in the UK
'English style' immediately produces images of sartorial elegance; cool, calm areas of contemplation; eminent designers such as David Hicks and Colefax and Fowler; breakfast on a tray; a kettle boiling on a country range; a roaring fire in a gentleman's study, party invitations ranged orderly on the mantel. It is an unmistakable look, emulated throughout the world. Chippy Irvine (British-born but living and designing in the US with her husband Keith Irvine, of eminent designers, Irvine Fleming) takes a detailed look back through history to reveal the individual designers, the styles and influences that have shaped the English home. Exploring the subtle variations between Town and Country living and the privileges of the rich alongside households of more modest means, she also examines how rooms for pleasure and work have changed and adjusted as successive generations imposed their own experiences and expectations. History, local customs and the structure of society past and present combine to bring to life the wealth of influences that create the English house. Beautiful photographs by Christopher Simon-Sykes illustrate The English Room. Following a room-by-room approach terrace town houses and country cottages, high-ceilinged sitting rooms and stone-flagged farmhouse kitchens all represent the quintessential elements - sometimes solidly conservative, sometimes powerfully eccentric - that sum up The English Room.
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