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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 recent Farmhouse publication. For me it was the other way round. I absolutely adored the Perfect English and the Farmhouses, but found this one just a little less to my taste. Lovely, but didn't quite hit the same spot as the other two. Perhaps I overdosed.
This is an excellent book. It is beautifully written and contains very interesting and lovely interior photographs of many different cottages. It is quite inspirational, particularly if one has an old house or cottage. It is also very useful to anyone who might have built a new cottage style house and wish to strike a happy medium between traditional and contemporary charm. The latter is the reason I purchased the book. As usual, I received customary good service from Amazon and the book arrived within the expected delivery time.