Les Jolies Eaux, Oliver Messel, Mustique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 1978. Image courtesy of The Mustique Company

The sleek tropical villa that could give you a Royal flush

Our new Atlas of Interior Design offers readers incredible access to some of the most beautiful dwellings on earth, including this home-from-home for a member of the House of Windsor

Phaidon’s Atlas of Interior Design offers readers an incredible global tour of more than 400 beautiful, innovative and inspiring residential interiors from the past eight decades.

There are baroque dwellings and barely furnished homes; sleek contemporary pads and charming, classic places. The book is a must-have for all design aficionados, and armchair travellers, and is especially enjoyable at a time when taking a trip abroad to see new places can present plenty of problems.

Another joy to be found leafing through these pages is discovering the interior tastes of well-known public figures. Consider Les Jolies Eaux, or the Pretty Waters, the Carribean home of Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s glamorous, late younger sister.

“For Princess Margaret, Les Jolies Eaux was one of her most precious possessions but also a safe haven, a world away from her life and royal duties back in England.” explains our new book. “She described it as ‘my house,’ the only property that she owned fully and in her own right. Located on the southern tip of Mustique, overlooking the sea, the land was a wedding gift from her friend Colin Tennant, who bought the island in the late Fifties.


Atlas of Interior Design
Atlas of Interior Design


“The princess and her new husband, Lord Snowdon first visited the site during their honeymoon in 1960, but she always regarded the creation of Les Jolies Eaux as a very personal project. For the architectural design of the house, she turned to Lord Snowdon’s uncle, the celebrated stage set designer Oliver Messel, who is credited with creating the Mustique style, fusing theatrical neoclassicism with a contextually sensitive approach to the island’s vibrant coastal setting.

“Princess Margaret’s villa became a stage where, arguably, she could truly be herself, decorating the interiors in her own style, fusing English comforts and florals with the light touches and pale palette of island living. Presenting the house in Architectural Digest in 1979, the princess clearly took pride and pleasure in what she had achieved.”

Decades on, we can share in that pleasure too. To see many more places like this, order a copy of our Atlas of Interior Design here.