John Fowler: Prince of Decorators
John Fowler was an interior decorator who set fashions and changed tastes. The English country house style, which he developed with Sibyl Colefax and Nancy Lancaster, his partners in the firm of Colefax & Fowler, has proved a source of continuing inspiration to decorators and home-owners on both sides of the Atlantic and indeed across the world. Today, a hundred years after his birth, his influence is almost as powerful as it was in the mid twentieth century, when he was working on so many of Britain's finest and most famous houses, including Uppark, Chequers and Buckingham Palace, as well as dozens of more modest projects. Fowler's style has been so widely imitated that it is easy to forget what an innovator he was. In the thirties and forties his style was a breath of fresh country air, sweeping away heavy velvets and damasks in favour of crisp cotton chintzes, replacing glossy mahogany with painted Regency furnishings, elaborate porcelain and glitzy ormulu with modest pottery and painted tin. Even after the war, when he came to specialize in the decoration of architecturally important interiors, he continued to prefer 'humble elegance' and 'romantic disrepair' to pomposity. This is a comprehensive and detailed guide to the style of the decorator who created 'shabby chic'. It contains over 300 illustrations, many never previously published. It is an invaluable source book for interior decorators and anyone aiming to achieve a style that is at once elegant and relaxed.