Okay, so I’m totally not into all this royal wedding mumbo jumbo—like, at all. In fact, I change the channel immediately when I see graphics sporting the words “Kate”, “William” and/or “April 29th”. When asked to write an article about The Royal Wedding and decorating, I struggled to find an angle until I thought about getting inside the oh-so-proper digs and shaking things up a bit by going unconventional. After a few hours googling terms like “modern royal”, “contemporary English” and “cheeseburger sombrero” (hey, why not?), I came across some great spaces and items that, when used correctly, could reinvent royal interiors in a not-so-safe, less expected manner. Or should I say “manor”? Oh bloody play-on-words hell, let’s get to it already.
Ah, the classic handsome English library—overall a sophisticated man’s world. The graphic lines of the wood paneling are just about the only thing in this space that could even remotely have an iota of modern appeal. Hmmm, what would a totally modern, manly-yet-Victorian-inspired library have? Glad you asked, hit “more” please.
The Vintage Bookshelf from Munkii, of course! This custom design from Singapore blends the flamboyance of Baroque style with the simplicity of modernism. If Kate has an issue with the heavy, masculine feel of these, perhaps she can convince Wills to stick with a soft blue or green accent on the inset. But considering the “royal” part of the “royal family” comes from his genes, maybe she shouldn’t rock the boat just yet. There’s surely 28 other rooms she can claim for herself instead. Americans can order this from Bobby Berk Home.
As this dining room image from Traditional Home shows, English toile goes a long way when used in small doses, even if just two accent chairs. Well, if you’re gonna go traditional with toile, why not go all the way?
While this concept may be hard for most people to take, it’s a classic method of decorating that has been done for years—using the same fabric from the curtains on upholstery and window coverings. The only thing missing is the royal couple donning outfits in the same exact fabric to serve as camouflage from paparazzi. If Mr. and Mrs. Windsor were to ask my ideas for a small guest room, this would be at the top of my list; however, in a great room, notsomuch.
While there are many types of toile out there, from French to African American to Asian, York is the master of classic English toile. In a dining room setting, one of these uber-traditional papers would be a great juxtaposition paired with sleek, modern furniture.
Ever since photographing Betsy Burnham’s teen room design for my site, Decor Demon, I’ve been eager to use her Union Jack dresser idea. There’s no better fit for this than the home of Will and Kate. I’d stick this sucker front and center in one of their dozens of entryways.
As far as color goes, you don’t get more royal than purple. As these spaces by superdesigner Jamie Drake show, violet and plum can be sophisticated and classic. So any of you people saying purple is strictly Austin Powers or psychedelic seventies, think again.
As far as art is concerned, classic oil paintings are a must for stately manors. For those of us bringing home less-than-royal salaries, a great source online is Encore Editions. The site offers reproduction prints of super traditional subjects including portraits, equine scenes and prize-winning canines.
Now it’s your turn, folks! Are you totally over all the royal hype or are you counting down the days and prepping your fancy hats like Anna? And if you had the chance to decorate the UK for W&K, would you stick with the traditional or mix things up a bit? Very well then. Cheerio.