A Pool Room fit for a Tsar


I’m designing a game room for a client, and my research led me to this evocative space at the Alexander Palace near St. Petersburg. I love all things Russian, and this room offers a glimpse of a lost world. Actually, it’s one of the more sedate rooms in the palace, relatively unadorned, and while it’s not my style, the individual elements are fascinating.

The borders around the windows, which carry the look of the drapes, are elegantly done, as are the Austrian sheer shades and fabric chandeliers. The rug is Iranian, and Chippendale chairs face the skirted card table.

The Tsars loved English and French style, and the interior design of this space would fit in any of the royal palaces of nineteenth century Europe, or the estates of railroad and steel tycoons in Gilded Age America. I picture the last Tsar, Nicolas II, playing pool with the invalid Tsarevich Alexei, while Rasputin hovers ominously in the background.

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