It’s hard to compete with the beauty of an iconic supermodel, but Claudia Schiffer’s Tudor mansion in the English countryside looks stunning, despite being well over four hundred years old.
Architectural Digest is featuring the historic manor and its model inhabitant on the cover of the September issue. Inside, the feature story tells the tale of how Shiffer and husband, British director Michael Vaughn, came to own (and decorate!) the 16th century property.
15 years ago, the couple turned down the half-mile driveway and it was basically love at first sight. They decided to show up unannounced, and see if the owners were open to selling.
“We basically knocked on the door and said, ‘We love this place,’ ” she tells AD. “They had no idea who we were or what we were doing there.” Luckily for them, a some months later, they had closed on the place and were getting married on the lawn.
Dating back to 1574, Coldham Hall is shaped like an H as an homage to the most famous Tudor, King Henry VIII. The name, however, comes from another monarch: Queen Elizabeth I is said to have stayed in the manor, and gave the place its name when she was egregiously served chilled pork during her tenure. Priest holes, which served as places for Catholics to hide during the purges, are another feature that harkens back centuries.
With all this history to live up to, Schiffer and Vaughn have been practicing slow decorating. “We’ve taken our time,” she says. “Nothing was bought quickly.”
While respecting traditional decor, Schiffer also wanted it to feel personal. There’s her husband’s family coat of arms and plenty traditional motifs in the guest rooms, balanced by a healthy dose of color and their modern art collection.
Read more about the Tudor home (and see more photos) over on Architectural Digest and in the September issue.