The Quintessential English Interior – #atozchallenge



One of the things I enjoyed the most about writing Greening of Heart, was conducting the research for the book. I wanted to represent the most perfect or typical example (the definition for the word quintessential) of things in the book including the roadside plants to the interiors of the Vicarage and Cotswold cottages. One of the books I used for my research on what is quintessential in a English home is called @Classic English Interiors written by @Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill. Lady Henrietta is the elder daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, whose family home is Blenheim Palace. In 1981, with a partner, she set up her own interior design company, @Woodstock Designs. Four major fabric and wallpaper collections have put the Spencer-Churchill name at the forefront of classic English interior design. As I read about what is quintessential in English interior design, I was able to authenticate my fictional interiors.

Here is a quote from a scene when Hannah invites a woman, Margaret Clover, to follow her into the Vicarage for the first time. “She (Hannah) led the way to the kitchen, but as she passed through the hall, she looked at the vicarage through the eyes of this stranger. Except for Martin’s closed library door, which seemed inhospitable, she judged the living and dining room spaces as welcoming. The Colfax and Fowler fabrics on chairs and couches were quintessential English. Large down pillows were casually thrown about on the furniture. Hannah assumed the yellow paint she’d selected for the formal rooms of the house made others happy too.”

Look at my Pinterest boards for further quintessential English subjects, and download Greening set in the quintessential village of Burford.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge - April 2013 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Quintessential English Interior – #atozchallenge

  1. What a lovely blog! I found you from the Challenge. Even though I’m participating on the Challeng with my blogger blog, I like to visit wordpress sites to follow as I have a site there as well. I definitely want to return here. I’d like to wander through your past gardening posts!

  2. Just stopping by to say “Hi” from the A-Z Challenge list 🙂

    Lovely post honey!

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!


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