What is it I like so much about the English design aesthetic? Can I define it? British design elements include much of what I also loved in Pennsylvania: early antiques, beautiful gardens, fireplaces when ever possible, kitchens used for cooking (not just for "show"), beloved pets and animals, warm lighting, faded fabrics. All these elements contribute to the warmth and coziness that affected me long ago and that still do today as I revisit them in some of my favorite books and magazines. Seeing these images again as I blog about them is like revisiting old friends. Come meet some with me.
Here the way the light shines through the leaded window, the antique rocker and its pillow, the fireplace and its paneling speak so much to"English-ness."
(This and the following images are from English Country Interiors, by Hugh Lander, 1989)
Note the aged beam over the hearth and sweet cupboard to the right.
While this room lacks a fireplace, it has a great clock and great lighting. Could the desk could have been a sight for the penning of Jane Eyre or Emma? Sunlight streams into the room behind and onto the beautiful tile floors.
I always wanted to paint this room - with the cat peering up the stair case. What does he see, we wonder, and what is beyond the partially opened door? Such an intriguing room with great stone floors.
Here the room's spareness is as important as the period pieces in it.
Light from the deep window highlights the blue and white transfer ware china and the very beautiful cupboard door.
This kitchen may not appeal to "kitchens-must-be-white" people, but I love the antique cupboard and stove, the stone wall, and even the cabbage and leeks on the table.
Dark I know, but the perhaps Heathcliff lived here. Certainly the cat on the early settle looks warm and comfortable.
And now onto the restored Oxfordshire coach house of Anne and Hugh Millais which appeared in Cote Ouest's, Autumn 1995 issue. Since I organize my saved cooking and deorating magazines by the month, I put each of them on my reading pile and peruse them again as the year progresses. When October appears on the calendar, this magazine appears on my reading pile, and it never fails to delight me, perhaps because it has so many of the English elements discussed above.
Think these are horse people?
I believe this is Hugh Millais and his horse peering in at Anne.
Why can't my mud room be leathery and tweedy and "spaniel-y?" The mudroom of my English fantasy house will be.
For several years I tried to duplicate this charming bouquet of dried orange slices. I just know it has that citrusy fragrance so great around the holidays. When my orange slices rotted instead of dried, I gave up, but my fantasy English house will have just such a bouquet.
The Millais's very English drawing room.
And most fabulous of all - their kitchen complete with a tweed jacket on the chair. It's a kitchen to live in and to cook in, not just to look at. I've been waiting a long time to show you this one. Hope you love it too.
Anne and Hugh are a successful design team, evidenced by their special work room.
To find out more about this restored coach house and the couple who restored it, I googled Anne and Hugh Millais and sadly discovered Hugh had died in 2009. Further googling led me to the website of photographer, Andreas von Einsiedel (einsiedel.com), and to the images below of the Millais home watermarked for protection, but so beautiful still.
The next two gardens are English and are also so serene.
|The English Cottage Garden by Jane Taylor and Andrew Lawson|