Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Title Page

NONFICTION : THE NATIONAL TRUST BOOK OF ENGLISH FURNITURE by Geoffrey Beard (Viking: $20). : THE NATIONAL TRUST BOOK OF THE ENGLISH HOUSE by Clive Aslet and Alan Powers (Viking: $20). : THE HOUSE & GARDEN BOOK OF ROMANTIC ROOMS by Robert Harling (Salem House: $29.95).

November 17, 1985|BETTY GOODWIN

For people in the midst of a love affair with the English style of living--the whole rumpled, eccentric, slip-covered world--several new books on the subject should educate their eyes. Geoffrey Beard's "The National Trust Book of English Furniture" is a fine place to start, since antique furniture is so crucial to The Look. Since the National Trust in England plays a leading role in the preservation of homes and furniture which the nation has inherited, many of the pieces illustrated in the book come from Britain's historic Trust houses. Major decorative styles are discussed, along with the big names in cabinetmaking--from Thomas Chippendale to Thomas Sheraton. But the chapter on the obscure 17th-Century procedures for packing, delivering and billing of major furniture commissions alone makes this book worthy of its price tag. "The National Trust Book of the English House" by Clive Aslet and Alan Powers concentrates not on the great palaces of England but on the so-called "houses of the middling size . . . gentlemanly but not over-grand." Otherwise known as vernacular architecture, these are the truly beloved country homes and villas. Nevertheless, the English take their architecture seriously, even when they're talking about "folk art rather than high art." This is a scholarly albeit condensed tome that traces the vernacular tradition from the 12th through the 19th centuries, with references to influential architects such as Andrea Palladio in Italy. For those who simply prefer to concentrate on the romance of English style, there are the breathtakingly beautiful rooms contained within "The House & Garden Book of Romantic Rooms" by Robert Harling (Salem House: $29.95). There are no museum-quality sets of authentic Chippendale here, yet even today, decorators around the world prove that the English feel for comfort and coziness is the essence of a romantic room. A bedroom with an extravagantly canopied bed. A library with a welcoming hearth. A sitting room where cherished objects are displayed against rough stone walls. Not surprisingly, nearly all of the rooms photographed are located in Britain.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|