Sunday, April 22, 2012

Oh, to Be in England Now That April's Here

Words from Robert Browning's poem seem especially significant this April day in upstate New York.  After many days of sun and warm temperatures, today rain has finally fallen - all day - and there's a real chill in the air.  I'm not complaining; the parched earth needs this rain, and it seems a great day for me to sit snugly warm and dry and organize another post.  As I hear the rain ticking on the window behind my computer, Browning's words have real significance, for today, dear reader, I will be completely on task - in England, showing many kitchens, and feeling cozy.

The following home and its images are from Cote Ouest's 1995 Spring issue.

See, whenever I decide to have a Japanese garden or one Zen-like and composed of only sculpted boxwoods, I think of these gardens.  What is one to do?  I really need about five fantasy gardens to accompany my five fantasy houses.

Water - such a lovely addition to any garden.

May I present Shepherd's Close, the home to which these gardens belong, in the village of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds.  Yes, this wonderful place actually exists.  "Chipping Campden," "Shepherd's Close -" sooo British.  Can you stand it!

Needs no words.

Sweet primroses.

And spring also inside.

In the same issue of Cote Ouest, this sunny, springy kitchen appeared in a different home, one west of London.

Perhaps, because of their frequent lack of sunshine, the owners of this home brought the sunshine in with the cheery yellow of their kitchen.

And the spring dining room in same home.  (Sorry for the center blur.  I need a larger scanner.)

More kitchens.  (Ahem, ahem- who is staying close to her blog's name and focus today?)  The following kitchens are from Mary Gilliatt's book, English Country Style, published in 1986, a book which I remember studying very carefully while in my English stage of design.

The basket above and the "margarine" platter below appear in many kitchens today.  Everything old does become new again.

Love the window below.

Another sunny yellow kitchen. 

Very British Aga range here.  Wonder if the master of the house caught this fish.
I will return to more of Gilliatt's book in future posts, but now let's move to the present, to designer Malcolm Kutner's beautifully restored row house in London.  The images below appear on and appear very small, but we can still get the idea.

His black door is so great next to the brick - even the black drain pipe is black.

Black door seen from the inside with black painted diamonds on floor.

 A proud Malcolm Kutner.

Such a beautiful room.

Another lovely room above or do we call it the sitting room.

Love all his touches of black.

Red's always so inviting in a dining room.

And now to his kitchen, which I really "have loved," every time I've seen it.

More touches of black and a kitchen fireplace.

Woops, sorry Elle Decor.  This image is yours and I love it.

Kitchen's dining area.

Well, didn't I promise I would be on task today?  Talk about kitchens!  Talk about England!  It was all here today.  (Sorry about some of the more blurred images.  Perhaps didn't want them reproduced.  I hope that is not the case.)

Till next time, my friends, and more of my England.


  1. Hi Billie - I am REALLY loving your blog! Perhaps because I also love England (I visit twice a year), or that I am a garden addict?? I too want 5 different gardens: French formal, English cottage, woodland, meadow, large lake-water garden, Belgian, Japanese zen....oops that's more than 5 :-)

    What I really love are those oldies-but-goodies photos from magazines abroad you so thoughtfully share with us. Do you scan them? Thank you! I am delighted to be following your blog! Loi

  2. BTW, are you on Pinterest? Can I pin your photos and provide a link to your blog? If not, no worries.....I'm cool with that. Loi