The Lauder family’s Palm Beach home is almost the stuff of legend. First built in 1938, the Neoclassical mansion found perched on the oceanfront was bought by Estée and Joe Lauder in the 1960s. They moved in in 1964, before passing the house on to their son Leonard and his new wife Evelyn on Estée’s retirement. Today, it bears the hallmarks of both remarkable ladies, women with the sort of style you wish you could bottle and unleash at will. A reminder of days gone when people sat in parlours and hand painted wall papers were de rigeur, it serves as intoxicating design inspiration for summer friendly homes and extremely chic living.

One of the first things Evelyn did on moving into 126 South Ocean Boulevard was to paint the hallway sunshine yellow (Estée had fashioned it in greyish beige.) As seen in these pictures, shot for Architectural Digest, a renovation in conjunction with New York interior designer Thad Hayes saw elements of the house revamped under Evelyn’s eye, whilst still keeping the spirit of both Estée’s original design and the house’s history. The candy pink chairs out on the lawn were originally Estee’s, the hand painted Chinoiserie wallpaper in the dining room is a reproduction of the original, even the stove and fridge were restored to keep the lovely retro kitchen, but the house is also littered with Evelyn’s much loved Asian artifacts and touches of Oriental design – as seen in the sun room, a vision of bamboo and blue and white Brunschwig and Fils print. Whether seen through the prism of Estée’s stewardship or Evelyn’s, the house bears testament to a bygone era of glamour and the Lauder family’s particular brand of chic. Call it retro, call it Palm Beach classic, call it old fashion opulence, call it what you will – it looked damn good then, and still does now.

Click through our gallery above for images.


126 Ocean Boulevard Drive

Estée Lauder in her Palm Beach Dining Room, Town & Country March 1974

The hallway, facade, Florida Room, the kitchen, the revamped dining room and oceanfront terrace all shot by Scott Frances for Architectural Digest

Evelyn Lauder in the hallway, the screening room featuring Leonard Lauder’s collection of vintage posters on the walls, Evelyn Lauder on the steps of the house, all shot by Douglas Friedman for Harpers Bazaar