Lee Stanton Blog



The Kennels at Goodwood, Sussex 

I would venture to say that when you are asked what comes to mind when you think French, your answer would be French wine, food, fashion and romance. Likewise, when you think Italian it will probably be pasta, clothing, leather goods, opera and drama.  When it comes to English it definitely won’t be food, probably not fashion or clothing, maybe literature but more often than not it will be English furniture, architecture and perhaps nobility.  This is not to say that the French or Italians did not have their impact on architecture and furniture.  In fact, their bold designs in various periods over time have emotionally influenced design in furniture and architecture more than any other country in the world.   So why do we relate the Brits to architecture and furniture?   Their designs were not bold.  They were not emotional. And they certainly were not romantic.

I believe that it is the safe, steady and consistent nature of British furniture or architecture that stands out over time.  It is humble but makes a statement.  It is strong but not dismissive. It is elegant but not gauche. If you were to relate British furniture to people, you would say they are stable, straightforward and someone you can rely on.  They don’t stand in your way and they definitely get along with others. They can be very proper but they know how to have fun.

Brandon Schubert via House & GardenWhen you look at the various styles and periods of French and to some extent Italian furniture, as beautiful as they are, they do not translate or flow into other styles or periods as smoothly as a Georgian piece into Regency or Victorian.  Or even more so another culture or style.  A nice Georgian piece goes nicely with an industrial piece from France or Belgium.  A Regency piece will probably flow nicely with an abstract painting from Eastern Europe.  But you probably would not mix a Louis XVI piece with industrial desk or abstract art.

So why is British furniture such a foundation in design while at the same time so versatile?   It all boils down to form and function.  As I mentioned it is straightforward. For the most part the lines are straight. You know what you are going to get and that it’s going to go well with and allow other pieces to standout.  It embraces and takes inspiration from other styles and periods yet stays true to itself.  It translates well and is also functional Think of drop leaf or extending tables, bookcases, servers, chests of drawers and comfy lounge chairs. They serve a purpose and make our life more comfortable.  

It’s no reason we relate to English furniture like we do to Italian pasta or French wine.  It’s a staple. It’s always been there and it’s always going to be there for us to enjoy.
                                   Designer Rose Uniacke takes us through

                                     her neo-Georgian home via Nowness

1st Photo: The Kennels at Kennwood 
2nd Photo: House & Garden UK 
3rd Photo: @RoseUniacke Instagram