Biography

Born Juliet Grime in Derbyshire, England, Chippy as she soon came to be known studied art and fashion at Leicester College of Art for four years then gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. There she graduated first in her class under the professorship of Madge Garland (Lady Ashton).

She worked at all aspects of fashion design in London and New York for 22 years, not only designing sportswear but also mailing pieces including ones that won awards and also won the prestigious Courduroy Council Award for fashion design.

In addition she wrote the book, lyrics, music and starred in an industrial fashion event for Celanese Corporation in New York. Always interested in the fine arts, she appeared in «happenings» by artists Claes Oldenburg and Robert Whitman. She is a member of Fashion Group International and has done volunteer work for the FGI archives and has served on their Publications Committee. She was a member and Secretary of the fashion organization Design America.

Since 1986 she has written ten books: THE FARMHOUSE, THE TOWN HOUSE, SECOND HOMES, (Bantam American Design), PRIVATE NEW YORK: REMARKABLE RESIDENCES (Abbeville Press in The US called HABITER NEW YORK at Chêne in France), BRUNSCHWIG FILS STYLE (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, now in its 4th printing) which was co-authored with Murray Douglas, a member of the Brunschwig family, THE CRAFT OF PILLOW MAKING (Crown/ Random House), LOW-SEW BATHROOMS, and LOW-SEW BEDROOMS in conjunction with Handcraft Illustrated Magazine (Reader’s Digest), and ELEGANT LINENS (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown). These books have dealt with interior design, architecture and crafts, including historical references to these subjects, the personalities who created these environments, and all are illustrated with beautiful color photographs.

Chippy’s latest book is THE ENGLISH ROOM, with photographs by Christopher Simon Sykes, for the English publisher Pavilion Books. THE ENGLISH ROOM is published in the U.S.A by the Bulfinch division of Little, Brown.

She continues to give lectures across the country including the Smithsonian Museum, Design Centers in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Washington D.C., and has given presentation in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, various libraries, bookstores, and Decorex exhibitions. She has held seminars for Design conferences and workshops. She has been a contributing editor for Art Antiques since 1986, a features editor at Design Times for ten years, and has written articles for many magazines and newspapers. Chippy is currently on the Board of Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation. Chippy is married to Keith Irvine of Irvine Fleming Bell, an interior design firm in New York. They have two daughters Emma (Mrs. John Lo Magno) and Jassy. Chippy divides her time between an apartment in Manhattan, and a farmhouse estate where the addition of a Greek Revival-style ballroom wing was seen in HOUSE GARDEN’s January 1997 issue and in VICTORIA for a Millennium Ball in November 2000.

REVIEWS FOR THE ENGLISH ROOM

“Irvine serves up a large portion of our decorative history for readers to take away knowledge of everyone from William Kent to John Fowler…” THE WORLD OF INTERIORS

‘…British-born Chippy Irvine, a contributing editor for Art Antiques, offers an in-depth study of a range of influences that have contributed to this unique style…with some of the history behind the English character. Chapters cover every space inside a home, including entrance halls, landings, lofts, and even outdoor “rooms” such as patios and terraces. And readers will discover that while rooms share certain similarities, each one also possesses an individuality that is the result of its inhabitant, whether a designer, a writer, an artist, or a historian’. Julie Goodwin BOOKMARKS

‘…The book quotes John Fowler for its definition of an «English» interior: ‘comfort and suitability» and an edge of «pleasing decay» characteristics amply conveyed in Christopher Simon Sykes’s photographs, which are the real reason to return to THE ENGLISH ROOM over and over again.’ HOUSE GARDEN

‘The English taste in interior decoration is «slightly, but not dangerously, eccentric», according to U.S. design journalist Chippy Irvine. Summing up what makes a quintessentially English home, she explains: «Rooms incorporate quirky touches…plenty of books, pictures, odd personal collections that have taken a lifetime or several to acquire, plus a wealth of forgiveness for worn patinas and threadbare fabric»…The text is full of facts about the history of English homes, as well as a helpful amount of detail about the properties pictured…’

‘…Through centuries of practice and honing our skills, the country house style has been arrived at…English eccentricity shines through here and with Christopher Simon Sykes’ photographs, you could not wish for more…The book not only confines itself to grand manors but also covers more modest homes, such as a warehouse conversion and an Eighteenth Century mews.» thegoodwebguide.co.uk

‘This is a wonderful book that doesn’t necessarily follow the norm. There is great flair here, not only from Chippy Irvine, but also from the designers that she has collaborated with…in all cases, The English Room represents a leading edge in interior design.’ Amazon.co.uk

‘If you are aiming to bring a touch of English style to your home then this sumptuous volume is full of ideas. From hallways to conservatories and studies to kitchens, the reader is taken on a room-by-room tour of a variety of houses in both town and country. Some epitomise modern high-tech living, whilst others hark back to the days of open fires and chintz curtains. To whatever era the rooms owe their origins, they all display that unmistakable English look… Readers are able to feast their eyes upon the Art Deco opulence of Eltham Palace in London; farmhouse kitchens furnished with scrubbed pine; and the carved craftsmanship of a 16th-century oak tester bed at Hever Castle in Kent. For a flavour of the 21st century, author and photographer turn their attention to the steel-edged starkness of an executive exercise room complete with television to tune in to the all-important business news. In terms of beautiful simplicity and “getting away from it all”. It is difficult to beat the Edwardian cricket pavilion on the South Downs which has been converted into a weekend retreat. The combination of excellent images and a well-researched text, full of fascinating architectural and historical detail, makes this delightfully-presented book informative as well as inspirational.’ THIS ENGLAND

‘…From drawing rooms and studies to kitchens and bathrooms, from conservatories to bedrooms, in town and country, the subtle charms and idiosyncrasies of English rooms have been captured evocatively by Christopher Simon Sykes’s stylish photography which enhances this attractive work. It would certainly sit very comfortably and prettily on any English coffee table, though that is not to denigrate at all the seriously interesting aspects of Irvine’s text. But essentially this is a graceful book, and one which evokes in roughly equal quantities inspiration and envy…’ BLACKMORE VALE MAGAZINE

‘…Interesting from both historical and interior design perspectives.’ HOUSE BEAUTIFUL

THE ENGLISH ROOM

Superbly suited to its architectural shell, this charming, traditionally decorated room at the Menagerie reflects the unerring taste and imagination of English house historian Gervase Jackson-Stops.

Photograph by Christopher Simon Sykes

About The English Room

There is a certain distinctive look in home decoration that says “English,” an instantly recognizable style that is the result of diverse influences that have been adopted and adapted into English homes. In this book, Chippy Irvine considers important English interiors which epitomize all that is creative and inspiring in that unique aesthetic.

The town and country have long been the complementary aspects of life in England, and houses in both urban and rural settings are featured in this survey. THE ENGLISH ROOM takes you on a room-by-room exploration of the English home, contrasting town with country life, rooms designed for pleasure with those for more practical needs, and rooms meant to receive visitors with those that are private retreats. The interiors, influenced by the history of each house, are quirky yet sophisticated, inventive and dynamic. Terraces and verandas, patios and conservatories reflect a love of the outdoors that is an essential part of English living in both town and country. Chippy and Keith Irvine bring to life the history and changes in customs that have contributed to the creation of the English house.

Specially commissioned photographs by Christopher Simon Sykes illustrate this visual survey, from terraced town houses to a country rectory, from an imaginative warehouse conversion to a Regency villa. Country cottages and London flats, high-ceilinged sitting rooms and stone-flagged farmhouse kitchens, all conjure up that quintessential Englishness. Embracing work varying from the eighteenth-century ornamentation of William Kent, the first “interior decorator,” to the modern gravitas of John Fowler or the cosmopolitan freshness of David Hicks, THE ENGLISH ROOM shows how distinguished and delightful personal spaces can be created.

CURRENT SLIDE PRESENTATION TOPIC: Interpreting the English Room
Chippy Irvine gives slide presentations across the country. Her most recent topic is a discussion and interpretation of the style of English rooms. Starting with the English character, with its quirky but benign eccentricity, she goes on to the influences of history on the interiors of this seafaring nation, its inspired architects and decorators, and she shows a variety of dwelling spaces. These include some of the great English country houses, contemporary cosmopolitan London flats, Regency parsonages, and humble cottages. The slides she shows are gleaned from many sources. Though her latest book, The English Room has photographs by the eminent English photographer Christopher Simon Sykes, her slide lecture shows entirely different illustrations that will inspire the creation of varied personal rooms in both town and country. The lecture can be followed by a book signing of The English Room which is published by Bulfinch, a division of Little, Brown.

 

OTHER SLIDE PRESENTATIONS

 

*DECORATING FROM 1066 TO TODAY: a personal and quirky look at the beginnings of interior decoration in less than an hour!

*THE ROMANCE OF ELEGANT LINENS: how to collect and cherish household textiles.

*LIVING WITH ANTIQUES: how to enjoy, arrange and care for antiques in the home.

Hoop House Cover

I’m Ron Patterson with Utah State University Extension in Carbon County. Last night we had some calm — it’s been kind of breezy yesterday — and so we had some calm and I put the cover on this high tunnel so we’re just about ready to start growing things in here. read more