The Queen’s influence on home styles celebrated by design industry leaders
Much of the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 8, 2022 has focused on her seven decades of service, her encounters with other world leaders, her famous family, the love of her subjects, her dogs, her taste for fashion and her funeral. Little – if anything – has been written about its impact on interior design tastes and trends. They are worth a look.
“Conservative is the first word that comes to mind when describing Queen Elizabeth’s style or taste,” observes New York architect and historian Kate Reggev. worlds of design and architecture; however, she made few changes to the historic houses she resided in, likely out of respect and deference to her lineage and throne past (but possibly also a reflection of her personal style). »
Lasting international influence
British-born, Malibu-based interior designer Barrie Livingstone travels to the UK regularly and incorporates elements of British influence into his design projects. In fact, he had just acquired two pieces of royalty-inspired wall art that hung behind him when he was interviewed by NewsNation about the queen’s death. “Traditional period styles in England vary from a farmhouse to a mansion to a townhouse, but overall the traditional interiors and styles of the Queen’s House really set the tone for good taste” , he says.
Other hallmarks of his interior style include antique textiles, tapestries and rich fabrics in bright colors used in all rooms, he notes, and Persian and Ottoman rugs laid on unique antique wood floors. . And of course there is an impressive art collection. Although even the typical affluent California or Cambridge homeowner doesn’t have a royal budget to work with, you see these influences in homes on both sides of the pond, especially the desire to personalize with their own collectibles. and valuable works of art. collection.
Livingstone also cites heavy oak beams and huge blocks of stone from Queen’s Sandringham and Balmoral castles and Buckingham’s decorative ceilings, door moldings and ornate doorknobs as clues to his traditional architectural taste. These also appear in traditional and eclectic homes on several continents.
London-based Vanessa Brady, CEO of the Society of British & International Interior Design, describes the Queen’s taste as “classic” and timeless. “She didn’t change her style of dress at all over the years. Her home in private areas was also the same. Neither was dull or dated. “She liked the color, the patterns, rugs and flowers; it was a true English eclectic style with lots of porcelain decorative items and ornate gold artefacts. The curtains and rugs were subtle and timeless. Brady notes that if you “think of a country hotel, you will get a general idea of the Queen’s style for her private homes”. She loved tradition, but also comfort and intimacy.
The Queen’s residential spaces were all about family and relaxation – and her legendary dogs (mostly corgis). It is even said that she has a room exclusively for their use! That’s not to say they didn’t spend time with their mother dog and other family members in the private quarters, and there was plenty of coming and going. (Elizabeth II was often photographed with her puppies.) “During her lifetime she owned more than 30,” Livingstone comments. ‘Long walks in the woods and across the moors at Balmoral meant muddy boots and changing rooms which were well used in all his homes,’ he adds.
The mudroom is an architectural trend that’s happening widely — and is a welcome addition anywhere in homes, observes the Malibu designer. “It helps us prepare the entrance from the outside in. I love seeing how important they are anywhere, whether it’s rainy and muddy up north or hot beaches where you walk in all oily and with sand.
“I would be curious if there were any particular rooms in certain rooms where she requested dog-friendly materials that would be easy to clean in the event of an accident or easily remove dog hair,” Reggev speculates. “In the pictures and videos I’ve seen over the years, it’s not possible to tell.” (The Queen’s dogs will move in with Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, we learned.)
When you think of royal residences, you think of their vast, manicured grounds as much as the grandeur of their architecture. “Her gardens watched history and she had wonderful advisers,” Brady notes.
“Traditional English gardens feature carefully landscaped areas bordered by decorative hedges, ornamental trees and shrubs, as well as dramatic water features, fountains and ponds,” says Livingstone. They are also rich in flowers in spring and summer.
“The Queen’s love of the outdoors prompted her to return to her beloved Balmoral Castle in the far north of Scotland,” Livingstone recalled. “It has provided her with the isolation and freedom she has always dreamed of,” he adds. Given that his son and heir to the throne, King Charles III, has a well-known fondness for classical architecture, that’s unlikely to change.
Decorative styles throughout the centuries often bear the names of former monarchs. The best known are probably Louis XIV and Victorien. Given that Elizabeth II’s taste looked more backward than forward, we may not see Elizabethan style, but that doesn’t mean her 70-year royal presence won’t impact the residential design at home or abroad.
“I’m sure this loss will generate a profound influence of patterns and colors revived in fabrics and trends in residential interiors as people reflect on the comfort and timelessness of the style we think of as the private home and living room. of the queen,” Brady predicted. She concludes: “I think the American love for all things British has never faded and the influence that design has on our lives and how we feel is now recognized as a value for well-being. being and security. This is certainly reflected in wellness design trends here and abroad.