Irvine is known worldwide as an originator of the English country house look, a look not inherited, the decorator points out, but invented in the twentieth century. His characteristic played-down grandeur includes signature touches such as authoritative use of antiques of all eras, exquisite painted effects, rare scenic wallpaper, faded old carpets (his favourites are those that "look as though they might be in their last week"), spirited English and French chintzes, and loads of busts and books ("one can never have too many!").
Included in the book are more than twenty-five projects, including homes for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Katherine Graham, Rex and Mercia Harrison, and Joan Kennedy, illustrated with exceptional colour photographs drawn from Irvine's own archive. Irvine also presents his most personal projects, those designed for his own family.
For a long time now, the emphasis of radical architecture has rested on the challenge of designing homes in towns and cities and the focus of...
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