Pauline de Rothschild
In the early ’50s, there weren’t too many single American women living alone in Paris. But Pauline Potter—on her way to becoming one of the great tastemakers of the century— lived by her own rules. She created an exotic indoor forest by covering her bedroom in hand-painted 18th-century Chinese wallpaper. Later, after marrying the Baron Philippe de Rothschild, she would spend five months a year at his château and the other seven in this secret garden—alone.
New York City, 2006
“I wanted to find something I loved and go with it,” says Rizer of decorating her Manhattan apartment. What she found were individual panels of hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper that transformed a windowless front room into a lively aviary. Rizer subsequently drew the colors into the rest of her apartment: sunburst-yellow hallways, a warm-taupe living room and red velvet curtains from her great-grandmother.
Simon Paul Scott
Cole Valley Chair Charcoal Gray
Gold-Leafed Wall Sconces
Michele Oka Doner
Detail Showing Scene from Roman Fresco of Tree with Birds
Like her sister, Jackie O, Radziwill knew how to put together a scene that was both daring and refined. During the swinging ’60s, when all things Indian were in, she tapped internationally renowned decorator Renzo Mongiardino to turn her London drawing room into a glamorous “opium den.” Mongiardino, a sometime opera-set designer, was a master at mixing high and low. He covered the walls and divans with inexpensive blocked Indian cotton and brought in priceless French antiques to complete a look that was the epitome of the mysterious East.
jewelry designer , San Antonio, 2006
“I have an insatiable case of wanderlust,” says Collins, who lived in Asia and Africa before settling in Texas. Like many world travelers, Collins has a collection of treasures that, until recently, she had nowhere to display. To eye-popping effect, she refurbished a guest room as a Moroccan-inspired lair, cloaking custom banquettes with Persian rugs and making an ottoman out of an old Indian grain mill. For her clan, it’s a haven of color and texture.
Emmanuel Torabi Home
Linen Pillow - French Blue Flanged
architect / designer
With clean lines and lush fabrics, revolutionary furniture designer Eileen Gray introduced a sense of understated extravagance to the salon of celebrated Parisian hostess Suzanne Talbot. Gray was known for her surprising combinations. Here she blends a lounge-worthy Cubist sofa, her tubular Art Deco chairs and decadent animal prints to make a minimalist room that’s sexy and inviting.
New York City, 2006
Although emphatically modern, Sarofim’s downtown New York screening room was designed with the ’70s in mind. “I imagine myself having cocktails with Halston,” Sarofim says, leaning back in her Mies chair. Little did she know that blending spare, neutral- toned furniture; white walls; and a few strong pieces, like the vintage zebra-skin rug (which we dragged onto the sofa), was an idea recycled from the 1920s.