Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nicky Haslam's Folly de Grandeur



I recently spent the most enjoyable evening reading Nicky Haslam's newly released (as in today!) book, Nicky Haslam's Folly De Grandeur: Romance and Revival in an English Country House. As most of you are probably aware, the book profiles the Hunting Lodge, Nicky's enchanting country house that once belonged to John Fowler.  Perhaps it was the allure of these two designers that had me eagerly anticipating the release of this book.  Whatever the reason, the book turned out to be exactly as I had hoped: interesting, inspirational, and hands down a fun read.

Nicky's book is charming and engaging for a number of reasons.  First, he is an excellent writer, one who throws out all kinds of interesting historical tidbits and practical decorating advice along with humorous, and at times naughty, quips thrown in for good measure.  For those of you who are eager to learn about Nicky's thoughts on fabrics, floors, and like, you won't be disappointed as he includes numerous chapters focused on such aspects of decorating.  And if you are a devotee of the country house style, then you'll enjoy reading about the evolution of the house as well as studying the luscious photos of forty years worth of decorative layers.

In fact, even without Nicky's well-written narrative, the book would still be a success, I think, because of Simon Upton's photos.  There are large room shots as well as many detail photos that capture all of Nicky's amusing and entertaining mementos.  There is just so much to look at in this house- and this book- that one could spend hours studying these pictures.  Wait, I did spend hours studying the book's pictures!

I'm not sure what Nicky's follow-up book is going to be, but whatever it is, I am eagerly awaiting that one too.








© Nicky Haslam's Folly De Grandeur: Romance and Revival in an English Country House by Nicholas Haslam, Rizzoli New York, 2013. Images © Simon Upton may not be reproduced in any way, published, or transmitted digitally without written permission from the publisher.

12 comments:

  1. It's on my wishlist; I adore houses like this!

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    1. Stefan, I really think you will enjoy it!

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  2. No one did the English Country House look better than John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster. What a loss to the world of design if these two geniuses had never met!

    The faded sepia color on the sitting room walls (second picture above) is one I tried to emulate with no degree of success whatsoever. Perhaps I needed to be patient for fifty more years! I wonder how many other designers coveted Fowler's little hunting lodge before Nicky Haslam was wise enough to buy it.

    Thanks, Jennifer, for the heads up. I plan to buy this book today!

    April

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    1. April, According to the book, Fowler achieved that color by mixing Bull's Blood into the paint. Haslam said that he recreated the color by using tint rather than blood! Haslam likened the color to that of a fabric band-aid.

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    2. Bull's Blood? I just love that. Leave it to the Brits for authenticity!

      Wonder just how they managed that since I doubt if the bull was in a very cooperative mood!

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  3. I follow his blog + love all things British. Can't wait to get this book. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  4. Dahhhing what a great suggestion. I must add it to my list of books to add to my collection for 2012! Loved John Fowler's work.

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  5. i have always loved the Fowler-Haslam house. Clicking on over to order now!
    xo, Lissy parker

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  6. I have been in a lather waiting for my copy to arrive from John Sandoe in London and so thrilled to read your good review.oh the excitement of some new shots of the hunting lodge and Nicky's great writing, just the combo we all love.

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  7. Running out to the book shop!!!

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  8. Nicky Haslam has really done an amazing job with The Hunting Lodge. Its as if John Fowler has been there all the time, but just evolved. I wonder if Fiona Heyward has been as successful with Hasely Court. Would have loved to hear her speak in Charleston last month! Am definitely going to grab a copy of the book!

    The Perfect Life

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