Hollywood History: Madeleine Carroll

I often say that if I had one wish (besides the obvious wishes that would take first priority, like saving the world and good health and wealth for all) I would wish for the chance to go back in time. It would be difficult for me to pinpoint one specific era, but I tend to be most attracted to the 1930’s through the 1960’s, as well as the Civil War era.

Until the day that Marty McFly and Doc (from Back to the Future) roll up in my driveway in the DeLorean to act as my personal chauffeurs, I don’t think this wish is likely to come true in this lifetime. So, instead, I lie in my boudoir daydreaming about what it would have been like to live back then. Back when things seemed so glamorous and lifestyles were more formal. In my boudoir, I enjoy browsing photos of Hollywood royalty and learning about their fascinating lives.

On mylittleboudoir.com I would like to invite you to become a Hollywood Historian.

Today, the lesson is on Madeleine Carroll.


Though many women of today may not have ever heard the name Madeleine Carroll, she was one of the highest paid actresses of her time. Successfully bridging the gap between “silence and talkies”, she made her acting debut in 1928 in several films, like The Guns of Loos and The First Born. Throughout her acting career she shared the screen with other Hollywood greats like Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda and Bob Hope.


Born in England where she launched her career, Madeleine quickly became a sensation in the U.S., especially after attracting the attention of Alfred Hitchcock and starring in his 1935 British-made classic The 39 Steps. She became a naturalized citizen of the United states in 1943 where she continued her successful acting career, until a tragic event geared her heart in a different direction.


Madeleine’s only sister Marguerite was killed in the The Blitz during World War II. In 1949, after her sister’s passing, it was then that Madeleine made the decision to say goodbye to acting and devote herself to the field hospitals as a nurse with the Red Cross during the war. She was a very compassionate and giving woman. So much so that she donated her chateau outside of Paris to house 150 orphaned children.


Madeleine passed away in Spain in 1987 at the age of 81. She will be remembered,
not only as Hollywood royalty, but also as a great humanitarian.


I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson in Hollywood history!


Sources: madeleinecarroll.com, wikipedia.com, imdb.com and Heavenly: A Hundred Years of Unforgettable Women by Donald F. Reuter


Celebrity Boudoir: Mariah Carey

Celebrity Boudoir…another monthly post series. Each month I will share photos of a fabulous celebrity boudoir. Ok, well, some may be truly classified as a dressing room or closet, but they are so glamorous that I would consider them worthy of being called a boudoir.

The Celebrity Boudoir for the month of January belongs to Mariah Carey.


Yes, this is her closet, and normally I would require a dressing table as the centerpiece, but considering the fact that it has a chaise lounge, chandelier, a pink tufted chair and enough stilettos to circle planet Earth twice over…we can call it a boudoir.





Par Avion

I’m really into navy blue and orange lately, so I was very excited when I saw Kate Spade’s Jet-Setter and Par Avion looks for this Spring.

I want this Par Avion cosmetic bag and fabulous coat to be mine…





I’ll take that with a side order of handbags, please…
(you may recognize the orange one from Olive Oyl Royale part II)



I’m not going to lie and pretend that my legs are suitable for these shorts,
but I find them delightful nonetheless…


Boudoir Noir

How sweet is my husband to send me a link that would inspire me so, that I chose it for today’s post?

The photos that you see below, show off the interior of Cindi Gallop’s (CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld.com, former chairwoman of  advertising giant BBH, and self-proclaimed feminist) home. You see though, this is not just any home. This home was formerly the locker room of one of the first YMCA clubs in the United States.

It’s like she has a boudoir for her entire home. I must say, the transformation is fabulous! Of her home, Cindi says, “…at night, I want to feel like I’m in a Shanghai nightclub…”

This is Cindi…


This is her home…
(note the Gucci chainsaw on the table, interesting, but is très magnifique for this place)


Is this display of shoes boudiful (boudoir + beautiful), or what?


Oh, how I do love a library in the home…


Love this mirror and the oversized sepia wall portraits.


I wonder if the book display to the right of the kitchen is cook books.
(and, no, I’m not talking about the one that the Pope is holding)


I would really like to  know what these delightful little pink and black
packages are, that she has displayed in her bathroom.




Sources: womensrights.change.org and cyanatrendland.com

Toile…New Orleans Style

One look that I like for a boudoir is a good toile print. I stumbled across this New Orleans Toile few years back in a Domino magazine (the discontinuation of which, I still mourn). At a store called Hazelnut New Orleans, you can find this New Orleans Toile print on a variety of products, such as a shower curtain, wastebasket, tissue box, tea towel, throw pillow, and more.  Even better is that they sell the fabric by the yard, so you could even come up with your own creative way to use it.

pillow – hazelnutneworleans.com

bedding – hazelnutneworleans.com

guest towels – hazelnutneworleans.com

wastebasket – hazelnutneworleans.com

butler tray – hazelnutneworleans.com

The print was drawn by a New York artist named Sonia O’Mara, but was based off of the original sketches by Bryan Batt. The toile scape features some of the key architectural and landscape icons of New Orleans, like St. Louis Cathedral, St. Charles street car, the steamboat Natchez, and scenes depicting the beautiful architecture of the historic Vieux Carré. It is available in the following four colors:



cafe au lait


I think the reason I fancy this print so much is because I have this major fascination with New Orleans. Having traveled around the globe, I can’t believe I have never been, but it is at the top of my list of places to visit. When I do go, I will certainly make a stop at Hazlenut New Orleans.

Boudoir Essentials: The Powder Puff

Today marks the first post in a monthly series called, Boudoir Essentials. Inspired by yesterday’s post, I thought I would begin with The Powder Puff.

One item that must adorn any dressing table in a boudoir is a powder puff; used for dusting one’s body with luxurious scented and/or shimmery body powder.

Here are some that I fancy. Many of which are, and will be (considering that I just purchased two of these tonight), on display in my boudoir.










Chic Boudoir

Powder puff, dressing table, mirror, glamorous robe…the epitome of a Boudoir…

Jean Harlow

Upcycling: Granny Gold to Girly Glamour

I love it when I find a garage sale where you truly feel like you’re stepping back in time (as long as it’s from a fabulous era). I stopped at a garage sale this past fall, and it was clear that everything belonged to an elderly woman who had held onto her precious items her whole life long. While it was probably a sad situation that prompted the garage sale, I am honored to give her items new life and cherish them as she did.

I purchased two delightful bone china teacups, a few vintage jars and an old inexpensive drug store mirrored perfume tray. I wasn’t in love with the gold trim on the perfume tray, but I had every intention to “upcycle” it for my daughter’s boudoir.

Step 1: Wipe any dust from the area that will be painted
and tape off the mirror to protect from paint

step one

Step 2: Move to a well ventilated area (preferably outdoors)
and lay newspaper or plastic to protect from over spray

step two

Step 3: Spray paint the item, taking care not to miss a spot and to evenly coat

step three

Step 4: Once dry, remove the tape, shine mirror with glass cleaner
and display your favorite perfume bottles

step four

135 Days…


During a recent visit to the theater to see Nine, I was thrilled to be able to view the trailer for Sex and the City 2 during the previews. Let me tell you…that was worth the price of admission alone.

On May 28, 2010, women across the globe will delight in an afternoon away from the boudoir to enjoy Sex and the City 2 with a group of their closest girlfriends. Until then, you can view updates about the movie, including photos, interviews from the cast and more on sexandthecitymovie.org.


I am pleased to say that I just made a purchase that will allow me to better prepare for the movie and sooth my Carrie fever until the release. I pre-ordered two copies of The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell; the prequel to Sex and the City. Sex and the City (the book) was also written by Bushnell and was the basis for the show on HBO and the movie.

“The Carrie Diaries” – Candace Bushnell

Here is a write-up about the book from examiner.com:

Did you ever wonder how Carrie Bradshaw got to be so fabulous? Well now you can find out who Carrie was before the Manolos, in Candace Bushnell’s latest books, The Carrie Diaries, set to be released April 27, 2010, just one month before the new SATC movie hits theaters.

The first in a two book series, The Carrie Diaries will chronicle Carrie Bradshaw’s teen years, following her as she develops her fashion sense, creating trends only Carrie could make popular. The book will also go along for the ride of Carrie’s first love, which is sure to explain how Ms. Bradshaw got her start in writing about her crazy relationships.

The most exciting thing will be who are Carrie’s friends? Teenage Carrie means pre-Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, so will the new friends be mini-clones of the fab four? You’ll just have to wait and see, as details on this book are slow coming. But for those who have a hard time waiting, here is the cover art for the new book.

The CW channel should be all over this book, as a television series is a must. An ’80’s flashback to the making of Carrie Bradshaw would no doubt be a huge hit.

Sir Cecil

If you’re like me, you probably know Sir Cecil Beaton best for his photography…

audrey hepburn

marilyn monroe

jacqueline bouvier

However, he was also known and very well respected for his work
as a costume designer, artist, set designer and published diarist.

sir cecil beaton

He designed costumes for many hit movies, such as:
Gigi (1958), Anna Karenina (1948) and My Fair Lady (1964)


design for vivien leigh – anna karenina

my fair lady

Now we can enjoy a bit of Cecil Beaton in our homes.
His sketches were reproduced into a creation of wonderful fabrics and wallpapers.
Here are some that I fancy. I especially love the Pelham Check. See more on cecilbeatonfabrics.com.

cecil beaton pelham ficelle black – suzanfellman.com

cecil beaton cris cross check – suzanfellman.com

cecil beaton pelham check lime – suzanfellman.com

cecil beaton beaton beauties – suzanfellman.com

cecil beaton pelham check hot pink – suzanfellman.com

cecil beaton bloom ficelle black – suzanfellman.com

cecil beaton pelham check silver – suzanfellman.com

Here are some examples of the fabric put to good use.


patterned after cecil’s design for zika ascher in 1948

Cecil Beaton was born January 14, 1904 and he passed away January 18, 1980. His career spanned five decades and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

cecil beaton

Today I will leave you with a quote from Sir Cecil Beaton of Marilyn Monroe:

‘She romps, she squeals with delight, she leaps onto the sofa. She puts a flower stem in her mouth, puffing on a daisy as though it were a cigarette. It is an artless, impromptu, high spirited, infectiously gay performance.’

marilyn monroe