Maybe it’s the dreary, gray weather or life in the country side but lately I’ve been drawn more than the usual to the English country ?house style, best displayed on the pages of World of Interiors. I find myself pouring over images of cozy rooms that feel collected and from a different time. The work of Roger Banks-Pye, whom I’ve mentioned in a previous post, as well as the Old Vicarage in Edensor, the home of late Deborah Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire decorated by David Milarnic, are on repeat for me. Maybe it’s just a phase, or maybe my style is changing… I am not sure, but for those of you with similar sensibilities, I thought you’d enjoy some pretty pics I’ve been collecting. You know, just in case we’ll ever buy a home in the Cotswolds!?
The pictures are from completely unrelated projects that span several decades in publications around the world. Other than my finding them appealing these days, they have nothing in common. In the era of Pinterest, it feels a little bit like?cheating to share inspiration this way, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about lately, design-wise, I hope you too will see something in these images that you like.
Freshly opened last month, after a four-year restoration process, Hotel Peter & Paul is New Orleans’ latest attraction. The hotel, the third in a string of designer boutique hotels by the Brooklyn-based design and development firm ASH NYC (after The Dean in Providence, RI and The Siren in Downtown Detroit), has already attracted the attention of the design world. What is it about this hotel that is so special??
Its romantic setting in an abandoned complex of four historic religious buildings – a church designed by 19th-century architect Henry Howard, a school house, a rectory and a convent, is unusual and intriguing to say the least. The interiors however are even more surprising. Located in the up-and-coming bohemian neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny, the hotel comprises 71 rooms designed in an exuberant French style. No two rooms are exactly alike, but the common thread throughout the hotel is the massive use of custom-made gingham in varying scales, punctuated with Greek and Russian religious paintings. The rooms are richly decorated in monochromatic color schemes, local estate finds and European antiques. A most enchanting feature is the trompe l’oeil art that decorates the credenzas.? It reflects the similar decorative treatment of the interiors of Institut Guerlain in Paris, painted by Christian Bérard almost a century ago. The level of detail is amazing, take for instance the table lamps that adorn each room – they were antique altar candlesticks retrofitted into table lamps. It is ingenious and contributes to the fantasy world that ASH NYC has so beautifully? created. ?
A few weeks ago I came across a new (to me) design book that I’d love to share with you. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me mention it briefly but I have enjoyed this book so much that I wanted to share it here on the blog as well. The book was first published in the United States in 1997 as Interior Inspirations and it focuses on the work of late interior designer Roger Banks-Pye, former head of the creative department at Colefax & Fowler – the legendary design firm responsible with establishing the English Country House style so many of us love today. A new edition has recently been released? and I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates the English design sensibilities. Within a collection of charming rooms and invaluable insight into the design processes of a decorating genius, one room in particular stands out. It is a master bedroom Banks-Pye designed for David Green, chairman of Colefax & Fowler at the time. It is a dream of mine to one day swath the walls of our master bedroom in Colefax & Fowler’s most enduring print, Bowood and this bedroom does just that. Bowood? was produced for the first time in the 1930s after John Fowler found a scrap of fabric at the famed English Bowood manor, a scarp he then had reproduced and that has stood the test of time. (It is currently available in two color ways, green/gray (my favorite) and red/blue. It used to be red/green but that has been discontinued.)
Back to this bedroom designed by Roger Banks-Pye… The color scheme consists of shades of green and white, a departure from Banks-Pye’s favorite blue-and-white. John Fowler once told him that green is a color of harmony – all greens, no matter how different, still go together. In that spirit, Banks-Pye chose the fresh Bowood chintz of green/gray roses printed on an ivory background and used it to upholster the walls, the draperies and the sofa. To break up the pattern and avoid an overly feminine look, he used vast surfaces of ivory for the eyes to rest – a simple ivory bedding, headboard and box spring slipcovered in crisp ivory linen with a delicate openwork hemstitch. The mouldings and doors are painted in three shades of green. Here are the delightful pictures and captions from Interior Inspirations, with photography by James Merrell. ?
Each year around the holidays?my nesting instincts are in overdrive. Home is always important to me but during the colder months I redecorate and move things around even more than usual. A cozy evening at home is my idea of a perfect time and lately we’ve been rewatching some old favorites. And I confess, Nancy Meyers’ heartwarming stories with their remarkable sets have been at the top of my list. Inspired by our recent rewatching of The Parent Trap and Father of the Bride I and II, I thought it would be fun to revisit together some of the most iconic interiors from our beloved Nancy Meyers’ film library. Time to dust off those DVDs and get comfy!?
Brought together by a common passion for plants and organic gardening, Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld established?The Land Gardeners over five years ago. Their business specializes in the design of productive gardens, particularly the restoration of walled and established English gardens but they also run a very successful cut flower business from Bridget’s home, Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire. When not designing gardens for their clients around the world, the two can be found lecturing on flowers and sustainable gardening all over London and the UK.
Henrietta and Bridget have both trained at prestigious garden design schools prior to joining forces and establishing The Land Gardeners. Bridget’s husband runs a company dedicated to land management and sustainable farming and her interest and knowledge in soil science and organic growing have been fundamental for their new venture. In 2008 the Elsworthys moved to Wardington Manor – a spectacular Jacobean house with iconic plasterwork and a stunning wood-paneled library. Set on 30 acres of ground, it is now the center of operations for The Land Gardeners. Soon after moving to Wardington, Bridget started planning the cut flowers garden which has now extended to contain the entire grounds. Below is a tour of the stunning manor as seen in House & Garden magazine, with photography by Andrew Montgomery.?