Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Audrey's Place of Peace

Black is the color that comes to mind when we think of Audrey Hepburn and fashion (turtlenecks, little dresses). But on the home front Audrey preferred white. White all around. White sofas with crisp accents of color like blue, green and orange. White walls and white floors. From the 1960s through the 90s she never tired of white.

Unlike fellow style icons Babe Paley and Jackie O, Audrey didn't turn to a decorator when she furnished her beloved 18th century farmhouse in Switzerland. According to Audrey expert Pamela Keogh, the actress purchased her airy eight-bedroom home, La Paisible, (literally "the place of peace") with her own money in 1965 and kept it pared down for the rest of her life. She favored white wicker furniture, silver-framed photos of her children and friends, and loads of fresh flowers from the surrounding gardens. She knew what she liked.

Audrey's self-awareness, simplicity, and trust in the classics are themes that run through Keogh's latest title, What Would Audrey Do? Home Studies is just one chapter, but not surprisingly my favorite part.

There are tidbits about Audrey's faves -- Rigaud Candles, white dishes mixed with bright linens, colorful art, blue stationery, functional antiques. But the point is that she decorated for herself, not for the magazines.

If you have a teen or twenty-something cousin or friend, Keogh's little guidebook would make a lovely graduation gift. Beyond design and style, the author focuses on Audrey' gratitude, her ethics, her manners, her compassion and her work for UNICEF. It's core life lessons disguised in an entertaining pop culture package.

Image of Audrey's home shown top is from Audrey Style, also by Pamela Keogh. The second image is from What Would Audrey Do? from Gotham Books, 2008. Audrey facts come from both books.


My Notting Hill said...

I'll have to check this book out. Like your idea of giving it as a graduation present.

pve design said...

Even her coffin was chosen out of simplicity.
A simple wooden box. She was simply elegant, smart and focused on what really mattered. An advocate for UNICEF with life at heart for all.

Anonymous said...

What a fun and interesting post! I've got to get this book. Thanks for telling us about it--and about Audrey's penchant for decorating with white. -Julia

The Peak of Chic said...

How refreshing! It seems that she really saw La Paisible as her home rather than a house for show.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I liked "WWJD" (What Would Jackie Do?) which I gave to my mom and I like the idea in general, especially when we get a rounder picture of the celebrities who are always associated with perfection.

Simple and elegant are two terms that always defined Ms. Hepburn's style. If her house is any indication, it's nice to see that her style wasn't manufactured.

blah said...

Dear Courtney - lovely post and I shall have to get this book! :-)

Style Court said...

thanks felicity!