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Doris Duke’s Shangri La – A House In Paradise

I’ve had the great pleasure of decorating properties from Bali to not-so-exotic Florida, but whatever the case, I always infuse my designs with more than a hint of far away lands. I’ve also had a long-time fantasy of owning a home in a spectacular garden paradise, and so it should come as no surprise that I’m absolutely enthralled by the new Rizzoli book, “Doris Duke’s Shangri La – A House in Paradise.”

Shangri La

Shangri La - photo Rizzoli

“My Honolulu Home” as Duke called it, was her “…most personal and secluded of retreats,” and it remained quite beyond the public public eye. Luckily for all of us she established the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and we are now able to visit in person as well as enjoy rich photographs like these ones.

Doris Duke and James Cromwell at Shangri La

Doris Duke and James Cromwell at Shangri La

The esteemed Marion Sims Wyeth was the principle architect for this glorious five acre Honolulu estate, and under Duke’s direction, created a chic conflation of architectural styles, combining modernism with influences from a wide range of historical landmarks; from the ancient city of Persepolis, to the Alhambra, to the Taj Mahal!

Shangri La

Shangri La - photo Rizzoli

Deborah Pope, the Executive director of Shangri La, eloquently describes it as “…a place of many identities…elegant, complex, embracing multiple traditions, and difficult to characterize.” In fact these words might describe Duke herself. No mere socialite or dilettante, she approached the construction and decoration of Shangri La with a highly developed aesthetic, working with scholars and experts, and traveling the world to amass a museum quality collection.

Are you feeling a WIJW goes to Hawaii trip ahead? If we do, we’ll be sure to pay tribute to the legendary taste maker Doris Duke!


  1. Brad says:

    That’s a beautiful house. It’s so airy.

  2. francisco says:

    gracias, precioso, para comprar y tenerlo en casa

  3. James Andrew says:

    Querido Francisco,

    Esto libro es un sueno!



  4. marco Aurelio says:

    So beautiful!!!!

  5. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Marco,

    I am so grateful for all your gorgeous support!

    Thank You!



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