Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I had forgotten

The latest in a series of favorite rooms. 

I found this picture of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Hampton's Manhattan bedroom whilst idling through my library this afternoon and had a real "Oh, I had forgotten" moment when I opened up the book Manhattan Style. I first saw this bedroom in the 80s, and if I remember rightly I saw it in one of the early World of Interiors. At that time the living room of the Hampton's apartment was embowered in a chintz equally as magical in its coloration as this bedroom is in its lack thereof. In the book from which this picture comes, the living room had entered its beige phase and was totally uninteresting to me, and so it remains all these years later. The 80s seemed to whimp out in a sea of beige and I for one was not happy. Chrome yeller was my color then and it has its pull still.

The late Mr. Hampton worked with David Hicks, Mrs. Henry Parish II and then for McMillen before setting out on his own. He decorated private rooms in the White House, the West Wing, Camp David and Blair House, most of New York and international society: Carter Burdens, Estee Lauder, Rupert Murdoch, et al.

It shouldn't be surprising that in Mr. Hampton's hands, this bedroom is a good example of how enduring a monochromatic scheme can be and how attractive it remains ten or twenty years later. The toothed pelmet, from which hang small silver bells reminds me of one in Winterthur used by the Duponts, and is still very attractive in its Chinoiserie simplicity. The hand-painted Chinese paper is exquisite and not totally grey and white: there are flashes of color in the bird plumage and in the wings of the butterflies. The overall coolness of the scheme is warmed slightly by the natural straw color of the carpet, the bed hangings and the touches of gilt. 

A magnificent room, reticent, cool, rich and subtle. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh -that is a beautiful room! Not just the obvious wallpaper -but that cozy chair in the left hand corner with the peeling white paint. Too perfect!