Duchess Kate: Interior Design Maven

Visiting the Irish Guards on St. Patrick's Day

Kate Middleton has a lot going on these days: she’s packing and preparing for a three-week journey in Australia; she’s no doubt fielding a string of text messages from Cressida Bonas seeking counsel (“KATE, AN EMERGENCY: Do I wear one scrunchie to meet the Queen, or two??!?!”); she’s acclimating to a new nanny; she’s picking outfits for important appearances (and doing a superb job of it, as ever). But on top of all of these pressures, Kate has taken on a new pursuit: interior design.

People reports that Kate has been working on preparing the interior of the 10-bedroom country home, Amner Hall, which she and William will soon be moving into. Kate is overseeing the interior design of the property herself, rather than hiring someone: “Instead of hiring a royal interior designer, she wants to furnish it in her own style, because she wants this to be her own family home.”

Anmer Hall is located in the Norfolk village of Anmer in England, about two miles east of The Queen's residence at Sandringham.

It was built in 1802. It has formed part of the Sandringham estate since 1898.

It was the private residence of John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby (1877-1969), who was to become Governor-General of the Sudan, Permanent Secretary of the Colonial Office and wartime Ambassador to Dublin. His daughter Penelope (1910-2005) socialized with the Royal Family, and was reportedly a favorite of King George V.

From 1972 to 1990, it was leased by the Duke and Duchess of Kent as their country house. In February 1990, the Duke and Duchess of Kent left Anmer Hall, moving to Crocker End House. It was then rented by Hugh van Cutsem (1941-2013).[1] Since 2000, the family of James Everett, owner of kitchen timber company Norfolk Oak, has resided at Anmer Hall.[2]

In January 2013, British newspapers reported that the Queen had allocated Anmer Hall for use by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.[

And it doesn’t sound like this is one of those things where someone famous says, “I want to do the interior design!,” but then gets bored or overwhelmed, and decides to just send three Pinterest links to an assistant and have them take it from there. Nope, Kate’s doing the legwork. The owner of an oriental-rugs store in Henley-on-Thames told People that Kate came into his store in January and purchased several “Turkish kilims,” or “flat tapestry woven carpets,” for the bedrooms in the home. The owner said she arrived at the store “with the specific stock codes,” having done her research online in advance. “She knew exactly what she wanted to look at, as she had looked at my website,” he said. “She is very hands-on and down-to-earth, helping to get things out. She really wants to be involved.”

Meanwhile, a different shop owner, at the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbor, says Kate “likes to pop in every now and again to look for inspiration. . . she is always by herself and very low-key. She browses and stops for a coffee.” (“decent coffee, but the cashier wouldn’t take his eyes off me, and then I overheard him calling a tabloid while I was still in ear shot. 2 stars.” – Kate’s Yelp review.)

As the renovations wind down—the re-tiling of the roof was just completed, a “sunlit garden room” is currently being added—Kate and William should be moving into their country home in the near future, perhaps once they’ve returned from Australia. Meanwhile, we can only assume there will be not a hint of purple in sight, and that patterns will be repeated across multiple rooms.

*not really