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APRIL 2019 £4.50 | US $9.99, AUS $9.99, NZ $13

HOMES CREATING SPACE Renovation projects to inspire

Beautiful houses in the city, coast and country


A Spanish hacienda with a dream scheme



April 2019 inspiring homes 23 36 40 46 54

R E S T O R I N G C H A R M Sympathetic to

its heritage while being practical for modern living, this Norwich terrace has it all N E W H E I G H T S An interiors-savvy couple has turned a run-down Irish cottage into a welcoming family home S E A C H A N G E Maximising the glorious coastal views was top priority during this bungalow renovation in Devon O A S I S O F C A L M Serene Danish design reigns in this London penthouse apartment W O O D L A N D G E M A Hampshire cottage with its own bluebell wood


64 76 86 90 94

A R T I S T ’ S T O U C H A skilled

renovation transformed this Scottish cottage G O I N G D U T C H How one couple from The Netherlands gave an Exmoor farmhouse a avour of their homeland DESIGN FOR LIVING Dreams of escaping to the country led one family to buy a dated house in Nottinghamshire T R U E C O L O U R S Bold hues give this Hampshire self-build character HOLDING BACK THE YEARS

Monochrome is the scheme of choice in a Thirties Australian bungalow

A period property has been brought back to life with a modern scheme (page 94).

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 3

- Awa r d w i n n i n g o r a n g e r i e s & G a r d e n r o o m s -








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c o nte nt s | 25bh

114 118 130 135

F A M I LY V A L U E S How this growing brood put their


stamp on a Georgian rectory in Essex C O A S TA L C O M F O R T In search of a country bolthole, one family realised their dreams in Devon D AT E W I T H D E S T I N Y Red bricks, original beams and huge fireplaces tempted these relocators to choose a run-down Berkshire cottage as their new home T H E B I G E A S Y A serial renovator’s love of Scandi simplicity comes across in this Oxfordshire former barn

unique 14 58

W O R K I N G W O N D E R Making the most of

high ceilings and industrial elements in a Victorian factory conversion in east London TA L E S O F T H E U N E X P E C T E D A deceptive exterior conceals the modernity of this London cottage

replanned 82 100 104 109

C L A S S A C T How an interior designer helped

transform a London bachelor pad into a show-off home R O O M S W I T H A V I E W A topsy-turvy layout makes the most of the coastal panoramas from this Cornish holiday home B R E AT H I N G S P A C E By digging down into the basement and refiguring the existing floors, the owners have made the most of their London villa C L E A R V I S I O N Eager to bring more light into their London terrace, this couple got to work rejigging the layout

distinctive 8 30 125

T H E L O N G WAY H O M E How one couple ended up

in a Lincolnshire cottage that had special meaning for them O N E O F A K I N D A strong creative vision turned a tired London house into a vibrant and coherent home M A D E W I T H L O V E Passionate about period renovations, this family upped sticks and moved to Bath to return a dilapidated terrace to its former beauty

new build 50 70

M I S S I N G L I N K After realising their original new-

135 40


build layout wasn’t working for them, the owners sought professional advice to rejig their Suffolk country home C L E A N A N D S I M P L E Unfussy contemporary furniture looks right at home in this brand-new detached property in West Sussex

r e g u l a r f e at u r e s 124 143 150

T R AV E L O F F E R Luxury river cruises in Europe W H E R E T O B U Y Find stockists listed in this issue here R O O M E N V Y The scheme that’s inspired us this month 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 5

25bh | e d ito r ’s le t te r 25 BEAUTIFUL


WELCOME Who doesn’t hanker after extra space? Those of us in bijou houses may long for an extra bedroom or a sliver of greenery, while homeowners of larger properties might covet more storage, a garden office, a cinema... With this in mind, I cast an eye over all of the projects in this issue and was delighted, but not surprised, to discover clever ideas around ‘creating space’ in every one. Naturally, our replanned properties focus on how to rejig a layout, but the inspiration doesn’t end there. The chic colour palette of our cover story (page 94) is fine proof of the impact decor has on how spacious a home feels. On a different note, Elisabeth and Aldo’s factory conversion in London (page 14) shows how to turn a large footprint into a home that is liveable and lovely. For storage ideas, see Marina and Tim’s Hampshire snug (page 90) and Kate’s London kitchen (page 58) – two different yet equally interesting approaches to shelving. I hope you find plenty of smart solutions in these pages. SARAH SPITERI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR


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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR SARAH SPITERI Executive Editors Kate French and Neil McLennan Group Creative Director Emma Williams Group Chief Sub Editor Anne Esden Commercial Editorial Operations Director Jane Akers Homes Content Team Editorial Director Rhoda Parry Commissioning/Interiors Editor Emma J Page Editorial Assistant Sally Dominic Head of Art Operations Alison Walter Art Editors Melanie Brown, Paula Jardine, Meredith Davies With thanks to Mel Algar Head of Subs Operations Maxine Clarke Hub Chief Sub Editor Jennifer Spaeth Senior Sub Editors Marian McNamara and Fiona Mace


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C E N T R E O F AT T E N T I O N Family life revolves around the large island in this welcoming, light-filled kitchen

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Don’t live in a pin. The Internet, it’s a wonderful source of inspiration, but it’s just that; inspiration. Only you can make your home your own, and a space you love. You won’t find it on the Internet, you’ll find it in your head. Bring it to life with Craig & Rose premium paints.



THE LONG WAY HOME Emma Hatfield Watkins’ use of a subtle palette and thoughtful touches brought the character back to her elegant, much-loved 18th-century property FEATURE JANET MCMEEKIN | PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREAS VON EINSIEDEL


home truths THE PROPERTY Farm cottage, dating from the 1700s, rebuilt in 1898 L O C AT I O N Lincolnshire R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ library, dining room, kitchen, snug, study, five bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2006 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in converted stables next to our current home,’ says Emma.

p e r i o d d e tac h e d | 25bh

SNUG Emma’s husband Iain made the beautiful stone fireplace himself and cut each piece using a handsaw. French Thirties pressed herbs (on wall), from £65 for a set of six unframed, Hattie Hatfield Decorative Antiques & Interiors. Cushions in Heywood Old Blue fabric, £98m, Colefax and Fowler. Curtains in Roses Blue fabric, £75m, Kate Forman

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 9

DINING ROOM During the restoration, Emma and Iain sourced a classical-style fireplace for this area. Burlington fireplace, £2,200, Chesneys. Similar chandelier, price on request, Hattie Hatfield Decorative Antiques & Interiors

p e r i o d d e tac h e d | 25bh


hen Emma Hatfield Watkins’ husband, Iain, was a teenager and mowing his neighbour’s lawn to earn pocket money, he never imagined that, one day, he would buy the house he’d often admired from across the garden. Over the years, the property, which is surrounded by barns, has witnessed a number of reincarnations. ‘During the Seventies, an occupant sold the house and moved into one of the barns which they’d converted,’ explains Emma. ‘The surrounding garden was then divided up between the two owners.’ In the late Eighties, Iain’s family bought that barn and he converted the adjoining stables into his first home. When Emma and Iain got together in 2004, she moved into the stables with Iain. Captivated by the tranquillity and charm of this idyllic, rural location, a year later, when the pair discovered that the adjacent

DINING ROOM Emma has a knack for creating eye-catching displays on the walls of her home, such as this arrangement of antique plates. Similar French antique gilt wall lights, from £36, Etsy. Woodwork painted in Clunch estate eggshell, £62 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

KITCHEN White tureens, collected by the couple during various trips to France, have been arranged above the large stone fireplace. Try the Marseilles limestone fireplace, £3,350, Chesneys. Bespoke cabinetry, Mark Goodacre Kitchens

house was on the market, the news instantly piqued their interest. ‘Although the stables were great, we needed more space,’ says Emma. ‘This was a chance to bring both gardens back into the same family and own a wonderful home, while living close to Iain’s parents.’ Having dug deep, Emma, an interior designer who owns Hattie Hatfield Decorative Antiques & Interiors, and tree surgeon Iain, bought the property. ‘Although the house was lovely, most of the original fireplaces had been blocked up during the Seventies, and, somehow, with all the changes that had occurred over the years, it seemed to have lost its sense of identity,’ says Emma. Keen to inject the house with the character and soul they felt was lacking, the couple began their sensitive restoration project. The first room to be updated was the Nineties kitchen. ‘We replaced the dark ceramic floor tiles with limestone flooring, which

favo u r i t e f e at u r e ‘Reinstating the fireplaces has made a phenomenal difference. It has restored character to our home and given the rooms a wonderful focal point’ 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 11

25bh | p e r i o d d e tac h e d

lesson learnt ‘Since the house is only one room deep,we realised we would need to link the spaces carefully so they all flowed seamlessly into each other’

we continued into the hall to give a sense of cohesion and lighten the spaces,’ explains Emma. Iain removed a small gas fire in the kitchen and spent weeks painstakingly building a stone fireplace from scratch. ‘This was the first of five previously bricked-up fireplaces to be reinstated,’ says Emma. Not long after the kitchen was finished, the pair were forced to turn their attention to the bedrooms. ‘One day, I walked in to hear the sound of gushing water and, on closer inspection, found that a header tank in the loft was overflowing,’ says Emma. ‘The carpets in two of the bedrooms and landing were soaked. ‘Fortunately, I caught the problem before the water ruined the new kitchen and, luckily, only the ceiling in that room was damaged.’ Once the repair work was completed, Emma was able to focus on the decor for the bedrooms. ‘I felt warm, muted colours would 12 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

MAIN BEDROOM In this romantic retreat, a chandelier and coronet add a feeling of glamour. When Emma and Iain found the dressing table in the attic of their French holiday home, it was full of tools which they believe had been used in the gardens of a nearby chateau. Drapes made in Bowood Grey/ Green fabric, £85m, Colefax and

Fowler. Walls painted in Pointing estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Laura Ashley Hemsley blush pink pleated shade, from £34.50, is a good alternative

work well to create a calm, relaxed feel, so I chose a subdued palette with lots of layering to inject depth and interest,’ she says. Over the years, the pair have poured their hearts into creating a home full of antiques. ‘Iain has turned his hand to everything from the plumbing and electrics to building work,’ says Emma. The house has constantly evolved, particularly since the arrival of Tillia, now nine, and Tobias, now seven. ‘When the children came along, Iain turned an annexe into a snug and added a home office,’ says Emma. This hard-working couple’s devotion to their restoration has culminated in an exquisite home that’s welcoming and sophisticated yet family friendly. ‘Iain and I feel incredibly privileged to play even a small part in its rich history,’ says Emma. ‘It’s wonderful to see the children running carefree across the lawns with our dog, Hattie. It was clearly a great investment of Iain’s time all those years ago.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

TOBIAS’ BEDROOM Tongue-and-groove panelling, plus fabrics in bold stripes and checks create depth and interest. Cushions made in Jack All Star Blue on Cream Linen and Broadstripe French Shutter Blue on Stone Linen, both £64m, Peony & Sage. Walls painted in Skimming Stone estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

WORKING WONDER Elisabeth and Aldo Ciarrocchi’s inviting family home makes the most of its industial heritage FEATURE ANNA TOBIN | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

SITTING ROOM The exposed brick walls are a reminder of the building’s architectural heritage. Boucle jute rug, from £95, John Lewis & Partners, has a similar look

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fac to ry c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh UNIQUE

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Duplex apartment within a Victorian factory conversion L O C AT I O N East London R O O M S Sitting room/ kitchen-diner, four bedrooms (two en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2010 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We used to live in a two-bedroom flat about a mile from here,’ says Elisabeth.

SITTING ROOM The double-height living space is flooded with light from the original Victorian windows. An internal window in the main bedroom borrows natural light from this space. Similar Sigurd Ressell Falcon armchairs, £1,450 each, Pamono. Herringbone throw in beige, £89, John Lewis & Partners.

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 15

KITCHEN Elisabeth chose an unusual unpainted MDF finished with shellac for the cupboard doors. During the summer, the Dutch-style back door keeps a good flow of air coming into the open-plan space. Baumatic chimney hood, £225; Siemens iQ500 hob, £369, both Currys. The splashback is made with original Edwardian fireplace tiles, £200, Encore Reclamation

favo u r i t e f e at u r e ‘I love the quarter-sawn oak floor on the ground floor. It’s extremely rare, and also hard wearing’ 16 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019


lisabeth and Aldo Ciarrocchi’s daughter Isabella, now 11, was a toddler when they began house hunting, and Elisabeth was pregnant with their younger daughter Piera, now eight. ‘We were living in small flat not far away, and all we knew was that we needed something larger for our family,’ says Elisabeth. ‘We both liked the idea of warehouse-style living and as soon as we walked in here, we fell in love with it.’ When the Ciarrocchis got the keys to the property, it was desperately in need of some TLC. ‘The ground floor was covered in laminate and there was a basketball hoop hanging from one of the posts,’ Elisabeth reveals. ‘The kitchen was cluttered with wall cabinets and it had a low bulkhead ceiling to accommodate the sunken bath in the bathroom above.’ After moving in nine years ago, and replacing the flooring throughout with reclaimed wooden floorboards sourced from Crosby Hall in London’s Cheyne Walk, the couple delayed renovations until 2016. ‘It was important for us to live in the space first, so that we could discover the best way it would work for us,’ says Elisabeth, who together with Aldo, runs reclamation business Encore Reclamation. In this time, they tried to find an architect who would assimilate their ideas. ‘We met with five architects,’ says Elisabeth. ‘They were all great, but one in particular seemed to really listen and understood that we wanted to keep things simple, plus he is local, which was handy when it came to picking up samples. When we were ready to start work, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted, so the internal design became a real collaborative effort.’ The layout of the large double-height living space didn’t change, but has been made more flexible. In conjunction

fac to ry c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh KITCHEN The peninsular unit was widened to provide more storage and is on wheels so it can be moved to become an island unit. Benjamin elliptical grey enamel factory lights, from £420 each, Skinint

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 17

CHILDREN’S EN SUITE Green splashback tiles make a standout feature. Karl rectangular basin, £229, Bathstore. Spring Green brick tiles, from £1.05 each, Aurorae Tiles EN SUITE Waterproof micro-cement has been used on the walls and floor, while an internal window above the shower gives the family bathroom next door borrowed light. Kaldewei steel Superplan XXL shower tray, £568, QS Supplies

d e c o r at i n g t i p ‘Decide on your colour and texture palette early on and use it for inspiration when making design choices’ 18 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

with Space Group Architects, Elisabeth designed the kitchen peninsular unit so that it could be moved around to work as an island when she fancied a change of scene, and when the space needed to be opened up for entertaining. The dining table was put on wheels for the same reason. On the first floor, the walls were pushed back to widen the mezzanine, and the vast bathroom was divided into two to create an en suite to the children’s bedroom. The internal windows within each room that open on to the mezzanine were also repositioned and widened to draw in more light. The budget was tight, but Elisabeth’s desire to retain the building’s factory feel helped keep costs down. ‘I like the unfinished look,’ she says. ‘Whenever the builders wanted to put the finishing touches on something, I told them not to. I didn’t want anything to look sleek and polished.’ She also applied these design principles to the kitchen units. ‘As the builders were running behind schedule, they fitted the kitchen door fronts temporarily, for Christmas,’ she explains. ‘The plan was to take them off and paint them later. But once they were fitted in their pure MDF moistureresistant state, and finished with shellac we liked how they looked. The kitchen fitter thought I was crazy, but he’s grown to like the style, too, and is fitting similar kitchens elsewhere!’ When it came to furnishing the property, most of the vintage pieces were sourced from eBay, and Elisabeth and Aldo also picked up bits and pieces from car-boot sales and through their reclamation work. Now that the renovation is finished, the couple are delighted that their vision for the apartment has become a reality. ‘We really wouldn’t have done anything differently,’ says Elisabeth. ‘It’s perfect for us as a family.’

MAIN BEDROOM Elisabeth has chosen vintage furniture to reflect the style of the property. Vintage industrial chest of drawers, £250, eBay

fac to ry c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh GUEST BEDROOM The same paredback industrial style continues in this ground-floor room. Tarva bed, £110, Ikea. Evelyn cushions, £15 each, Habitat, are similar


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Restoring charm Victoria Gedge’s goal was to preserve her home’s history while making it practical for modern living FEATURE ABBI HENDERSON | PHOTOGRAPHY GEORGIA BURNS


The new scheme, complete with breakfast bar, has created a relaxed space that’s loved by all, including Wilfred the dog.

Try solid wood kitchen stools, £29.99 for two, Argos. Manu modern pendant lamp in white is comparable, £79.95,

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 23


home truths THE PROPERTY Georgian terrace L O C AT I O N Norwich R O O M S Sitting room, dining room, kitchen, cloakroom, cellar, three bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘My husband Dale and I moved from a two-up, two-down terrace nearby,’ says Victoria.


‘Adding the extension meant we could move the dining table away from the middle of the room and have an island installed instead, which has made

cooking and socialising far easier,’ says Victoria. Jerry dining table, £450, Habitat. For similar dining chairs, try Nimah, £231.99 for four, Wayfair

p e r i o d t e r r ac e | 25bh

FUTUR E PLANS ‘We would like to replace the missing Georgian shutters from the front sitting room window and give the spare room a makeover’


The original scheme, which featured blue walls and carpet, has had its period charm reinstated with a softer and more sympathetic palette. Additional shelving and cupboards were built into the alcoves, perfect for logs and knick-knacks. Bespoke alcove cupboards

and shelving, The Fat Radish Kitchen Company. Harris Tweed Bowmore Grand sofa, £2,499; Harris Tweed Bowmore footstool, £879, both Jarrold. Walls painted in Lime White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Try Jute border rug, from £79.99, Very


he one thing Victoria Gedge noticed when she viewed her future home for the first time was its smell. ‘I said: “We must buy it, because it smells like a National Trust property”,’ she says. ‘My husband Dale replied: “Damp is what you can smell,” but I was sold.’ They were looking to upsize after their wedding in 2013, as their current home could no longer provide enough storage to suit their needs. The couple were keen to remain in the same area of Norwich, but were on the hunt for a house with three bedrooms and a hallway entrance. ‘The type of property we had in mind isn’t hard to come across in Norwich, however there weren’t many within our price bracket,’ says Victoria. ‘Each one we viewed required a compromise of either size or location, until – unbelievably – we found our dream home right around the corner for an affordable price. It seemed too good to be true.’ Victoria and Dale made an offer the very same day, but it had already been sold. Disappointed and disheartened, they put their search on hold and even considered a loft conversion in their current home instead, but the universe had other plans for them. ‘By chance, we were walking along a tiny one-way street near the city centre one day and saw a “For Sale” sign poking out of the bush in a front garden,’ Victoria recalls. ‘We 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 25

FAVOURITE ROOM ‘I love the upstairs bathroom. It’s like I’ve stepped into a luxury hotel, and feels even better knowing we remodelled it on a really tight budget’


An outdated look was replaced with a paredback scheme, which helps to enhance the property’s period features. Montpensier 5ft rattan bed, £997.50, La Maison Chic, is similar. Walls painted in Strong White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

went straight on Rightmove to see the price, but it was way over our budget. We viewed it anyway, and I fell completely in love with it.’ Dale needed a little more convincing, though the promise of a games room in the cellar sealed the deal, and after some negotiating they managed to secure the house. But the excitement – or, more accurately, drama – was far from over. Victoria and Dale moved in just before Christmas to no double glazing and just a smattering of radiators. ‘I remember being completely freezing while wrapping gifts, and using candles to try and heat the living room,’ says Victoria. The house required seemingly endless work, and being Grade II listed only made matters more complicated. Consent was required for many a project to begin, while some renovations were off the cards altogether. The chimney, which Victoria had planned to restore in order to install a log burner, was a gust of wind away from collapsing onto the roof, and a leaking tap in the upstairs bathroom saw the entire room and ground floor hallway flooded. By far the biggest challenge was renovating the cellar. To solve its damp issues, the couple decided to get the room tanked, but despite being given the go-ahead in advance, a conservation officer – who turned up at the house unannounced after the procedure – informed them that they needed to 26 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019


The couple were keen to save money on the upstairs bathroom makeover. They opted against a shower, which meant they were able to panel the walls with moisture resistant MDF themselves. Vintage wall lamp in Antique Gold, £33.95, Lampandlight., is a good alternative

p e r i o d te r r ac e | 25bh


‘We reconfigured the room to make better use of the space, and installed a large freestanding bath to give a nod to the Georgian era,’ says Victoria.

Wood panelling painted in Plummett modern emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Sebastian traditional roll-top bath in white, £699.99, Soak

25bh | p e r i o d te r r ac e LESSON LEARNT ‘Go with your gut when making design decisions. You might not get it right every time, but that’s okay – things can always be changed in the future’

GUEST BEDROOM ‘The plan was to restore the original floorboards in the guest bedroom,’ says Victoria. ‘But after renting a sander and ripping up the carpet, we realised there weren’t any floorboards to restore!’ Hemnes bedside table, £50; Arod, £40, is a comparable lamp, both Ikea


The extension meant that the garden was halved in size. However, with sliding doors in place, it acts as an additional sitting area during the summer months. A living wall is a clever use of space, too. For similar deckchairs try Bilbao, £99.99 for two, Alice’s Garden

apply for listed building consent, which would see work put on hold for six weeks. ‘During that time we had some extreme rain and the tanking failed,’ says Victoria. ‘The new floors had wet patches and the plaster was soaking, but the company completely washed their hands of it. I think my tears could have flooded the rest of the house.’ With basement woes eventually resolved and an extension underway that meant rejigging their brand new kitchen, Victoria took on the master bedroom. ‘As I was deciding on what to do with the floor and furniture, Dale was flying out to Sierra Leone as an NHS medic to assist with the Ebola crisis,’ she recalls. ‘I decided that I could at least have the bedroom completed for when he returned.’ Friends and family popped by to pick up a paintbrush and pour cups of tea, and the room quickly came together. Restoring their charming home has been a labour of love, and while the house isn’t quite finished, it has a whole new identity that is classic in style and sympathetic to its history. Plus, both Victoria and Dale adore it. ‘A house which throws as many curveballs as this one could test any relationship, but we’ve laughed and cried our way through the renovations together, and have come out the other side still as happy as we were when we purchased it,’ says Victoria. 28 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019


Wear your heart on your windows.

Don’t just like your blinds. Love them.



The concrete floor is practical, and suits the pared-back look. A bold accent wall complements the subtler palette in the adjoining sitting room. Floor by Topcret, prices on request. Ecosil-ME mineral paint in Bleu Céruléen 31, £49.50 for 5L, Keim. Grohe Concetto Twin Lever Monobloc Tap, from £110.99, Wayfair, is similar

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v i c to r i a n te r r ac e | 25bh


Magnus Pettersen and Ella Jones gave a tired Victorian property a contemporary twist with a clever use of vibrant colours and natural materials




home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian terrace L O C AT I O N East London R O O M S Sitting room, kitchen-diner, study, two bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2017 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved from a modern house that we renovated,’ says Ella.

hen Magnus Pettersen and Ella Jones upsized from a small modern townhouse to a larger London property, they were looking for a project. The couple, who met 10 years ago, had completed three renovations before buying this three-bedroom Victorian terrace. ‘Its converted loft, extended kitchen and big garden were huge draws for us,’ explains Ella. They also loved the location on a tree-lined road. ‘It’s very peaceful and close to lots of green space,’ she adds. Used for shared occupancy for years, the house was severely neglected, with strippedout period features and a confused groundfloor layout. ‘There was a bathroom in the middle of the sitting room,’ Ella recalls. Magnus is an award-winning product designer and Ella is a fashion designer

working for global brands, so they brought a strong creative vision to reimagine the property. They lived on-site throughout the year-long renovation, acting as interior designers and project managers. Magnus and Ella worked alongside their builders, who were also able to complete all of the carpentry to a high standard. Knocking down the internal walls at ground level turned small rooms into bright, open-plan living spaces. The couple were keen to lay concrete flooring, so they dropped the floor level at the front of the house to meet the kitchen, where there had been a step down. They also moved the kitchen units and added double doors out to the garden and a skylight window above. To fit the supporting beam for the window, they had to move the staircase. ‘The old stairs were rickety and falling to

FAVOURITE ROOM ‘We love the open-plan area on the ground floor. It feels really spacious, but also cosy’

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v i c to r i a n te r r ac e | 25bh


The bright yellow sofa adds a pop of colour to enliven this scheme. Tepee sofa by Lucy Kurrein, from £3,609, SCP. Vintage rug, prices on request, A New Tribe. Floor lamp is Flos IC F1 Floor Light, £505, Heal’s


Modular shelving offers plenty of flexible display space. Try String Shelving System, prices on request, Utility Design


Terrazzo stone countertops combined with cabinet doors made from sapele, an African hardwood, gives a modern understated look. Terrazzo worktop TE002, £250sq m, Diespeker & Co


Magnus and Ella designed a new flight with black-painted treads and banisters also made of sapele wood. Floor Paint in Basalt, £67 for 2.5L, Little Greene, is a comparable finish

25bh | v i c to r i a n te r r ac e

DESIGN TIP ‘Choose furniture with character: something that tells a story, either in its history or the place it is from’

bits,’ explains Ella. So the couple designed a new staircase for the builders to make. ‘They also made the kitchen unit doors that we planned to look more like furniture than a fitted kitchen,’ explains Ella. Keen travellers Magnus and Ella have filled their home with treasures from their trips and many of their interior ideas come from abroad. Throughout, beautiful Moroccan rugs add warmth and texture. The rugs are all from Ella’s extensive collection, which she sells in her east London shop, A New Tribe. A visit to Japan in 2017 influenced their design of the wood and reeded glass partitions that partially divide the kitchen and sitting room, while also framing the area by the front door where the hallway originally stood. ‘The reeded glass panels are a nod to mid-century open-plan homes and create 34 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

a subtle division with a lighter effect than solid walls,’ says Ella. Inspired by the Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier, the couple planned their colour palette using his Colour System, where every hue can be combined. The vivid blue wall in the kitchen-diner helps to zone the space and contrasts with the earthy neutrals, greys and blacks used elsewhere. On the first floor, they turned a bedroom into a bathroom, removing the ceiling to fit a pitched roof and adding a large window. The bathroom walls were finished with the tadelakt-style lime-based plaster typical of Moroccan bathrooms, and the pair designed a reeded glass shower screen to echo the ground-floor partitions. ‘Completely transforming a property is so satisfying,’ Ella says. ‘But it was such hard work. Next year we’re planning a holiday instead.’


A Moroccan tadelakt-style lime plaster finish here was the couple’s biggest extravagance. ‘I’m obsessed with the look,’ says Ella. Plaster finish by Topcret, prices on request


To make full use of a small room, the couple jettisoned bedside tables, opting instead for a headboard wall with built-in lights and a shelf for books. Rubn Miller wall light, £289, Twentytwentyone. Washed linen duvet in Plum Kitten, £159.99, LinenMe


25bh | c o t tag e c o n v e r s i o n

N E W H E IG H T S Geri O’Toole and Cathal Glynn pooled their skills to turn a derelict cottage into a bright family home FEATURE SERENA FOKSCHANER | PHOTOGRAPHY RUTH MARIA MURPHY

SITTING AREA Geri designed the panelling as a low-key contrast to the plain walls of the early 20th-century building. Artworks include paintings by Geri’s late mother, who was also an interior designer. Hudson sofa, from €1,800, Browsers. Rabisco rug, £99, La Redoute, would also work here

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home truths THE PROPERTY Twenties cottage L O C AT I O N Near Limerick R O O M S Hall, kitchen-diner/ living space, two bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before we moved here, we lived in a smaller house in Annacotty, not far from where we are now,’ says Geri.

KITCHEN-DINER Geri opened up the ground floor to design a spacious family area, which now features a vaulted ceiling for added drama. Harrogate dining table, from £1,000; Arundel bench, from £445; Mowbray dining chairs, from £320 each, all Neptune. Jim Lawrence’s Stanton pendant light, from £161, has this look

25bh | c o t tag e c o n v e r s i o n

HALL The original brick walls of the Twenties cottage were restored and partially exposed to add texture to the modern surfaces of the rebuilt interior. Brompton wall lights in Nickel, from ÂŁ75 each, Neptune

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esign is in Geri O’Toole’s DNA. Her father set up a furniture retailer in Limerick named Browsers, which Geri runs today, and her late mother was an interior designer for the business. Geri’s childhood was steeped in swatches, mood boards, antiques and fortuitous saleroom finds. ‘I used to work in the shop during the holidays. I just loved being there,’ says Geri, who now also runs her own interior design business, Geri Designs, from the shop. She found her match in her husband Cathal Glynn, a joiner whose skills proved useful when the couple bought a ramshackle, single-storey cottage in Castletroy five years ago. ‘Mountshannon House was built in the 18th century and burned down in the Twenties. Our house was built on the estate after the fire,’ explains Geri. ‘The property was derelict when we first saw it. But we like a challenge, so we bought it.’ The couple – who have a four-year-old son, Finley – have transformed the house, knocking through to create an open-plan kitchen-diner/living area on the ground floor. They extended up to the roof space to create an additional floor with two bedrooms and a bathroom. ‘We didn’t need planning permission because we stuck with the original footprint,’ says Geri. Instead of adding a third bedroom upstairs, Geri reconfigured the floor plan to include a vaulted ceiling, adding unexpected drama to the living area downstairs. She designed the new staircase using urban


MAIN BEDROOM A skylight makes this top-floor bedroom ideal for stargazing, with a calming palette of subdued tones tying the relaxing scheme together. Sansui wallpaper in Snow Peaks, £95m, Zoffany, has this look

materials that contrast with the wide oak beam, salvaged from a hotel in Cork owned by Geri’s father, and exposed brick walls, which lend a rustic warmth to the area. ‘I wanted to balance the clean lines and modernity with natural materials – I don’t like too much perfection,’ says Geri. Cathal made sash windows using the original weights, and the existing brick fireplace downstairs was restored. ‘We tried to preserve as much of the old building as possible. I love these original features; they give the house soul,’ says Geri. An understated palette underpins the calm, light feel of the home. Monochrome tranquillity abounds upstairs, where a roll-top bath sits against walls papered in a motif of swirling clouds. ‘I love the way the wallpaper makes me feel as though I’m floating up on high.’ The pale backdrop is warmly sprinkled with antiques and heirlooms gathered by Geri and Cathal over the years. Silvered mirrors illuminate the sitting area, soft Persian rugs adorn the floors, and modern artworks by Irish artists, such as Markey Robinson, enhance the rooms. ‘The way we decorate has changed so much. People used to stick to one look, but nowadays we’re more open to mixing and matching,’ says Geri. Nearby, a set of dilapidated outbuildings are in need of attention. Geri and Cathal have various ideas: the barns might become a holiday rental, or a workshop. Whatever their decision, one thing is clear: a transformation is in store.


FINLEY’S BEDROOM This was designed as an imaginative space in which four-year old Finley could play, and echoes the rural setting of the house. Secret Garden wall mural in Lush, £33sq m, Rebel Walls, is a match



B AT H R O O M The previously one-storey property was extended to include this light new bathroom, with neutral colours that reflect the feel of the ground floor. Fornasetti Nuvolette wallpaper, £255 a roll, Cole & Son

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Sallyann Cox used her creative talents to extend a small bungalow and make the most of the delightful coastal views FEATURE SARAH BOLTON | PHOTOGRAPHY MARK BOLTON

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s i x ti e s b u n g a l ow | 25bh INSPIRING

home truths THE PROPERTY Detached bungalow L O C AT I O N South Devon R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ kitchen-diner, three bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom and shower room P U R C H A S E D 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I lived in a Victorian cottage before moving here,’ says Sallyann.

SITTING AREA Sallyann used the fabric on her Ercol sofa as inspiration for the room’s colour scheme. Sofa covered in Harlequin’s Giverny in Charcoal and Lime, £52m, Jane Clayton. Similar Starburst wall clock, £140, Heal’s

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25bh | s i x ti e s b u n g a l ow

SITTING ROOM ‘I’d had my eye on the wallpaper for some time and although it was an extravagance, it was definitely worth it!’ says Sallyann. NLXL Brooklyn Tins wallpaper, £190 a roll, John Lewis & Partners HALL Sallyann has carved out a work space where she creates colourful, bespoke lamps from buoys, fishing nets and other beach finds teamed with her hand-painted shades.

lesson learnt ‘I would have added a couple of extra metres to the extension to allow for a larger dining table’

‘I TERRACE ‘Despite raised eyebrows from my builders, I had the bath installed on the deck; it’s a real luxury on a moonlit night,’ says Sallyann. Wrap-around deck made from Millboard in Driftwood, £54 per board, Chiltern Timber. Harlequin Toco towel, £24, Debenhams, has a similar look

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don’t want to live in a bungalow – I’m not ready for that!’ was interior decorator, stylist and maker Sallyann Cox’s reaction when her husband Richard suggested it. It was back when the couple were regularly spending a few months at a time sailing around Greece and knew a lock-up-andleave home would fit the bill. The idea became a sad necessity, however, when Richard was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and had to use a wheelchair. ‘We’d looked at so many places, none of which were suitable,’ remembers Sallyann. Finally, and with no real enthusiasm, she went to see a small, two-bedroom bungalow almost untouched for nearly 50 years and had a change of heart. ‘During the viewing, I walked into the cluttered garage and noticed a tiny window on the side – one glimpse at the

view and I realised there was so much untapped potential here,’ she recalls. The house itself had effectively been built facing away from ever-changing views across fields to the Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary much beloved by the couple. ‘I knew that by doing some rejigging to the garage, I would be able to make a special place where Richard could enjoy sitting and watching the ebb and flow of the tides, and the boats down on the water – it would be a nourishing environment.’ In the end, Richard was not able to move in as his illness progressed quickly, but, after his death, Sallyann decided to continue with their plans. ‘It was very hard to be there without him and, for the first couple of years, I didn’t do much at all apart from replacing the bedroom window with French doors onto a little balcony; I had a constant need to get outside rather than be

KITCHEN-DINER A cheery Formica table and mid-century dining chairs lend a retro look. Sallyann found the G Plan chairs in a local vintage shop. Vinterior sells similar chairs, ÂŁ425 for four. Tile wallpaper in Buttercup Blue, ÂŁ22m, Louise Body

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 43

TERRACE Building a terrace allowed Sallyann to enjoy the stunning Devon views. The Range’s Dolomiti garden chair, £17.99, is a match for the lime green seats GUEST BEDROOM The muted tones of this floral wallpaper make a relaxing haven for guests. Floral Photograph Collage wallpaper in Elegant Pastel, £120 a roll, Surface House. Walls painted in Rich Praline 4 flat matt, £31.99 for 2.5L, Dulux

best buy ‘I bought the bath for only £150 as it had

a small chip – I didn’t mind as it was going to be outside’

MAIN BEDROOM A retro bedspread and classical-style ornament are eye-catching additions to this neutral space. Isabella bed, from £1,055, Love your Home. Try Etsy for a similar crocheted bedspread, £134.72. Soak & Sleep’s French bedlinen, £32, has the same look

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cooped up, so opening up the house as much as I could became a priority.’ Two years later, when she felt able, Sallyann began work on the rest of the house. The garage and carport were demolished and replaced with a sleek extension. ‘I knew I wanted an open-plan space where I could cook, eat and relax,’ she says. The original rooms were reorganised making an extra bedroom and guest bathroom, as well as a large, bright hall where Sallyann makes lighting and mirrors from items she salvages on nearby beaches. ‘I’ve always been drawn to the sea, whether living on it or near it and I’m always out collecting all manner of things!’ Her creative eye has also been used on the interiors. ‘I’ve designed and decorated shops and restaurants in the past, invariably in vivid colours with a Mediterranean influence, but in this house, I’ve been more

restrained with lots of neutrals. I decided to think of it as a blank canvas that I could add to or remove from if I felt like a change.’ There are still pops of colour evident in the soft furnishings and the odd wild wallpaper and vintage find. ‘I used to have a lot more furniture and general “stuff” but we sold practically everything when we went off sailing. I had to start again which is surprisingly cathartic, if expensive!’ Renovating the house also proved to be a turning point. ‘It was completed in nine months and I barely had time to think about much else as there were so many decisions to be made but it was good to engage with something,’ she says. So has Sallyann been converted to bungalow life? ‘I actually feel really lucky to live here,’ she says. ‘The house makes for such easy living and with beautiful views, too – it’s an absolute privilege.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y


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25bh | fac to ry c o n v e r s i o n INSPIRING

home truths THE PROPERTY Modern penthouse addition to a factory conversion, built in 1902 L O C AT I O N Southeast London R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ kitchen-diner, two bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom R E N T E D S I N C E 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We rented a smaller two-bed apartment nearby,’ says Christina.


A textured rug helps to delineate the lounging area within the large open-plan space. Christina hung the simple pendant light low to create a cosy feel. Bar wagon, DKK6,250, Herbert Hirche at Please Wait to be Seated. PH2 glass table lamp, £940, Skandium

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OASIS OF CALM Pared-back designs from her native Denmark play an important role in Christina Thaisen’s serene abode FEATURE RACHEL LEEDHAM | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 47


ith its clutter-free aesthetic and muted colour scheme, there is a carefully curated feel to Christina Thaisen and Anders Borch’s apartment. And yet this is also a home that is very much lived in, with the couple’s toddler son, Carl Bille, having full run of the space. ‘Everything is intended to be used and enjoyed – to us it’s important for belongings to be both functional and beautiful,’ explains Christina. A few years after Christina and Anders moved from Copenhagen to London, they discovered that Christina was pregnant. Realising that they would need extra space, they began the search for a new, family-sized rental. The home they found is a fifth-floor penthouse apartment in a former factory, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering fantastic city views. Luckily, their landlord was happy for them to paint the walls. ‘I started off by painting the reading nook a dark grey and then we loved this colour so much that we did the hall the same shade,’ says Christina. ‘The black and walnut modular shelving moved with us – it looks beautiful against the dark backdrop.’ The same shelving system, a design classic from Sweden, features in Carl Bille’s room, this time offset by a midnight-blue wall. ‘I wanted this room to be a fun space without being too babyish,’ she says. Moving to a larger apartment meant the couple could bring over some pieces from Denmark, including a daybed that belonged to Christina’s grandmother. ‘The Arne Jacobsen dining chairs were Anders’ grandparents’ – my son is the fourth generation to sit on them.’ When she first moved to the UK, Christina was shocked by the number of furniture companies that were producing unlicensed copies of design classics – a practice that is now illegal. This encouraged her to begin sourcing future classics by lesser-known Scandinavian companies, which led to the creation of her online shop, Nabo. ‘I wanted to showcase designs that will be the next heirlooms,’ she says. Some of these designs feature in the apartment, mixed in with the couple’s vintage possessions. ‘Whenever we buy a new piece, we want it to be something we can pass on to our children, so we need to be absolutely sure we have chosen well,’ says Christina. ‘I think that it’s very important to take a sustainable approach to design.’ The couple hope eventually to buy property in London, but it would need to be open plan. ‘Once you are used to this sort of space, it’s hard to look back,’ reflects Christina. ‘It’s a very sociable way of living.’


The couple haven’t yet found their dream dining table but they bought this streamlined modernist design with a view to eventually using it as a desk. Eiermann2 dining table, from DKK5,493, Please Wait to be Seated. PH5 mini pendant lamp, £645, Skandium, is similar. Eames DSW chairs

with maple base, £365 each, The Conran Shop


With its stainless steel worktop, the kitchen has a softly industrial feel that echoes the building’s origins as a factory. Similar custom-made stainless steel worktop, price on request, Franke


fac to ry c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh

FAVOURITE SPACE ‘We spend most of our time in the dining area – it is where we start the day with morning coffee and end it with dinner with friends’


During the day, the sliding door is pulled back to open Carl Billie’s room up to the main space. Christina upcycled vintage cupboards to create the wall shelving. Leather and matte chrome Butterfly chair, £950; Frama circle shade light, £199, both Nabo. Vintage rug, around £600, A New Tribe


Christina framed art prints and a sheet of bold alphabet wrapping paper to add a

fun element to her son’s bedroom. The walnut wood of the modular shelving unit is a strong contrast to the rich midnight blue of the walls. Cotton ball lights, from £29.95 for a string of 20, Cable & Cotton. Mosslanda picture ledges, from £5 each, Ikea. String shelf system in walnut with black panels, from £42 for a side panel, Skandium. Wall painted in Hicks’ Blue intelligent matt emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5L, Little Greene

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 49


Having resolved a disjointed layout, Alison Nicholls’ next task was to introduce colour and a sense of fun to her home FEATURE RACHEL LEEDHAM | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

KITCHEN The chain links of the contemporary chandelier subtly reference yacht design, as does the sleek Corian and walnut worktops. Kitchen, price on application, IKAS. Interior design, Rendall & Wright. Seville glass chandelier, £5,700, Vaughan

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r u r a l d e tac h e d | 25bh NEW BUILD

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y New build L O C AT I O N Suffolk R O O M S Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen/snug, study, music room, boot room, utility, guest suite, four bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2003 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before I met James, I lived in a converted barn,’ says Alison.

DINING ROOM Thanks to a generous roof light, the new extension can carry off a dramatic deep blue scheme. The animal print on the chairs adds a fun element. Patterned chair fabric in Wilde Blue, £108m, Colefax and Fowler. Walls painted in Stiffkey Blue estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

25bh | r u r a l d e tac h e d SNUG A striking rug echoes the kitchen’s nautical theme to link the two spaces. Crazy Circles rug, £249sq m, Rug Designer. Aissa large corner sofa in Seashell basket weave, £3,020,

d e c o r a t i n g t i p ‘Commission bespoke joinery to accommodate all of your

SITTING ROOM Lindsey reused her existing the curtains, simply turning them into Roman blinds for the two smaller windows, to create a clean look. Jacob coffee table, price on request, Grange at Wells. Granta wing chairs, £1,792 each, Julian Chichester

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MAIN BEDROOM The couple had installed a bath on the raised platform but it was never used, so it is now a chic dressing area. Alderney loveseats in Dusty Rose velvet, £1,090 each, Versailles dressing table, £985, Oka


lison Nicholls is the first to admit that she and her husband, James, made some mistakes when they embarked on building a new home in the Suffolk countryside 15 years ago. ‘There was originally a Sixties bungalow on the four-acre plot, which we decided to demolish, but we were faced with tight planning rules,’ Alison explains. ‘The design was a compromise as it needed to look like a farmhouse attached to barn-type dwellings. We also had to excavate at the back of the house to gain a full second storey while keeping the roof height the same.’ What the couple and their architect devised was a large, horseshoe-shaped layout that wrapped around a courtyard. ‘When we finally moved in, in 2006, we quickly realised that we were only really using one wing of the house, where the kitchen was situated,’ recalls Alison, who has three grown-up daughters from a former marriage, as well as a 12-year-old daughter, Charlotte, with James. ‘We had a large playroom and study but because it was at the opposite end of the house to the kitchen, the girls never went there,’ she adds. Over the years, Alison furnished the house with dark wood antiques, as well as a number of intriguing pieces such as carved panelling salvaged from a hospital chapel. ‘I filled the home with these things yet I wasn’t sure how to show them off,’ she says. ‘The tipping point came a couple of years ago when I looked around and realised my home was pretty much all brown.’

storage needs so that everything can be tidied away in its own place’ The couple agreed that it was time to get professional advice. The moment Alison met Lindsey Rendall of Rendall & Wright, the pair hit it off. ‘Rather than start to look at colour charts and swatches, she quizzed me on the practicalities of how the house needed to work,’ says Alison. ‘It was so refreshing.’ Alison and James had been mulling the idea of adding an extension that would join up the two ends of the horseshoe, so that the house would form a square around an inner courtyard. Lindsey encouraged them to undertake these works, turning the new, light-filled extension into a dining room and adding a large window to the formerly dark kitchen. ‘The effect was transformative,’ says Alison. ‘Suddenly you could walk around the whole of the ground floor – it flowed so much better.’ The couple are keen sailors and it was the sleek lines of yachts that influenced the new kitchen design, with its nauticalinspired palette of white, blue and rich walnut wood. The deep blue hue was then carried through to the walls in the dining room, where inviting velvet chairs were covered in a tonal leopard print. ‘I thought that fabric was a step too far,’ says Alison, ‘but Lindsey gave me the courage to bite the bullet.’ Taking key pieces of furniture and art that already belonged to the couple as her cue, such as a pair of mustard yellow velvet sofas in the sitting room that had formerly been surrounded by a sea of brown antiques, Lindsey sourced a striped coffee table for an added punch of colour. The effect is a lighter, brighter home. ‘Lindsey gave us the confidence to strip away the things that didn’t work and make a feature of the pieces that did,’ says Alison. ‘And it is wonderful that all the rooms now get used.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

GUEST BEDROOM One wing of the ground floor has become a guest suite including this calming duck egg blue bedroom. The French Depot is a good source for an antique French bed. For a similar antique Chinese cabinet, try Shimu


home truths THE PROPERTY Gamekeeper’s cottage built around 1900 L O C AT I O N Hampshire R O O M S Sitting room/ garden room, dining room, kitchen-diner, cloakroom, three bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2006 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We were living in a five-bedroom modern home in Ringwood before moving here,’ says Yvonne.

WOO D L AN D G EM With gorgeous gardens and its own bluebell wood, Yvonne and Peter Henness’ cottage is an idyllic rural retreat FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS | PHOTOGRAPHY BRENT DARBY

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c o u n t ry c o t tag e | 25bh

EXTERIOR The thatched cottage sits in 14 acres of fields and woodland; the bluebell wood was one of the main reasons why the couple fell in love with the house SITTING ROOM/ GARDEN ROOM This new oak-framed living space offers beautiful country views. Yvonne chose light, neutral shades to maximise the light. Sloucher cream chaise sofa, £1,945, Loaf, would also work here. Blenheim large coffee table, £575, Neptune, is similar


‘I love our garden room, which has windows on three sides. We’re surrounded by trees, woodland and fields, and it’s a lovely place to sit and watch the wildlife’


vonne and Peter Henness were living near the New Forest when they both began hankering for a more rural lifestyle. ‘We owned a large detached property in Ringwood, and decided we’d like to find a house in a secluded, peaceful setting – our dream country home, in other words,’ says Yvonne. The couple had differing views as to the kind of property they wanted. ‘We visited the estate agent and just couldn’t seem to agree. Peter wanted something with a long drive and I wanted a thatched cottage. Someone in the office overheard us and said, “What about the house in the woods?”’ The pair fell in love with the beautiful setting, although their initial impressions were somewhat underwhelming. ‘The cottage was like something out of Little Red Riding Hood, tucked away in the forest,’ says Yvonne. ‘But the first thing we saw was an ugly corrugated iron and concrete piggery, and our hearts just sank. Then we turned the corner and this quaint house came into view. We first saw it in May when the bluebells were in bloom, and the owner suggested we roam the grounds on our own.’ Yvonne and Peter decided on the spot that this was the house for them. Despite the fact that it needed considerable work, the couple decided to take on the challenge. ‘I’d recently sold a business, so the time was right for us to take on a major project,’ Yvonne explains. They began by clearing the grounds. ‘Everything was so overgrown, we didn’t even know we had a pond,’ says Yvonne. ‘The landscapers were here for three solid months, just tidying up and creating a drive and turning

DINING AREA Colourful curtains and a wood burning stove give this room a cosy feel. Awning Stripe Raspberry/ Lichen curtain fabric, £32m, Laura Ashley, is similar

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MAIN BEDROOM Yvonne framed fabric and displayed it on the wall for a striking feature. For similar fabric, try Maelee by Sanderson at Jane Clayton & Company, £30m B AT H R O O M The neutral theme is continued in this elegant space. Canterbury freestanding bath, £1,700, Fired Earth, is a match. Oak towel ladder, £120, All Things Brighton Beautiful at Notonthehighstreet. com is similar

circle at the front, as well as clearing the walled garden and creating a proper boundary. It was all rather difficult as so many of the trees had preservation orders,’ she adds. Redeveloping the cottage was not without its challenges. ‘We had to wait almost two years to get planning permission to demolish the piggery and build a barn to house the business I was running at the time,’ says Yvonne. ‘We also wanted to build an oak-framed garden room, which was to be our main living area, with glass on three sides to make the most of the views,’ she continues. ‘We had the windows replaced during one of the worst winters on record. It took me a whole week to get the house feeling warm again!’ A new kitchen, new bathrooms and a downstairs cloakroom were installed while the garden room was under construction. With the structural works complete, Yvonne began reworking the decor. ‘The parquet flooring and our mahogany furniture made the interior quite gloomy,’ she says. ‘So my priority was to lighten it. We delayed moving in until the walls had been painted off-white, and cream carpets had been laid. Everything looked brighter, and it gave me a blank canvas to work with, choosing a modern country look with vintage-style accessories.’ Yvonne and Peter have reached the point where they can sit back and enjoy the cottage. ‘It is an ongoing project – there’s always a fence to repair or a tree that’s come down,’ she says. ‘But we love the wildlife – the badgers and deer give us hours of delight. Sitting in the garden room, enjoying the views of the woodlands and fields is simply bliss.’

GUEST BEDROOM A traditional brass bed and crisp white linen gives this inviting room a feminine feel. Jayne bed, £325, John Lewis & Partners, is a match. The White Company’s Chiswick bed linen has this look


‘To keep your interiors as adaptable as possible, avoid patterned walls and use furniture and accessories to add detail, texture and colour’ 56 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019


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TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED Behind a traditional façade, Kate Bedbrook’s home has been remodelled into a gleaming contemporary space that inspires at every turn FEATURE JO LEEVERS | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

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KITCHEN-DINER A wall of brass-clad cabinetry in this space at the extended rear of the house creates strong impact. Bespoke kitchen, Variant Office. Eames DSX side chair for Vitra, ÂŁ186, John Lewis & Partners. Miss 1 pendant light, ÂŁ365, Davide Groppi at Twentytwentyone


very now and then, a visitor who is not familiar with Kate Bedbrook’s interiors style has the pleasure of stepping through her front door. ‘The most common reaction is, “Wow”,’ she says. Replacing the previous muddle of small cottage rooms, the ground floor is now almost entirely open-plan. ‘I love the feeling of space, light and being linked with the garden beyond,’ explains Kate, a retired teacher and school counsellor. The kitchen-diner, which is where Kate spends most of her time, is nominally divided from the front sitting room by a piece of bespoke cabinetry with central doors that can be closed for privacy, if necessary.


Off the sitting room is a more intimate study, one of several spaces that feel distinct, thanks to the use of warm blocks of colour. A deep green wraps around the study, while a wash of brass coats the back wall of cabinetry in the kitchen. The adjoining utility room is cast in a hazy rust-red and the grid of bathroom tiles is a gentle shade of pink set against strong black. This colour-blocked palette, along with the property’s creative, contemporary design, was the work of Kate’s architect, Ashvin de Vos of Variant Office. ‘Ash encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone with colour as, by nature, I’m a plain white walls kind of person – and I love the results,’ she reflects. Part of the reason why the colours work well in Kate’s largely open-plan home is because the shades are muted, softened versions: ‘They all have quite an earthy, natural feel.’ NEW BEGINNINGS

When Kate first saw this house, it had been a part-time London base for its previous owners, so had ‘an unlived in and slightly unloved air about it’, she says. It was a warren of small rooms, with a single-storey side extension. Renovating this home involved gutting it and starting afresh. Adding a glazed extension

SITTING ROOM Simple outlines make this a pared-back space, perfect for reading or relaxing. Similar vintage leather armchair, from £300, Pamono. Anglepoise Type 75 floor lamp, £187; Noguchi coffee table, £2,100, Vitra at John Lewis & Partners STUDY A raised study area is wrapped in moss green, with shelving clad in tinted rubber. Carefully chosen accessories and large-scale artwork fill the shelves and wall. Room design by Variant Office. Artwork by Lisa Scrimgeour

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‘The architect designed the kitchen so that the island faces towards the garden instead of the side wall. It makes a huge difference to how I use and enjoy the space’

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Victorian cottage L O C AT I O N South London R O O M S Sitting room, kitchen-diner, study, utility room, three bedrooms (one en suite), dressing room, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I lived in a Sixties house nearby before moving here,’ says Kate.

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to the back of the house meant Kate lost a slice of garden but gained a wonderful light, airy and creative space. She already liked the idea of expansive glazing to help unite the inside and outside as much as possible so she was excited about the architect’s solution to install a very large pivoting door, set within floor-to-ceiling glazing. ‘It really does manage to merge the two areas,’ she says. A further element that makes the design stand out is the brick lattice which partially encases the back cube of glazing. Rather like a mid-century-style screen, it adds a strong sculptural element while giving Kate privacy from neighbouring houses, so it’s little surprise that the brickwork design was shortlisted in the Brick Awards refurbishment category. O N T H E S U R FAC E

Elsewhere in the house, Kate liked the idea of using Dalsouple rubber flooring, which is laid in the study and on the first floor. ‘It’s very versatile and has a seamless warmth underfoot,’ she says. It comes in a range of colours – rather like the material Valchromat, made from high-density wood fibre, which they have used on the kitchen’s island in a jet black shade to contrast with the matt sheen of the brass kitchen. ‘The idea to clad the kitchen cabinetry in brass started with the suggestion of using a brass trim on the units – and simply grew into something far richer,’ explains Kate. The most personal element that has made a big impact on Kate’s home is her display of art and photography. ‘I’m not one for pretty-pretty landscapes – I prefer art that sparks an opinion or images that people can read in different ways,’ she says. And surrounded by interesting textures, earthy colours and a space that takes a cottage conversion to another level, Kate’s art choices look right at home.

MAIN BEDROOM A soothing paint shade and simple lighting makes for a restful space. Doon pendant light, £97, Mullan Lighting, is similar. Dunelm’s Balmoral double duvet cover, £29, has the same look GUEST BEDROOM A striking artwork sets the tone in this welcoming space. Gicleé print, £200, Sara Pope. Essential button headboard, from £129, Marks & Spencer B AT H R O O M Kate and her architect chose an unusual shade of pink for the tiling, set against a jet black basin, taps and storage. Tessera Pink mosaic tiles, £47.32m sq, Reed Harris. Lusso Luxe bath mixer tap, £395, Lusso Stone


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inspir ation ‘I’m constantly looking for interesting ideas in interiors shops, design showrooms, galleries and art fairs’

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ARTIST’S TOUCH Tom Helme used his artistic talents to turn a tiny and run-down stone cottage into a beautiful, year-round holiday home FEATURE JOHANNA THORNYCROFT PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREAS VON EINSIEDEL


An Oriental carpet anchors the seating area, which features deep furniture for relaxing on in front of the fire. Find a similar rug, price on request, London House Rugs. The Dunshay fireplace, £3,840, Jamb, is a match. Artwork, Arthur Neal

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home truths THE PROPERTY 1820s stone cottage with modern extension L O C AT I O N Scotland R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ kitchen-diner, two bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2011 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I live in what is known as the “mansion house” further up the road,’ says Tom.

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The pretty cottage is set right on the shore, so guests can enjoy panoramic sea views. Find out more at


A bench, made from wood found on the beach, is a useful spot for taking on and off outdoor wear. Rug, price on request, from a selection at Gallery Yacou. Mini globe pendant, from £174, Hector Finch

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Light floods in from the hall through this salvaged window. The shelves are painted Carskiey Red – a shade Tom mixed himself. Picture Gallery Red estate emulsion, £62.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball, is a close match

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Easy-clean concrete floors are a practical solution for a beach house, while underfloor heating stops them from becoming chilly underfoot. Polished concrete flooring, price on request, The Concrete Flooring Contractors, will produce a similar result

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om Helme’s talent for interior decoration became clear after he graduated from Brighton School of Art and completed a degree in art history at the University of East Anglia. He then went on to work as an apprentice for John Sutcliffe, a master of water-based paints and a well-known decorative paint specialist, before coming across the then small Dorset firm of Farrow & Ball in 1990. Tom worked with the paint company to develop a range of colours for the National Trust and later, with his friend Martin Ephson, took over the business. The pair expanded Farrow & Ball into a global brand, before selling up in 2006. While taking a break from work, Tom discovered that the Carskiey estate in Scotland was for sale. Comprising a traditional, although not ancient, manor house, as well as farmland and miles of coastline, it was enough to keep a countryman happy forever, but Tom had to ensure the property would pay its way, too. Both the farm, an ongoing project, and the main house required considerable work, but once underway, Tom was able to turn his attention to another outbuilding – Shore Cottage – to turn into a holiday home. Tom says it was habitable but tiny, consisting of a now-removed porch, a living space and two bedrooms with lino floor that flapped in the wind. Plans were drawn up and, by retaining the two-bedroom configuration, the local council was happy to see it extended – especially as each new section has a slightly different roofline, giving the impression of natural extensions. ‘My inspiration was the idea that a retired sea captain might live here, looking out to Sanda Island, reminiscing about seafaring times,’ says Tom. But first, a road had to be created as the only access was through a field and over a tidal ford. ‘Once the foundations for the two extensions were in, we took the existing internal walls down, exposed the ceilings and redid the roof with lovely thick Scottish slate,’ explains Tom. Locally made hardwood windows were fitted, while the doors were created from teak found in the house and the concrete floors were made from the estate’s own sand, with heating created by air-source pumps. Tom decided to do without a contractor and manage the works himself, hiring local tradesmen to help. It takes experience and knowledge to do so, but Tom had plenty of both. He planked out the walls and boarded the ceilings in the customary manner with ‘sacking’ – rough timber, recycled from an old derelict cottage – which

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The statement bath adds elegance to this simple scheme. Fittings, from a selection, CP Hart. Basin, price on request, Lefroy Brooks. Arnold Circus stool, £67, Martino Gamper

insulates and provides weatherproofing. ‘If slates blow off in the wind it keeps the interior dry,’ he explains. Next, he carried out the traditionally Scottish technique of harling, a skilful type of weatherproofing similar to pebble-dash. Practicality was also a key factor for Tom when choosing the interior finishes. The floors are poured concrete so the whole place can be washed down after sandy feet have come in from the beach, and the layout is wheelchair friendly for guests with mobility issues. Alongside renovating this cosy home, Tom was also hard at work with Martin creating the Fermoie fabric company – now a well-established business with a shop in London, plus international outlets. All the curtains, upholstery and lampshades in the cottage came from their studio, and many of the pieces of furniture were also designed by Tom and made by Nick Coryndon of Coryndon Cabinet Makers. The Carskiey estate colour – a barn red mixed by Tom – features throughout, looking especially striking around the windowsills outside. Tom’s use of soft, natural colours and simple furnishings blend easily with the surrounding nature, while the exterior looks as if it’s always been there, seemingly unchanged.


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A false wall keeps the shower and dressing area out of sight. Headboard upholstered in Plain linen in Old Gilding, £130m, Fermoie. The Midnight Stripe linen duvet cover, £145, Piglet, is a similar style. Artwork, Tyga Helme

inspir ation ‘The location right on the

beach and the vernacular style of architecture in this area determined how the cottage would look’

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HALL ‘We wanted to make the north-facing double-height entrance a design feature,’ says Judith. Similar garden urns, from £155, Hicks & Hicks

CLEAN AND SIMPLE Sleek contemporary furniture and a muted colour scheme are the hallmarks of the Turners’ striking new house FEATURE JANE CRITTENDEN | PHOTOGRAPHY ALISTAIR NICHOLLS

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home truths THE PROPERTY Detached new build L O C AT I O N West Sussex R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, utility room, study, cloakroom, four bedrooms (two en suite) P U R C H A S E D 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We used to live in a Georgian farmhouse in Wales,’ says Judith.

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SITTING ROOM Splashes of yellow (left and right) add warm tones to the soft greys in this garden-facing space. Artedi coffee table, £995, Vinterior, is comparable. Veneto swivel chairs, £1,303 each, BoConcept. Yellow and grey cushions, £25 each, John Lewis & Partners

KITCHEN-DINER Handleless cabinets and a quartz worktop are complemented by the sleek dining table. Silestone’s Kensho worktop, £4,700, BKoncepts. Echo dining table in matt grey, £2,400, Calligaris. Ashcroft breakfast tray, £44, Neptune, is similar


aving spent most of their married life living in various rural period properties dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, Judith and John Turner had never thought about living in a more modern home. So when the opportunity came up to build their own brand-new house on an attractive plot, it meant a complete shift in lifestyle. The couple had not long relocated to a Welsh farmhouse to be near their daughter and her family – and the plot they were being offered was back near the area they had just moved from in West Sussex. ‘John’s friend, Nick Lomax from LCE Architects, was selling off part of his mother-in-law’s garden,’ says Judith. ‘And John has always wanted to build a house – he’s a consultant chartered quantity surveyor – so we couldn’t resist taking a look.’ The Turners liked the location of the south-facing plot that was within walking distance of the village. Plus they loved the privacy offered by three old flint walls protected under conservation. Nick’s outline design was sympathetic, resulting in a discreet house set low on the plot with a flat roof. Distinctly contemporary, with Western red cedar cladding and large amounts of glazing, the design was a new concept for the Turners to consider. ‘We didn’t want a pastiche house and felt that Nick’s design blended in well with the surroundings,’ says Judith. ‘I was also slowly getting used to the idea of a more compact way of living as when we moved to Wales, we also bought a flat in London, so we had a place where we could be near to our son and his family.’ The conservation area plot became a contentious point during the planning process with 43 local objections – but an overall vote worked in the Turners’ favour, thanks to a progressive planning

officer. The building work finally began in March 2015, taking 11 months to complete. During this time, the Turners sourced their kitchen and bathrooms and planned the interiors well in advance of the structural work being finished. They also had to make the conscious move away from antiques and period decoration, embracing a light, clean, contemporary scheme for the first time. Such big changes meant buying a whole house of new furniture, and the couple began with the pale grey leather sofa and chairs, which they had spotted on display in BoConcept’s showroom. ‘We didn’t want fussy furniture anymore and liked the clean lines of this style,’ says Judith. ‘BoConcept produced a CAD drawing so we knew how the furniture would look and fit before the sitting room was even finished.’ The couple admit it was hard to let go of their old belongings at first. ‘We had an antique dining table that held many happy memories,’ says Judith. ‘But it wouldn’t have suited the modern kitchen, and I had to remind myself that we didn’t want clutter.’ The new dining table, from Calligaris, is made with a grey ceramic resin top, which they matched

BEST BUY ‘We love the simple design of the dining table. The ceramic surface is so durable I can place a hot pan on it straight from the oven’

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25bh | d e tac h e d n e w b u i l d DECOR ATING TIP ‘Paint all

the rooms in the same colour to create continuity and make the house feel bigger’

with upholstered grey chairs. ‘They’re far more comfortable to sit on than our old antique chairs,’ Judith continues. ‘In the end, it felt quite cathartic to be able to start afresh with our furnishings.’ A few pieces remain from their previous home – the travertine marble and smoked glass coffee table, artwork rejuvenated with plain white frames and a treasured mahogany elephant from a holiday in Sri Lanka. Now in their second phase of retirement back in West Sussex, living here has been a pleasant surprise to the couple – for Judith in particular. ‘If someone had said to me eight years ago we’d be living in a contemporary house, I wouldn’t have thought it true,’ she says. ‘Now I love this way of living, and I don’t know why we didn’t do it before. The house design is perfect – it has no wasted space – and the south-facing light is lovely.’

MAIN BEDROOM ‘We brought the painting back from a holiday in Vietnam,’ says Judith. ‘The mustard yellow is great for adding colour to the neutral scheme.’ Fusion Betley Spice double duvet cover, £16.95, Linens Limited, is similar. Tender side table, £160, Calligaris

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EN SUITE The same tiles in different colourways are used in all the bathrooms to create a sense of cohesion. Porcelain tiles in beige, £25sq m, Acorn Tiles. Dansani Zaro vanity unit, £928; Quantum shower bath, £861, both James Payne Bathrooms


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Veronique and Evert Veltink-Hendriks couldn’t resist a farmhouse that reminded them of their childhood homes in The Netherlands FEATURE VICTORIA JENKINS | PHOTOGRAPHY COLIN POOLE

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home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Early Victorian farmhouse L O C AT I O N Exmoor R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, study, utility room, four bedrooms (one en suite), nursery, bathroom B O U G H T 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in another farmhouse on Exmoor,’ says Veronique.


Veronique designed the chimney breast and painted it black to contrast with the light wash of white on the wood-panelled walls. Chimney breast painted in Black Smoke fresco lime, £105 for 2.5L; walls painted in Ashes classico chalk paint, £74.50 for 2.5L, both Pure & Original at Design Studio V. Grey Nockleby sofa, £595, Ikea

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Smart tiling and underfloor heating have taken the place of a cold concrete floor. Byron bench, £722, Rowen & Wren, is a match

BEST BUY ‘ The wooden bench in the hall; I love coming home, throwing my bag down on HALL

An old bureau has been revamped. Polar Blue classico chalk paint, £74.50 for 2.5L, Pure & Original at Design Studio V

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eronique and Evert Veltink-Hendriks thought they had entered a time warp when they viewed an Exmoor farmhouse that the elderly farmer owner had lived in all his life. ‘Nothing had changed inside for almost 100 years,’ says Veronique, a spatial and interior designer. Four years ago the couple sold their previous six-bedroom farmhouse to downsize, but they could not resist going to view the dilapidated property. What they found was another large farmhouse, standing empty and very uncared for. ‘As the farmer got older he had used just two rooms and left the others untouched, so we

could see how his parents had lived nearly a century before,’ says Veronique. The house stands in nine acres of land, at the end of a long lane, surrounded by rolling fields. There were also some crumbling stone outbuildings, plus a neglected walled garden. ‘Many people were put off by the amount of work needed,’ says Veronique. ‘Fortunately we have some experience – and we’d fallen in love with the room dimensions, high ceilings and wonderful light.’ In fact the farmhouse strongly reminded them both of their childhood homes in the Netherlands. So the couple bought it along with a caravan in which they lived on site while supervising

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Removing a wall and replacing a window with French doors made this space much airier. Black tumbled marble floor tiles, £52sq m, Floors of Stone. Rattan bar stool, £210, Out There Interiors, is an option

it and sitting down to take off my shoes. And in the summer we take it into the garden!’

the work. ‘The farmhouse was uninhabitable,’ says Veronique. ‘It was extremely damp, from both the leaking roof and the earth bank against which it was built. So the first thing we did was lots of digging, earthmoving and putting in drains.’ Fortunately, Evert has a drainage business which he runs with their daughter Dorith’s partner Matthew, who lives nearby. The next crucial work was to repair the roof before winter set in. ‘Exmoor is famous for its rain and wind,’ says Veronique. ‘So we had to remove all the old slates, put in insulation and re-use the slates wherever possible.’ And Exmoor really lived up to its reputation that

year. ‘We shan’t forget it,’ says Veronique. ‘Fixing the roof took most of the winter. Once done we put in Velux roof lights and a dormer window, which I designed to have a Dutch look. Our grand-daughters Isabelle, five, and Jasmine, two, love the huge attic, as we’ve hung a swing from the rafters.’ The couple re-used the original materials and anything found around the farmyard where possible. ‘If buying anything new we’ve chosen natural materials. We’ve managed to keep most of the doors and, although we’ve rewired, we’ve retained the original black Bakelite switches.’ As a spatial designer, Veronique knew just how to


The original fireplace now houses a woodburning stove. Fire surround in Oxford Blue fresco lime paint, £105 for 2.5L, Pure & Original at Design Studio V. Antler candle holder, £26, Oka, is similar

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Soothing neutral tones are ideal for restful sleep. The Dutch secretaire came from Evert’s family. Brambly Cottage dining chair, £92, Wayfair, has this look. Kita grey linen curtains, from £45, Habitat, are comparable

DESIGN TIP ‘For a tranquil feeling, use the same cool neutral shades throughout’


Antler accessories are a theme, evoking Exmoor’s iconic deer. AlexandraHouse hanging antlers, £105, Wayfair, would work

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reconfigure the rooms and now they have a big open-plan kitchen-diner and a large sitting room. One bedroom became a family bathroom and another is part of the master suite. The whole house had to be replastered and now has new pipework, with underfloor heating installed on the ground floor and in the bathrooms. The couple also installed a renewable-energy heating system in the form of a wood-pellet burner. ‘The old gentleman used a septic tank and so do we, although Evert and Matthew have installed a new one,’ says Veronique. They also renovated some old stables to create a studio for

Veronique’s business, Design Studio V. She has just become the UK distributor for Pure & Original paint and this is where she keeps her paint mixer. ‘We did a lot of the decorating ourselves,’ says Veronique. ‘Even though it meant battling my fear of heights when I was perched on scaffolding to paint the exterior.’ Now, however, the challenging work is in the past and the couple can focus on enjoying their beautiful home. ‘From the windows we can see some gorgeous scenes, such as Exmoor’s famous red deer and the wild reed bed in the valley,’ says Veronique. ‘And that is when we know it’s all been worth it.’


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home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian maisonette L O C AT I O N South London R O O M S Hall, kitchen, sitting room, two bedrooms, one bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I moved here from a one-bedroom flat in West London,’ says Ralph.

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Once a frill-free and functional bachelor pad, Ralph Eames’ maisonette is now a sophisticated home steeped in light and texture FEATURE SERENA FOKSCHANER | PHOTOGRAPHY KASIA FIZER

v i c to r i a n m a i s o n e t te | 25bh SITTING ROOM The seating area takes centre stage here, creating a luxurious and spacious feel. Narrow Crescent sofa, from £1,905, Camerich. Similar armchairs, Tweedy Weave, £350 each, Debenhams. Framed artwork over the sideboard, McCarthy Sunset Limited Edition Fine Art Print, from £125, Paul Scannell Photography


oughly speaking, bachelor decorating can be divided into two styles. The first belongs to that clichéd school of design comprising dark sofas, dimmed lighting and glossy drinks cabinets. The second is the post-work bolthole featuring white walls, flat-pack furniture and the television as decorative focal point. Ralph Eames, a city financier, readily admits that his maisonette, in south west London, used to sit firmly in the latter category. That was until a friend recommended that he contact the interior designer Anouska Tamony. ‘I’d been living here for three years, but I didn’t have time to do any decorating,’ he explains. ‘It was all a bit dark and oppressive. Granny chic without the chic. So in time I realised that it

KITCHEN Dark units contrast with while walls and metallic finishes and accessories for a sleek style. Small Dexter pendant lights, £95 each, Pooky. Pull bar handle in Brass, £47, Buster + Punch, has this look

might be nice to make the place feel a bit more welcoming; somewhere that I wouldn’t mind showing off to friends.’ Most clients arrive at their first meetings armed with magazines, catalogues, their latest Pinterest boards – and open-ended ideas. Ralph’s brief, partly inspired by a stay in a boutique hotel in Amsterdam, was short but precise. ‘First, I wanted to open up the sitting room to create a kitchen/dining area, without compromising the original architecture.’ Storage was another essential and anything curved – furniture or joinery – was to be eliminated. Ralph also insisted on ‘all-white walls and no pattern’ but Anouska, who views part of her role as nudging clients beyond the safety of neutrals, saw things differently: ‘One of the reasons Ralph employed an interior designer was that, secretly, he 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 83

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DINING AREA A corner of the sitting room now doubles as a dining space, where the mid-century table and chairs were chosen to reflect the new-meets-old feel of the revamped interior. Try Abstract Floral rug, £498, Anthropologie. Olaf dining chair, £209, Swoon, is similar HALL The curving bannister rail was remodelled for the sharper, more angular look. Metal framed round mirror, £249, West Elm MAIN BEDROOM Book storage stealthily tucked into the alcoves means easy-to-reach bedtime reading. Acorn bed, from £799, West Elm. Ogilvy bedside lamp, £59, Similar vintage blanket, from £325; similar cushion, from £180, both at The New Craftsmen B AT H R O O M Black fixtures and fittings give this space a contemporary look. Weston mirror, £115, Maisons du Monde. Chichester basin unit, from £685, Neptune, is similar. Matte black shower set, £495, Lusso Stone

i n s p i r a t i o n ‘Working with an interior designer has opened my eyes to the importance of detail; some of my favourite pieces are the textiles’ did want to be pushed out of his comfort zone. Working with a designer always entails a leap of faith,’ she reflects. The new, deep navy kitchen, says Anouska, is the result of ‘nine months of gentle prodding, accompanied by lots of inspirational images,’ to convince Ralph to leap on the colour wheel: ‘albeit a masculine one,’ she says. The worktop is marble; the off-the-peg ‘unfussy’ cabinetry was chosen to reflect the simplicity of the 19th-century architecture. From here, you step into the sitting room, now a light space framed by three tall windows and double doors, which lead to the hall. To bring definition, Anouska added the new cornice and taller skirtings based on original proportions, while the metal fireplace was painted to echo the walls. Although the two-storey apartment feels spacious, every room needed careful thought to capitalise on the floor plan. 84 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

The bathroom was transformed by removing the small separate shower and adding the large, double basin unit, which ‘makes the room feel larger’. The shower is over the bath, but the walls were tanked and a drain added underneath the basins so that the small space can also function as a wet room. In the hall, a once-dreary understairs cupboard was turned into a cosy reading nook with built-in seating and shelves. Upstairs in the bedroom, the empty alcoves and blank walls now have long stretches of storage. Colour has also seeped into the apartment in the form of new art, such as the striking Alaskan landscape, which sits over the sideboard in the sitting room. In the kitchen, a glowing oil painting, propped on a worktop, depicts a rosy, middle-aged man, well-fed and watered. A symbol of the joys of domestication, you wonder? ‘Perhaps!’ laughs Ralph. FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y


Spring offer Free 5 year fabric protection plan worth up to £135 with all sofas & sofa beds

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DESIGN FOR LIVING A few changes to the layout of a tired Edwardian property and Abi and Ian Powell now have a home filled with contemporary style FEATURE ANDREA CHILDS | PHOTOGRAPHY COLIN POOLE


home truths

SNUG The colour scheme was inspired by the cloud artwork, which Abi painted for Ian after he’d seen a similar piece. The yellow cushion and side table add pops of colour. Cameron sofa in Brisk Teal fabric, from £995, Sofa Workshop. Stoense rug, £80, Ikea, is similar. Cushion in Mr Fox fabric, £30m, Scion at Jane Clayton

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THE PROPERTY Edwardian semi, built in 1910 L O C AT I O N Nottinghamshire R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, snug, utility room, cloakroom, three bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Ian and I were living in a semi-detached house in a suburb of Nottingham,’ says Abi.

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DINING AREA Wall art and dark-toned dining chairs help create a cosy vibe. Hudson chairs, £89 each, Cult Furniture, are similar. Amish stars, £35 each, The Original Home Store at, would work here


ike many city dwellers, Abi and Ian had for a long time wanted to escape to a quieter life in the country. Back in 2012, they decided to make their dream become reality. ‘We wanted a period property, but were limited by our budget,’ says Abi. ‘Ian would have chosen a house miles from the nearest neighbour, but he did need to be within easy reach of work. I was also keen to find a village community with shops and good amenities, including a school for our two young sons, Toby and Reuben.’ The couple hadn’t been house-hunting very long when their present home came on to the market. Abi’s first impressions were far from favourable. ‘The house was horrid and it certainly wasn’t love at first sight!’ she recalls. ‘Red velvet curtains blocked out the light and there were nicotine-stained walls and a dark brown kitchen.’ The couple initially rejected the house as the internal layout needed complete reconfiguring and they both felt it would simply be too costly to renovate. ‘We saw the potential and loved the fact that it had a huge garden for the boys, but at that time it was beyond our budget,’ she says. Then fate took a hand. ‘Several sales were agreed on the property, but every single deal fell through,’ says Abi. ‘The house was re-listed a few months later at a lower price, which brought it within our reach. We also sold our own house in just two days for over the asking price, which meant we had more finance to invest in the alterations.’ Abi is an interior architect and was undaunted by the challenge of a top-to-toe renovation. ‘I tried to look at the

KITCHEN ‘I triple-coated this wallpaper with wipe-clean polyurethane varnish so that it could be used as a splashback,’ says Abi. Harlequin Persico wallpaper, £52 a roll, Wallpaper Direct, is similar

HALL New wooden beading brings detail and interest to the walls of this reconfigured area. ‘It’s a simple, inexpensive way to add character to a functional space,’ says Abi. Kilo side table, £25; Peeta desk lamp, £30, both Habitat. Stainless steel and glass lanterns, £19.99 each, Wayfair, are a match

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25bh | e dwa r d i a n u p dat e B AT H R O O M A statement laundry basket creates interest in this compact room. Mino drawer unit and basin, £269, Bathstore. Walnut laundry basket, £250, The Conran Shop, is similar

MAIN BEDROOM Elegant yellow and grey-toned wallpaper strikes a modern sophisticated note in Abi and Ian’s bedroom. Flight wallpaper by Scion, £39 a roll; Court yellow throw, £35, is similar, both John Lewis & Partners. Napper bed, from £845, Loaf, is a match

property’s existing layout with fresh eyes and rethink the purpose of each room,’ she says. ‘We knew that we wanted a larger kitchen that would be the heart of our home. But I went through lots of pieces of paper, with different combinations of side and rear extensions, before I pinned down the layout that I knew would work.’ Abi and Ian ended up taking down the existing kitchen walls, demolishing the conservatory and extending out over a courtyard. ‘The new kitchen, with its streamlined contemporary cabinetry and huge skylight, is triple the size of the old one,’ says Abi. ‘We also moved the front door, which was tucked around the side of the house, to create a new entrance and proper hallway. We sacrificed one of the bedrooms to create our family bathroom, too.’ Fine-tuning the decor was a process of trial and error. ‘At first, we painted everything white but it just looked boring,’ says Abi. ‘This house needs shades and contrasts to make it sing. I added a palette of soft greys and warm cream, plus splashes of blue and yellow.’ She also incorporated fun touches like the varnished wallpaper splashback in the kitchen, to stop the space feeling clinical. The result of Abi’s work is a family home with just the right balance of flow and space, cosiness and comfort. Her home is also a masterclass in how to get the most from a property’s square footage. ‘This house was tired and a bit depressing,’ she says. ‘We kept what worked from the original structure and added contemporary design ideas to bring it up to speed for 21st-century living. I like to think we’ve brought the house back to life.’ 88 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

REUBEN’S BEDROOM This fun foxy wallpaper is perfect for a child’s room. Mr Fox wallpaper by Scion, £39 a roll; Star throw £25, both John Lewis & Partners. Hexagon shelves, £75 for three, Maisons du Monde, are similar




call 0161 848 1200 for a free brochure












TRUE COLOURS Self-builders Marina and Tim Clarkson asked an interior designer friend to give their home character with a colourful twist FEATURE ANDRÉE FRIEZE | PHOTOGRAPHY DAVIDE LOVATTI

HALL A rich pink love seat brings warmth to this grand space. Love seat, £795, ButtonBacks; upholstered in Fuchsia Varese velvet, £72m, Designers Guild

d e tac h e d n e w b u i l d | 25bh SNUG A secret door was built into the joinery. ‘Our daughters had fun playing hide and seek here when we first moved in,’ says Marina. Octagon side table, £395, Oka. The Rosie stripe rug, £250, John Lewis & Partners, is similar


home truths THE PROPERTY Detached new build L O C AT I O N Hampshire R O O M S Hall, formal sitting room, kitchen-diner/family room, garden room, snug, utility room, boot room, playroom, five bedrooms (three en suite), dressing room, two bathrooms L A N D P U R C H A S E D 2010 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We also have a house in London,’ says Marina.

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FORMAL SITTING ROOM Contrasting patterned fabrics create an interesting mix. Magenta Greville velvet damask, £176m, Designers Guild, is similar to the ottoman upholstery fabric BOOT ROOM Built-in shelves keep everything organised. Try Scumble Goosie’s Country wooden sofa, £899; seat painted in Light Blue estate eggshell, £62 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball KITCHEN-DINER This space has the feel of an orangery-style garden room. Galaxy chandelier, £1,578, Julian Chichester. The red-painted carver chairs are vintage finds; try Habitat’s Talia red spindle-back chair, £95

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hen they decided to build their own house nearly a decade ago, Tim and Marina Clarkson and their daughters, Sophia, now 18, and Phoebe, now 16, found a plot remarkably easily. ‘We’d been thinking about self-building for some time,’ says Marina. ‘Then one day, a friend told us about a hillside plot in the countryside about five miles outside Andover. It was an hour’s drive from London and equidistant from Salisbury and Winchester, so the location was ideal for us. It also came complete with planning permission for a house.’ Having decided to take the plunge, the next step was finding the right architect. Since the plot was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, building a house of reasonable height was always going to be a challenge. ‘It was important that the architects understood our vision and

we approached five practices in all,’ says Marina. ‘We decided that Verity & Beverley had the best solution to the dilemma. They designed a deceptively simple square-shaped house with a central atrium. Being able to position the property so we could enjoy the best aspect and maximum light was a huge advantage.’ Marina then decided to enlist the help of her friend, Tor Vivian, an interior designer. ‘In previous projects, I’ve always gone for neutral shades, but Tim told me not to be boring with this scheme,’ says Marina. ‘I wanted to use colour, but I wasn’t brave enough to try it myself, which is where Tor came in. We’d known each other for years, and decorating the house was a great excuse to work together.’ The hall is very much the central space of the home, with all the other ground floor rooms leading off it. ‘We installed a working fireplace in

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keeping with the long tradition for halls that were designed as places to sit and linger,’ says Marina. A key feature of the design is the large roof lantern in the kitchen-diner. ‘It feels like a garden room as it’s so wonderfully light,’ says Marina. While the house was being built, Marina, Tim and Tor fine-tuned the interior layout to ensure that no space was wasted, and also kept a keen eye on costs. ‘Self-building allows you to control your budget closely, as everything is costed in advance,’ says Marina. ‘If one room goes over budget, you can simply use cheaper furnishings elsewhere. Buying materials in bulk also means you can negotiate a discount.’ A key aspect of the build was the joinery. ‘Tim and I believe that cabinetry makes a home, so the joinery was designed before we even received a quote for the build,’ says Marina. ‘I’d done up several houses in London and already knew what FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

a difference it can make.’ Tor worked on drawings for the bookshelves in the snug, and then used the same style of joinery for the cabinetry in the bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms and boot room. With the structural works complete, Marina and Tor began planning the decor. ‘I’d been inspired by seeing interior designer Kit Kemp’s work, and there were certain fabrics and colours I wanted to use,’ says Marina. ‘Tor helped me implement my vision.’ The result is a lively mix of pattern and colour, with vivid blue, greens, pinks, reds and yellows all being used in different rooms. Vibrant textiles and soft furnishings, skilfully combined with statement pieces like the fuchsia-painted bath, are set against a backdrop of classic neutral shades, creating a unique and distinctive interior. ‘It was brilliant working with Tor,’ says Marina. ‘She made sure that building our dream home didn’t turn into a nightmare.’

MAIN BEDROOM This scheme was inspired by interior designer Kit Kemp. Headboard covered in Kashan Stripe, £171m, Osborne & Little at Jane Clayton & Company. Trafalgar lamp base in antique brass, £160, Pooky Lighting S O P H I A’ S B E D R O O M Floral wallpaper creates a bold feature wall. Birds In Paradise wallpaper, £68 a roll, Brian Yates at Jane Clayton & Company. Try the New Hampshire bedside cabinet, £250, The Dormy House G U E S T B AT H R O O M The fuchsia-painted bath adds a sense of fun. Boat bath, £1,409, BC Designs; painted in Little Greene’s Mischief intelligent eggshell, £62 for 2.5L

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HOLDING BACK THE YEARS Sal and Darren Wood found a period treasure and brought it back to life with a sophisticated monochrome palette FEATURE JACKY PARKER | PHOTOGRAPHY ANNETTE O’BRIEN/CHILLI MEDIA

KITCHEN-DINER Rich timber tones warm the cool monochrome scheme. White bentwood-style chairs partner perfectly with an upcycled table. Thonet-style bentwood chairs, £121.98 each, Online Reality, are similar. Bell pendant by Normann Copenhagen, £205, Skandium. Jute braided round rug, £325, The Conran Shop, has this look


home truths THE PROPERTY Thirties bungalow L O C AT I O N Geelong, near Melbourne, Australia R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, three bedrooms (one en suite), one bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before we lived in a two-storey mid-century house on the other side of town,’ says Sal.

aus t r a l i a n b u n g a l ow | 25bh KITCHEN-DINER A vintage console adds texture and character. It was originally an old workman’s bench and is one of Sal and Darren’s favourite pieces. For a great selection of seagrass baskets, from £15, try The Forest & Co at

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25bh | aus t r a l i a n b u n g a l ow SITTING AREA A modern black leather sofa grounds the space. Sal likes to layer things and let a look evolve. To get this look, try the Spencer leather sofa, from ÂŁ2,800, Habitat

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lesson learnt ‘If you’re living on site during a build, make sure one room – a bedroom is a good idea – is decorated so you have somewhere that you can retreat to’

EXTERIOR The couple weatherboarded the Eighties extension so that it tied in with the original house. French doors were also put in. For similar exterior porcelain tiles, try Chicago Storm, £42sq m, Mandarin Stone


SITTING ROOM ‘I love greenery. Wherever I live, I always make sure there are lots of potted plants,’ says Sal. The splashes of green also lift the monochrome scheme. The Fjällbo shelving unit, £60, Ikea, is similar

’ve loved interiors since I was a child,’ says interior designer Sal Wood. ‘And then I married Darren, who is a carpenter, so we’ve made a life out of renovating homes. We might live in a house for a year, or five years, but eventually a new place will present itself. I think of our previous homes like old friends.’ Six years ago, after their sons had left home, the Australian couple moved from hot and desert-like Mildura to Geelong, near Melbourne, to be by the sea. They gradually got to know the area and its architectural hotspots, so when an estate agent called them two years later to tell them that a Thirties bungalow was on the market they snapped it up. ‘It’s in a great location and these houses are popular, so we knew we had to move fast,’ says Sal. ‘I did wake up in the night, though, wondering if we’d done the right thing.’ Although clean and comfortable, the house was ‘very beige’, with heavy curtains and carpets and many of its original features

either removed or covered up. ‘I think ripping out beautiful old windows because you don’t want to paint them is like shaving someone’s eyebrows off,’ laughs Sal. ‘Luckily the windows were intact, but we had to replace the picture rails, decorative skirting, mouldings, solid timber doors and a fireplace.’ The couple renovated the property’s original frontage first, before tackling an Eighties extension at the back. ‘We made sure the plumbing was done and that we had a bedroom and bathroom, before starting the next phase,’ she explains. ‘If you have running water and somewhere comfortable to sleep, living through the work is bearable. Also, things evolve during a build – you might find a nice spot that catches the sun, so you decide to use it differently – and staying put is a good way to watch what you spend, too.’ The existing kitchen was turned into a guest room, and a bedroom made into the reception room. Some floorboards were 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 97

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d e c o r at i n g t i p ‘Take a fresh look at a finished room and remove anything superfluous – it works just like a good haircut!’

B AT H R O O M An extra-deep bath is teamed with stylish matt-black fittings for a sophisticated finish. To get this look, try the Ios bath, from £2,885, Victoria + Albert. The Iker black bath tap, £134.99,, is similar

GUEST BEDROOM The reinstated picture rails make a great place for a hanging planter or pictures. Sal has kept the decoration to a minimum to achieve a modern look. Try Oggetto for hanging planters, from £23

sanded and walls painted white to let the restored architectural details speak for themselves. ‘We were without a kitchen, but the rest was lovely,’ says Sal. ‘We took a year to do the first part and in that time drew up plans for the kitchen and living space at the back. Our priority was straight, clean lines and a connection with the garden.’ A local builder was brought in to do the structural work within the existing footprint. This included full-height glazing, French doors and a new roof. Sal designed the kitchen cabinetry and Darren built it. Grey porcelain tiles were laid throughout the new openplan living space – with an outdoor version used on the terrace. ‘We couldn’t find floorboards to match the originals at the front of the house, so I chose something that would complement them,’ says Sal. ‘Extending the flooring invites you outside and creates flow.’ Sal kept the interior simple with a monochrome palette, family heirlooms and upcycled pieces that she already owned. ‘Our stuff 98 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

comes with us – it’s easier to make somewhere new feel like home when you’re surrounded by your favourite things,’ she says. ‘And I love monochrome, it reminds me of those old Fifties black-andwhite photos of New York, which are so timeless and sophisticated.’ To create continuity, the kitchen splashback features black subway tiles, while the bathroom-cum-utility room is tiled in white, with black brassware in both rooms. Warm timber on the bathroom units and kitchen island blends easily with the original floorboards. Sal likes to revamp pieces, too – she made two headboards out of discarded doors, some foam and smart grey fabric, and painted an old table to go with kitchen chairs. She has also re-introduced their existing furniture and added new accessories. ‘I start from the floor and work up, layering things and often reusing what we already have,’ she says. ‘I wanted it to feel modern. No one’s loved this old girl for a long time and now it feels like she’s become a grand old lady.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

The home of the


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ROOMS WITH A VIEW Vicki Lund and Jason Richardson had a radical rethink when it came to creating their ideal family home by the coast FEATURE PAT GARRATT | PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID GILES

s i x ti e s s e a s i d e h om e | 25bh REPLANNED

home truths THE PROPERTY Detached house L O C AT I O N Cornwall R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ kitchen-diner, utility room, six bedrooms (two en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We also live in a rented property in London,’ says Vicki.

DINING ROOM The table, with its rustic limed oak finish, can seat up to 12 people. Fresco natural solid oak 6ft dining table, £619.72, Oak Furnitureland, is comparable. Rib dining chair, £230 for two, PR Home SITTING ROOM A large expanse of glazing makes the most of the magnificent views. The house is available to rent through Beach Retreats (01637 861005,


hen Vicki Lund and her partner Jason Richardson decided to look for a weekend home in the country, the location was a no-brainer. It had to be Cornwall, where they and their four boys –Vicki’s sons, Fraser, eight, and Lewis, six, and Jason’s sons, Barnaby, seven, and Baxter, six – had already enjoyed several wonderful holidays. ‘The beaches were a huge attraction for us, especially for the boys who just want to play and dig in the sand,’ says Vicki, who recently added baby Brodie to the family. ‘This wasn’t the prettiest property around but the views were absolutely astounding.’ The house stands on a steep hillside with farmland on one side and a large garden that slopes down to the sea. The three-bedroom property included a granny flat but, says Vicki, ‘we decided to open the whole area out and incorporate the flat into the new house.’ Although this meant extending the footprint of the house slightly, planning permission was swiftly granted and building work began in the spring of 2015. Because of the stunning views, the living areas had always been located upstairs with the bedrooms below. Vicki and Jason retained this layout but changed the format of the stairs, positioned the kitchen centrally and turned the double garage 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 101

SITTING ROOM A curved sofa makes a comfortable base from which to admire the views. The Gatsby taupe velvet curved four-seater sofa, £2,068, Turnbull & Thomas, would fit this space. Percy armchairs, from £740 each,

f a v o u r i t e i t e m ‘The glass fish sculpture hanging above the staircase. It was created by local artisan Jo Downs who made each fish individually’ KITCHEN ‘We wanted a free-flowing space where we could be sociable while cooking,’ says Vicki. The kitchen was designed by Duchy Designs, price on application. Take a look at the Saloon bar stools, £39.99 each, World of Barstools

s i x ti e s s e a s i d e h om e | 25bh GUEST BEDROOM Faux wood-panelled wallpaper adds another texture to this room. Timber wallpaper by Andrew Martin, £78 a roll, Wallpaper Direct

S TA I R C A S E This handcrafted glass sculpture of swimming fish was specially commissioned. Fish sculpture, price on application, Jo Downs. Brooklyn 5 wire pendant has this look, £159, Industville B AT H R O O M Wall-hung fittings were chosen to make the most of a compact space. Try the Lyon II wall-hung toilet, £149.99, Soak

into the main bedroom, with a new garage being built in the grounds Local builders were employed for the structural work and Vicki and Jason raced down from London at weekends to oversee things. The builders, who also installed the kitchen and bathrooms, left the couple with a ‘white shell’ on which to imprint their own decorating style. ‘I wanted a relaxed, contemporary feeling, nothing too coastal,’ says Vicki, who was recommended the services of a local interior designer, Tracey Mannell. ‘Vicki and Jason didn’t want a look that was too nautical or overly fussy,’ says Tracey. ‘They gave me free rein with my ideas, which was wonderful.’ To maximise the views from the sitting room, she suggested a curved sofa, and for the outside balcony chose all-weather rattan seating that was heavy enough to withstand the strong winds. Upstairs, the white walls became the perfect backdrop for a display of work by local artists, while downstairs in the bedrooms, Tracey introduced more colour in the form of contemporary wallpapers. The house was finally finished by the summer of 2016 and both the designer and client are delighted with the result. ‘It’s extremely rare that you get the chance to completely renovate a house like this,’ says Vicki. ‘Now it suits the whole family and we all love coming here.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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Breathing SPACE Finding the perfect location gave Sarah and Gabir Dixon-Hodeib the freedom to create their forever abode FEATURE MARISHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRENCH

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home truths THE PROPERTY Edwardian semi-detached L O C AT I O N Richmond R O O M S Formal sitting room, kitchen-diner, family room, cinema room, utility room, gym, four bedrooms (two en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved here from a Victorian terraced house in Shepherd’s Bush,’ says Sarah.


arah and Gabir Dixon-Hodeib had always admired the leafy, wide roads of Richmond, southwest London. ‘We often drove through and thought how amazing it would be to live here,’ says Sarah. ‘You get such a feeling of space, which is rare in London.’ The couple were living in Shepherd’s Bush at the time and, when their daughter, Olivia, came along in 2014, the decision to move to an area with good schools, green spaces, and an easy commute for Gabir was an easy one. The couple’s patience was finally rewarded when a four-bedroom Edwardian villa on a wide, treelined road came on the market. ‘It was strikingly beautiful on the outside, and the inside was stripped back and whitewashed, which was perfect for me,’ says Sarah. ‘I have very particular taste and I always knew that I would go in and change everything, regardless of decor, so having a blank canvas suited us. The house had no period features to confuse my design decisions, but it was very impressive, with its high ceilings, large, well-proportioned rooms and beautiful sash windows. The loft had been converted and the building extended on one side, but there was still huge potential, so we took the plunge.’ Having found the perfect location, Sarah and Gabir were keen to create their forever home from


A sumptuous velvet sofa, luxury leopard chairs and a vintage chandelier add old-school glamour. Lola sofa in Raccoon Nose, £1,298; footstool, £399, both The Lounge Co. For leopard upholstery, try Pardus velvet, £122m, F&P Interiors

KITCHEN-DINER Elegant upholstered chairs create the perfect entertaining space. Addie dining chairs, £231 each, RV Astley. Kenta dining table, £2,695, Lombok. Walls painted in Flint intelligent matt emulsion, £30 for 2.5L, Little Greene

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‘We had this room tailored to our space and needs,’ says Sarah. ‘It’s stylish but practical, with plenty of clever storage that keeps the area clear of clutter.’ Bespoke Artisan Shaker kitchen, John Lewis of Hungerford. Grande floor tiles, £96sq m, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. Find similar antique glass splashbacks, price on request, Mirror Works

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DESIGN TIP ‘Think long term when investing in expensive pieces. Ideally, save splashing out for items or features that you know won’t date’

the outset. Working with architects Miio Design, they drew up plans to create a bigger kitchen with an open-plan dining area. ‘The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it was important that this room suited us,’ says Sarah. ‘We love entertaining and we wanted an area that was comfortable for our guests, but also worked well for us as a family space.’ Plans were also drawn up to dig a basement to the full footprint of the house, accommodating storage and utility rooms, a cinema, gym and downstairs cloakroom. ‘It was a bold move,’ says Sarah, ‘and definitely one that pushed us out of our comfort zone.’ The kitchen has been fitted with classic cabinetry, sleek white worksurfaces and an antiqued mirror splashback, which all add a touch of glamour. The dining area is now home to a large table and bespoke seating with stylish cushions, bringing to reality the comfortable entertaining and family space the couple had envisaged. Upstairs, bathrooms have been refitted and two bedrooms reconfigured, creating a large main bedroom, en suite and walk-through wardrobe, with bespoke cupboards and drawers. ‘It’s something I’d always dreamt of having,’ says Sarah. ‘Our bedroom now feels like a romantic Parisian hotel room, with its lush carpet, baroque-style furniture and Twenties French chandelier. I like to mix pieces from different eras, and although I keep a keen eye on interior trends, I also believe in longevity, so I tend to stick to what I love. The leopard-print vintage chairs in the formal sitting room or the stunning chandelier in the bedroom, for example, are both from different eras, but they work so well.’ Sarah and Gabir meticulously redecorated each room and fitted parquet flooring throughout the basement and formal sitting room. ‘We’ve kept colour on the walls neutral and added texture to the rooms using furniture and soft furnishings,’ says Sarah. ‘Our home has a touch of luxury but, most importantly, is a calm, comfortable space for our friends and family to enjoy, and one that we will never tire of. We are delighted with the results.’


‘The carpet was an investment, but adds such luxury,’ says Sarah. Simla Eggshell carpet, price on request, Urbane Living. Oxford king-size sleigh bed, £2,195, Soho Home. Tented Stripe wallpaper, £62 a roll, Farrow & Ball


The generous space allows for the luxury of a double vanity unit. Under-counter oval basins, £100.94 each, VitrA. Veneto marble-effect porcelain tiles, £69sq m, Stone and Ceramic Warehouse. Mackintosh taps, £402.82 a set, Lefroy Brooks


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CLEAR VISION A few clever tweaks to Camille and Guillaume Petit’s classic terrace were all it took to turn it into a family home FEATURE EMMA J PAGE | PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS SNOOK

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home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian terrace L O C AT I O N Southwest London R O O M S Sitting room/ kitchen-diner, study, cloakroom, three bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2017 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a two-bed apartment in central London,’ says Camille.


amille Petit and her husband Guillaume have a knack for making a home in whichever corner of the globe that they find themselves in. The couple, both native to the French Riviera, spent seven years living in an airy loft in New York before relocating to southwest London five years ago. After a period of renting, they finally found their ideal family home, but it needed plenty of vision to bring it to life. ‘Having spent time loft-living, we were used to the concept of light and space,’ says Camille. ‘Although we found this house charming, we knew we faced a challenge trying to channel more light into it, particularly as the property is north-facing.’ But the house ticked several boxes and had plenty of green spaces nearby, as well as a school for the couple’s daughter Teva, two. Plus, the previous owners had added a loft conversion and a rear extension, meaning that much of the structural work had already been completed. But it still felt dark and dated, and the layout was awkward. ‘We knew we wanted to pare things back, refine the flow and make the most of every inch of space,’ says Camille. ‘The open-plan ground floor hadn’t been well thought out – the living room was at the front, with a kitchen in the middle and a dining area at the rear. We had an idea of how to improve the flow and worked with our architect, Michael Schienke at Vorbild, to enhance the look and feel.’ They hatched a plan to rework the space and channel in extra light at the same time. ‘Every Victorian terrace has its unique quirks so there is no one-size-fits-all template when it comes to renovation,’

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LESSON LEARNT ‘A little boldness never hurts. We played it a bit safe at first, but we’ve learnt to be more ambitious when it comes to colours and materials’ SITTING ROOM Orange and coral hues bring a zing of colour to this fresh white space, while an original Victorian fireplace adds a touch of character. Built-in storage, price on request, SVS Joinery. Par3 table, €1,030, Sculptures Jeux. Beni Ourain rug, £585, Yonder. Armchair, £295, Louis Van Teeffelen at Vinterior HALL Graphic tiles paired with a colourful stair runner and neon orange lampshades create a warm welcome. Voltaire Smoke tiles, €100sq m, Marrakech Design. FL/Y ceiling lights, £197 each, Kartell at Amara KITCHEN Although the extension had already been built, the couple overhauled it with the help of

architect Michael Schienke at Vorbild and builder Harvey Maurice from Capital House Project. They replaced the doors, added skylights and built a generous central island. ‘We customised Ikea units with bespoke fronts,’ says Camille. Basis kitchen fronts, price on request, Reform. Flowerpot VP1 pendants in white, £197 each, TwentyTwentyOne DINING AREA The couple gave this space a soft, mid-century feel. ‘We love simple lines with a few punches of colour,’ says Camille. Belleville dining table, from £1,170, TwentyTwentyOne. Mattiazzi solo dining chairs in natural, £486 each, Nest. Banquette cushion upholstered in velvet Liaison Tangerine, £44m, The Cushion Warehouse

25bh | v i c to r i a n te r r ac e

says Michael. ‘Instead, it’s often a case of reversing poor decisions and looking at what the footprint can yield.’ In this case, Michael suggested adding two extra skylights in the extension and moving the kitchen to the rear, with the dining area at the heart of the ground floor space. Plans also included tweaking the hall to allow for a bigger cloakroom and plenty of concealed under-stairs storage. On the first floor, additional space was carved out of the guest bedroom to create a stand-alone utility, and under-eaves storage was added adjacent to the third-storey main bedroom. ‘We chose white walls, knowing that we would introduce pops of colour,’ says Camille. ‘We also made the left-field decision to anchor the space with dark stained-oak floors. That might seem counter-intuitive in a north-facing house, but in fact it works brilliantly: the timber makes the floor seem to disappear, lending a sense of spaciousness.’ Meanwhile, sleek lines, mid-century furniture, bright accents and plenty of greenery define this airy home. While light-hearted touches, such as the wallpaper mural in Teva’s room and dramatic feature walls, add an informal note. ‘During the project, we learnt that we could be bolder and we’d like to go even further now,’ says Camille. ‘Next we are looking for some statement artwork for the sitting room – perhaps some striking photography.’ With the works behind them, Camille and Guillaume are enjoying the little piece of the Mediterranean they’ve brought to London. ‘We often go to the nearby farmers’ market at the weekend before cooking at home,’ says Camille. ‘It’s great to have a space that is at last fully utilised.’

MAIN BEDROOM ‘We kept the look simple in our bedroom with minimal furniture and just a splash of red for impact,’ says Camille. Nuvole wallpaper, £315 a roll, Cole & Son at Designer Wallpapers. Della desk lamp in red, H30cm, £51.99, Wayfair, is a similar style B AT H R O O M Floating, handleless cabinetry makes the most of this compact space, while vibrant tiles introduce pattern and colour. Lily tiles in Pea Green, €155sq m, Marrakech Design, are similar. Wall-mounted vanity unit, price on request, Reform. Lightweight round mirror, £9.99, Wayfair

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‘We wanted to make the fireplace the focal point and create a sociable space,’ says Anthea, who chose a comfortable, button-back sofa. Oscar three-seater sofa in Channel Blue is a match, £1,390, Walls painted in Night Jewels 5 mixing flat matt, £29.16 for 2.5L, Dulux. Libra round chandelier, £630, Sweetpea & Willow

Family values Anthea and Daniel Biggs injected a former rectory with a fresh country feel, turning it into a cherished home for their growing brood FEATURE EMMA J PAGE | PHOTOGRAPHY KASIA FISZER

fo r m e r r ec to ry | 25bh


home truths THE PROPERTY Georgian rectory L O C AT I O N Essex R O O M S Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen-diner, TV room, utility room, cloakroom, playroom, six bedrooms (two en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved here from a Thirties house, also in Essex,’ says Anthea.


hen it comes to breathing new life into interiors, Anthea Biggs has a tried-and-tested formula that involves a pile of magazines and an old-fashioned pin board. ‘I buy a dozen copies or so, cut out images that speak to me and pin them up,’ she says. ‘I come back to it a few days later with fresh eyes and I know what direction to go in.’ This method has worked especially well since Anthea moved into this handsome rectory with her husband, Daniel, four years ago. The couple were keen to find a space in which they could make their mark as well accommodate their growing family, including children Alfie, seven, Teddy, four and Lily, two. The rectory belonged to the church until shortly after the Second World War. Since then it has seen a host of alterations, from extensions to staircase reconfigurations – some sympathetic and some less successful. ‘When we viewed


‘We inherited these lovely Neptune units when we bought this house, so we didn’t need to make any alterations,’ says Anthea. Henley kitchen is similar, price on request; Belgravia nickel pendant lights, £315 each, both Neptune

this house, we were looking for a bit of a project, but there was little to do as it seemed quite finished,’ recalls Anthea. ‘However, once we scratched the surface, we realised how wrong we were. The original sash windows were rotting, wallpaper had simply been plastered over, and behind the MDF radiator covers were bare walls. We had our hands full.’ The couple attended to the bones of the house, repairing windows, and replacing radiators. They then set about creating a balance between country and contemporary styles. ‘This house is evolving into a place where wellies and dogs will be a fixture, but I love an elegant, light touch too,’ says Anthea. The resulting rooms revolve around a palette of pure grey and shades of blue, from powder to richer tones. ‘Against that, we introduced fresh notes, such as geometric bathroom tiles, combined with traditional pieces, including farmhouse tables, gilt mirrors and upholstered or

cane beds,’ says Anthea. The dining room and sitting room are largely adult-only spaces designed as zones for relaxing or celebrating special occasions. In the sitting room, she has chosen a modern twist on country style with fresh, botanical prints and a Chesterfieldstyle sofa in a modern denim blue. Furnishing such a generous space takes a good design eye and a nose for affordable solutions and Anthea has developed both over time. ‘I love visiting local auction houses,’ she says. ‘There’s a real pleasure to be had in rescuing lessfashionable pieces and placing them in a new context.’ A case in point is the set of elegant balloon-back dining chairs that Anthea paid around £100 for before taking them to her local restorer and upholsterer. ‘Objects with a story are especially important to us,’ she says. ‘We love being part of the narrative of this house, and hopefully there are many more chapters to come.’ 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 115

25bh | fo r m e r r ec to ry DINING ROOM

‘Although formal dining areas aren’t very common any more, we love to use this space for special occasions and family gatherings,’ says Anthea. Find similar mahogany dining tables and balloon-back chairs, price on request, Elisabeth James Antiques


A comfortable armchair makes for a cosy corner in this restful space. Walls painted in Duck Egg Blue matt emulsion, £35 for 2.5L, Laura Ashley. Armchair, £600, Mad Dogs & Englishmen

lesson learnt ‘Take your time with the details. We spent many hours sourcing valves that complemented our column radiators’ GUEST BEDROOM

Putty and powder blue shades create a serene feel. Henrietta bed, from £1,900, Feather & Black. See more of Anthea’s home on her Instagram, @antheajanebiggs


A statement bath and a collection of apothecary bottles add character. Nickel Bateau bath, from £5,000, Catchpole & Rye. Berkeley Slate Blue floor tiles, £67.95m, Topps Tiles

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COASTAL COMFORT Kate Renwick’s dream of living in a whitewashed home by the sea came true when she found a pretty farmhouse in need of renovation FEATURE KAREN JENSEN-JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY NICK SMITH

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Kate chose Farrow & Ball’s Mizzle for the island because it evokes the classic West Country colour created by a combination of mist and drizzle. Kitchen island painted in Mizzle estate eggshell; cabinets painted

in Matchstick estate eggshell, both £62 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Aga, £11,000, Spillers of Chard. Reclaimed brass mixer tap, around £300, Lassco. Flagstone flooring, price on application, Farmstone Flagstones


home truths THE PROPERTY Whitewashed farmhouse dating from the 18th century L O C AT I O N Devon R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, boot room, four bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2011 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We also have a house in London,’ says Kate.


hen Kate Renwick stumbled upon a whitewashed farmhouse with gorgeous views in a peaceful West Country location, she couldn’t quite believe her luck. The serendipitous find was to become the perfect escape for the family, which includes husband David, who is a lawyer, and children Lizzie, 13, Eddie, 11, and Joe, eight. ‘I’ve always loved the West Country and we have had many holidays in the area,’ says Kate, an interior designer and founder of her eponymous company Kate Renwick. ‘So when I saw this house, I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for. We’d seen a lot of properties but we were very specific about what we wanted – this one had everything, including beautiful views and a garden full of primroses and daffodils,’ she says. The farmhouse had been in the same family for many years and was in need of extensive renovation. Kate immediately set about putting her interior design skills to good use transforming the tired property into a welcoming getaway. ‘We knew it would


The original flagstone floor tiles add character. Curtains in Mulberry Floral Rococo fabric, £98m, Jane Clayton. For a similar ceramic light, try the Lucia Rise and Fall pendant, £450, Hector Finch. You can source an antique refectory table, £3,000, from Antique Tables. Brooke sofa, around £6,000, Beaumont & Fletcher;

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covered in Sky ticking fabric, £27.50m, Tinsmiths. Artwork (above sofa), Eric Ravilious print, £225, Pentreath & Hall


Kate’s larder with its baskets and door shelves is a practical storage solution, as well as a stylish addition to this space. Larder, around £8,800, Plain English

g eo rg i a n fa r m h o us e | 25bh


‘A Fifties blue and white Swedish rug from Foster & Gane in the sitting room. It’s my absolute favourite piece’

be a lot of work as the house had been altered quite a bit over the years,’ says Kate. ‘I wanted to restore as much of the integrity of the original building as possible, so we started by undoing some of the inappropriate additions, such as the modern windows, replacing them with versions that were more sympathetic to the originals.’ Kate also decided to reconfigure the cramped downstairs rooms to open up the house. ‘There were four tiny rooms, but we created a more practical living space by knocking two together to make the kitchen-diner,’ says Kate. ‘We love the fireplace and wanted to use it as the focal point of the new room so it is now home to the Aga.’ Retaining the original flagstones that were laid throughout the ground floor was a priority. ‘They were in fairly good condition in most rooms but we did have to patch a few up,’ says Kate. ‘In the end, we removed some damaged stones in the kitchen and replaced them with slabs from the sitting room, where most were broken, and where we had decided to carpet


A palette of soft blues and greens reflects the West Country light that inspired Kate’s colour scheme. Vintage hand-woven Swedish flatweave rug, around £1,850, Foster & Gane, would work. Wyke woven armchair, £299, Lloyd Loom, has a similar look. For similar plaid curtain fabric, try Colefax and Fowler, from £85m


The stair runner and rattan light shades fit beautifully with Kate’s coastal theme. Smoke & Cornflower stair runner, £78m, Vanessa Arbuthnott. Try the Java shade, £59, from Bookshelf painted in Down Pipe, £62 for 2.5 L, Farrow & Ball. Dapple Grey rocking horse, from £2,300, Yorkshire Rocking Horses has this look

25bh | g eo rg i a n fa r m h o us e FINAL WOR D

‘Because we love the landscape so much, it made sense to use the beautiful colours inside too’

with sisal. The flagstones are integral to the house and they look beautiful, so it was well worth all the effort.’ The farmhouse’s interiors were inspired by Kate’s love of nature and the outdoors. Soft colours feature throughout and were chosen to reflect the West Country light she loves so much. ‘I wanted the house and the landscape to feel in harmony with each other, and this is reflected in the colours I picked,’ she says. ‘It was important that the palette had a gentle quality and was a reflection of what was going on outside.’ Kate’s love of natural textures, such as sheepskin, wool and hessian, is also evident throughout the house. A striped runner on the stairs and landing pulls the whole look together and fits with the many coastal elements that Kate has included. ‘I’ve always loved planning interiors and for this house I wanted simplicity and a relaxed feel,’ she says. ‘It’s perhaps easier with coastal houses because the landscape can help to dictate the scheme. It took around a year to complete the renovation but it was worth the wait. We love spending time here.’


Kate’s attention to detail is evident with radiators and light sockets chosen to complement the style of the period property. Walls in Pointing estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


The iron bed has been painted in a light grey for a fresh feel.

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Wessex Beds stocks vintage iron beds, from £1,400. For a similar blanket, try Jane Beck Welsh Blankets, from £140. Hector lamp, £135, Original BTC, would work


The vintage mirror adds an elegant finishing touch. Find a similar vintage frameless mirror, from around £75, on Etsy


pa r tn e r s h i p | 25bh

FASHION FORWARD Innovative photography duo French Cowboy are the latest celebrated artists to showcase their work on exciting new online platform Runway Gallery


he dramatic and often playful photographs from the collaborative Paris-based duo Mia Macfarlane and Julien Crouigneau, best known as French Cowboy, can now be found on Runway Gallery – the exciting new venture that showcases affordable, contemporary art for the home. We talk to French Cowboy about their curious name, their favourite projects, and how they found inspiration in a papal statue. IT STARTS WITH A STORY

‘French Cowboy was born when Mia and I were on our first holiday together,’ says Julien. ‘We were in Mallorca, in a car with the windows down enjoying the warm air blowing through our hair, and we came up with this strange character – a French cowboy who tries his best to be a real cowboy. We spent our entire vacation imagining awkward, funny situations for him.’ It was the first story they created together, and so they decided to keep the name, and from it their collaboration was born. ‘We always start with a story,’ says Mia. ‘We first talk about our ideas and through talking we come up with a richer, more detailed story. Then we start researching all the elements: the location, ambience, colours, models, styling, hair styles and make-up. We end up with huge, very detailed mood boards.’ Whether working for clients such as YSL Beauty or on their own projects, French Cowboy love graphic location shoots – chateaux, helipads, quarries, engines, aeroplanes — and cool hues. ‘We definitely prefer

cooler colours,’ says Mia. ‘We set our white balance on both our cameras to be just slightly blue. We are attracted to its dramatic, yet calming, quality.’ The pair are also heavily influenced by fashion, listing Alexander McQueen (‘for his crazy universe’), Vivienne Westwood (‘for her conscious return to the world’) and Elsa Schiaparelli (‘for her funny and revolutionary designs’) among those they admire. ‘Fashion is the artist’s colour palette that allows us to tell the story we want to tell. It inspires us but we are not driven by trends,’ says Mia. ‘However, as we go to a lot of fashion shows and follow our favourite designers, we can’t help but be inspired by fashion and it is often a dress, or even a pair of shoes, that will give us an idea.’ FASHION REIMAGINED

‘When we saw Guo Pei’s show in 2017, we could see the photos we wanted to take as the show happened,’ says Mia. ‘Her Legend collection was inspired by European iconography with sculptural dresses in the shapes of a Fabergé egg, a papal statue, and fairy tale queens – but we saw a royal garden with insects and animals. After the show we went directly to our contact and friend, Bin Y Toh, and begged him to let us shoot the gowns. A month later we had the shoot organised with insects and taxidermy birds to go with our vision.’ The duo’s Sock It! collection is a firm favourite. ‘We had so much fun coming up with the ideas,’ says Mia. With their friend, Laura (‘incredible legs’), as the model, the series features socks of all colours and styles

Vegas Cowgirl series, from £450, French Cowboy

in extraordinary surroundings, from a launderette to a jet engine, from under the body of a car to a backdrop of a spacecraft. ‘There are at least 20 Sock It! images and each one stands alone and tells its own story,’ says Mia. ‘We have more ideas in our heads but we have so much we want to shoot

and never enough time. The series allowed us to get our first agent, our first exhibition in Paris and an invitation to speak and exhibit at the Nordic Light Festival with some of the best contemporary photographers in the world.’ Buy art from French Cowboy and other artists at

NEXT MONTH Look out for our May issue, where artist and founder of Runway Gallery, SYRETT, discusses his thinking behind the new online platform and tells us all about his favourite artists and works of art. 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 123

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e dwa r d i a n r e n ovat i o n | 25bh


Sara and John Morrison weren’t afraid to take on the challenge of reviving a wreck – it was their passion project FEATURE ANNA TOBIN | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH


home truths KITCHEN-DINER Sara wanted this to be the ultimate living space. ‘I love the fact that we can move the table back to make a big open space for parties.’ Luna table, £130, House by John Lewis & Partners, is comparable. Ercol chairs, £160 for six, eBay, painted in Down Pipe estate emulsion, £62 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Fruit cushions, £3.75 each, eBay

THE PROPERTY Edwardian terraced house L O C AT I O N Bath R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, playroom, utility room, cloakroom, wine cellar, four bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2009 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a similar period property in London,’ says Sara.

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SITTING ROOM The far end of this space has been turned into a den for reading and working. Panel mirror, £780sq m, Looking Glass of Bath. The Kubrick chair, £399,, is similar

KITCHEN-DINER Grey resin flooring maximises the bright and airy feel and, because it’s so thin, improves the efficiency of the underfloor heating. Sphere8 supplies resin floors

b e s t b u y ‘The Ruark audio system, which often turns the kitchen into a disco!’


t was an unliveable wreck, but the fact that this property had to be stripped down to its bare bones and put back together again is what attracted Sara Morrison, an interior designer, and her husband John, a composer. ‘We were living in a similar period property in London at the time, which we’d completely transformed, and we were keen to do it all again,’ explains Sara. The couple chose to move back to Sara’s hometown of Bath to bring up their son, Francis, now nine, but the timing wasn’t perfect as he was only three months old and the house wasn’t safe to live in. ‘There was no heating or hot water, the windows were rotten, and it needed rewiring, replastering and replumbing,’ Sara says with a shudder, as she recalls the stress of juggling a baby with a building project. ‘We piled all our belongings into the two reasonably clean and dry rooms, and stayed with family while the builders cracked on.’ Budget restrictions meant that they had to divide the project into two stages. They began with the ground and upper floors. ‘On the top floor, there were two small rooms and a bathroom,’ Sara explains. ‘We turned this space into one large en-suite guest room, to double up as John’s office.’ On the first floor, the bathroom was enlarged to take a full-size bath. And, on the ground floor, the north-facing dining room was knocked through to the sitting room to create a larger, brighter area. Throughout the build, Sara focused on working out how to make the most of each space in the house and ensuring that there would be enough storage. ‘Well-thought-out storage is essential in a family home; you can’t have enough,’ she says. To keep things

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e dwa r d i a n r e n ovat i o n | 25bh SITTING ROOM The mainly monochrome scheme is enlivened by pops of colours from furniture and accessories. Penryn Grand sofa, £1,299, John Lewis & Partners. Genuine Fake Bookshelf wallpaper, £185 for a 3.3m roll, Deborah Bowness. Kartell Panier coffee table in Smoke, £212, Made in Design

organised, she asked carpenters to create a mix of hidden and open storage in the sitting room. The basement refurb got under way four years later. The family went on holiday for a fortnight, while the basement was gutted and extended into the side return by 1.5 metres. An open-plan kitchen, dining and entertaining area was created in the bright front space, with a wine cellar, utility room and bathroom at the back. ‘I’m pleased that I didn’t choose an island unit for the kitchen,’ says Sara. ‘I like them, but we wanted to keep the space flexible, so we can move the table out of the way and we’re left with a huge entertaining space,’ Upstairs, the original kitchen was turned into a playroom, complete with bespoke den and hideaway. ‘This meant that we could close the door on all those toys,’ says Sara. The final task was to turn the garden area into a relaxing, low-maintenance space. Francis has a den and swing at the far end, while the centre features a barbecue, table and chairs; and the kitchen opens out on to a compact outdoor seating area. Sara is so pleased with the result – and positive comments from visitors – that she has gone professional. ‘The challenge of creating a beautifully designed home that works for children led me to set up, aimed at helping other people achieve contemporary interiors that look great, but are suitable for family life,’ she says. Sara has studied interior design at Chelsea College of Arts and gone on to complete several other family-friendly homes. ‘We’re delighted with the way the house works for us now,’ she says. ‘There isn’t a single room that doesn’t get used daily.’

P L AY R O O M Formerly the kitchen, this room has plenty of space for playing and ample storage for toys. Harlequin Reggie Robot rug, £275, Amara. Flisat table, £40, and stools, £13 each; Kallax storage unit, £30, all Ikea

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25bh | e dwa r d i a n r e n ovat i o n MAIN BEDROOM Sara loved this wallpaper, but felt it might be overpowering so she hung it on only two walls. Jewelwall wallpaper, £30sq m, Mr Perswall. Try the Venetian six-drawer chest, £334, Turnbull & Thomas

MAIN BEDROOM Simple blinds define the elegant sash windows and the mirrored table enhances natural light. Parisian mirrored dressing table, £199, Very, would work here. Victoria Ghost chair in Smoke Grey, Philippe Starck for Kartell, £200, Amara

l e s s o n l e a r n e d ‘I didn’t have the skills to create detailed drawings, which would have saved time. If you don’t either, get a good interior designer to do it’ MAIN BEDROOM Sara has used artwork, along with patterned and textured accessories, to add fun to this monochrome scheme. Raine and Humble pom-pom cushion, £49.99, Haygen. Lampshade, from £19.99, Hummingbird Home

F A M I LY B AT H R O O M A black-painted wall shows off Francis’s framed art. Flomasta flat towel radiator in chrome, £84.99, Screwfix. Tiiliskivi hand towel by Marimekko, £25; Only Hooks coat rack by Gustav Rosen for Maze, £34, both Scandinavian Design Center

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Original Art & Limited Edition Prints w w w . r u n w a y - g a l l e r y. c o m / 2 5 b e a u t i f u l h o m e s in association with

Pictured: Rule Brittania by SYRETT, limited edition print, ÂŁ495

D AT E W I T H D E S T I N Y After a thoughtful and loving restoration, Sophie and Tom Hughes now have the family home they always dreamed of FEATURE MARISHA TAYLOR | PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRENCH


hen Tom Hughes, a mechanical engineer, was offered a job relocation to Berkshire, both he and his wife Sophie, a senior civil servant, jumped at the opportunity to find the period property they had always wanted for themselves and their daughters Ella, now 13, and Charlotte, 15. ‘We had moved from our small but idyllic white cottage a few years before to a more modern house that made the commute easier,’ says

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Sophie. ‘But we really missed the period charm of our former home.’ And so they jumped at the chance to view this pretty Georgian property. ‘Approaching it from the drive, I fell in love with this quintessentially English red-brick cottage,’ says Sophie. ‘It needed a lot of refurbishment and Tom needed a little persuasion, but the huge fireplaces and original beams gave it the feel of the family home we’d been looking for.’ The couple put an offer in straight away, which was accepted, but shortly afterwards

their buyer pulled out, scuppering their plans. ‘Three months later, we found a new buyer and, as luck would have it, the cottage was back on the market. We put in another offer and this time it all went through. We were destined to live here.’ However, the building was in a worse state of repair than Sophie remembered. ‘I certainly didn’t recall the carpet up the side of the bath or the Aga plonked in the middle of the kitchen,’ she smiles. ‘The layout downstairs didn’t flow; we wanted

p e r i o d c o t tag e | 25bh


home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Cottage, dating back to 1750 L O C AT I O N Berkshire R O O M S Drawing room, family room, kitchen-diner, snug, study, utility room, four bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2004 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a modern home near Windsor, close to a station for commuting,’ says Sophie.

KITCHEN-DINER ‘This is where we spend time as a family, with the dog usually asleep by the Aga. We wanted a modern feel but one that complemented period features like the oak beams,’ says Sophie. Artisan kitchen, price on request, John Lewis of Hungerford. Balmoral six-seater oak table, £2,515; Shoreditch chairs in Clara Natural, £260 each, all Neptune. The Large Braided rug is similar, £525, The White Company SNUG ‘The girls like to relax in this area, which is connected to the open-plan kitchen,’ says Sophie. Try eBay for armchairs like these. Library wallpaper, £12 a roll, Albany Marcus at Wallpaper Direct. Lina side table, £95, Cox & Cox D R AW I N G R O O M The framed artwork of animals wearing clothes make Sophie laugh. ‘Everyone should have something in their home that makes them smile,’ she says. Hambledon corner sofa, £5,060, Sofas & Stuff. Poppy Field rug, £155, French Connection. Prints by Yago Partal, from £35, Zoo Portraits

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 131

25bh | p e r i o d c o t tag e

E L L A’ S R O O M Starry wallpaper and twinkly fairy lights offset the beams. Cole and Son Whimsical Stars wallpaper, £80 a roll, Designer Wallpapers. Hemnes day bed, £410, Ikea HALL Rich blue walls and a smart runner make an inviting space. Walls painted in Btwn Dog and Wolf pure flat emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5L, Paint & Paper Library MAIN BEDROOM ‘We kept colours calm and added warmth with textiles and wallpaper,’ says Sophie. The Jayne metal bed frame is comparable, £299, John Lewis & Partners. Timber White wallpaper, £78 a roll, Andrew Martin B AT H R O O M Towels hang on playful hooks. Try Valve wheel cast-iron hooks, £4.50 each, Love Hooks

a modern open-plan feel with defined spaces to ensure that all the rooms were used.’ The couple kept the Aga, moving it when the kitchen was refurbished to create a spacious open-plan kitchen-living area with a vaulted ceiling in place of the dilapidated white plastic conservatory. In the hall, they knocked down walls and installed a new oak staircase to make a more welcoming entrance. Moving a wall created a functional dining space which in turn gave them a larger snug off the kitchen. The couple also moved the fireplace to the 132 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

drawing room. ‘This creates a lovely recessed focal point, while the new wood burner makes it really cosy,’ says Sophie. As the renovation had been quite time-consuming, and the couple were busy with work commitments, they decided to bring in an interior designer to help finish the house. ‘Jo from Isla James Interiors was wonderful,’ says Sophie. ‘Her brief was to create a contemporary feel without jeopardising the rich character of the cottage. The colour scheme, furnishings and artwork were all influenced by our strong association

with nature and the surrounding garden and countryside, with inspiration from our home’s historic elements. We wanted the design and colour palette to work in harmony with the features we fell in love with.’ The couple’s thoughtful restoration has created a bridge between traditional and modern design and decor. ‘We have a home with a deep-rooted sense of history that works harmoniously with modern luxury,’ reflects Sophie. ‘Life has many twists and turns, but we are so pleased that destiny led us to this cherished cottage.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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The one-stop edit of the best modern style and design ideas.

b a r n c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh


Sarah Allchorn has created a light-filled home and design studio in the countryside inspired by Scandinavian simplicity FEATURE ANN BROAD | PHOTOGRAPHY COLIN POOLE


home truths


Contrasting chair fabrics evoke a striking look. Carver chairs upholstered in William Yeoward Massaro in Denim, £89m, Designers Guild. Andrew Martin dining chairs, £450 each; upholstered in Savannah Stripe, £34m, Style Infusion. Kew pendant light, £176.99, Wayfair. Large round mirror, £475, The Old Pill Factory, is similar

T H E P R O P E R T Y Two barns built circa 1810 for the adjacent farmhouse L O C AT I O N West Oxfordshire R O O M S Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, cloakroom, three bedrooms (one en suite), family bathroom, shower room P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I renovated a Cotswold stone cottage nearby,’ says Sarah.

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 135


‘As a passionate designer and mother of three, it has always been important for me to create a family space that’s both stylish and homely’


The combination of soft white walls, pale Shaker-style cabinets and Silestone worktops enhances the feeling of light and space. Marylebone Apollo Grey flooring, £70sq m, Direct Wood Flooring, is similar. Try Brooklyn Dome glass pendant lights, £69 each, Industville

136 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

ba r n c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh


inding a barn in need of renovation in Oxfordshire is rare enough, so finding two together was a dream come true for Sarah Allchorn, an architectural interior designer based in the Cotswolds. ‘I was already living and running my business, Style Infusion, in the area, having bought and renovated an old property several years earlier,’ she explains. ‘I then started looking for a house that also had a separate building large enough for my studio. Fortunately, I saw a barn for sale with an adjacent smaller one included in the price. Both were ripe for renovation.’ The main barn, once used for threshing, had been converted into a house in the Seventies and was looking rather tired and in need of a complete refurbishment. The smaller one was originally used for milking and, with some replanning, could be converted into a comfortable working environment for Sarah. ‘Both buildings had exterior character, but inside they were a disaster,’ she recalls. ‘The timber purlins and beams had been removed in the main barn, in favour of Seventies cornicing and twee fireplaces.’ However, Sarah saw beyond the dated interior and proceeded to buy them both. ‘My logic for the old milking barn was to create a design studio and admin office with a bedroom and en-suite shower room to live in while I renovated the main barn and secured planning permission for a timber-framed extension,’ explains Sarah. ‘The main house was habitable, although by the time the studio was ready to move into, the kitsch kitchen, pink, blue and turquoise carpets, peach floral wallpaper and ancient bathroom were becoming unbearable!’ With work complete,


Sarah designed a practical storage unit to take advantage of the space next to the stairs. Corkscrew-style hooks, £14 each, Style Infusion. Grey and black striped throw, £32.95, The Old Pill Factory


Vibrant blue accents lend colour and character to the calm and distinctly Scandinavian backdrop. Riviere Biscuit rug in Marine, £995; Matilda table lamps, £1,095 each, all William Yeoward. Quill cushions, £90 each, Designers Guild at Houseology

25bh | b a r n c o n v e r s i o n


Sarah has used black as an accent colour to striking effect in the framed photographs, light fittings and ironmongery. Orlando wire cage pendant light, £49, Industville


Stripes and florals add a fresh, textural feel. Cobb weave blanket, £32.95, The Old Pill Factory. Ralph Lauren Palatine Stripe wallpaper, £71 a roll, John Lewis & Partners

Sarah moved into the design studio and the demolition of all the internal walls on the ground floor of the main barn began, followed by the installation of steel girders. With a love of light-filled homes, Sarah’s plan was to create a Scandi-inspired interior with an open-plan layout. ‘I wanted to gain as much space and natural light as possible, which involved taking the interior back to a bare shell and adding an extension,’ she says. The timber-framed addition arrived in February 2017 and was fully installed by April. The internal fit-out took another eight months, by which time Sarah was desperate to move in and prepare for her family arriving for Christmas. ’My three children arrived on 23rd December and sent me out for last-minute shopping. When I returned they had hidden the uncompleted building work in the sitting room with pallets and sheets of plasterboard.’ Sarah added the finishing touches to her home with a stylish combination of texture and colour from one of her favourite designers. ‘I love the design and colour spectrum of William Yeoward, and most of the rugs, lamps and cushions here are from his collection,’ she says. ‘With my antique and contemporary furniture, I think it forms an interesting mix.’ Redesigning the garden is Sarah’s next challenge. ‘I am radically changing the outdoor space, including building a new stone wall at the rear of the garden, and planting and creating zones for outdoor dining and entertaining,’ she says. ‘It has taken time to reach this stage in the renovation, but I’m delighted and feel so fortunate to be able to combine both home and work in one beautiful location.’


The two-tone palette highlights the room’s architecture and creates a soothing sanctuary. Basin and cabinet, £800, Style Infusion. Brooklyn Glass Funnel wall light, £49, Industville


‘My first night in my bedroom was way before I had heating or carpets, but I just had to sleep in the stunning vaulted space,’ recalls Sarah. Portavo Grey wallpaper, £69 a roll, Nina Campbell. Miranda pendant, £79,, is a match. Faux shagreen bedside trunk, £745, Oka, would work here

2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 139

25bh | b a r n c o n v e r s i o n


‘Wood panelling creates an interesting textured finish and is a good alternative to plastering. It’s an ideal backdrop for modern or classic interiors’


‘As William Yeoward is one of my favourite designers, I’m thrilled with the results here,’ Sarah enthuses. ‘It’s so rich and welcoming.’ William Yeoward Felixton wallpaper, £68 a roll, Wallpaper Direct. Headboard covered in William Yeoward Khalana fabric in Marine, £74m, Style Infusion


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WHERE TO BUY Details of companies featured in the April issue


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2 5 B H A PRIL 2019 | 143

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“Faultless quality...won’t be beaten by anyone.� Mr Alan Jones 4th July 2018

Request a FREE brochure call 0800 470 0160 QUOTE BHOMES69H


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Marketplace FURNITURE






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Marketplace VERANDAS



SEE OUR EXTENSIVE RANGE ONLINE NOW â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nationwide Verandas are designed to provide a stylish and practical area to enjoy outdoor living whatever the weather.â&#x20AC;?

Classic Verandas


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For a FREE brochure Call us today on or no obligation design consultation or visit us online at


*Only available with a 20% deposit and the Buy Now Pay Later finance option. Subject to application and status. Nationwide Home Innovations is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


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25bh | i d e a s to s h a r e Gentle curves and calming hues create an air of serenity



onal fawns, beiges and soft ivory create a soothing backdrop for deep, striking vermilion, in this elegant bedroom at Finca Cortesin, a serene retreat near Malaga in southern Spain. Interior designers Ana and Cristina Calderón have used colour with careful consideration; daring hues are employed with subtlety – postbox-red lacquer bedside tables, an Hermès-orange cashmere throw – to create a sophisticated and demure space that still retains a sense of Spanish warmth. We particularly love the sumptuous layering of textured fabrics in this bedroom; a vintage wool tapestry footstool and rough jute carpet provide contrast for the heavenly comfort of fresh linen bedspreads and soft silk cushions. Throw a series of found Spanish objects into the mix, such as the artisan-made wire chandelier and

150 | 2 5 B H A PRIL 2019

a delicately carved lamp, and you have a bedroom that suitably reflects the culturally rich Andalusian hotel it is a part of. Finca Cortesin was newly built in 2009, but the carefully considered architecture has been designed to imitate both the traditional Spanish finca (farmhouse) and the area’s Moorish history. The whitewashed property is supremely luxurious, with airy, open public spaces built around two wide courtyards. Styling shifts between heritage Spanish grandeur and a glamorous Moroccan look, with plenty of spots for guests to relax and hold court in. Smoothly efficient staff are close at hand to magic you up a poolside cocktail, or make reservations in the hotel’s contemporary, Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Kabuki Raw, or the Mediterranean-inspired El Jardin de Lutz.


Each month we bring you a hotel space that intrigues, inspires and dazzles

*Buy now pay in 12 months finance offer is available on orders over £3,000 +VAT. Finance is subject to status, terms apply.

BESPOKE BRITISH FURNITURE DESIGNED, CR AFTED, GUAR ANTEED When you choose Neville Johnson you are investing in high quality bespoke furniture, attention to detail and superb customer service. For over 30 years we have been using the finest materials and craftsmanship to create exquisite fitted furniture with longevity and style.

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