The Audrey Effect

"I believe in manicures, I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” Audrey Hepburn


I am not just craving a visit to the Audrey Hepburn photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Museum. I am gagging for it.

It’s in my diary for August and until then I must satisfy my obsession by creating my own tribute to the goddess of the silver screen. Of course I am nothing like her. I’m blonde, she’s brunette. She’s an exotic mix of Belgian and Dutch parentage. My folks are 100% Yorkshire. Audrey Hepburn was not only a recognised film and fashion icon, but an awesome ballet dancer. I can shuffle in time to Happy by Pharrel Williams. Just.

It’s fair to say our paths were never destined to cross, but that doesn’t stop me identifying with Audrey Hepburn on so many levels. I love the glamour she brought to the everyday - a theme I have documented again and again here on the blog. I love her girly-ness teamed with her edge. I adore the fact that despite all her riches, her many awards and her incredible fame; the thing she craved most was a normal, happy family life. And I think her short pixie crop rocked.

Hopefully the photographic exhibition will allow me a peak into the life she kept sacred. The private family life she built for herself away from the cameras and the public glare. I’d love to see how she lived. I want to find out if her interiors style matched her distinctive fashion sense. Perfectly tailored, nothing too prissy. Simple and classy; A Breton top and cigarette pants with pointy flats. Somehow I can translate this into a room set… although I’m maybe way off mark.

What we do know is that the quirky, bohemian paradise in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is synonymous with the on-screen character Audrey Hepburn portrayed. Aloof, enigmatic, colourful and glam. Her’s (Well Holly Golightly’s) was a bachelorette pad to die for. The ultimate girly party pad.

This is the scene that springs to mind for most of us when we think of Audrey Hepburn. Amazing then that over 50 years later, the look is just as cool, no, cooler than ever. 

Just in case you are thinking of working a bit of Audrey Effect into your place, here’s a few basic rules to bear in mind.

1) Opposites attract

Glossy dark wood parquet, paired with white paintwork and cabinetry makes for an instantly glamorous blank canvas. It’s also great for hiding marks from spilt drinks and dropped lipsticks. Essential considerations for serious party pad planning.

American walnut flooring approx £60 per m

2) Serve glamour with EVERYTHING

Invited a mate round for dinner? Then it’s table cloths, crystal and candlesticks all the way my friend. It’s all about the theatre in this gaff. Food? Not so much.

Find chic, balloon back chairs on and get them re-upholstered. In totally impractical white of course.

3) Don’t get bogged down with domestic issues

Cooking is not your strong point. (See point 2 above)  It’s a hell of a lot of effort and should really be a last resort. Keep kitchens compact and - since it won’t get very messy - all white works fine.

Mercury does the best looking white range cooker I know. £3470.86

4) Get your beauty sleep

But why waste money on blinds when a blindfold will do? Black satin eye mask 62p Megastar maths, right there.

For a similar feminine iron bedstead for you and the cat try: 

5) Improvise

The key to this look is in the humour. Who cares about comfort, go all out for the LOLs. The converted bath/couch is a stroke of genius. Find a step-by-step guide to making yours here:

Don’t make guests too comfy, you might not want them to hang around. Channel shipping crate chic for a few quid on

The Audrey Hepburn - Portrait of an Icon exhibition, runs from 2nd July - 18 October 2015. Book tickets here: 

Now I’m not a smoker but…. anyone got a cigarette holder I can borrow? xxx