Henrietta Spencer-Churchill’s Great Georgian Style Books

Classic English InteriorsClassic English Interiors– Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is a must read author on the style of English classical decorating.  She has been in a position all her life to appreciate and develop a knowledge about quality antiques, and classical interiors, being the eldest daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough whose family home is Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

Henrietta studied at the Inchbald School of Design before forming her own highly successful Interior Design Company, Woodstock Designs in 1981.   In 1986, Henrietta formed a separate Company, Spencer-Churchill Designs producing a selection of furniture, fabrics and wallpapers and since then her international success has enabled her to establish a US design company, Spencer-Churchill Designs Inc, in 2003.

“I have always loved architecture, architectural detailing, furniture and antiques. I was lucky enough to be brought up in beautiful surroundings, and I suppose that must have had a huge influence — it sort of fed into me through a process of osmosis.” She tells 1st Dibs.  Henrietta Spencer-Churchill has become well known for her concentration in the niche area of English designs and furniture.

The first, best-selling “Classic English Interiors”,  opened up  international opportunities in North America, where she designed numerous houses in cities such as New York, Atlanta and Dallas.  Since then she has written a dozen other books about English decorating and entertaining.  Her books all follow the same theme, Regency, Georgian styles at their best, and how you can borrow the looks for yourself.  She has also teamed with Maitland-Smith to launch a furniture line, and her  latest book, The Life of the House: How Rooms Evolve, is available  now on amazon.

Quotes From Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

“Antiques can be bought Incredibly well at the moment,” she said. “It Is a shame the younger generation do not realty appreciate them and tend to think they are rather fuddy- duddy – but they should look at the quality of the way they are made In relation to a lot of new furniture from high street and chain stores- self-assembly, not built to last and expensive for what they arc. Quite frankly, I would rather have a antique chest of drawers than that, and It Is amazing what antiques you can pick up- they arc really good value. – oxfordtimes.co.uk

Quotes from Ladue News

LN: What are the most common mistakes people make when creating the interior of a large, expensive

HSC: Making the rooms too large, thus un-inviting, and having too many rooms which have the same function (i.e. for TV-watching).

LN: What do you make of ‘McMansions,’ the architectural invention designed to impress on the outside by
virtue of large scale and multiple elevations?

HSC: I think many newly built American homes can be and are very stylish. I have seen a lot of these, especially in the South around Atlanta and Dallas. But some of the pitfalls are trying to encompass too many styles within one building (i.e. a bit of Gothic, a bit of Tudor, a bit of French, etc.). which looks mismatched.

LN: Do you think it is a mistake to use modern furnishings in an older, classically styled architectural

H SC: Personally, I prefer to use antiques and furnishings suitable for the period, but this is not always possible or practical. Certainly you can use contemporary art and the odd piece of modern furniture, but I think houses benefit from being authentically furnished

Quotes From The Insider Interview:

FI- Are you driven by fashionable trends or would you describe your works as timeless?

H SC:  I am rarely driven by trends and don’t think they are as relevant to interior design as they are to fashion. Fabric and some furniture companies may see the need to follow fashion but this is less evident in buildings and architecture.

FI- What is the fundamental design tenet you always abide by?

H SC: Good scale and proportion – applied to both rooms and their contents.

Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, noted authority on using traditional style in contemporary settings, examines how the Georgian era is inspiring today’s interiors. Associated by most Americans with Colonial Williamsburg or Jefferson’s Monticello, the Georgian style confers a sense of comfortable luxury that makes any home a haven, as well as a showcase.

Proceeding room by room, she examines how updated Georgian style relates to contemporary living. In addition to the staple interior spaces such as living room, kitchen, and bedroom, the book uncovers new applications of Georgian style in such contemporary “must-haves” like home offices, media rooms, fitness rooms, and the transformation of the bath into the home spa.

Each chapter is illustrated with photographs that demonstrate the meaning of pleasing proportions and good layouts, complete with detail shots of fabric swatches, color samples, and drawings from the author’s design portfolio. A key feature is the focus on design flow to bring consistency to the entire home, and how to juggle spaces for the less formal, family-friendly orientation that is the hallmark of contemporary living. Applying classic design principles to indoor/outdoor lifestyles and eco-friendly living is also discussed.

Classic English Interiors– Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Classic English Interiors is a sumptuous showcase for a distinctive style that is now as popular in Manhattan as in the country houses of England.

The book is divided into two parts. The first half reveals the private and the public side of Blenheim Palace, her ancestral home, explores the country houses of Oxfordshire from which Lady Henrietta drew much of her inspiration and features selections from Woodstock Designs portfolio.

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is the elder daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough, whose family home is Blenheim Palace. Her interest in interior design began when at the age of 16 she traveled to study fine art and languages in Florence and Paris. Later she returned to England to finish her formal studies at the world-famous Inchbald School of Design.

Her fascinating text reveals life behind the scenes in some of Britain’s most beautiful country houses. Hundreds of specially commissioned photographs show she translated the confident sweep of classic English style to produce homes of great elegance; comfortable family spaces; fresh, simple schemes and smart, stylish ones.


By Amazon Queen- A book of grace and perfect taste. A good book to come back to when you need another idea… end tables, curtains, carpets, furniture placement…… lovely ideas…ideas that can work in a small apartment, modest colonial or grand house….. it’s the 1 book in my collection of 50 or more interior design books that I would NOT sell… it is my favorite….


By – A Customer- Classic English Interiors is a great book depicting the more upper-scale homes/interiors of England. The photos are exceptionally good too. If you are contemplating using English style in your decorating scheme, this is surely a good book of information and photos.


By bas bleu-Yes, Classic English Interiors showcases huge homes that many of us will never live in and probably would not want to live in due to the sheer practicality of cleaning and upkeep of such a large home.But, Classic English Interiors is also Hugely Practical for Every Style, because no matter what your style is there is genius within these pages, inspiration for furniture arrangement in all your rooms. Wonderful color advice and examples of how to combine colors for the greatest overall impact. Important examples of juxtaposition within styles and scale.The book ends with an extensive lexicon of many and varied tips/ideas for walls, floors, window dressing, coffee tables and footstools, fireplaces, collections, storage, camouflage, kitchens, dining areas, bed and bedding , bathrooms, lighting, flowers and plants.I reach for this book often. When I need to bring myself back in balance it restores the clarity of my style to me, because I like so many different styles I sometimes cloud my own perspective, this book gets me back on track. One of my top 5 favorite decorating books.I have had this book for about 3 and a half years now I bought it in December 2009, that is a good testimony to how much I use this book.


Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, noted authority on using traditional style in contemporary settings, examines how the Georgian era is inspiring today’s interiors.

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill said, “The Georgian period, in my view, was the most influential and enlightening architectural eras and it is one that has stood the test of time. Governed by classical principles of design, it is a style that is immensely pleasing to the eye.”

Each chapter is illustrated with photographs that demonstrate the meaning of pleasing proportions and good layouts, complete with detail shots of fabric swatches, color samples, and drawings from the author’s design portfolio.

Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Classic Interior Design: Using Period Features in Today’s Home

This beautifully illustrated guide from top interior designer Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill reveals the best of architectural and furnishing detail from England and America’s most enduring decorating
styles of the last 400 years.

A companion volume to her 2001 Classic Design Styles, this book focuses on architectural details from seven distinct historical eras and identifies the vital details of each period. Carved stone fireplaces, marble columns, tapestry wall hangings, eighteenth-century windows, and plain and painted plaster wall finishes, as well as cushions, tassels, and curtains are all detailed with an eye to applying them to our homes today.

With in-depth historical surveys of each period, illustrated feature by feature, the book is
filled with beautiful photographs and hundreds of creative ideas accompanied by insider tips, practical advice, and inspiration from one of the world’s top interior designers.

Spencer-Churchill combined painted paneling and antique furniture in a grand Regency-style bedroom in Northamptonshire.

Feature On Henrietta Spencer-Churchill From 1st Dibs

Feature On Henrietta Spencer-Churchill From 1st Dibs

My space: Blenheim Palace’s Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill- Interior decorator Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill reveals her favourite space in Blenheim Palace, her family home, to Maria Fitzpatrick- The Telegraph

Blenheim Palace- Vanity Fair- 9 Pictures

Photos: Inside Blenheim Palace- The sprawling home of the Dukes of Marlborough for more than three centuries, Blenheim encompasses 187 rooms—from the sumptuous reception halls to the equally magnificent private quarters. Herewith, a virtual tour of Blenheim’s grandeur.

A Look behind the book – Georgian Style and Design for Contemporary Living – See Kevin Sharkey’s Post with more pictures from this book

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Classic Design Styles is a beautifully illustrated chronology of European and American period styles from the medieval to the end of the nineteenth century. Top interior designer, Henrietta Spencer-Churchill shows us room-by-room, how elements of classic decorating styles can be adapted and used in the home today. Over 200 new photographs of previously unseen interiors accompany insider decorating tips and practical advice on how to recreate period living in your own home.

In Classic Design Styles well-known author and interior designer, Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill turns her attention to the history of American and European classic interior design traditions including: Victorian, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Colonial, Federal Style, Queen Anne, Georgian, Empire, and Arts & Crafts. Spencer-Churchill outlines the enduring decorating movements of these classic styles, explaining and illustrating the distinguishing characteristics of each one. She show how elements of these classic decorating styles can be adapted and used today to recreate period living in your own home.

The first section is a richly illustrated chronology of period styles and a guide to the history of European and American interiors from the medieval to the end of the nineteenth century. In the second section, Spencer-Churchill takes us on a room by room tour of one spectacular house decorated in each style. She explains in detail the theory and methods behind each look, how to interpret traditional styles for your own home, and the enduring value and allure of each period. Illustrating how to work with an existing room, Spencer-Churchill includes a section on architectural and furnishing details like walls, windows, fabrics and paints. Beautiful and practical, Classic Design Styles is an insider’s guide for decorators and enthusiasts of period living.

A childhood spent in the Baroque splendour of Blenheim Palace gives Henrietta Spencer-Churchill all the authority she needs to discuss classic design styles from Medieval to present day. In this gloriously illustrated work, she reveals the best of those designs, highlighting how individual elements can be incorporated into our homes today. She emphasises the importance of complementing the architectural with the furniture and furnishings to present a style easy on the eye and in keeping with the age of the house. Country cottages, palaces, manor houses and Victorian homes are all featured, accompanied by a history of the style of the time and gentle instruction on how the rooms depicted have been put together in such a way as to make them perfect partners with the house itself. With the easy availability today of reproduction furniture and mouldings, even houses which have lost touch with their origins can be restored to bring back their original feel. Architectural salvage and antique markets unearth features for those with a more perfectionist mind. But repro or original, the art, as Henrietta stipulates over and over, is to stay in tune with the home’s initial style. A high-beamed Medieval hall was not designed for a plethora of heavy Victorian furniture and artifacts. Similarly Victorian houses were not designed for minimalist tastes. Careful study of the individual designs will result in a more natural and beautiful look for your period home. Ostensibly aimed at owners of period homes, the book will also appeal to those who appreciate the finer things in life. The visual feasts of Andrew Wood contain a wealth of inspiration for those just looking for classic design ideas. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Life of the House: How Rooms Evolve

This book is almost a ‘sister’ to Georgian Style, and follows a similar table of contents. This book features lavish libraries, great halls, byways of media rooms, ‘working’ kitchens, as well as a tour of some of the greatest stately homes of England and Wales. Captions and text are informative, and she offers floor plans, a rarity in any design book.

Henrietta Spencer-Churchill’s Feature in May 2012 Architectural Digest

Henrietta discusses the extensive refurbishment of Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Henrietta discusses the extensive refurbishment of Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Russian-born fashion mogul Leon Max moves into Easton Neston and brings the English Baroque masterpiece back to award-winning life

Circa-1800 French riverscapes share the garden hall with antique marble busts depicting the four seasons; the painted benches were designed in the manner of 18th-century British architect William Kent.

Henrietta discusses the extensive refurbishment of Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Graced with a wrought-lron balustrade, the great staircase ascends from a hall outfitted with Georgian antiques, Italian Renaissance statuary, and paintings by, among others, 17th-century artist Sir Peter Lely and his studio. On the gilt-wood table stands a pair of Louis-Philippe oil lamps.

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

The master bedroom is dominated by a majestic 17th-century Brussels tapestry by Geraert van der Strecken; a late-19th-century Chinese embroidered-silk coverlet dresses the gilt-wood bed. The parcel-gilt armchairs are by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sene and the table and side chairs are 18th-century Italian; the carpet is a Louis XVI Aubusson.

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

 Stone columns crowned with 19th-century statues flank a gravel walk in the gardens.

Easton Neston with Architectural Digest

The Life of the House by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill (Rizzoli).

The Life of the House by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill (Rizzoli).

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