Tuesday, April 10, 2012

English Influence

While still being influenced by the Maine-Brandywine-Pennsylvania design as seen in all my earlier posts, about seven years later, I began to feel a new pull in my design aesthetic, and it was toward the warm, cozy, book-lined, pots-of-tea British rooms.  Rooms which smacked of yesterday's Miss Marple, The Ghost and Mrs. MuirOut of Africa, and of today's  Downton Abbey.  Rooms redolent with chintz fabric, toile wallpaper, and bowls of delphiniums.   Add a fireplace and a dog to any of these rooms, and who could resist.  Not me.
Out of Africa from Hooked on Houses
Ghost and Mrs Muir from Hooked on Houses

Downton Abbey from Hooked on Houses
Perhaps another "must" for English rooms is a handsome Englishman.

Now that you have the idea, let's view a home from a designer who worked for the Colefax and Fowler design firm.  A book of the same name, Colefax and Fowler, written by Chester Jones, was published in 1989 and contains pictures of Stanley Falconer's restored Gloucestershire home called Tughill.  Don't you love how English homes have names - just like they are part of the family?  And any town ending in "shire" has to be charming.  Falconer's Tughill certainly charmed me.
Main entranceway.  Note the hardware on the door, the brass lock, and the floor of old flagstones.

Another entryway.  I believe the table here once belonged to John Fowler himself.

One of the sitting rooms.  Great smallish fireplace.  Nothing in this house seems too big but so perfect.

Another view of the same room.  Just when I think I only want bare wood or tile floors, I see Oriental rugs layered atop sisal ones and looking so comfy.

Vignette in the same room with a lovely flower arrangement of roses.

The floral fabric is so muted and pretty here.  It reminds me of how Darryl Carter uses the reverse side of fabrics to get this same look.  Another old door lock and fold-in shutters on the deep window.

I want to curl up with a good book in this room or have an intimate conversation with a good friend.  Better view of the shutters with beautiful leaded windows.

The necessary books with which to curl up.

Dining room with English blue transfer ware on fireplace mantel.  Like the small screen in the corner.  Like everything  in this house.

This cupboard reminds me of some of the ones in Pennsylvania homes filled this time with English pottery instead of red ware.

Wish there were more and bigger pictures of the kitchen.

I am not a ruffles kind of person, but this bed treatment is interesting.

The bathroom off the master bedroom with unusual chair/toilet.  Really like the wallpaper here - so English.  How could you not fall in love with Tughill??  Soo English, soo cozy,  soo "shire."

The bedroom above is not from Tughill, but appeared in the same book as Tughill.  It is so beautifully English, I wanted to include it here before leaving Jones's book.

Another English home, with a similar feel as the one above, appeared in a magazine of which I do not have the title.  I tore out the pages and never noted the source.  My apologies to the source.  Roger Jones, just as Stanley Falconer did, works for Colfax and Fowler.  He puts me in mind of Darryl Carter because he was an attorney first, but then "he walked into the London showrooms of Colefax and Fowler's textile and decorating firm to buy himself a neat black lacquered desk, and walked out--a little dazed-- as the new manager of the firm's antique department."  Here is his home.

There's the infamous black lacquered desk, and a sisal rug minus the Falconer Oriental rugs.  I miss them.

Roger Jones, himself, with his topiaries.

Such an English entrance.

Delphiniums actually inspired the bathroom's paint color.

Guest bedroom.

Ahh, I like this Oriental rug on sisal and the blue toile fabric in the master bedroom.  The Chippendale latticework armchair is an antique Roger says he will never part with.

Another very English necessity - gardens.

Seeing this lovely garden scene with the teak bench, reminded me of my teak benches.  I'm sure I purchased them during my English/cozy period.  Bought them from Smith and Hawkin before they went out of business and have never regretted it.  I still love them today and thought I would post a few pictures of them, now weathered, in our backyard.  We have no lovely stone walls, like the one above, but I love my gardens.

A view from behind the benches looking across the pool toward the back of our house.

Better shot of the teak.  Never thought it was really comfortable, but looks great, and has gotten a seasoned patina over the years.

So, the elements of English style consist of what?  Houses with names, chintz fabrics, Oriental rugs, fireplaces, blue transfer ware, soft furniture, antiques, toile wallpaper, gardens, old stone houses in "shire" towns.  Did I forget anything?  Are you sorry we left the earlier phase, dear readers?  Do you miss Pennsylvania?  Do you like the  English phase?  Let me know.  Till next time - with more coziness.


  1. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! English influence is indeed so clear! Love the Downtown Abbey house interior!
    And that cupboard you posted is to die for!

  2. English country homes and their decor are some of my favourites... Lovely post and wonderful shots of film sets and homes... Thank you... xv

  3. I would love to get in touch with Mr Stanley Falconer. The South African artist Johannes Meintjes (www.johannes-meintjes.co.za) painted a portrait of Mr Falconer in 1954 and I am interested in its history. Would appreciate it very much if anyone could assist? Kobus Opperman, Cape Town (Johannes Meintjes archivist) : cmt@iafrica.com