Here's John outside the Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler antiques-shop-cum-decorating-service at 39 Brook Street in London's Mayfair neighborhood. Um, chic!
I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and ate way too much turkey and drank gobs and gobs of Champagne. John and I have been continuing our European tour, and it has been smashing. We have traveled from London to Amsterdam and from there through various Dutch and German towns and cities including Apeldoorn, Cologne, and Koblenz, only to end up in Berlin. Of course, we have lapped up all of the various and fabulous design moments: We toured Het Loo, Charlottenburg, and Sanssouci palaces and browsed the wares at The Frozen Fountain.
And now we have just arrived in Paris for a few days via overnight train from Berlin. Whew!
But let’s backtrack more than a week to London: John and I are crazy about Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, the legendary London-based interior design firm founded by Lady Colefax back after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Eventually, Sibyl Colefax passed the firm along to the equally fabled John Fowler to run before Anglo-American design guru Nancy Lancaster purchased the firm in 1948. Well, maybe that’s all too much to follow. Let’s just say that the Colefax-Fowler-Lancaster design martini has one heck of a punch. And we want to drink it up like water after a drought.
Anyhow, Colefax & Fowler–with Nancy Lancaster at the helm–basically created the “British country house” look, so if you are passionate about interior design, hightail it to the multi-floor Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler shop at 39 Brook Street (and just down the street from Claridge’s hotel, not to mention that it’s just up the street from the Paul Smith Sale Shop!).
C&F is packed with glorious finds, from furnishings and lighting to fabrics and gifts. Plus, you can view the legendary, 46-foot-long and 14-foot-high yellow drawing room designed by Lancaster that has become one of the most famous spaces in the realm of interior design. And there’s also the sumptuous backyard that can be ogled through the windows as well as myriad nooks and crannies filled with stunning objets and design inspiration.
So next time you are in London, make sure to make a pilgrimage to Colefax & Fowler.
John climbs the stairs at Colefax & Fowler to scope the scene. Speaking of stairs, we plan to recreate this cord railing at our Madcap Cottage in upstate New York. Only in pink.
Nancy Lancaster's famous yellow study at 39 Brook Street with its barrel-vaulted ceiling. Stop into Colefax & Fowler if only to view this famous room with its sunny paint scheme and glorious furnishings.
This vaguely Shanghai circa-1935 vintage chair at C&F sent me reeling. The lines, the back, the elegance... Glorious!
I am in love with this very chic chair at C&F and want to have one of my own. I love the retro lines and the Victoriana nods. I am so digging anything Victorian right now. My current trend report: Victoriana, Arts & Crafts, and anything mustard.
Here's a peek at the Colefax & Fowler backyard with its chic pond and verdant foliage. The pond seems to be covered in emerald-green duck weed with a little fish-shaped fountain spouting away. Sadly, there were no ducks bobbing about... J'adore a good duck.
Here's a photo of legendary design star John Fowler's famous country escape in Hampshire, outside of London. If I could have any house in the world, it would be this amazing, centuries-old former hunting lodge where London designer Nicky Haslam currently weekends.