The enchanted world of Alice Naylor-Leyland is what every little girl envisions “happily ever after” looks like in the fairytales. Alice’s charmed English life is full of centuries-old family estates, a wardrobe fit for a princess, and a picture perfect family complete with an aristocratic husband and two cherubic children. In addition to modeling and her blog, Mrs. Alice, Alice contributes to Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and recently partnered with Aerin Lauder to create a limited edition perfume. There was a flurry of publicity surrounding the AERIN x Mrs Alice collaboration, and today I am sharing my favorite excerpts pertaining to Alice’s love of classic and traditional English decor.
Alice credits her elegant mother, Serena Fresson, as her source of inspiration when it comes to entertaining, decorating, and living a beautiful life. Serena is one of my favorite Instagram follows, and she is every bit as lovely and gracious as she is talented. Click here to read an interview I conducted with Serena and here to follow her on Instagram.
Alice splits her time between her family’s country house in the Cambridgeshire village of Stibbington and a flat in London’s Chelsea neighborhood. She also frequently visits Nantclwyd Hall, the 17th-century country home designed by the legendary John Fowler that has been in her husband Tom’s family for generations.
Alice and Tom moved to Stibbington four years ago, where Alice proceeded to embrace her love of chintz. “The house itself is traditional and whimsical,” Alice explained to The Telegraph. “When it was built everything had decorative flourishes, so modern furniture doesn’t really work. I like using chintz and florals because they haven’t been seen for a while so, ironically, they look fresh and new.”
Alice further explained to Aerin, “With interiors I think I try and be brave and use color and design where appropriate, but I also like to keep things traditional. I am sucker for any kind of chintz and am very old fashioned when it comes to shapes, textures, and even furniture,” she said. “…when it comes to rooms it is all about layers. It’s hanging those plates on the wall, attaching trims to your lampshades, and scattering prints in empty spaces. That really makes a room, in my opinion.”
As a result, Stibbington is a confectionary delight filled with florals, birds, butterflies, ruffles, and bows. “I think the interiors actually inspire the way I dress,” said Alice to The Telegraph. In fact, she has been known to match her dress to the curtains, citing John Fowler (who is known for his use of dressmaker details) as her inspiration. “Until really recently people would dress formally for every single dinner but now it’s perceived as too much work. Country-house weekends are a good excuse to pull out pretty long dresses,” she said.
When it comes to entertaining Alice says, “Maybe there’s a little bit of American in me – I love slightly freaking all of those old-school Brits out. I like it to look like the Easter Bunny has truly landed, and when at Halloween we put spray-painted gourds across the whole table the children love it. All those dreamlike, whimsical moments make for great childhood memories.”
The limited-edition bottle of Aerin’s Garden Rose Cologne is inspired by the climbing roses in Alice’s garden. “I love Alice’s style and her love of flowers made her the perfect person to collaborate with to bring the story of the scent to life,” said Aerin. “Garden Rose Cologne was inspired by English gardens, which my grandmother [Estée] was very fond of.”
The limited edition bottle of AERIN x Mrs Alice Garden Rose Cologne is not available for purchase in the U.S. but it is available online here. Garden Rose Cologne is available in the U.S. here. Alice loves AERIN’s Rose Collection, particularly her Rose Oil, which I need to try… I love her Rose Lip Conditioner.
To read more about Alice Naylor-Leyland and her mother, please click here, and to take a tour of her husband’s family home, Nantclwyd Hall, designed by John Fowler, click here. Articles referenced for this feature: The Telegraph and World of Aerin. It warms my heart to see such a lovely young lady embrace old school traditional style.