As an English historian living in a Federal/Greek Revival house in an iconic (small) American city, I’m always shooting for an interior style I call “Anglo-Americana”: a fusion of English texture and American spirit, for lack of a better term. In the past I went for a more strictly-period look, but now I prefer to mix it up and be eclectic, which is very, very English. I’m just about to paint the double parlor, which means some rearranging after I take it all apart and put it together again, so I’ve been scouting for some new/old things I could add to the present mix.
By the end of the nineteenth century, all the animosity between Britain and America was over, if the poster below (from the 1890s) is any indication. One the eve of World War One (literally!) a huge Anglo-American Exposition was held in the “White City”, Shepherd’s Bush, London; the ticket to the big event (below) has a cancelled stamp most likely because of the outbreak of the war. Thereafter, the two countries were bound together by war.
Following in a long line of British textile entrepreneurs like Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston, Helkat Designs makes hand-printed cushion covers that instantly introduce a touch of Englishness into a room, and there is also a perfect “Anglo-American” pillow:
I’m not sure I can sneak any more wallpaper into the house, but these lady of the manor and little teapot prints are really charming.
Anything to do with tea! I already have some “teaeana” (that doesn’t look like a word; tea-related stuff, stuff with tea motifs) so it’s probably better to refrain, but I do like these tea canisters from Mothology:
Vintage English textiles that look to my untrained eye like vintage American textiles are available at Parna; below is a simple hand-loomed linen tablecloth in a nice size. I’m looking for something different to spice up the walls (besides new paint), but I’ve already got very nice period hand-colored botanicals, architectural prints, and etchings. This bicycle print caught my eye, but it might be a bit too whimsical for downstairs.
Finally, a beautiful late seventeenth-century map of America, North and South, by London cartographer and instrument-maker John Seller, available for purchase as a cropped print in a variety of sizes at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
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