Bookmarks: The Way We Live in the Country

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cover of "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

It’s been a real pleasure reviewing this book – it’s right up our street – or right up our country lane as the case may be!

page showing a simple country chair from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

This is the second review we’ve written in the The Way We Live… series, the first being The Way We Live With the Things We Love.

page showing dining table & chairs in front of an open fire from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

As the title suggests, this one is concerned with all things rustic & rural…

double page spread showing different tabletops from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

…the landscape, the lifestyle, the buildings & their interiors.

inside front cover of "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

Once again, there’s a wonderful introduction by author Stafford Cliff.

page showing eight different country landscape views throughout the seasons from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

As with all good introductions, it not only gives a  broad overview of the subject. It also creates atmosphere and whets the appetite for the pages that follow.

page showing antique racks from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

He begins with this magical image:

“Many years ago, long before mobile phones or sat-nav, I went to visit a friend who lived in central France. As the light began to fade, my companions and I found ourselves driving along narrow roads in open farmland with our map and our directions running out. Suddenly up ahead we noticed a narrow track leading through fields to a distant farmhouse. We knew that we had arrived at the right place because every few feet along both sides of this road my friend had placed old jam jars containing little flickering candles. The effect was heart-stopping and memorable, and it said ‘Welcome’ in a way no words ever could. The scene comes to mind again now, because it distils the special qualities of living in the country, or visiting those who do.”

page showing candlelit courtyard from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

The book comprises five main chapters – Country Landscapes, The House in the Country, Traditional Homes, Contemporary Homes and Country Details.

page showing an antique chair in front of an open fire from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

It’s great to see traditional & contemporary homes in the same book – the different interpretations of country living.

double page spread showing whitewashed dining table with metal bistro-type chairs from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

The blend of the two is just our kind of look – mixing antique country furniture with vintage ceramics & textiles from the 1950s & 60s.

page featuring different windows with deep sills from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

A tool used throughout the book is page spreads of images comparing similar house details in different parts of the world.

page showing detail of wooden chair backs from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

It’s perfect for a quick flick through, but also stands up to deeper scrutiny.

coffer and antique pottery urns at the bottom of a stairway from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

The gorgeous photographs taken by the late Gilles De Chabaneix are accompanied by insightful captions – adding detail & context.

large wooden table with runner from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

We have a handful of books that we gravitate towards – this one has joined their ranks.

double page spread showing an open fire with oatcakes drying above and a rustic, antique cast iron stove from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

This is a great book for providing interior decoration inspiration.

attic bedroom with exposed rafters from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

The mood of the subject simply washes over you. It’s very odd, but you almost sigh with relaxation – a sense of well-being & calm descending as you flick through the wonderful landscapes & houses.

page showing six different rustic kitchens from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

There’s only one question left to answer – Do we recommend the book?

rustic hand basin with recess above from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

antique wooden table & chairs with yellow pottery bowl in the foreground from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

Well it’s probably quite obvious by now – if you share our love of country living or country influenced interiors, then this is a must have book.

antique Winsdor chair in a room in the eaves from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

vintage blue & white bistro chairs on a patio from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

We’re sure you’ll revisit it over & over again.

rustic table & chairs under a low, vaulted brick ceiling from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

double page spread showing an old stone flagged floor with sunlight streaming through from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

The Way We Live in the Country is available from the publishers, Thames & Hudson, Hive and also from the H is for Home UK & US aStores.

double page spread showing an antique chairs & set table with lit candles at dusk outside a rustic whitewashed building from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix

photo of an old man holding a large pumpkin from "The Way We Live In the Country" by Stafford Cliff & Gilles de Chabaneix with vintage Briglin mug and antique metal candleholder

[Many thanks to Thames & Hudson for providing this review copy]

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One Response to “Bookmarks: The Way We Live in the Country”

  1. Claire says:

    I just LOVE this series of books. Pure interiors porn.

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