Thursday, April 7, 2011

Poolside Savoir Faire with the Paleys

Inspired by the “Enchanted Homes” post on pool houses on her blog the other day my thoughts were instantly drawn to the iconic pictures of the 50’s of style icon Babe Paley at her estate in Jamaica.

Babe Paley was the quintessential style icon with Truman Capote describing her as thus “Babe Paley had only one fault, she was perfect. Otherwise, she was perfect.”

Photographed at the Paley’s Round Hill estate in Jamaica, this is Savoir Faire in the highest degree. With a name change to White Orchid, Round Hill is now owned by Ralph Lauren and was built by William Paley for his wife Babe. The Paleys abandoned Jamaica for the Bahamas in the 60's where they developed the exclusive resort Lyford Cay.

Although re-decorated by the Lauren’s it has lost none of its savoir faire and is somewhere where I am sure would all long to spend some time!


  1. A spectacular poolhouse, and the view...amazing!!

  2. Great post!
    I'm new to your blog, came over via Enchanted Home. I just read about Lyford Cay in a magazine this month. It's fabulous too!!

  3. oh ya,...looks like my kind of my dreams,.......

  4. David I have always loved that first image of Babe Paley in her red slacks...

    Art by Karena

  5. It was great then, its great now...Amazing makes me wish I was there...Love the all white look it has now

    The Black Label

  6. Love the original and the Ralph version AND Tom Sheerer's new redesign at Lyford Cay!!

  7. Thanks David for the mention! This is definitely the "real deal" and Babe Paley at Lyford Cay was quite the epitome of beachside chic.....they just don't make em like that they! Great post..beautiful pictures..and Round Hill's integrity clearly was preserved by another great style icon Ralph Lauren.

  8. Ah, to have led Babe Paley's life...or Truman Capote's!

  9. The Paleys and the Laurens...and the whole Slim Aaron jet set...le sigh.

  10. Design Chic, doesn't it take your breath away?

    La Dolfina, many thanks for your visit! I also just read about Lyford Cay. It certainly was amazing!

    Mermaid, we will have to draw straws!

    Karena, It is one of my favourite images of all time!

    Andy, Yes I think the all white look now also suits the space

    Quintessence, I love that the new look still retains recognizable elements of the original

    Enchanted, you are very welcome! I couldn't let the opportunity pass!

    Belle We can dream.

    Norma, as I said to Belle, we can dream!

    Zhush, that is a double le sigh!

  11. I much prefer the original Paley incarnation of the pavilions. I find the Lauren look rather too minimalist, and a bit of colour would add charm and a tropical sense of place. I also think the canvas cornice at the edge of the roof gave the pavilions a more whimsical, tent like, holiday look.

  12. That pool is lovely. I love both stylings.

  13. How fun would it have been to lounge by the pool on Babe's chartreuse cushions?


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