The world may be obsessed with what’s new and what’s next, but the creative minds behind the firm Brockschmidt & Coleman love a good backwards glance. The faded, but ever fabulous, grandeur found in the halls and walls of the world’s historic homes are among Bill Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman’s greatest sources of inspiration. One glance at the timeless elegance and gravitas of the interiors dreamed up by this dynamic duo and you’ll be tracking down your nearest historic home. But why not go big? Here, Bill and Courtney reveal their list of must-see historic homes outside the U.S., all open to the public and well-worth planning your next trip around. Time to whip out those passports, people!  

Palazzo di Lorenzo Castelluccio; Photography by Armando Rotoletti

Palazzo di Lorenzo Castelluccio, Noto, Italy
“In Sicily there are a few amazing palaces open to the public including the extravagant rococo Palazzo Biscari in Catania and the sumptuous and exotic Palazzina Cinese in Palermo. The recently restored and recently opened Palazzo di Lorenzo Castelluccio in Noto is extraordinary because the empty baroque and neoclassical Sicilian architecture was restored and then furnished with antiques to create what might have been imagined in the age of Leopard princes.”

Mario Praz Museum-House, Rome, Italy
“The house museum is the preserved home of Mario Praz, the collector, essayist, scholar, and author of An Illustrated History of Furnishing from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century.  The house is filled with with paintings, sculpture, and furniture from the late 17th to early 19th centuries, purchased over sixty years.”

Leeds Castle; Photography by Robert Wyatt / Alamy Stock Photo

Leeds Castle, Kent, England
“In the 1920s, Anglo-American heiress, Lady Baillie, restored and reconstructed a Leeds Castle that had greatly evolved over time. Most interesting for designers is the glamorous and luxurious suite of rooms decorated by Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen from the 1930s until the 1960s.”

Soane Museum; Photography by Arcaid Images / Alamy Stock

Sir John Soane’s Museum, London
“On every designer’s London must-see list, Soane’s Regency era architectural laboratory/picture gallery/museum of antiquities, which was also his home. It feels like visiting several museums condensed into one.”

Vaucluse House, Sydney
“This estate, with its sprawling Gothic Revival main house and later gardens, gives a view into the life of a colonial family over several generations, with working outbuildings and interiors ranging from grand Victorian salons to humble childrens’ rooms.”

Casa Luis Barragan; Photography by John Mitchell / Alamy Stock Photo

Casa Luis Barragan, Mexico City
“The masterful siting of Barragan’s own house, built in the 1940 and 50s, provides for living spaces that open onto dramatic views of jungly landscaping despite the house’s tiny lot and urban setting. And then there are the colors.”

Lead Image: Photography by Armando Rotoletti


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November 5, 2019

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