Decorating Advice for the Royal Newlyweds

Decorating Advice for the Royal Newlyweds

By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

The wedding of weddings of 2018 is now a memory, and I think America on Saturday made a lovely contribution to the English Royal family in the former Meghan Markle.

And as a decorator, I have to wonder what Prince Harry and his bride will do, design-wise, in their home, reported to be Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace. A mix of American style with a touch of British antiquity might be the answer.

Here are a few of my predictions.

The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bedroom would be lovely in pale blue with white trim and a touch of coral. My call would be for cream carpets. The royal bed would have an upholstered headboard and would be shapely, not plain. The night tables would be traditional, maybe provincial, with a white antique finish and pale-blue trim. Bath towels would mix coral, pale blue and white with a dash of gold thread.

For the drawing room, I’m envisioning a large room with a proper fireplace mantel of white marble in the Regency style. Two comfortable sofas would be at least 8-feet long with big throw cushions. Both sofas would be upholstered in cream velvet (no leather here). The floor would be parquet with a marquetry border, covered with a rug in an Indian or Turkish style. I believe the rug should be an Ushak carpet in soft tones of melon, cream, gray and pale blue. For club chairs, I see a tapestry-style woven fabric.

The room would house a large ottoman in the same fabric as the club chairs and tufted in the Chesterfield style with ball feet. The ottoman would double as a coffee table, on which glasses and bottles could be placed.

End tables in wood would hold rock crystal lamps with lots of family pictures and photographs from the bride and groom’s previous lives. A mixed collection of contemporary art, photography and family portraits would add lots of personality to the setting.

The windows would be treated lightly, with no heavy valances or drapery.

No one is expecting the new royal look to resemble that of the late Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The former Wallis Simpson and the former King Edward VIII were quite at ease with fussy and French formal antiques. But the world has moved on, and everything is a matter of timing. Had their royal romance taken place in today’s world of change, the Duchess of Windsor might have had a chance to become queen of England. And had the rules of today’s world been in place, the late Princess Margaret could surely have wed her first love, the late Captain Peter Townsend.

But that was then.

And this is now. So I am wishing the prince and his wife a lifetime of love in a home that will bring them happiness.


  • Jeanne on

    I miss your shop at Greenbrier.

  • Wendy Skruck on

    Being from London I always love watching Royal Weddings ! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are so in love and their wedding was truly wonderful ! Love all your decorating ideas- beautiful colors- I can just picture it all! Thank you for another great article – I so enjoy your column !!! Aloha !!🍍🌋🌋

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