Friday, August 17, 2012

After Versailles

Have you noticed that Versailles is often credited as being the inspiration for many a McMansion? Case in point, the 90,000 square foot monster home, meant to emulate the French royal palace, which had a starring role in the recent documentary "The Queen of Versailles". Words escape me.

I did manage to find photos of one home that was actually a tasteful rendition of Versailles, although it wasn't meant to mimic the palace itself. Rather, it evoked the style and spirit of the smaller courtier-owned homes that were located in the shadow of Versailles. This American version, seen here in photos from House Beautiful July 1935, was located in Rumson, New Jersey and was decorated by the venerable firm McMillen. Considering who decorated it, it's no real surprise that the home's interiors were restrained yet elegant and Neoclassical in feel. My favorite room of the house, though, is that snappy entryway. Thank goodness the homeowners had the good sense not to recreate the Hall of Mirrors in their house. But even if they wanted to, I'm sure that McMillen would not have allowed it!

The home's entrance hall

The drawing room whose color scheme was based on the gray-green and deep violet-red Aubusson rug.

Another view of the drawing room.

The Library with another Aubusson rug, this one in brown, yellow, and red.

The dining room.


  1. It's interesting that they switched to English furniture in the Dining Room. And is that the same house in the rendering? It is decidedly more English than French, too.

    But there are some great 18th century houses in the town of Versailles that would still be a wonderful model of inspiration for a new house today.

    1. The rendering is of the house, and it does look more English than French. Good point.

      I think that someone should hire YOU to design a house inspired by an 18th c. Versailles house. I know it would look smashing! :)

    2. That's a great idea! I happen to have one new house design 'on hold' that was featured on my 2010 Christmas card and blog post. It was indeed inspired by an 18th century house at the edge of the Park of Versailles (near the Hamlet). But there are plenty of other possibilities for a wide range of budgets. Many thanks for your consideration!
      __ John

  2. Jennifer,

    The film was a shocker, no? I also posted about it!


  3. My favorite element (besides the entry) is the architectural bookcases. Beautiful and useful for all of these design books that keep accumulating. Thanks. Mary

  4. OMG the real Versaille is amazing + McMansions not so much. Sooo happy to be back on Internet.

  5. My favorite room of this home is the entryway also. I'd love to walk through the real Versailles!