Oprah's interview with Meghan reflects 'strong non-competing sisters'

Meghan Markle chose mutual friend’s ‘informal and accessible’ garden for Oprah interview to show the pair of them as ‘two strong non-competing sisters’, interior designer claims

  • Speaking to FEMAIL, interior designer Benji Lewis of online advisory service Zoom That Room explained that the background was ‘cleverly constructed’ 
  • Oprah added that the interview took place at ‘mutual friends house’ in California 
  • Benji added the room shows ‘two strong, successful, non-competing women’ 

The garden chosen to host Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle was designed to reflect informality and accessibility and to show the two women as ‘non-competing sisters, an interior design expert has claimed.

Speaking to FEMAIL, British interior designer Benji Lewis of online advisory service Zoom That Room explained that the background was ‘cleverly constructed’ and made with ‘no pops of colour’ and is ‘calm and clean’ to show ‘tangible luxury’. 

It comes as Meghan has spoke to Oprah in a bombshell interview, claiming the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry before she married Harry and admitted she ‘naively’ didn’t do any research about her husband or the royal family before marrying Harry, and that she was suicidal while a member of The Firm.

Oprah added that the interview took place at  ‘mutual friends house’ in California, which is near where both the royal couple and TV host live. 

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Speaking to FEMAIL, British interior designer Benji Lewis of online advisory service Zoom That Room explained that the background was ‘cleverly constructed’ and made with ‘no pops of colour’ and is ‘calm and clean’ to show ‘tangible luxury’. Meghan and Oprah are pictured

‘An interesting thing about the setting is what it doesn’t contain, there are no pops of colour, no statuary, no striped lawn,’ Benji explained. 

‘Instead what you have is a very cleverly considered construct that shows two strong, successful, non-competing women – older, younger sisters if you like.

‘There’s not likely to be a who wore it best commentary here because their fashion choices are each so good but deliberately different,  Meghan in charcoal and heels, Oprah in pink and boots,  against a layered textural backdrop of rolling, rural charm framed by sturdy stone pillars.

‘The setting says rustic but there’s nothing distressed or crumbly about it, there’s no clutter, it’s calm, clean and curated and yet it’s not been projected into the wonderful world of Disney,’ he continued. 

Oprah added that the interview took place at ‘mutual friends house’ in California, which is near where both the royal couple and TV host live

Benji added the home is a ‘spectacular piece of real estate’ and that it had been ‘crafted with much thought’.

‘Whilst we can surmise that the gardens form part of a pretty spectacular piece of real estate, at this stage that’s not what we’re being shown, so the underlying message says accessibility because at the end of the day, it’s a terrace in a garden, albeit one that’s been crafted with much thought.

Benji also explained that the garden was filled with things that ‘could  be bought at a local garden centre’ and that the furnishings softened the look.

‘The choice of furniture and accessories is clever because whilst it’s no doubt top end there’s a kind of tangible luxury feel to it – the terracotta pots are not super sized or antique, they’re the kind of thing you could find yourself at your local garden store, but the differing sizes and random placing of them add to a feel of informality with the uncut lawn and unmanicured hedge falling away down the hill.

‘The immaculate setting is further softened by a variety of elements including,  the choice of random paving and the informal manner in which it has been laid.

He added that ‘the climbing plants on the stone pillars’ and ‘the lavender and rosemary growing in abundance in the pots,’ also softens the garden,  ‘indicating that this doesn’t only look lovely and relaxed, it’s also blessed with wonderful natural scent’.

‘The use of only natural textures – linen, timber, sisal and stone – is clearly deliberate, it’s organic and gentle, no shiny surfaces and nothing flashy, this is wealth that doesn’t need to announce itself as such,’ Benji said.  

‘The furniture is loungey but not floppy, and the arrangement around the circular coffee table suggests a circle of trust, a good place – there’s nothing confrontational, this isn’t an over the desk interview, and the soft sprung seating made even softer with the inclusion of large cushions.

‘The rug framing and zoning the lounge area as a space for soft seating, not cooking the kebabs on the barbecue.

‘The colour palette could be called “a new neutral” because whilst there is colour there, it’s all very gentle – shades of tan, soft grey, a little mauve, charcoal, tones of pink, ivory and green – and yet the impression it makes is strong,’ he added. 

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