Friday, April 30, 2010

John Fowler & Nancy Lancaster

Fowler London bedroom from 1970's, image from Architectural Digest

John Fowler worked with and was inspired by and inspired Nancy Lancaster for many years. He began as an apprentice in a workroom that painted screens and fabric. He joined Sibyl Colefax's interior design firm in 1938. But it was his collaboration with Nancy Lancaster that really put him on the map. Together they made famous the English Country look (which wasn't really invented by a decorator, it just evolved in English country houses). It is the beautiful but slightly shabby look featuring lots of chintz and antiques handed down through families. Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler perfected this look. Over time Fowler's style became less shabby and more refined and fussy (especially the elaborate curtains he favored).

Some of his rooms:

Fowler's London drawing room for the Bruces, 1960's, image from Architectural Digest

Bruce family London drawing room by John Fowler

Another Fowler drawing room from the 1960's - Wingfield House, from Aesthetes Lament blog

Parisian drawing room, image from A Different Shade of Gray blog

Washington, DC drawing room of the Bruce family in 1970's, image from Architectural Digest, via Aesthete's Lament

Same DC room, close up of chairs that were in Nancy Lancaster's bedroom at Haseley Court, Architectural Digest, via Aesthete's Lament