Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: The Country House Ideal

The Country House Ideal by Jeremy Musson
Published by Merrell Press
ADAM Architecture, based in the UK, has a worldwide reputation for traditional architecture and design, and has built award-winning projects of all types around the world. Among the firms most admired architectural masterpieces however, are their grand country houses. Architectural historian, Jeremy Musson, the foremost authority on British country houses and culture.
The former Architectural Editor of Country Life magazine, Musson has written many books on the glorious country houses that dot the English countryside, this his fifth. ADAM Architecture was created in 1986, and now operates with the creative direction of architects Robert Adam, Paul Hanvey, Nigel Anderson, Hugh Petter and George Saumarez Smith. Together, the team builds country houses today for the elite, which certainly reflect the grand manors of the past, but have creative and contemporary solutions to how we live (and want to live) today.
The book is glorious, truly. A masterpiece of work both in architecture and in interior design. With 19-featured projects, it's impossible for me to showcase all of them here, but take a look at just a few of the gorgeous restorations, renovations, and new construction that the book has to offer:
Photo Credit - Paul Barker
As a sucker for symmetry in design, the houses of ADAM Architecture really appeal. Particularly this one, set in the hills of Wiltshire. It was built to replace a home that was destroyed by fire in 1945 in the neo-Queen Anne style.
Photo Credit - Paul Barker

Here, another beautiful example of English architecture. This Cotswald stone in Oxfordshire is designed in sympathetic style, and is a five-bay addition to an old farm house.
  Photo Credit - Paul Barker
This Cottage Ornee style house in Easstridge, Hampshire is a playful take on the gothic style of architecture known earlier. The house is brand new, but looks centuries old thanks to materials and the superb architectural knowledge of ADAM architect, Nigel Anderson.

Photo Credit - Paul Barker
Another new build by Nigel Anderson, beautifully sited in Hampshire, reflects the best Classical tradition in the English countryside.
Interiors of these gorgeous homes are also featured, and they are as unique but beautiful as the architecture of the exterior:
Photo Credit - Paul Barker; Interior of Stocks Houses - Hertfordshire, UK scanned
Photo Credit - Paul Barker; Interior of Stocks Houses - Hertfordshire, UK scanned
Photo Credit - Paul Barker; Interior of Stocks Houses - Hertfordshire, UK scanned
Photo Credit - Paul Barker; Interior of a house in the Avenel project, Scotland scanned
Photo Credit - Paul Barker; Interior of East Hoe Manor, Hampshire scanned

287 beautifully curated pages of photos, history, architectural notoriety, and design lay waiting for you to add to your library. Trust me, if you're a fan of architecture, design, or the English Country aesthetic, it's a book you'll not want to live without. It's the kind of book that gives you enough ammunition to launch an all out attack on the internet to get more and more and more information about a house leaving you not only satiated in design, but perhaps, a little smarter, too! Grab your copy today, via the Amazon link below.



  1. I feel in awe after having watched the pictures of this wonderful book ... the next month is my birthday .... if someone needs an idea for a gift, I won't forget it, believe me {{SMILES}} !
    Thank you for sharing such BEAUTY

  2. Your photos and articles both are perfection . Like these .


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