Descriptions of the Interior of the House

Photographs of the interior of Alla Nazimova’s home published in Picture Show magazine, January 1921
Photographs of the interior of Alla Nazimova’s home published in Picture Show magazine, January 1921. (Click to enlarge.)

Alla’s biographer Gavin Lambert described it as “a classic movie star’s showplace … its immense tiled hallway dominated by a Mexican chandelier and two massive antique chests, its vast living room with another tiled floor, beamed ceiling, couch and armchairs upholstered in purple velvet, gilded wall candelabra, baronial fireplace, a grand piano. A broad tiled stairway led to the upper floor, and in Nazimova’s bedroom the piece de resistance was a huge circular window that she installed above her bed. A photograph shows her posed below it, hazy sunlight pour through to heighten the already soft-focus effect.”

In 1922, Photoplay published a profile of Nazimova that described her estate as having “the dignity which you would expect of Madame. A large square house with walls of yellow tint, situated among trees and hedges on the road that leads to Beverly Hills, it contrives to give the appearance of age and cloistered privacy. And that’s a great piece of histrionism for a house in Hollywood.”

Inside the house, “The drawing room has none of the severity of the modern décor,” he wrote. “In the evening the amber light from several lamps, heavily veiled in mauve and black, diffuses a charm of velvet richness: the purple of great divans, the ebony of lacquer, crystal lights reflected from a mirror laced with gold, the soft folds of velvet hangings, and over all a faint pervasive fragrance of the Orient that always hovers to the garments of Nazimova.”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter