Books & Movies

Colefax & Fowler: The Best in English Interior Decoration

In trying to decide what fabric to use for my slipper chairs–no, I still haven’t decided!!!–I decided to turn to a well-loved favorite book: Colefax & Fowler: The Best in English Interior Decoration. Colefax & Fowler has had a huge impact on my life. My grandmother adored chintz and loved to use it as much as possible; many of the pieces in my childhood home were also upholstered in Colefax & Fowler patterns. I have an overnight bag from Colefax & Fowler that my grandmother gave to my mother for a wedding present. My grandmother and aunt had a design house that was heavily influenced by John Fowler and Sibyl Colefax with their use of chintz and toiles, so this style is something I grew up with and deeply love.

This book goes deep into the background of the company–John Fowler’s upbringing, his start with Peter Jones, and then going out on his own at 292 King’s Road. The book details his collaborations with Sibyl Colefax and Nancy Lancaster (though she only collaborated on properties she owned). Scattered throughout the truly fascinating history are images–sketches, snapshots, and formal photographs of designed rooms–that give the reader an inside look at all of Colefax & Fowler, and not just the impression of chintz and country living.

For those who are interested in interiors, how British style was shaped in the post-World War upheaval, or chintz–please do yourself a favor and track down a copy!

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