Saturday, 24 May 2014

Mary Gilliatt: 'A House in the Country' I

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed the sudden spate of posts about interior design.  It is certainly the thing that's inspiring me at present.  It all started as a teenager and has been a recurring interest since.   I have never practiced as an interior designer although it was an early ambition.  I got seduced by architecture and went into that with out the sort of success I would have wanted and so I became a carer.  I simply don't have the temperament to be a designer.  Sometimes this is a cause for regret, but then I remember the amount of stress I used to get, the deep unhappiness that was my passage through the education system and I'm pleased I didn't take things further.  And now, after the caring has (not quite) finished, and only two years off fifty I think it's too late to pick things up again - and in any case I don't have enough confidence.  That I do regret.
Anyway.....Mary Gilliatt.
Mary Gilliatt is a writer on interior design.  In the 1960s she wrote for 'House and Garden' under the editorship of Robert Harling.  In 1968 she wrote her first book 'English Style', and it was Ben Pentreath's post on that book that sparked my interest.  (What would we do without Mr Pentreath?)  'A House in the Country' followed three books later in 1973.  The photographer was Brian Morris.  Although not so lavishly produced as 'English Style' - not so much colour photography or 'empty page' - it does acquit itself well.  The photography is good, sometimes quite evocative.   The layout too; the title pages are very good.





Mary Gilliatt's own house in the country in west Suffolk - a bold, eclectic mix of tradition, Victoriana and Italian Modernism.  Note the same fabric recurring as table cloth, napkin and scatter cushion.


The home of artist William Scott.


This, I think, is the country home of Richard Guyatt, the designer (the text only refers to Prof Guyatt).  'Casa Pupo' rug in the entrance hall.  Not sure about that fitted carpet!  The dining room is really attractive - seagrass matting, brick floors.


The weekend cottage of Terence and Caroline Conran.


The country home of a retired general and is artist wife.  I find the austerity of both the dining room and sitting room very satisfying.  Shame that these are only black and white images though.

A House in the Country
      The Second Home from Cottages to Castles
Text:  Mary Gilliatt
Photography: Bryan Morris
Hutchinson & Co Ltd
London
1973
ISBN 0 09 111610 4

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