Recently I received a lovely gift from a friend in England , a newly released book, THE DRAWING ROOM-ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE DECORATION by Jeremy Musson. This beautiful book was just released a month or so ago and is a treasure trove of photography of some of England’s most elegant country houses.
The photography is by Paul Barker and Country Life. Musson and Barker have presented a ravishing study of more than thirty drawing rooms from many of England’s greatest houses. These drawing rooms are certainly “collected rooms” at their best! The rooms are designed by great designers, such as David Hicks, Nancy Lancaster, John Fowler, and David Mlinaric, and are bedecked with collections gathered on the Grand Tour and from around the world. The author shows us that these rooms are designed for pleasure, comfort and delight. The drawing room is one of the defining spaces of the English country house. The central role the drawing room plays in the social functioning of the country house is well illustrated in movies such as Downtown Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, among many others. Layers upon layers of rugs, exquisite upholstered pieces, textiles, casegoods of every wood species, art, framed photographs, plants , elaborately trimmed pillows, and always a roaring fire, give the drawing room a warm and inviting atmosphere.
This book gives a historical perspective of the drawing room and also showcases over thirty English country house drawing rooms from the sixteenth centuries to timeless drawing rooms of today. Some of my favorite chapters are Althorp, Broadlands, Wormington Grange, and of course Nancy Lancaster’s classic Yellow Room!
And speaking of Nancy Lancaster’s famous English country house style, another great read is Nancy Lancaster: English Country House Style by Martin Wood. I recommend that you add both of these lovely books to your “collected library”!