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Perfect English Cottage [Hardcover]

Ros Byam Shaw
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
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Book Description

10 Sep 2009
"Perfect English Cottage" explores 18 inspirational homes that celebrate the best of cottage style in the English countryside. The book looks at the decorating and design solutions that make the cottages as attractive inside as out, as well as practical and comfortable to live in. Bestselling author Ros Byam Shaw takes a fresh look at this perennially appealing style, which she divides into five chapters: Character, Holiday, Romance, Simplicity and Elegance. The featured homes are incredibly varied, from a tiny house with exposed beams to a pared-down Georgian gem, to a picture-perfect cottage with roses over the door-and plenty more adorning the interior. Each section ends with a Get The Look page with ideas for recreating the style in your own home.

Frequently Bought Together

Perfect English Cottage + Perfect English Farmhouse + Farrow & Ball Living with Colour
Price For All Three: 57.80

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ryland, Peters & Small Ltd (10 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845979044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845979041
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ros was born in London in 1960. She read English at Oxford and her first job was working for an antique dealer who specialised in early silver. Her most difficult task was being taken for a walk by two English mastiffs, both of whom weighed more than she did.

Fortunately, it wasn't too long before she was offered a job at The World of Interiors, an innovative magazine based in upstairs rooms on Fulham Road. She was Features Editor for several years, left to work as a freelance writer, and then returned after the birth of her first daughter to work part time. When her second daughter was born, Ros went freelance again which is where she has remained ever since, writing about houses, their occupants and their interiors. Ros has written and contributed to many books and is the recipient of several awards.

In 2002 she moved from London to the West Country to a 16th century house close to the sea. The restoration of the house is now finished, but the large garden is an ongoing project.

She is the author of the forthcoming title Farrow & Ball Living with Colour, along with Interiors by Design, Old House New Home and the bestselling Perfect English and Perfect English Cottage (all published by Ryland Peters & Small).

'Any book by Ros Byam Shaw inspires confidence and delight, being brilliantly researched and handsomely illustrated.' The World of Interiors

Product Description


Any book by Ros Byam Shaw inspires confidence and delight, being brilliantly researched and handsomely illustrated. Her captions are always informative, and her interest in the story and the gorgeousness of very different homes and objects is unflagging, without being gushy. --The World of Interiors

About the Author

Ros Byam Shaw is the author of Perfect English, Interiors by Design and Old House New Home (all Ryland Peters & Small).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just the best! 23 Oct 2009
This book is fantastic! Like the other reviewer I thought the author, Ros Byam-Shaw, had reached the top in 'Perfect English' but this book is just as good. Each of the homes it features are superb, comfortable, homely, places you'll really want to spend time in. This is not a book for minimalists, or people who like contemporary homes. It shows how older, unique items, can be put together to make a delightful living collage of treasured items. You won't find anything designer here, no matching or toning touches, not even perfection. Many things do show the wear and tear accumulated by time. And it's all the better for that.

This book shows creative homes, where each item is valued for the story it tells as well as it's function. You can read the patina on ancient furniture, you can see elderly, mis-matching crockery and see the passion the owner has for it or gaze at the pictures on the wall and imagine you were talking to their creator. Each item shows a facet of their owner's life, a living manifestation of individuality and all the more interesting for that.

It's also the perfect role model of recycling, many of the items are not quite perfect, but the author shows us how this really doesn't matter in the creation of individual style. I just hope the author is working on more books!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure-trove of pictures and ideas 4 May 2010
This book is a cut above the average homes book - the photos are charming but it is the quality of the text and the choice of homes that make it so valuable and enjoyable, as a source book as well as a coffee-table book.

The categories of different cottage styles are well-chosen and comprehensive, and the writing gives an enjoyable glimpse of the people and lives behind each home.

This is probably the best 'home style' book I own. It covers quite a variety of styles, from cheerful and kitsch to elegant and classical, via unique and characterful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Englishman's Dream! 4 Nov 2011
I love this book! In fact I've fallen in love with Ros Byam Shaw's interior books, I just love the way she writes. There is an ebb and flow to her editorial that just makes you read it again and again. The photographs are exquisite. This book is about people who live in cottages, some bigger than others, but also people who decorate their homes in the cottage style, it's not twee, there is plenty to visually satisfy you, there's a story behind each photograph and a peek into the homes of the people who own them. If you love interiors, you will enjoy this book and pick it up again and again, and perhaps buy an old vintage jug and fill it with flowers because this is what this book does, it inspires you to want to live the cottage lifestyle!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect English Cottage? 1 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is beautiful - the photography excellent and some of the settings were lovely - the only downside for me is that these were cottages bought and 'done up' by people with lots of money (not necessarily taste!) and I wanted to see 'proper' cottages - those that are truly 'lived in' and not used as holiday or show homes!

Good inspiration though
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of ideas and inspiration 26 Sep 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a bit expensive, but will never go out of fashion - the interiors shown are timeless and all real people's homes. I had some furniture that I was going to restore, but this book as made me look at the items from a different perspective. I would be spoiling the charm that attracted me to buy them if I restored them to perfection (and paints and fabrics do cost a lot now!) So now I just wash them down, treat for woodworm, clean the fabrics, and make cusions for any saggy seats! I am delighted with the results. This book will excite, inspire and encourage you - fantastic photographs, full of detail (not minimal at all). I will refer to it for years to come. I haven't read all the text yet, but will get round to it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only cottage decor book you need! 14 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want ideas for your country home, this is the book to buy. It replaces months worth of Country Living magazines all in one binding. Photographs are clear, colourful and plenty. Country homes aren't always conventional in that they often have quirky corners and wonky walls, this book visits these types of homes and shows what other people have done with such spaces. If you have a room that you're struggling to arrange, the book will give you some inspiration as to how to arrange your collections and decide upon your interior decorating.
It will remain my coffee table book for a long time to come!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 23 Sep 2010
This book is absolutely wonderful. I loved the featured cottages furnished with vintage, second-hand items especially the first section which is based on romantic interiors. Worth buying for this first section alone. Cannot recommend this book enough. Have bought and borrowed from the library, many similar books, but this one is my firm favourite.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an english pearl 7 Sep 2009
By Rapin
i thought that with her "perfect english", ros byam shaw had reached the top, the perfection about interior decoration books, but i see that it has now a twin brother in this "perfect english cottage". beautifully written and with gorgeous photos of flawless (perhaps because they do have some flaws) interiors, this book is about the highest esthetical values. byam shaw is a genius, she's simply the best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunner of a book
A real stunner of a book. You won't be able to put it down, you really won't. Gorgeous photographs, lovely illustrations (the photos are truly sensational) and very interesting... Read more
Published 8 days ago by SUE, SHROPSHIRE
4.0 out of 5 stars Cottage Design
I would recommend this book to those who like English Cottage style photography is good and it is full of ideas, but it does not give much assistance on how to attain the style on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Feet Up , Coffee in Hand and Browse.
No need to buy lots of country magazines. I can pick this book up over and over and enjoy all the inspirational pictures.
Published 1 month ago by Valerie Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Lots of lovely ideas for a cottagy look. Down to earth ideas which are achievable on a budget, great for anyone who wants to get the country look by making things.
Published 2 months ago by B. Hedges
5.0 out of 5 stars if wishes were horses
One or two gems,some daft ideas,impossible to live with some of these ideas of you were daft enough to copy them.beautifully photographed though.
Published 5 months ago by angelgrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of dreams!
I couldn't have chosen a more enjoyable book for my wife to ponder whilst looking round our own cottage. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Warren Green
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide giving ideas and motivation.
Just love browsing through this lovely book finding lots of ideas we can use for the interior redecoration/refurbishment of our old country cottage. Can't wait to begin!
Published 9 months ago by Mo
4.0 out of 5 stars A expected
i bought this for my partner, she said it was up to scratch compared to other titles by the author.
Published 14 months ago by Grae old school gamer
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful and glossy
Stunning photographs with very informative text. Different styles so should appeal to everyone who loves cottages. Very inspirational and glossy!
Published 18 months ago by Maureen Graham
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Read
I think the rule with Ros Byam Shaw is to buy two books on the trot and not three. Most people loved this book, but were perhaps just a little less appreciative of her fairly... Read more
Published 19 months ago by MTSS
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