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Posted June 9, 2009
Really great inspiration. Excellent writing and analysis of a master. Highly recommend it. Not for the beginner, but if you've been reading decorating books for a year or so, prepare to be awestruck!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2009
Posted February 2, 2009
With a remarkable memory for the smallest detail, imagination, and an appreciation of beauty, John Fowler was called 'the Prince of Decorators.' He may well have deserved that sobriquet, but in this lushly illustrated 240 volume we also learn that he was not a prince of a fellow. Early in his career Fowler worked as a painter for Thornton Smith, commercial decorators. It was there that he learned to paint 'the Chinese wallpapers that were so fashionable at the time', and also how to grime and distress furniture. Later, in 1928 or 1929 he set out to work on his own, often freelancing for other decorators. Following a series of commissions, a 1938 House Garden article placed Fowler among England's leading decorators. Rising from a salaried painter to this position in a decade was quite a feat. More success followed as he joined Sybil Colefax in 1938. He was 32 she who enjoyed stature as a society hostess was 64. However, their alliance was dramatically affected with the outbreak of war when decorating all but stopped. After Sybil Colefax's death the firm of Colefax & Fowler was acquired by Nancy Lancaster, a Virginian whose work is thought of as 'English style.' She was to teach Fowler much about comfort and scale, 'how large houses could be used and enjoyed in the modern world.' Fowler, who died in 1977, had an enviable client list. He transformed some of the most famous houses in England, and was commissioned by Buckingham Palace. The style created by the team of Colefax & Fowler endures today, English Country House Style represents not only decoration but a way of life. Many try to emulate it but none capture it as did John Fowler. Those with an interest in twentieth century design will treasure this keepsake volume. - Gail CookeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.