leadMany celebrities love vintage – both in terms of dress and interiors. Hollywood is full of vintage shops, where A-listers can pick up expensive vintage designer clobber and furnish their mansions, knowing that vintage is the cool way to live.

But all too often they simply overdo it. Nell Darby takes a look at US media mogul William Randolph Hearst and his obsession with collecting antique and vintage furnishings.

Many celebs simply miss the point that vintage shouldn’t be about spending as much as you can on historical treats, and kitting out your house so that it looks like a museum. It’s about subtlety in my eyes, adding a touch of vintage to make your home have an air of the past without losing your home comforts.

wr-hearstOne man who loved history and wanted to give his home a vintage feel was US media mogul William Randolph Hearst – but how he went about it is a cautionary tale to any wealthy vintage-lovers.WR Hearst’s father was a self-made millionaire, and his son grew up in a wealthy home in San Francisco.

Having never gone without, as an adult he continued to spend as though there was no tomorrow, never checking whether he still had the money to spend, but assuming one of his staff would “sort things out” if need be.



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5 Responses

  1. meena

    man, even though he was a little bit of a hoarder and greedy with his beautiful things, i was JUST up there and the words to describe it were anything but ” misguided attempts to recreate the past”

  2. Eli

    I really wanted to go to hearst castle last time I drove to san francisco, now I’m mad my sister didnt let me! Las Vegas has all sorts of vintagey/quirky homes too in its own special way. Lots of wacky celebs here who have homes.

  3. Jen O

    I wonder where you got your information (?) since Julia Morgan’s work is well respected, and it was her architectural designs that gave his vast collection a sense of space, light and drama. She is credited with uniting diverse artifacts into rooms that create focus, interest and allow visitors to see a wide range of elements as a whole. Certainly most museums can hope to do no better.

    • Todd

      I agree with you Jen O. I visited Hearst Castle many years ago. It may not be historically correct; however, it works as a whole and is quite beautiful in its eccentricity. I did a paper on Julia Morgan in university for an art history class. She was quite remarkable. Had a very difficult time getting respect while studying architecture in the States. There is a good story about how Hearst had her move the fireplace three times in the dining or living room. He could be very difficult to work for.