Inside Tommy Hilfiger's Ivy-Covered Castle: 'You Can't Have a House Like This and Make It Americana'
The arbiter of American style lives in a house that’s straight out of the English countryside.
“You can’t have a house like this and make it Americana,” fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, 65, says of his grand Greenwich, Connecticut, estate. “It’s an English manor with French details. And we wanted to preserve that feeling of being in a European country home with the carved-oak paneling and a patina that is authentic and a bit worn.”
When he purchased the ivy-covered mansion, which is featured in the March issue of Architectural Digest, it was “in disrepair,” according to Tommy’s wife Dee Ocleppo, 47, a handbag designer. “We knew it needed a lot of work, but we also knew that this would be our home,” she says, adding “Tommy likes to buy and sell houses, but we’re here to stay!”
Following a top-to-bottom restoration, during which the couple had all-new roof tiles cast based on the 1939 originals and redid “every single doorknob,” they brought on celebrity decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The British talent, who counts Cher, Eva Mendez and several Kardashian-Jenners among his clients, had also designed Hilfiger’s startlingly colorful Miami house.
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“I call it that great American style from the 1920s and ’30s when Americans would tour Europe and bring back an interesting concoction of ideas from, say, Tuscany and France,” Bullard tells AD. Another notable Brit is responsible for one of the home’s storied pieces: The kitchen rug previously belonged to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
To see more, head to architecturaldigest.com or pick up a copy of the March issue.