I was cleaning out my decorating magazines last week when I chanced to uncover one of my favorite issues of all time. It is the Traditional Home issue from April 2005. I know that I kept it because I loved looking at the manor house southwest of London and owned by Minnie and Dru Montagu.
The cover from the issue is below. Look at the darling dogs, the topiaries, antique oil painting, porcelain dogs on the hall table. It just screams, “anglophile!”
The information that I want to give you is from Traditional Home and the photos from Hall Place are courtesy of Kay from www.hydrangeahillcottage.blogspot.com.
The Queen Anne structure was built in 1680 by Isaac Foxcroft and, with the exception of two wings added in 1720 and the addition of new bathrooms and updates to the kitchen, the original structure remains intact.
The house sits on 400 acres which include forests, fields, hills, sparkling brooks and streams. There are several ponds where you can fish or row a boat.
Minnie did all of her own decorating in some 20 rooms. She is very fond of chickens and dogs at Hall Place. At the time or the article she had six dogs, and each one enjoyed a basket with comfy cushions. There are countless other dogs seen in oil paintings, drawings, photographs, and needlepoint creations.
Minnie raised exotic breeds of chickens. Like the dogs they are pampered with their own miniature village of henhouses designed to resemble the manor house. Two of her favorite chickens at the time of the article, Walter and Florinda, accompanied her in the kitchen. “I put them in baskets on top of a table so the dogs can’t get at them,” she said. “They sit there politely and watch me cook.”
It must have been collected over generations. The family had lived there for 20 years in 2005. Many of the furnishings came with them from their former home in London.
The English way of decorating is so warm and inviting…a minimalist would never like this controlled clutter that has been collected over time.
This must be the kitchen where the two chickens sit to watch Minnie Montagu cook. Do you suppose that she roasts a lot of beef?
In this attic guest room the beams are more than three centuries old.
I wish that I had more photos of Hall Place and Minnie Montagu’s decorating. But, here are some charming rooms that are also very English!
Maybe you should go to get a cup of tea!
These next rooms are courtesy of Mario Buatta who has been proclaimed, “The Prince of Chintz.” Although English decorating is not at the forefront right now, I think that it will be back in favor very soon. “What goes around, comes around.” This is a comfortable look with many patterns, good color and many collections prominently displayed.
Create and be happy!