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The English Room Hardcover – 6 Oct 2001


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About the Author

Chippy Irvine has worked as a fashion designer in London and New York for 22 years since graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. She has written several books including: The Farmhouse, The Town House, Private New York: Remarkable Residences, and Brunschwig and Fils Style. She has also written articles for The World of Interiors, Harper's Bazaar, House Beautiful and Elle Decor. She lives in New York. The photographer: Christopher Simon-Sykes is a renowned photographer, specialising in architectural and garden photography. His work appears regularly in House and Garden, World of Interiors, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. His books include The Perfect English House, and Great Houses of England and Wales. He lives in London and the country. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
THE ENGLISH CHARACTER, like the English language, is formed from a melange of cultural influences, stretching back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons and forward to a continuing influx of new citizens. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A sumptuous overview of English decorative style 27 Aug 2002
By Catherine S. Vodrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Chippy Irvine's "The English Room" is a sumptuous overview of English decorative style. She is a stunningly effective teacher, deftly combining in very little space English decorative history, English furniture and architectural styles, and the uniquely warm English touch with fabrics, floor coverings, and drapery. The text is a miniature but very thorough education, and a delightful stroll through centuries of English history.
The photographs are something to behold. Photographer Christopher Simon Sykes has presented a panoply of different takes on classically English style with a sober, all-seeing eye. Nothing is prettied up--even a romantic candlelit dining room is presented in a straightforward manner--so that we are left to make up our own minds without Sykes' style being the thing we notice first about the pictures.
Everything the frustrated Anglophile/decorator could want is contained within these pages. Irvine neatly divides the book in two--City (think Rex Harrison's home in the 1964 film version of "My Fair Lady") and Country (think Emma Thompson's place in either "Howards End" or "Sense & Sensibility"). Within these areas, she covers front halls, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms. How great-looking can a bathroom be? Well, the most beautiful bathroom I think I have ever seen in my life is featured on p. 171. It may also be one of the most beautiful ROOMS I've ever seen, featuring as it does tall, divided-light mirrors which appear to be windows; a plain white tub surrounded with black, grey-streaked marble; pilasters and pediments a-plenty, but all covered with a restrained chalk white; dentil molding and paneled doors; and a perfectly handsome paneled toilet which would be perfectly at home in a living room in a lesser home. Oh, yes, and let's don't forget the curvaceous bronze and crystal chandelier. It sounds over the top, but it is perfectly composed, a lovely cameo of a room. It ably embodies the idea that good design is never wasted, no matter how unimportant the room or how poorly it is sited. Chippy Irvine continues to make that point, and many others, throughout the pages of this delightful and handsome book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
don't judge this book by its cover 19 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I, too, thought this book would be the penultimate guide to English style. That would only be true however, if one believes English style to be unrelentingly grim, grim, grim. All the photographs (and there were fewer than one might have wished) were of dark interiors and unwelcoming, depressing rooms. Maybe Chippy Irvine could have just explored her husband Keith's work. This book does not represent English style at all, to my mind, despite its misleading cover. Glad I didn't pay full price for it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting History of Evolution of English Rooms 10 Jan 2014
By L. M. Keefer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know more about English style, this is a knowledgable book written by Chippy Irvine who graduated top student in her class at the Royal College of Art in London, and was married to famed decorator Keith Irvine, who worked for John Fowler and later had his own design firm in New York City. Chippy writes in detail about English style with examples of Town and Country homes in England.

Chapters are organized by either Town or Country with these rooms:

* Front Rooms ~ Entrance Halls, Dining Rooms, Drawing Rooms , Libraries and Living Rooms

* Back Rooms ~ Kitchens, Work Rooms and Studies

* Upstairs ~ Landings, Bed Rooms and Bath Rooms

* Garden Rooms & Outdoors ~ Conservatories, Verandahs, Patios, Terraces, Stables and Follies

There are some lovely rooms in this book, and I'm happy to own it. However, not all of the rooms are attractive. Some are dated as the book was published some years ago in 2002. Classic English style is always in style, but some of the more modern versions of it can look passe after 10 years or so. The book is about 1/2 text and 1/2 images by renowned photographer Christopher Simon Sykes. I would have liked more rooms like the room on the cover of this book. About 1/2-2/3 of the rooms in this book are similar to that quintessential English style. I would have liked more full page color photographs, too to rate this book 5 stars. The text may surpass some of the images used. 3.5 stars
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The English Room 31 May 2013
By Gail D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hats off to Chippy Irvine, wife of the late Keith Irvine, decorator. She really knows of what she writes. I read it from cover to cover as her insight into the English houses was very original. Great color picdtures as well.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Did not like the book. 31 July 2003
By Derya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book has nothing common with the classical English style if you are looking for it. It has dark, gloomy and boring room photographs. But, it has a useful information in the introduction part as it explains the history and challenges in English decoration style from early periods until now.
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