A Royal Renovation: How Interior Designers Would Design Buckingham Palace

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Last November, the British government announced that it would allocate $485 million to Buckingham Palace renovations. Most of that investment is going towards new electrical cabling, water pipes and radiators, but we had a better idea: a “Buck House” makeover. We asked four interior designers what they would do to makeover the palace with all that cash.

“While proper restoration of the palace is no doubt a necessity, I would be sure to leave enough funds to curate a collection of contemporary artisan pieces to complement the important antiques. The London-based artist studio Based Upon makes outstanding contemporary furniture. In fact, they have a spectacular futuristic piano that would be the perfect counterpart to the 19th-century Erard piano already in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace. Overall, I would focus on creating a design dialogue that respects the past but also incorporates elements from the last century and today.”

— Caleb Anderson, Partner at Drake/Anderson

“Heated floors, central vacuuming and the best sound system money can buy!”

— Patrick Mele, Interior Designer

“The first thing I’d do is trick that place out. Technology has changed a lot in the last 300 years, so I’d update the entire underbelly and improve the palace by focusing on sustainability and efficiency. It’s a major UK landmark, so it shouldn’t change its look — but it should adopt new technology representative of the worldwide shift towards responsible living. I’m thinking food grown on site, composting everything, energy harvested from waste, Tesla energy, digital security, smart temperature control, electric cars and charging stations, solar panels for the five days a year London has sun, Wi-Fi upgrades and USB ports everywhere. Buckingham Palace could be the archetype of sustainability for the world.”

— Kristin Collins, Design Principal at Kristin Collins Interior Design

“I know exactly what I would do! I’d keep all of the amazing architectural details throughout the home’s exterior but only preserve certain ‘wow’ architectural details on the interior. Then I would modernize the rest of the interiors by opening rooms up and making them more livable by today’s standards. I would also include many new abstracts and modern pieces of art throughout the home. Basically, I would seamlessly bridge the old with the new.”

— Ryan White, Founder and President of Ryan White Designs

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