British Invasion (in honor of William & Kate)

The countdown to the Royal Wedding is on and I am swept up into the wedding frenzy, so decided to make this blog post about all things British in the world of design. It wasn't difficult, as the British may have the best taste when it comes to interior design (no offense to the French or Italians). Their unique sense of play and wit, paired with an entire empire of collectibles, makes for fantastically imagined spaces.

This hand-painted headboard that Cindy had commissioned for a little boy's room appeals to the anglophile in me. I'm a sucker for a "Sir" and it doesn't hurt that this boy shares the same name as the prince of the hour.

You know you're doing something right in the library when it has a British vibe to it. This library has a secret bookshelf door (a favorite element in a Cindy Rinfret library) which will make even the most uptight professor smile.

It's impossible to talk about the British without mentioning their dedication to the ritual of tea. This breakfast room (or should I say tea room?) that Cindy designed is in back country Greenwich but it could just as easily be in the English countryside.

Another reason to love British design is that they gave us British Colonial. Cindy designed the above window treatment for a boy's room. The whole bedroom had a British Colonial design scheme, which is perfect for the aspiring explorer in every young man. Along with this fabric, Cindy paired this great British Colonial desk:
Cindy likes to say that one of the main reasons she wanted to have her own design firm is so she could travel around the world shopping for her projects (this was before the less glamorous age of online shopping). London is one of her favorite cities, as this map in her library makes clear.

Aside from just the London map, the eclectic nature of this room also references the British design aesthetic -- a zebra rug from Africa, textiles from India, and shells from Bermuda. The magic of British interiors is that they have an empire's worth of treasures to incorporate into their rooms.

Another reason to love the UK is that they have the royals, while we're stuck with the Clintons and Bush Family. Part of what makes the monarchy so great is that they really know how to make a good insignia. Just because you haven't been knighted by the Queen doesn't mean you can't bring some royalty into your home with this striking needlepoint pillow from Rinfret Home & Garden.

We obviously love all things British but there are a few fave companies from across the pond that we have to highlight here.

Osborne & Little is one of the best fabric houses from England and we love this new collection of velvet fabrics. Maybe the royal wedding is subconsciously making me obsess over all things relating to the monarchy. That could be why I was immediately drawn to these gorgeous purple velvets (both velvet and purple being associated with the monarchy) or maybe it's just because they're so beautiful.

Andrew Martin is another British company that deserves a shout-out.

How much fun is this nail head chest? Perfect for the little princess who's also a little rock and roll.

Christopher Peacock is a master at bringing the English Scullery kitchen to the States. He may have lived in New England for a while, but he's still got the accent and design aesthetic of a Brit. Cindy and Chistopher go way back, as they used to share a space in Greenwich years back. They continue to work together on many projects, as his kitchens are definitely in vogue. Judging by the photo below (from Cindy's project that was published in New England Home's Connecticut) it's not hard to see why:

Last but certainly not least, is Theodore Alexander, which is the gold standard when it comes to British furniture (especially if you want your home to look like it belongs to a Duchess). Their Althorp line includes gorgeous reproductions of the pieces from Princess Diana's childhood home, Althorp (pictured below):

Theodore Alexander is Cindy's go-to choice for dining room furniture.

These chairs are some of Cindy's favorite and have a great preppy spirit with their star detailing. They (and the console in the background) are favorite Theodore Alexander pieces. (You can purchase both these items at Rinfret Home & Garden.)

On a final note, we have to pay tribute to the most iconic element in British design: The Union Jack, as seen above in this fantastic throw pillow, that although small in scale, pulls together this cozy bar in the home of a dapper British client of Cindy's.

Hope you enjoyed your Royal British fix as much as we did!
Cheers to William and Kate for inspiring this blog post!