It’s been a real pleasure reviewing this book - it’s right up our street - or right up our country lane as the case may be!
This is the second review we’ve written in the The Way We Live… series, the first being The Way We Live With the Things We Love
As the title suggests, this one is concerned with all things rustic & rural…
…the landscape, the lifestyle, the buildings & their interiors.
Once again, there’s a wonderful introduction by author Stafford Cliff.
As with all good introductions, it not only gives a broad overview of the subject - it also creates atmosphere and whets the appetite for the pages that follow.
He begins with this magical image:
"Many years ago, long before mobile phones or sat-nav, I went to visit a friend who lived in central France. As the light began to fade, my companions and I found ourselves driving along narrow roads in open farmland with our map and our directions running out. Suddenly up ahead we noticed a narrow track leading through fields to a distant farmhouse. We knew that we had arrived at the right place because every few feet along both sides of this road my friend had placed old jam jars containing little flickering candles. The effect was heart-stopping and memorable, and it said ‘Welcome’ in a way no words ever could. The scene comes to mind again now, because it distills the special qualities of living in the country, or visiting those who do."
The book comprises five main chapters - Country Landscapes, The House in the Country, Traditional Homes, Contemporary Homes and Country Details.
It’s great to see traditional & contemporary homes in the same book - the different interpretations of country living.
The blend of the two is just our kind of look - mixing antique country furniture with vintage ceramics & textiles from the 1950s & 60s.
A tool used throughout the book is page spreads of images comparing similar house details in different parts of the world.
It’s perfect for a quick flick through, but also stands up to deeper scrutiny.
The gorgeous photographs taken by the late Gilles De Chabaneix are accompanied by insightful captions - adding detail & context.
We have a handful of books that we gravitate towards - this one has joined their ranks.
This is a great book for providing interior decoration inspiration.
The mood of the subject simply washes over you. It’s very odd, but you almost sigh with relaxation - a sense of well-being & calm descending as you flick through the wonderful landscapes & houses.
There’s only one question left to answer - Do we recommend the book?
Well it’s probably quite obvious by now - if you share our love of country living or country influenced interiors, then this is a must have book.
We’re sure you’ll revisit it over & over again.
The Way We Live in the Country is available from the publishers, Thames & Hudson and also from the H s for Home UK & US aStores.
[Many thanks to Thames & Hudson for providing this review copy]