British Elegance with Serena Fresson and Alice Naylor-Leyland

Today we are heading across the pond to meet the United Kingdom’s most elegant mother and daughter… Serena Fresson and Alice Naylor-Leyland. Serena and I met virtually through Instagram, as we both share a passion for elegant decor, chintz, lettuceware, and blue and white porcelain. She lives in the most breathtakingly beautiful home in the English countryside, which she has graciously allowed me to feature. It truly belongs in Architectural Digest!

Serena is an Australian born mother of four… five including her beloved Puggle, Daphne, and she is a new grandmother of two adorable grandchildren. A true Virgo, Serena creates beauty within everything she does. She is a table setting enthusiast, fabulous chef, and needlepoint fanatic. But her true passion lies in decorating. Serena’s projects have included a hotel in London’s Sloane Square, houses in the English Countryside, and St. Tropez villas. She is an incredibly talented lady! Let’s take a peek inside her gorgeous home…

Q: How would you describe your style? 
A:  My style is probably rather traditional with an American palette and a love of symmetry and all things matching!

Q: Who or what influences you?
A:  My husband Michael’s collection of paintings and furniture influences my style to a certain degree. We have moved house several times during our married life and he is very good about me recovering soft furnishings and starting all over again! He was very much in favour of the leopard sofa and curtains in our green drawing room. I love Pinterest – I think it is a fabulous tool and very inspirational. Fabric is my big passion.  I tend to find one fabric however small and work with it as the foundation of the room. Greg at Bernard Thorp in Chelsea is wonderful to work with. We do endless strike offs before getting to the final choice, but in the end you have a totally individual room. 

Q: Which decorators inspire you? 
A:  Sybil Colefax, Mario Buatta, Parish Hadley, Elsie de Wolfe, and Meg Braff.
Q: How would you say British decor differs from American?
A:  I think that American decor is braver and bolder than British. I admire hugely the ability the English have to throw a cushion onto a sofa or upholster a small chair in a fabric that seemingly has no relevance to anything in the room, and bingo its fabulous.  

Serena’s favorite brands include Bernard Thorpe bespoke fabric, Jean Monro Chintz, Pierre Frey, Colefax & Fowler, Samuel and Sons, Thibaut, and Meg Braff, who is a dear friend.

 The dining room wallpaper is bespoke Up A Tree by Meg Braff with Small Palma by Bernard Thorp fabric on the chairs. 

Serena’s bedroom wallpaper is also Bernard Thorp.

She loves Herend!

Daphne nestles upon luxurious Charmajesty Linens.
Serena creates some of the most beautiful needlepoint I have ever seen. Here is a pair of shoes she made for her sister… one Australian, one English. 

Serena’s daughter, Alice Naylor-Leyland, happens to be one of the U.K.’s most sought-after style setters. Alice is a contributing editor for Harper’s Bazaar UK and founder of the blog Mrs. Alice….. Clearly the apple didn’t fall far from the tree! While we were corresponding for this post, Serena was visiting Alice in Cambridgeshire, helping her prepare for a Town & Country photo shoot (her glamorous baby shower was featured in T&C last fall.) After several hours falling down the Instagram rabbit hole, I compiled a glimpse into the enchanted fairytale world of @aliceinherpalace where she lives with her husband Tom, and children Billy and Nancy…

A love of shoes runs in the family! Alice has an exclusive shoe collection for French Sole.

 Inside Alice’s palace…

Chintz for days! English decorator Flora Soames assisted with her home decor, but Alice was very involved in all the choices and style.

Beautiful Baby Nancy, exquisitely dressed…

and precious son Billy.

An English countryside dream… 

Father and son… so sweet! 

Alice’s Palace… 
Serena Fresson and Alice Naylor-Leyland
Have you ever seen such exquisite style? Elegance most definitely runs in this family, and I am now ready to pack my bags and move to to the U.K. There is just nothing more tasteful than classic and refined British style. For more inspiration, you will want to follow Serena and Alice on Instagram. Both ladies are beautiful both inside and out! 


  1. What a lovely post and full of beautiful photographs. They seem like a wonderful mother/daughter team! I especially love the bedroom shots:) More please!

  2. Loving this post �� CAN'T Thank you enough for sharing this �� This is Right Up my Alley and I miss this kind of decorating soooooo much – this post is a RARE Treat ��


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