Country Life, the quintessential English magazine, announced that “the English Look is Back” on the cover of their April issue. The feature reported, “There are now signs that a new generation is finding inspiration in English design… and is reinterpreting our own decorative heritage in a way that is relevant to the 21st century.” I could not agree more. Pick up any current shelter magazine or scroll through Instagram, and it is impossible to deny that English style is hotter than ever!
As a book lover and collector, I look forward each season to covering my favorite new releases. This fall, I was delighted to learn of seven extraordinary new books perfect for the Anglophile. The world has fallen back in love with English style! Today we will review the following new releases:
- Equestrian Life: From Riding Houses to Country Estates
- The Country House: Past, Present, Future: Great Houses of The British Isles
- Buckingham Palace: The Interiors
- Modern Monarchy: The British Royal Family Today
- The Rebirth of an English Country House: St Giles House
- Nina Campbell Interior Decoration: Elegance and Ease
- Veere Grenney: A Point of View
With the holiday season upon us, these books are excellent gift ideas for just about anyone on your list… or for yourself! All images and summaries are courtesy of Rizzoli.
A beautiful style book celebrating the equestrian life and upscale country living in England, Scotland and Ireland that combines high style elegance with all the signature elements of an equestrian-centered life such as tack rooms; trophy and portrait rooms; coach houses, stables, and wood-paneled libraries.
A visual study of the equestrian lifestyle, showcasing stables and interiors of country houses and estates of the British Isles and Ireland. Often situated on idyllic grounds these houses boast classical interiors with a traditional décor, which continues to inspire home and lifestyle brands worldwide. Centuries-old residences belonging to owners of polo ponies; magnificent thoroughbreds; hunt horses; and carriage teams are included in this extensive and lavishly illustration collection. From Royal Mews and stately homes with stables and barns to polo clubs and stud farms the photography showcases the best of the British Isle’s diverse equine homes and is a must-have for any equestrian or traditional interiors enthusiast.
Photographed by Mark Roskams, Text by Lavinia Branca Snyder, Foreword by Lord Patrick Beresford
From Brideshead to Downton Abbey, the country house is a subject of fantasy and curiosity, as well as a rich resource to explore the history of great architecture and decoration and the lives of landowners and those who made the houses work. With hundreds of photographs from the National Trust, and others from public and private collections, this visually lavish volume draws back the curtain on important historic homes in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. At the same time it reveals the complex stories of these interiors, both grand and hidden, from great halls, libraries and entryways to the kitchens and stables and gardens. Locations featured include Knole, Cragside, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, Polesden Lacey, Petworth, Bodiam Castle, Blenheim, Longleat, and dozens more.
An insightful essay by renowned British author and historian David Cannadine explores how the idea of the country house has changed over the past forty years. Additional essays reflect on how changing twentieth century values have impacted the country house, with contributions by writers and scholars such as Sarah Callander-Beckett on the private house, Dr. Madge Dresser on slavery and the country house, and Dr. Oliver Cox on the ‘Downton Abbey ‘effect.’ The texts are woven around extensive picture essays, introduced and curated by country house specialist Jeremy Musson, which look at the identity and image of British country houses of all kinds and the stories they contain.
Written by Jeremy Musson and David Cannadine, Contribution by The Royal Oak Foundation, Foreword by Tim Parker and Lynne Rickabaugh
Interior designer and artist Ashley Hicks presents his photographs and description of the interior design of Buckingham Palace, home of Britain’s royal family since 1837. An important representation of Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian styles, the palace is the work of such noted architects as John Nash and Sir Aston Webb. Hicks records the formal spaces with vibrancy, capturing the magnificent rooms furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection.
Starting at the Grand Staircase, Hicks leads us through the state rooms, which include the White Drawing Room and the Blue Drawing Room that both overlook the palace gardens; the Ballroom, which is the setting for twenty investiture ceremonies each year; and the Throne Room, used by Queen Victoria for spectacular costume balls in the 1840s. The long, skylit Picture Gallery is hung with important works of art from the Royal Collection by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin, Anthony van Dyck, Johannes Vermeer, and Canaletto, among others. Decorative furnishings from George IV’s exotic Brighton Pavilion lend a fanciful turn to many of the rooms.
Written by Ashley Hicks
Photographer Chris Jackson has been by the Royal family’s side on domestic visits and overseas tours for the past fifteen years, resulting in an unparalleled photographic archive of the evolving British Royal family. Occupying a front-row seat to history, Jackson’s assignments have taken him to the four corners of the Earth to document the extraordinary breadth and devotion of the Royals to causes such as cancer research, mental health, and HIV awareness in Africa.
In his own words in captions and texts, he reveals the magic as well as the logistics of what it’s like to photograph the Royal family. The result is this unique collection of photographs of the modern British Royal Family the archive of this multi-award winning Royal Photographer and current Royal Photographer of the Year.
From the modern-day fairy tale of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding to the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte and their soon-to-be new sibling to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s historic marriage to countless Royal tours in between, this book presents the British Monarchy and Queen Elizabeth II, its most enduring icon, through the lens of one of its most trusted photographers. Whether it’s Prince George’s first day of school, the Duchess of Cambridge playing cricket in Mumbai, or the Invictus Games, Jackson records moments both large and small with a warmth and sincerity that has made him a media standout. Organized by theme, from State Occasions to Charity works to a typical year in the Royal Diary, this book celebrates fifteen years of the Royals in intimate portraits of a singular family’s role on the world stage at a unique moment in time.
Written by Chris Jackson, Foreword by Michael Pritchard
The brilliantly restored St. Giles House, in the idyllic Dorset countryside, offers high-point Georgian architecture and interiors that bridge many historical styles.
The 12th Earl of Shaftesbury, 39-year-old Nicholas Ashley-Cooper, invites the reader into the house that his family has called home since the fifteenth century. In recent years, his award-winning restoration has brought the house back to life, transforming exquisite spaces that honor the past while being suited to twenty-first-century living. English country-house splendor, through the hands of some of the world’s top artisans and craftspeople, returns to the house in the form of re-created wallpapers, customized paints, revived furniture from the Georgian and Victorian periods, reworked antique Brussels tapestries, restored plasterwork and textiles, and a complete overhaul of the landscape, with its sunken garden, woodlands, avenue of beeches, lake, and shell-encrusted grotto.
With stories of noteworthy architecture, beautiful interiors, and centuries of a single family’s involvement in British and world history, this book will appeal to devotees of country living, the aristocratic life, historic houses, and English interior design.
Written by Tim Knox and The Earl of Shaftesbury, Photographed by Justin Barton, Introduction by Nick Ashley-Cooper and Jenny Chesher
The first book from AD100 designer Veere Grenney—the master of streamlined, glamorous, classical rooms with an English touch—eloquently explores not only the hows but also the whys of decorating.
Featuring thirty years of acclaimed interiors, paired with thoughtful advice and packaged with a real cloth case and mixed paper stocks, A Point of View is a rich album of Grenney’s decorating work, from London townhouses to Long Island estates, with multiple images per page. Organized by room, these chapters feature Grenney’s room-by-room decorating philosophy for entrances, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens, and explore thematic topics such as Englishness and composition and balance. Grenney also shares his own story, from his early years on the ’70s London design scene to starting his own firm, from his first flat in London to his renovation of David Hicks’ former house, the Temple, to his new holiday house in Tangier. There is also a chapter on the iconic designers who have inspired him. Whether it’s a country house or an urbane apartment, Grenney’s world is one of settled calm and welcoming comfort, where there are always generous fireplaces to sit in front of, billiard rooms and stone-flagged passages, and utility rooms where boots and coats are stored; grandeur and modesty side by side. This book is a must for Anglophiles and design lovers.
Written by Veere Grenney, Photographed by David Oliver, Foreword by Hamish Bowles, Text by Ruth Guilding
For comfortable and stylish interiors, look no further than Nina Campbell, the doyenne of English interior design today. Rooms with sophisticated color combinations, tailored upholstery, whimsical antiques, and unquestionable ease—motifs that are uniquely Campbell’s but that also echo her early influences working with legend John Fowler.
Nina Campbell’s almost fifty-year career exemplifies the best of English interior design. Campbell imparts her design wisdom through a biography of her career and recent decorating projects, sharing tips and secrets of the trade. A selection of the designer’s own London residences outlines her experimentations and passions—from pared-back grandeur to bold plays of scale and modern use of texture and color. A survey of Nina’s high-profile commissions completed in the last five years demonstrates how she employs the key principles of her design aesthetic in a variety of contexts, from prestigious addresses in London and New York, a pied-à-terre in Rome, and a retreat in the English countryside to a historic German hotel, a viewing pavilion at the Ascot, and a Los Angeles bedroom suite. The running theme is how Campbell has taken the tenets of classic English style and uses them to create a style germane to the twenty-first century.
This book is for people who love English design, one of the most enduring decorating styles of the past fifty years—traditional interiors with vibrant colors, luxurious textiles, pared-down elegance, and, above all, true comfort. A necessary addition to design libraries on masters of the field.
Written by Giles Kime, Foreword by Carolina Herrera, Photographed by Paul Raeside
For more of my favorite book recommendations, please visit my Book Store. Happy reading!