Quintessentially British Style
April 27, 2017|Style
- uintessentially British style can come in many guises, from a stately home nestled in the countryside to an elegant Georgian townhouse, the essence of British décor remains charmingly elusive. The unique marriage of eccentricity, elegance and subtle wit has ensured British interior design has remained enduringly popular, offering an attractive alternative to the prevalence of Scandinavian-inspired minimalism. Much of this appeal lies in the rich history many British homes lay claim to, providing a wealth of beautiful period features to work with such as decorative cornices, panelling and architraves. With such rich architectural foundations to build upon, it’s no surprise that British design has been well recognised world-wide for its distinctive charm.
Typically, a British home is full of traditional details, with the history of the property playing a key part in informing the styling of its interiors. Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian houses all benefit from having a wealth of attractive period features which impart a unique quality to a home. At Oliver Burns, our aim is to both retain and redefine these features which make a property quintessentially British in feel, updating the space for 21st century living. As designers and developers, it is our responsibility to preserve the original architectural features which tell a story of a building’s place in British history. By respecting the structure and integrity of a property, we are safeguarding the beautiful buildings which shape and define our landscape.
This is illustrated by our sensitive restoration of Dalton House, a Georgian landmark which had fallen into disrepair. Working alongside conservation specialists, we won a civic award for returning it to its former glory. Our architectural services were also enlisted at Walpole Mayfair, a magnificent building that was once home to Britain’s first and longest serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. As many of the original features had been mistreated, we worked to thoughtfully reinstate many of these architectural details such as the cornices and porticos.
However, it is not just the architectural details which mark out a home as quintessentially British, but also the fabric, furnishings and objects which fill its interiors. The penthouse we designed at Beau House on iconic Jermyn Street in St. James’s, was thoughtfully designed to reflect the rich history of British tailoring and craftsmanship the area is renowned for. An exclusive collaboration, the design of this luxury penthouse was inspired by the 18th century arbiter of gentleman’s fashion, Beau Brummell. Celebrated for his understated colour palette and exquisite tailored garments, Beau was a quintessentially British sartorial icon.
Elements of his sophisticated brand of style can be observed throughout this luxury residence; from the bespoke tailored detailing of British upholster Aiveen Daly’s dining chairs to Quintessa’s Street Life prints depicting stylish gentlemen, each and every item has been discerningly chosen to weave an intriguing narrative. The style of a distinguished English manor has been re-created borrowing traditional elements associated with the country residence such as equine sculptures, a modern interpretation of a Queen Anne wingback chair and a selection of heirlooms such as Lalique’s exquisite Languedoc vase. The overall effect is timeless but contemporary, luxurious but liveable, perfectly capturing that essential British requirement of comfort.
With its inimitable character and charm, it’s not difficult to understand the allure of owning a quintessentially British home. Whether it is the architectural features or the interior design that mark out a house as typically British, it is sure to be a home that will never go out of style.