Americans are geniuses at appropriating other cultures and making them their own – case in point: Chinese take-out. But one thing we haven’t been able to perfect is English country house style. It requires a combination of qualities that upstarts simply don’t possess: seriously old money (and real estate); an eclectic mix of rare objects accumulated over centuries; and an appreciation, if not love, of discomfort and disorder.
For an impeccably, imperfect example of the form, look at the English hunting lodge that’s the country home of UK interior designer – and artist, writer, cabaret singer and socialite – Nicky Haslam. (His clients have included Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, the Saatchi brothers and Princess Michael of Kent.) Haslam, whose father was a diplomat and whose mother was a goddaughter of Queen Victoria, has lived in the lodge for 40 years, and it’s a comfy, stylish nest filled with enchanting bibs and bobs gathered from family and from friends like Lucian Freud and David Hockney. Since his home is now the subject of a new book, Nicky Haslam’s Folly de Grandeur – the source of these images – we all get the chance to live vicariously.
Take a look at the DuJour gallery to see inside Haslam’s home, and learn how he mastered the English country style.