Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Book Review: Perfect English Farmhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

It's time for another book review, huzzah! 

Do you fancy joining me on my tea-drinking tour through this lovely book? 
Well, come and take a seat....let's dive in together....

Today's choice is Perfect English Farmhouseby Ros Byam Shaw, with fantastic photography by Jan Baldwin. These two women make a brilliant pairing, and collaborated on Ros' previous book in this series 'Perfect English Cottage'

Ros Byam Shaw knows her stuff; having been Features Editor at World of Interiors, and Deputy Editor of W magazine, Ros now works as a freelance writer for interiors' magazines, as well as taking time out to create some of the best interior books around. Yes, I'm officially a fan!

I don't review any old book here on Modern Country Style, only the cream of the crop make it through. And Perfect English Farmhouse
does not disappoint. It features page after page of gorgeous farmhouses showcasing a whole range of different styles. 

Each chapter is devoted to a specific Farmhouse feel: 
Organic, Traditional, Fresh, No Frills and Funky.

At the end of each section is an inspired summing-up, picking out elements that can be used in any house.

Perfect English Farmhouse falls firmly into the Country end of my interior-related book collection. The houses featured are all beautifully rustic and have the most amazing period features. Just look at these banisters for example...

Or these beams...

And, yes, Cabbages and Roses table cloth, don't think I don't have my beady eye on you...

However, of all the pictures in the entire book (and it is a bit of a tome!), the next one is The One that got my heart thumping harder.....

Isn't it beautiful? The colours, the simple style, the fabrics...
A closer look into the bathroom?

If you look past the gorgeous buildings, each home has been so carefully and so lovingly put together that it's hard not to want to up sticks to a farm this very second. However, for those of you firmly ensconced in the city, there's plenty  of ideas here for you too. No flagstones necessary!

I can't decide whether I'd like all my back issues stacked up like that, stunning though they look here. 
How long would it realistically stay a neat, tall pile? 

Published by Ryland, Peters and Small, Perfect English Farmhouse just oozes relaxed British style. I'd bet that each of these farmhouses has a boot-room full of muddy boots and riding hats.

It is true that it's the photographs that draw you into the book initially but it's Ros Byam-Shaw's lively writing that kept me there all the way through.

Perfect English Farmhouseis one of those books that is just perfect for this time of year when you want to hunker down after long walks with snuggly blankets, steaming cups of milky tea and thick woollen socks.

A very pleasurable morning's read indeed!

{Edited note: Woah! I've been bombarded with emails asking where my cup and saucer is from. As well as replying individually to emails, I thought I'd share with you here too for all those too shy to ask! The cup and saucer are from Polie Pottery....have a look here}

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I am drawn to the book and to your tea cup. It looks like Polish pottery ... but I have never seen a heart pattern.


Unknown said...

Okay, I'm convinced. Will order right now C:

Duni said...

Lovely interiors!
I hope you enjoyed your tea - your cup and saucer are adorable :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing the source of your delightful cup and saucer. I was one of the ones too shy to ask. :-)


Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Well spotted, Glenda! Polie Pottery are a Polish company! I'm very impressed!!


Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


This book is fabulous! I love it and must get a copy so that I can sit and relax with a cup of tea and take in all of the wonderful interiors.

Have a fabulous day, Elizabeth

Carolyn@Sweet Chaos Home said...

Looks like a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing :)

Alison Agnew said...

oh what a yummy tome
i'd love to sit
and flip through
one lovely page at a time

thanks for sharing
the gorgeousness!


The Snowdrop Project said...

Hi Sarah,
Another one for the 'wish list'.
It looks like Ros Byam Shaw has got it right again. I'm always drawn to her books in the bookshop. Very stylish.
Have a lovely day,

Unknown said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your recent visit to my blog, and your sweet comment. I love this book review. I'll have to pick up a copy, thanks for the very insightful heads up. Have a wonderful day! -Al

Bumpkin Hill said...

Oh my goodness to live there! What a treat for my eyes, thank you :) catherine x

Vorpaks said...

That will have to go on my wishlist, for sure.

RE: the stacked magazines. I think a lot of people get the look by using concealed/floating bookshelves. It looks like the magazines are stacked but in fact there are several think shelves in between, holding them up.

I found an example here:

louise said...

The book looks great - another one to add to my ever growing collection. Maybe they need a chapter on how to store all these interiors books we so love?

Absolutely lovely to meet you and the adorable little Sophie yesterday. What a super bunch of women bloggers!

Blondie's Journal said...

I definitely don't need another decorating book but this one just oozes ideas! Great review...I think another copy has been sold!


Pauline Wiles said...

Lovely. My favourite photo is the one with the Teddy!
But I'm also very taken by your cup and saucer ;)

Daydream Living said...

Hi Sarah!
First, thanks for your sweet comments, always makes me smile to see your name pup up.
Dubai homes are so different than the European ones, my style will change a bit for these 3 years, so seeing this review made me very happy! Thanks! Hope all is well,
Maureen x

Dorset Finca said...

What a gorgeous book! I love it already... and yes, the cup and saucer is also the business! x

Paula said...

This is one of my favourite books - I LOVE everything about Ros's work, and have each and every one of her books - they're so inspiring for that perfect modern country look!

Paula xxx
p.s. Hope that you had a fabulous time at Sketch - wish I'd been there to meet you in person!

Lori said...

Is that tea cup Emma Bridgewater? I am trying to find some here in Dallas to buy. I don't want to pay the shipping. Love it.

Elaine said...

I admit I have a bit of a Home Interior book obsession and a book about British Farmhouses could just put me over the edge.
But I'm willing to take the plunge!

Seaweed and Raine said...

Run me a big steaming bubble bath! :)

Travel With Lulu said...

To me an English cottage has white walls, wooden beams, an AGA, and leather. This book just oozes that cozy look. I'm wondering if I can bring a bunch of old beams to the US one day to make my own 17th Cent cottage?

Bluebells and Lavender said...

Hi Sarah, I love RBS's books and have already two of hers - Perfect English Cottage and Old House New Home. I've been eyeing this book for a long time on Amazon, so thank you for sharing some of the beautiful interiors....shall have to pop an order in quick...Have a lovely day!
Sharon x

SImple and Serene Living said...

Be still my beating heart. This book looks fabulous.

Cindy said...

That looks like a fabulous read and look! I love the style of the beautiful, comfy home and the stack of magazines? Well, I don't think it's meant for a home full of lively children, do you? I could get away with it so long as I didn't want to look through the pile very often, I guess.
Hugs, Cindy

michele said...

drowning in the lovely of this book, sarah. it's a must have!


Brandi said...

I would love to curl up on the couch with this book in hand. Thanks for sharing.

Meera @ firstsense said...

Ooh I loved Ros Byam Shaw's Perfect English Cottage so this is on my wishlist too!

Your teacup is adorable!! That's going on my Christmas wishlist :)

Meera xx

Privet and Holly said...

LOVE this and
am coveting your
copy!! The only
thing better than
this sneak peak
would be a cuppa
together as we
oohed and awwed : )

xo Suzanne

PS: Loved seeing
you and your little
one on Laura's blog
post about the tea
at Sketch....!

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