COTE DE TEXAS: In Honor of the Royal Birth: A Total Renovation in London!

In Honor of the Royal Birth: A Total Renovation in London!

 

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While we are all anxiously awaiting (well, I am at least!)  the birth of the new heir to the Throne of England – but only after first his great-grandmother, grandfather, then father all pass away – here’s a bit of London design to get in the spirit!

 

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A Paris kitchen – hidden behind cabinets in the dining room.  Available for rent from Paris Perfect.

 

You may remember a few years ago, I showed an apartment in Paris HERE that had been totally gutted and renovated - and then a short while later, I wrote about several more apartments that had also been totally renovated in Paris HERE

 

 

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The kitchen/dining room opens to the living room.

 

Both stories featured apartments that are available for short or long term rentals through Paris Perfect, a company that specializes in leasing overseas.  Since that time, Paris Perfect has expanded to include Italy Perfect and London Perfect.   While traveling through Europe, instead of staying in hotels, you have the option of staying in a beautifully restored and fitted apartment, living as a citizen of the city instead of as a tourist.  The flats come fully loaded – and are truly a home away from home.  In London, the apartments are located in the popular and exclusive neighborhoods of Chelsea, Fulham, Kensington, Notting Hill, Mayfair and Belgravia.    You can choose where to stay according to what you plan to do while in London. 

Paris Perfect has been in business for ever 15 years.  Conveniently based in the United States,  there is no language barrier in making arrangements for your stay.  All the apartments are luxurious and smartly decorated – which makes looking at their web site all the more fun.

I love to peruse their available flats online and imagine which one I would rent if I was planning a trip abroad.  Mostly, I love the way they are decorated – so fresh and pretty with up to date furnishings and accessories.   Each of the apartments in the three “Perfect” cities are reflective of their locale.  The Paris Perfect properties are decorated in a casual French style, the Italy Perfect rentals reflect Italian design and the London Perfect apartments showcase the best of the English aesthetic.

Today – we have a recently renovated apartment located in London and available through London Perfect.  The flat was totally remodeled, taken down to the studs, and the results are wonderful! 

Enjoy!!

 

This London Perfect rental, “The Churchill” is located in the trendy Chelsea  neighborhood near Fulham Road and Earl’s Court.   The neighborhood is full of popular restaurants and cafes and is near King’s Road which is filled with décor and antique shops.  Earl’s Court is a short tube ride away – where you can visit its wonderful Museum Row and Kensington Gardens. 

The Churchill flat has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and has an open plan living arrangement.   A large bay window at front lets in plenty of sunlight and overlooks the leafy street.  It is located on the 1st floor which translates to the second floor for Americans.   There is a sofa bed in the living room which provides arrangements for a fifth person to stay there.   All the amenities are included – from a fully equipped kitchen to flat screen TV and Wi-Fi. 

The apartment, to be sure, was nice enough before,  but it was just not up to the exacting standards of London Perfect.  Additionally the layout did not take advantage of the light and views the apartment offered.  The public rooms were in the back of the apartment while the bedrooms were located up front, overlooking the street.   When planning for the renovation, it was decided to flip the public and private rooms – a huge undertaking.  Here is how it began:

 

1 entry bedrooms became living dining

BEFORE:   The entry hall opened up to the two bedrooms.   During the renovation, these bedrooms became the main living area and kitchen once the wall between them was knocked down.  The bedrooms were then moved to the back of the house where the living room and kitchen/dining room once were.

 

1.4 master bedroom became kitchen dining

BEFORE:  The master bedroom had a pretty bay window with great views and light – all wasted.

 

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BEFORE:  The master bedroom and extra bedroom – with the wall between them torn down.   This now becomes the kitchen and living area!!

 

 

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BEFORE:  At the back of the apartment – the living room and the dining room/kitchen, which is down the steps, became the new two bedrooms.  The public rooms were crammed in the back of the flat – with not much light and not much connection to each other.

 

 

 3.5 down steps to dining room

BEFORE:  Leading from the living room to the dining room and kitchen – which will now become the master bedroom!

 

 

5.2 old dining room

BEFORE:  The dining room and kitchen – now the master bedroom.  Up the stairs, the living room becomes the 2nd bedroom.

 

6 original kitchen

BEFORE:  The kitchen that became the master bathroom.

 

 

9 found 1800s red floorboards under kitchen

BEFORE:  Underneath the kitchen they discovered the red painted floors from the 1800s!!  So interesting.

 

 

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BEFORE:  The only bathroom.  Now there are two bathrooms and a powder room.

 

READY TO SEE THE NEW APARTMENT?

 

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The entry hall opens to the living area now at the front of the flat while the bedrooms are now at the back.  To the right through the door is the powder room and a 2nd bathroom.

 

 

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AFTER:  Where the two bedrooms once were there is now an open concept living area/dining area.   All the front windows let in lots of sunlight and have a wonderful view of the street.   In the old floorplan,  only the two bedrooms received the light, while the living and dining room faced the darker back side of the apartment.   The ceilings are quite tall which help to make the area seem more spacious and open.

 

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Above the sofabed, there is now a mirror which helps makes the space seem larger and pretty herbariers.  To the left is a fireplace mantel.  You can see the kitchen reflected in the mirror.  

 

 

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Close up of the mirror and herbariers with gilt frames.

 

 

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I love the colors and fabrics - gray ticking and black check with touches of red.  Two tufted chairs face the sofa. 

 

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The fireplace mantel is strictly for decoration – it’s non working!

 

 

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A cute clock with that touch of red sits above the mantel.

 

 

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The large clock over the mantel.  Love it!

 

 

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Vignette on the mantel.  Sweet vintage photograph of English school children.

 

 

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Across from the living space is the dining/kitchen area.  

 

 

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The kitchen comes fully stocked with all appliances, cooking utensils and necessities – but no food!!!   The refrigerator is hiding in the tall beadboard cabinet.  

 

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In the bay window sits a painted antique desk with a pair of romantic lamps.  The  curtains are full and lush – softening the room.   By switching the bedrooms with the living areas – the public rooms now overlook the pretty, leafy street, as they should!

 

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  The guest bedroom is located down the hall past the entryway in the former living room and further down the stairs is the master bedroom where the dining room and kitchen once were.  What a change from those two dreary spaces!!  A wall was erected in the living space to create the 2nd bedroom on the left.   This also created the hallway which is now decorated with prints, a mirror,  and a luggage rack.

 

 

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So charming!  Furnished in red, gray, pink and green, a custom built closet sits between the beds.  Notice how there are small bedside shelves on the side of the closet.  Each bed has its own lamp.  Love the mirrors – and love the wall color.  So cute!

 

image Close up of the bed.  The closet acts as a room divider, providing privacy to each inhabitant.

 

 

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And the second bed has a window that overlooks the back property.  Cute chintz curtains.  I love the gray pillow designed like the Union Jack flag. 

 

 

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The totally new bathroom #2 for the guest room has a rain showerhead. 

 

 

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Another view of bathroom #2.  There is another totally new bathroom in the master bedroom.

 

 

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Right off the entry hall between the living area and the bedrooms – is a new powder room. 

 

 

image Past the guest room and down a few steps is the master bedroom – with the bathroom where the kitchen once was.  The vignette on the chest makes a pretty sight line when walking down the long hall.

 

 

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The master bedroom is done in blue and white and coral.   The bathroom is through the door – where the kitchen once was.

 

 

 

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The master bedroom is charming with matching arched mirrors on each side and urn lamps with coral shades.  I love the two tulip paintings in the blue and white cachepots. 

 

 

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Along one wall a large closet is behind double doors.

 

 

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The new master bathroom, in what was once the kitchen, is very luxurious with a large shower.

 

 

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Along this wall, behind the mirrored doors is the washer dryer which is so convenient while traveling.

 

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Covering the window is the mirror that folds back to let in light.

 

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The washer dryer.

 

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To rent The Churchill or to visit London Perfect, go HERE.  To visit Paris Perfect, go HERE.

 

A huge thank you to London Perfect for sharing your photographs of The Churchill with us!!

 

AND….speaking of London,

 

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Are you excited for the birth – or do you really not care at all?  I’m getting excited finally, at the end.  Did anyone ever look prettier pregnant than Kate?

 

 

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Princess Diana perhaps.  Hard to believe she was just 20 years old here, pregnant with William, almost still a child herself.  This picture really says it all.   Charles looks wonderful here – so loving!   Snort.  Not my favorite person in the world!   Poor Diana never stood a chance against him and Camilla.   The royals used Diana as a birthing machine – chosen for her good breeding and virginity.    After she did her duty and gave them an heir and a spare, they couldn’t wait to get rid of her when she refused to play along with their games any longer.   Don’t get me started on what they did to her!!!

 

Anyway – at least they did have two darling boys.

 

Future Royal Babies

Here’s what Kate and William’s baby might look like.  So ridiculous!!!   The teen girl looks just like Kate Gosselin!

 

wait – they ALL look like Kate Gosselin!

 

So…is it a

Girl or boy?

I’m going with a girl, even though she looks like she is carrying a boy. 

 

Prince William – so cute! 

 

Name?   I say – Elizabeth Diana Victoria – not sure which order, but I bet the princess will have all three of those names.  

The name will have to be regal, after all, she will one day be the Queen of England now that the rules have changed.  No longer do the royals have to try for a boy – their first born will be the monarch, no matter what the sex.  Sure would have helped all of King Henry XIII’s wives.   

If it’s a boy – William Charles Albert Edward – not sure what order.

What is your guess?  Boy / girl

Name? 

 

 

 

60 comments :

  1. Great post. I agree with you, don't get me started on the Royals and how they treated Diana, most particularly the cheating Charles and that ugly wench Camilla. I will never understand how William made peace with them. He seems so devoted to Kate and I hope it stays that way forever. I do hope if it's a girl that Diana will become part of her name. Can't imagine anything more galling for the Royals.

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  2. The Naked Royals. Personally for all their titles and so called beauty, they behave badly, including Diana and Kate. I would have hoped better of them. Upon saying that, I do hope for a easy birth, a healthy child and a new perspective on their future and the ability they have to help so many.

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  3. I think she is having a girl too--- Girls name should be Catherine Diana Spencer Middleton. That will show the Queen that not only one day the Diana name will rule but also don't forget where she came from-- the Spencer line and also the Middleton line-- both grandparents treated equal in the name. Boy's name should be William Spencer Michael Middleton--- that would roast the Queen-- leaving out all the past names that would mean "so much" to the queen -- no George or Philip or Edward HA! HA! That way the boy's name also reflects Williams background -- the Spencer name -- which is the only good part of him-- and also reflects Catherine's background -- the Middleton's . I adore William and Catherine and I think they are a wonderful couple. My family has had a really hard time still trying to get over what all happened to Diana -- we adored her as well -- Our older daughter lived around the corner from Kensington Palace for a short while when she was in college and she chose to be married on Prince Williams birthday --
    June 21, 1997-- Diana sent our daughter a wedding gift and then two months later she died. We have taken both of our daughters back to Althorp several times to visit Diana's grave and we still have a hard time living with what happened to her at the hands of that family.

    Susan in Charlotte NC

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    1. Wow. She sent you a present??? I used to be a huge Diana fan. I was obsessed with her until she died. They really were horrible to her. They made her feel like she was crazy. Love your names,

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    2. There is more to the Diana present story than probably meets the eye or ear. I would suspect that if one writes the Princess and announces a wedding date on her birthday (including now Kate), they get an obligatory gift from the royal secretary in the order of an autographed picture, a dish with the likeness of the royal embossed on it or some other such nonsense. I don't believe for one nano second that Diana or any other royal would select and send a personal gift. This just doesn't happen unless one has the vivid imagination of Susan. I would put more question marks behind your question Joni than those three. Perhaps a number commensurate with the British national debt may be more appropriate.

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    3. Joni,
      I suppose I should set the record straight for the Mr/Mrs anonymous comment above. It never occurred to me to write to Diana telling her of my daughter's wedding or that she had chosen Williams birthdate for her wedding date. It so happens that my mother-in-law was British ( she has since passed away) and she was a cousin of a Duchess in the Royal family who was close to Diana. That is how Diana found out about the wedding date. We were very surprised when her wedding gift arrived. I can't believe that anonymous would spend one nano second as they put it to make an ugly comment about something that does not concern them at all --- what would make them be that kind of person ???? Joni, Mr/Mrs anonymous indicated to you that you should put more than three questions marks behind your question to me---- I would like to ask them -- What kind of parent raises a person to turn out like them --- to be so rude and mean-- but I would not know how many question marks to put behind that question. I would never want to send my soul to hell for being rude or mean to another person. Now I understand how you feel when these mean and rude anonymous people comment on your post's.

      Susan

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    4. Faction - a new literary form combining a bit of truth with a lot of fiction.

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    5. Hey, anonymous, who peed in your cornflakes??? Get over yourself! Go crawl back under your rock.

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    6. Another erudite shows up to illustrate a new vacuous diatribe. Truth is a bitch isn't it? Whoever created the term "faction" was hardly someone who pees in their cornflakes. It certainly ruffled your feathers, didn't it?

      Susan, sorry you don't like being called out on your fairy tale. Please honor us with more "faction" about your connection with the royal family. Perhaps Piers Morgan will invite you on his show to tell us more, yea right!!!

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    7. Wow, anon 3:31 pm, having to resort to body functions is a bit immature don't you think. Speaking of crawling under a rock - you may want to try it. You will likely have lots of family and friends there.

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    8. It certainly seems that being a bit less vague could make this story more plausible. Surely you know the name of the Duchess if your mother in law was a friend.

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  4. Outstanding, cheerful, immaculate renovation of a formerly dreary claustrophobic space. Really well done. It was still tiny, but now it is adorable and filled with light, thanks to the open concept.

    Thanks for telling us about Paris Perfect and London Perfect. I am usually wary of pictures on the internet because they can be so misleading (as you see when homes are for sale), but this might be one where a short-term apartment turned out to be a treasure.
    Is having housekeeping service an option? I will have to go to their sites and find out:)

    I think Diana had prettier clothes when pregnant.
    However, I loved Kate's pink coat dress with the pearl buttons, but I thought it extremely odd how she was always holding her purse or linked hands under her belly right at her crotch. It never looked good to me to do that, something Diana never did.
    Holding your hands ON your pregnant belly I can understand -- but BELOW your belly?

    I hope Kate has an easy labor and a healthy happy baby. She and William seem extremely nice and very connected/compatible. She behaves with such dignity and grace, and it is nice to see their affection.

    I had the luck to be able to see their new apartment #1A at Kensington Palace last year before the renovation (private tours of KP are available for a fee).
    It is approximately 20,000 square feet, with four floors, so 5,000 square feet per rectangular floor, with the most glorious private half-acre garden out all of the back windows.
    If they are knocking out walls to combine the many choppy small rooms, it would be the most glorious of spaces afterwards.

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  5. A new baby, royalty or not is always something to cheer about imo!! Kate is absolutely beautiful, pregnant or not. Wishing them a healthy baby. My guess is it will be a girl.

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  6. Oh my, Joni.
    You are ringing my bells today.
    I just adore that English light coming through those windows.

    As for the baby... yes, I cannot help myself.
    I'm checking the BBC first thing each morning!
    Hoping for a girl.
    Maybe "Joni" for a name?
    xo

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    1. There was a fun program on PBS talking about non U names and U names, U, meaning uppercrust. Think monarchy. The Brits believe a name says as much about your ," class" as anything else. I'm afraid Joni wouldn't make the cut. It's too modern. What is Katherine's sisters name? It's fun to think about. I know I swallowed hard when my son was dating a girl named Krystal.

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  7. Beautiful Paris remodel... Loved Diana, your thought well said...
    Surely William will feel his mother's gentle presence when he meets his new born baby! I wish them a healthy baby,and home filled with Love and Happiness. Boy or girl no doubt baby will be beautiful!
    xo,
    Gail
    CasualLovesElegance

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  8. What a darling little apartment! Excited here for the royal news - I like all things royal too. I loved Diana and could not agree with you more about her.

    No bets on names. I don't care that much, haha, but do think it will be a girl for some reason.

    I guess we'll know in a day or two!

    xo Terri

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  9. Thank you for the lovely post! I adored Diana and followed her throughout her life. We were of similar age and got married a year apart. It was very sad what happened to her and I will always remember exactly where I was the day she died. I think she knew on some level what she was getting into. Charles and Camilla have been "in love" since the 1970s. Camilla was not an appropriate choice for a royal bride and she was also married much of that time. While I don't agree with everything that happened, I am glad to see that Charles and Camilla as senior citizens can be together in their "twilight years." They are obviously a testament to "true love" that has lasted for many decades. I'd like to think that Diana would have found that sort of love had she lived. The fact that William and Harry accept her is a testament to what character those young men have and how well they were raised. As far as the pregnancy fashions, I always thought Diana looked stunning in and out of them. Fashion has changed so much and Kate's pregnancy style was so much more streamlined and elegant. Diana worse so many billowly and blousey things that weren't the most flattering. Of course, that was the style of the time. She could certainly "rock a hat" better than anyone I know. I hope the new royal baby is happy and healthy. I'd love to see a girl with Diana included in her name at some point, if not this birth.

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    1. Charles and Camilla are a testament to true love you say? Really

      Guess the fact that Charles used Diana as a baby machine doesn't bother you nor the sordid details of his infidelities and recorded phone calls wishing himself to be a tampon so he could be in Camilla. Yes, excuse me, but that was recorded by private investigators of Diana. How sordid do you want the would be man child king of England to be? He was disgusting. There is a right and wrong way to do every thing and Charles chose the wrong way. Perhaps he always loved Camilla, but then why ruin the life of Diana. Didn't we see one king already abdicate the throne for the woman he "loved"? That runt, Edward, the brother of Elizabeth's father, King George, was no better except he had the good sense to step aside. Charles never had that much character.

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    2. Charles was in love with Camilla long before she married her first husband. Charles and Camilla met as young people when they were both "unattached". Camilla got married after waiting for quite a long time for Charles to propose. Physically lovely as Dianna was, remember, SHE had numerous lovers both during and after her marriage. (Two or three during and several more afterwards.) Charles, on the other hand, had only one - Camilla.

      Dianna knew exactly what she was getting into when she married Charles. She knew she would be expected to produce at least one son as soon as possible after the marriage. She was not the young innocent her publicity machine promoted. She grew up in very close proximity to the Royal Family. Her Father was the Queen's Master of the Horse. Her older sister dated Charles for a while which tells you that the Spencer Family wanted ONE of their daughters to marry Charles. Dianna was a manipulative, drama-queen who intentionally fell down the stairs and slashed her own wrists to get attention. If Diana was a victim, she was victimized by her own family as much as by the Royal Family.

      Just because Dianna was beautiful while Charles and Camilla are not, does not mean that Dianna was a superior person.

      However, it appears that William and Kate married for the right reasons and are truly in love. I wish them and their new son long and happy lives.

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    3. I cannot dispute anything you say here anon except that by the information you have offered I can understand why the royals would not have deemed Camilla a suitable wife for Charles. The stories about Diana are well publicized, but one must also assume that what you deem "drama queen" behavior, was really sadness and frustration and the knowledge that Diana was not married for love, but married to be used as a trophy of sorts (being so much younger and more attractive than Charles) and a baby machine. She also suffered a lot of self doubt and an eating disorder. Now, I can agree that they both in the end lost their dignity by public statements - all the more so the ones given by Charles because the duty upon him to conduct himself without reproach was much greater. I can only fault her for getting involved with Dodi Fayed which I have always suspected was to embarrass the royal family. Had she lived and married him, the future king of England would have had a very messy family both ethnically and politically. For that Diana was not very smart.

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  10. I completely agree with you about Diana. The one fact, the most important fact remains - Diana was a great mom.
    Of course I don't know William, but I do think he is a good man.

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  11. When we travel, especially abroad, we love to rent apartments like this instead of hotels....especially with the kids....SOOOO much better!! This apartment, after the fabulous changes, would be PERFECT!!!! LOVE!!!!!!!!!

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  12. It was a great idea to switch the location of the rooms, but I don't care for the low end décor/furniture/lighting. It could be beautiful. Maybe they used up all of their money on the renovation? Then again, if it is a rental, they have to be able to replace what is there quickly and inexpensively. I'd get a round table and move it over by the window. I'd take down the letters in the kitchen. I'd buy better quality fabric drapes. Custom drapery is not as expensive in the UK. I'd take the mirror and put it above the mantel. I'd group the pressed flower art differently behind the sofa. I'd move the giant clock out of the house or put it above the kitchen cabinets. I'd move the desk to the cabinet wall if there is room so that there is a place to put things down when you enter the room. I'd buy more substantial lamps with bigger/better quality shades. I'd get a different coffee table too, one that you can see through. There needs to be some warmth in the room beside the red throw which doesn't really compliment. That being said when it's truly none of my business... I'd love to stay there!

    I don't have an opinion about the royal baby, as long as mom and baby are healthy. I'm sure it will be loved. I think Victoria will somehow be in the name if it is a girl and Edward if it is a boy. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. And all this wisdom coming from someone who can't afford to rent the apt. This is just too funny. If you were capable of owning a London rental, you would not put the finest furnishings in the apartment for obvious reasons yet you believe you somehow deserve them. Remember renters spend most of their time sightseeing, not inside opining on the decor. If the space accommodates the number of people wanting to occupy it and it's in a great location, who complains? It sounds like only those who cannot afford to go there.

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    2. And as usual you have reared your head with hanky in hand to wipe it up - lol.

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  13. Sensible changes to the apartment and although I'd love to have seen more traditional pieces - possibly a few antiques, this makes more sense if the space is a rental. It's charming.

    I agree with you regarding the royal family. I have always been a Diana follower, think Charles is transparent and deserves Camilla. William and Catherine took a long road to solidify their relationship, which is wise. Catherine is the perfect partner for William. Her maturity and confident manner only enhance her beauty further.
    I'm betting on a baby girl and think the name should be Victoria Diana Elizabeth {which is Catherine's second name as well} Wales {which is the surname William uses} or they are permitted to use the surname Cambridge {Duke and Duchess of Cambridge}. Vitoria would be a pretty name for a little girl.
    Kate always looks lovely and she has given many reasons for people to admire/copy her fashion style. I don't think I've ever seen anyone with a more elegant and comfortable look while pregnant - she's stunning.

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  14. I so agree about Diana! America loves her and always will!

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  15. Nice transformation, though it definitely seems some things were staged/wouldn't work in real life. The chair paired with the pretty desk is too tall- if you look closely, the bottom edge of the desk is actually pressing into the seat of the chair! In the master bedroom, it looks like there's a nightstand blocking the closet door from opening. Not things that would ruin a stay by any means, but a little odd and inconvenient.

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    1. Hi Eliza...i agree with your observations, but must say, having rented several Paris & London apartments over the years, they are almost always odd and inconvenient due to tiny spaces. We are so spoiled in America!!!

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  16. Hi Joni,

    I adored Diana as well and was obsessed with her too. She was America's princess as well and when she died a lot of American's cried along with the rest of the world. About two weeks after she died I had a dream that she was walking through a crowd and she came up to me and put her hand on my cheek as if to say, "It's ok". It felt so real... really strange. I felt horrible for how she was treated. I'm not a fan of Charles and Camilla either.

    The apartment you featured is cute, but you can really see how space is at a premium in London! It looks tiny, but I think they did a good job with it.

    ~ Becky

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  17. They did a good job, but I would have much preferred a pretty piece to put the t.v. in where they put the fake fireplace !

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  18. Loved seeing the London apt.... You would enjoy checking out the Firmdale hotels... Several around London ... I first read about them in Victoria Magazine .... And stayed there twice ... The designer is well known in London ... Her style in recent years has gotten bait more modern, but still lovely... She now has a design book out... Her name is Kit Kemp...I'm also looking forward to the royal birth... London is my favorite city in the world... Thanks, Teresa

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  19. I have a question: Is beadboard really used in European houses; or is it more of an American element of design? I would like to add some to my kitchen; but my living room is more of a European aesthetic; and I don't really know if that would be too incongruent. I don't really know where to look up this kind of question elsewhere. I would be very gratefull for any input on this.

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  20. I'd forgotten how beautiful Diana was when she was pregnant. She just glowed. I hope it's a girl although that would be a lifetime of scrutiny for a female.

    Beautiful apt just what I imagine Paris to be.

    Have a great week, Joni.

    Thanks as always for a great post.

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  21. I live in Wales, so Diana and Charles were our Prince and Princess, not that they did much good for Wales - it's only a title that they use, as is Williams.

    We in the UK divide into two camps re Diana and Charles, I was for Diana and my husband for Charles! I think she was badly treated but that's how Royals behave, they always win in the end because they have the ultimate influence. Now Charles has it all - the one he has always loved and his two boys by Diana - lucky man and all the Royal Jewels and settlement money returned to the Royal coffers.

    As for Kate and William. He seem to be OK but I don't have a lot of time for her. Apart from being beautiful what has she ever done? She hasn't ever had a job, she just latched on to the heir to the throne when given the opportunity at university. She is a woman defined by who she married. She is Princess perfect and seemingly has it all and is very lucky that everyone is bending over backwards to treat her well because of what happened to Diana.

    Despite my feelings for Diana, I have respect for Charles. He made a mistake marrying her but I think he suffered for it because he is a sensitive soul. I quite like Camilla, she looks a jolly good sort and seems to be able to handle Charles and the rest of the family. Things move on and you have to adapt. Camilla's defining moment was when she alone rode back to the Palace with the Queen after the Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in St. Pauls because Prince Philip was ill. She must have thought then - I have made it!

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    1. I think your question should be "what have any of the royals done, including the queen". At least Diana's sons have served in the military and don't seem to believe that they are above the average bloke in the neighborhood. The royal family used and abused Diana and it started almost immediately after the wedding. I am sure that Kate will find her niche within the family and use her time to promote issues that she feels strongly about. She is very young and should be given some years to hone her skills and enjoy her marriage and the start of her family. How is Kate any different from your daughter or son who might meet a perspective spouse at a university? Where was Will suppose to meet a prospective wife. I think it's great that she wasn't chosen for him as was the case of his poor mother.

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  22. No one knows anyone's real stor, and no-on knows theirs...let alone tabloids, magazines and news hounds all wanting to grab the "Almighty Dollar"
    The only fact and truth is, Charles and Diana were not suited. Their legacay, 2 wonderful sons.

    Don't be so judgmental if all you know is what you get from the "Media Moguls"

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  23. What a fun space.. a great renovation..bravo!!
    xo Karolyn

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  24. Some of us don't read it! We have lived through it and draw our own conclusions which we are entitled to do.

    I think people in the USA are more interested in the Royals than we are. When I was in the States just before the Royal Wedding, everyone was asking if I was excited about the wedding and quite frankly I hadn't given it much thought. When the time came we all watched and enjoyed it but didn't have a street party as we usually do. We do for the Queen as we respect and celebrate her reign because of her excellent record of endurance. The others haven't been tested yet.

    Charles is OK. He is outspoken on many issues and I respect him for it. Diana has gone and we must move on. Too much is written about her to sell magazines etc. she is being used as she always was.

    If William has chosen someone who had worked as he had, such as a fellow pilot, women do those jobs now, I would be more delighted. Kate is lovely to look at and smiles at the right time and tows the line, but has no track record of dedicated work. She even retired from public life weeks ago when most women here now work on to near the birth, if they are well as she seems to be. The jury is out on her as far as I am concerned.

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    1. "She even retired from public life weeks ago when most women here now work on to near the birth, if they are well as she seems to be"

      First of all, she isn't most women. Secondly, you have no clue what her current condition is nor that of the baby. The women who work right up until the first pangs of labor may be financially forced to do so. That is generally the case here in the states. It's clear you just don't like Kate and that's certainly your right, but at least be fair in your assessment. She is not like you nor will she ever be. Her life changed the day she married the future king and that can't be changed, including via envy.

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  25. I checked out some of the London Perfect apartment locations - they are wonderful - might use them for an upcoming trip to London with the family!

    It seems like everyone thinks it will be a girl. Given that the next two monarchs will be men, I think it would be great for the baby to be a girl so that there will be a queen again in the next century. My guess is that they will name her Victoria.

    - Holly

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  26. An OUTSTANDING renovation and such insight!! They must be so PROUD of their "Perfect Paris pied a terre!" The royal birth is such a joyous occasion...so we...wait...franki

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  27. Oh Joni...I wish you had the twitter connections with what's going on in London like you do with Kristen and Rob. I feel like we get the news so much later than when it really happens over there. I have been following the blog What Kate Wore for accurate updates. Do you have any sites you could pass along that are updating? I marvel at everything Kate does. She is gorgeous! I love the traditions and the clothing and the jewelry! I definitely put my money that it's a girl!

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  28. Hi Joni,
    WE stayed in a Paris Perfect apartment for two weeks. It was amazing and it included a beautiful view of the Eiffel tower, an extra added bonus. I found the apartment, thanks to YOU and your blog post. I can not say enough good things about Pairs perfect so I am sure Italy and England are equally as wonderful. Fun to see the apartment in London.
    Kathysue

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  29. It looks as if today if the day.
    Nice post. I like the renovation but...a few observations. The light fixture so high above the dining table???? Why waste space for a fake fireplace? The space could have been used for the telly instead.

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  30. Hi Everyone, Top of the day to you all. I think the baby is a girl. I think she is carrying "girl" as she has filled out all over perhaps especially this last month when we did not see her photographed as much. She was so thin to begin with so compared to then she did fill out. Names?….. Well remember all the european royal houses including Russia and Greece, all have Danish lineage. One very smart Danish king (King Christian) placed his daughters very well! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_descendants_of_Queen_Victoria_and_King_Christian_IX Notice the Beatrice and Eugenie forbearers names. Kate and Will, in my opinion, are lovely. They exude peace and fun, playfulness and kindness. They seem authentic and without much drama. With such extreme blessings I think that they are incredibly grounded and refreshing, as this seems to be the impression that most of the world who knows about them collectivly shares. For me, the reason that I think I even notice or care about this rather fascinating family is that they still remind me of the their blood connection to more wilder and "pagan" times. Please allow for that funny word. If you have ever been to England, it is hard to not feel or notice the vestiages of the fairy folk. Their Celtic and more magical past is something that I still feel and notice when I am there. Think Mists of Avalon! To me, the royal family is a thin reminder to that past. Diana was especially mythological in her fair looks and "fairy tale" life including her tragic death. Her life has become one of our most modern mythologies, that is why it speaks to us so deeply. So this coming child of Kate and Will's carries Diana's wildness and mythology. Diana's genes will live somewhat again and her specialness will in subtle ways carry on, especially if the baby is a girl. Thank you Joni for often bringing a great conversation together by posing a fun and entertaining topic! I love design and history! P.S. Babies love to come on full moons (today July 22nd. is the full moon) and the tides are strongest…all of my three were born on or very close to a full moon. There is always extra staff on hand in maternity wards during "that time of the month" :)

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  31. P.S. I forgot to weigh in on name choices…Girl names…Elizabeth, Alice, Sarah, Catherine, Alexandra, Marina, and something fun and modern at the very end like Annabelle or Rose. Boys names…. James, Henry, Arthur, Alexander, Richard. Just saw Kate was admitted to the hospital! Many blessings to her and A FULL MOON BABY!

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  32. As long as the baby is healthy who cares whether it is boy or girl, just a healthy heir. I adore London so the apt would be perfect. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  33. Great renovations! Way to go on making your space such a fun place!

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  34. IT'S A BOY! CONGRATULATIONS WILL AND KATE

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  35. Wow, I think you're so right about what they did to Diana. And, in the picture of them it looks like all he is looking at, or cares to look at, is the baby in her stomach.

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  36. ...............It's a boy!

    Lisa, London

    PS Seriously anon, if you have no joy in your life please do not feel the need to pass it on.

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    1. And to whom would you be speaking , Lisa of London? There are many Anons here. If you are in London, you made it to the party a bit late with your announcement as it was posted already at 3:01 pm yesterday.

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  37. Interesting post, Joni! Always makes me sad recalling Diana. She did represent a generation- I suppose now it will be Kate- she does seem quite lovely, too!

    xo
    Mimi

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  38. Hi Joni - here's a suggestion for your Skirted Roundtable - have Inda Hicks get her cousin, Prince Charles, to talk about Architecture and garden design. He is quite knowlegeable about both topics. And while he is not as gorgeous as Dianna was, at least he has a University degree AND he has more in common with you and your followers than you might suspect.

    He has also written a book on garden design and, I believe, he has rennovated several homes. I suspect he would be, in his own way, as charming as your Southern-boy architect. However, Charles won't drop the "F" bomb on you.

    Charlotte

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    1. Charles has one of the most difficult voices to decipher and listen to of any of the royals. I am not certain we would understand much, but it's worth a try. He certainly would conduct himself with more class than Mr. Double who thought his "F" bomb would make him look hip and cool. I say go for it SRT, but don't ask how he got started being a prince???

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  39. I would be going crazy. May or May not work, but it is amazing what my husband will do for his homeowners for a beer.



    Builders in London & Flat Pack Furniture Assembly London

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