Friday, January 08, 2016
The Mill, Part Two
For part two of my series on the Mill, I am leading off with a photo of the dining room, which is my favorite room in the house. Originally slated to be embellished with bold colors, the Duchess decided instead to decorate it in subtle shades. She employed John Fowler and Mrs. Claude Lancaster of Colefax and Fowler to assist her with this room. Fowler painted the room's bulrush and shell mural, which provided a charming backdrop for the Duchess's collection of trompe l'oeil porcelain as well as her painted furniture, while the floor's rush matting was another nice, tasteful touch. As you can see, the room is quite a contrast to the Mill's other rooms, something that the Duchess addressed in her article: "This room is a surprise to everyone- even to me- coming to it as one does from the brilliant colors and homey, chintzy atmosphere of the hall. Sometimes I think the very contrast of the world of one talented decorator like Stéphane Boudin (who worked with me on the rest of the mill) with that of an entirely different talent is more dramatic than anything you might deliberately plan."
Other excerpts from the article that you might find interesting:
"Every house as it is lived in seems to me to take on a personality of its own; the Duke and I have tried to foster for our mill one of serenity and relaxation- with just a touch of gaiety- for ourselves and for our guests."
"I enjoy my own parties but that's usually because everything has been planned down to the nth decimal place."
"Although I can never be casual about entertaining, or about anything in the house for that matter, yet when really terrible things happen, I'm completely calm."
"I am cursed- or blessed, I don't know which- with a photographic eye. I go into a room or a shop and I take in every detail, even without really trying, and can describe it all afterward."
And on that note, let's move on to the photos...
The Dining Room, above and below:
Bachelor Guest Quarters:
The Duke's Room:
The Bahamian Bar: