May 28, 2015

On the path of Henri Samuel

Winter Garden at Henri Samuel's country house Montfort l'Amaury as illustrated by Jeremiah Goodman

As you may know, I am busy at work on my next book which I couldn't be more excited about. It is on the decorating master Henri Samuel whose career spanned most of the 20th century and whose clients included the Rothschilds, fashion designer Valentino, Jayne Wrightsman, the royal chateau de Versailles, and… you get the idea.

After coming across this photograph of the designer with Ingrid Bergman at his country house, I thought perhaps the actress was also his client. My new theory is that Bergman consulted Samuel while researching her role in the 1961 film Goodbye Again, in which Bergman plays a decorator in a love triangle with Yves Montand and Anthony Perkins. Read more about the film on The Peak of Chic (whose post sparked this hypothesis). I haven't found further confirmation in the Bergman archives at Wesleyan but I haven't given up.

Can't you imagine the dishy stories Samuel might have shared with Bergman that weekend in these rooms?

Credit: Last two photos from the Architectural Digest book International Interiors

Latest from the Journal
Latest post

Saying Goodbye to one of the Finest Rooms in America

When asked to select my all-time favorite American interior, one room has always sprung to mind first and foremost: Mr. and Mrs. John Gutfreund’s “winter garden” sitting room at 834 Fifth Avenue. In this lush oasis of fresh lettuce greens and delicate pinks, the hustle bustle of New York’s concrete streets outside those silk -festooned windows melts away.