Book review: Farmhouse Revival

There's a lot of recycling, upcycling and makin' do and mendin' if you want an authentic farmhouse interior. Farmhouse Revival by Steve Gross and Susan Daley looks at 20 beautiful farmhouses in Northeast America, and should inspire those who want an antidote to minimalism

By Noah Dugall
Farmhouse revival

It was first published in 2013 and remains the go-to book for anyone looking to achieve a farmhouse style for their home that has a touch of US pioneering settler spirit.  So if the American countryside inspires you (countryside, note, not politics) Farmhouse Revival will send you into a reverie. Architectural photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daley have captured the heart and soul of 20 fine farmhouses in the American Northeast. Published by Abrams & Chronicle Books£25

Manhattan penthouses aren't everyone's cup of tea. Many of us would prefer the warmth and cosiness of an American farmhouse...with a big range cooker, Shaker furniture and handmade quilts on the feather beds... It's the US interior style equivalent to English country house, perhaps, and as with the latter, the former isn't as easy to achieve as it looks.

So Farmhouse Revival, with its large format luscious photographsis a great book if you want to really study the US farmhouse vernacular.

And as the photographers and authors note, there is no one set architectural style when it comes to the great American farmhouse. It might be a simple one-room lodge or a large elegant plantation or manor house. Houses might be made from wood, brick or stone, they can be plain and austere, or pretty and homely.

And it's interesting to note they were seldom designed by architects, rather they were built by carpenters in local styles. As many have fallen into disrepair across the country, so people have come to value them and want to restore them before they disappear.

The houses in this book have all been very lovingly cared for or restored and because they tend not to be full of new furniture and gadgets, they are a great example of what can be done with antiquesbric a bracheirlooms and natural, sustainable materials, principally local woods and stones.

Just saddle up my horse and call me Johnboy....