Interior Design

Building Beautiful: Classical Houses by John Simpson

New homes, featuring interiors, gardens, and furniture from London-based architect John Simpson, famed designer of the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace and one of the world’s leading practitioners of New Classicism.

Inviting, perfect in proportion, exquisite in detail—such are a few of the ways to describe homes designed by John Simpson. Well known for his work with the British royal family at Buckingham and Kensington palaces and for his buildings at Eton College in the U.K. and at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S., he is perhaps most brilliant at the level of the house and home. Building Beautiful is an invitation to enter the work of this master designer, as one might visit with a treasured friend.
From a dream made real within a Venetian palazzo—a former seventeenth-century near-ruin, brought back to glorious, fancifully detailed life—to an English countryside cottage with a thatched roof, the featured homes are expressions of Simpson’s unerring eye and extraordinary sense of beauty. Here we find drama in contrasts of scale and the seductive effects of light, where a cozy reading nook opens to an expansive living room with a double-height ceiling that nevertheless feels not overly large but rather just right. This is Simpson’s subtle art—a mastery of scale, balance, and a pervading sense of elegance.

About The Author

Clive Aslet, a novelist, historian, editor, and lecturer, is the former editor of Country Life magazine and the author of more than twenty books. Architect John Simpson has been the recipient of the Palladio Award, the Royal Institute of British Architects Award, the American Institute of Architects Honor Award, and the Arthur Ross Award, among many others.

  • Publish Date: September 21, 2021
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Architecture - Interior Design - General
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-7063-9


'Renowned architect John Simpson’s work can be seen at Buckingham and Kensington palaces. In Building Beautiful, he showcases other homes he has designed—spaces like a 17th-century Venetian palazzo (left), which was brought back from 'near-ruin,' and an English cottage—that are just as exquisite. As Aslet notes, Simpson has built important public buildings like chapels, art galleries and schools, 'but at the center of his life are his homes.'" —PEOPLE

"Designer John Simpson is best-known for his work with the British royal family on their most iconic residences (think: Kensington and Buckingham Palaces), buildings at Eton College, and structures at The University of Notre Dame in the U.S. Building Beautiful brings Simpson's dreamiest, most dazzling projects all in one place and offers insight into the mind of one of the world's leading practitioners in New Classicism. You'll return to these pages again and again for inspiration and wanderlust fulfillment." —VERANDA.COM

Author Bookshelf: Clive Aslet