Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Windsor Style

A reader asked me to post about my favorite books.  I have so many favorites that it would be hard to choose just a few but one that I find fascinating is The Windsor Style by Suzy Menkes.  Whether you like them or not, you have to admit that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor had amazing personal style that extended from their wardrobes to their homes.  The stories about their dinner parties make you realize that no one lives as elegantly today except perhaps Mr. Valentino and some European royalty.  It was a different time when table linens were embroidered to match each separate set of china.  This is a look at their last home at 4 route du Champ d'Entraînement in the Bois de Boulogne.  The Windsors took over the house from General de Gaulle in 1953 and it was decorated with the help of Stephane Boudin.  After the death of the Duchess much of their French furniture was donated to Versailles and Mohammad al-Fayad bought and restored the house which had seen better days. 

The entrance hall.



Sydney Johnson and the pugs.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in front of a Louis XV commode topped with Meissen pugs.

 A portrait of the Duke's mother, Queen Mary, by Sir William Llewellyn.



The library includes a portrait of the Duchess by Gerald Brockhurst from 1939.


The silver and blue salon with Louis XVI furnishings.

Cole Porter will play the piano when he came to visit.

A photo shoot in the room from 1980's .

A photo shoot in the dining room from the 1980's.

A recent look at the dining room.

The dining room would hold three tables for eight during dinner parties.

The sitting room that separated the Duke and Duchess' bedrooms.


The bedroom of the Duchess.


A more recent look at the bedroom.




The bathroom of the Duchess includes a portrait by Cecil Beaton over the tub.



The desk of the Duke of Windsor.







Photos from The Windsor Style, The Peak of Chic, Architect Design, A Lovely Being

9 comments:

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Oh my goodness, how beautiful. I can't imagine living in such a beautiful home.
Thanks for the suggestion, Heather.
Teresa

Luciane From HomeBunch.com said...

Heather,

These are amazing photos and I appreciate this post so much because it's os informative and very, very inspiring. Thank you for keeping up with really brilliant posts!

By the way, I think you really need to check my post today. It's about a very famous brazilian architect Roberto Migotto. He's simply great. Take a look and let me know what you think, ok? I know you'll like it.

xo


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

I Dream Of said...

Such fabulous photos. The pug pillows and the handbags? The shoes? Oh my! So much inspiration. I want to stay home from work, get out my paints and capture some of this magic! Thanks Heather.

Filia Artis said...

I like how dashing the Duke looks in these photos and I liked his closet. It makes me wish that smoking pipes wasn't so unhealthy because they really were such a stylin' accessory!

Thanks for this interesting look!

C. A.

thedo-tique.blogspot.com

Leslie said...

today this house seems so decadent. i'd like to think (and hope) it's possible to live elegantly without the excess!

Heidi said...

This is a fabulous post - you've really found a treasure trove of photos. I think the interiors look quite current, the mix of colour and pattern is very modern. I think in your previous post on the Windsor home you mentioned finding it difficult to obtain images of the bedrooms - could it be that it was considered a very personal space to photograph in that era?

Lucindaville said...

Definitely one of my favorites, too.

Bill Price said...

My wife and I were fortunate to attend the Windsor Auction, and one of the items we acquired was a Gilt Shell Ashtray in an unusually crafted Blue Presentation Case.
We have thought that this may have been presented to the Duke upon arrival in Nassau, although no proof as yet.
In any event, there appears to be a Blue Case on the lower right hand shelf in picture 22, of the Duchess's Bedroom.
Would you possibly have a larger print of the photograph, that could help in confirmation?
For clarification, I can send photos of the Case to an email address.
Thanks
BP bcpii@clis.com

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

Just saw the link for this post below today's post. I also have had this book forever and it is one of my favorites. If you look up the value, it is going for around $500 some places, since it's scarce and out of print. Hang on to it! Glad you got to the book store today. Love to buy books after Christmas too.
Happy holidays!

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