Decorating Room Ideas
The classic country cooker, amenable and sweet-natured if you can get on with it, is the Aga or Rayburn solid fuel stove. Its appeal, and its disadvantages, both lie in the fact that solid fuel cooking requires a distinctly Zen approach to time. Alternatively, industrial cookers are impressively good-looking in a sturdy sort of way, particularly American and French professional stoves.
There is a nostalgic appeal for deep Belfast sinks, made from white glazed earthenware, and old brass mixer taps (with washers so rare that you have to buy in bulk from the manufacturer). A more practical alternative is to go for the unobtrusive. Stainless steel ages better than most and dulls down to pewterish respectability. Always get sinks larger than you think will be necessary. Ideally, have two – so that one can be filled with desiccated houseplants, leaving the other free for filling the kettle.
The perfect bathroom
A bathroom can be one of the most pleasurable rooms in a country house. A slant of sun Filtered through cotton lace; a large table beneath the window, covered in posts and magazines; thick towels warmed by an efficient heated towel rail; and warm matting underfoot – this is the perfect combination of pleasure and puritanism.
If you have the space, the best bath of all is a great Victorian bath with a wide roll edge. It can stand proudly on ball and claw feet in the middle of a respectably large room, or be boxed in with a shelf all round and panelled.
Ordinary contemporary baths also look best if they are boxed in (167). You could also add a wooden or tiled shelf to fit under the rim of the bath on the outside, supported on a battened framework. This is one way to organize all the paraphernalia which collects in bathrooms. The sides of the bath can then be panelled, painted, stencilled or tiled, in keeping with the rest of the room.