Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Book review: Comfortable Country by Enrica Stabile

Comfortable Country: Peaceful Homes Inspired by the Country by Enrica Stabile veers much more towards the Traditional Country side, rather than my favoured Modern Country Style. By that, I mean the rooms presented are more busy, patterned and full of knick-knacks and ornaments than those that I naturally lean towards.

There is less of an emphasis on texture and quality, and more on chintz and swirls. That's not to say that some people wouldn't rightly love this style but it doesn't ring my bells.

A quote from the book is quite telling. 'Recapture the unassuming style of a contented era not so long ago..." Traditional style is more about looking back to the 'contented' past (although, life for a country cottage worker would have been anything but contented...) and Modern Country Style is more about taking the very best from the past and moving it forward, if that makes sense.

Here's an example of one I dislike (too lurid, too stripy, too cluttered...):

Having said that, there are some lovely photos in Comfortable Country.

The garden section, especially, is beautiful.

The content of the book is divided into two parts, Country Influences (changing seasons, peacefulness, nostalgia, utility and natural materials) and Country Rooms. I love the utility and natural materials sections. There's plenty of inspiration. Here's an image I like (love the mix of chairs):

The writing is lovely and really draws you into the heart of the book, which is about creating the feel of comfort and relaxation within a country setting and that is where Traditional and Modern Country Style's paths DO cross.

Overall, Comfortable Country is a nice book to have. Not so much for the pictures, although the are plenty of gorgeous images, but for the text, which has a good mix of practical suggestions and dreamy and evocative inspiration.

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jim_greenan said...

OK, mixed chairs - I love that - and I have it - albeit accidentally (and some of them are broken!!). But my plan is to paint them all different colours - which is gonna take it off in the colourful, busy direction I like and you don't!! xxx

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

That sounds nice. Very Cath Kidston, who has just released coloured chairs as part of her range.

It's not that I *don't* like colours and busyness in other people's houses, just that that feel doesn't go with the current look of the rooms we've done up. The beauty of both sets of coliurs becomes tarnished,I think, when they are put alongside each other.

jim_greenan said...

I get what you're saying and like your strong vision!

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