If I asked you to think of a celebrated British designer, Vivienne Westwood is likely to spring to mind. Her collection of rugs for The Rug Company has the same edgy take on tradition as her catwalk looks. My favorite is this tartan rug, which is unexpectedly cut on the diagonal.
Perhaps the biggest name in British interior design is Terence Conran. In addition to being the founder of design emporiums Habitat and Heal's, he created numerous pieces that have become modern classics in their own right. I love the mid-century lines and pillar box red of this aptly named Matador Chair.
I love this black and white floral pattern, Dalston Rose, that comes as wallpaper, fabric or furniture. I'd use this wallpaper in a contemporary black and white scheme.
And here's the perfect pairing for my black pillow: a white Chesterfield sofa. Chesterfields are deep, tufted sofas with arms and back of the same height. This is actually an Old Hickory sofa and not exactly a Chesterfield, but it's a similar effect and would bring some country estate elegance to a contemporary room.
Or you could reverse the colors and choose this white pillow with the famous London Eye to go with a black sofa.
This black velvet Chesterfield would be perfect. I like the sloping arms and ball feet that give it an updated, whimsical look.
Another classic from British furniture design is the Chinese Chippendale chair. Named after the 18th Century British cabinet maker who pioneered the style, these chairs feature lacquer and latticework. A favorite of mine is Jonathan Adler's version, which comes in dozens of colors. I'd love to use this black lacquer and gray check version in an all-white dining room or with a white desk in an elegant office.
A more modern classic British seat is the Antelope Chair designed by Ernest Race in the 1950s. The splayed steel design is supposed to be reflective of the discoveries in molecular physics at the time. Well, I don't know about that, but I do know I like its slender, unassuming form and would like one in my dining room!
I love this Sabre table by Ashley Hicks, the daughter of revered interior designer David Hicks. I couldn't have this table with kids in the house, but for a very grown-up living room, this would be quite a conversation piece.
This Oly Studio chandelier would be the perfect light fixture. It's made of wire that has been wrapped to look like crystals, so it is a more industrial take on traditional English stately home style.
I'm not a big fan of floral chintz, but I appreciate it in small doses. No one does English florals better than Cath Kidston, and these pillows would look good on a bench or window seat in a kitchen.
No English country kitchen is complete without a large jug stuffed with overblown roses. I would choose this large Sophie Conran pitcher for its simple shape and handcrafted appeal. I'd pair it with lots of foliage for a more contemporary effect.
Cornishware, one of the icons of English pottery, actually had nothing to do with Cornwall. It was created in Derbyshire in North England, and it was named after the waves off the Cornish coastline because of its original blue and white palette. The factory shut down in 2007 after almost 90 years but was revived recently by fans. And just as well, because these bold stripes could grace any kitchen.