Elise de Wolfe

Elsie de Wolfe, also known as Lady Mendl, (December 20, c. 1859– July 12, 1950) was an American actress and interior decorator.

Born in New York City, de Wolfe was acutely sensitive to environment from her earliest years, and became one of the first women interior designers, replacing heavy Victorian styles with light, intimate effects, and uncluttered room layouts. Her marriage to English diplomat Sir Charles Mendl was one of convenience, though she was proud to be called Lady Mendl, and her lifelong companion was Elisabeth Marbury, with whom she lived in New York and Paris. De Wolfe was a prominent social figure, who entertained in the most distinguished circles.

Books in order of publication:


The House in Good Taste. New York: The Century Company. 1913.

Hutton Wilkinson, ed. (2004) [1913]. The House in Good Taste. Rizzoli. (Reprint)

Elsie de Wolfe’s Recipes for Successful Dining. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company. 1934.

After All. New York: Harper and Brothers. 1935.

Charlie Scheips (2014). Elsie de Wolfe’s Paris: Frivolity Before the Storm. New York: Harry N Abrams.

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