Volume 8.

How to Create the English Country House Style

The English Country House style puts home at the heart. It is fluid and forgiving, flexing with current trends and ever evolving. It can be recognised through its eclectic mix of furniture including a high proportion of European antiques and the odd oriental peice, an inviting array of patterned fabric and sumptuous sofas, fancy lamps, mix matched rugs and an air of informal grandeur. The styles unrestrictive nature has made it a steadfast turn to of both city and countryside dwellers alike.

Interior by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay

Ben Pentreath, the widely acclaimed English interior architect and purveyor of all things encompassing the classic English style, states "I like richly layered rooms; colour, pattern and a mix of old and new furniture create timeless and comfortable places to live". The modern day poster boy for the English Country House style is certainly someone we can pick up a few tips from. For a truly timeless and comfortable feel, layer pieces from different eras as if collected over many years; the finely detailed 1860s Leather Screen sits beautifully behind the pair of sumptuous 1970's Maison Jansen Sofas. Compliment by combining with a selection of varying side tables such as the Victorian Bamboo Side Table and the English Geometric Marquetry Side Table for an ideal living room setting.

An English pedestal tilt top table in elm with a fine geometric marquetry top in various English woods depicting a globe and compass.

The English Country House style is a well travelled look; it is a collective of cultures and history, a setting for the curious. In your interior scheme include a global range of art and antiques along side the classic English pieces. Hang Italian art; 18th Century Italian Oil Painting on Tray by Pietro Bardellino, side by side with a classic English Regency Convex Mirror. In grouping your items remember also to mix the fine with rustic; pair two English 18th Century Antique Vernacular chairs with a show stopping Oriental cabinet such as the 17th Century Japanese Lacquer Cabinet.

“English country-house style is the combination of real beauty, some age, a bit of mud, certainly a potted geranium or two and utter practicality. For practicality is where the English, who never take aesthetics too seriously, reign supreme.”
Nicky Haslam

Very charming 18th century vernacular chair, original patina, great shape.

Comfort is achieved not only through the furniture and soft furnishings you surround yourself with but through the atmosphere you create. A fireplace is a wonderful way to increase that cosy feeling, whether a small and intricate Arts and Crafts number or a large and grand Marble Chimneypiece complete with firedogs. A stack of logs is a welcoming sight at any time of year and don’t forget you do not need to have a working chimney to create the look! A fireplace is also a great place for a few interesting objects. Combine fine pieces - try this wonderful pair of 18th Century Obelisks, with this rustic 1800s Handmade French Walnut Oil Jug.

“Don't lavish too much care on every detail of a restoration; pedantry is a sure-fire way to kill a room's personality”
Ben Pentreath

These original vintage vases were produced in the 1960s in Germany.

Flowers and floral prints are another nice way to bring an element of the countryside to your English Country House interior. This can be achieved through fleshly cut blooms placed in simple terracotta pots and beautiful vases, such as this set of three 1960’s Alfred Taube Vases. Or, for a beautiful statement piece place the 19th Century Italian Tole with Porcelain Flowers on a classically English table such as the Large English Console Table in the Manor of William Kent. The English Country style is slightly chaotic and welcomes the unexpected, such as garden pieces. Add the 1850’s Pair of Garden Urns for an individual touch to your space.

English Country House Picks
A pair of Victorian bamboo chairs.
Mid-century peach coloured decorative bottle with stopper.
Hand-Carved 1950s Toy Box, depicting scenes of an idyllic "boys own" childhood.
Large Uzbek long traditional hand-woven wool rug.
An English abstract oil on board in a well carved and painted frame.
Antique early 19th-century Italian empire circular centre table.
Four fine bohemian early 20th century cut crystal glasses.
A large Regency period fireplace in Italian Carrara marble.
A pair of French Louis XV style walnut armchairs.
A pair of Irish mirrors in the George III style.