Thursday, June 28, 2012

London Jubilee

I am recently home from a trip to England where the sense of merriment surrounding the Queen's recent Jubilee festivities is still very much in the air. (Union Jack chair and table from Sue Walker in Walton Street, London.)

I stayed with my sister Irene whose renovations to her new flat I wrote about in February. If you missed it, here is the original post: London Calling, and here are some 'before' and 'after' photos.

The kitchen before:

And after - designed by Plain English with the Long House door style and painted Farrow and Ball All White.

The gingham shade fabric is from Chelsea Textiles.

The cushion for the built-in bench is due any day. Covered in a sage ticking stripe from Romo it will coordinate with the Chelsea Textiles pillows we bought during the winter sale at their London shop.

The Oka Stola table and Camargue chairs.

The lantern was found at Patrick Jefferson, an antiques dealer whose shop is at 69 Pimlico Road.

The living room before:

And after - the white sofa and chairs, sent over from the US, I had made by Charles Stewart and covered in a Kravet fabric. The new fireplace mantle is from Aro Marble and the rug is from Oka.

The sofa under the television is from Pottery Barn, a few years old, but revamped with a new slipcover I brought over in my suitcase. Irene has a PhD in Art History and the shelves were built to accomodate her extensive collection of books. The walls are painted Paris Grey from Zoffany paints (which may or may not yet be available in the states) and the wall behind the bookshelves is painted Farrow and Ball Eating Room Red.

The curtain fabric is a Threads linen we selected last winter at the Chelsea Harbour Design Center with braid by George Spencer Designs .

Travelling with me was my older daughter, Sophie. (The younger one, Serena, was on a trip to Paris with her French class.)

One of our outings was to Chiswick House which is a stunning neo-Palladian villa completed in 1729.

Designed and built by the 3rd Earl of Burlington, the villa was inspired by his 'grand tours' of Italy.

By the 1770's Chiswick had passed to the 5th Duke of Devonshire whose wife, Georgiana, was a leader of fashion and a political activist. She referred to her home at Chiswick House as ‘my earthly paradise' and the gardens are just that.

The property features a conservatory which houses what is believed to be the oldest collection of camellias in England. Completed in 1813, it was at the time the longest ever built (302ft.)

The semi-circular Italian garden was designed by Lewis Kennedy and laid out in 1812.

Nestled throughout the grounds are several significant statues and garden elements. The Doric column in the rose garden.

A gateway designed by Inigo Jones in 1612, acquired by the 3rd Earl and moved to the property in 1738 when the house where it originallly stood was being demolished.

I'll leave you with a photo of my adorable little sister whose 36th birthday we celebrated the night before we left. Almost more impressive to me than her PhD is the way she zips around London in her Mini.


  1. Beautiful flat. Love new kitchen and the combination of that table w/chairs. That rug is gorgeous too!

  2. Hi P - I was wondering where you were. Zipping around London....NICE!! You did an amazing job. As the Brits would say: brilliant!! I love everything---the bespoke kitchen cupboards, embroidered pillows from Chelsea, curtains, and sitting room decor. The wall of bookcases / cabinetry and all that seating make it such an inviting room. Beautiful and comfortable! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Welcome home! Love the flat. The calm colours in kitchen and dining set against the living room area, which has some spunk! The tv looks like a piece of art, the red is great. On a personal note, obviously nothing wrong with your family dna, everyone so pretty;)

  4. Your sister's home is beautiful, so serene and inviting. Great job. Those gardens are simply amazing. We are off to London at the end of the year. I can't wait - after Paris, it is my favorite city. X Shaon

  5. Your sister's flat is Fabulous! I love the wall of bookcases! Such a welcoming retreat!

  6. What a transformation. The fireplace surround set the tone for the room. It is both classic and inviting...and, of course, books always add to the warmth of a room. Great job.

  7. oh this anglophile awoke to such a fulfilling post!

    lucky you to have a sister in london to stay with, and in such style
    happy weekend!

  8. Your sister's flat is absolutely lovely. Really amazing job! Your trip sounds delightful -- combing London and family! What could be better?

  9. What a wonderful trip and visit. The flat is beautiful!! How great to have a talented sister like you! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thanks for sharing your trip and your sister's home, it is so calm and inviting. Love the kitchen, the bookshelves, fabrics and patterned rug...and of course her Mini! Wonderful you have a great place to visit!

  11. Dearest Phyllis,
    Oh my goodness, your sister's apartment is absolutely gorgeous!! Congratulations to your sis!! Love her kitchen and the very charming and English styled living room! And what a nice lantern she found! All so beautiful!
    Chiswick house is also on my to visit list! I just love the Palladian style!
    You posted a beautiful picture of your daughter! Well, all members of the family were in Europe! Fantastic!
    I wish you a great weekend and thank you so much for your nice comments on my earlier blogposts! You are so sweet!

  12. Your sisters apartment looks great. Love the rug and the curtain details.

  13. I just love your writing, and boy is your sister's home DREAMY. that kitchen looks amazing.

  14. Hi Phyllis,
    What a treat your trip was for all of us who remained at home. Love, love, love your sister's kitchen and the cottages near your cousin's home. Like you, I could happy in one of those "cottages" forever (or, at the very least they qualify as one of my fantasy houses.) And the gardens, well, you know I love English gardens. Hope the weather was fine and your family had a wonderful reunion.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Awesome! The flat looks great. Your photos and UK posts are really giving me wanderlust!

    Your daughter is beautiful. I really enjoyed your comment at my place. It's encouraging to hear when a person's "fifth year" arrives.


  16. The little uk table is adorable. I love the matching chair.


  17. What a gorgeous kitchen! And those gardens are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing!


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