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Kate Hard At Work Decorating Anmer Hall

Monday, March 24, 2014

Anmer Hall undergoing renovations last year
SplashNews

Most women like to decorate. It combines creativity and artistic sensibility, shopping, and personal taste. And certainly, like fashion, decorating is a huge outlet through which women express themselves.  I have always been particularly interested in what Kate's personal interior decorating style might be, partially because for so many years she was very present, but so silent. An enigmatic figure who we got to know very, very slowly by interpreting her careful actions to piece together a map of her personality. We watched Kate shop all last year as she hustled to kit-out her Kensington Palace apartment before the birth of her little boy, and the tidbits that slipped out were interesting. Kate was buying fairly contemporary items and much of what she seemed to be purchasing was in very neutral and tan colors. From the Star quoted in this earlier blog post:

Kate picked out beige and brown English handmade fabrics that cost £131.76 a ­metre. She also went for a cream and light brown traditional herring-bone stripe for the ­curtains in a corridor. And for a sofa covering she ­preferred a ­darker, co-ordinating beige and terracotta herring-bone design that she pored over in a samples book.
Now, she has another huge project to work on: Anmer Hall. Nestled in Norfolk, technically on the Queen's Sandringham Estate, the large manor house that will serve as the Cambridges' country get-a-away has undergone major renovations and is now ready for Kate's feminine touch.

Kate Middleton Returns to her London Aprtment
Splash

People is reporting that Kate has been hard at work sourcing pieces for Anmer Hall. In January, she was at Simon's Knight's antique store--which was covered here ever so briefly-- looking at Turkish rugs that would work well in bedrooms. Via Knights Antiques website:
Knights Antiques is owned by Simon Knight; this unique business is located in the internationally renowned town of Henley on Thames, famed for its rowing regatta and festivals.

The rugs and carpets are all personally selected by Simon Knight, they range from fine antique tribal rugs from the Nomadic tribes of Persia; such as the Qashqa'i, Khamseh, Afshar, Lori and Baluch. There are always a good selection of antique Turcoman, Caucasian and Turkish weavings on display in the gallery; where the rugs are displayed for easy viewing.
People has more fun details:
"She was looking for things for bedrooms," he said, "so she wanted softer pastel shades rather than strong colors."
After first doing her research online, she came into the store armed with the specific stock codes.
 "She knew exactly what she wanted to look at, as she had looked at my website," said Knight. "She is very hands-on and down-to-earth, helping to get things out. She really wants to be involved."
Mr. Knight does indeed have a pretty thorough website, which Kate utilized, and it includes a list of rugs he has sold. Perhaps something now gracing the floors of Anmer Hall is humbly listed... If Kate had her heart set on pastel Persian rugs, she would have had to be pretty selective. They all seem richly hued to me.  This beautiful rug is still in stock, but it seems lighter and more feminine. He certainly has enviably gorgeous pieces. Maybe Kate will come back for this:

Knights Antiques Website

Knights Antiques Website
Kate has been spotted shopping fairly regularly in the Norfolk region over the past year. A decorating/furnishing project as large as Anmer Hall will take some time to complete, and she has been at it for some time already. People also mentioned her trips to Chelsea Harbour (blog post on that here):
The princess has also been spotted at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, a one-stop shop for home furnishings that offers 500 designer brands in a three-story, modern showroom. "I think she likes to pop in every now and again to look for inspiration," a source there tells PEOPLE. "She is always by herself and very low-key. She browses and stops for a coffee."
Apparently, Kate popped into Mulberry Home at Chelsea Harbour and looked through the their fabric selection, "she was particularly taken with a jade green and teal paisley stripe material."
The website only lists two paisleys remotely fitting the People description. It could be one of these, or it is possible they have more stock on site:


The Duchess also popped into Sanderson and was absorbed in the Morris & Co fabric patterns. No details on which particular patterns she was most focused on, but just from their website you can see they have lots of beautiful stock. I love all of this stuff. Quality, traditional British design.


She was also looking at lighting at Vaughan. Gosh, busy girl, I am tired just writing this... :)



Remember that Kate can also pull from royal collections. Undoubtedly, the duchess has the help of her mother, whose taste is clearly equally impeccable. Carole also decorates in a fusion style of traditional and modern, blending classical beauty with modern convenience. Hopefully, someday we will get a peak into both the Cambridges' homes, but don't hold your breath. That could be quite a ways down the road. In the meantime, I will keep an eye out for any décor tidbits we hear!


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23 comments:

  1. Her homes must be so perfectly done. I, too, love these various details on her décor. I hope details continue to come out!

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  2. I love those rugs. It's a big project to decorate such a mansion but shes having fun doing it! I personally have a real passion for interior design so this post was very interesting. Thanks for filling in this waiting time with such interesting details!

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  3. I could see the first paisley fitting the description ok.

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  4. Super post! Fun to imagine what their homes look like! 😍

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    1. Thanks! Yes, with all the beautiful materials she is clearly working with, it must really be a showcase.

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  5. Hi Jane. Congratulations on your posts! Great job! I always start my day by reading them. I was wondering if you could write about HRH Kate's dieting and workout. Thanks a lot.

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    1. Thank you! So happy to hear you are a regular here! I can certainly do a post on Kate's diet and workout. That would be fun! Look for it in the next few days...time allowing. ;)

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    2. Ditto -- and include ab work (if you can) -- she has the flattest abs ever. Even when I was in high school, my abs were never that flat!

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    3. Hello Ladies: it has been a little busy here. hope to have you your post by the weekend! I will include abs. :)

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  6. Kate has very good taste :) I really like this chandelier :)
    Very good post, Jane :)
    I greet from Poland and I invite you to my blog: katethecambrdiges.blogspot.com :)
    Eweli

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    1. Thank you, Ewelina, and great blog! I don't speak Polish, :) so i didn't get the whole impact of your content, but I really like your presentation! Keep up the good work! Thanks for stopping by From Berkshire to Buckingham, too!

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    2. P.S. I added you to my links page! :)

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    3. Thank you :)
      I didn't think about this, but I added an translate, so you can read it :)

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  7. Hi Jane,

    I love to see pictures of Kate dressed casually (even before when she was just KM). These always give me ideas of how to dress for work. I tend to get into ruts. I don't believe I had seen the pic you showed above with her hair in a ponytail. How is it that she looks sophisticated even with a ponytail?! I always look ready to go running....

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    1. Glad you liked it! Funny you mentioned that, because I chose it because of the good view we got of her ponytail! Glad you noticed. :) I agree, she makes it look glamorous. Her hair has such great body, which I think helps a lot.

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  8. Jane, I love how you researched this blog article. You didn't just parrot the news (I'd already happened to have read those articles before coming here), but researched possibilities matching their descriptions. I really like Kate's decorating style, from what I've seen. Wish I could be a fly on the wall and see inside KP and Anmer Hall.

    I thought it was interesting that she didn't like the colors she'd picked for their KP apartment and was having it re-done. The papers made it sound like re-painting was costing 1m pounds. Any insight into this?

    Thanks,
    Victoria, Oregon

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    1. The re painting did not cost a £1m. There are 2 stories here. The first is the structural work undertaken for the building itself, which including the removal of asbestos. The press are reporting that the cost of this has increased (allegedly my this amount). The Cambridges are not responsible for this work - it is a necessary undertaking on a public building.

      There is a story (not confirmed by KP) that Catherine wants to change some of the decor. All the costs of the internal decorations and furnishings are met by the Cambridges so she can change the colours every week and it doesnt cost the tax payer anything, Uk press like to stir things up.

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    2. Thank you, Victoria! I don't like the regurgitation news, either, so I had to get creative. :) Plus, I was genuinely interested myself in what she was looking at!

      Honestly, I didn't include that because I don't like the story. by that I mean, I don't have a solid feeling on it. Some stories ring true and sometimes stories are obviously false, and sometimes I just don't like the gut feeling I am getting. This one seemed sketchy to me. Maybe there are sheds of truth, but my sense is there is a lot of embellishment. Too much for me to give it much credence. It could be true, and if it is, time will tell, but for the moment it sounds a little out there. Sometimes we paint something and don't like the color, maybe since she has a lot of money she will have it redone, but that she chose it due to hormones, that she is overhauling the entire project? I don't believe. It just doesn't sit right with me and my sense of Kate. Plus, with Amner Hall, the tour approaching, taking care of George, where would she find the time. If she mentioned to someone she does't like the color, which may be true, I think it far more likely she'll go a few years. Or do modifications that are more reasonable than a complete overhaul. This is far too long winded, but you see my point. I didn't really but the story.

      I really appreciate that you read and checked in here in the comments. :)

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    3. P.S. CP, I agree with your points, too. Those are definitely major factors, and I think they play into how this story doesn't seem honest. I guess I believe even beyond that he story seems likely to be significantly fabricated based on perhaps a true tip, perhaps not. But, certainly in my mind, one that has probably been grossly elaborated and exaggerated.

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    4. That helps so much, Jane and CP. Thank you! Makes a lot more sense.
      Victoria, Oregon

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  9. Love the dress in the photo of Kate with her hair in a ponytail. I realize this is a photo which is years old, but wonder if anyone knows the designer?

    The Cambridges seem to keep many things quiet, such as the infrequent photos of their adorable little boy, so I doubt we will see much of the interior design of their homes. William seems concerned about press intrusion, so this must be the way the Cambridges control the issue. Kate has a classic style of dress, so I would imagine the interior of her homes would be done with a more classic style, but I was surprised by how contemporary C.P. Mary decorated their home.

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    1. Hey there, my recollection is that it was an Issa. She did wear Issa all the time. :)

      I agree on the comments about their privacy. I think it probably has a little mix, but that is is mostly traditional.

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  10. So many beautiful carpets, this really is a dream, although I'm a bit envious looking at it all!

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