At once timeless, authentic and enduring, the English style in decoration is renowned around the world. From the aristocratic country house and Georgian terraced townhouse to ancient manor and simple cottage, the classic English interior encompasses a rich and varied palette whose finest examples are unified by a brilliant and witty sense of individuality, and yet whose themes belong to a definable and coherent whole.

In English Decoration, London-based architectural and interior designer Ben Pentreath presents a major new survey of the best of the English style. Eighteen homes, many of which have never been previously photographed, provide the source material for his insightful and wide-ranging investigation of this classic look, all the while with a consideration for contemporary applications in today’s world. The houses featured include Ben’s own homes in London and West Dorset, alongside those of Earls and artists, writers and architects, book designers and gardeners—all of whom have brought their own touches to bear on a universal theme.

The book is arranged room by room, allowing the reader to make fascinating connections between the many examples of English decoration—grand and simple, old and new. It opens with an essay on the English style in decoration, and then entrance halls, living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms and bedrooms and bathrooms are considered in turn, together with simple Rooms of Utility and spectacular Rooms of Display. There is also a practical and comprehensive style directory—helping you to achieve the classic English look, wherever you live.


BEN PENTREATH is one of London’s leading architectural and interior designers. In 2008, he opened his eponymous interiors shop, Ben Pentreath Ltd, which has been extensively featured in The World of Interiors, House & Garden, Elle Decoration, Homes & Gardens and many other leading design publications. Ben’s blog ( has been named one of the 20 best interiors blogs in the world by the Sunday Telegraph, and he is a regular columnist for the Financial Times. Ben’s architectural practice has worked on projects from new housing developments for The Prince of Wales to large and small private houses in the UK, Ireland and the United States. He is the co-author of Get Your House Right and Three Classicists. Ben divides his time between Bloomsbury, in London, and a Regency parsonage in West Dorset.