The White House: a Polish palace in West London

Some things have to be seen to be believed, like this house.

Prince John Zylinski of Poland’s grandmother owned a palace in Poland, but during WW2 her home, Gozdowo, was lost and she spent time in a Concentration Camp before arriving in London.  Her grandson promised he would rebuild her palace, of which he had heard so much.

Born and bred in Ealing, West London, Prince John is passionate about ballet and the 18th century.

Using the existing footprint of the arts and craftsy house which was on the plot, this house has been completely rebuilt.

Remember, this house sits on a normal, domestic street,  While it is not visible from the road, it is quite something when one turns the corner from the driveway.

This is the fridge

I couldn’t help myself thinking that with some mirror tiles from B&Q and a bit of dado railing, anyone could get this look.

This house was finished in 2009.  Much of the cornicing was pressed from moulds bought for £200 when Nash’s Regents Crescent was refurbished – the builders were throwing the moulds in the skip and Prince John bought them.  However, in places the results of the plaster isn’t as crisp as it could be, as the guide who took me around the house admitted.

Talk about a big decision when it comes to what colour gold to use!

If this were my house I would find some of the finishes niggle me; too much of a pastiche – I would have made something less extravagant (or done it slower); I would want a single piece of glass in the mirrors and better quality materials in areas (such as the statutes on the roof).  But heck, it’s not my house and Prince John presumably loves it.

What do you think?

When visited: September 2013

Website: http://www.whitehouselondon.com/

Theme tune

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14 thoughts on “The White House: a Polish palace in West London

  1. Her grandson promised he would rebuild grandma’s palace, but it wasn’t done until 2009. Presumably grandmother had gone to God decades earlier, so the palace was built as a memorial, not as a replica.

    Having said that, I am not a great admirer of 18th century French interiors and I know nothing about 18th century Polish interiors, So the dining room is bound to look overly decorated to my eyes. But the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge open onto the gardens and look perfect.

    1. Hi Robyn
      Principally, The White House is a private home but it is let for commercial photo-shoots, weddings etc. As part of London Open House weekend 2013 the house was open to the general public, which is when we visited. It is definitely worth timing a trip to London to coincide (usually the third weekend of September).

      1. Thank you. We live in Australia but use visitinghousesandgardens as part of planning UK holidays – as well as being a very interesting site, it is most helpful for us travellers.

      2. reply to visitinghousesandgardens 17/11 @ 10.09 pm
        Thank you.
        Next visit to UK February/March 2014, London only this time. Will be getting maximum value from National Trust and English Heritage memberships. Possible Autumn 2014 visit, but too soon to get down to detail on that one.

      3. If you are staying in London only then an ArtFund card might be a better idea (if available to you to buy from overseas) – it gives free access to most of the larger NT & EH properties, e.g. Osterley Park and also free access to Kensington Palace, Brighton Pavillion & 50% off most major museum exhibitions, e.g. at the V&A, British Museum (plus free entry into the Courtauld Gallery).

        Most historic houses are closed Feb & November for cleaning (open March-October & December, if they do Christmas opening).

        Don’t forget that Brighton, Cambridge & Oxford are less than an hour on the train from London, so perfect day trips.

        I don’t know if you’ve been before/seen any of these before but I’d definitely recommend:
        1. Dennis Sever’s House, Spitalfields (I’ve done a post)
        2. Queen’s House, Greenwich (ditto)
        3. Leighton House Museum, West London (free with ArtFund card)
        4. Sir John Soane’s Museum
        5. Eltham Palace, easily accessible from London(free with the ArtFund card – I’ve done a post)
        6. Osterley Park & Syon House (Syon is an absolute MUST and it’s great to see it compared to Osterley as Robert Adam was decorating them at the same time).

        If you want somewhere nice to stay, and depending on budget, I’d recommend either The Zetter Townhouse (http://www.thezettertownhouse.com/) or The Rookery (http://www.rookeryhotel.com/rookery/).

        I have no connection to any of these – I just like lovely places!

  2. The only word for that is ‘amazing’, and totally unknown to me, although only a couple of miles up the road. Just shows what can lurk in a London suburb!

  3. Thanks very much. We have seen some of the places on your list and will see whatever is open in Feb-March and put the rest on the (at this stage) hypothetical Autumn holiday plan. London is in fact a great winter destination despite stately home closures – if the weather is bad there are all those free art galleries and museums 🙂

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