Thursday, March 13, 2014
Speed Lamkin at Home in Louisiana
One of my favorite Mark Hampton-designed houses has to be that of the late author and playwright, Speed Lamkin. The Monroe, Louisiana house, in which the writer and his sister, socialite Marguerite Littman, were raised, was built in 1936 by Lamkin's parents. After many years spent in the whirl of New York City, Lamkin returned home to Monroe to refocus his energy on his writing career and to take up residence in his childhood house.
Although Lamkin was known for his refined taste and his passion for collecting, he had the good sense to hire some very talented designers during his lifetime. While living in New York, Lamkin engaged Billy Baldwin to decorate two different apartments. But for his Louisiana house, the playwright hired Mark Hampton, who helped Lamkin redecorate the house's interiors. Lamkin had long wanted a drawing room with mirrored paneled walls like those in Coco Chanel's salon, something which Hampton made a reality. And in what had once been the house's porte cochere, Lamkin envisioned a winter garden room. Hampton complied and layered the room in yards of a charming Brunschwig & Fils floral chintz. What a chic collaboration.
The photos that you see here appeared in the September 1981 issue of Architectural Digest. Although I had seen photos of the house before (such as in Duane Hampton's book on Mark Hampton,) there are a few- namely, the master bedroom- which are not familiar to me. Take a look below and tell me that this house didn't strike just the right balance between high-style, big city flourishes and Southern comfort and graciousness.
All photos from Architectural Digest, September 1981; Horst, photographer.