Friday, 20 May 2016

'English Style'

What can I say about this superlative book?  Written by Mary Gilliatt and published by Bodley Head in 1967 it is a truly beautiful thing to behold.  Not only is the photography, by Michael Boys, simply wonderful and often very atmospheric, but the design, by John Bigg, is terrific.  In all a really stylish, well considered production.  I have coveted this book ever since it appeared on my friend Ben Pentreath's blog, and finally, now, I have my own, my very own copy.  Anyway here is my selection from this lovely book - not an easy task not only due of the sheer quality of the photography alone but because I could happily spend quality time in any one of the homes illustrated.  However there are, obviously, some I prefer to others. In fact Mary Gilliatt's selection is incredibly diverse, disparate even.  (A notable omission, I've just realized, is John Fowler.)  What, however, does hold them together is a common thread of eclecticism - a sort of portmanteau of styles and artifacts that is witty and clever and urbane and for her that is the English Style.  It displays the innate conservatism of English taste and it's rejection of High International Modernism.  Or a least a deeply ambiguous attitude to it. It is also in the last analysis humane.

For those discerning few who read both this blog and Ben's I hope this isn't too repetitious a post.





The Chelsea home of  Robin & Lucienne Day



The weekend cottage, in Suffolk, of Terence and Caroline Conran


The London home of architect Mr Nicholas Johnston



In the home of architect Mr Roger Dyer


The London flat of Mr & Mrs Peter Hall


The London flat of Mr John Vaughan, critic and photographer


The flat of design consultant Kathleen Darby


In the London flat of Mr Klein Lichtenstein


The Oxfordshire home of Mr David & Lady Pamela Hicks


The London flat of Miss Anne Trahearne


The dining room in the Kensington Palace apartment of HRH Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon


The bedroom of Professor & Mrs Fleming, Zoffany House, London



The London drawing room of Mr Hardy Amies


Bedroom by Jon Bannenberg


Daneway House, Gloucestershire


Stratton Park, Hampshire, designed by Billy McCarty



The London house of Mr David & Lady Pamela Hicks


A London flat designed by Billy McCarty


The Hampstead flat of Mr Leslie Waddington




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