Living today in the houses of the English countryside, owners blend contemporary style with the old, good bones of manor houses and country seats, redefining the notion of English country and creating interiors that are both chic and intimate.
English country house style looms large in the collective imagination, inspiring fantasies of life in a centuries-old manor house, overlooking verdant hills dotted with sheep. This book allows us to enter some of the most exceptional of England's historic houses that are lived in and decorated for today by their imaginative owners and designers. Jeremy Musson and Hugo Rittson Thomas have assembled a stunning collection of twenty charming homes that reveal a remarkable wealth of taste and style inspiration, both inside and out, ranging from traditional and classic to contemporary and bohemian, with examples including Haddon Hall, Smedmore, Court of Noke, and The Laskett.
Musson's text illuminates the history of each home, showing how each has become a canvas upon which its owner has deeply imprinted their personality. Essays on furniture, gardens, and color expand upon three essential components of country style. Rittson Thomas's superb photography captures the telling details in natural-lit interiors and exquisite gardens. This volume is sure to appeal to Instagram fanatics and traditionalists alike.
About the Author
Jeremy Musson is an expert on the British country house and author of twenty books. He was architectural editor of Country Life magazine for many years and remains a regular contributor. Hugo Rittson Thomas is a portrait photographer of many high-profile subjects, including the British royal family. His work has been published in books such as Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds and Great Gardens of London.
Praise for Romantics and Classics: Style in the English Country House
"If all philosophy is said to be 'a series of footnotes to Plato,' then all English decorating might be said to be a series of footnotes to Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler, whose eponymous business has long survived its original partners. Their genius was, as the architectural historian Jeremy Musson has it, for 'creat[ing] interiors of a kind of self-conscious nonchalance, suggestive of long occupation and possession.' A new book from Rizzoli, with text by Musson and photographs by Hugo Rittson Thomas, presents English country house style in full flower. Expect soft sofas (never 'settees'), worn rugs, chintzes, and the ubiquitous Aga range." —NEW CRITERION