The World of Interiors

The World of Interiors December 2020

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12 Numeri

in questo numero

3 min

In 1886 the social reformer Charles Booth started work on Life and Labour of the People in London, his landmark survey of the capital’s population and the streets in which they lived. And he used colour to codify what he and his army of researchers discovered. Yellow denoted ‘Upper-middle and Upper classes. Wealthy’; pink those with ‘Good ordinary earnings’, while at the other end of the spectrum, the ‘Vicious, semi-criminal’ were shown in black. Booth’s maps are newly available online ( and offer a unique opportunity to see what has and hasn’t changed in the metropolis. Some streets are poor even now, while others have been gentrified from the dark blue of ‘Chronic want’ to what the philanthropist would have coloured red for ‘Middle class. Well-to-do’. The extraordinary detail in Booth’s…

4 min


2 min
antennae roundup

7 min
southern comforters

ALABAMA GETS cold in the winter. We might more readily think of heat, particularly since a warm climate is needed to cultivate cotton – the crop that, perhaps more than any other, has shaped the state’s complex history. But on chillier evenings, you might want a quilt over you; in a house without insulation or central heating, you might need four or five. Stella Mae Pettway made her first quilt when she was about 12. She started out younger, first helping her mother sort the different coloured pieces and fluff up the cotton batting. In the day, she worked in the fields like everyone else. Initially, sewing was a requirement; now, at 68, she tells me ‘it’s a joy’. The first quilt top Stella ever pieced was a ‘Pig in the…

3 min
bolster confidence

3 min
serious pursuits

THINGS TO SEE Could anything be more captivating, more quintessentially 18th-century, than a Palladian mansion with fine Robert Adam interiors? How about a Palladian mansion in perfect miniature, complete with carved marble fireplaces, hand-painted wallpapers, itsy-bitsy hallmarked silverware and tiny footmen in lilliputian livery? Enchanting and extremely rare – there are but 12 surviving examples from the time – the NOSTELL DOLLS’ HOUSE has all of the above, as well as the unique distinction of being the only one of its type still in the home for which it was designed, Nostell Priory in Yorkshire. The National Trust had been all set to unveil a new permanent exhibition at the property about this masterpiece, but then along came Covid-19, putting paid to that. However, you can still marvel at its scaled-down…