Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Christmas Memories

Last week when I posted on cozy rooms, a few readers commented on the red living room of the late textile designer Alan Campbell. The image was from a 12/01 House Beautiful article on celebrating Christmas with Alan Campbell and the Netto family (which includes designer David Netto). It's actually a bittersweet article as the photographs were taken at Christmas 2000, and a few months later both Alan Campbell and David Netto's mother died.

Most of the images are of Campbell's Connecticut home decorated in its Christmas finery (and a few are of the Netto's Manhattan home). What I find interesting is that I always associated Campbell with the bright colors and funky patterns of his fabric designs, but his home was actually very elegant and refined. And do you recognize the exterior of his home? The home is now owned by Bunny Williams and John Rosselli and is used as a guest house (and featured in its own chapter in An Affair with a House). Bunny was close friends with Alan Campbell and encouraged him to buy the house many years ago. When he died, Bunny wrote that she could not imagine anyone else living there so she bought it to "keep it in the family", so to speak.

A view of Campbell's Christmas tree with an inset of the Netto family. I want that chair!

Campbell's red living room is one of my all-time favorite red rooms. The image to the right is the living room of the Netto's Upper East Side home. Nice to see the contrast between country and city chic.

I LOVE this photograph of Campbell's dining room. The wallpaper is Zuber, which looks smashing with that darkish green trim. And to keep things from looking too fancy, Campbell chose some simple Hitchcock chairs for the dining table.

A shimmery vignette in the Netto's Manhattan dining room.

Cheery stripes in the Netto dining room.

A view of the former Campbell dining room after a redo by Bunny Williams. Fortunately the Zuber wallpaper is still gracing the walls.

Image at top: The exterior of Campbell's classic home.


  1. Anonymous10:15 AM

    The Zuber wallpaper is amazing.

  2. Atl- I agree- it's gorgeous :)

  3. It's funny how much the trim color changed that room. All the images are classic and lovely. I was just graciously given three boxes of vintage design magazines; most rooms are not this timeless.

  4. I am so glad that Bunny Williams left the Zuber paper up--but added her own style to the dining room. Very interesting (and sad, and heartwarming) post!

  5. Patricia- I agree- all of the Campbell rooms are so timeless. Hope you enjoy your vintage mags :)

  6. Brilliant- I'm glad she left it too, although Bunny seems like the type who would have the sense to keep something like this. I don't think she has to rip everything out and start fresh just to leave her imprint :)

  7. Jennifer,

    This is really a lovely post. I remember these images but you tied everything together so well. Now I won't forget all the connections.

    Not to sound corny, but like Millie said this is just a heartwarming post. That red room and tree are on my brain.

  8. Anonymous4:48 PM

    I was startled by the contrast between the stately, classical quality of Campbell's house exterior and the wildness of some of his fabric, like the pattern used in "The Devil Wears Prada"--see:


  9. PT- Me too! I've tried to learn more about Campbell, but can't find a lot on the web. I'm sure he was a very interesting person.

  10. Anonymous8:10 PM

    I agree with the comments about the Zuber Scenic America paper. It looks so less formal with dark molding. I've only seen it in extremely formal rooms. It seems idiotic that the family dining room in the white house as installed by Jackie Kennedy was covered up by Betty Ford who "disliked eating to battle scenes" and then uncovered by Roslyn Carter and left uncovered by Nancy Regan, but the Bushes and the Clintons and the Bushes have it covered.

    Great post about the Campbell home.

  11. Lovely images, I had not seen either of his homes before (despite the fact that I have dozens and dozens of design magazines that I am unable to throw away!).

  12. Oh, thank you so much for posting this! You are right, bittersweet. Such a lovely home and the fact that Bunny kept the wallpaper :) Thanks for sharing Jennifer.


  13. I'm in total agreement, the Zuber wallpaper is fabulous!
    If you find out anything about Alan Campbell let us all know, I only really heard of him quite recently when I read the Albert Hadley book which mentions him, but not in a lot of detail.

  14. Anonymous9:09 AM

    Love the Zuber paper. Fortunatley Bunny Williams left it intact.

  15. It is heart warming to know AC was loved. It is such a shame so little is known about him.

  16. The chapter in Bunny's book about Alan made me very sad when I read it. It's just that here is this house standing there going on with him. I don't know, it just was sad. I love how much the room changed by just a few touches: a green tablecloth was is gorgeous and the chandelier and plaid drapes. Hard to reconcile the fabric to the man as everyone had said. Great, great post, thought provoking.