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. ?
The same?Colefax & Fowler chintz?is used for the walls, draperies, sofa and?the cushions. The headboard and?box spring have two separate slipcovers – a pretty and?practical detail. The gilt-lined black shade on the wall lamp picks up the black and gold of the framed botanicals above the bed, which in themselves echo?the flowery theme.?
Limiting the color scheme to shades of green and white helps to control the effect of pattern used throughout the three adjoining rooms. The eight paneled doors have been chosen to mimic the molding detailing.?
For a uniform finish all of the draperies and shades in the house are lined in a pale fawn cotton check. The draperies in the bedroom are edged with a natural looped wool fringe.?
Crispy linen ties secure the ivory linen slipcover to the headboard.
A narrow braided tape hides the tacks used for securing the?fabric on the upholstered walls.?
A close-up of the nightstand reveals books and fresh flowers. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?The green glass and ceramic vase echo the color scheme.?
Table detail – books, fresh flowers and a textural basket make this vignette chic and casual.
If you’re intrigued and would love to learn more about the work of British designer Roger Banks-Pye,?you can do so by purchasing Inspirational Interiors: Classic English Interiors from Colefax & Fowler?recently released?in its latest edition, available on Amazon.