The Life of the House: How Rooms Evolve, Lady Henrietta Churchill

Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Ph. courtesy Palm Beach Daily News

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is not your average European aristocrat whose mere presence entices people to open up their pockets to make charitable contributions. She is one of the leading, and exceptionally talented, interior designers in the world. In a field that is populated with individuals whose primary professional pedigree is their ability to hold entertaining conversations at cocktail parties – sounds quite like the world of art advisors, doesn’t it? – Lady Henrietta has more than three decades of experience working on a great number of noteworthy historic as well as contemporary projects… starting with her childhood home, the mythically celebrated Blenheim Palace.

In fact, one can peruse Lady Henrietta’s impressive curriculum vitae in no fewer than eleven volumes of books which she has published over the past twenty-three years. Her first publication, Classic English Interiors surveys some of Britain’s most beautiful homes including her family home at Blenheim. Classic Meets Contemporary is a curated profile of twelve contemporary designers beginning with the author’s own work. Classic Decorative Details is itself a classic reference book for designers on both sides of the Atlantic; Classic Design Styles is a broad ranging volume which covers Anglo-American as well as Medieval to Victorian traditions; Classic Fabrics appeals to anyone who is interested in any aspect of textile design, manufacturing and history; Classic Interior Design focuses on Lady Henrietta’s area of expertise: architectural details; Classic Georgian Style is a tour de force survey of British Georgian architecture; Blenheim and the Churchill Family is quite a delightful and rarely personal insight into its author’s very private life with the Spencers and the Churchills at home in Blenheim; Classic Entertaining (re-issued) has become a must read for every society (or wish-to-be) hostess from San Francisco, via New York City…all the way to, of course, Palm Beach; Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living is a portfolio of Lady Henrietta’s experiences of working with historic – including quite a number of National Heritage – sites and the integration of practical contemporary design elements.

However, it’s Lady Henrietta’s latest publication by Rizzoli that brought her to Palm Beach, where her ancestors reigned over the life of the city’s High Society. The Life of the House, How Rooms Evolve is a thoroughly engaging book for every, not only, designer but lover of cultural heritage. A richly illustrated volume, the 224-pages book presents 150 color and black & white photographs of some of the most private historic residences throughout Britain and the United States. These are sites to which even scholars of cultural heritage do not gain easy – if any- access. This portfolio of the author’s awe-inspiring body of over thirty-years of work is an absolute gem.