Do you ever look at some of today's interiors and think "Will this hold up in twenty years"?
One designer who was a master at creating a timeless, undecorated look was Nancy Lancaster. Her interiors were elegant yet comfortable, a bit timeworn but never shabby. I recently purchased a copy of Architectural Digest Country Homes and found these images of Lancaster's cottage, called the Coach House, on the grounds of Haseley Court (Lancaster once owned the main house at Haseley Court). To think that these photographs were taken twenty-six years ago! While the English Country House look may not appeal to everyone, one has to admit that the rooms don't look dated. They're rather like the Dorian Gray of interior design- the rooms don't seem to age. But what I think is most important about Lancaster's work is the appropriateness of it. The design is a perfect fit for the surroundings. And this was very much on the mind of Lancaster as she decorated her home. In describing the sitting room of her cottage, the inimitable Lancaster quipped "I won't put Chippendale mirrors in this room with no cornice. That would be like having pearls in a pigsty." You can't argue with the master.
The Sitting Room, sans Chippendale mirrors
Another view of the Sitting Room
The Dining Room with trompe l'oeil painted molding
The Master Bedroom
The Guest Room with a sweet floral print
Image of Nancy Lancaster at top by Cecil Beaton