These are the books on English Country style most recommended by the editors of Old House Journal.
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• THE COUNTRY HOUSE PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE by David Cannadine and Jeremy Musson (Rizzoli 2018) Large-format book on great British houses (includes Scotland and Ireland), with commentary on 20-century impact and interior style evolution in the past 40 years.
• THE REBIRTH OF AN ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by the Earl of Shaftesbury (Rizzoli 2018) Details on the restoration of a Georgian manor in Dorset.
• SECRET HOUSES OF THE COTSWOLDS by Jeremy Musson (Francis Lincoln 2018) “Privileged access to 20 houses, from castles to manors and 19-century mansions.” Photographs chronicle the evolution of English interiors.
• PERFECT ENGLISH TOWNHOUSE by Ros Byam Shaw (Ryland Peters & Small 2018) In-depth house tours in traditional townhouses, most with layered interiors.
• ENGLISH HOUSES: Inspirational Interiors from City Apartments to Country Manor Houses by Ben Pentreath (Ryland Peters & Small 2016) Visits to 12 very different homes ranging from a 16-century stone manor to a 1930s pied-a-terre, in city and country, all with richly layered rooms.
• STONE HOUSES OF THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE by Nicholas Mander (Rizzoli Classics 2016) Learned commentary with photos 1900–2007, many in black & white, from Country Life magazine, chronicling over 50 Cotswold houses medieval through Arts & Crafts period.
• THE DRAWING ROOM: English Country House Decoration by Jeremy Musson (Rizzoli 2014) High-style, historic English rooms including work by Lancaster, Fowler, Hicks. Many, many details. More formal due to the subject.
• THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE GARDEN by George Plumptre (Francis Lincoln 2014) The most comprehensive book on gardens for this genre.
• THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by James Peill (Vendome Press 2013) In-depth look at 10 houses still in the hands of the original owners. A feast.
• ENGLISH DECORATION: Timeless Inspiration for the Contemporary Home by Ben Pentreath (Ryland Peters & Small 2012) Informal, not “decorated,” evolved interiors classic to eccentric.
• ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE INTERIORS by Jeremy Musson (Rizzoli 2011)
Detailed exploration of 15 houses Jacobean to Palladian to Victorian Gothic; up close on painting and plaster, window treatments, furniture, textiles. Included: the work of 20 century interior designers, and archival photos from Country Life.
• THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE: From the Archives of Country Life by Mary Miers (Rizzoli 2009) Huge volume showing exteriors and interiors as chronicled in Country Life magazine.
• NANCY LANCASTER: English Country House Style by Martin Wood (Frances Lincoln 2005) Offering biography, decorating, and history “that brings characters to life,” the book also has beautiful photos of Lancaster’s own homes and gardens.
• THE ENGLISH ROOM by Chippy Irvine (Bulfinch 2001) Town and country houses from different periods, all in England, with capsule decorative-arts and furniture history. Photos are not “prettified.”
• ENGLISH COUNTRY: Living in England’s Private Houses by Caroline Seebohm (Clarkson Potter 1987) Photos exterior and interior, from gardens to pottery; rooms filled with chintz, wallpaper, textiles, and traditional furniture.
• ENGLISH COUNTRY STYLE by Mary Gilliatt (Little Brown & Co. 1987) Personal rooms for those who love antiques and treasures.
• THE VICTORIAN COUNTRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard (Yale Univ. Press, 1985 ed.) The great British houses of the 19 century.