Of all the decorating trends that have been in vogue over the last 50 years – be it Scandi, Minimalism or Industrial – none has been as powerful or as enduring as that of the English Country House.
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Designers Ben Johnson, Anthony Kooperman, Camilla Clarke and Ottalie Stride met when working at property developer Candy & Candy (now Candy London). Together, they formed Albion Nord in 2017, an interior-design studio that has come a long way in a short time. Particularly noted for the design of two houses at the prestigious Chelsea Barracks and the transformation of the neo-Classical Benham Park in Berkshire, they have also found time to develop a collection of furniture and lighting to celebrate British craftsmanship and launched Our Shop, an online offering of art, furniture, antiques and decorative objects. ‘Refined’ is a key word in the Albion Nord vocabulary. Interiors have a quiet, but never boring, sense of luxury and soul, with considered choices of both antique and contemporary pieces and clever use of colour and texture.
07834 711945; www.albion-nord.com
Designer and antique dealer Birdie Fortescue has a natural ability to combine old and new, creating elegant interiors that balance gentle hues with her flair for sourcing unusual antiques and contemporary art. Her Norfolk shop holds a treasure trove of globally inspired block-printed fabrics, furniture, cushions and lamps, alongside antique finds.
01328 851651; www.birdiefortescue.co.uk
Colin Orchard & Company
Since training under Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s grande dame Imogen Taylor, Colin Orchard has developed an outstanding reputation for combining traditional country-house style with a restrained sense of grandeur. His current projects include large private residences in Oxfordshire, New York and Palm Beach, US.
020–7351 5501; email@example.com
As an interior designer, architectural historian and advocate of natural paints — with his own eco-friendly range — Edward Bulmer describes his approach as one that ‘embodies enquiry, practicality, scholarship, aesthetics, sustainability and some fun’. No wonder he is in demand for major projects, which currently include private members’ club White’s in London, the Jacobean Dorfold Hall in Cheshire and Georgian Newport House in Herefordshire. His new book, The Colourful Past, Edward Bulmer and the English Country House, will be published by Rizzoli this autumn.
01544 388535; www.edwardbulmerinteriordesign.co.uk
Guy Goodfellow cut his teeth at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler before setting up his own successful interior- and architectural-design company, specialising in traditional, elegant country-house style. Now, his shop in Chelsea, SW10, offers in-house-designed weaves, prints and wallpapers, based on historic textiles reinterpreted in imaginative colours.
020–7349 0728; www.guygoodfellow.com
An international lecturer and the author of 11 books, Lady Henrietta specialises in grand English country-house style and runs her interior-design company Woodstock Designs close to her ancestral home at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. At present, she is working on projects that include the major renovation of a large period property in Oxfordshire and interiors of a new yacht.
01993 811887; www.spencerchurchilldesigns.com
Janine Stone & Co
Over the past 30 years, this company has built up a reputation for luxurious interiors with a classic, contemporary feel. It has an unusually wide-ranging service, covering both renovations and complete new-build projects, using its in-house architectural, construction and interior-design services to deliver an immaculately polished result.
020–7349 8888; www.janinestone.com
Winner of the 2021 British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) Merit award for excellence in design practice, Joanna Wood creates smart and luxurious designs, with an emphasis on comfort and colour. Current projects include the Master’s Lodge at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and the full renovation of a 17th-century Kensington townhouse. Other enterprises include her eponymous home-accessories shop in Belgravia, SW1, Lawson Wood bespoke upholstery, Phillips & Wood lighting and Lewis & Wood fabrics and wallpapers. A Cotswold studio will open this spring.
020–7730 0693; www.joannawood.com
John Evans Interior Architecture + Design
A highly creative practice that specialises in adding a luxurious, contemporary touch to country homes from its Birmingham office, the firm has 40 years of experience, which is manifested in John Evans’s quietly confident style.
0121–233 9041; www.johnevansdesign.com
The interior-design studio is run by Graham Green and Michael Keech, who moved their architectural-interiors company, Keech Green, to Linley a few years ago. Their focus on luxury British design ranges from ‘modern-deco’ — evident in the refurbishment of several suites at Claridge’s, W1 — to traditional country-house style, including two recently completed epic-scale projects in Yorkshire and Hampshire.
020–8068 4206; www.davidlinley.com
A polished approach to classic interior design with every modern comfort has earned Louise Jones her stripes. Current projects include the luxury Ardfin Estate hotel on the island of Jura, two mansions in The Hamptons, US, and a 16th-century farmhouse in Surrey.
020–7351 6858; www.louisejonesinteriors.com
Bringing a light decorative touch to country houses, Lucy Elworthy combines her experience as a former decoration editor of House & Garden with an imaginative eye for colour and texture. She is a dab hand at creating welcoming interiors with a sense of character.
07957 693246; www.lucyelworthy.co.uk
Hampshire-based Max Rollitt is an interior designer, furniture maker and antiques dealer whose sought-after style is developed from an impressive knowledge of historical architecture and design, combined with comfort and a light touch of humour. His projects — largely based in the UK and on the east coast of the US — are furnished with a distinctive combination of antique originals and bespoke designs. Mr Rollitt’s Avington showroom has recently been transformed with a series of inspirational room sets.
01962 791124; www.maxrollitt.com
Nicola Harding & Co
After studying garden design and working for renowned landscape designer Arne Maynard, Nicola Harding set up her own studio in 2008, gradually embracing commercial and residential interiors in addition to gardens. Now, she combines a sensitivity to the link between indoor and outdoor spaces with a playful blend of old and new, carefully chosen antiques and a joyful use of colour to add personality to all kinds of projects, including country houses, historic buildings, hotels and private members’ clubs, including the exuberant Beaverbrook Town House in Chelsea, London SW1. Her deep understanding of what it takes to make an inviting home ensures her studio is in demand: recent projects include a Victorian villa on the Thames and a Jacobean manor house in Northamptonshire.
020–8743 6690; nicolaharding.com
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of her interior-design business in 2021, the indomitable Nina Campbell is internationally admired for her individual take on classic English decoration and eye for beauty. Increasingly in demand in the US, she remains a vibrant, energetic force in the world of design — with a style that continues to evolve — and is constantly developing collections of fabric, wallpaper and furniture.
The designer is also the author of seven books, including, most recently, Nina Campbell Interior Decoration, published by Rizzoli and written with Country Life’s Giles Kime, and is currently planning her next.
020–7225 1011; shop.ninacampbell.com
Guy Oliver is the owner and principal designer of this Mayfair-based boutique studio, specialising in elegantly luxurious interiors that celebrate the beauty of bespoke craftsmanship. The portfolio of projects spans the State Rooms at 10, Downing Street, The Connaught and Claridge’s in London and Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, exhibitions at the Louvre, private country houses, aircraft and yachts.
020–7437 8487; www.oliverlaws.com
Known for injecting colour and character into any interior, Penny Morrison specialises in inviting and comfortable English style. She is busy on projects in the UK and Caribbean, continues to develop her gloriously patterned fabric and wallpaper collection and offers a selection of lamps and accessories, available online and from her Chelsea shop.
020–7384 2975; www.pennymorrison.com
Strong on using texture and subtle hues to create contemporary comfort in the country, Pippa Paton is known for her work on barn conversions and traditional stone buildings in the Cotswolds, which she has transformed into homes well suited to 21st-century living. She is the author of two books, Twenty First Century Cotswolds, Volumes I and II.
01865 595470; www.pippapatondesign.co.uk
Rita Konig has earned many plaudits for work that is distinctly her own, creating relaxing and joyously comfortable interiors for transatlantic clients in residential and commercial settings, including the chic Hotel 850 SVB in West Hollywood, US. Her online interior-design course is available at Create Academy (www.createacademy.com).
020–3735 7280; www.ritakonig.com
Distinguished antiques dealer and interior decorator Robert Kime, whose clients include The Prince of Wales, creates traditional — but not stuffy — interiors, full of judiciously chosen antiques and colourful textiles. His Pimlico shop is a paradise of discovery, with antiques and his own collection of fabrics, wallpaper, lamps and furniture.
020–7831 6066; www.robertkime.com
A fresh take on classic interiors ensures this studio, founded by Rosanna Bossom in 2014, is in demand. Known for her work alongside couture designer Rifat Ozbek on the design of private members’ club 5 Hertford Street, in Mayfair, W1, recent projects include London and country houses and a glorious folly in Worcestershire designed by Quinlan Terry Architects. The studio is currently working on a listed house in Regent’s Park and other projects in London, the Cotswolds and New York. The studio offers a capsule collection of made-to-order furniture and pretty accessories, too, from cushions to lampshades.
020–3488 9744; www.rosannabossom.co.uk
Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler
The country’s longest-established firm for interior-decorating, founded in the 1930s, has always been known for quintessentially English style. Today, its seven principal decorators and an architectural interior designer undertake a diverse range of projects worldwide, from traditional to cutting edge, from the refurbishment of large country estates in Surrey and Hampshire, a family residence in Kuwait and a contemporary apartment in Athens to the Chelsea Arts Club, SW3.
020–7493 2231; www.colefax.com
Pitch perfect at calm, classic-contemporary English country style, Emma Sims-Hilditch specialises in creating quietly elegant and comfortable designs, never forgetting the practicalities required to make an inviting, family-focused home. The studio has recently launched a capsule collection of timeless upholstered furniture in collaboration with George Smith.
01249 783087; www.simshilditch.com
Susie Atkinson Design
Specialising in private houses and boutique hotels, Susie Atkinson creates contemporary interiors that radiate a sense of personal character and understated luxury. She has recently launched a range of colourful table lamps and her first wallpaper collection, in collaboration with artist Ellen Merchant, which add to her small, but special fabric, furniture and accessory offerings.
020–7384 0700; www.susieatkinson.com
Smart, pared-back style is the forte of this well-established firm, which is headed by its founder Philippa Thorp. Geared towards an international clientele, the firm offers full architecture, interior-design, art-curation and landscaping services.
020–7235 7808; www.thorp.co.uk
Todhunter Earle Interiors
Expert at balancing the demands of contemporary living with the challenges presented by historic houses, Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle are both highly regarded for their ever-fresh approach and imaginative designs. They have recently co-authored Modern English: Todhunter Earle Interiors (Vendome Press), which provides an opportunity to enjoy some of their varied work across houses in the country, in town and abroad.
020–7349 9999; www.todhunterearle.com
Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock lead an interior-design studio, founded in 2007, that is admired for its outstanding creativity and confident use of colour and pattern. With offices in London and Geneva, projects include elegant — yet also relaxed — family homes in the capital, across the UK, Europe and Hong Kong, as well as chalets in the Alps.
They recently launched the Turner Pocock x Lorfords Contemporary collection of comfortable upholstered chairs and sofas. Other collaborations include The Bobbin Collection of furniture for Chelsea Textiles and painterly table linen for The Sette. A new collaboration with master rug-maker Peter Page launches this month.
020–3463 2390; www.turnerpocock.co.uk
Veere Grenney Associates
A master of beauty and harmony, Veere Grenney creates interiors with a discreetly luxurious look. His designs are rooted in the Classical tradition, given life by the combination of contemporary, historic and sometimes charmingly modest. His fabric and wallpaper collection is admired for its elegant pattern and subtle colour palette.
020–7351 7170; www.veeregrenney.com
Known for designing large country properties — from a Georgian manor in Oxfordshire to an Arts-and-Crafts house in Yorkshire — Dorset-based Henriette von Stockhausen has a classic, colourfully eclectic style that successfully combines antiques and fine art with a sense of comfort and personality.
01305 265892; www.vspinteriors.com
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