Romantic English HomesÂ is an inspirational collection of truly timeless houses.Â Ever since the first milords embarked on a Grand Tour in the seventeenth century, the passion for developing collections has been a national trait of England. As a result, the countryâ€™s aristocratic palaces became repositories of treasure gathered from around the globe. But so too, thanks to the spread of an Empire providing goods from across the globe, did almost every residence in England. Romantic English Homes features 14 such houses. Large or small, old or new, they all convey an impression of massed objects intentionally mingling styles and tastes, the classical placed next to the gothic, tartan pattern competing with floral print. Decorated with defiant eclecticism, the buildings featured here indicate that although the Empire may have gone, the English love of collecting remains as strong as ever. Criss-crossing the country, from Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall to East Anglia and Suffolk, from London to Lancashire and Shropshire, it is both the romantic timelessness of these properties and their many-layered appearance that makes them so alluring.
Quixotic, often whimsical and definitely quirky, they provide a sanctuary from the Irish climate, which is frequently gray, cold, and damp. No wonder, therefore, that over the centuries Ireland's domestic architecture and interior design have developed a distinctive personality in which color and vivacity are highly prized. Romantic Irish Homes presents 15 of the finest examples of these traits, each one of them distinctive and yet sharing the same native spirit. From vast ancient castles through sturdy Georgian manors to small farmhouses, the majority of them never previously photographed, the homes featured here offer a unique insight into the Irish temperament and an exploration of a style of decoration that, while adapted to meet 21st-century demands, still retains an historic integrity. Photographed by Simon Brown, Romantic Irish Homes is every bit as charming and memorable as the Irish people themselves.