If your house could do with a soupcon of grandeur and panache, why not browse the back catalogues of the royals’ favourite interior designers for inspiration?
Whether you’re in the market to make use of their services at home or you simply want to mine their Instagram feeds for ideas, these are the interior designers who have made it into the royals’ inner sanctum.
When Prince Charles moved to Highgrove, the only man for the renovation was the great antique dealer and interior decorator Robert Kime, whose flair for creating grand yet deliciously comfortable rooms is second-to-none. House and Garden laud him for his signature layering of ‘textiles and treasures’ and recount the time that he spent eight months decorating his London flat and then arranged said treasures in just a week. As he told them, ‘Don’t ask me how I do it – I can’t explain.’ Along with his inarguable and seemingly effortless style, perhaps it is that – the adherence to the ‘never complain, never explain’ school – that has served him so very well amongst his royal clientele. For more ideas, visit Robert Kime’s website here and follow him on Instagram here.
When William and Catherine married in 2011, the Queen’s wedding present to the happy couple was a ten-bedroom house in Norfolk on the outskirts of the village of Anmer. Anmer Hall had all the bones of an elegant Georgian home already, but before they moved in, the couple embarked upon a £1.5m renovation under the unerring eye of Ben Pentreath. The designer – who is an architect, an interior designer, and has a shop selling his own products – is renowned for his classical, restrained yet fresh style, and it is a look that has earned him a healthy clutch of commissions from the royal family. He had previously worked on the couple’s Kensington Palace apartments, as well as on various projects with the Duchy of Cornwall, and was thus well-trusted by the family. For more ideas, visit Ben Pentreath’s website here and follow him on Instagram here.
Vicky Charles of Charles & Co
When Harry and Meghan moved into the ten-bedroom Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate – originally built by Queen Charlotte for her daughters – it was to Vicky Charles of Charles & Co that they turned. The former head of design at Soho House had previously worked with the Clooneys and the Beckhams on high profile renovations, as well as being the design mastermind behind The Ned. None, however, would prove as contentious as this. Happily, it was not the design itself that caused ripples (in fact, the public have seen precious little of it); rather, it was the taxpayer-funded £2.4m price tag associated with it. The couple has, however, now refunded the sum following their ‘stepping back’ as senior members of The Firm and the move to America. For more ideas, visit Charles & Co’s website here and follow the company on Instagram here.
By Nancy Alsop