Bettie Bearden Pardee of Private Newport is one of the chicest, most gracious ladies I know. Everything she does from entertaining to flower design is done with elegance and perfection, and I admire her greatly. Recently Bettie and I were discussing her late mother and I quickly realized that the apple did not fall far from the tree. I was delighted to learn that Bettie’s mother had worked with the late Otto Zenke, an illustrious interior designer whose work was not largely photographed. In 1950, Zenke opened a showroom in North Carolina called Otto Zenke, Inc. He designed and decorated primarily residential properties for another three decades and eventually opened offices in Palm Beach, Florida, and London.
In 1977, Bettie’s parents sold their home in Los Angeles and returned to Atlanta (Bettie’s home town) where they purchased a beautiful Buckhead home built by architects Ivey & Crook in 1950. While many of the main room furnishings from their former home (designed by Harold Barnard) were used, Otto Zenke was commissioned to place the existing furniture and fill in where necessary. Examples of Zenke’s style can be seen in the pair of oval rolling ottomans designed to match the chintz of the LA sofa and his signature powder room. His touch is most obvious in the library where he concealed the television with a cabinet panel fronted with real leather book spines.
Thanks to old pictures saved by Bettie and her sister, below is a tour of this beautiful home… It is hard to believe it was decorated in the 1970s. I would move in today and not change a single thing! A true testament to the power of classic, timeless style and, of course, good taste.
Thank you, Bettie, for this beautiful tour! To learn more about Bettie Bearden Pardee, please follow her at Private Newport and on Instagram. You will also love her books Private Newport At Home and in the Garden and Living Newport: Houses, People, Style and the following past articles from The Glam Pad:
- BETTIE BEARDEN PARDEE’S 13 TIPS FOR THE GRACIOUS HOST AND PERFECT HOUSEGUEST
- AT HOME AND IN THE GARDEN WITH BETTIE BEARDEN PARDEE
- NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH BETTIE BEARDEN PARDEE
- A NEWPORT ESTATE WHERE TIME STANDS STILL