Lunch outside the farmhouse

Amanda Brooks’ decorating style rules

Six years ago, Amanda Brooks swopped her life as Fashion Director of Barneys, NYC to live at her husband’s Oxfordshire farm with their two children.  What began as a year’s sabbatical turned into a more permanent move and Farm From Home is the very beautiful book she has written and photographed (follow her on Instagram on @amandacbrooks to see more) chronicling the ups and downs of adjusting to life in the English countryside.  Always known for her fashion style and great taste, Brooks turned to country life with aplomb and has even just opened a shop called Cutter Brooks, The Organic Shop in Stow-on-the-Wold selling vintage fair isle sweaters, Assiette de Vilette, ceramics, Hermes playing cards and more.  We asked Brooks to tell us more about her interiors style (next week, we ask her about cooking).

Which US and which UK interior designers do you admire most and why? 

David Hicks’ lasting influence has probably been the biggest inspiration to me over the years. I’ve been pouring over his books since I was 14 years old. I also love what Celerie Kemble recently did with Playa Grande and I’m a fan of Daniel Sachs.

What surprises you about British interiors? 

How both houses and rooms can be at once timeless and continuously relevant.  

Her daughter Coco’s old bedroom, now a guest room with wallpaper from the 1980s.

Which do you consider the best bed linen? 

I use a company called Ilinka to make affordable custom linens for me. 

Brooks’ bedroom

Which is the best (interiors) present that you have ever received? 

My husband’s paintings. I always have to beg him to donate them to the house instead of selling them. 

One of Christopher Brooks’ pictures hanging in their dining room.

What is your favourite room in the house and why? 

My bathroom where I can unwind from the day in my bathtub. I never miss bathtime, even if I return home very late.

Do you have any style rules for decorating? 

Make sure you have plenty of found objects. Keeps the house from looking too decorated. 

Brooks’ favourite spot to sit in the house.

How does your fashion background influence your interiors style? 

I decorate more conservatively than I dress. There’s nothing worse than being tired of a room before you’ve even paid for it. 

Whose house in the UK do you wish you lived in? 

The only house that gives me envy is Cornwall Manor. There’s no prettier house and it’s a generous but manageable size. 

How did you get the idea for setting up a shop? What can we buy there? 

After living here for six years, I developed my own take on English style, and I also travelled a lot and constantly found things overseas that would work here. My shop is inspired by England, curated by an American and sourced mostly in Europe. It sells homeware, fashion and gifts. 

Cutter Brooks shop.

Which is your favourite antiques shop? 

I love The Lacquer Chest in London. 

The sitting room.

Where do you buy your stationery from? 

Always from Terrapin in NYC. 


— Francesca
6th June 2018