EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Home & Garden
ELLE Decoration Country

ELLE Decoration Country

No. 16

Explore the most inspiring homes in the countryside: from coastal hideaways to rural havens in the latest edition of ELLE Decoration Country. This beautifully crafted and stylish book showcases the interiors, lifestyles and houses of those who define contemporary countryside living. Discover 15 of the world’s most beautiful homes as well as 50 beautiful and useful essentials that will turn a house into a home. This coffee-table staple is a must for all lovers of modern country style.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Hearst Magazines UK
Frequency:
Biannually
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in this issue

1 min.
welcome

While I’ve lived in London for the past 20 years, I was actually born in the countryside and spent much of my childhood in various rural locations across the UK. I may have embraced the city with its heady mix of commotion, grime and glamour, but I still hanker after the verdant spaces of my youth: the fresh air, the mucking about in the fields, the stars you can see at night… This latest issue of ELLE Decoration Country channels that desire to escape and find some sense of bucolic calm, but it also examines the idea that being close to nature can fuel creativity, whether you’re an artist, an architect or simply someone looking to reframe how you lead your life. I hope you find the people and places…

5 min.
a rural revolution

The idea of staying at a quintessential British country house hotel once conjured up images of dusty hallways, faded chintz and dark wood. Places trying to resurrect the grandeur of Downton Abbey-ish ‘upstairs-downstairs’ pomp and circumstance, more often than not feel drab and slightly comedic. In these times of Soho Farmhouse-slick and boutique Airbnb getaways, we are demanding more than naff nostalgia from our rural escapes. Fortunately, The Pig is one group turning that concept on its head. With seven properties dotted across the south of England from Hampshire and Kent to Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, it has spent the last nine years making the luxury rural retreat contemporary, dynamic and, once more, deeply desirable. Set up by Robin Hutson and David Elton in 2011, The Pig in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, in…

5 min.
let’s grow wild

Sustainable design pioneers Sebastian and Brogan Cox have recently published a highly informative, dense little booklet called Modern life from wilder land: a manifesto for nature-first land and resource use. As if the pair haven’t enough going on – in addition to juggling the projects of a successful 10-year old eponymous design studio, producing handcrafted furniture from coppiced wood and experimenting with biomaterials – they are also very new parents. None of this seems to have dulled their environmentalist passions and dedication to a circular economy. Both grew up in the countryside, on and around farms: Sebastian ‘a feral upbringing’ on his grandparents’ farm in Kent, and Brogan spending time on her grandparents’ pig farm in Lincolnshire. Perhaps becoming parents has spurred them on. Beyond their personal quest to live…

4 min.
rule breakers

The rolling green fields of the nation’s rural beauty spots have long served as a fertile testbed for radical architectural ideas. From neoclassicists like Inigo Jones or John Soane, to modernists like the Smithsons or Patrick Gwynne, architects across history have used country houses as a way to experiment with unusual styles and innovative building techniques. Traditionally, these properties would just be used as getaways for fortunate families to spend their holidays, but today – with people increasingly choosing to leave the cities and work remotely from rural settings – countryside residences are becoming the main attraction. Unlike in the city, where planning restrictions often create obstacles to imagination, a policy known as the ‘country house clause’ allows rural homes of exceptional character to break some of the rules. This…

2 min.
anatomy of beauty

Few days at Villa Buonaccorsi are complete without a long, quiet walk – or perhaps it would be more appropriate to call it an exploration. Its gardens are made up of five terraces, crossed by a central staircase, on the upper slopes of the green hills on the Italian Conero peninsula. Described by architect and artist Paola as a ‘wonderland’, this natural paradise overlooking the Adriatic Sea is a mixture of wild beauty and architectural interest, where citrus crops and dense woodlands are dotted with mythological statues and imposing ancient trees shade unexpected water features. From the first time Paola wandered the estate on a sunny day in August, picking up a leaf here, a small piece of bark there, she recognised that inspiration was hidden around every corner. Taking her…

2 min.
romancing the stone

For the homes that sit on the edge of the sought-after stretch of coastline between the picturesque Mallorcan villages of Valldemossa and Deià, the Mediterranean Sea is a constant companion. In fact, so sparkling are the views enjoyed by this recently renovated eight-bedroom 19th-century villa situated high up on the cliffs, they are shared by Hollywood royalty – the luxurious holiday retreat just below belongs to Michael Douglas. This was not always an A-list property, though. When the two families who own this home first saw it, it was in a very sad state. ‘It was almost collapsing and legally not up to code,’ says Manuel Villanueva, the architect from Moredesign whose task it was to turn its fortunes around. Due to Mallorca’s strict building regulations, which forbade demolishing the villa…