Thursday, August 14, 2008

Valentino and his London Abode





That Valentino. His keen sense of style goes beyond his couture creations. I've never seen one of his homes that was not beautiful, tasteful, and elegant. (Unfortunately, I can't say that I've seen these homes in person. My impressions are based strictly on photographs!).

I think what I admire most about his homes is that they are entirely appropriate for their locations. His Capri home circa 1971 was a sea of vibrant blue and white prints- perfect for living la dolce vita. His London home, featured here, is veddy English. Now, I know this might all seem a bit predictable, but if you're going to have a home in London, don't you want to feel like you're in England rather than in the Mediterranean, for example? Personally, I don't get that maverick approach to design where a home is supposed to look the antithesis of its location- it seems a bit contrived to me.

But let's get back to Val's London home. Does it come as any shock that Colefax & Fowler designed it? Tom Parr of C&F was responsible for much of the interiors. According to a 1992 House & Garden article (from which these photographs are taken), Valentino felt it important to use a British decorator. But while Valentino wanted an English look for his home, he also wanted it to be "more aggressive". I'm a bit stumped about the aggressive part- perhaps it's the use of color? The mix of prints? Perhaps it's a more masculine version of the English look.


I wonder if the home still has Parr's imprint? Or, has it been redecorated? Does anyone know?









(All images from the September 1992 issue of House & Garden; Alexandre Bailhache photographer)

18 comments:

  1. Ah that dining room wallpaper and those large-scale Asian figures. So classic. And I'm intrigued by the bedroom rug.

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  2. I saw a lovely spread on his place in Italy recently with all those cute pugs. Love it!

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  3. Jennifer - The home is fabulous. These images appear in Interior Inspirations credited to Roger Banks-Pye of Colefax and Fowler as well. Curious.

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  4. That London house was in Edgerton Terrace and I believe that Valentino has since moved on to another London neighborhood.
    There seems to be a muddle about who was actually responsible for the decoration.
    In the introduction to the book about Roger Banks-Pye, Valentino gives full credit to Roger.
    The rooms certainly bear his stamp in that they are robust (not a Tom Parr trait, good though he is), quite densely furnished, and highly imaginative.

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  5. There are marvelous pictures of this home in a book about Roger Banks-Pye called Inspirational Interiors. According to the forward of the book, written by Valentino, Parr entrusted the project to Banks-Pye. The book was published by Ryland, Peters & Small in 1997. It is a wonderful book!

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  6. For me, I love the mix of prints here! I'm curious about that print used on the chair in the second image, wonder what that is? Great post Jennifer!!

    ~Kate

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  7. I like that Valentino used Colefax & Fowler, the epitome of the "English Look" to decorate his London home. I hope that the design is still intact.

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  8. How silly that I forgot to mention the Banks-Pye book. The library (?) with the green and white check is not featured in this article. But I will say I always thought Banks-Pye was responsible for these interiors, and the H&G article does not mention Banks-Pye at all. The credit is given to Parr. Curious indeed!

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  9. Big furniture in a small room, works and then some.

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  10. I share your curiosity about what "a more agressive" English (Country House?) style should be. In seems to tick all the boxes in the usual way. (I always equate "English look" with "English Country House" and c1950s-80s, as today's English look would be fairly versatile.)

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  11. Nice follow up to your previous Valentino post. You have a great clipping file!

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  12. I do love that bathtub! How victorian not to show the legs!

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  13. Thanks Peak! great post. I love how you can click on the image to see the details close up.
    In the dining room the dining chairs have handles so the chairs can be moved without soiling the slipcovers. I love the jardinere on stand in the window.The ebonized cabinets,lacquered screen and chandelier/oil lamp tie together. Those carved hoho brackets are superb.
    I also love the rich curtain details in all the rooms and the use of tiger and monkey themes. The check print is just right. great inspiration!

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  14. It is great fun to click on the images and see the details up close.
    I love the handles on the chairs and the jardinere in the dining room,among other great details.
    Thanks, Peak!

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  15. Anonymous5:51 AM

    can't get enough of valentino. i recently saw pictures of him seated in an amazing living room surrounded by some gorgeous models. i have been trying to locate that article or see more photos of that chic apartement. anybody know how i can do this???

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  16. loving that pressed linen moment around the bath tub.

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  17. I too was going to take exception with that attibuting to Parr. In the book you can see that all those touches Banks-Pye is famous for, such as using a certain gimp or braid above dado (wainscoting) and certain other traits may have been used all through the Colfax & Fowler firm but I'd be greatly surprised if it were Parr.

    Still, seeing that tub made me remember in the book about Banks-Pye, it said that Pye chose to skirt the tub to offset the overt masculinity of the rest of the room. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

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  18. WOw, that Dining room and office is simply GORGEOUS!!!

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