"Domestic Interiors" by James Ayres

Domestic Interiors The British Tradition 1500–1850 James Ayres

Publication date:
11 Jul 2003
Paul Mellon Centre
272 pages: 279 x 203mm
250 b-w + 50 color illus.

Although the interiors found in aristocratic houses have received much attention over the years, little has been written about how the interiors of middle-class homes have evolved. This attractive and deeply informed book traces the development—in word and picture—of vernacular British interiors.

The book is a greatly expanded and revised version of Ayres’s earlier work The Book of the Home in Britain and deals with a wide range of subjects, including heating and lighting, details of doors, doorways and staircases, and the use of color. Embellished with illustrations from early sources and the author’s own line drawings together with photographs of surviving interiors and their details, the book provides evidence for the treatment of historic interiors and inspiration for schemes of decoration today.

James Ayres is a freelance writer and archaeological consultant on historic buildings in England.

?Aimed at restorers and decorators, this inspiring book investigates the concealed or forgotten details of decoration and construction in ?ordinary? houses.??BBC Homes & Antiques

?The research undertaken for this fine book is tremendously impressive.??Richard Edmonds, Birmingham Post?Owners, architects, curators, decorators or anyone involved in the preservation, restoration, decoration and furnishing of modest vernacular interiors will find this book invaluable, inspiring and informative.??Frances Collard, Country Life

?The particular virtue of James Ayres?s study is that his own intimate knowledge of craft practice and decades of accumulated information are combined in a thoroughly Illuminating and enjoyable fashion.??Neil Burton, Georgian Magazine (UK)

"The author is to be congratulated on gathering together so much fascinating material in this volume. . . . It is easy to be enthusiastic about this volume, as it is both highly readable and extremely informative.  The breadth of knowledge presented in such an accessible form is formidable and it is thoroughly recommencded to anyone interested in not only architecture and the decorative arts but also in social history.  Lastly, but certainly by no means least, Domestic Interiors is beautifully illustrated in colour and black and white to the high standard one has come to expect from the Yale University Press."?Stephen Croad, Somerset Archaeology and Natural History

"A welcome revision and expansion of James Ayres' earlier work.  The fruits of extensive fieldwork and wide-ranging library research have been brought together in a highly readable volume with an authoritative text ably supported by a set of illustrations which have been well chosen and carefully reproduced and which contribute substantially to a most attractive volume.  It is wholeheartedly recommended to all who are interested in our ancestors, their houses and their way of life."?R. W. Brunskill, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society

"One of the greatest pleasures of reading Domestic Interiors is its goldmine of evidence, both visual and written, for vernacular dwellings. . . . Domestic Interiors presents us with a cornucopia of valuable information and important issues to consider."?Robert Leath, Winterthur Portfolio