Vintage Glamour in St Moritz

I just returned from my first ever visit to St Moritz.  With its history of attracting the world’s elite, I was intrigued and excited to go and explore, sure of finding lavishly beautiful interiors in its hotels, bars and restaurants (in between ski lessons and practice, of course). 

We chose to stay at the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski, where the healing mineral spring that drew visitors some 3000 years ago, can still be accessed.  The iconic 1864 building, quietly nestled at the edge of the alpine metropolis, has a fairytale quality.  Descending the staircase to dinner, I would pause to look out over the lobby, with its rich woods, icing sugar white walls and ceilings, and huge vintage chandelier, and I could feel the ghosts of film stars past waltzing through in their furs and boots.  

A Christmas Classic

I fell under the spell of the Connaught some years ago, and the Coburg Bar remains my favourite bar in town.  From the moment you enter the hotel lobby, you are cocooned in a place that has been dedicated to the finer things in life since the nineteenth century.  

At Christmas, the hotel is generously decorated in a manner befitting its heritage:  winter greenery, golden baubles and little white lights adorn the 1897 open well staircase and the fireplaces with immaculate elegance.  

This year, my friend and I lingered at the fireside for “just one more” glass of champagne and relished the warm, intimate atmosphere of a traditional London Christmas.

Maximalism: A Delightful Recipe

Pared back, clean-lined minimalism has perhaps had its day:  a move towards its opposite, maximalism, is definitely in the air.  The emergence of brave, extravagant decorating is not just a style backlash either: rather, could it be a need for care-free exuberance to provide light relief when the real world is weighing us down with serious issues?

“More is more” maximalism can seem a hard look to achieve, let alone live with, so first experiments might be in smaller rooms or those we only pass through.  

In this Guest WC, designed for our client’s Victorian country house, several large scale traditional patterns in a bold, modern colour palette are teamed with vivid surface finishes:  burr walnut, gold leaf, antique mirror and African Fusion stone.  Because why shouldn’t décor surprise and delight to the max?