Anytime I'm flipping through Interiors and English Style, I always stop and stare at one interior that is featured in both books- the London home of antiquaire Stephen Long. I can't help but marvel at how much "stuff" he was able to fit into that home! Can you believe it?
Now, I think that one reason I spend so much time looking at these photos is because I need a lot of visual stimulation, and you certainly get that with this home. There are layers and layers of objects, books, fabrics, flowers, plants, etc. But that neatnik side of me becomes curious and wonders how does one clean a place like this? Just how dusty do things get? And does one constantly misplace things in a home like this?
For those of you who may not be familiar with Long, he is considered to be one of the preeminent antiques dealers in London, a profession that might help explain the chock-a-block home. Long once said "If you have only a few things, they must be really good, but if they're not, you have to crowd them up." He also chose to lay a strong foundation for each room- bold colors and strong statements like the faux tortoise molding, bookcases, and fireplace. And according to Long, it's the clutter that then softens the whole effect. I think he has a valid point.
Long once defended clutter by writing "True clutter is very different from those artfully arranged tablescapes, piles of expensive books and endless buttons and bows aimed to give an instant lived-in look. It is based on the often unconscious acquisitiveness of many of the Human Race who cannot resist making jackdaw nests for themselves with things which have taken their random fancy." Well said, and spoken like a true collector. It's certainly food for thought. But my question is, do any of you live like this? Or do you adhere to a design diet of moderation?
Another view of drawing room. I am so taken with the faux tortoise molding and fireplace, which is hidden behind you guessed it... clutter.
The kitchen shelves are laden with blue and white china and creamware.
The dining room does not seem as crowded as some of the other rooms. See how pretty the room looks lit by candlelight? Remember this when you're entertaining over the holidays and try using only candlelight.
The sitting room. Note the faux marbre molding. The chintz on the armchair is Old Rose which was a favorite of John Fowler, a close friend of Long. The curtains were made from an 1825 chintz.
Image at top: Another view of the drawing room.