aesthetic improvement to its exterior, short of tearing it down. Vervoordt proposed to surround the property with high garden walls to create anticipation upon arrival and a sense of mystery within. One now enters through a shaded garden leading to what appears to be the front door but which is, in reality, a door opening onto a small courtyard, which then opens onto yet another, larger, courtyard, culminating with the home’s proper entrance. A complete renovation of the house followed, resulting in higher ceilings, new finishes and materials, more light … and an abundance of atmosphere evoking the past and present.
Detail of the 18th-century chinoiserie panels covering the walls of the dining room.
Find a white, golden, pink, or red-sand beach (some sands are even said to sing) and swim in the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. Or, walk out to explore the seabed at low tide. Polish off a couple dozen world-famous Malpeque oysters, then head to Moth Lane Brewing to taste stout made with the shells by the lobster fisherman-turned-brewer.
Where to Stay: While Moshi has all the budget accommodation, the 40-minute drive to Arusha puts you in the midst of some spectacular lodges at varying budgets, with far more space and privacy on offer. Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge, an atmospheric central farmhouse, is a haven amidst a cooling forest. The luxury private cottages of Onsea-Machweo Guest House have not only an outstanding onsite restaurant, but some pretty spectacular views overlooking Arusha and Mt. Meru.
Why It’s Wonderful: As more people visit Peru, interest in what the country has to offer is finally branching out beyond Machu Picchu. Peru was home to many advanced civilizations before the Incas came to power, and Trujillo is the perfect place for stepping off to learn about two of them—the Moche and the Chimu. Located approximately six miles to the southeast of town are the 3,000-year-old Moche pyramids, the Huaca de la Luna and the Huaca del Sol (Temples of the Moon and the Sun). Chan Chan is a sprawling adobe complex that may be the largest of its type in the world. It is representative of the Chimu culture, one of the largest empires ever to flourish in South America. Covering more than eight square miles, mud or not, it does not fail to impress. Pre-Colombian civilizations not your thing? Trujillo is a lovely colonial city that offers many other cultural delights, as well as a temperate climate for relaxing by the beach before heading home.
For a long time, Warsaw was relegated to second-city status—no longer.
An outdoor room is defined by a hedge of boxwood encircling a stone obelisk, quite possibly the same space featured in a vintage photo above.
Where to Stay: There are two kinds of hotels in Marrakesh: cozy riads within the walled medina and luxurious sprawling retreats in the desert brush surrounding the city. If it’s your first time visiting, stay in the medina or you’ll miss the true Marrakesh experience. Riad L’Orangeraie and Riad El Fenn are both chic options. If you don’t want to deal with the crowds or finding your way home at night through dark and windy streets, Ksar Char Bagh and the Royal Mansour are over-the-top palatial resorts that will make you feel like royalty.
The spirit of autumn is on my mind but, thus far, not in the air. The countryside, with its abundance of tress, possesses the promise of changing color. It’s only a matter of time. In the meantime, the comfortably charming and stylish West Sussex country house of interior designers Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen is a welcome distraction from the final days of summer before the first signs of autumn appear.
Where to Stay: In Lille, stay at the heart of the city in the beautiful L’Hermitage Gantois Hotel, which also happens to be very close to the Palais des Beaux-Arts Lille, Lille’s fine art museum and France’s second largest art collection. Keep your eyes peeled for the Louis XV-inspired chairs in the rooms, designed by the famous French designer Philippe Starck.
Prince Charles and Ferigo Foscari on the grounds, March 1986.
When to Go: May or September, when it’s warm but not over-touristed.
Suddenly twenty-five year old Nick was faced with the dilemma of trading his music career in New York with that of saving his family’s crumbling pile from extinction. Though his father had hoped to restore and move into St. Giles, up to this point in time the house had been for over forty years merely used as a repository for generations of furniture and collections while the family lived in the dower house, Mainsail Haul. St Giles was in a derelict state, its walls crumbling with damp and rot, floor boards buckling, plumbing outdated and with no electricity. Yet Nick, now the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury, found himself in a position pivotal to the restoration of not only his ancestral home but to his family’s legacy. And so, he packed up his life in New York and moved to England with his soon-to-be-bride, Dinah Streifeneder, to take on his role as custodian of his ancestral estate. Ever since, the couple have been diligently and thoughtfully restoring St. Giles to its current state of grace.
What to Read: Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje, Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette
Insider Tip: There are plenty of beautiful, upscale restaurants in Seoul, such as Arirang, offering a meat-fueled menu, or Kioku inside the Four Seasons Seoul, but you can also eat amazing food on the cheap. Try the street-food paradise that is Kwangjang Market, chow down on Korean Fried Chicken in the Myeongdong District, or devour bibimbap at a little local joint like Jeonju Jungang Hoegwan.
Where to Stay: Though Alvear Icon Hotel is surrounded by glass and steel buildings in ultra-modern Puerto Madeiro, a stroll through the nearby Costanera Sur nature park makes the city chaos disappear. If your trip involves perusing designer shops in trendy Palermo, the barrio’s boutique hotels, like Home Hotel or Mine Hotel Boutique, maintain the area’s cozy-chic charm. For a tranquil escape just outside the city limit, the Sheraton Greenville Polo & Resort opens March 2018.
China’s remote southwest region is easier than ever to reach.
A sketch and photograph of the luxuriously urbane Metropolitan Opera Club, the 1966 New York project that made Donghia a star. The room featured a silver-foil ceiling, blue-glass chandeliers and black upholstered Regency-style chairs.
Metallics burnish a Donghia-designed Palm Beach, Florida, home, 1985.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands photographed by Regina Doland, May 1990.
When to Go: Visit Lille during the first weekend in September to peruse the biggest annual braderie in Europe, and visit Dunkirk between January and March for Carnival festivities. If you plan to go in the summer, make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy the beaches.
Where to Stay: Rooms awash with muted taupes and grays make the riverside Barceló Bilbao Nervión an ideal pick for travelers seeking tranquility. Those who enjoy a bit more pizzazz and local flavor should opt for Basque Boutique, an independently owned hotel in the Casco Viejo with industrial-chic furniture and exposed-brick walls. The hotel market is about to get more competitive as a 122-room Catalonia Hotels & Resorts property is set to open in late 2018.
Architectural Digest, November/December 1973, Jay Steffy photograher; Architectural Digest, August 1981, Jaime Ardiles-Arce photographer; Architectural Digest, April 1986, Jaime Ardiles-Arce photographer; Manhattan Style by John Esten and Rose Bennett Gilbert published 1990, George Chinsee photographer; Architectural Digest, January 2000, Jaime Ardiles-Arce and Billy Cunningham photographers; T Magazine, September 23, 2015
Ralph Lauren also looked to England’s exclusive clubs for the design of his own Bedford, New York, library and billiards room. From Architectural Digest. Photo by Durston Saylor.
The conservatory at Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, once the private residence of art collectors Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart, designed by architect Henri Parent in 1869.
The World of Interiors, August 2012 with photography by Tim Beddow; The World of Interiors, October 2015 with photography by Tim Beddow; “How a Tattooed Young Raver Unexpectedly Became 12th Earl of Shaftesbury” for The Telegraph by Anna Tyzack, August 2015,photography by Andrew Crowley; “How a New York DJ Turned Earl Revived an English Manor” for The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2015, by Ruth Bloomfield, photography by Dylan Thomas; Blouin ArtInfo, photography by Marcus Peel
The opposite view of the dining room reveals Saladino’s mastery at creating quietly romantic and sophisticated rooms that are timeless, comfortable and energized by an understanding of how we want to live in the present. While a draped banquet table lined with silver serving pieces and Venetian glassware points to the classical past the luxe sycamore and lacquer dining table and commodious chairs represent the present with a taste for luxury and comfort.
Durban is the creative hub of South Africa, and Station Drive Precinct is the center of it all. The former factory neighborhood has transformed into a destination for hipsters with shops, cafes, a brewery, a distillery, and even a tattoo parlor—where you can get the ultimate souvenir of your adventure.
When to Go: Go in May or June if you want that summer feeling without the blistering heat (and crowds) of July and August.
The Central Hall as it appeared when Bertie Landsberg lived at La Malconenta sometime in the 1930’s expressed his spare and pure aesthetic.
An intriguing mix of traditional and modern Arabia on the Persian Gulf.
Insider Tip: Start your morning with an all-day rental from Affordabike on upper King Street. Your wheels will give you access to explore historic neighborhoods without worrying about a long walk to “facilities” or missing your lunch reservation—and by the time happy hour arrives, you’ll have burned enough calories to justify over-indulging.
When to Go: Irish weather is always fickle, but your best shot at some sunshine is from May to September.
The Manhattan apartment of architect Thierry Despont channels the modern aesthete’s love of books, art, history, travel and sportsmanship in a refined setting that embraces classic and modern design. Featured in the October, 1991, issue of House & Garden, with photography by John Hall.
I wish I could uncover more photos of the solarium, my favorite of these rooms. If you happen to possess any, please, share them – I will include them here in an update. Somewhere in the solarium is this plaster niche displaying more of the Hatcher trove, which was discovered on a sunken ship in the South China Sea and auctioned at Christie’s in 1984.
The study of Philippe Venet, Givenchy’s companion, is filled with art and fashion books, sketches, art and mementos. The collage hanging above the sofa was created by Venet.
Posted January 7, 2016. Filed in John Saladino, Mediterranean Style, Palladian-Style
Apparently, Thierry Despont likes to keep a low profile. I can think of only two publications that have featured his work: American House & Garden and the long defunct Maison & Jardin. In my post Passion-Discipline-Savoir-Faire I featured the Maison & Jardin publication of a classic-modern home Despont refurbished from the ground up somewhere in the Pacific northwest. Its interiors reminded me of another house featured in an American magazine. I discovered, after rifling through old issues of House & Garden, that my memory pointed to Despont’s own New York apartment. I had intended to follow the Maison & Jardin post with it … but time slipped away, and so did the magazine back into its place.
Insider Tip: Imagine your gently eccentric uncle had a restaurant that he’d established inside a mansion overflowing with his personal art collection and you have an approximation of what it’s like to dine at Octava de Corpus. You’ll enjoy your meal, of course, but the real draw is the one-of-a-kind atmosphere and, in lieu of a perusing a wine menu, exploring the wine cellar with the always amiable owner, Jaime Burgos.
Furlow Gatewood layered colorful Ikats, a bold John Robshaw red-and-white textile, green-painted wicker furniture and a zippy blue-and-white dhurrie on the porch of Cuthbert House on his property in Georgia. Max Kim Bee photography.
Where to Stay: Symphony Style Hotel, formerly the Missoni Hotel, offers rich colors and all the sumptuousness of a luxury hotel with fantastic views across the bay. Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a provides spacious apartments with kitchenettes, direct access to the beach, and large pools, all within easy taxi distance to the city. The latest luxury hotel in Kuwait, the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait At Burj Alshaya, opened in 2017 and features stunning interior design.
HG, September 1990, photography by Langdon Clay; Santa Barbara Homes & Gardens, photography by Lisa Romerein (date unknown); vintage photographs of garden by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1920-30.
In the antiquarian and decorator’s own Warwick Square flat in London, Christopher Hodsoll tapped into the spirit of the 19th-century aesthete with a passion for books and curiosities.
Andrew Lauren announced his bachelor independence in his previous New York apartment outfitted with modernist furnishings, a black and white scheme tempered with wood, and a bar sign. From Bright Young Things by Brooke de Ocampo with photography by Jonathan Becker, 2002.
Where to Stay: If you want to stay in a salt hotel—yup, give the walls a lick, they’re salty—Luna Salada provides luxury, comfort, and heating, with views of the flats to boot. Located in a renovated old building in Uyuni, boutique B&B La Petite Porte brings a touch of French class to the town’s dusty streets. The newest trend is overnighting in a vintage American Airstream via Select Latin America, with a private chef and front-row seats to the stars.
When to Go: Tel Aviv’s mild Mediterranean climate makes it the perfect year-round vacation spot. Israel’s 70th Independence Day means major parties on the night of April 18, while the festivities leading up to the June 8 Pride Parade are not to be missed. Watch out for Jewish holidays, when many shops and markets are closed.
Insider Tip: Bilbao’s proximity to the Cantabrian coast, Rioja wine country, and even Bordeaux (a three-hour drive away) makes it an ideal starting point for all sorts of excursions. Tour organizers like Spanish Journeys take the hassle out of planning while offering exclusive experiences such as visits with Idiazabal cheesemakers, wine tastings in private cellars, and cooking classes with renowned chefs.
Signature of Cole Porter in the visitors book, October 2, 1926.
This romantic desert oasis is set to be one of 2018’s most fashionable vacations.
The trellised upper terrace with built-in banquettes is just off the first floor garden room, extending the graphic black-and-white scheme found within.
His Fire Island house by architect Horace Gifford in the 1970s.
Where to Stay: No visit to New Mexico is complete without spending the night in a quirky inn decorated with mission furniture and perhaps a few resident ghosts: in Santa Fe, Hotel Chimayo and Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi will both fulfill this requirement, at different ends of the budget spectrum. For foodies, Los Poblanos in Albuquerque is a farmhouse-chic hotel set on a lavender farm and organic garden.
This green city in northern India is a must-visit for architecture and design fans.
If you prefer cozy to luxe, check in at Apart-Hotel Antinéa. Located in the heart of Mariscal District, this French-style hotel offers a charming atmosphere with easy access to nearby bars and restaurants.
Why It’s Wonderful: Ferrante Fever may have dampened a bit since it swept across the world in 2015, but it’s set to heat up again next year when HBO and the Italian broadcaster RAI debut an eight-part series based on Elena Ferrante’s wildly successful Neapolitan novels. Written by the mysterious author herself, My Brilliant Friend will surely ignite a wave of interest in Ischia, the gritty-yet-seductive island off the coast of Naples where the main characters vacation in the books. Today’s travelers will find the island largely unchanged since the post-war era when the novels take place. Long known for its thermal hot springs, volcanic rock beaches, and relaxed lifestyle, Ischia lacks the over-the-top glitz of its sister island Capri—and that’s precisely why you should go. Plus, it’s a great base for exploring the rest of Italy’s glorious Amalfi Coast.
What to Read: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Yet, contradictions there are. Despite the appearance of the Edwardian-style paneling the apartment was constructed in the 1930’s. And despite the interior’s predominantly American point of view Despont is French. Apparently, Despont welcomes this kind of unresolved struggle. To this task he painted the walls above the paneling in the entrance gallery (top photo) with contructivist forms reminiscent of America’s dislocation in the 1930’s. Perhaps it was his education at Harvard, not the École des Beaux-Arts, that informed many of his architectural and decorative decisions for his Gotham City apartment. A landscape by American artist Derek James spans the dining room doorway, while the billiards table converts to a dining table by flipping over the top.
As the end of summer closes in my mind wanders to the comfort inherent in the traditions of country house style. The Virginian Nancy Lancaster introduced Americans to the British tradition of shabby gentility, bringing pared down comfort to stately homes and grand gestures to shabby ones, creating comfortable, inviting and elegant rooms, be they town or country. Today there seems to be not quite as many interior designers and decorators who engage this tradition or understand and embrace what, to the undisciplined, appears haphazard or fortuitous at best. For success lies in their knowledge of architectural and stylistic appropriateness, a grasp of proportion and scale, mastery of color, and a refined and informed eye for collecting and editing. One such American decorator is Bunny Williams.
When to Go: Chandigarh has slightly cooler temperatures than Mumbai and Delhi, which means it’s lovely throughout the dry season, from October to April. By all means avoid monsoon season from June to September, when forest hiking and biking trails turn into gushing flood zones.
The breakfast room is a new extension to the farmhouse. The chandelier is a copy of an eighteenth-century Italian design, by Nicholas Haslam, which also supplied the linen covering the chairs.
When to Go: With its tropical climate, the country is humid all year long. So pick a month that works for you.
Insider Tip: While there tends to be some debate about who serves up the best Memphis BBQ, you really can’t go wrong with Corky’s BBQ or Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous downtown. Another perennially popular spot, The Bar-B-Q Shop (originally Brady & Lil’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant) on Madison Avenue is known to serve up some of the best BBQ ribs, tips, and coleslaw in town. While there’s nothing fancy about this spot, its cozy atmosphere and award-winning rubs have kept the local clientele coming back year after year.
A walk through the light, airy rooms of La Malcontenta with Del Vicario is an exquisite experience. Her gentle approach is matched by an architect’s understanding of the building’s needs. “A great amount of work was required,” she said. The riverbank was shored up; power lines were buried. And that was nothing compared with the restoration inside the house. “The frescoes cover some four thousand square yards,” Del Vicario says, “and Antonio oversaw a rigorous conservation of architectural elements, such as returning Palladio’s red terrazzo floor” — made of compressed brick powder and lime — to its original patina.”
The rich color scheme and watery silvered treatment of the room’s paneling conjures a modern take on a Venetian palace in Donghia’s installation at the Kips Bay Showhouse in 1981.
Where to Stay: Escape into the intimacy of the Heritage Le Telfair Resort and Spa, known for its seamless integration of preserved history (it dates back to 1765) and high-end tourism (and of course, an incredible spa). For something unique, skip the luxury resorts and head straight for the outstanding views at Otentic Eco Tent Experience, a glamping hotel with outdoor activities.
Ascetic simplicity blended with the warmth of natural materials informs the winter garden at Edouard Vermeulen’s Villa Rozenhout in Wavre-Saint-Catherine, Belgium. Featured in Traditional Home; photography by Eric Jansen.
The couple, whom own and run Nicholas Haslam, which makes and sells furniture, fabrics and lighting and also deals in antiques, purchased the half-Tudor half nineteenth-century house and barn practically on the spot. Without first viewing the interiors they knew it was perfect the moment they set eyes upon it through the front iron gate. Merely an hour from London by train its location provides them ideal proximity to life in the city and the restorative qualities of country living. Yet reality soon proved that two interior designers with exacting tastes would not settle on what lied within. In short, they tore out walls and ceilings, reconfigured rooms to bring in the light and allow the rooms to flow into one another, and renovated the barn into a welcoming guest wing.
The headboard is covered in strips of 16th-century fabric. Photo by François Halard.
Asia’s “Garden City” stays fresh with eco hotels and meticulously renovated heritage buildings.
Las Tejas began as a simple adobe with a central courtyard when built in 1898 by William Alston Haynes Jr. for his bride, covering its roof with 8,500 tiles that he obtained in return for providing shingles to Santa Barbara residents who wanted to replace their sagging roofs – ergo Las Tejas, which translates to “The Shingles” but what many refer to it as “The Tiles”. Unfortunately, Haynes couldn’t afford to remain there and was forced to lease it out for two decades to vacationing easterners. In 1917 Helen Seymour Starford Thorne, a highly accomplished landscape designer, and her husband, Oakleigh, purchased Las Tejas as a winter home from their base in Millbrook, New York. Inspired by their travels to Italy, and Giacomo da Vignola’s 16th-century Villa Farnese outside Rome in particular, they hired architect Francis W. Wilson to restyle it into a reinterpretation of a Renaissance villa for California living in the 20th-century. To the basic footprint of the existing house Wilson added a second floor, a new wing and the three arches over the veranda, altering its appearance significantly. In 1926 George Washington Smith was brought in to make further changes, including a new design for the front entrance, the installation of a retractable glass roof over the inner courtyard, and the refashioning of an outdoor patio into an Italian-style patio. Helen Thorne took immediately to the grounds, basing their design after the many gardens she had visited and studied in Italy, in particular those at Villa Farnese, creating a magical paradise with cascading gardens and water features. But, sadly, they felt they must leave their piece of Xanadu, shaken by the attacks on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, and sold the property for a mere $40,000 to Caroline and Frederick Leadbetter.
A colorized view from the tea pavilion toward the villa as photographed between 1920 and 1930.
A mixture of modern and organic forms introduces a soulful presence in the solarium of antique dealer Robert Shapiro’s Los Angeles residence. From the May 2009 issue of Elle Decor.
Where to Stay: If you’re unpacking in Chengdu, try the luxurious Temple House (featuring restored Qing dynasty-era courtyard buildings) or the recently opened Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, located in the heart of the city. Meanwhile, in Chongqing, the new 202-room Regent Chongqing sits near the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers. Travelers are flocking to the Sichuan countryside as well. Hotels such as the eco-conscious Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain and the LUX* Organic Escapes (opening in 2018) take advantage of the lush environment with wellness- and nature-oriented getaways in the mountains.
The living room, top photo, of Donghia’s Lake Hill Farm, Connecticut, retreat included a pedimented doorway and a keystone over French doors to imbue the room with a classical context in which to decorate utilizing furniture of his own design. Of the oversize furniture in the comfortably cozy sitting room Donghia remarked “Better overscale than underscale “.
The gardens on the 5,000-acre estate have also been restored.
Why It’s Wonderful: With water in hallucinogenic shades of blue and islands upon islands to explore, the Bahamas is perennially popular. But a cache of openings in late 2017 and 2018 has the nation—and in particular, Nassau—on our radar more than ever. Baha Mar, the huge casino and multiple-resort project slated to bring 2,220 rooms to Nassau’s Cable Beach, was plagued with several false starts and its own share of controversy in recent years. But it’s finally coming into its own thanks to the April 2017 opening of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, a lavish hotel already luring the party people away from the Paradise Island/Atlantis scene. The swanky SLS Baha Mar began welcoming guests in November 2017, and the Rosewood Baha Mar is due to open by spring of 2018.
Henri Samuel celebrated the exuberant style of the Second Empire in his own jardin d’hiver in his country house outside Paris. Palms and other plants merge with the exotic mélange of trees and birds on the antique print wallcovering.
The Victorian rug and bamboo furniture complement a Napoleon III tête-a-tête. From Architectural Digest International Interiors, 1979; photography by Robert Emmett Bright.
Where to Stay: While the movie Lost In Translation launched The Park Hyatt Tokyo into hipster “must-stay” status, we recommend opting for the Hyatt Regency Tokyo. It is better located (directly above a subway stop, next to a beautiful park, walking distance to loads of amazing restaurants), less expensive, and still very luxurious. Or, wake up with Godzilla gazing into your window at The Hotel Gracery, located in the pulsing heart of Shinjuku.
What to Read: Century of the Death of the Rose by Jorge Carrera Andrade
Where to Stay: The Taipei Marriott, a newly designed hotel in the heart of the upmarket Neihu District, is walking distance to both riverside walking and cycling paths and some of the city’s best shopping at the Miramar Entertainment Park. For something more central and close to the top nightlife spots and major attractions, the five-star W Taipei can’t be beat.
Palladio may not have liked the frescoes that cover the building’s interior. For example, his doorways are spare, simple, but the frescoes in the Central Hall creates a trompe l’oeil of a grand and imposing door frame. Photo by Paolo Martin, 2008.
Architectural Digest, November/December 1973, Jay Steffy photographer; The New York Times Book of Interior Design and Decoration by Norma Skurka, 1976, Jaime Ardelice photographer; Architectural Digest: American Interiors, 1978, Angelo Donghia photography; Manhattan Style by John Esten and Rose Bennett Gilbert, 1990, Angelo Donghia Associates photography.
When to Go: The best time to visit is between April and October, which is the dry season.
In one corner of the living room a writing desk attributed to Thomas Chippendale displays a collection of Ming porcelain, and an 18th-century silk fabric covering a books table compliments the Persian rug.
Where to Stay: In the heart of the jungle, San Ignacio Resort Hotel features top-of-the-line rooms, friendly staff, and even a medicinal jungle trail. For a coastal stay, Cerros Beach Resort is an affordable option that has quality bay-side views and diving trips. Keep an eye out for the dreamy Itz’ana Resorts and Residences, opening in 2018.
Where to Stay: The renovated Raffles will be the obvious choice when it reopens in mid-2018, but there’s also the brand new 225-room InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay on the riverfront (featuring DIY cocktail kits in the rooms), which opened this October. Nearby, the 37-room Warehouse Hotel opened in 2017 inside a row of abandoned warehouses and offers loft-like rooms with river views. Also worth mentioning are a few new hotels in the pipeline, including the Andaz Singapore on Beach Road and the ultra-luxurious Banyan Tree, where treehouses and elevated cabins will provide easy access to Singapore’s wildlife parks.
In Palladio’s rational design for the villa, the Central Hall — with its high vaulted ceilings — serves as the axis of the cross-shaped house plan and is entered immediately upon crossing the threshold. Photo by Aldo Ballo, 1979.
Several years after getting the main house in order and imbuing it with emotion and intellect, B.W. hallmarks, Bunny and John tackled the dilapidated 1840’s barn cum garage, transforming it into a cozy haven to entertain and house guests. The partners had the barn dismantled and rebuilt, replacing garage doors with French ones and adding skylights to flood the soaring space with light. The cathedral ceilings and tall arched windows in the living area provided an opportunity to furnish the space with large-scale antiques and commodious seating in Williams’ imitable eclectic design vocabulary – where a Victorian armchair, a Regency bull’s-eye mirror, a 19th-century English oak sofa, and a 19th-century French marble top table with an iron base from John Rosselli mix effortlessly. For Williams it’s about atmosphere, the feeling of a place: “I think about scale, informality, and the uniqueness of each piece, whether it’s Italian, French, or English. It looks unplanned, but it’s actually very much planned.” Paintings of barnyard animals are hung on the living room’s back wall in honor of the barn’s original purpose. For the fireplace an Early American painted mantelpiece was added as the room’s focal point. To this windows from an 1860’s house on the Hudson River were added and an old glass conservatory was used to frame the attached dining room – a magical space to dine and entertain guests. Bunny and John love these spaces so much they have come to spend much of their time in them.
Why It’s Wonderful: Famous for its giant pandas, mountains, rivers, and mouth-numbing peppercorns, Sichuan has long lured adventurous travelers off the usual Shanghai–Beijing–Xi’an tourist trail, with its promise of natural wonders. While in the past the southwestern province has been relatively difficult to reach, Sichuan is quickly evolving into one of China’s most convenient transport hubs.
Where to Stay: A circa-1857 Notre Dame Convent opened as luxury Charlottetown hotel The Sydney Boutique Inn & Suites in 2017. Head for the country at The Inn at Bay Fortune, a five-star inn run by celebrity chef Michael Smith and his wife, Chastity Smith. Sleep amid the trees in TreePOD dome after relaxing in a private hot tub under the stars at Treetop Haven, also opened in 2017.
Where to Stay: Once frequented by Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton, L’Albergo della Regina Isabella channels the glamour of the 1950s, when it was founded by publisher and film producer Angelo Rizzoli. San Montano Resort & Spa—a member of Small Luxury Hotels—is the island’s only spa with sea views. With seven pools, a natural grotto, and thermal baths, it’s all about wellness.
This richly layered Russian garden room is a watercolor from the late 1800’s owned by interior designer Howard Slatkin, featured on Instagram here.
This tiny Caucasus country has an outsize wealth of history, culture, and hospitality.
When to Go: Peak summer months are December to February, but winds are less severe in fall from March to May.
Where to Stay: South Korea has ushered in a growing list of high-profile hotels, including RYSE, Autograph Collection, in Seoul’s trendy Hongdao district, and the new Signiel Seoul, taking up floors 76 to 101 inside the Lotte World Tower. Around the coastline, travelers will also find a new Four Seasons on Jeju island and Jeju Shinhwa World Marriott Resort opening in 2018.
A view of a walled garden from the kitchen, photographed by Lord Snowden in 1960.
The results speak for themselves, and you can see a hint of Nicky Haslam here and there from those years Moschino worked alongside the designer. Yet here the colors are lighter and more neutral, sometimes richer, but never overly pretty. The one exception is the coolly romantic dining room with blue-and-white painted walls based on old English willow-patterned china, which you have likely seen popping up on Pinterest (albeit, more often than not, without due credit or, worse, with incorrect details.). I have, personally, only seen a photo or two of this enchanting property pop up here and there and wanted to add the whole story and its images to my blog, which you will find labeled under English Country House Style. Although the setting when photographed is redolent of Spring allow your mind to wander and imagine these cozily appointed rooms aglow in the golden light of autumn. It’s coming soon, to a township near you!
When to Go: The beauty of Kilimanjaro is that you can hike year-round if you like, but January through March is quiet with less snow. July through September is easier weather, but the trail is busier.
Quito is among the most breathtaking cities in South America … and it’s not just because of the altitude.
Insider Tip: For the best in cheap nighttime eats, head to one of the city’s major or minor night markets. Most tourists hit up the Xilin Night Market, the largest in the city, but don’t discount smaller ones such as Lingjiang Street Night Market, where you can find many of the same local culinary delights (pig blood cake, coffin toast, stinky tofu) while fighting off fewer tourists.
When to Go: Since Quito is at once very close to the equator as well as situated at a high altitude, the weather remains fairly mild and consistent year round, though it does experience a rainy season between December and March, which makes for a slightly warmer clime.
When to Go: Warsaw is particularly gorgeous in the autumn when the light is dappled, the leaves are golden, and it’s chilly enough to delight in hearty Polish comfort food. Note to creative types: Warsaw Gallery Weekend, which takes place the last weekend of September, is a free-admission meeting of the minds organized by the city’s leading artists and designers.
Canada’s smallest province is huge on island hospitality, with superb shellfish and a growing food scene.
Where to Stay: Overlooking the Plaza de San Francisco is the beautiful Casa Gangotena. Not only is its location ideal for exploring the city’s historic center, this boutique hotel is a historical mansion (though it’s been given an elegantly modern update).
After installing a pool sometime later Bunny and John considered its distance from the house and designed a Greek temple of logs to function as a pool house and shaded veranda. The rustic temple design for the poolhouse is clever given its siting on a wooded knoll overlooking the property and the use of humble materials to create a classical-style structure. It is such a warm and inviting space – I can envision it dressed for autumn as easily as for summer.
Insider Tip: Although it may sound counter-intuitive, you can’t leave New Mexico without a visit to Ten Thousand Waves, an authentic Japanese spa in the suburbs of Santa Fe. A full-service spa, hotel, and restaurant, Ten Thousand Waves is a lovely place to spend an evening soaking and getting a massage before indulging in the most fantastic Japanese cuisine in the Western Hemisphere (and an artisanal sake menu to match) at Izanami. Order one of everything on the menu—everything here is delicious. It’s a meal you’ll think about often and as soon as you’re done, you’ll already be planning a return trip. While eating at a Japanese restaurant in New Mexico might sound like strange advice, trust us: once you’ve been asked, “Red or green?” (Referring to red or green chile; the correct answer is “Christmas,” meaning “both”) too many times to count at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you won’t need to think twice about eating here.
Who wouldn’t want to dine in this conservatory-dining room in a Milan residence designed by Studio Peregalli in any season? I can almost hear the pitter patter of rain on the glass-pane ceiling From House & Garden; photography by François Halard.
The sequence of rooms is broken by small doors so simple and essential in form that they look as though they were cut out of the walls with scissors. Photo by Matthias Schaller, 2008.
Where to Stay: Current plans have a whopping 3,500 new hotel rooms opening in the city by 2019. New hotels for 2018 are slated to include the design-focused Aloft Dublin City (opening in July 2018) and the regal Clayton Hotel Charlemont (opening in October 2018). Until then, the trendy Generator Dublin is a great intro to the city’s street art scene while the luxurious Merrion Hotel shows off Dublin’s classy side.
When to Go: The summer months can be rough (it’s Texas, after all), but you can expect relatively pleasant weather from October to April. Plan for Fiesta from April 19-29 and keep an eye on the tricentennial calendar for special events and parties throughout the year.
“As far back as my memory takes me, I have been smitten by gardens. I grew up in the rolling countryside of Virginia, where I spent my summers tagging after my mother through beds of flowers and endless rows of tomatoes and cabbages.
Often it was my job to pick whatever was ripe, and that is the memory that stays with me now. It’s a warm summer afternoon, the light is golden, the birds are chirping, and I’m out there happily picking peas for dinner.
” — Bunny Williams, On Garden Style, 1998
The classical facade of le Jonchet, which Givenchy bought in the early nineteen-seventies, displays mounted deer “trophies”, a symbol of Saint Hubert, patron of hunters. The property features labyrinthine boxwood hedges and topiary inspired by the monastery of San Giorgio in Venice, a rose garden designed by the late Bunny Mellon, a greenhouse, an artificial lake, a private chapel, a moat filled with water from the Loire, an indoor pool, and a dog cemetery. Over the past four decades the restoration and decoration of le Jonchet has been one of Givenchy’s greatest passions. Once again we are allowed a rarefied peek into the private world of Givenchy, Le Grand – a title anointed him by the world of high fashion.
The dining room had retained its Federal style decor until only recently. Walls were covered in green-and-white stripe wallpaper from Twigs & Company which Williams put up herself many years before. A table draped with one of William’s many antique textiles is surrounded by black painted antique Regency chairs beneath a tole chandelier. I’ve always admired the effortless balance of sober elegance and country house charm in this room. Today the dining room remains virtually unchanged save for changing out the wallpaper for a more subtle pale faux bois watermark paper – but what an impact it has on the overall aesthetic of this room. The absence of stripes and lighter color opens it up and allows the furniture and art to stand out.
Donghia’s early decorating work for the Halston showroom in New York in 1967, with layered patterns and lush colors.
When to Go: Junkanoo celebrations take place across the islands, but the biggest parade and bash takes over the streets of Nassau from December 26 through New Year’s Day every year. It’s the Bahamian answer to Carnival, and good music and vibes abound. Later in the year, hit the Out Islands for the All that Jazz Festival in Eleuthera in mid-April.
When to Go: Spring and fall are generally the best seasons to visit Chengdu, and travelers may want to avoid the wet and rainy season during July and August. If you’re an arts and culture hound, time your visit with the inaugural Art Chengdu International Contemporary Art Fair, which runs from April 28 to May 2.
What to Read: The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy, Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia by George Crane
Insider Tip: With a large Indian population, Durban’s food scene is probably the most interesting in South Africa. You can’t leave town without trying the local specialty, bunny chow—chicken or lamb curry stuffed into a hollowed out loaf of bread—which makes the perfect streetside snack, whether it’s noon or midnight.
While Angelo Donghia may have been interior designer to the rich and famous he was, himself, no sybarite. Rather, he was a determined and hard working professional who happened to also appreciate the value of creating attractive and comfortable interiors that supported ones inner life. He created a new kind of luxury combining the classic with the modern, the high with the low, in his distinctive and refined minimalist decorative lexicon. Nowhere was his talent more on display than in his own New York City townhouse that he inhabited from the later 196o’s until his untimely passing at the age of 50 in 1985.
Why It’s Wonderful: If you want overwater bungalows and overpriced everything, by all means, hit Tahiti or Bora Bora. But if you are looking to explore island life in the South Pacific, zip around Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, on a moped, or hop islands by boat. Visit Maori markets, hike the lush inlands, explore caves and lagoons—all at a fraction of the South Pacific costs.
Port Manteaux was created by Doug Beeferman and Sean Gerrish. It uses the Datamuse API to find related words, and then finds combinations of these words that pair well together phonetically.
Why It’s Wonderful: Throughout 2018, Estonia will be marking the 100th anniversary of its original independence from the Russian Empire, and no place will celebrating harder than its storybook capital of Tallinn. As the Baltic region’s fastest rising star, Tallinn has one foot in the past (with a storybook city center that’s one of Europe’s best-preserved), and another firmly in the future (as a hotbed of tech innovation).
In the early 1980’s Donghia designed an apartment near New York’s United Nations building. The designer who had popularized gray flannel as an upholstery fabric once again opted for a monochromatic palette, as well as a silver-foil ceiling—a Donghia trademark.
At the end of the world, you’ll find the most majestic and varied landscapes.
The “Land of the Morning Calm” is abuzz with new energy for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Today the library’s walls are lined with family portraits hung against plum-colored velvet. Thomas Cundy modernized the room as part of general alterations to the house between 1813 and 1820.
A lace hanging worked with the Shaftesbury coat of arms serves as the headboard for the bed in the master bedroom.
Insider Tip: A budget-blowing private eight-day tour of the region, with nights in luxurious, converted shipping containers and fine-dining in the middle of nowhere, is available via Explora, a Chilean outfit operating just across the border in San Pedro de Atacama.
Like a puzzle box, the piano nobile conceals a surprisingly articulate sequence of interior spaces centered around a cross shaped hall with a vaulted ceiling. “The beauty of this building,” says Foscari, “reflects the rigorous theories on which it was planned and built.”
From past to present we are witness to a singular style and clarity of vision, a passion for quality, a fascination with the rare and unusual. We are witness to a keen understanding of the relationships of form, texture, color, scale and proportion, and of Vervoordt’s masterful juxtaposition of opposites. It is a lesson in knowing oneself completely, of being immune to fleeting trends and fashions. While the prior home was decidedly more sober and compartmentalized and the present one light filled and open, there is a unifying principle that transcends time, one that can only be achieved with great generosity of spirit, passion and a discerning eye for quality, detail and, above all, atmosphere. This is The Art of the Room.
The dining room of Mathilde Laetitia Wilhelmine Bonaparte, Princesse Française, at 24 rue de Courcelles in Paris as painted by Charles Giraud in 1859.
The romantic inner courtyard is the heart of the house and retains a modified electric retractable glass roof first installed by George Washington Smith in 1926. Saladino looked to Italy’s great houses, installing a central impluvium into a new rojo alicante marble floor, and replaced original corkscrew columns framing the arcades with simpler Tuscan ones. Rooms such as this conjures visions of a bygone era, of The Great Gatsby and Hollywood glamour. Again, the formidable scale of this room is tempered by the residential scale of the columns and human scale of the fireplace niche.
It’s difficult to determine given the tawny quality of the first few photos but the walls of the master bedroom have been the same shade of an elegant gray-blue for quite some time. Since I’m not privy to earlier photos taken I can only suggest as much. You can see from the third photo that the room is much lighter and fresher, not dark at all. The same four poster and bed hangings, curtains and rug tesitfy. Today the room is painted a clear robins egg blue and the former bed has been replaced by a lighter one dressed in white and blue. Gone are the heavier curtains and pelmet in favor of a simply dressed curtains of an open link design.
A unique approach to historical monuments has created one of the most peculiarly vibrant old towns in Europe.
A less tangible aspect made the restoration of the villa unique: The present inhabitants’ respect for traces left by previous owners who also devoted part of their lives to the villa. They include Lord Phillimore, from whom Foscari and Del Vicario bought the house, and the third most recent owner, Albert Landsberg, the cosmopolitan saloniste who rescued the villa from decay in 1925. Between the World Wars, a visit to La Malcontenta became an artistic pilgrimage. Stravinsky, Diaghilev, and Le Cornusier came here; so did Coco Chanel. The Foscari’s have continued the suave, free-spirited hospitality. Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Frank Gehry, and Joseph Brodsky have been among their guests. Says Antonio Foscari: “There is a bond among those who have loved this house.”
Insider Tip: Fittingly for this design hub, Chandigarh is home to a totally out-of-this-world oddball sculpture park that feels like Gaudi and Dr. Seuss went to the town dump together and decided to create a wonderland out of garbage. It is insane, awe-inspiring, and absolutely wonderful.
The taste for winter gardens was soon adopted by the affluent throughout the Russian Empire, eventually spreading throughout Europe and beyond. These interior garden fantasies can be found today among the equally sumptuous Belle Epoque mansions, hotels and restaurants of France and England, in particular, and among America’s Gilded Age personal totems of wealth and power erected by captains of industry. Yet, for all their sumptuous magnificence, perhaps it is the less ostentatious interpretations of these formal winter gardens that linger on in our thoughts and our longing for the promise of rebirth, a place to recharge. From Classical-Romantic Revival-styles to the eclecticism of the 19th-century to the comfort of English country house-style to the simplest and most elemental, the winter garden as escape from the bleakness of winter can be an antidote to formality – a theatrical statement, a whimsical folly, a comfortable retreat or a connection back to nature. Whichever your style, I’m sure you will find among the following jardins d’hiver one to love.
Why It’s Wonderful: With immaculate beaches, rainforests, and national parks, plus rich traditions and intriguing cities, Sri Lanka is becoming known as the island with everything to offer. Now that the country’s civil war is over, the east and north have opened up to visitors. Cities such as Batticaloa and Jaffna are ripe for exploring, while Kuchaveli and Pasikudah, with their miles of unspoiled beaches, are earmarked for development again. Sri Lanka is also becoming a hub for adventure-lovers—named Asia’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination at the 2017 World Travel Awards, opportunities for trekking, hiking, rock climbing, sailing, diving, rafting, and surfing are on the increase. Recent years have seen the arrival of several world-class wellness retreats, inspired by Sri Lanka’s ayurvedic traditions, including Tri and Santani. With outstanding wildlife experiences also on offer, and many hotels leading the way with inspiring sustainability practices, this island paradise is positively blooming.
Why It’s Wonderful: More than a quarter-century after its difficult civil war, El Salvador is finally coming into its own as a tourist destination—still off the normal beaten path for most Central American visitors, but with worlds of exciting wonder and relaxing charms awaiting. Despite a US State Department warning about travel to the country, gang-related violence is almost exclusively confined to a few dangerous neighborhoods in San Salvador, which you needn’t (and obviously shouldn’t) go near. In most other areas of the capital, and even more so outside of it, you’ll feel completely safe.
What to Read: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
Signature of Serge Diaghilev in visitors book, July 7, 1927.
In my previous post, Angelo Donghia Retrospective, I briefly covered the designer’s career which is now the subject of a review on display at the New York School of Interior Design. Here we enter the designer’s personal world at that moment he had defined his mature style. Void of his previous taste for excessive luxury – pattern on pattern, balloony upholstery and surfaces teeming with collections – his new interiors, first featured in 1973, presented a quiet balm of sophistication. Donghia’s retreat from the noise of city living was sensual, calming, and luxurious, but tempered by the casual and, often, throw-away. The most striking aspect of his style, that I recall when first discovering his rooms many years ago, was his appreciation of the void. He didn’t feel compelled to fill every surface, allowing select pieces to breathe and take notice. It was essentially the beginning of large-scale furniture floating within, often, theatrical framed vignettes. A sense of discovery permeates Donghia’s rooms, filled with curious finds and unexpected combinations. While much of its decor is a mirror (pun intended) of the hedonistic era in which it was conceived, Donghia’s respite from the world was also approachable, enormously comfortable and witty. One of the most original designers of his time, his legacy lives on at Donghia Associates.
At the opposite end of the drawing room Saladino installed bookcases flanking a pedimented doorway set into a triumphal arch hung with leather doors studded with oxidized-bronze nailheads in a Roman grille pattern – repeating the classical theme of the coffered ceiling and Ionic capitals on either side of the tapestry. This particular space continues to provide great pleasure and inspiration.
Where to Stay: The Fiordland Lodge is one of the most stylish places to stay in the area, while a budget-friendly option is the 50 hiker’s huts maintained by the government. Milford Sound Lodge is a mid-range option.
Insider Tip: Greenland is all about pushing culinary limits, so while in Nuuk, dig into traditional Greenlandic cuisine such as whale meat and muskox at Restaurant Sarfalik or grab the Greenlandic tapas sampler at Katuaq Cultural House Cafétuaq. In Ilulissat, Restaurant Mamartut serves up finwhale, seal, and wolffish caught from Disko Bay.
When to Go: Tasmania is home to two unusually intense seasonal culture festivals—Summer’s Mofo (January 12-22) and Winter’s Dark Mofo (June 15-24)—with live music, stunning visuals, and offbeat experimental performances.
The ceiling is covered by a fresco of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. Photo by Matthias Schaller.
Insider Tip: For mild adventure, amazing views, and the chance to mingle with plenty of happy locals, hike the perimeter of El Bouqueron, the beloved volcano that serves as San Salvador’s skyline backdrop.
The scheme for the sunroom has remained virtually unchanged over the years with its blue lavender painted ceiling and smoky lavender painted floors. White wicker furniture and pink hydrangea patterned slip covers predominated in the early years followed by natural wicker, white slip covers and fern patterned cushions and pillows. Today black wicker rocking chairs replace the natural wicker ones.
With the assistance of Vervoordt, Gertz oversaw the process of selecting furniture and objects, many of which came from the designer’s 15th-century Belgian castle, Kasteel van ‘s-Gravenwezel, outside Antwerp, where Betty was a guest during European buying trips. It was on these excursions that she acquired many fine European antiques and objects for her Dallas home, many of which now fill her new home recently featured in Architectural Digest, also designed by Vervoordt.
Posted September 29, 2015. Filed in American Chic, Angelo Donghia, Classic Contemporary
Imagined as a classical pavilion from the late 18th-century, designer Michael S. Smith’s Manhattan penthouse aerie is a confection of light and Fragonard sorbet lushness, denoted by banks of windows, silvery light and an antique Aubusson. The main living room is a garden room in the sky, with views over Manhattan from within, and from without on the expansive terrace – the ultimate luxury in New York City. The designer quipped “I love its wacky exuberance; Madame de Pompadour meets Jeff Koons.” From the September 2012 issue of Architectural Digest. Photography by Björn Wallander.
The villa, a monolithic structure with the central portico crowned by a triangular pediment, is a perfect example of Palladio’s rigorous vision. The monumental exterior — testimony to Palladio’s preference for simple materials like brick and stucco, as opposed to stone — is deceptive.
This ad appeared in the September, 1980, issue of Architectural Digest.
I would typically dedicate a large investment of time in retelling the history and documenting the magnificent architectural contribution of such an important property as this Classically-inspired 17th-century estate but, alas, I am lucky if I can find the time to write this much. It seems with each passing day, week and month it becomes more difficult to find the hours to write. Adding to my frustration, Firefox crashed while I was writing this – much of it lost. It took everything in me to return here rather than toss the iMac through the window! I have provided descriptions borrowed from The World of Interiors, The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph for each photo to assist in your appreciation of this remarkable story and historic property. While the tragic details of those six months from 2004 to 2005 is the stuff of tabloids the final chapter in this story has a happy ending: On Sunday, October 25th, 2015, St Giles was winner of this year’s Historic Houses Association and Sotheby’s Restoration Award. Congratulations to the Twelfth Early of Shaftesbury!
The casino at Villa Farnese outside Rome designed by Giacomo da Vignola in 1556 inspired the architectural style and layout of Las Tejas.
Baroness Pauline de Rothschild, as photographed by Horst P. Horst for Vogue in 1969, peers into her Paris bedroom – a glorious verdant indoor “garden” conjured from luminous 18th-century Chinese wallpaper.
When to Go: Backpackers and hikers looking to tackle the Lost Coast Trail will want to plan their journeys between May and October. However, it rarely gets below freezing and if you don’t mind getting a little (or a lot) wet, the trail is plenty beautiful during the rainy offseason.
Gear up for winter fun and Inuit culture on the world’s largest island.
Why It’s Wonderful: In a valley flanked by the humbling reaches of the Andes, at the foot of Volcán Pichincha, stands Quito. The Ecuadorian capital is a modern city, but it’s the history that has remained a point of fascination. Established by the invading Spanish in the mid-16th century, the historical buildings have been remarkably well-preserved. So well, in fact, that it was one of the first heritage sites ever named by UNESCO. The city is home to a dizzying number of historically, architecturally, and culturally notable sites. From the neo-Gothic glory of the Basílica del Voto Nacional to the contemporary Capilla del Hombre, an art museum and stirring monument to the suffering of Latin America’s indigenous people, it’s a city where the past is very much in conversation with the present.
Roger Quilter, Bertie Landsberg, Catherine d’Erlanger and Ettore Stefani at La Malcontenta, 1928.
Experience the final days of pristine nomadic life and the birth of a booming, modern metropolis.
Charleston’s famed dining scene has proven its staying power and continues to diversify with the latest slate of high profile openings.
Where to Stay: There’s no doubt that the best place to stay is the Hotel Libertador. Service is excellent, as is the quality of the rooms, and at half the cost that you would pay for these types of accommodations in busier tourist towns. Depending on the weather, the on-site pool just might be indispensable. Not a budget hotel but at a lower price point is the Costa del Sol. Located outside of town, its pools and outside green areas make it a particularly good choice for families.
A painting of Château le Jonchet sets on a Louis XV chair in one of the manor’s rooms.
Why It’s Wonderful: With a view of the towering Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is a dreamy maze of spice-scented streets filled with vendors, cafes, and hidden palaces. It’s a city full of secrets and the best way to explore it is by getting lost. You never know what you’re going to stumble upon—a livestock market, a secret garden, an organic rooftop cafe, or an ancient shop filled with handmade treasures. Shopping is a draw in Marrakesh, but the city offers much more than a souk full of souvenirs. The lush Jardin Majorelle, outside the walls of the city center, is a respite from the sensory overload of the medina. La Bahia Palace and Ali Ben Youssef Medersa are a step back in time through Marrakesh’s royal past, with breathtaking architecture and attention to detail. This year, fashionistas will flock to Marrakesh to visit the long-awaited Yves Saint Laurent Museum, showcasing the designer’s home and studio in Marrakesh, and visit the home of perfumer Serge Lutens on an exclusive tour with the Royal Mansour.
The vast estate affords stylistic diversions from the classical, as in this Japanese-inspired garden on one side of the villa, which includes a ceremonial tea house set upon a small lake.
Why It’s Wonderful: When you close your eyes and say Delta Air Lines, what do you picture? It’s probably an overcrowded tube of misery. Same goes for any airline, really. Journeys are nothing more than unpleasant commutes anymore, only made tolerable by gin and Xanax. It’s the Faustian bargain we’ve made to explore the world cheaply.
For her space at the 1948 Salon des Antiquaires Madeleine Castaing introduced what became fashionably known as le style anglais in a conservatory setting reminiscent of the Crystal Palace in London designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
With daring bravado, Castaing mixed Regency furniture with a French Boulle cabinet, an Oriental ceramic “pillows” stool, garden furniture and flea market finds in a verdant oasis utilizing textiles and a carpet of her own design.
Watercolor by Alexandre Serebriakoff.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Malta Guide and Fodor’s Valletta Guide
Where to Stay: If you won’t be camping along the trail, you can always check in to Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino. This boutique hotel offers the kind of rustic, cozy atmosphere you want from your secluded getaway to the unspoiled coast.
Why It’s Wonderful: It’s been 30 years since Martial law ended in Taiwan, and since then, the country and its capital have gradually begun to introduce themselves to the world at large. Taipei is a city that honors tradition, as is evidenced by the temples that dot the urban landscape, some, such as Longshan Temple, date back centuries, but it also looks forward. 2018 will see a wide variety of events that paint a picture of the city’s forward-thinking vision, such as the 2018 Taiwan Cycling Festival (late September to early November), a great chance to check out Taipei’s hundreds of kilometers of riverside bike paths. The Guandu Flower Expo (running until the end of February) will have the full palette of Taipei’s natural beauty on display. For palettes of a different kind, there’s the second annual Taipei International Tattoo Show and Music Festival (August 3-5). Though still off the usual Asia backpacker trail, Taipei does boast a relatively modest flow of tourists through its varied districts, from the glitz of Xinyi to the grit of Wanhua, to the seaside beauty of Danshui and the natural splendor of the mountain trails that surround the coastal metropolis.
Where to Stay: There isn’t a bad seat in the house at The Yeatman since every room of this wine-focused Relais & Château property boasts a balcony and river views. Those without a four-figure budget will feel at home at Moov Hotel Porto Centro, a cozy, quirky property situated behind São Bento railway station that’s known for its amicable personnel and affordable rates.
Why It’s Wonderful: No longer just the travel destination of stodgy history buffs and rowdy stag parties, Dublin has finally become the urban hotspot it always was deep down. Dublin’s dining renaissance has been in full gear since 2011, with a slew of new restaurants catering to those with a more refined palate. L. Mulligan Grocer leads the gastropub pack for hip, farm-to-table dishes while places like the Ramen Bar, Las Tapas de Lola, and Hang Dai bring some much-needed diversity to the scene. Dublin’s street art scene has flourished in recent years and galleries like Douglas Hyde, Block T, and Basic Space have opened to showcase the city’s best young artists (often from all over the globe). Drinking fans will be happy to know that Irish whiskey still flows freely here; Jameson Distillery reopened with a brand-new visitor experience in 2017 and 2016’s Teeling Distillery was the first new whiskey distillery to open in Dublin in over a hundred years.
When to Go: Depending on what you’re looking for, New Mexico is lovely year round. Spring and fall have the best temperatures, perfect for spending your days exploring the outdoors. Two of New Mexico’s most famous festivals, Zozobra and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, happen in fall. You may think summertime temperatures will make it too hot to visit, but daily afternoon thunderstorms cool down the air and offer one of nature’s most humbling spectacles. Winter holidays are festive in Santa Fe, and Taos Ski Valley has some of the best snow in the country.
When to Go: This is the beach–you’ll want to visit during the Southern Hemisphere summer when you can properly enjoy it. However, the sardine run in June, called “the greatest shoal on earth” draws visitors (and marine life) from all over the world. If you’re an avid scuba diver, then this is a bucket list opportunity to see sharks feeding on giant schools of fish.
For example, enter “giraffe” and you’ll get back words like “gazellephant” and “gorilldebeest”. Enter “south america” and “chess” and you’ll get back words like “checkuador”.
Insider Tip: Warsaw leaves Krakow in the dust when it comes to nightlife. Let loose at Hocki Klocki, an open-air dance party by the river (summer only) or at NIEBO, a see-and-be-seen nightclub known for its bass-heavy DJ sets and psychedelic wall projections.
Ireland’s capital keeps surprising with great restaurants, a blossoming art scene, and more hotel openings than ever.
Why It’s Wonderful: What a difference 30 miles makes. While sister island Barbuda was devastated by Hurricane Irma, Antigua got only a glancing blow in September 2017 and was able to clean up and get back to business quickly. Offering a wide range of resort options from luxurious enclaves to mass-market all-inclusives, not to mention dozens of beautiful white-sand beaches, the island is a fitting substitute in the eastern Caribbean region while other nearby popular tourist destinations recover from hurricane damage. Antigua’s historic role in the Caribbean is exemplified in Nelson’s Dockyard, a newly minted UNESCO World Heritage Site; it’s the only Georgian-era dockyard still in use anywhere in the world, and it’s still a Caribbean-wide draw for the busy sailing season from late winter to early spring. A boost in tourism for this still-beautiful place may also help get Barbudans back on their feet and back home even more quickly. Curtain Bluff, long Antigua’s grand-dame, reopened October 28 after a major, six-month renovation, offering redecorated rooms and public areas, not to mention a “beach concierge.” The intimate Hodges Bay Resort & Spa will open on Antigua’s north shore at the end of December 2017, promising luxurious suites, some with private hot tubs.
Where to Stay: Unless you’re bunking up on a station with scientists, cruising from South America is your best bet in terms of making your way to Antarctica. Ships range from low-key expedition liners to luxurious yachts, with plenty of options (and price points) in between. In 2018, Norwegian explorer liner Hurtigruten is tacking on a new hybrid vessel to its fleet, the 530-passenger MS Roald Amundsen, which will act as a “base camp at sea.” For something on the more boutique side, Silversea’s recently refurbished Silver Cloud Expedition features the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant “on” the continent. Not only can you indulge in a fine dining six-course meal, you’ll be treated like royalty throughout every rough stretch of the expedition thanks to the highly trained team of butlers at your beck and call.
The Room of Fame as photographed by François Halard in 2001. The chairs were made by a local craftsmen.
Insider Tip: While Guinness is still king here, there is currently quite the craft beer revolution happening in Dublin. Breweries like Porterhouse, Trouble Brewing, and Eight Degrees are making their mark on the city, with specialty craft beer pubs sprouting up to meet the demand; stop by Against the Grain or P. Mac’s for a taste of the new generation of Irish brews.
Vervoordt recreated the Old World atmosphere inherent in Gertz’s prior kitchen utilizing cabinetry from an 18th-century Bordeaux apothecary and by installing walnut cabinetry that integrates antique French elements. The same blue-and-white Belgian gingham as used before was hung at the windows.
The Most Beautiful House in the World, written by Marella Caracciolo for the October, 2001, issue of House & Garden, with photography by François Halard; Tumult and Order, written by Antonio Foscari, was published in 2012 by Lars Müller publishers and the author; Palladio – The Complete Buildings by Manfred Wundram and Thomas Pape published by Taschen, 2008, with photography by Paolo Marton; Additional images photographed by Aldo Ballo for British House & Garden, May 1979, Mark Smith for the December, 1997 issue of Terre di Venezia Bell’Italia; Ambiente, DM 14; Matthias Schaller for La Malconenta; and Noboru Inoue for ja+u magazine, 2011.
“It’s a house built for human habitation, using elements of divine architecture,” wrote George Matei Cantacuzino.
Billowing parachute cloth adds a theatrical note to the south loggia with walls painted faux marbre in shades of sienna and ocher.
When to Go: Due to the mild climate, weather really doesn’t play an issue with when to go to Trujillo. Any aficionado of music and dancing will love being in this capital of the marinera during the yearly competitions in January. And the Spring festival each September is a chance to experience something like a State Fair, Peruvian style.
The solarium in Michael S. Smith’s previous Georgian-style home in Los Angeles is a delightful architectural statement in light, detail and comfort. From Elle Decor; photography by Simon Upton.
What to Read: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Let’s talk about that food. This is a food town. Even UNESCO thinks so—in October, the UN body awarded San Antonio with a Creative City of Gastronomy distinction for its unique culinary heritage. It’s only the second city in America, after Tucson, to receive this honor. If that’s not enough to get your stomach curious, how about this: San Antonio is the setting for the third Culinary Institute of America (after New York and Napa) and a majority of alumni remain in town, apron on, and ready to cook.
Where to Stay: The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, obviously.
What was once a ballroom became the living room in antiquarian Maroun Saloum’s Paris residence, an exotic oasis that could easily be found in Granada as it could be found in Beirut. From The French Touch, 1988; Jacques Bachman photographer.
In a London flat decorated by Christopher Hodsoll a large photograph of a street in Philadelphia hanging above a billiard-room sofa and family pictures stacked along the walls evokes a private London gentleman’s club. From The World of Inteiors,-September 1987. Photography by James Mortimer.
The Tapestry Room owes its name to a set of Brussels tapestries depicting “The Triumph of the Gods”. It also used to contain the St Giles suite of furniture commissioned by the fourth earl from Chippendale, who was particularly admired by the earl’s wife.
House Beautiful, 1987; House Beautiful, 1988,with photography by Alexandre Bailhache; On Garden Style by Bunny Williams and Nancy Drew with illustrations by John Roselli, 1998; House & Garden, May 1999, with photography by Pieter Estersohn; House & Garden with photography by Dana Gallagher; Veranda with photography by Fritz von der Schulenburg and Bill Geddes; An Afair with a House by Bunny Williams, 2005.
Las Tejas is likely familiar to many of you for its gardens and interiors designed by John Saladino. But after searching the estate on the Internet, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr I discovered very little has been posted or written about it. I would be disappointed to learn I am one of few who find the enigmatic qualities of Las Tejas sublime. It isn’t just the house, or the setting, or the interiors, or the gardens – it’s the ensemble, the whole, which captivates our senses. There is a poetry to living expressed here that is undeniably seductive, a dream of the past realized in the present.
When to Go: Summertime is invariably the most popular time to visit. Be prepared for large crowds, especially at popular sites like the Hermitage and Grand Palace. Tour companies like Viator offer a number of “skip the line” tours that are definitely worth considering. Shoulder seasons are also worth considering, as the crowds start to thin and the weather is still tolerable. Don’t overlook a winter trip though. While the weather might be cold, seeing St. Petersburg and her many monuments in covered in snow are a magnificent sight to behold.
A portrait of Mr. Hastings, an eccentric, sports-minded neighbor in teh 17th-century, presides over the White Hall. The east wall of the White Hall (second photo), with all its paneling and plasterwork, had to be entirely reconstructed in the recent restoration.
When to Go: Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons, meaning the best time to visit the south is between October and March, while the north and middle of the country are dry from January until March.
In the evenings in warmer months, gather in the square and sit among, or even on, the ruins and drink until drunk at Luxor–it’s touristy, but worth it. And with wine in your belly, wander back to your hotel through a labyrinth of ancient streets and walls. You’ll feel like a happily retired emperor in a constantly evolving museum that lets you touch all the exhibits.
The main salon in the Paris apartment of KK Auchincloss mixed 18th-century formality with 19th-century eclecticism. From The World of Interiors. Photography by Fritz von der Schulenburg.
The ground floor consists of functional rooms off the groin-vaulted main central hall, which could be passed through from either the north or south sides of the villa. Photo by Aldo Ballo, 1979.
L’esprit du jardin d’hiver is in the air, a quest for a life-affirming sanctuary in colder climes. Russian royalty dedicated palaces to Winter, as with the sixteen-hundred room Winter Palace of the Romanov’s in St. Petersberg. Emperor Nikolai I decreed that Russian artist Eduard Gau create watercolor renderings of the Winter Palace’s interior, the Russian Empire’s official residence in the 18th through 20th centuries. Gau illustrated in his watercolor paintings all of the splendor, brilliance, and opulence of the imperial palace’s interior. It was then when the fashion for creating fantastical interior gardens originated, combining an eclectic mix of architectural styles- frequently combining Classical, Gothic and Oriental motifs in the same scheme, a verdant and magical escape from the harsh reality of winter in Russia.
Insider Tip: Two words: Ichiran Ramen. Don’t let the fact that it’s a chain scare you off, Ichiran is the real deal and widely regarded as the best ramen in the world. Order at the vending machine, sit at the counter cubicle, and get ready to sail off into ramen heaven.
The maximalist garden room in Alexis and Trevor Traina’s San Francisco home was decorated by Anne Getty. Photography by Simon Upton.
Beyond the most populous Bahamian islands, there are even more wonders to explore on the myriad beaches, reefs, and fishing resorts of the Out Islands.
When to Go: Spring and fall are best for outdoor exploration and regional festivals, such as the autumn wine harvest in Vayots Dzor. Yerevan’s 2,800-year-anniversary celebrations in October 2018 are sure to be exuberant.
Insider Tip: On Friday (the weekends in Kuwait are Friday and Saturday), take a 4WD trip into the desert, then spend the evening at the Al Kout Fahaheel Waterfront, a complex with dancing fountains, shops, restaurants, and great places to sit outside in the balmy weather.
Where to Stay: Set in a restored count’s mansion, Hotel Indigo–Nowy Swiat (opened in May 2017) is a game-changing designer property with stately balconies, sumptuous textiles, and collectible retro furniture. In early 2018, it will gain a competitor in Raffles Europejski Warsaw, the latest outpost of the luxury hotel chain, opening next to the Presidential Palace.
Insider Tip: Earn your explorer street cred swimming (or skinny dipping if you’re really brave) in the natural hot springs surrounding the ring-shaped Deception Island, a former whaling station home to an active volcano.
Insider Tip: Grab a bite to eat at Coliba Haiducilor, traditional Romania restaurant in Poiana Brasov that boasts an authentic dining experience (music included). Try one of the Romanian wines with dinner, which pairs well with the massive portions of meat consumed in the country.
The Lost Coast, which lies between the towns of Rockport and Ferndale, owes its unspoiled grandeur to a range of steep coastal mountains which made it extremely difficult to access this part of California’s northern coast. Cut off from the rest of the state and indeed the world, the Lost Coast offers an isolated retreat for those looking to lose themselves in nature. Indeed, the famous Lost Coast Trail, a 24.6-mile trek, draws hikers from all over the globe to seek adventure in this lush locale brimming with secret seaside coves, black sand beaches, and towering redwoods.
—Jeremy Tarr, Digital Editorial Director & Rachael Levitt, Managing Editor
Over the years I have retained, and in many cases repurchased back issues, of shelter magazines that date back to the 1970’s. I am constantly pulled between wanting to unload some and wanting to fill in the gaps to complete my collections. The latter applies now, as I’m certain there must have been an issue or two of House & Garden or House Beautiful that showed us inside Bunny’s world in the countryside at around the time she purchased it in the 1970’s. To date only a scant few photos have popped up pre-1988 on such sites as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. One lucky discovery conveys Bunny’s earliest decorative resolution for the living room which had originally been completely swathed in chintz – from curtains to upholstery to walls because, in her words, she lacked a decent collection of art to hang. Thankfully, years ago I created binders to organize clippings from magazines by style. In one binder labeled “Country House Style” is a feature from either House & Garden or House Beautiful, c1988, featuring the library in its early decorative iteration conveying that era’s penchant for Anglo-American shabby gentility.
The inner courtyard’s entrance frames Texas mountain laurels beyond.
Why It’s Wonderful: If you’ve been pondering a trip to Tokyo, 2018 is the year to finally take a plunge. Flights to Tokyo have rarely been cheaper ($400 round trip!) and there’s a deluge of new attractions to check out. World-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has opened her own museum in Shinjuku, and since her US exhibitions are harder to score tickets to than Hamilton, seeing her work in her city the way she intends it is not to be missed.
For a penthouse apartment in New York’s American Thread Building designer Thomas O’Brien combined a masculine Machine Age aesthetic with contemporary forms in an open loft-style plan for a bachelor to relax and enjoy a game of pool with friends. House and Garden; photography by François Halard.
A variety of cruise options have made expeditions to the exotic continent easier than ever.
The Paris apartment of my earliest dreams has a winter garden much like this one in the Victorian home of Françoise and Henri Quinta in Perpignan, France. Photographed by Thibault Jeanson for Elle Decor.
When to Go: Tallinn looks even more fairytale-esque when it’s covered with snow, but Estonia’s winters are dark and cold. Summers are very pleasant, but with Tallinn’s star on the rise, be ready for crowds. Late spring and early fall are the best times to visit.
Christian Bérard at La Malcontenta, photographed by Boris Kochno in 1930.
The walls of the North Drawing Room were rehung with yellow silk in the style of its original design. Oil paintings of previous residents line the walls, owned by the same family since 1651.
The Sagaponack conservatory of interior designers Tim Haynes and Kevin Roberts featured in the June 2006 issue of House & Garden is crisp and classic. Photography by François Halard.
Randall Ridless sheathed the walls of this clubby den with a hand-painted tortoiseshell design inspired by Billy Baldwin’s library for Cole Porter in the Waldorf Towers. Elle Decor, March 2005. Photography by Simon Upton.
New hotels give travelers a reason to visit this island paradise.
Porto has shed its reputation as a staid wine town to become a travel destination in its own right.
The 12th earl of Shaftesbury, Nick Ashley-Cooper, is now 33 years old.
Over the ensuing years under the Leadbetter’s stewardship Las Tejas declined, ending with Caroline’s death at the age of 102 in 1972. Purchased for $575,00 by its new owners, Teri and Manuel Rojas updated the villas plumbing and wiring, made renovations to much of the house and cleared the gardens of overgrowth, later selling it in 1988 for $6 million to preservationists Stephanie and Peter Sperling,. With a vision to restore Las Tejas to its former glory, who better to call on than John Saladino to meet the task? Not only is the designer well-versed in the language of classical architecture, having studied in Rome, and for fashioning an interior design business on its ethos, he also had an intimate relationship with the house having years earlier lost Las Tejas in a bidding war. And so, with enthusiasm and funds to spare, the Sperling’s and Saladino embarked upon a major renovation of house and gardens. The fourteen-acre estate boasts a twenty-room mansion, a four bedroom/four bath guesthouse, swimming pool and cabana with spa, tennis court, the original chauffeur’s cottage cum artist’s studio, and terraced gardens.
The dining room’s blue-and-white scheme is based on the eighteenth-century painted French screen that hangs on the wall.
Discover the pride of a rising Estonia in its adorable capital of Tallinn, where fairytale charm meets thoroughly modern savvy.
Catherine d’Erlanger photographed by Alexander Bassano, c1930’s.
The ceiling and giltwood details in the family dining room were restored by Humphries & Jones. The George II mahogany chairs are upholstered in green baize and the portrait, by Harrington Mann, is of Anthony, Lord Ashley — Nick’s grandfather — in 1904.
In 2018, Tel Aviv will enjoy several notable cultural openings: a White City Heritage Center showcasing the history of the city’s UNESCO-recognized Bauhaus architectural style; a Museum of Natural History which will display over 5 million specimens; pedestrian-friendly redesigns of the city’s iconic Dizengoff Square and beach boardwalk; and a celebration of Israel’s 70th Independence Day with a new interactive trail along Rothschild Boulevard.
Designed simply for the pursuit and love of all things botanical, Melinda Ritz designed this garden room for the creator of Will & Grace in Beverly Hills. Photography by William Abranowicz
The richly appointed master bath includes several of Betty Gertz’s most prized possessions, all from her previous home: a Chippendale secretary bookcase and an exuberant rococo corner cabinet laden with blanc de Chine, which Southern Accents attributed as Dutch but which Architectural Digest suggests is Venetian.
Insider Tip: One of the most spectacular times to visit St. Petersburg is from May through July when the White Nights Festival is in full swing. While white nights may not be a concept unique to St. Petersburg, it is truly a magical time to visit nonetheless and includes daily music and art performances in Palace Square. If you happen to be visiting during this time, plan your hotel stay on or around the banks of the Neva River for optimal views of the fireworks. Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to explore the city via canal tour, as it’s easily the best, if not the most beautiful way to experience St. Petersburg day or night.
This urban metropolis is buzzing with boutique hotels, swanky cantinas, and “tequilacopters” that will drop you in the heart of blue agave fields.
Henri Samuel created a sumptuous jardin d’hiver for Susan and John Gutfreund’s New York City apartment. Photo by Jeffrey Hirsch for the New York Social Diary.
Del Vicario reproduced the low banquettes in the central room to exacting specifications matching those originally designed by Bertie Landsberg for the villa. Even the textiles were woven by the same weaver. Photo by François Halard, 2001.
Where to Stay: When it comes to iconic hotels it doesn’t get much better than The Peabody. Dating back to 1869, this classic haunt is located in the heart of downtown Memphis. Don’t miss a chance to watch the hotels longest live-in guests, the Peabody ducks, waddle their way across the hotel lobby and into the fountain, a tradition that dates back to the 1930s. Nestled along the Mississippi River, the River Inn of Harbor Town is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the action of Beale Street. With only 28 guestrooms to choose from, all beautifully decorated to evoke a mix of southern comfort with European influence and décor, don’t miss a chance to enjoy a raspberry creamsicle and shrimp and grits in the hotel’s on-site restaurant Paulettes. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, the Madison Hotel is located downtown and offers nicely appointed rooms along with some of the best views of the city from the hotel’s rooftop bar.
A rich scheme of mellowed paneled walls the color of cognac and rebuilt 1920’s French armchairs wearing their original tawny leather combine with dark stained furniture and a veined black marble fire surround, providing a masculine foil for bold modern art in the Chicago apartment of architect Darcy Bonner.
Photography by Scott Francis for House Beautiful.
This vine covered arbor is yet another horticultural folly expressed on the property.
In addition to the solarium, Vervoordt installed the kitchen in his now imitable style, featuring a large mantelpiece surrounding an iron stove faced in plain Delft tiles with display niches. Eighteenth-century rush-seated Georgian chairs surround a breakfast table, and a pine cabinet is stocked with blue-and-white Spode porcelain.
Ricky and Ralph Lauren’s all-white, minimalist Fifth Avenue duplex in 1980.
Pratt’s Club, since 1841, was purchased by the Duke of Devonshire’s father in the 1920’s, leaving its decoration just as it had always been, replete with sporting trophies, a billiards room and a complete edition of Ruff’s Guide to the Turf, which ultimately found its way to the library at Chatsworth. The main room of the club resides in the basement, featuring an open fire next to the stove where all the cooking used to be done and a game table set for cribbage. “George”, as all stewards and other members of the staff are called, sits at his desk. From “Pratt’s: The Most Famous Private of Clubs” by the Duke of Devonshire for House & Garden, March 1986. Photography by Christopher Simon Sykes.
The high style entrance gallery of designer Howard Slatkin’s New York apartment features an atmospheric grisaille mural from 1810, the View of Hindoustan, framed by creamy French 18th-century doorways and pilasters and limestone tile flooring underfoot. Furthering the seductive ambiance are Louis XVI silver candle sconces, a regal Russian chandelier from Pavlosk, and luxuriant green-and-white foliage.
The heart of Tel Aviv is flat and compact, making it easy to experience a lot in a short time. The hands-down best way to explore the city is to rent a bike (try the Tel-o-Fun bike share) and ride along the shaded Rothschild Boulevard toward the beach promenade, ending at Jaffa for sunset and a glass of wine.
Why It’s Wonderful: Cosmopolitan, yet steeped in ancient traditions, South Korea is home to imposing mountains, lush national parks, pristine coastlines, and a clutch of outlying islands. Amidst the peaceful surrounds, Seoul is booming with excitement as the country prepares to welcome the 2018 Winter Olympics from February 9-25. From luges and ski jumping, alpine and cross-country skiing, speed-skating, and curling, the main events will be held at two ski resorts, Alpensia and Yongpyong, in Pyeongchang County—an hour southeast of the city connected by a speedy Korea Train Express (KTX) link. Ahead of the games, South Korea opened the cloud-piercing Lotte World Tower—currently the fifth tallest building in the world at 1,821 feet tall—in Seoul, as well as two purpose-built Olympic Villages in Pyeongchang.
The garden room in Donghia’s Manhattan townhouse was decorated in a cacophony of color and pattern – a marked difference from the monochromatic glamour we’ve come to know of his mature style. The ceiling was covered in tangerine foil to reflect warm light. The wallpaper was by Zandra Rhodes; the fabrics were from Donghia’s own company, Vice Versa.
Where to Stay: New boutique hotels in the Lower Garden District combine historic charm, modern comfort, and sense of place. Stay in an opulent 19th-century mansion at The Henry Howard, or take on The Quisby, a hip, quirky hostel pleasing not just your wallet. You don’t have to check in to the Monteleone or Roosevelt Hotel to enjoy a cocktail at their iconic hotel bars.
Why It’s Wonderful: While most visitors to South Africa tend to use Cape Town or Johannesburg as a hub for exploring the country, Durban is the city to explore if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path adventures. From a ruggedly beautiful shark-infested shoreline to a gritty but charming downtown, Durban is a spectacular place to discover South African culture. For adventurous types, the wild coastline is a surfer’s paradise. Snorkelers and scuba divers can face their fears in a shark dive, and adrenaline junkies can take the plunge at Moses Madiba Stadium on the largest (and scariest) swing in the world. If you’re interested in local history, museums like the KwaMuhle Museum and a newly-opened Ghandi museum will give visitors insight into Durban’s turbulent and violent past.
The original farmhouse, now the dining room, dates from 1780. An addition in the more formal Federal Style reconfigured the house in 1840. Then a second story with dormer windows materialized on top of the carriage house wing in the 1930’s. The house and its outbuildings were in derelict state when she discovered the property – a blank canvas with just the right amount of age and patina to transform into her ideal of country house style, which she has shared with antiques dealer John Rosselli the past few years. For nearly four decades Bunny Williams’ love of home and passion for gracious living has transformed this once sleepy property into a magical and welcoming compound for family, friends, and beloved pets.