King Richard III and Queen Anne

The Nature of Noble Loyalty

It’s spring in London and the flowers are bursting forth on Cheyne Walk, which skirts the edge of the River Thames until it gives way…

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The gardens at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte

Heaven Shall Be Here

In the film A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman, who plays an unlikely Louis XIV, declares, “Heaven shall be here.” He’s speaking of a ballroom he…

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Whitehall Palace with the Banqueting House

The Built Legacy of Henry VIII

The 2016 Academy Awards are handed out this coming Sunday so I’m celebrating a film that showcases the built legacy of Henry VIII to delve back into…

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Allington Castle in modern times

Renovating During the Tudor Era

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Looking back to the Tudor Era from this great distance, it’s easy to see how barbaric a sport jousting was.…

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Three children painted in the Elizabethan style.

Narratives That Illuminate Design

Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change…

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John, Jr., playfully tugs at one of the three strands of Jackie’s famous simulated pearl necklace

One Special Summer with Jackie O

Hegel’s caveat “history teaches us nothing” may be relevant in cultural and philosophical realities but in the design world the statement is far from succinct.…

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The Queen's Drawing Room at Hampton Court Palace

Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII

As I mentioned in my last Improvateur article presenting a brief history of Hampton Court Palace, I launched into a furnishings fantasy when I heard…

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One of Hampton Court Palace's Eavesdroppers

Decorating Hampton Court Palace

The premise of this article and the next one I’ll post here on The Diary of an Improvateur (next week) began with a rather capricious question:…

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Whistler gilded the walnut latticework forming the shelves.

The Peacock Room à la Whistler

The most recognizable painting by artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler might lead you to believe he was as Puritan as his upbringing. The fact he…

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