While not all of these rooms are exactly what I would want in my own house, there is something I love about every one of them. These have been scanned from a great publication I found in Swaziland, Africa while vacationing there this Christmas. The magazine is called 25 Beautiful Homes, and yes, each issue boasts at least 25 beautiful homes, mostly in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa. For the most part, the decor is English whether traditional, modern, contemporary. All of these rooms have certain commonalities. Above is a London drawing room which illustrates that they have art - often oil paintings whether traditional or contemporary. Statues and elements from other cultures (reminiscent of the days of the Empire) are found scattered throughout the homes. Few homes lack architectural detail of any kind and ceilings are often decorated with moldings as well. (Note the double molding in the room above and the dining room below).
The dining room above(the image was on the fold of the magazine) boasts oil paintings, Asian pieces, and another English quality, a love of all colours. Here the dining room is a medium dusky pink colour. Another English quirk, adding something trendy or unusual to the mix. Here, the unusual fabric-wrapped chandelier fills the bill.
You will always find books in an English home, and they look as though they are for reading, not just part of the decor. The paneled walls are a beautiful yellow colour with architectural interest and also stencils. Blue and white porcelain hints at the days of the Empire. Another English must, fresh flowers. Interesting patterned carpets are almost always present.
Below, this kitchen is pretty, but it also looks as though it is used. Here we find colour, blue and white items, and whimisical touches such as the cutouts of the cats. Notice the flowers and plants as well as pictures on the walls.
Even a bedroom which is more contemporary still has colour, good lighting for reading, and great bedcovers. The bed is traditional (I love this bed!).
The bedroom below has wonderful architectural details, pretty and comfortable bedding, and patterned curtains. The walls are a yellow colour; baskets are used here for storage as well as in other rooms of the English house.
But what I love about all of these rooms is that they look very lived in. Yes, they have been styled for a photo shoot, but it is easy to envision a dog curling up at the end of the bed, a kitty finding refuge in a soft chair, someone reading a good novel with a cup of tea beside her.
More on English houses next post.