Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Countess Dorothy di Frasso's home: antique chinoiserie villa decorated by Elsie de Wolfe

Countess Dorothy di Frasso (1900-1985) was a notorious society-spy. The New-York born Dorothy Taylor married Count Carlo di Frasso, 30 years her senior, and was known in her lifetime to be a society scion with elaborate partes.

House & Garden had a feature on Countess di Frasso's home, decorated by renowned interior designer Elsie de Wolfe in 1936. The house remains almost the same as it was almost 80 years ago.

The Art Deco bedroom suite was designed by Elsie de Wolfe in 1936 and would look at home in an upmarket boutique hotel nowadays. All photos by Simon Watson for House & Garden, via Habitually Chic.

Quintessentially Elsie de Wolfe's style, as seen in chinoiserie wallpaper and bamboo-clad mirrors.

Mirror, mirror on the wall...everywhere in the countess's villa.

Closeup of the dining room with a 19th-century tortoiseshell and mother of pearl commode and wallpaper depicting a colonial scene,

The exterior of Countess Dorothy di Frasso's villa in Beverly Hills.


The simple and understated entrance hall belies a treasure of antique beyond.

Some of the Chinese antique featured throughout the villa.

Closeup of a Far Eastern scene on the wallpaper.

A sumptuous seating corner of Countess Dorothy di Frasso's bedroom.

The master bathroom is perhaps the only room that looks slightly outdated, but for the Art Deco tub chair.

The rest of the house is chic and up-to-date, despite the fact that it was decorated in the 1930s. The sunroom above has an artwork by Charles Baskerville

And a gorgeous backgammon table and chairs.

Though black leather chairs are a tad too heavy for the sunroom.

I first learned of the house through this blog, The Peak of Chic , which said in 1947, the house was bought by Jose Iturbi, a Spanish composer and pianist left de Wolfe's decoration untouched.

Below are some images from that blog, same source House & Garden magazine, but different color hues presumably thanks to different scanners

They all look gorgeous, whichever hues. Shame the Countess, being a spy, wasn't exactly a lady in the truest sense.

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