ED­I­TOR’S LET­TER

Architectural Digest (UAE) - - Contents - Talib Choudhry Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Fol­low us on in­sta­gram @ad­mid­dleeast

Through­out his­tory, roy­als, aris­to­crats and those seek­ing to sig­nal their place in the up­per ech­e­lons of so­ci­ety have used great houses and pa­tron­age of the arts as po­tent sym­bols. This, our an­nual royal is­sue, cel­e­brates the sweet­est fruits of those com­mis­sions, span­ning hun­dreds of years, from the an­ces­tral seat of Princess Diya Ku­mari of Jaipur (p.154) to the be­spoke fra­grances of French per­fume house Henry Jac­ques, which cre­ated scents for HH Sheikh Zayed (p.114).

We were hon­oured to be granted ex­clu­sive ac­cess to the res­o­lutely con­tem­po­rary, yet suit­ably spec­tac­u­lar, Riyadh res­i­dence of HRH Prince Khalid Al Saud who, as a trained ar­chi­tect, was per­fectly placed to cre­ate a well-de­signed home for him­self (p.144). The fin­ished prop­erty, with chic in­te­ri­ors by Robyn Jensen, skill­fully bal­ances tra­di­tion with moder­nity, which Prince Khalid at­tributes to his stud­ies in Switzer­land and Eng­land. “I wanted to bring some of the pos­i­tive de­sign val­ues from dif­fer­ent so­ci­eties back to Saudi Ara­bia – pri­mar­ily sim­plic­ity, but one that is steeped in el­e­gance,” he told AD Mid­dle East. He has cer­tainly achieved that in his own home.

Paolo and Maite Bul­gari also gra­ciously in­vited us into their breath­tak­ing Mar­rakech home, which they wanted to feel au­then­ti­cally Moroc­can, yet give a nod to Maite’s Span­ish her­itage (p.122). The work of dec­o­ra­tor Pablo Pa­ni­agua – and the many ar­ti­sans he com­mis­sioned – has re­sulted in spa­ces that are as time­lessly el­e­gant as a Bvl­gari neck­lace. There is plenty more to dis­cover in the fol­low­ing pages, in­clud­ing ce­ramic artist Hit­omi Hosono’s im­pos­si­bly pretty pots (p.56) for British her­itage brand Wedg­wood, which be­came renowned in the 18th cen­tury fol­low­ing com­mis­sions from Queen Char­lotte of Eng­land and Cather­ine the Great of Rus­sia. Hosono’s fresh take on the iconic Port­land Vase demon­strates that it might just be pos­si­ble to im­prove on per­fec­tion. En­joy the is­sue!

1 Samode Ma­hal in Jaipur, one of the beau­ti­ful royal palaces shown in new book Glo­ri­ous Ho­tels of In­dia, which is ex­tracted in our Port­fo­lio sec­tion 2 My­self at the Burj Al Arab 3 Paolo and Maite Bul­gari's stun­ning Mar­rakech home has time­less el­e­gance

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