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17 Reviews
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful English Style
I've known about Ben Pentreath for quite some time, his shop and his blog. I was delighted to browse my amazon and find a book written by him! The book arrived well packaged and delivered before the date expected! What a beautiful book! The cover is only an indication of the secrets of English style that lie beneath the covers. It is filled with beautiful photographs...
Published 22 months ago by bluebellgirl

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, but almost no different to the blog
I am addicted to Ben Pentreath's blog, which is beautifully written and photographed, and updated every few days. I love his shop in Bloomsbury, with its ever-changing and joyously displayed stock. His interior decorating style - minimal structural alteration, the restoration of period detail, and an eclectic and unpretentious layering of modern, retro, vintage and...
Published 18 months ago by Third Time Lucky


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful English Style, 21 Sep 2012
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
I've known about Ben Pentreath for quite some time, his shop and his blog. I was delighted to browse my amazon and find a book written by him! The book arrived well packaged and delivered before the date expected! What a beautiful book! The cover is only an indication of the secrets of English style that lie beneath the covers. It is filled with beautiful photographs of grand and simple homes all with interiors that have not had the hand of an interior designer touch them. There is plenty of text at the beginning and during the different sections of the book; Introduction, English Decoration, A Sense of Arrival, Comfortable Rooms, Eating and Cooking, A Quiet Retreat, Rooms of Utility, Rooms of Display and Afterword. There is a style directory at the back of the book listing resources for wallpaper to antiques and pictures. I haven't put it down since it arrived! It's a how to book, but it's also just a beautiful, readable coffee table book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English Decoration Wherever You Live, 5 Oct 2012
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
This book is well written and the photographs are scrumptious. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in interior design, or who just wants ideas for their own home.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, but almost no different to the blog, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
I am addicted to Ben Pentreath's blog, which is beautifully written and photographed, and updated every few days. I love his shop in Bloomsbury, with its ever-changing and joyously displayed stock. His interior decorating style - minimal structural alteration, the restoration of period detail, and an eclectic and unpretentious layering of modern, retro, vintage and antique furnishings and artwork - is gorgeous, comfortable and practical. I want his country parsonage, his London flat, and his garden. In fact, I want to live his life.

I had hoped this book would introduce me to Ben's wider design portfolio, but unfortunately I was really disappointed. It contains only images that are already available on his blog, or duplicated in other interiors books, notably Farrow & Ball's bestseller 'Living with Colour'. (Property porners will even recognise one house as a long-term listing on Rightmove, yours for a mere 3m). Moreover, the pictures are actually less appealing than they appear on screen. Looking over the blog on an iPad brings Ben's use of vibrant colour and contrasting textures to life; here it's evident printing technology is now a poor second to pixel perfection.

'English Decoration' was a present from Father Christmas and so naturally I'm very grateful. But those of you contemplating purchasing for yourselves: why would you pay for something you can read for free on the internet? I'm still happily buying books, but it's time publishers realised that we readers expect original content, not just screenprints in hard covers.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous & Inspirational, 11 Oct 2012
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
A wonderful book full of beautiful photographs of proper stylish English home interiors.
The eclectic mix of styles is a personal and fresh approach when compared to so many interior books that are styled and unreal. I love it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic english interior style with a modern twist, 1 Nov 2012
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
I could almost see on the cover that this would be a book just after my taste.
The book draws on the best from Hicks, Mlinaric, Colefax and Fowler, but Ben
as does Robert Kime do their style with a modern unfussy touch. I just love
the book - visit his blog too - inspiration all over. Next time I'm in London
his shop is a must see!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
Not remotely disappointed unlike others despite loving the blog. Lots of unexpected hints and tips in there too. Makes you want to get in love with clutter again
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
Great photos and text, just shows that the vintage look, never really went away, let alone come back!! Well worth it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars FAB BOOK..., 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
I love this book. While I am not a great fan of "English style" in decoration, Ben Pentreath writes so well and is so passionate about his subject, that the book sings. Great images and excellent text. A lovely book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous!, 11 Oct 2013
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L. Harwood (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
This book was a real treat.
The thing I enjoyed most was the lovely warm, insightful, elegant text which really enlivened the beautiful photography. Ben Pentreath comes over as a sensitive, spiritual and thoughtful person.

I highly reccommend this lovely tome.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very personal style, 12 Jan 2013
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: English Decoration (Hardcover)
The title of this book is "English Decoration", but the relevant words on the cover are not these, but "Ben Pentreath", for this is so powerfully a statement of the author's own idiosyncratic style that the generalness of the title is misleading. The text is a beautifully written, evocative, at times witty, exposition of Ben Pentreath's approach and philosophy.

Many books from this publisher seem to have been assembled by a committee, the same house appearing in book after book, with text which is just meaningless waffle. Here, every word counts and the photographs are illustrations of the text, rather than the text simply being a description of the photos.

There are many things I like about this book, and they are all down to Pentreath. The intelligent, thoughtful examination of the way our memories and emotions are engaged by our surroundings. The importance of paying due attention to the practical, everyday aspects of living in a house, and of making them beautiful too. The fact that the houses featured belong to artists and writers whose rooms reflect their personalities, rather than too-rich clients with more money than taste who have bought their interiors "off the peg". The way the picture captions have clearly been written by the author and not some publisher's assistant who hasn't actually read the text.

Unfortunately the things I don't like about the book are also down to the author. For I like relatively few of these rooms, and feel most lack either a distinctive Englishness or a feeling of history. Many could equally well be in the US (where Pentreath spent formative time) or are rather anonymously European. If you bought this book expecting a representative selection of English interiors you would be disappointed; all have very much the same "feel" and, despite what another reviewer says, I suspect all were either designed or strongly influenced by Pentreath.

There are other books which give a much better picture of distinctively English dcorative style, though few, I suspect, wit such a thoughtful and cultivated text.
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English Decoration
English Decoration by Ben Pentreath (Hardcover - 6 Sep 2012)
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