This feature originally appeared in the March issue of InStyle. For more features like this, subscribe to the magazine now.
When you ring the doorbell to Carolina Herrera's elegant town house on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a few moments elapse before there's any sign of life. The door opens to reveal a man in a white butler's jacket, complete with black epaulets and brass buttons—a vision from another era. He greets you warmly, and as you stand in the softly lit foyer with a black-and-white checkerboard floor, you're immediately enveloped by the scent of jasmine flowers. It is, you learn later, a fragrance with personal meaning for Herrera, who designed a candle to capture the bouquet: "It reminds me of my childhood," says the supremely regal designer, dressed in a signature crisp white shirt and black pants. "There was a jasmine vine outside my bedroom window in Venezuela. The blossoms open in the evening, and the smell," she exclaims with a gasp, "it is so good!"
For the designer, whose clothes are favored by the likes of Jessica Alba, Sandra Bullock, and First Lady Michelle Obama, adding personal details to her New York abode was key. "My home is very personal. I love everything that's in it," she says in InStyle's March issue, on newsstands now.
She gave us an exclusive tour of her town house, which brims with a Proustian array of gilded furniture, textured fabrics, and delicious fragrances. See it now.
1. The Sitting Room
"Most of the furniture in this home was brought over from our house in Caracas," says Herrera, shown here in one of her many sitting rooms. Her husband Reinaldo designed the striped chaises for the space.
2. The Dining Room
A painting by 17th-century Dutch landscape artist Jan Hackert hangs above a pair of 18th-century Italian chairs. The wooden floor was handpainted to look like geometric inlays of green, black, and gold marble.
3. The Stairway Landing
Beneath the Warhol portrait on a stairway landing are photos of her daughter Patricia's children, taken by William Wegman.
4. The Bedroom
A dressing table in the toile-covered bedroom displays family snaps and an inherited collection of antique silver hairbrushes.
5. The Sitting Room
Tiger prints punctuate the home, as seen here in a sitting room: "I love animal prints but prefer not to wear them," says Herrera. "I like them on cushions!"
6. The Library
In the library, a pastel portrait of Reinaldo's mother, Mimi Herrera, hangs over the fireplace. This feature originally appeared in the March issue of InStyle. For more features like this, subscribe to the magazine now.