Just in time for the holidays is James Knox's release of The Scottish Country House from the Vendome Press. This lushly filled tome features a number of estates which have been in the same families for hundreds of years, in some cases since the houses were first built.
Because of this familial longevity, these houses have layers added over time in their decoration and architectural additions. An example of this is seen at Balcaskie where the gallery above was decorated in the 19th century (I love the paisley wallpaper) and many bedrooms (one seen below) were redecorated in the 1930s.
The gardens in many of these houses reflect the beautiful but rugged Scottish landscape.
Also because of this progeny and layering you also get televisions in rooms decorated in the 18th century, microwaves on top of Edwardian stoves and other adorable quirks (notice the modern silver framed photographs in the room below).
These are living, breathing houses with so much character and soul it makes you want to hop on a plane and spend your next vacation in Scotland.
Many of the houses feature sumptuous public spaces, fit for royalty. Actually in many cases they actually WERE built for royalty and their summer visits. The histories featured in the book are astoundingly interesting - it's more than a pretty picture book!
This is the perfect gift for any travel, photography or design enthusiast and would make an invaluable addition to any library; it is in mine!
All photographs by James Fennell for The Scottish Country House.