January 20 2021 – Jenn Burt
The Heiress & Collector's Winter Home
In the early 60s, philanthropist Rachel “Bunny” Mellon had acquired a plot of land on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Architect H. Page Cross was hired to create the villa that Bunny would later admit "the house I love the most". Used as a winter retreat after the holidays, Bunny decorated the home with Billy Baldwin. These first five photos are from the original real estate listing in 2012 and are available here. Vogue published an article in 2018 featuring Tory Burch's restoration of the home and wrote that Bunny wanted the furniture and decor look as though they had been brought “down from the attic.” The next three photos are from that article and were photographed by François Halard. They and others can be found on Vogue.com.
We learn from the Vogue article that Bunny Mellon nurtured local craftspeople for details like clay pots and fencing. Most interesting I thought was that a carpentry workshop to replicate antique furniture was established and that it is still flourishing today!
In keeping with the locale, the furniture for the home was slipcovered and canopy beds were hung with flowered sheets. Oak floors were scrubbed with salt water to age them, and then painted to look like stone.
The next three photos are from an Architectural Digest article.
I became so interested in Bunny's Antigua home after attending an exhibit earlier this month in Jackson, Mississippi. Featuring Impressionist artwork from her collection, I was inspired by the number of pieces that featured scenes of water. The following are my favorites and along with the photos from the real estate listing and the 2018 Vogue article, they serve as inspiration for a condo I'm decorating in Orange Beach, Alabama. I can't wait to show before & after photos-stayed tuned!