17 January 2012

Inspiration: Charlotte Moss & Nancy Lancaster


I just love this Charlotte Moss patchwork pattern! It's Amelia from her collection for Fabricut. When I wrote about the collection earlier, (here) I envisioned Amelia in a room with starched linens that rumble,  & some yellows with this Bluebell colorway.

My thought was a truly classic room without the staid stately trappings some Classic Rooms carry with it.
What had prompted the vision?

Sifting back through files over the holidays I revisited my roots- the rooms of Nancy Lancaster. I still find Nancy Lancaster's design LIFE to be one of the most fascinating in design history. From her grandparents home of Mirador in Virginia to Kelmarsh Hall and Ditchley as  a married Nancy Tree-then to Haseley Court-by way of a second marriage to a Colonel Lancaster-then there was the most beautiful & famous Yellow Room at Avery Row, Mayfair designed with her business partner John Fowler. Lastly- to the Coach House at Haseley Court where she lived for the rest of her life. The changes in her life never defined her- but decorating did! She adapted with equal grace and style from the simply grand to the grandly simple, as witnessed in her Coach House rooms of Haseley.

 Nancy Lancaster, left & a painting by Leon de Smet

in the mood, Oscar de la Renta, 2008

Belgian painter,Leon de Smet's Two Children in an Interior

other patterns in the collection to add to a Nancy Lancaster Classic-

top left, & right- matelasse Agatha in Fresh Cream, embroidery Charlotte in Mist, below left & right- floral Lucie in Celadon & versatile solid Aphra in Capri

I love the little border that runs all along the Walls of Nancy's bedroom- above the skirting and replacing a molding along the ceiling line. Rambling print Isabella in Camellia above has a border that would add just the right heft of any room's walls-especially those with some angles and quirky corners.

I selected different colors from Charlotte's collection to insure a true classic English mix. One of the secrets to  Lancaster decorating is making it uncontrived- Mix, Mix- & Do Not Match. Pairing Celadon with Blue gives instant English fade to your room. Don't make it too bright & don't translate Lancaster literally- She wouldn't like it- nor will it resonate.  Amelia, Lucie and Isabella should be cut into squares and patched together to make Amelia-more patched. As Charlotte might say Be Inspired-

& lastly----don't forget the Cornflowers.

everything about Nancy Lancaster at little augury here
more of Charlotte Moss' Collection here
the Leon de Smet paintings were spied at Barbara's It's About Time- explore it here



  1. NIce set of posts on La Lancaster. Well done!

  2. You are my favorite blogger, and today's post is an example of your inspiring talent: The workings of your creativity marry the designers' color, patterns, and history with art that enriches the collage.
    Always a great way to start my day...wonderful visuals and thoughtful writing.

  3. I agree with Dream Big and SH. I have come back to this a number of times since you have first posted . Loved the painting by Smet, and you are an artist in the whole assemblage, mood.
    Warmest, xo PB



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