The Colourful Past: Edward Bulmer and the English Country House, by Edward Bulmer (Rizzoli)
Edward Bulmer is a leading interior designer, architectural historian, and founder of the paint company Natural Paint based in Great Britain. He is perhaps best known for breathing new life into houses with a sympathy that is rooted in a deep understanding of their past, a particular skill that few interior designers possess. He can see where details are missing and unravel a mishmash of periods accumulated over centuries in a historical house.
In this, his first book, Bulmer compiles the best from thirty years of work in some of Britain s most famous and grandest homes, including Castle Howard, Broughton Hall, Althorp, Goodwood, Pitshill, and many others. It also includes his work for private clients, highlighting his own stunning home, a laboratory for his practice, in a Queen Anne manor house built in 1700, which Bulmer and his family have spent the last twenty years renovating into a comfortable, practical home perfect for a modern lifestyle. He operates his paint company out of an old granary on the property that he converted into a studio.
Bulmer has also revived the farm and turned it into a working organic farm. Written by Bulmer and featuring seventeen houses, among other projects, Bulmer takes readers through his creative and working process in each project, describing in detail how he renovated, decorated, and preserved the home, the problems he encountered and the decisions he and his clients made to solve them, all while sharing tips and secrets that readers can take away for their own home. Tours of these well-lived-in houses, rich with history, are conveyed through the gorgeous photography of Paul Whitbread.
Knole : A Private View of One of Britain's Great Houses, by Robert Sackville-west and Ashley Hicks (Rizzoli)
Sumptuous photographs by designer Ashley Hicks (who recently photographed the interiors of Buckingham Palace) capture the smouldering spirit of the place: from the state rooms, which house possibly the finest collection of royal Stuart furniture in the world, to the private apartments and gardens, to the behind-the-scenes labyrinth of cellars and attics. Knole provides a window onto English history. The characters who people the pages of the book the grave Elizabethan statesman, the good-for-nothing gadabout at the seedy Court of King James I, the dashing Cavalier, the Restoration rake, the 3rd Duke, that magnificent and melancholy representative of the ancien regime, the whiskery and dark-hearted Mortimer who caused three nights of rioting in 1884 by closing the park to visitors are all representative of their age (members of a family described by Vita Sackville-West as a race too prodigal, too amorous, too weak, too indolent, and too melancholy : in short, a rotten lot, and nearly all stark staring mad.
Of course, Vita s torn legacy with the property prompted her dear friend Virginia Woolf to pen Orlando, furthering the place s fame and glamorous lustre. Similarly, the architectural and decorative features of the house, so splendidly revealed by Ashley s photographs, illustrate the different tastes of successive ages, from Thomas Sackville s seventeenth-century makeover of a ramshackle medieval mansion to an early twentieth-century suite of rooms designed in the Bohemian style. Knole has never been illuminated in this way before.
At Home in the Cotswolds : Secrets of English Country House Style, by Katy Campbell and Mark Nicholson (Abrams)
Design expert Katy Campbell and acclaimed photographer Mark Nicholson offer an insider's look at the Cotswolds' most charming and inspirational private homesAt Home in the Cotswolds is a celebration of beautiful Cotswold houses and their interiors. Author Katy Campbell and photographer Mark Nicholson take us on a tour of the villages and rolling hills of the Cotswolds as they uncover some of the most charming and inspirational homes in the region: a chocolate box cottage, an exquisite old rectory, a Georgian farmhouse, a quintessential manor house, an historic stately home, and more. The featured homes, along with their adjacent gardens, were chosen not only for their architectural beauty but for their stunning interiors, which range in style from classical English country retreat to chic contemporary dwelling.
Each house, and the interior design of its rooms, reflects the charm and character of its owners-and comes with its own unique and intriguing story. With the homes' idyllic settings-and a foreword by the Duchess of Marlborough-this collection presents inspirational ideals of English country style certain to fascinate and delight.