I believe that most of us have blue on the brain. House Beautiful's current issue is dedicated to the color, which also makes an appearance on the cover of March's Elle Decor. That's certainly fine by me because I adore blue. I've got a blue living room, blue dining room, blue eyes, even blue champagne coupes. One of my very favorite blue rooms is one with which many of you are familiar: the London drawing room of the late Fleur Cowles.
Located at Albany, the room, originally a ballroom, dates back to 1780 when it was designed by the architect Sir William Chambers. From what I've read, the ceiling has ornate plasterwork which I imagine must be exquisite. For me though, it's all about that glorious shade of blue- descriptions range from sky blue to Wedgwood blue- which really intensifies the other colors in the room. The artwork, the potted geranium, even the mahogany library steps seem to perk up when placed against that blue. Really, it's no wonder that Cowles deemed her room "the most beautiful in London."
I don't know when this room was decorated (I can only assume it was many years ago), but to me this room is utterly timeless. It's comfortable, and yet it's also rather grand. Why don't we live and decorate this way anymore? It's such a shame, really, because this is the type of design that has staying power.
A few more tidbits. According to a 2003 New York Times article, Cowles and her husband often served dinner to their guests in this room. Dishes included deviled chicken and ice cream with caramel sauce. You see, the food was nothing fancy and yet people clamored to be invited to her home. We need to remember this next time we get stressed out about what to serve our guests.
And what I also learned while doing a little Fleur Cowles research this week is that she also designed china for Denby called Jardin de Fleurs. On a plate like this, I bet deviled chicken looked divine.