Modern English Decorating
It’s been almost 2 months since my trip to London & just as my memories of the interiors & architecture I saw there were beginning to fade, my new subscription to UK House & Garden arrived! It reignited all my interest in what I admired in British design — from a mishmash of patterns, to a curated blend of antiques + modern pieces, a jumble of color, and fresh flowers or greenery ALWAYS. I’ve picked two of my favorite Brits who don’t get much press in the U.S. - hope you’ll find their work inspiring & maybe there’s something in there you can adapt in your own house!?
First up is Joanna Plant (whose Instagram @joannaplantinteriors is amazing). I think this image below of a country house she designed is pretty much perfection….
I just wouldn’t know how to pull together stripes, florals, dots & an ikat in one room without looking INSANE — but the British are so deft at pulling these bits together & making it look somehow natural & cohesive.
Here’s Joanna above in her element - a room she designed for a showhouse a couple years ago. In her hands, a classical green leaf wallpaper is used almost as a neutral, with monochromatic modern art as a contrast. I could eat every meal in that room quite happily!
Another glimpse of the country house - it’s both high end & yet not fussy (simple touches of nature, a spare kind of sculptural table)….
Sweet vignette of another project:
One question re: the room below - can it be rented? Just for one night??!
The next designer I’m obsessed with is Sarah Vanrenen (who shares her design practice with her friend Louisa). Below is a shot of her own country house in Wiltshire UK — that chartreuse is such an inspired color choice, isn’t it???
I mentioned on Instagram that I thought Sarah was very brave to choose that color & she kindly gave me the scoop - it had been a horribly dark & depressing room beforehand, so the color choice - while bold - makes perfect sense to lighten & brighten up the space.
The picture above includes pair of lamps from One Kings Lane with shades that Sarah made herself — I mean, really? NO wonder everything looks so original when she’s adding those kinds of touches!! If you can’t pull that off yourself, at least let a plant go wild or overstuff an umbrella stand with umpteen canes & you’ll get a little bit of that Anglo flair:)
Sarahs’ site also carries many of her mom (Penny Morrison)’s textile designs — too much talent in one family!!
Below three very different bedrooms, all of which have that happy chic mix that to me personifies good British design….
Well, the journey ends here - at least for now. My head is once again full of images of these rich, colorful rooms and their warm, livable style….In upcoming posts, ’ll aim to break down some of the specific elements that we can all “borrow” from British decorating. Stay tuned & welcome Summer!