Living with Style, The Newport Diary

11 Captivating Spaces: Newport’s Private Homes

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This past Christmas had more than its share of parties in splendid settings. At a New Year’s day luncheon, I was sitting in a beautifully paneled room, a fifth anniversary gift from husband to wife that is celebrated in the two family crests carved into the mantle. It was in this small jewel of a living room that the idea for this post was born, to share my favorites (eleven of a longer list) with you. And some, like the image above, have been in my memories for years…the dining room at Fairholme, a grand waterfront house of a late dear friend.

The salon at Beaulieu…gilding and furnishings recall the European residences of the former ambassador who resided here.

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

The atrium at Bellevue House…designed by Ogden Codman and enjoying a rush of winter light from the expansive skylight.

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

The sunroom at Parterre…set off with handpainted walls, antique bronze grates and old chestnut floors.


The dining room at Bull Mawdsley House…rare high ceilings and original painted paneling add stature to the 1740 room of this incomparable Colonial home.


The entry hall at The Whim…formerly a gardener’s cottage, dressed up with eighteenth century paneling from an auction at Marble House.

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

The great room at Hopelands…created within an eighteenth century-inspired country French “cottage.”

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

The living room at Clover Patch…exquisite paneling was the fifth anniversary gift (wood is symbolic for strength and stability) from a former owner to his wife.


The library at Ocean View…a gold tea paper ceiling reflects the setting winter sun.

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

The dining room at Oakwood…fifty-six handpainted-on-silk panels surround diners.

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

The staircase at Gray Craig…an exceptional feat of engineering distinguishes a staircase that fairly glides up to the second floor.

Photo Credit: Mick Hales

Featured Image Credit, Mick Hales.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

7 thoughts on “11 Captivating Spaces: Newport’s Private Homes

  1. The lovely hanging at Fairholme is that of Janet Hooker. . a Smithsonian philanthropist and mother of deceased Gilbert Kahn. . . a gentleman of the first order. He is missed.

    1. That painting, minus its elaborate gold frame, was just sold on Dec. 28 at a Gustave White auction in Portsmouth. I don’t recall the sale price, but it was a lovely and distinctive painting dated 1961? 1968?

  2. Some of these rooms are beautifully extravagant. I love the sitting rooms that are showcased because they are more homey and peaceful. I recently had my new apartment furnished by Furnishr and while the design isn’t as complex as these homes, it gives that feeling of peacefulness and relaxation. If you can, check out the designs at

  3. Great post! I recently redecorated my place and went for a similar look. I use because their service is amazing. Working on getting some plants for the house now!

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