The Million Dollar Decorators (that would be Mary, Nathan, Martyn, Jeffrey, and Kathryn) came to ADAC this month, and I have never seen such a turnout at ADAC before! I think that almost everybody in the Atlanta design community was there, and the consensus is that all five of the designers cum reality stars came across as the witty and vivacious people that they are.
During the panel discussion (which was led, by the way, by Veranda editor-in-chief Dara Caponigro), the designers were asked about what inspires them, and the topic of travel came up. I for one am quite envious because they all seem to be jetting hither and yon to all kinds of exotic places- and often. Mary McDonald mentioned a hotel in India that she found particularly inspiring because of its Art Deco interiors that were in pristine condition. It sounded like she called it the Umaid Bhawan, but I can't be sure because I didn't write it down.
Over the weekend, I was reading Architectural Digest Chateaux and Villas, a book that was loaned to me by my friend Will Merrill. In it, there was a chapter on the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, one of the last great palaces of the maharajas. Built in the 1930s by Maharaja Sir Umaid Singh, the vast palace boasts a hybrid design of both Eastern and Western architecture of which the British architectural firm Lanchester and Lodge was responsible. What caught my eye more than the impressive size of the palace, though, are the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne interiors. And the murals by Polish designer Stefan Norblin just add to the appeal.
Unfortunately, a finished palace never completely came to fruition as World War II hindered the completion of the palace's interiors. Today, the palace is a hotel run by the Taj group, although the current Maharaja still retains residence in another part of the palace. In addition to the AD photos, I also found a few intriguing ones from the hotel's website. I don't know if this is the hotel that Mary spoke so highly of, but even if it isn't, I'm going to add it to my list of places that I want to visit- hopefully someday soon.
(By the way, I have to congratulate Will Merrill. One of his designs for Currey & Co.- a small drinks table that is so charming- made the cover of the new Charlotte Moss book. Yay, Will!)
The Central Hall is a circular wonder.
The oval grand staircase adjoins the Central Hall. Look closely to the left of the staircase and you'll see some type of tented curtain.
A Guest Suite was inspired by the great luxury ocean liners. The mural was painted by Stefan Norblin, as were the murals in the photo below.
The Throne Room.
A Guest Bath sheathed in onyx and marble. According to the book, the wall sconces were a "recent innovation at that time."
A Guest Room featured a chrome-banded bed on a platform. The acid-etched black glass panel above the bed was executed by Norblin.
I found this photo of a Deco room on the hotel's website.
And, ending the post with a splash, the hotel's photo of the Zodiac Pool. Again, the murals were by Norblin. Is this pool amazing or what?
All photos with the exception of the last two from Architectural Digest Chateaux and Villas; bottom two courtesy of the Umaid Bhawan website.