If you love tragic woman and over the top interior design you’re going to love Syrie Maugham (1879 – 1955). Some say she was possibly the most intolerant snob and that she was a bit superficial. But I have to admit: I have a weakness for intolerant superficial snobs.
Self Portrait, Syrie Maugham
But being an outspoken woman isn’t the only reason why I admire her. For me it’s the way she used colour and accessories. She had a surprisingly strong palette. She mixed bright greens, shocking pinks and bold reds with pale blues or beiges and she topped it up with baroque accessories (think dolphin console tables and rococo plaster work).
So it’s strange to know she became famous with an all white room: her own party-room at her house in London. But it wasn’t the clean white room as we know it today. No, Syrie kept the drama going on. She combined paint, bleach, yards of white satin, wool and silk, white velvet lampshades and even white lilies. To give the room even more depth she added mirrors and glass. I guess once a drama queen, always a drama queen.
All white party-room, London
Combining strong and pale colours
Use of mirrors to add some drama
Mix pale blue, pale pink, mirrors and baroque accessories
To find out more about this Style Icon Read “Syrie Maugham” a rare 1978 monograph, “The Scandal of Syrie Maugham”, “A Case of Human Bondage” a 1966 book by Beverley Nichols and ‘Syrie Maugham: Staging the Glamorous Interior.’
Words BY HMP