When it comes to design, the Brits are different. From a very young age, British children are exposed to a centuries-old history and culture, they live among magnificent historical buildings, have access to great design concepts and collections at museums like the V&A
. Today's design shops that line Pimlico Road, the Kings Road, and Lots Road, are witness to this great history. This is the case with Veere Grenney
, who served as a director at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler's
design studio for many years. The Brook Street location houses the famous yellow room of the great Nancy Lancaster, where her barrel vaulted library has become a pilgrimage for design cogniscenti. He is lucky to have worked in such hallowed halls.
I caught up with Veere when I heard he was bringing his furniture and fabric designs stateside, to Kathryn M. Ireland's
LA Almont Yard shop.
Photo courtesy of Verre Grenney
A bedroom with a simple canopy bed is made cozy with bed hangings and swing arm lamps peeking through. What an interesting addition to the foot of the bed-- a demilune table is a nice change from an expected bench.
A library done in a light colored scheme with touches of darker colors
A generously sized upholstered ottoman acts as a coffee table and deep seated sofas and chairs make this high ceiling living room a great place to relax.
Cabinets with wire covered doors and shirred fabrics is a very Colefax detail that I love. It makes this breakfast room warm and provides easy storage.
A tailored valance and clean pendant lights put the focus on an ornate antique pool table.
In a Long Island retreat, touches of pink anchor a grey and white color scheme.
There is nothing fussy about these classic English details-- a four poster bed with tailored hangings and bed skirt mirrors the simple built in bookcases, letting the ornate moldings be the star.
Talk about ornate moldings- the glamorous detail is offset with clean lines and a serene simplicity in this London dining room.
What is your design background?
A restrained mix of pattern and texture add up to a livable and sophisticated British drawing room with touches of taupe.
Veere Grenney :My early life was about travel in the East and Morocco, this had a profound influence on my design sensibility. In the apprenticeship of my career it was a stall in Portobello Road dealing in vintage, antiques and artworks and the antique shops off Portobello; then a design assistant with Mary Fox Linton before going onto being a director at Colefax and Fowler and about 15 years ago setting up my own practice.What knowledge do you use the most from what you learned at Colefax?
VG: Tailoring, scale and proportion are all vital ingredients of a beautiful room; also appropriateness for a project i.e. the fabrics, furniture, art work etc… the look it is all about what is appropriate to the environment.Where is textile design today as compared with back then?
VG:Today it is less flamboyant; then design was imposing; today it tends to be more discrete.Is the floral print on the wane?
VG:The floral is always appropriate in the correct place. Today it is not essential; maybe 20 years ago every room had some floral.What makes an interior distinctly British?
VG:Very comfortable and not being a slave to fashion or fad like English fashion; good British interior design is original and eclectic.What are the differences in how the British live versus how Americans live?
VG: The English have a tradition of country house living being cozy, comfortable and right for the climate. The English don’t get stylish suburban where as in American a great part of the design sensibility is for beautiful large houses and gardens (both tropical and in colder places) that are not anchored to the countryside.
THE PRODUCTS: WALLPAPER, FABRIC AND FURNITURE
Papers are artfully styled on end.
The Woodperry print has tiny leaves
An assortment arranged by coordinating colors
The Townline Road print as an ikat quality with a uniform pattern
Soundness is an abstract disguised as a floral
A modified wing chair by Veere debuted at London's Decorex