Keith Langham’s 2012 Olympic Connection

To continue our Olympic homage to Britain in a rawthuh roundabout way, we turn to renowned New York designer and friend Richard Keith Langham, whose work most certainly has a British sensibility, espousing as it does an affinity for good curtains and refined comfort. Keith is also a B.R.I.T. of another ilk: Boy Raised in the South.

Richard Keith Langham dining room
Keith's dining room for the Hampton Designer Showhouse 2010. You see what I mean about the curtains.
Richard Keith Langham
Keith's work: good curtains and refined comfort
Richard Keith Langham - bedroom in Mississippi
A Richard Keith Langham designed bedroom in Mississippi. I rest my case.

To continue this incredibly strong tie-in between Keith and Britain, see Keith’s delightfully chic pool pavilion,  written up oh-so-breezily this week in the Hamptons’ hot new glossy The Daily Dan.

Leslie Klotz column on Keith Langham in The Daily Dan
The top half of Leslie Klotz's column on Keith Langham in The Daily Dan. That's Leslie in the middle. The pretty blond, not the bar cart.

The author is Daily Dan Contribuing Editor Leslie Klotz, lifestyle marketing and pr whiz and consultant to One King’s Lane, and who is pretty delightfully chic herself. Here’s the bottom half of the article as it appeared, and the text is re-printed below the image. It’s worth reading, funny, and short, I promise, or I wouldn’t have put it here. (I know you’re busy.)

Leslie Klotz column on Keith Langham in The Daily Dan
The bottom half of Leslie Klotz's column on Keith Langham in The Daily Dan


Asked about creating a summer pavilion behind his swimming pool in Water Mill, NY, Alabama-born interior designer Keith Langham quipped, “Well, I’ve always wanted to be in the circus and isn’t the Hamptons one endless big-top?” Perched behind his 1884 Queen Anne Victorian, known as the “Witch’s Hat”, the pagoda-style tent adds a whole new destination on the property, a place for Langham to “while away summer afternoons napping until it’s time for evening cocktails”. Known for his theatrical flair, Keith has built a career dancing the fine line between the amusing and the absurd, the lavish and the outrageous — an approach never lost on clients like Pat Buckley, Jackie Onassis and Renee Zellweger, who shared Keith’s taste for the imaginative. This tent, made by Brock Awnings in Hampton Bays is topped with Langham’s signature eponymous witch’s ball, once used in gardens to ward off evil. It sits on poured and scored concrete — a play on the traditional black and white checkered floor, and the furniture, designed by Langham and made in Mississippi, is highly lacquered mahogany and includes an over-scaled sofa with finials, a very wide day-bed, Adirondack style chairs from Maine and an odd vintage wicker chair. The generously proportioned cushions, also trademark Langham, can be put together for use as a spare bed Langham notes, “when your house is full or your boyfriend is mad at you.”

Richard Keith Langham Summer Pavilion
Richard Keith Langham Summer Pavilion.

It brings to mind immediately of course (of course!) another wonderful pavilion – the 18th-century royal palace at Brighton built as a pretty dang spiffy summer hang-out by the then-Prince of Wales, later King George IV.

Brighton Royal Pavilion, Brighton, England

It came to be known as the Brighton Pavilion and while the exterior is more Indian and Moorish, the interiors are a lavish response to the chinoiserie craze then sweeping the isle, and which continues to sweep pretty well to this day. This of course (of course) now ties in with the 2008 Olympics in China.

This is truly a marvel of coincidences.

Little did King G-4 know there would one day be a Chinoiserie Chic blog. He would have loved it.

Richard Keith Langham Summer Pavilion
Keith's pavilion interior is done in neutral shades with spots of color, offset by the bold graphic of a black and white floor.

Lately Keith seems to be everywhere. But then he is kind of famous. And he is funny as all get-out if you haven’t figured that out yet. This interview in the New York Social Diary is a hoot.

Richard Keith Langham at JAB showroom in New YorkRichard Keith Langham at JAB showroom in New York
One day last spring Keith and I made a mad dash around the D & D building in New York. This was his new favorite printed linen, at the JAB showroom. Chinoiserie again. Keith looks kind of cross-eyed in this photo but he is not cross-eyed. Not that there is anything wrong with being cross-eyed.
Keith and his jeep Sea Glass
Keith and his "Sea Glass." He is wearing sunglasses because it is sunny, not because he is cross-eyed, which he is not. He is actually really cute. He literally saw this car for sale on the side of the road and stopped and bought it right then. This was a few summers ago.

Earlier this spring he did a Q and A for the divine Flower magazine, which if you don’t know about you should.

Flower Magazine
Flower Magazine, created and edited by Margot Shaw

And then just weekend before last thank goodness he made the executive decision to remove extraneous plant material from the table at a dinner I had for House Beautiful Editor Newell Turner which was supposed to be in the garden at Bee Cottage…

Keith at Bee Cottage
Keith correcting my table at last weekend's dinner party. The grapevines I had strewn around were scraggly and offensive to Keith's unerring eye. There would have been candles and other things on the table except it was POURING RAIN.

Not that it mattered all that much because it was POURING RAIN the entire night and we were all crammed onto the terrace and inside and oh Lord these things happen.

Frances cutting flowers in the pouring rain at Bee Cottage
Optimistically out to cut flowers in the pouring rain at Bee Cottage

Please don’t y’all be calling and asking to borrow my outfit. The Costume Institute at the Met has already spoken for it.

There is no end to my glamour.

As Leslie Klotz says, and I would second, “My tastes in home furnishings and friends run a similar course — eccentric, fun, eclectic and easy to be around.”

Cheerio, and sign me,

Gold Medal Glamour Girl


  1. Highly entertaining! What a wicked friend you have there Miss Schultz. I want to be friends with him too! Oh & the witches ball??? Wonderlust unlike wunderlust….

  2. Frances,
    Your garden is right up there with Sissinghurst!
    So pretty in the rain with you picking, so cute!
    Takes a great beauty to look good in rain hood…you are.
    History..Dick (my husband) 11 grandmothers back was scalped by 4 Pequot Indians at her clothes line hanging quilts to air in 1640. Maybe Phoebe Halsey started the circus…Pequot career ended with their hanging. House stands in Southhampton.

    1. Dear Lynn, OMG! WHAT A STORY!… And thank you so much for writing and for the compliment. You may want to have your eyes checked, but thank you. Love, Frances

  3. Oh Frances! I love this post and am so happy to see Keith’s fabulous interiors and completed pavilion. Magic! That handsome and mischievous boy has more talent than the law allows. What fun to be with him in such a glorious spot. I still chuckle thinking about his entertaining talk at the Cathedral Antique Show! XO

  4. Don’t know which is cuter, that car or you? You always make me smile. Bee-utiful (-:

    1. Leslie, the car. Trust me…. Thank you all for you comments – Mimi, Amanda, Lissy, Leslie, HOllye. xox

  5. Frances, What a delighful and Charming post. It’s hard to capture the fun that happens at Witch’s Hat. X. C

  6. After a very long day at the office, I love getting home, opening my email and finding new posts from you and Hollye. Food for the soul. Don’t you look tres chic in your rainy day duds! Little White Riding Hood, Red’s gardening sister. Am putting that bed and the witch’s hat pavilion on my Wish List. Thanks for the laughter!

  7. Since I see never get to actually See My dear, old friend Keith this is the next best thing…wonerful post. I have been there and it’s true, you managed to capture the essence of Keith – the funniest man I know, as well as the the most effortlessly chic. I don’t throw that term out loosely…

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