Thursday, April 19, 2012

England Again

After my detour last posting, I'm back to where I'm supposed to be - England.  While it may not be the design choice of the Restoration Hardware masses today, it certainly had its heyday, and is still loved by many.  (Just ask followers of Downton Abbey.)  I well remember my love for it - its gardens, fabrics, libraries, horses, dogs - I loved it all and still would count it as being the location for one of my fantasy houses.  Looking back now at the articles I saved and the design books I purchased reminds me of just why I loved it so much.

This first group of images is all from the autumn issue of Cote Ouest from 1994.  While I have come to covet Japanese gardens and the serenity of boxwood gardens, you just have to love English gardens.

Hope you read French.  I consult my French-English dictionary frequently, but pictures are worth a thousand words.  Love everything here but especially the dog who thinks he's the leader of the parade.

Later you'll see the other side of this window.

Enclosures in gardens are so comforting.

What I should be doing today.  Beautiful day here, but blogging is fun too and tomorrow is another day.

That beautiful window from within and wonderful garden accoutrements.

Reminds me a little of George Washington's Mount Vernon room designed by Victoria Hagan or also of Greet LeFervre's orangerie.  So envious.

Or Axel Vervoordt's or Bunny Williams's garden rooms.  Why don't I have a garden room???  I do have a potting shed, but I don't think that counts.

Exhausted after leading the parade.

At least I have a watering can  and umbrella that looks like the ones below.

And tea!  Who doesn't love tea and toast ?

So pastoral.  So English.

At my fantasy English house, I would have a stone barn, horses, grooms (of course), and lots of English tweed just like this.

The following images appeared in the same above issue of Cote Ouest but are from a home owned by Roger Banks-Pye.  Until his death while in his forties, he was a designer at Colefax and Fowler, that iconic English design firm, and actually worked with Stanley Falconer whose home we viewed in an earlier posting.  I like Falconer's taste more, but Banks-Pye has his devotees.  You choose.

Talk about your "ivy covered cottage."   Can't you see some romantic assignations taking place here or have I read too many English novels?  Can one read too many English novels?

More assignation possiblities.

A bit too blue and white for me, but love that window and teak bench.

How pretty is that teapot. 

Doesn't this all make you wish you were in an English garden?

Lest we forget, this blog is supposed to be about kitchens and food.  I'm really hitting the food button today with Roger Banks-Pye.

The door leading to his kitchen.  I would definitely eliminate that curtain in front of such a great door, but never eliminate those topiaries aside the great door.

More blue and white.  Banks-Pye loved checks as you will see.  (I love checks too, but not blue and white ones so much.)  We're really getting our food-fix today.

This is just too busy.  Too much blue and white for me, but not for Banks-Pye as you will see.

The next few images are from Interior Inspirations - Roger Banks-Pye, published in 1997.  His work seen here is beautiful, a bit less busy but still blue and white.

More organized.

The kitchen below was designed for the New York apartment of Valentino, who was very pleased with Banks-Pye's work.

Now onto several checked items that I do like today.  These are all from the Mackenzie Childs company and all images were found on the internet.

Now, no one who knows the Mackenzie Childs style would call it restful, but it seems that after so much English busyness.  Not criticizing England -  just picking and choosing.  Tell me what you think, dear reader.

Before I leave for today, I must recommend a new book by Lisa Newsom - The Houses of Veranda.  I received my copy yesterday and love, love it.  The pages are thick, the pictures beautiful, and the homes carefully chosen.   It even smells great.  While I love books on my ipad, they can never replace the real thing.  You really should own The Houses of Veranda.  

I would also like to recommend a new-to-me blog by Loi Thai and entitled Tone on Tone.  It has a clean, serene look that I really like.
Tone on Tone

Tone on Tone

His images are so restful after mine today, and his is a direction toward which I'm heading.  Eventually.

Till next time in England.


  1. Dear Billie - Thank you! Thank you! I am honored, and thankful to you for recommending my newbie blog :-)

    Like you, I will always love classic English interiors. For many reasons, but these are two that are dear to me: antiques in the English home AND the love of gardening reflected both outside and inside (chintz, fresh bouquets, etc).

    With cheers from my old home, Loi

  2. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,
    I don't know what to say!!!!! This is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever seen in bloggerland!! Billie, you did it!!!
    I think I will file all the images here! And how sweet of you to mention me!!
    Thank you my friend for sharing all your treasures!!
    Hugs to you,

  3. Hello,

    I agree with Greet, this is one of the most beautiful posts in blogland!!!

    Have a nice weekend