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John Fowler: Prince of Decorators Hardcover – November 1, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A must for devotees of great decoration. -- Veranda Magazine

John Fowler (1901-1997) was by far the most influential designer of the 20th century. With his partners in the firm Colefax and Fowler, he is credited with creating the English country house style. Frances Lincoln has released the ultimate guide to Fowler and his work. "John Fowler-Prince of Decorators" by Martin Wood features 400 lush color photos and watercolors as well as historic black and white photos. This is the very first book devoted to Fowler. It presents lots of material that has never been published before about his projects.

The author explores the influences that shaped Fowler's life and career. Readers will find in-depth details on each of the individual projects. The profiled projects serve to document the evolution of his signature style over his lifetime. Following his retirement from the firm, he focused primarily on his work for the National Trust. He created designs that provided a feeling of comfort of security that have stood the test of time. The appendix has a list of his published projects.

Fresh flowers and floral designs of all sorts, including topiaries, were one of the features that were used throughout Fowler's designs. One look at the cover of this book shows that to be the case. Flowers are a signature feature of the English country style. These are used in every type of room from club rooms to libraries and entertainment areas. --Bellaonline.com

About the Author

Martin Wood is a designer of textiles, interiors and gardens who also has a winning way with words.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln; First Edition edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071122711X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711227118
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was dissapointed with the lack of quality "full page color photos" inside this book. One can not get a sense of the cozy details in Fowler's designs, in the pics represented within. I found the book mostly a biographical story rather than an inspirational journey through Fowler's career. Don't be fooled by the intimacy presented on the cover...once inside you might be surprised by the lack of warmth.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm addicted to "house books", just as I'm addicted to houses. John Fowler has always been someone whose work I admire, and this book does an excellent job of charting his background and development as a designer. It's not necessarily a book you'll buy to get ideas for curtains from - but you'll understand better why his rooms were more comfortable, suitable and attractive than anyone else's before or since.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Fowler helped to spawn the English Country style that we know and love today. This insightful and candid biography by Martin Wood contains all the tidbits about Fowler that design aficionados would want to know. It is an affectionate but frank accounting of Fowler's life and work. Some of the details about Fowler I found fascinating in this book:

* Fowler loved the 18th century - it was his favorite century

* Fowler loathed the modernists and their style

* Fowler bought antique curtains to study their cut and construction

* Fowler found unique prints which he reproduced - one was from a French petticoat, another from the inside of a carriage

* Fowler loved to study the costumes at V & A for ideas on fabrics and construction

* Fowler loved Marie Antoinette, owned a pair of her gloves and would enter a room sideways as if he were wearing a full skirt like Antoinette

On page 120 of this book, Wood describes how Fowler liked to work in his design practice. I didn't realize that he could be cruel to his employees, but also affectionate. Doesn't sound like an easy man to work for, but one that his employees learned from. There are illustrations of Fowler's curtain designs which almost seem like clothes as they are so complex. Although there are black and white and color photos of Fowler's work sprinkled throughout the book, you wouldn't buy the book for beautiful images. The images illustrate his work which Wood describes in great detail. Design students and decorators will find this fascinating.

John Fowler is an icon in design history who will only become more revered and valued. This book will preserve his history and work for future generations. Every sincere student of interior design history should own it.
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Format: Hardcover
OH, HOW I WISH TODAYS "INTERIOR DESIGN" GRADUATES AND MANY PRACTITIONER'S COULD OWN THIS BOOK AND DEVOUR ALL THE PHOTOS FOR THEIR CLASSIC BEAUTY!! THIS WAY THEY WILL KNOW WHAT GOOD DESIGN IS. THE INTERIORS DO STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO LIVE...IN THIS DAY AND AGE IT IS ALMOST UNAFFORDABLE ON A LARGE SCALE TO DUPLICATE WHAT GENIUS JOHN FOWLER DID. IT CAN BE DONE ON A SMALLER SCALE.

RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME WE LIVE IN AN ERA OF THAT HORRIBLE 50'S 60'S AND 70'S MODERN, WHICH IS SO COLD AND UNINTERESTING; AND LIKE A JACK DENST WALLCOVERING,THE LOOK IS DATED IN A MATTER OF MINUTES.

EVENTUALLY THE PENDULUM WILL SWING BACK TO GOOD DECORATING; WITH WARMTH. I WISH WE COULD GET BACK TO REALLY BEAUTIFUL DECORATING AND STOP THIS MADNESS OF PROMOTING TARGET AND WALMART CHEAPNESS.

JUST THROWING A BUNCH OF "STUFF" TOGETHER WITHOUT A PLAN AND A COMMON DENOMINATOR DOES NOT MAKE SENSE..THERE ARE TOO MANY SO CALLED "STARS" OF THE TV WORLD THAT PROMOTE BAD DESIGN AND DO NOT REALIZE THEY ARE MISGUIDING THE PUBLIC. THEY ARE JUST IN IT TO MAKE THEMSELVES FAMOUS....RIDICULOUS!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently ordered the book, Prince of decorators which was about John Fowler, a famous interior decorator. I knew he was a great decorator but I learned so much more from this book. I have to admire his skill and talent especially during the war years when any kind of supplies were limited or of poor quality. Mr. Fowler not only was extremely talented but he had a creative imagination that is beyond belief. Amy one who can take army blankets, dye them and make beautiful elegant formal fancy drapes out of them has to be admired for his talent and imagination. He was the type of decorator who could walk into a room, memorize every bit of it and not need to see it again and still remember every single detail of that room. He could also see in his mind how a room would look completely finished, especially huge rooms that are hard to decorate even with today's availability of most anything we could possibly want.
I was surprised that he was also an expert in mixing paints to get the exact color he wanted, some times using unexpected ingredients to make his paints. He didn't have the use of the paints we are so accustom to using today. Talent like this is rare and only comes from being born with it.
This was a totally delightful book on the history and talent of John Fowler and the large colorful pictures of some of the rooms he decorated in his life time, well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case that holds true. Mrs. C.
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