My Favourite Decor Books

Friday, 28 September 2012

Summer is for days out - HintonAmpner

Hi everyone, although summer is well and truly over and it's officially Autumn, I thought I would post our visit to the beautiful historical country estate of Hinton Ampner, Arlesford. 

 One fine day in August during my mother's visit, we took a drive into the country for a picnic and stopped along the way to explore the vision of Ralph Dutton, the 8th and Last Lord Sherbourne.

The house was built in 1790 but was remodelled extensively in 1867 and then again in 1936 by Lord Dutton, who wanted to restore it to his vision of what a Georgian country house would look like. 

The house was again completely remodelled after a fire took place in the study in 1960, and it took Lord Dutton only three years to refurnish the house with valuable antiques, mirrors and paintings, which has given the house the interior look we see today.  As he left no heirs, on his death in 1985 he left the estate to the National Trust.

The gardens are exquisite and the views spectacular.  Admiring the gardens one can imagine elegant ladies taking early evening walks in summer before retiring...

At Christmas time the house is decorated in true traditional English style as if to receive a party of guests and the dining room laid out with the finest china all ready for a sumptuous Christmas dinner.

Apparently, this sideboard was bought for the princely sum of £8.00!!  

This is a type of jewellery box, inlaid with mirrors and tiny boxes to keep treasured trinkets

The library, where the fire started in 1960.

The walls are covered in this elegant cherry red fabric

One of the guest bedrooms

Lord Dutton's bedroom, with the sheets folded back and the pillows propped up, it would seem as though he just got out of bed...

The gardens from the bedroom window

Hope you enjoyed the visit!
Until next time...

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Autumn look

Good morning Autumn!
(I love this time of year!)  
What I particularly appreciate about English seasons is that you can see the weather changing.  One day you're driving in the car and you see a flutter of colourful dry leaves as they drift through the air...a sure sign that autumn is on it's way.

For me, autumn is all about tweeds, rustling dry leaves in spectacular colours; red, orange, yellow, green, ochre, plum, charcoal and black, wet soggy earth and wellington boots, lace up brogues and smart leather pumps. 

 It's about brisk walks in the country, bike rides, hot comforting soups, freshly baked bread and plum jam and interiors full of textures and layers.  Check shirts and skirts, woolly scarves, tartan blankets, and fires burning in the hearth...

 (image from

(all images Pinterest)

Autumn seems to bring out the homemaker in me, I want to knit, crochet, sew and bake.  It's a time to renew, reinvent and rest, a time to shrug off the old, and prepare for the new....

I leave you with these beautiful words...

To Autumn by William Blake (From Poetical Sketches 1783)

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

Happy Autumn...