Palm Beach, Wallpaper, and Royalty

Beautiful Entrance to The Colony Hotel PB

“You picked this hotel because of the wallpaper, didn’t you?”

“Well, not just the wallpaper.”

 

The famed "Brazilliance" pattern (used also at The Greenbrier) can be found on The Colony's walls and chairs.

The famed “Brazilliance” pattern (used also at The Greenbrier) can be found on The Colony’s walls and chairs.

For Mother’s Day Weekend, my husband Matt and I took my mama to Palm Beach and we stayed at the fabulous Colony Hotel. And yes, my husband was right. The wallpaper was one reason I chose this historic hotel, but it wasn’t the only reason.

As a “thank you” to the woman who first introduced me to design, I wanted her to stay in one of the most glamorously designed spaces in recent history.

It is bright and beautiful, drenched in patterns, and brimming with surprises and stories.

The 67 year old hotel recently underwent an $18 million dollar renovation, capstoned by interiors designed by the famous Carelton Varney who now helms Dorothy Draper & Co, one of the oldest established design firms in the country. However, the history of this Palm Beach grand lady of a hotel is not just held in his touch.

The Colony Hotel of Palm Beach has played hostess to kings, dukes, grand society swans, philanthropists, and presidents.  I love the story the long-serving manager of The Colony, Jim Ponce, tells about hotel guests the Duke and Duchess of Windsor:

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and Wallis Simpson Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and Wallis Simpson

“Everybody knows that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor enjoyed coming to Florida to visit their friends and enjoy a good Polo match. They would usually spend their stay as guests at friends’ homes, however one year, in the early 60’s, they decided to reside at the Colony Hotel. It was so funny…romantic elderly ladies would shyly inquire if they could sit in the Lobby, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the couple as they walked by. Discretely holding a magazine, they could eventually see a very assertive Wallis Simpson walking a few steps ahead of her husband, the former King of the British Empire.”

Note the signature, "Edward Duke of Windsor"

Note the signature, “Edward Duke of Windsor”

The hotel, like any good host should, treats every guest like royalty whether you sign your checks “Duke of Windsor” or not. From the details in the decor to the exquisite food in The Polo Restaurant, a stay at The Colony is inspiring.

I left on Sunday afternoon full of ideas…googling “Brazilliance” wallpaper  now armed with the courage to make a bold statement or two. [Wouldn’t it be a great touch in a small hallway!]

A lovely bathroom at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. Note the bright, bold paper paired with the delicate mirror.

A lovely bathroom at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. Note the bright, bold paper paired with the delicate mirror.

Great hosts and hostesses DO what The Colony Hotel is doing… they are rejuvenating.

They remind us that personality and color are much more memorable than “safe-sameness.”
They remind us that thoughtfulness and planning make guests feel special.
And they remind us that a great story is the gift that keeps giving… because it keeps getting told.

My mother, Mary Browning, in the lobby of The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.

My mother, Mary Browning, in the lobby of The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.

I could think of no grander place to visit to celebrate my mama. She is a woman of much personality, giving, and can tell you a great story or two (or three… or four…. ).

Next stop, The Greenbrier (also decorated by Mr. Varney)! I hear they have great wallpaper there ,too. Who wants to go?

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Matt in the lobby of The Colony

My husband, Matt, in the lobby.

Hallway at The Colony Hotel

The hallways of the hotel.

Entrance to The Polo at The Colony hotel Hallway of The Colony hotel Tassle TieBack Wallpaper Detail

A gorgeous and delicious breakfast in The Polo Lounge (by the pool) is included with your room.

A gorgeous and delicious breakfast in The Polo Lounge (by the pool) is included with your room.

Details in the Ladies Room Colony hotel Entrance to the Hotel Chandelier of the Colony Hotel Lobby of the Colony Hotel 2

For More Details on The Colony Palm Beach & Designer Carleton Varney:
Color the Colony by The Glam Pad [one of MY favorite blogs]
Carleton Varney is Mr. Color by the LA Times

 

 

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