There are countless scenes and locations in the current BBC1 TV adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace (9pm Sunday nights) which are incredibly beautiful and evocative, but none more so than the magical scene last Sunday night when Count and Countess Rostov and their family visit their Bohemian relative in a ‘rustic retreat’ log cabin hidden deep in a Russian snow-covered forest.
I can’t bear that the series is now over halfway through (Episode 5 out of 6 this Sunday 31st January 2016), but help is at hand by way of an interiors book, nothing to do with the series, called Winter Living. This lovely hardback book is styled by Selina Lake with photography by Debi Treloar (published by Ryland, Peters and Small, £19.99). It covers Russian/Scandinavian inspired decorating themes with chapters on ‘Homespun’, ‘Faded Grandeur’ ‘Rustic Retreats’ and ‘Winter Whites’ and is produced in such a way that you feel you you might actually be there.
Selina offers tips on how to decorate your home in the winter months including some homemade projects too. There are log-burning stove shots galore, ideas for bringing the outside in which is a reminder, that even if there aren’t any flowers out at this time of year, there are always lots of foliage/branches/moss/fir cones which can be brought in to decorate your home just as effectively.
I’ve spotted a few London location houses in the book which have been really successfully used in tandem with shots of location houses in Scandinavia to create a real sense of a Northern Hemisphere country interior. Also, if you are kind of missing a true winter of below zero degrees, with snow falling quietly outside and the crackle of a roaring fire inside, then this is another reason the book might be for you too.