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Aluminium made beautiful Conservatories | Orangeries | Atriums | Greenhouses

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New Series



c n e d Confi


Celebrating the essence of English style March 2019 | Issue 169 | £4.40 | UK Edition


Former schoolhouse, Georgian restoration, Victorian terrace NEW SERIES


CONSERVATORIES & GARDEN ROOMS Plan & decorate for year-round enjoyment

Schemes in sage, apple & forest green

NEXT GENERATION CREATIVES Designers giving English style a fresh twist


Beautiful projects, expert insights, storage innovations


The Aston Knole Part of a new collection of exclusive Knole sofas An exclusive drop arm sofa with carved wooden finials and hand made tie backs. Upholstered in Jim Dickens fabric over an English made solid beech frame with coil sprung seating unit to the front edge. Includes fibre filled seat cushions with feather scatters as illustrated.

Large sofa £3,430


Width 97" (246cm) | Depth 38" (97cm) | Height 41" (104cm)

Medium sofa £3,340 Width 85" (216cm) | Depth 38" (97cm) | Height 41" (104cm)

Love seat £2,195


Width 48" (122cm) | Depth 37" (94cm) | Height 34" (86cm) Saffron

Prices include promotional offer Available in 8 colourways, including:





Wild berry


OXFORDSHIRE . . Kingston House High Street Nettlebed . RG9 5DD | Telephone 01491 641115 Open Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm



44 Beautiful Buys 14 HOME COMFORTS Beautiful buys for the home. 20 THE ART OF TEA MAKING Charming teaware. 22 THE ART OF LETTER WRITING Stationery delights. 24 THE ART OF FLORAL DISPLAY Arranging essentials.

English Homes 34 A DEFT TOUCH A Victorian Lutyens-style house

in Surrey is gently reconfigured for better flow. 44 PUTTING DOWN ROOTS Country charm and chic

style abound in a hillside home in Herefordshire. 54 ARTISTIC DOMAIN Vibrant colours gleaned from

travels abroad complete an artist’s London home. 64 COMPACT & BIJOU How one couple downsized

to a beautiful property in rural Northumberland.



74 MY ENGLISH HOME Royal milliner Jess Collett

on her essentials for an English home.


89 Style inspiration 77 FRESH APPROACH Combine tradition and style. 78 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION A new generation of

designers reinterpreting classic English style. 89 NEW SERIES: COLOUR CONFIDENCE WITH GREEN

Expert advice for decorating with sage, apple and forest green. 100 KITCHEN STYLE SECRETS Designers and specialist

cabinetmakers reveal their expert insights. 110 ORDERLY FASHION Create a calm, ordered kitchen

with dedicated storage areas. 119 A ROOM FOR ALL SEASONS How to dress

conservatories and garden rooms for year-round enjoyment, whatever the weather.

Quintessentially 129 PERFECT PANCAKES Celebrate Shrove Tuesday

with a classic recipe. 130 MARCH IN THE MOMENT Connect with the season


and relish time at home and in the garden. 136 CROWNING GLORY How to create and care for

an immaculate lawn. 146 MY PASSION FOR... Furniture designer

Tim Gosling reveals his design obsession.

Regulars 8

A LETTER FROM HOME A welcome from our

Editor-in-Chief. 27 NOTEBOOK Our monthly digest of notable people

and pursuits, plus important dates for the diary. 76 SUBSCRIBE Treat yourself or a loved one to

a subscription to The English Home. 143 COMING NEXT MONTH & ADDRESS BOOK

Useful resources and an insight into the delights to come in our April edition.


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MADE TO MEASURE INTERIORS Commissioning bespoke pieces for unique rooms

BATHROOM DESIGN Adding colour & character

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Soothing colours, tactile textures, botanical motifs


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To make life easier, you can now buy single editions or back issues of The English Home online and have them posted directly to your home address. To order your copy, please visit


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A letter from home




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* Delving into the archives at renowned brands. Read our findings in the April edition. * Following the launch of events celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of leading Victorian art critic John Ruskin, including exhibitions at Brantwood – his former home on Coniston Water in Cumbria – Two Temple Place, London and the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Gallery, Tokyo. Website offers a useful events insight. * Enjoying the Dior exhibition at the V&A. Entitled Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams and tracing the impact of his work from 1947 to the present day, it runs until the 14 July.

Follow us on Twitter @englishhometeam Pinterest at Facebook at Instagram at 8 THE ENGLISH HOME

With warm regards,

Kerryn Harper-Cuss, Editor-in-Chief


Wallpaper from the latest collection by textile designer Charlotte Gaisford (see page 80)

arch goes hand in hand with a sense of optimism and renewal, as gardens and countryside burst back into life and birds chatter from the hedgerows once more. Goodness knows we could all do with such uplifting sights and sounds after the long nights and grey days of winter, not to mention an extended period of discombobulating uncertainty on the world stage. I cannot help but feel that the latter is significant in influencing the determined turn towards a bolder, brighter mood in interiors. When the world feels so serious, it seems little surprise that colour, comfort, wit and playfulness emit a siren call in design. Certainly, there is a new generation of names in interior design who are injecting an exuberance and a maximalist twist into English style, capturing the need for a heartgladdening spirit for the age. Our feature Freedom of Expression (page 78) charts its rise. Given that increased confidence with using colour in interiors is something many of us aspire to, this edition sees the launch of our new Colour Series (page 89). Part one begins with insights into beautiful ways to use green, from restful sage to enveloping forest. In keeping with the tenor of the month, we introduce another series focussing on embracing the seasons in a more nuanced way in our homes, kitchens and gardens, connecting with the simple pleasures each month of the year has to offer. I hope you find the mood of this issue chimes with your desires for the month and year to come.



TEL : 020 7225 1011



T EL : 020 7352 951 8


N wS re

nc o r Con d


Celebrating the e ence of Engli h t le Ma ch 2019 | Issue 169 | £4.40 | UK Edition


Former schoolhouse, Georgian restoration, Victorian terrace NEW SERIES


CONSERVATORIES & GARDEN ROOMS Plan & decorate for year-round enjoyment

Schemes in sage, apple & forest green

CONTACT US Editorial 0333 014 3215 The English Home, Cumberland House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1BB Email Website Advertising/Publishing 020 7349 3700 The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ Email

NEXT GENERATION CREATIVES Designers giving English style a fresh twist


Beautiful projects, expert insights, storage innovations


EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Kerryn Harper-Cuss Executive Editor Samantha Scott-Jeffries Managing Editor Sarah Feeley Art Editors Claire Hicks, Frances Wallace Sub Editor Lea Tacey Decorating Editor Katy Mclean Features Editor Eve Middleton Homes & Lifestyle Editor Clair Wayman

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Contributors TIM GOSLING Furniture designer (Tim talks about his favourite book on p146.) What do you love most about being a furniture designer? I love being able to create the first visual image of anything at all for a home with just a pencil and paper. It is such a privilege to work with clients on pieces of furniture that will become part of their daily lives. What makes your English home special to you? I truly love my London home. I travel a lot, which makes me appreciate being there with my dog even more. My books, sculptures, open fires, the lighting, colours and comfort make me feel so happy. What is your favourite seasonal pursuit in March? March is when most of the National Trust stately homes open again after the winter. I’m a passionate fan of these and of privately owned homes like Castle Howard. It gives me so much inspiration seeing pieces of furniture in the spaces they were designed for.

Beautiful flooring, designed to last Over 100 designs | Expert advice | 20,000m 2 of stock | Express delivery SHOWROOM 20 Smugglers Way, Wandsworth, London, SW18 1EG 020 8871 9771

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POLLY ELTES Photographer (Turn to p34 to see Anna Wilson’s Lutyens-style, Surrey home, photographed by Polly.) What did you enjoy most about working on the Anna Wilson house feature? I have a picture in mind of sunlit rooms full of colours and textures but most memorable was the overall feeling of calm and relaxation that created a special harmony in the house. What do you love most about being a photographer? Meeting up with amazing creative people and showing the story of what they’ve made of their work or home. It’s like an adventure that I feel lucky to be on. What makes your English home special to you? I just moved to a little terraced house. It is in an especially peaceful location yet it is urban and connected at the same time. I am looking forward to working on a look for it that mixes contemporary elements in with the Victorian ones. Q


MIRANDA WATCHORN Stylist (Miranda offers her advice for using different shades of green in our new colour series, p89.) What was the highlight of creating your feature for the colour series? As a lover of colour, I’ve enjoyed searching for beautiful imagery that showcases fabulous and unexpected colour combinations. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Working on brand launches in a number of historical properties at home and abroad. Particularly magical were Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, Spencer House in London and Château Royal de Cognac in southern France. What makes your English home special to you? All the pieces that I have collected over the years – from vintage china to ceramics and coloured glassware – each piece reminds me of a particular time in my life or a place I have travelled to.



+4 4 (0 )14 7 6 5 6 4433

Springtime blooms Inspired by the blossoms of an English spring garden, these newly recommissioned prints from historic archive designs celebrate the vibrancy of the new season. Curtains, Heidi, Gold, £74 a metre; patterned cushions, Perivale, Mist, £74 a metre; velvet cushion, Opera, Avocado, £78 a metre, all The Design Archives

HOM New light and soft colours provide a fresh outlook for beautiful buys in the home 14 THE ENGLISH HOME


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Linen refresh Add a breezy feel to proceedings – whether in the kitchen or at the table – with some fresh new linens in dusky pink and fine monochrome stripes. From left: Plaster Pink napkin, £18 for a set of two; Fine Black Stripe apron, £38; Fine Black Stripe napkins, £18 for a set of two; Plaster Pink apron, £32, all Rowen & Wren Playful patterns Soft, cosy and lightweight, these delightful quilts hand-crafted in India are ethically produced to provide support to local artisans. Organic quilted blankets, from £110, The Charpoy Botanical display Harness the uplifting sight of nature’s new offerings with these delicately scalloped planters, offset by delicately decorated ginger jars. Welby ginger jars, from £89 each; Small Scalloped planters, £30 for a set of two; Fluted planters, £63 for a set of two, Sophie Conran

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Simplicity of form Serve up light spring dishes amidst the gentle pale pink and pleasingly clean lines of this serene dinner set. Blush Dipped Speckled dinnerware, from £65 for a set of six mugs, Cox & Cox Half light These shutters in a new calm colourway offset gently shifting light whilst still retaining privacy. Cafe-style shutters in Library Panel by Dulux, from £166 a square metre, California Shutters Decorative detail Traditional stitchwork and decorative embroideries are amongst the highlights of GP & J Baker’s new Artisan II collection. Curtain, Ellenby Embroidery, £129 a metre; cushion, Tivington, £69 a metre, both GP & J Baker Structural pattern Intricate geometric patterns and joyful colourways come together in this pure wool flatweave rug inspired by Mayan architecture. Tati rug, £1,655 (185cm x 275cm) or from £325 a square metre, A Rum Fellow


Small on size. Big on comfort. Our Tubby Tub in Burnished Gold

We first began making fine free-standing baths over 20 years ago using our own special material: Iso-Enamel, keeping your bath hotter for longer, and at only a third of the weight of cast iron. Request our 276 page brochure for our range of 50 beautiful traditional bath tubs. +44 (0)1255 831605 |


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Sunshine yellow The vibrant turmeric hues of this latest collection of bedlinen by Clarissa Hulse offer an uplifting contrast to a backdrop of tranquil grey and cream. Espinillo Turmeric double duvet, £55; Oxford pillowcases, £15 each; cushion, £45; throw, £75, all Clarissa Hulse Enlightened selection The new stone-painted finish of this beautiful piece with its nickel and mother-of-pearl handles perfectly encapsulates the seasonal mood. Fred bedside chest in Stone, £1,320, Nina Campbell Clear beauty Delicate blooms are striking when displayed in thoughtfully selected vessels such as these from Grand Illusions’ first recycled glass collection. Recycled Glass vases, from £5.95, Grand Illusions Q


100% Bespoke kitchen & household furniture, sympathetically designed to work with your home’s architecture and handmade to last a lifetime. 24A West Street, Ashburton, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 7DU

Tel: 01364 653613

Butterfly Bloom Three-Piece Teapot, Sugar and Cream Set, £195; Cup and Saucer, £50; Three-Tier Cake Stand, £135, Wedgwood

T-Timepiece diffuser by TUDelft and Titus Wybenga, £26, Alessi Fortnum’s St James Tea for One Teapot, £115, Fortnum & Mason



Vera Wang for Wedgwood With Love Nouveau silver cake knife and server set, £60, Selfridges

Classical Cake Stand, from £120, John Julian

Kit Kemp Tapestry Tea Tray, £300, Fine Cell Work


Green Tea Crown Assortment, £15, Newby

Plum Asiatic Pheasants Cow Creamer, £32, Burleigh

Lisette Glass Teapot, £26, Laura Ashley


The soothing ritual of preparing tea provides a moment of calm in the midst of modern life. Spooning leaves into the pot, pouring water from a height and watching as plumes of steam rise from the fragrant liquid is as much a balm for the soul as it is a delight for the senses. Whether accompanied by milk, sugar or baked delights, this panacea merits loving attention in the form of carefully considered teaware curated to match.






g a rd e n t r a d i n g . c o . u k | 01993 845559

Ted Baker navy blue fountain pen, £49.95, Annabel James

The Small Bascule Desk, from £10,400, Soane Britain


A6 Notebook, £4, Yateley Papers

Sending hand-written missives is a process rewarding for both writer and recipient. Hearing the pleasing thud of a hand-penned note fall through the letterbox is matched only by the pleasure afforded in taking time and care to write thoughtful words. Create a tranquil setting with accessories to match, and enjoy the therapeutic flow of pen on paper.

Calligraphy Notecards (set of nine with envelopes, boxed), £20, Lucy Bowes Design

John Derian Fern Paperweight, £60, Catesbys Meard Magazine Rack in Brushed Brass, £145, Soho Home

Oxford Double Desk Light in Satin Brass, £385, Original BTC

Desk accessories, from £120, Lutyens Furniture & Lighting

Personalised Natural Address Stamp, £21, The English Stamp Company




Bay Terracotta Pots, from £10, Neptune

THE ART OF Galley Grade Chambray Cross-Over Apron, £19.95, Joules

FLORAL DISPLAY Communing with nature brings with it a whole host of benefits, not least is the peace of mind achieved by the focus and careful concentration required for flower arranging. Botanical blooms and floral forms provide the backdrop to a whole host of charming accessories to best showcase their beauty, including our round-up of charming buys to make creating displays as enjoyable as the pleasure they bring.

Francoise Pitcher, £32, Anthropologie

Jane Crisp Large Ash, Brass & Copper Trug, £240, The Room Service Tin O’Twine, £7 each, Objects of Use

155-2 Pot Waterer, Copper Edition, £27.50, Haws

Japanese Sentei Garden Scissors, £29, Wood & Meadow Coastal Collection Glass Vases, from £20.95, The Libra Company (available at selected Fenwick stores) 24 THE ENGLISH HOME


Pink Pansy Medium Vase (left), £29.95, Emma Bridgewater




FOR THE FULL TETRAD EXPERIENCE PLEASE CONTACT OUR PREMIER STOCKISTS LISTED BELOW Aberdeen Archibalds • Aberdeen Sterling Furniture • Abingdon Lee Longlands • Accrington Taskers of Accrington • Ash Vale, Surrey Darlings of Chelsea • Banbury Bennetts • Banchory Taylors • Bangor Caprice • Barnstaple Padfields • Barrow-in-Furness Stollers • Bath TR Hayes • Battersea, London Barker & Stonehouse • Beverley Alexander Ellis Furniture Emporium • Birmingham Lee Longlands • Bo’ness Belgica • Boston Sack Store • Brighouse Websters Furniture • Bristol Park Furnishers • Broughty Ferry Gillies • Cardiff Arthur Llewellyn Jenkins • Carlisle Vaseys • Chesterfield Brampton House Furnishers • Clitheroe Shackletons Home & Garden • Colchester Hatfields of Colchester • Crickhowell, Wales Webbs of Crickhowell • Darlington Barker & Stonehouse • Derby Lee Longlands • Doncaster Ward Brothers • Dundee Sterling • Dunfermline Thomsons World of Furniture • Dumfries Barbours • Edinburgh Martin & Frost • Elgin Anderson & England • Exeter Stoneman & Bowker • Fulham, London Darlings of Chelsea • Gateshead Barker & Stonehouse • Glasgow Forrest Furnishing • Glasgow Sterling Furniture • Grimsby AW Robinson Furniture • Guernsey Scope Furnishing • Guildford Barker & Stonehouse • Harrogate Smiths: The Rink • Hedge End Bradbeers • Hinckley Paul Edwards Interiors • Holt Bakers and Larners • Hove Barker & Stonehouse • Hull Barker & Stonehouse • Inverness Gillies • Inverness Sterling Furniture • Inverurie Andersons • Isle of Wight Bayliss & Booth • Kilmarnock Tannahills • Kingsbridge Peter Betteridge • Knaresborough Barker & Stonehouse • Leamington Spa Whartons • Leeds Barker & Stonehouse • Leicester Langtons • Lincoln GH Shaw • Liverpool Taskers - Aintree • Llanidloes Hafren Furnishers • Macclesfield Arighi Bianchi • Malvern Rhubarb Home • Market Harborough Furniture Loft • Milton Keynes Morgan Gilder • Montrose Buicks • Morecambe LPC Furniture • Nelson Pendle Village Mill • Newcastle Barker & Stonehouse • Newton Abbot Prestige Furniture • Northants, Heart of the Shires Texture Interiors • Norwich Jarrolds • Nottingham Barker & Stonehouse • Perth Gillies • Rainham G Lukehurst • Ringwood Furlong Furniture • Salisbury Mylor & Mawes • Sheffield Ponsford • Shrewsbury Alan Ward • Solihull Whartons • Southsea Design House • St Albans Darlings of Chelsea • Stamford Stamford Garden Centre • Stratford-upon-Avon Home of the Sofa • Swansea Arthur Llewellyn Jenkins • Teeside Barker & Stonehouse • Tewkesbury Pavilion Broadway • Tillicoultry Sterling Furniture • Tunbridge Wells Hoopers • Waltham Cross Fishpools • Winchester Design House • Windsor WJ Daniels • Worcester Holloway Home & Garden Furniture • Yeovil The Old Creamery • York Browns


NOTEBOOK Our monthly digest of inside information on people, places and pursuits

Diary – events worth noting ICONIC ARTIST Tate Britain

will host the UK’s largest Van Gogh exhibition for nearly a decade, featuring 45 of his works including Sunflowers 1888 and paintings loaned by galleries in Paris, Moscow and the USA. The Tate’s last Van Gogh show in 1947 was so popular its floors were damaged from over 157,000 people visiting in five weeks, including HM The Queen. 27 March to 11 August; INSPIRATIONAL SHOWCASE London

Design Week at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour promises an inspiring interiors showcase from 600 international brands, including new-season style previews, expert speakers, pop-ups and creative installations. Trade preview 10–12 March, all welcome 13–15 March; GEMS GALORE To mark its 30th birthday,

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair will focus on ‘style diversity’. Staged in Bath’s beautiful Edwardian Pavilion, with some of this year’s dealers having been at the very first fair in 1989, this popular regional event has an international audience. Trade preview 7 March, all welcome 8–10 March;

A Good Read

PURSUITS Early home harvest Filling what is often called ‘the hungry gap’ between autumn apples and the first summer fruits when there is not much else to harvest from the garden, rhubarb is considered a fruit but is actually a vegetable. Tudors used it to cure ailments, and today it is hailed as a superfood for its nutrient-rich stems which are high in antioxidants (never eat the leaves as they are toxic). Famous for its tart taste, rhubarb’s sweetness depends on the stems’ age. Forcing rhubarb (covering the crowns so that light cannot reach them) achieves

an earlier harvest and succulent stems. Harvest as soon as the stalks are sufficiently large – do not wait for them to turn red – and pull and twist rather than cut them to give the longest shoots and stimulate new growth. Too sharp to eat raw, poach it in fruit juice for added sweetness, or bake it in a crumble, adding crushed amaretti biscuits to the topping for extra flavour. Ginger goes particularly well with rhubarb, and the tartness of rhubarb purée or chutney cuts refreshingly through the richness of roast pork.

Design Thread by Kit Kemp (£30, Hardie Grant)

Innovative designer Kit Kemp offers a vibrant antidote to taupe and grey. “I like my interiors to capture the imagination,” she says. “When you leave a room, something should stay with you, making you want to return.” She considers every element of her interiors in detail, treating each as a work of art, and her new book shares the inspiration behind her creative process.  THE ENGLISH HOME 27


Sarah Fortescue

Interior & homewares designer Jewel tones and exotic flora and fauna feature prominently in Sarah Fortecue’s homewares. “I’m passionate about nature, having grown up between Cornwall and South Africa,” she says. “I think my designs resonate the impact a childhood roaming in nature had on me, and the way I see the world in all its vivid and beautiful colour.” Trained at the famous Inchbald School Of Design, her interior design credits include the decor of restored historic house Boconnoc in Cornwall, with which her family has had ties since 1717. Homewares, she says, were a natural progression, and after launching her own business in Hong Kong, she returned to England where her fabric, wallpaper, lampshades and cushions are made. “My design style combines a stunning and subtle harmony between colour, nature and adventure,” she

Colin & Louise Hawkins Founders of Loco Glass

Using traditional methods and tools dating back hundreds of years, Colin and Louise Hawkins hand-craft decorative glass items incorporating natural motifs. They have been working collaboratively since 1998 and their company, Loco Glass, is based at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester. Each piece takes many hours to make and involves several processes carried out by hand at their studio. Colin blows the glass into the shape of a bowl, vase, bottle and so on, and Louise draws the artwork and applies it by hand to each surface. Then several hours of painstaking sand-carving removes a layer of colour to reveal an intricate pattern. Louise graduated in Design at Goldsmiths before studying at the International Glass Centre, whilst Colin trained in Glass at Sunderland University and the Royal College of Art, and they have worked with some of British glass-making’s leading lights. They work on commissions and exhibit their one-off pieces and studio ranges in selected galleries as well as in their studio, where visitors can watch the glass being made.  28 THE ENGLISH HOME

says. “A room should inspire and stimulate one’s mind. My use of colour intends to penetrate on a slightly deeper level as well. The benefits of colour on one’s own well-being can be amazing.”

The home of the


New Roman Blinds Collection Our exciting new collection of Roman Blinds opens up a whole world of style choices. All backed by a service we’re pleased to say is second to none; with the highest quality products expertly made to measure and fitted beautifully. So whatever the design, window or room we will do your house proud.


Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Visionary architect Sir John Soane’s Grade I listed former home, Pitzhanger Manor, will open to the public this month following a three-year £12 million conservation and restoration project. Celebrated for his idiosyncratic take on neoclassical style and his mastery of natural light, Sir John Soane (1753–1837) and his work still influences today’s architects and designers. He bought Pitzhanger Manor in 1800, demolished most of the existing building and redesigned it as his dream country estate in then-rural Ealing, now West London, where he could experiment with new design ideas and showcase his skills as an architect. The Regency manor has now been returned to his original design for the first time in over 175 years, removing architectural additions and extensions and reinstating decorative and structural elements. It features classical details, canopy domed ceilings and inventive use of space and light. Despite being painted over in the 1830s, his decorative paint schemes were meticulously recreated following detailed analysis by specialists Hare & Humphreys. The entrance hall’s dramatic marbling and the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in the Upper Drawing Room have revitalised the interiors. The adjoining gallery, built in the 1930s, has been upgraded and will stage three major exhibitions a year featuring the work of artists, architects and designers – starting with acclaimed sculptor Anish Kapoor (16 March to 18 August).

Cumbria Crystal When Daniel Craig as James Bond pours himself a large whisky in the film Casino Royale, the glass tumbler in his hand is made by Cumbria Crystal. One of Britain’s last remaining producers of handblown, hand-cut, full-lead English crystal, Cumbria Crystal has graced the tables of Royal palaces, British embassy dinners and state banquets worldwide, as well as Lord Grantham’s dining table in Downton Abbey. Lord and Lady Cavendish of Holker Hall in Cumbria founded the business in 1976 after lamenting a lack of quality English crystal. Lady Cavendish designed the Grasmere cut – as used by Bond – which became the brand’s first design and is still its most popular. Today, its 22 highly skilled artisans use only traditional techniques and tools that have barely changed since the Roman era. Lead glass was invented in 1670s London by George Ravenscroft who added lead oxide to the glass-making process to make strong, highly refractive glassware which is softer to cut. At the Cumbria Crystal factory in Ulverston on the edge of the Lake District, glass is blown into shape before artisan cutters use a two-stage process of roughing and smoothing, first on a diamond wheel, then a sandstone one. Acid polishing brings out the brilliance and retains the sharpness of the cuts. As well as selling online and in-store at the likes of Fortnum & Mason, Cumbria Crystal produces bespoke collections for brands such as Linley, and offers ‘experiences’ like glass-blowing.  30 THE ENGLISH HOME


Basildon Park



Saved from demolition and lovingly restored, Basildon Park is a Palladian masterpiece sitting in 400 acres of historic Berkshire parkland and gardens. Designed by architect John Carr of York, it was built using Bath stone between 1776 to 1783 for Francis Sykes who had made his fortune in India. Its opulent interiors were created by architect JB Papworth for James Morrison MP, who bought the mansion in 1838. During the First World War it was used as an Army convalescent home, and the estate was requisitioned in the Second World War to serve a number of purposes including D-Day training and as a prisoner-of-war camp. Whilst vital to the war effort, this resulted in damage. When Lord and Lady Iliffe bought the estate in 1952, it had been stripped of its fittings, no window was intact, graffiti covered the walls and its doors were missing, found in a heap on the boiler room floor. “To say it was derelict is hardly good enough,” Lady Iliffe later wrote. The couple restored the house and estate to their former glory, acquiring for it a collection of fine furnishings and Old Masters. Their labour of love included Lady Iliffe making many of the ornate curtains, pelmets and bedspreads herself. They donated the property to the National Trust in 1978. Today, visitors can marvel at sumptuously restored rooms such as the dramatic Octagon Drawing Room and Crimson Bedroom, ornate plasterwork ceilings, art treasures and historic furniture. The house’s authentic grandeur has appeared on screen in films The Duchess and Pride and Prejudice. The parkland and gardens offer picturesque views and glorious seasonal colour with bluebells in spring. Q


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The kitchen is by The English Rose Kitchen Company and the flooring is Auvergne Grigio from Mandarin Stone. The Trufa hand-blown glass pendants over the island came from a Mexican company called David Pompa. The Josette tiles behind the cooker by Lacanche are from Fired Earth.


TOUCH A run-down Victorian Lutyens-style house in Surrey is transformed into a light-filled family home that embraces both comfort and practicality FEATURE KATHERINE SORRELL PHOTOGRAPHY POLLY ELTES

Cosmo the springer spaniel poses happily in the dining area at the far end of the kitchen. The pendant lights are Derwent Antique Brass Cubes by Heathfield. The large bookcase with cupboards is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Railings.

ABOVE LEFT Built around 1886, the Lutyens-style house was later divided up, first horizontally and then vertically, as it is now. ABOVE RIGHT The cabinetry in the boot room is by The English Rose Kitchen Company and painted in French Gray by Farrow & Ball. LEFT A comfortable seating area outside.


o combine form and function successfully is not necessarily easy – though an interior designer such as Anna Wilson will make it appear so, as can be seen in her carefully restored home. The grade II listed Victorian property in Surrey, once a master’s house for nearby Charterhouse school, is elegant and sophisticated whilst also being a comfortable, welcoming and, above all, practical space for two busy professionals, their two little girls and an energetic springer spaniel. However, it was not always so. When Anna and her husband, Simon, an insurance company director, bought the beautiful, Lutyens-style house in 2014, it was geographically convenient but, in terms of layout and decor, far from their dream home. “We had been living in South West London and, with baby number two on the way, were craving more space,” Anna explains. “I grew up in Cornwall, so although I loved London, a postage-stamp-sized garden just wasn’t going to cut it. We were looking on the commuter line to Waterloo and when this place came up we dashed to see it. The house had been lived in by one couple  THE ENGLISH HOME 37

ABOVE A grand piano graces the far corner of the bright and airy drawing room. Anna found the dramatic chandelier at an antiques and salvage fair. The sofa and armchairs are from Robert Langford and the coffee table is from Flamant. RIGHT The chevron floor in the entrance hall is from Cheville Parquet and the mirror came from a picture framing gallery in Tavistock.

‘Rather than using colour, I used layers of details and textures to give the house warmth and a period feel’ for more than 20 years and was in a little bit of a time warp. It needed reconfiguring and some love and attention, but its high ceilings and huge windows made me see the potential. I came straight home and started sketching, and Simon was convinced.” In the first six months after moving in, Anna and Simon had the boiler repositioned and two new bathrooms added, whilst working with an architect to plan the major changes. “We also removed all the flooring and steamed away every shred of wallpaper – we were left with nothing but bare walls and floorboards,” says Anna. “We slept on a blow-up mattress in the one room we weren’t working on, with our two-year-old in a travel cot and the dog on the floor at the end of the bed.” The next phase of work was to knock down the single-storey kitchen and utility

room, replacing them with a two-storey extension – a kitchen/diner, drawing room (with doors to the garden) and boot room on the ground floor, plus a master bedroom with en suite and dressing room above. They also remodelled the remaining interior floorplan to include a generous hallway with double doors leading to the main reception rooms. For the extension, Anna used the same honeycoloured Bargate stone as is on the original building. “The most important thing for us was that the additions to the house would be in keeping with the rest of it, nothing overly modern or out of kilter with the original,” she explains. “We kept the ceilings high throughout and increased the amount of light flooding in through huge windows on the south-facing side of the house. I didn’t want to deviate from the style of 

ABOVE Anna with her daughters – Isabella, six, and Lexi, four. LEFT A quiet corner has been created in the drawing room. For similar chairs, try Gustavian. The meadow bouquet is by Winters Workshop.


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the house, keeping it classic and elegant, and I insisted ABOVE The master bedroom is furnished on the oversized entrance hall, which the house really with a bespoke sofa deserved. The aim was to achieve a timeless and by Hope End Design comfortable family home.” and Tabitha chests In terms of the interior, Anna was inspired by of drawers from Loaf. browsing through Pinterest and Instagram, as well A panel of Rotherby wallpaper by Zoffany as the work of renowned designers such as Jean-Louis either side of the bed Deniot and Anouska Hempel. She decided on a adds a decorative palette of mostly neutral colours, plus the occasional flourish. The wall navy or soft pastel, and chose natural floorings as lamps are from a backdrop, including striking chevron floorboards Buster + Punch and the curtain in the hall and large stone tiles in the kitchen. tie-back tassels. The look is typically English in its fearless use of LEFT In the serene furnishings from a host of different sources. Some guest bedroom, the were acquired when Anna and Simon lived in headboard is from Singapore, some are bespoke, others salvaged or The White Company, and the patterned antique pieces or clever finds from the high street. cushions are by “I love how old and new can be mixed together to Katerina Tana. create a cohesive style,” says Anna. “Rather than using colour, I used layers of details and textures to give the house warmth and a period feel, from panelling to joinery, chinoiserie to lighting. They all help to add different levels of depth, creating the sophisticated and THE ENGLISH HOME 41

inviting feel of the house.” Anna’s favourite feature is the wall in the snug that is adorned with a delicately striking chinoiserie scene, hand-painted by mural artist Diane Hill. “I saved up from my earnings, as I was determined her stunning work had to feature in our home,” Anna says. “It’s the best money ever spent.” For all its good looks, the house is not fussy or imposing. Anna loves its feeling of space and light, and the fact that there is ample room for grown-up entertainment as well as for her girls to trot around the kitchen island on their hobby horses. She finds it is as easy to lay the table for 10 people as it is to lounge in front of the television in the cosy snug – it all just works. From the decorative wallpaper panels in the master bedroom to the curtain tassels bought from the souk on a holiday to Marrakesh, Anna has put immense thought and effort into every single detail – and in the process turned a tired house into a convivial family home. Q 42 THE ENGLISH HOME

ABOVE A Hetty Hare table lamp from Graham & Green is an eyecatching feature in the girls’ bedroom. RIGHT In the snug, the wood flooring is from Cheville Parquet and the L-shaped sofa from Love Your Home. The chinoiserie was hand-painted by mural artist Diane Hill.



Inheriting a part-Georgian, part-Edwardian house in rural Herefordshire, Sarah and Charlie Ingleby seized the opportunity to revel in tradition, old-fashioned values and a slower pace of life FEATURE & STYLING CLAIR WAYMAN PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH


The oak table and the ash Windsor chairs in the inviting breakfast room were crafted by local Herefordshire firm Robin Clarke Furniture. The painting above the fireplace is Evening River by Emily Gregory-Smith. The dresser is painted in Sky Blue by Edward Bulmer Natural Paint.

ABOVE The walls are in Edward Bulmer Natural Paint’s Sky Blue and the tiles behind the Aga are from County Tiles, Ludlow. The tractor-seat stool is from Ludlow Farm Shop. The painting to the left of the doorway is by Rachel Windham and the one to the right is by Beth Richardson, bought from the GreenStage Gallery in Bishop’s Frome. LEFT At the rear of the house is a large terrace – the perfect spot to sit and take in the views of the surrounding countryside.



erched on a hill, overlooking a tranquil lake and the serene Herefordshire countryside, sits an imposing part-Georgian, partEdwardian country house that has been in the Ingleby family since 1926. On a warm spring day, with the sun glinting on the lake, the scene from its terrace at the back is idyllic. When Sarah and Charles Ingleby learned they had inherited the rambling property in 1990 they were living busy lives in London. “When we found out we were taking over the house we were excited by the prospect, without thinking much about the responsibility. We didn’t have a clue,” Sarah explains. Settling into a traditional way of life and putting down roots really appealed to Sarah as she had moved frequently as a child. “My father was in the army so I’ve really lived all over the place,” she says. “I was born in Germany, then moved every couple of years to destinations such as Hong Kong and Paris. I’d never heard of Herefordshire and couldn’t believe that Charlie and his family had lived in the same place all their lives. It was so different to my own upbringing. Although I was lucky to experience different cultures, I felt very rootless and yearned for that sense of 

Sarah turned a sitting room into an entrance hall to introduce more light and better flow to the house. Charlie and Sarah commissioned the painting from artist Janet Lance Hughes. The sofa, bought from local auctioneer Brightwells, is covered in Brunschwig & Fils fabric. The lamp is from Oka and the Three-Tier Table is from Robert Kime. The walls are painted in Jonquil by Edward Bulmer Natural Paint.

ABOVE Both cushions on the sofa in the sitting room are from Fine Cell Work and the hand-painted fish cushion is from Old Chapel Gallery in Pembridge. The sofa is covered in a Brunschwig & Fils fabric and the armchair is covered in Wicker by Fermoie. RIGHT The lantern above the front door came from Venice and the lampshade to the right is by Rosi de Ruig.

‘Living here, I’ve realised it’s important to get the right scale when choosing art ... you’ve got to be bold with your choices’ consistency. I hoped my children would experience an old-fashioned, traditional upbringing, with strong roots in this county.” At first, as the couple still had full-time jobs in London, they used the house as a weekend bolthole for themselves and their children, Olivia, William and Eleanor. “Having three young children and loading them back into the car on a Sunday night was a killer,” Sarah explains. “So we decided to make Herefordshire our home.” They left London in the late 1990s, although, because of his work, Charlie continued living there during the week. The house started life as a two-up, two-down farmer’s cottage in the eighteenth century, It was extended not long after in the Georgian era using Herefordshire sandstone, then again in the Edwardian era, when

ABOVE The William the solid bay windows and impressive front porch with IV dining chairs have its graceful arched doorway were added to create a seats covered in sense of grandeur. “Fundamentally, it looks like an Alma leather in Edwardian house now,” says Sarah. Charlie grew up in Mauve. The walls a nearby farmhouse as his parents did not inherit the are covered in Altfield Grasscloth in house until his grandparents passed away in their 90s. Textured Mushroom. When they first took possession of the house, LEFT Sarah in the 28 years ago, Sarah and Charlie’s new responsibilities drawing room with started to dawn on them. “Oh my gosh, the house was Border terrier in a terrible state and needed a lot of work,” Sarah Noodle. The explains. “There was a rabbit warren of impractical, ebonised seat is covered in Blenheim dark rooms, some shut off from the rest of the house. by Fleurons d’Hélène. The kitchen, especially, needed serious modernising. We had builders here for a long time.” Heating was installed upstairs, the house was rewired and bathrooms were added. The main aim was to open  THE ENGLISH HOME 49

An Aston Matthews bath in the master en suite is painted in Aquatic by Edward Bulmer Natural Paint. The nickel tripod table is from Nicholas Herbert on Lots Road in Chelsea.

up the house to improve the flow and allow more light to flood in. The formerly small kitchen was enlarged by removing two larders and knocking down walls, which also created a large eating area and revealed a 300-year-old fireplace that had been part of the original dwelling. Sarah’s pride and joy is her garden so one of her main aims was to connect the house to it. She had the vision to turn a sitting room into a luxuriously large, open hall, with French windows opening on to the rear terrace that overlooks the lake. Over the years Sarah has used her innate sense of style to transform this once dark and dated property into a warm family home, filling it with vibrant textiles, dynamic art and a vibrant colour palette. “I think you’ve got to be brave with colour,” she explains. “You can play it safe, but a pop of colour is much more interesting and fun, particularly in our climate, which is often quite grey.” When it comes to decorating, Sarah never starts with a plan. “I’m not sure if I’ve ever really done a moodboard because things change all the time,” she says. “I seem to be able to move furniture from room to room, as most of my fabrics work anywhere. Things move around here quite a lot because I get bored. I think it’s my upbringing. Having moved every two years as a child, I wasn’t used to anything being static.”

One of the most eye-catching aspects of the home is the mix of art lining the walls of every room. With a background in fine art PR, one of Sarah’s passions is collecting art. She is always looking out for new pieces, especially by local artists whose studios she visits during Herefordshire art week – h.Art – every September. “I’m a bit of a sucker for art. If I’ve got any spare cash, I’m definitely tempted to buy another painting, but I’m running out of wall space,” she says. “Living here, I’ve realised it’s important to get the right scale when choosing art. These sorts of houses are chunky, so you’ve got to be bold with your choices to suit the architecture.” She also loves supporting local Herefordshire artisans and commissioned a talented furniture maker – Robin Clarke, who lives in the next village – to make the kitchen table and chairs. One of Sarah’s main priorities when decorating is comfort so she loves lots of seating, much of which has been made for the house by local upholsterers using age-old, traditional methods. She hunts for promising antique pieces on online sites such as Selling Antiques and then has them restored and reupholstered. One of Charlie’s boyhood friends, Edward Bulmer, the interior designer, architectural historian and founder of Edward Bulmer Natural Paint, is a fellow Herefordshire local and Sarah works on interiors projects with him. “I’ve learnt so much from Edward.

ABOVE LEFT In the master bedroom, Sarah has created a space to sit and read by the window with two armchairs from Obelisk Antiques in Warminster and a rug from David Bamford in Presteigne. The dressing table was made by furniture designer Rupert Bevan and the stool came from Shropshire Design. OPPOSITE The India wallpaper by Cole & Son provides a calm backdrop in the master bedroom. The French bed came from Seventh Heaven, also known as Divine Dreams, in Wales.


ABOVE The Victorian four-poster bed in this bedroom came from Brightwells Auctioneers in Leominster and has drapes and a headboard in Odile by Design Archives. Sarah made the cushion on the bed from a table runner she bought in Mexico.

He’s amazingly knowledgeable when it comes to restoring historical buildings,” she says. “I get to see some fascinating historical places. You can’t help but take ideas home. Because we use his paints in our projects, I often fall in love with one and work out a place to feature it in my own home. A soft gentlemen’s pink called Jonquil is a current favourite. I’ve used it in the hall.” Bulmer has influenced Sarah to adapt her taste in curtain treatments, too. “I did have pelmets in my drawing room and main hall that I’ve now replaced with simple curtain poles,” she says. “I think less is definitely more in those two rooms.”


Charlie still spends part of the week working in London and Sarah loves visiting. “I do crave the bright lights sometimes, but I’m very happy to scuttle home to Herefordshire after a few days,” she explains. “It’s just a nice pace of life. I think over the years I’ve grown more aware of how lucky we are to live in a place with such natural beauty. Our children had a fabulous, old fashioned upbringing, just as I’d hoped. They’ve grown up and moved away now, but have great memories and will always be able to return. I love how things haven’t changed very much. It’s still very constant. That’s the thing about tradition – it’s very reassuring.” Q

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Amongst the many paintings in the sitting room are those by Clementine St John Webster, Christabel Forbes, Georgie Donnelly, Mandy Hudson, Alice Hall and Francis Bowyer NEAC PPRWS. The armchair is from antiques shop The Ark Angel in Tetbury.




Reconnecting with vibrant colour during travels abroad inspired a change in artist Alice Boggis-Rolfe’s approach to interior decor FEATURE ARABELLA MEZGER PHOTOGRAPHY JAKE EASTHAM STYLING LOU EASTHAM

‘My new house feels light, open and fresh despite my collection of things and pictures having grown’ ABOVE LEFT The Victorian house’s muted facade belies its colourful interior. ABOVE RIGHT Alice, surrounded by her artwork, in her light and airy studio at the back of the house. OPPOSITE The sitting room walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue and create a good background for the colourful paintings and textiles. Alice found the rug at Sandown Antiques Fair and brought the embroidered cushions back from Kathmandu.


et in South London, artist Alice Boggis-Rolfe’s Victorian home is the ideal space to showcase her work, her eclectic collection of items and her flair for upcycling. Formerly a run-down hairdresser’s shop, with Alice’s imagination, artistic instinct and collection of art and furniture from across the world, it has been transformed into a vibrant home with a studio for her to work in too. An alumnus of Chelsea College of Arts and Heatherley School of Fine Art, Alice has since gone on to win several awards including the Chelsea Art Society William Sloane Medal 2018 and was a finalist in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year competition in 2017. Having previously focussed on painting British landscapes, in 2017 she packed up her paints and set off around the world in search of new subject matter. Upon returning, she was determined to find a home where she could both live and work, and this Victorian terrace was perfect. When painting, Alice works very fast, so it is not surprising that just three months after purchasing the property, she had made it feel very much like


home. In part, this was down to her meticulous planning – whilst the building works were taking place she drew up where all the furniture and art would go. “Once the furniture was in place, I began hanging all my pictures like a jigsaw puzzle,” she says. However, she is quick to point out that things often change. “I’m so indecisive, each painting has about 15 holes behind it.” Alice has several of her peers’ paintings lining the walls, all of which are hung alongside centuries-old prints and drawings gathered from her travels. Nineteenth-century religious paintings from the China-Vietnam border complement an Eleanor Percival illustration in the sitting room and a beautiful seascape Alice rendered on a brown paper bag when she was 14. Originally, Alice had envisaged turning the two small downstairs rooms at the front of the house into her studio, but then she had a revelation. She decided to turn the double-height, light-filled kitchen at the back into her studio and knock through the two smaller rooms to make an open-plan kitchen, dining 

ABOVE Cabinetry by Howdens is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue. The blue-and-white flower pots were found in a French flea market. The ikat blinds are from Etsy and the painting to the left of the window is by Tom Stevenson. RIGHT The dresser is from The Malthouse Collective in Stroud and the chairs are from Maisons du Monde. The table is painted in Farrow & Ball colours.

and sitting room. In what is now the studio, the morning sun comes streaming in and the French windows open onto a sweet garden adorned with hanging baskets and filled with clever planting. The whole space feels fluid and airy, and the open-plan arrangement allows her to chat to guests whilst she is cooking. Alice likes to capture the fleeting effects of light in her landscapes, something which she achieves in her home, too. The sitting room’s character shifts and changes throughout the day as the pale blue walls and the brightly patterned textiles alter with the rising and setting sun. During the day, it is full of energising vibrant colour, yet as evening rolls on, it takes on a more relaxed, subdued air. In the studio, Alice has opened up the old fireplace to put in a wood-burning stove, next to which sits a wicker chair draped in blankets, and it now feels like a place anyone could while away the hours. Being able to paint with double doors opening onto a garden is a luxury she never thought she would have in London. “It’s impossible not to feel uplifted by the light, and the ceilings are high enough to hang rows and rows of pictures,” she says. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, a handsome cupboard sits comfortably beneath a collection of framed drawings that date back to 1791 and illustrate the


funeral procession of Elizabeth I. “They were originally a single scroll. My dad cut it up and had the sections framed,” Alice explains. “It seems a pity, but if he hadn’t it would be sitting in a dusty corner. This way, people get to see it.” Alice’s home is a lesson in clever customisation. The table in the kitchen was found outside an abandoned pub and has been brought back to life using Bone by Farrow & Ball as a base colour and playful rhubarb and mint stripes around the edge of the table top. Cavallini’s Le Jardin wrapping paper from South Kensington Books has been framed to create fun artwork in the kitchen. Even the bedroom wardrobes are ingeniously painted with trompe l’oeuil borders to add depth and height to them. Decorating styles inevitably change over time and every so often a desire springs forth to seek inspiration and pursue something altogether different, as Alice discovered. “My travels injected colour into my work. I’d got stuck in a rut of green landscapes, grey skies, blue hills and muddy Thames river scenes, all of which I still love, but welcomed a change,” she explains. “Suddenly I was faced with the peeling orange walls of a Cuban house, or the deep-red hats of the tribal women from Northern Vietnam.” Alice’s travels also moved her interiors in a new direction. “The sitting room in my previous home 

Alice sees designing a room scheme as similar to composing a painting was painted dark grey and full to the brim with kilim rugs and had trinkets covering every inch of the walls and shelves,” she says. “My new house feels light and open and fresh despite my collection of things and pictures having grown.” Alice sees designing a room scheme as similar to composing a painting. “I create quiet peaceful corners, then some more noisy, clashing areas as a contrast – in both my home and my art,” she says. “Painting is a middle point of all my interests.” The interior of Alice’s home is testament to her will to experiment. From customising the kitchen table and upholstering a headboard with an Indian tablecloth to making sure the walls are painted in colours that best show off her artwork, she has created the perfect backdrop for her life. Her approach to decoration is a lesson in fashioning new from old, pepping up and turning attic finds into statement pieces. Alice gives English country style a sprightly city spin.

ABOVE Farrow & Ball’s Vert de Terre on the walls is echoed in the paintings by Walter Greaves and Katherine Cameron. The headboard is in Colefax and Fowler’s Poppy Tree. LEFT A block-printed Indian tablecloth covers the headboard in the master bedroom. Theodosia cushions and Daun pleated lampshades, all Oka, tie the scheme together.


Room to create ABOVE A kilim from Artique in Tetbury provides warmth underfoot. The mirror from The Chelsea Gardener reflects light from the garden. “It’s always useful to have a mirror in a studio to get a different perspective on paintings,” Alice says.

Landscape artist Alice has created her perfect work space at home with ample storage and shelves for display. “Having a home studio means my paintings are accessible all the time, so I can start working whenever the mood strikes me,” says Alice. “Even on days when I don’t really feel like painting, I end up migrating here. And if I’ve got an hour between a meeting or appointment, I can quickly make up some panels to paint on or prepare canvases.” Alice also enjoys painting en plein air, in this country and abroad, and often comes home with a bundle of studies and finished artworks which she then displays


on the open shelves for easy viewing. “In my previous studio I used to have to pile them on the floor, so I could never really remember where I’d been, or take inspiration for new ones,” she explains. The paint colour for the walls was another crucial element. “Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball is just the right tone to set off my paintings,” Alice says. The studio can also double up as an exhibition space. “A few months ago I turned the whole space into a gallery. I had a week of drinks parties for all my clients so they could come and view my latest work. It was a great success,” she says. Q

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Compact & BIJOU Moving to a smaller house on the family estate in rural Northumberland has been the perfect opportunity for one creative couple to redesign their lives FEATURE & STYLING CLAIR WAYMAN PHOTOGRAPHS BRENT DARBY


In the kitchen, the walls in Farrow & Ball’s delicate Middleton Pink contrast with the anthracite-grey cabinetry and light-grey painted floorboards. The table and chairs in the dining area came from Angel & Boho, who painted them to order. The flowers came from Flowers Unlimited.

ABOVE All the exterior woodwork is painted in Sugar Bag Light by Farrow & Ball. The original property dates to 1790 and was extended in the 1990s by knocking through into what was an attached barn and now also has a conservatory added that serves as another dining area. RIGHT The painted glass-fronted cabinet from Angel & Boho fits perfectly in the pantry and houses an inherited Victorian dinner service.


hanks to the creative flair of its current owners, Amynta and Jamie Warde-Aldam, this charming Grade II listed former steward’s house on a country estate in Northumberland has recently undergone a colourful transformation. Coming from a design background Amynta relished the chance to work with decorative wallpapers, and vibrant paint colours and textiles. “I loved every minute of the process and felt very engaged all the time,” she says. The estate has been in Jamie’s family for over 200 years and in 1993 he and Amynta moved there from London. They installed themselves in the ‘big house’, known as the Hall, where Jamie had grown up and where they brought up their two children, Grace and Digby, who have now both left home. Amynta taught fashion design at Central Saint Martins and when she came to live at the Hall she set up a successful mail-order childrenswear brand, since sold. More recently, she and Jamie have branched out and transformed a nearby barn into a wedding venue. “It’s really taken off and the next logical step was to provide accommodation for wedding parties, so we decided to turn the Hall into a place for guests to stay. We downsized and moved to this much smaller property,” explains Amynta. The sandstone steward’s house was built in 1790 for the head forester of the estate to live in. The original dwelling was a tiny cottage and comprised what are now the kitchen and library and two of the bedrooms upstairs. “When Jamie’s parents lived here in the 1990s, they got planning permission to extend,” Amynta explains. “They knocked through into an adjoining barn, creating a considerably larger footprint, after which the house was rented out for about 20 years, so it was in quite bad condition when we took it over. There was water coming in through the floors, woodworm in the beams, and all the things you discover when you look at a house 


ABOVE Amynta wanted a ballroom/ ballet studio effect in the kitchen with mirrors and plenty of glass on display. The work surfaces are Carrara Granite. For similar wall lights, try Cox & Cox. LEFT One of Amynta’s favourite rooms, the library has vibrant yellow curtains, Geisha in Chinese Yellow by Jean Monro.

ABOVE The French Napoleon III oval mirror is from Jasper Jacks Antiques in Kent. Portraits of Jamie’s relatives line the walls. Rather than running the Healey Monkey wallpaper by Charlotte Gaisford to the ceiling, Amynta added a picture rail. “I think this gives a better proportion to the room and creates the illusion of more space,” she says. RIGHT Much of the Regency furniture in the drawing room came from Amynta’s father’s house in Scotland. A tall plant stand adds to the Regency feel.

‘People often don’t realise but connecting rooms with colour does make a house feel more comfortable’ properly,” Amynta says. “We also had to put in a new heating system and re-tile part of the roof.” All the building work started in January 2018 and was completed in June of that year in readiness for the couple, along with their four Jack Russells – Violet, Borage, Basil and Baby Pignut – to move in. This is when the decorating work began in earnest. Amynta had a clear vision of what she wanted and within three months the decorating was finished. “I started coming up with ideas for the kitchen about a year before we actually moved in,” she says. “I wanted to create a pink/crystal kitchen and gathered inspiring images on Pinterest. Choosing the right pink paint was crucial. I put so many pinks on the wall before I found the right one, which was Middleton Pink by Farrow & Ball.”

A mirrored splashback, a collection of crystal glassware and a huge, floor-standing mirror bounce light around the room to create an uplifting feel. In contrast to the rest of the house, Amynta has purposely kept the kitchen pared back and painted the floorboards a pale grey – a floor treatment she has carried throughout most of the house for continuity. “I’ve had painted floorboards in all my houses. You can clean them easily, you don’t get dust mites and it’s much more airy – I’m a big fan,” she explains. “We’re also lucky we’ve inherited beautiful antique rugs from Jamie’s family that add softness underfoot.” Although they have had to downsize substantially, they have managed to bring some of their favourite pieces with them, most of which are inherited from both Jamie’s and Amynta’s families.

ABOVE The bookcases are painted in an eye-catching combination of Beryl Blue and Old Rose by British Colour Standard. The books are mostly collections relating to local history, forestry or family papers. Amynta has used a beautiful antique Indian pashmina to cover the chaise.


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The Vienna Secessionist bench at the foot of the bed in Jamie’s dressing room belonged to his grandparents. The Vienna Secession was an Austrian art movement founded by, amongst others, Gustav Klimt.

One of the things they could not bring was the wallpaper in the night nursery at the Hall. Jamie had such fond memories of this wallpaper that Amynta asked local Northumberland wallpaper and fabric designer Charlotte Gaisford to re-draw and re-colour the design, creating a fresh new version especially for the drawing room at their new home. After many weeks of work, Gaisford came up with the modified design, known as Healey Monkey, which the couple are thrilled with. It is clear to see that Amynta enjoys colour from the way she has sprinkled a pretty mix of vivid hues throughout the house. “It’s really odd because I dress totally in grey, navy, black or off-white – and have done all my life,” she says. “I only burst into the occasional pink in the summer, but I really like to fling colour around in my houses.” The blue-and-pink bookcase in the library is a perfect example of her exuberant use of colour. “I had a verdigris green and deep red version of this bookcase at the Hall and decided to do a lighter

version here. Before the books went in people thought I was insane because the pink really screamed. The books calm it down a lot,” she explains. To create a sense of flow, Amynta has used colour to link the library to the drawing room. “I isolated some paints from British Colour Standard’s range to use in the library, then matched them to Pantone colours to help create the updated Healey Monkey wallpaper,” she says. “People often don’t realise but connecting rooms with colour does make a house feel more comfortable. I realised afterwards that the colours I’d chosen were also in the drawing room carpet, the rug in the hall, and basically they’re just my colours that I lug around with me wherever I go.” Amynta’s decorating style comes together in a fluid, organic manner. “I work in a totally instinctive way. I think if I started being too formulaic, I would feel blocked,” she says. “I do love a bit of controlled clutter, plus lots of mirrors to bounce light around and add dimension. I’m also obsessed with symmetry and 

TOP The walls in Jamie’s dressing room are in Nettle Grey by British Colour Standard, chosen to go with the dark wood furniture. The photograph is by Garry Fabian Miller. ABOVE A painting of Jamie’s grandmother hangs in the spare bedroom. The Ottoman Dream wallpaper is by Charlotte Gaisford, and Annabel Mills Interiors made the blind using Jean Monro fabric and trim from Troynorth.


ABOVE The carved bed in daughter Grace’s bedroom came from an antiques shop in London many years ago. The wallpaper is Dorothea in Grey by David Skinner.

balance, so I tend to line everything up. I like to start with something I really love, such as a wallpaper or fabric. I think it helps to have some restrictions too.” One of Amynta’s restrictions was making the conscious decision to stick to a few favourite suppliers for her wallpaper, fabric and paint. “I didn’t want to look much further afield because I knew I could make the room schemes come together happily and fast that way,” she explains. “Once all the walls were painted or wallpapered and the main pieces were installed I built the look with vintage textiles and


antiques. This kept the overall feel soft, rather than too harsh or shiny,” she explains. Downsizing from the Hall has proven to be somewhat of a relief for Amynta and Jamie. “It was great for parties and when the children wanted lots of friends to stay, but not so good when you wanted a bit of calm,” she says. The work on their new home was completed at the end of September 2018, since when the couple have happily settled into a simpler routine, leaving the big house and all its demands behind them. Q

Large Traditional Slate Grey Pendants adorn this Classic English Martin Moore Kitchen



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Colour and handmade pieces are what make home for this milliner to Royals, rock stars and the fashion elite


ess Collett is a milliner who designs handmade and couture hats worn by Pippa Middleton, HRH Princess Eugenie and Madonna, amongst many others. Passionate about hats since she was a young child, Jess decided to become a milliner during her last year at school and undertook an apprenticeship with esteemed milliner Edwina Ibbotson, before training at Kensington and Chelsea College. Having taken a break from millinery to have her daughters Eva, now 13 and Scout, 12, she held an exhibition at The Fine Art Society in New Bond Street in 2014 to relaunch her career which now spans 25 years. Where do you live and why? I live in a Victorian house in Harlesden, London, because the centre of my world [and business] is Portobello Road. Harlesden was a place we could buy a family home and it’s a 20-minute cycle along the canal to my studio. It’s very colourful and eclectic in Harlesden – if you wanted to, you could go to the corner shop in your pyjamas. Who do you live with? My husband Rob, our daughters Eva and Scout and our new puppy, Tilly. Rob is a market researcher working in developing countries. Did you decorate your home together? When we bought the house we decorated it ourselves. We painted it and nearly divorced over sanding the floors when the belts on the sander kept snapping.


Who takes the lead on interior design? Rob leaves all of the interiors up to me. I do all the buying and sourcing – such as the amazing wallpaper we’ve just hung in our tiny upstairs loo by Emma J Shipley – but he does the manual work. What is the current project at home? Rob is building a shed in the garden for Eva and Scout to have a den and a space outside the house where they can look at their phones and I won’t feel annoyed! When did you first become interested in style and design? My mother was an upholsterer and a dressmaker, so she was always making things, whether it was dresses or curtains and headboards. Then, when I was seven or eight, I discovered that we had a wardrobe at home which was full of these incredible ballgowns – all by Dior –

which had belonged to my great aunt. There was a candy-pink duchess satin gown, bead-encrusted bodices and a particular scarlet-lace dress with a satin sash. I just thought they were exquisite. From then on, I loved detail, design and well-made things. How else did your childhood influence you becoming a milliner? I had brothers, sisters and cousins and we all lived in the countryside just north of Winchester. Not having much else to do, we used to dress up and create plays. When I put on my first hat, I just felt amazing. In the right headwear I could become any character – a cowboy in a stetson or The Queen in a tiara. My mother bought me my first hat to wear to a party when I was about five and I had a hat party for my seventh birthday. Also, my father loves horse racing, so as a teenager I’d go to Royal Ascot and see the hats there and thought, at first, that I could make hats for my family. Are there elements of your work as a milliner that inform your interiors style? When I think about my millinery, I want every piece to be elegant and modern with good craftsmanship, so the roots lie in tradition and then I add something a bit edgy, modern, fun and colourful. When I’m designing our home, colour is a big thing and, again, I like to mix tradition with modernity and slightly quirky things. In creating a room, I try to make the walls neutral and be bold and colourful with the furnishings. Then I like to fill it with lovely pieces and things that I’ve made. Do you make many pieces for your home? If I see something I really love, like for example, a blind that Matisse had made, where he had cut patterns in the fabric and filled them to look like stained glass windows, I think ‘I can make that’. I tend to make curtains or transform a chair with decoupage. I like using my hands and I’m not afraid to give things a go. I feel that anything I dream up, I can create. I think that’s the beauty of being able to visualise something in your head and then actually create it. It might not turn out how you first imagined, but being able to make something come to life is a very creative and satisfying process. What is your most prized possession? My granny, Cuckoo, loved beautiful things and would save up to buy amazing antique pieces. When I first became a milliner,

I had a studio with a sink in it that I wanted to conceal from customers, so I said to her, “Cuckoo, could I please have your antique screen to hide the sink?”. It became a real feature of the studio and I’ve always kept it. It’s so beautifully handpainted with animals all over it, you can just stare at it and get sucked into a different world. I think the screen is mine now by rights, as I’ve had it so long! Do you display hats in your home? I have these really cool brass hooks that were once shop fittings which line one wall in the hallway. They have everyone’s hats on them. The latest one is a colourful painted coolie which I bought recently on a trip with my mother to the Far East. Some are everyday hats, some are for dressing up, although the hooks also look great without anything hung on them. Where do you keep your hat collection? My collection is in my studio and every day I’ll pick a hat and wear it out. Hats give me confidence, they make me feel a bit invincible and I think you have more fun when you wear one. I’ll wear a hat to visit The Tin Shed on All Saints Road, the lovely cafe opposite my studio, and feel like I’m in the 1940s going out for lunch. If money were no object, what would you add to your home? There is an interior designer called Natalie Tredgett and I love her style. It’s brave bold, eclectic, colourful and full of character. She creates rooms where you feel that you’re walking into a fantastical world, where things can happen. I guess I must be looking for adventure! If money was no object, I’d ask her to design my house. I think it would be a really fun and creative collaboration. Finally, what should no English home be without? An extremely good drinks cabinet. I think it’s very English to want to make people feel welcome in your home and to offer them a drink straight away, be it a cup of tea or a gin and tonic. I found a 1970s globe in a market which opens up to reveal a drinks cabinet inside. The globe is one of those pieces that you can look at and you can be transported to the professor’s office in Indiana Jones. Every piece that I really like can transport me to a fanastical world. Discover Jess’s hats at Studio 4, 18 All Saints Road, London or Q THE ENGLISH HOME 75


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Clarity and confidence are key to combining strong styles in one space. Here, the modern, clean lines of this pared-back kitchen are given a dose of glamour with a feature crystal chandelier, and unexpected country charm through the use of a chintzy botanical fabric used to upholster contemporary stools. By using each element sparingly, but boldly, the result is a beautifully balanced yet surprising scheme. Fabric on stools, Nuts & Berries in Citrus/Blueberry, ÂŁ98 a metre, Jean Monro




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T LEFT This colourfully inviting space by designer Lucy Cunningham is the corner of an openplan kitchen/dining room in an Edwardian property. It features Palampore Blossom wallpaper in pink and red by Soane Britain. BELOW In this design by Salvesen Graham, the bold colour of the red fabric on the sofa offers a wonderful balance to the strong patterns of the cushions and the artwork above.

here is a joyful, mix-and-match exuberance to the work of the latest generation of designers who are putting their stamp on interiors. Combining patterns, shapes and eras, they are pairing old and new, a leopard print against an antique toile, a chinoiserie cabinet against a fuchsia fauteil for an effect that is both contemporary and inviting. This eclecticism has echoes of the past of course, for instance the classical country house with its layers of mismatched prints and antiques amassed over the centuries, or the country-house-loving 1980s, when chintz, fringing and ruffles festooned even the smallest apartments. But like any revival, this one is different. The colours are brighter, the juxtapositions bolder and the furniture leaner than 1980s interpretations. As interior designer Emma Deterding, founder of Kelling Design, says, “Gone are the swags and bows of the past. Now we’re using the shapes and styles of the past but reinterpreting them in a cleaner, more pared-back way.” This new look celebrates individuality over conformity. “People are tired of understated interiors and they’re nostalgic for old-school design, things their parents or grandparents decorated with – valances, chintzes – but done with a wink,” says textile designer Mally Skok, whose fresh, painterly designs are steeped in the Laura Ashley aesthetic of her girlhood. “Social media is playing its part too,” she continues. “We’re exposed to a host of influences which inspires us to cherry pick looks. People no longer want to be told 


Designer Anna Haines used an eighteenthcentury suzani as the focal point for a scheme where historic paint colours and armchairs reupholstered in grain sacking from Susan Deliss add a gently eclectic feel.

ABOVE RIGHT Dutch-born designer Ottoline de Vries’ award-winning textile and fabric designs are based on details drawn from paintings, architecture and art. LEFT Designer Charlotte Gaisford recoloured an original nineteenth-century nursery wallpaper from Healey Hall in Northumberland to create this fresh, new design called Healey Monkey.

how to decorate. They want homes that express their personal tastes.” Juliet O’Carroll, of fabric house Parker and Jules, agrees. “Maximalism is a return to a more English style of decoration: an accumulation of styles which you see in the typical English country house, from Gothick to Victorian. It’s intrinsically comfortable, inviting,” she says. Like many contemporary pattern makers, O’Carroll, an art historian, and her business partner Nancy Parker, a fashion-textile designer, delight in plundering the past for contemporary effect. Key friezes, florals and trellises sing from mixable colourways: “We call it Poison English – adding an acid drop to classic palettes so you see them anew,” says O’Carroll. Whether delving into archives or poring over Old Masters, designing a piece that has a story to tell is important for today’s pattern makers. Dutch-born Ottoline de Vries (noted in The English Home New Year Honours as one of our Rising Stars) is a lawyer-turneddesigner who draws on art history – from nineteenthcentury botanical prints to Andy Warhol’s Pop Art – for her layerable fabrics and wallpapers. “I use small

SOME OF THE NEW NAMES TO KNOW EMMA DETERDING Founder of Kelling Design, Deterding found she had a talent for decorating and design whilst working in the London sales and rental market. She set up her own interior design company in 2006 and has built a reputation for using pattern and colour with confidence and flair. She also designs furniture and accessories – classic pieces with a quirky, modern twist – under KDLoves, and has a fabric collaboration with Bernard Thorp.

KATE GUINNESS Interior designer Kate Guinness’ aesthetic is steeped in the “colour and atmosphere” of the Irish country houses she spent time in as a child growing up outside Dublin. She went on to become a theatre and opera set designer before retraining as an interior designer. “We like our projects to look as if they’ve gradually developed over time, and combine eclectic furniture, fabrics, colour and art in a way that is sensitive and unique,” she says.

ANNA HAINES Drawing on her love of art history, Anna Haines’s interiors are defined by a measured mix of colour, pattern and practicality. An unusual painting or a rare textile will often be the catalyst for a scheme for Haines, who enjoys offsetting antiques with contemporary, bespoke pieces against expressive paint colours. “My ethos is to translate the client’s taste into an elegant, comfortable interior that is sympathetic to the building and its period,” she says.

details, things others might not notice, like the sash on a Ballets Russes costume, and reinvent them for a modern look,” she says. Northumberland-based Charlotte Gaisford also enjoys raiding different eras and styles, be it an Ottoman motif or a nursery wallpaper from a grand nineteenth-century house, reinterpreted in bright colours. For Susanna White, the discovery of a cache of 1930s textile designs by her late grandmother, Joan Evelyn Thompson, was the catalyst for her JET collection. “My grandmother’s work drew on contemporary art – Modigliani, Picasso, the Bloomsbury Group,” she explains. “We’ve reinvented them in appealing new colours.” White attributes today’s eclecticism to the influence of trailblazing designers like Martin Brudnizki or Kit Kemp, designer of the joyously exuberant Firmdale hotels. In the maximalist mix, peonies or foxgloves flourish alongside stripes or geometrics. “If the last decade was about a gentle palette, this one is shaping up to be very different with vibrant pattern and strong colour used to create a new English style,” says Slade-trained textile designer Victoria Sebag-Montefiore, who is inspired by 

RACHEL DAVIS, Rococo Interiors. “I grew up in a large creative family, where our home was filled with a mix of William-Morris-covered sofas, antiques and the tapestries designed by my talented mother who was commissioned to produce work for many notable designers.” Davis has translated these influences into her bold, colourful approach to interiors as well as her own range of furniture, inspired by classical English designs.

LUCY CUNNINGHAM Providing interior design and decoration services to residential and commercial clients in London and the country, Lucy Cunningham creates beautiful and timeless spaces, working closely with clients to deliver a colourful mix of classical and contemporary. She is currently working on a Grade II Listed rectory in the Cotswolds and bringing to life two family homes in West London.



her garden for motifs – clambering clematis and quinces – printed onto pale linens for painterly effect. Nature is also a source of ideas for Speronella Marsh of Hare’s Tail. Block prints have been a staple of English interiors since the eighteenth century, but Marsh’s overscaled designs bring vigour to a traditional technique. A former plantswoman for landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, her prints – oak leaves, sea weed – originate from rural rambles. The hand-carved blocks are stamped onto antique linen sheets on her dining table. For Marsh it was important her business was both “local and sustainable”. Alongside pattern, a more obvious use of embellishment – braiding, ruffles, fringed lampshades – is creeping back in to interiors. There are echoes of the tradition-loving 1980s, but the look feels lively and current not retro. “There’s a resurgence in old-school finishes like bullion or brush fringe – but done with restraint,” says Nicole Graham of Salvesen Graham, a design practice with classical leanings. Textile designer Rebecca Coker’s borders at Pink House are handprinted onto strips of antique linen and the motifs – floral, art nouveau – can be produced in an array of colours. Meanwhile, Susan Deliss drew on her collection of antique textiles to design her borders: “I use them on curtains, chairs and headboards. They give contemporary rooms a reference to the past and traditional rooms a contemporary feel,” she says.

OPPOSITE Mixing motifs, new and old, with bright fashionled colours, textiles design house Parker and Jules’ range of fabric designs sit well with contemporary and antique furniture. RIGHT This colourful dressing room designed by Kate Guinness playfully mixes antique pieces using a youthful colour palette. BELOW Designer Jessica Buckley breathed new life into this Edinburgh apartment with her trademark use of plain fabrics mixed with pattern offsetting the original panelling.

Integrating fabrics in bold patterns creates an interesting look that feels very ‘now’ For decorative lighting, consider Matilda Goad’s lampshades with her hallmark scalloped edges, and in Derbyshire Esther Patterson of Curiousa & Curiousa used sketches of her garden to design her chinoisiere silk lanterns replete with silken fringing. Like any look, the key to success lies in a careful balance. “I like to mix antique furniture with more contemporary pieces. Combined with artwork and rich textures, it gives a really welcoming, lived-in feel to a space,” says interior designer Anna Haines, whose interiors often feature clean-lined antiques offset by decorative antique textiles such as suzanis. For furniture, it might be an understated four-poster bed by Max Rollitt, or a Howard & Sons-inspired sofa by fellow antiques specialist Lorfords. At Rococo, interior designer Rachael Davis’s foray into furniture has produced a charming, shell-backed armchair. For Regency elegance, the buttoned sofas and daybeds at Atelier Ellis would not look out of place against the walls of one of Jane Austen’s assembly rooms, the proportions updated for modern frames. All such pieces will sing against walls painted in a historic paint colour from the likes of Little Greene, 

ABOVE Emma Deterding of Kelling Design used Zoffany wallpaper and fabrics from Tinsmiths and Colefax and Fowler to bring definition to the interior of this nineteenth-century cottage in the Scottish Highlands. RIGHT Garland Linen is one of the JET collection of linens and wallpapers that has been developed by Susanna White of Whiteworks from a recently discovered archive of designs produced by her talented grandmother Joan Evelyn Thomson (JET) in the 1930s and 1940s.



Papers & Paints, or new brand British Colour Standard. With evocative names like Bokhara Green and Kenya Red, Victoria Whitbread and Jackie Piper’s newly-launched company draws on colours first issued in the 1930s in governmental books of colour ‘standards’ aimed at introducing uniformity – from uniforms to battleships – across the Empire. It is reinventing the past that lies at the heart of the new maximalism. When interior designer Kate Guinness was asked to revive a dreary dining room, she mixed old and new, covering heirloom chairs with pink covers, covering walls in a fresh Soane print and adding bright pottery for an effect that is individual and classical. As interior designer and fellow colourist Jessica Buckley, explains: “Layers of colour and pattern have been used by all the great decorators. It’s not a new concept but by integrating fabrics in bold, beautiful patterns it’s possible to create an interesting look that feels very ‘now’.” Q 86 THE ENGLISH HOME

ABOVE Created by interior designer Lucy Cunningham, the clever juxtaposition of smart dark-green cabinetry with classic Willow Pattern wallpaper by Morris & Co gives this boot room a fresh and youthful twist on English style. RIGHT Interior designer Rachel Davis’ latest Rococo chair reflects her love of antique shapes updated with modern fabrics, seen here in Schumacher’s Iconic Leopard in Green.





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GREEN Inspiration and advice for decorating in nature’s favourite colour

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Glorious green


Green is arguably the most natural of colours. It is integral to ‘life’ and a sign of rejuvenation – the unfurling of spring leaves signalling hope and promise; the deep evergreens of conifers showing resilience through the winter months. Its appeal in interiors is its familiarity, since it surrounds us outdoors. It is a way to bring optimism and freshness inside, and in deeper hues it provides a cocooning comfort. As green is a secondary colour, its shades can vary greatly depending on the levels of blue and yellow present. From the zesty limes and bright chartreuse of heavily yellow-based greens and the fresh zingy apple green of perfectly pitched mid-tones that balance both base colours, through to the vibrant emeralds, luscious forest hues and soft sages of bluer colour casts, there are myriad greens to choose from. Some work in harmony, whilst others are better paired with a crisp white or a contrasting accent in orange, pink, blue or even red.





STYLE CHOICES The soothing and pleasing tones of green lend it to being applied in many different ways. Naturally, there is a synergy with botanical patterns and leafy motifs work very well in green hues, from classic designs to larger scale, contemporary and graphic motifs. It can work well for modern geometric papers, too, the relatively easy appeal of green allowing for bolder expression of scale and dramatic pattern. For a country look it can also be softened, used on ginghams, florals, stripes and spots in a gentle, charming fashion. Greens provide a good backdrop for art when used as a block colour on painted walls, too. Darker colours work well in dining rooms, whilst soft sages are restful for a bedroom. Any room of the house can benefit from a green palette – it brings a clean, fresh note to kitchens or can offer a handsome Georgian aesthetic when deliciously dark greens are combined with copper handles and wood counters. Living rooms can be uplifted by a crisp greenand-white scheme, whilst hallways and bootrooms and other rooms that lead outdoors work well in green as it is a way to bring the outdoors in. Even a bathroom in the right tone can use a green hue to set a relaxing atmosphere. Different textures will, of course, give a different impact to the colour. Opulent velvets and silks give it lustre and luxury, whilst cottons and linens offer a more wholesome, natural feel. Over the following pages, interiors stylist Miranda Watchorn will consider three different shades of green, offering inspiration for interesting ways to deploy green within different rooms and the colours and accessories that complement, contrast and harmonise. 

1 Brahmi Leaf wallpaper, £65 a roll, Designers Guild 2 Churchill bed, in Dana by Manuel Canovas, from £7,140, And So To Bed 3 Cushions in a selection from The Spring Garden collection, from £60 a metre, The Design Archives 4 Walls in Card Room Green in Modern Emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball

5 Paisley Midi sofa in Oscar Velvet, Vintage Green, £1,638, Darlings of Chelsea 6 Botanical Botanica Topiary 115/2005 wallpaper, £95 a roll, Cole & Son 7 Stowe kitchen in Fjord Green, from £12,000, Burbidge 8 Metro Deco Penn Station wall tiles, £44.35 a square metre, Claybrook


Apple green Refresh schemes with this uplifting colour whose yellow undertones signify nature, renewed life and vitality


his fresh, zingy shade of green has a lively, exuberant feel when used in the home, and as such can be a good choice for hallways, kitchens, sitting rooms and even children’s playrooms; for bedrooms, a soothing grey-based green, such as sage (see page 94), might be a better choice. Apple green can be quite beautiful in a conservatory as it will give a sense that the room continues beyond the windows by creating a seamless flow of colour from indoors to outdoors. However, whilst it is the perfect hue to create continuity between home and garden, when designing a scheme for outdoor living, careful thought should be given to its use: colours such as reds, pinks and blues will provide a more dynamic contrast against any leafy greenness. Combining apple green with other colours can transform the look of a space, making it feel calm and serene, richly classical or wonderfully glamorous depending on the intensity of the shade chosen and the elements used in combination with it. For instance, the two sitting rooms shown here are quite contrasting despite both featuring apple green as the dominant colour. Each has different colour accents and styles of furniture used within to create rooms that are characterful and distinctive, as explained below.

Harmonious aesthetic This sitting room perfectly illustrates how colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel – in this case green and aqua – can create harmonious schemes. This fresh but formal sitting room has an ocean-inspired aesthetic that feels exciting to the eye, and as both the apple green and the aqua have equal strength, neither dominates nor distracts from the overall scheme. The simplicity of this colour palette has allowed design house Thibaut to layer contrasting patterns across the walls and soft furnishings in a way that, whilst bold, feels controlled, rather than chaotic. They have further provided a sense of order through the symmetrical placement of furniture and accessories. The use of both large-scale prints and those featuring smaller motifs shows that proportion and scale have been carefully considered. White plays a hugely important role in this scheme by grounding it, so that it looks crisp rather than muddled. 92 THE ENGLISH HOME

Energetic pairing To maximise the feeling of light and space, the designers of this sitting room (above right) have chosen to coat the walls in a delicate yellow-based green paint and use a bright white on the ceiling and woodwork. This shade of green is “one of the ones we most associate with nature, thanks to its calmness and tranquillity,” says Dominic Myland, CEO of Mylands. “As well as being hugely versatile, when used in a sitting room these fresh shades create a calming environment where wooden and brass accessories sit perfectly,” he continues. Red and green, when used well, is a pairing that can look quite beautiful. In fact, sitting directly opposite each other on the colour wheel, they are examples of complementary colours which, when used together can create maximum contrast and a sense of energy. In this instance, neither colour is at its full saturation: the red of the kilim has an antiqued, slightly faded quality, whilst the green of the walls is soft and gentle – but the effect is still the same. Pattern could be added in the form of a delicate floral fabric echoing the colours used elsewhere in the room. Whilst sometimes small in scale, decorative accessories can actually have a big impact within a scheme. Here, the glassware in vibrant green on the bookshelves adds a final flourish. 

PAINT SWATCHES OPPOSITE TOP LEFT (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) • Boxington, £43.50 for 2.5l Absolute Matt Emulsion, Little Greene • Mimosa Leaf, £45 for 2.5l Perfect Matt Emulsion, Designers Guild • Cooking Apple Green, £46.50 for 2.5l Estate Emulsion, Farrow & Ball OPPOSITE, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM • Knitted beaded fringe (T706-04), £44 a metre, Osborne & Little • Hand-Painted Bamboo Song Birds Large Round Tea Caddy lamp, £869, Besselink & Jones. • Bernini Plank Strada engineered flooring, £98.34 a square metre, Ted Todd • Savoie Azure rug, from £1,095, Designers Guild • Bastiano Iron lantern, £145, India Jane

• Sitting room: Wallpaper, Mirador, Green, £78 for an 8.23 metre roll; Curtains, Pagoda Garden, Green, £63 a metre; Cushions: Trelawny Damask, Green, £78 a metre; Ogden Embroidery, Turquoise, £66 a metre; Ottoman, Pongo, Turquoise/White, £132 a metre, all Thibaut ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT • Walls, Pea Green, £45 for 2.5 litres Emulsion, Edward Bulmer Natural Paint • Sitting room: Walls, French Green, £46 for 2.5 litres of Marble Matt Emulsion, Mylands • Chrysta mirror in Distressed Gold, £325, Oka • Assorted seven-piece candle holder and vase set with wood tray, £39, Cult Furniture • Kilim, £1,580, from a selection at The Rug Company


Sage green Include this versatile colour to create a gentle mood, whether as a feature or an accent tone


erhaps one of the mellowest shades of green, sage can be warm and earthy, or cool and silvery, and can slip into a range of different styles of room with ease. With its ability to work as a backdrop to a whole spectrum of other colours, it is no wonder that sage is sometimes referred to as a ‘new neutral’. Whilst sage has always been a popular choice for bathrooms, it has recently become one of the most desirable colours in kitchen design: it works well on Shaker-style cabinetry and on the walls of country cottage kitchens alike. “This is, in part, due to its ability to brighten up a space and add a touch of crispness, whilst remaining unassuming and abundantly fresh,” says Amy Conn from Neptune’s Product Design Team. “It can be used successfully as a feature in a room or as a quiet accent,” she adds. For a supremely soothing feel that would befit a bedroom or sitting room, try limiting the palette of colours to sage and off-white, and then add layers of interest with pale, earthy woods, natural stone and textural fabrics, such as wool and velvet. If wishing to create more of a focal point, sage also combines well with a range of other colours, such as dark moss greens, charcoal and spicy golds, ochre and rust.

Calm & inviting As an easy colour to decorate with, sage looks wonderful across all walls in a room, as seen in this sitting room (above right) where it can provide a calming backdrop to other colours. In the alcove, Sanderson’s delicate floral wallpaper, with its silvery sage ground colour, provides a look of refined elegance and yet still manages to make the space feel inviting. To create a nice flow throughout the room, the designer has chosen pieces that are of the same tonal weight so that, rather than feeling jarring to the eye, the palette works harmoniously. Just the right level of contrast is created through the antique blue sideboard and the blue frame of the coffee table, which both echo the detailing on the cushions; as an alternative accent, earthy terracotta or golden yellow could be used. It is worth noting that, instead of using myriad colours to create interest, the sisal rug, stone fireplace, stripped-back wooden finishes and accessories introduce important textural elements that fulfil this role. 94 THE ENGLISH HOME

Contrast & warmth A warm, highly pigmented sage colour has been used in this attic bedroom (above) in a Georgian rectory to create a cosseting feel. Far from being an afterthought, this room has been given a strong identity and would be a beautiful space to use as a guest bedroom. K&H Design, the creator of this scheme, chose to use Farrow & Ball’s French Gray, a colour that it says, “sits as a quiet neutral base, whilst rendering more green in this north-facing room”. It cautions against using this particular shade in small spaces with little or no natural daylight and recommends considering how external elements, such as foliage cover, will affect the perceived hue. In complementary colours to the green – that is, hues that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel – the accessories in gold, amber and russet combine beautifully to create just the right amount of contrast. Whilst this room has a lovely richness about it, the white ceiling and pale carpet both play an important role in adding a layer of light, fresh colour to the space so that it retains a well-balanced feel. This space also illustrates how a quietly understated colour like sage can provide a great backdrop for different fabrics and styles: the contemporary graphite-striped fabric sits well with the opulent velvets and highly decorative embroidered fabrics. Darker, mossy greens could also be introduced to add further depth without taking away the sense of calm. 

PAINT SWATCHES OPPOSITE TOP LEFT (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) • Sage, £38 for 2.5l Matt Emulsion, Neptune • Cedar Grove, £25 for 0.94l Aura Matte, Benjamin Moore • Mellow Sage, £18 for 2.5l Coloured Emulsion, Crown OPPOSITE FROM TOP: • Edinburgh round mirror, 96cm diameter, £685, Neptune • Sitting room wallpaper, Chestnut Tree, £75 a roll; patterned cushions on sofa (from left to right): Chestnut Tree, £59 a metre; Fern Embroidery, £76 a metre, all Sanderson at Style Library • Concrete table lamp, £100, Cox & Cox

• Aulnay sideboard, £1,495, Oka • Jadis octagonal decorative jug, £99, Oka • Wallpaper detail of Chestnut Walk, as above, £75 a roll, Sanderson at Style Library ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT • Bedroom designed by K&H Design • Anvard chest of drawers in Nordic Grey, £595, Oka • Sage wool carpet, £117 a square metre (4m wide), Crucial Trading • Botanical Study prints, £90 for a set of two, Wesley Barrell • Slipper chair UCH07 in Pine Velvet, £3,984, Porta Romana • Gathered Bedwyn lampshade in Green Marden Cotton, 4.5-inch base diameter, £80, Fermoie


Forest green Achieve striking results by introducing this rich colour to add depth and drama to the home


Impactful & bold By painting this bathroom (above left) in a dark forest green, Paint & Paper Library has created a dynamic contrast between this space and the adjoining room. The bathroom feels impactful and bold, and the moody colour on the walls certainly commands attention. Note how the designer has chosen to paint the skirting board in the same shade of green, rather than using white which would create a harsh contrast; when a single colour is used from the floor up to the ceiling, there is no interruption to what the eye takes in and the room feels loftier. As a contrast to this rich colour, the pale Carrara marble floor adds lightness and a wonderful feel of luxury which befits this style of room. Whilst beautiful with painted walls, a further layer of interest could be created through the use of a decorative wallpaper along a section of wall. Nina Campbell’s Jacobean-style Coromandel wallpaper would work particularly well as it echoes the paint colour whilst introducing some soft shades of pale green and various accents of warm neutrals and subtle metallics. As an alternative look, which might appeal to those wary of using strong colour throughout, the bathroom by Drummonds (left) shows how dark green marble can be used as an accent colour in an otherwise light space.


ith its roots in nature, forest green derives its name from the colour seen in wooded areas sheltered by a canopy of thick leaves. As with any dark colour, choosing dark green often reaps rewards for the adventurous decorator: this moody hue can imbue a room with a sense of drama and sophistication, which pale colours cannot easily do. Edward Bulmer of Edward Bulmer Paint recommends using such a colour in rooms that have little daylight. “You can make up for the lack of natural daylight by creating a sense of drama and warmth,” he says. Often debated is whether dark colours should be confined to large rooms, however, darker colours can bring a strong sense of character to a smaller space. “In a narrow passage, a dark colour, strong lighting and interesting pictures might add impact to an otherwise dull area,” Bulmer says. We need only to look at art galleries, where rich, dark walls are frequently used to provide the perfect backdrop for art, to see how decorative pieces can look striking against deep colours; in the home, these moody hues provide the perfect opportunity to use art, lighting and mirrors in an interesting and impactful way.

Intimacy & drama When planning the design and decoration of a formal dining or sitting room, a rich colour such as forest green will bring intimacy and drama to a space that may not be used every day and often in the evening, when natural light is limited. Take this dining room (left), where the dark green walls provide an elegant and slightly regal feel – it will come alive with the warm glow of gentle electric lighting and candlelight. As is the case with all dark-coloured rooms, creating contrasting areas is important to keep the overall look feeling lively and well balanced, rather than gloomy and dull. Here, the black and white Victorian flooring does just this, and the addition of the patterned curtain fabric and white tableware, brings further contrast. Due to their ability to increase the flow of light in a space, mirrors are a useful decorating tool and can be important additions to rooms painted in darker colours – this decorative antique mirror (below) would look wonderful within this scheme. When it comes to introducing other colours, choose those from the warm side of the spectrum, such as amber and rust, which will provide a high level of contrast and look stunning alongside the dark green. Linen, sumptuous velvets and rich woods complete the look nicely. Those preferring to use colour more conservatively should try pairing warm-neutral walls with a deep forest green velvet sofa and cushions in rust or golden tones. 

PAINT SWATCHES OPPOSITE TOP LEFT (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) • Dark Brunswick Green, £43.50 for 2.5l Absolute Matt Emulsion, Little Greene • Studio Green, £46.50 for 2.5l Estate Emulsion, Farrow & Ball • Forest Green, £25 for 0.94l Aura Matte, Benjamin Moore OPPOSITE, FROM TOP LEFT TO BOTTOM • Greenwich pendant light, £198, Jim Lawrence • Soap dispenser in Grey, £17, Bloomingville at Hurn & Hurn • Forest Green Bathroom: Walls, Hunter Dunn, £66.50 for 2.5l Architects’ Eggshell; door and door frame, Stone II, £70 for 2.5l Oil Eggshell; wall in adjoining room, Stone IV, £48.50 for 2.5l Pure Flat Emulsion, all Paint & Paper Library • Forest Green Egyptian Cotton towels, from £2 for a facecloth, John Lewis • Coromandel wallpaper NCW4270-06, £104 a roll, Nina Campbell at Osborne & Little

• Pale Green Bathroom: The Baby Ness Undermounted cast-iron bath, from £3,390; The Double Lowther vanity basin, from £5,950, both Drummonds. Architecture & interior design of the bathroom by Icon Architects LEFT, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM • Walls, Brunswick Green Deep, £45 for 2.5l Emulsion, Edward Bulmer Natural Paint • Washakie Chair in Stonewashed Eau de Nil linen, £295, Oka • Full Field linen napkin handpainted in Avocado Green, £30 each, Summerill & Bishop • Sofa, Montreal Velvet, Forest/ Teal, £120 a metre; cushions (from left to right): Bellflower Wheat, £69 a metre; Montreal Forest/Teal, £120 a metre; Dearle Russet, £130 a metre, all Morris & Co at Style Library • Wallpaper, Orchard in Bayleaf/ Rose, £65 a metre, Morris & Co at Style Library • Large Empire gilt and bevelled mirror, £1,165, Besselink & Jones


on green JOANNA WOOD

The world-renowned interior designer enthuses about one of her favourite colours and provides advice on using it successfully

I absolutely love green. My whole house in Gloucestershire is green. It is such an incredibly fresh colour that cuts so well with other colours for contrast. I particularly like it with whites and ivory, but it works very well with greys, creams, beiges and aqua, even through to mustard. You can pair it with red for a more classic British look or make it more contemporary with fresher tones. It’s so versatile. A CASE IN POINT In this bedroom (above right), the walls are in one of my absolute favourite colours, a special blend (made on request) by Paint & Paper Library called Quench the Gloom. It’s a perfect aqua – not

green, but it’s not blue. It’s so pretty. I chose a green-based scheme to go with it as I wanted something that was neither feminine nor masculine, that everybody would feel comfortable in as it’s a guest room. I’ve used a silk plaid in green and ivory from Colefax and Fowler, and one of Colefax’s classic chintz prints, Bowood, which I have always loved. It has a touch of aqua blue that I’ve highlighted with a touch of blue paint on the antique American beds.” Q


PERFECT PARTNERS • I would always choose a crisp white or ivory to use for woodwork with green for that sharp contrast. • Green always looks fabulous in any daylight and obviously works well with any greenery – foliage or flowers. FAVOURITE SHADES • Grass green is very ‘now’. I think it makes a lovely bright accent colour. If you look on the catwalks, a lot of accessories are grass green – an example of fashion following us [interiors].


• Seine from Paint & Paper Library is a lovely very pale soft green, and Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green is great on kitchen cabinets. PALETTE COMBINATIONS • I never take any notice of the adage ‘blue and green should never be seen’. I think they look fantastic together. • I’m a great colour girl so wouldn’t be too nervous of combining any colour with green. However, I would be careful with purple as it can end up looking quite down. IN A KITCHEN • My kitchen in the country is green and I love it. Green works very well in kitchens and dining rooms as you can find lots of china and accessories that work well with it. I’ve got a darker green kitchen and you cut it with white and it looks clean and very crisp.


THE RIGHT BASE • I find that green works better if it doesn’t have too much yellow undertone. I usually select a grey-blue base rather than a mustard tone. It’s easier to co-ordinate, it is quieter and works with British light.



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hough the size, shape and requirements of any room may vary greatly in accordance with its occupants’ needs, achieving the perfect balance of style and practicality in a kitchen requires careful consideration, especially when paying attention to a particular period or property style. Working with a bespoke cabinetmaker or kitchen specialist ensures a unique, characterful result with an infinitely more innovative approach than that of trying to configure standardised cabinets to fit the space and ‘fill’ around it. Interior designers naturally consider all elements in equal measure, ensuring that every component is the perfect choice and has been thoroughly considered. Here, experts divulge some secrets to achieving the perfect kitchen.

‘Zoning is important, no matter the size of the kitchen’ BRUCE HODGSON Founder, Artichoke

OPPOSITE The table top is in Carrara marble and planked sycamore, kept in place using wrought-iron tie bars. The base is Scottish white elm and was aged by a specialist at Artichoke. ABOVE Lacquers have been added to the paint to create an aged patina. The paints were mixed by Artichoke specifically for

this project: the surface on the plate rack is Italian Basalt, and the surfaces on the dressers are in Italian Sandstone. ABOVE RIGHT The smart tin-glazed tiles on the splashback are made by Victorian Ceramics and held in place with eyecatching bronze pins instead of grout. Kitchens by Artichoke start from £100,000

“We used Lanhydrock House [a National Trust property in Cornwall] as the inspiration for this kitchen’s design because, in our view, it is the finest example in the country of a Victorian back-of-house design. Our client’s only stipulation was that any furniture should appear as part of the building’s fabric, and not stand against walls. We answered this by building out the wall into which the range (above) is recessed. With this new wall in place, we could create pockets for all the cupboards and the cooker. The frame which surrounds the range oven was cast in a foundry in iron and has a beautiful industrial quality to it. We also had the handles faithfully reproduced using the same lost-wax casting method as the originals in Lanhydrock House. “The plate rack (opposite page) is a common feature of English country kitchens, and we designed this grand piece to act as backdrop. The glazed dressers (left) are for storage of dry larder goods and glassware; handmade glass was used on both. The door to the left of the range is designed to look like a cupboard and drawers, and houses a full-size fridge. A larder cabinet to the right (not shown) is identical to create a pleasing symmetry. Every piece features its own unique detail and finishes, and this collection of individual yet complementary pieces has been cleverly sited to provide balance to the space without overcrowding it.”


PATRICK GUNNING Owner and head designer, Barnes of Ashburton “The L-shape layout of this kitchen creates a practical, inviting feel and, in contrast to the carpet in the rest of the room, the timber floor denotes the kitchen ‘zone’. The informal style of the traditional table and chairs creates an inviting social area. In terms of design, exposed roof trusses set the tone, and sparing use of timber, such as the traditional wooden plate racks and wooden knobs, provides a good nod to the beams without being overkill. Details such as the country motifs on the tiles, and classic elements, such as the mantel-style cooker hood, give a clean country feel, and the honed granite gives the impression of Cornish slate. “An understated, economical use of the available space has been used to great effect to achieve equilibrium in a busy room. The client wished to retain a low window, which meant dropping the work surface to the same level as the window (right). This created a window seat that doubles as an additional ‘put down area’ between the sink and dishwasher. Ultimately, there would have been more work surface space if the surface had been kept level, but it would have meant running across the window. So this is a case of form over function that actually worked out well.” RIGHT The cabinets have deliberately been designed with simple, clean lines and a light paint finish “to reflect the available natural light.” The cabinets are painted in Farrow & Ball’s White Tie. BELOW “Ensure a small space works well by designing the kitchen to work with the room,” advises Gunning. Barnes of Ashburton kitchens start from £25,000

PETER HUMPHREY Founder and design director, Humphrey Munson “What really stands out about this kitchen is the false chimney, which acts as a focal point to the space, along with the island. A bespoke dark stain on the island and cabinetry interiors brings a sense of luxury, heritage and warmth as it works so well with the original features of this Tudor manor. “The scale of the traditional English cabinetry is proportional to the huge space and gives plenty of room for food preparation, cooking and dining. The glazed cupboards have a dual purpose – along with providing storage, each box has been designed with lighting inside to softly light the room in the evenings. This, combined with lighting from the false chimney, gives the space a warm and calm feel for the family to relax and entertain. “Zoning is important no matter the size of the kitchen and this island, for example, serves as the main food preparation space. Small details like a Quooker hot tap to quickly pop pasta on the hob for a super-fast weekday dinner are essential. What is really special about this kitchen are all the things you don’t see that are vital to the functionality. For example, there is a countertop cupboard concealing a toaster and microwave next to the false chimney. This is an ideal space for children and guests to prepare breakfast and snacks for themselves, without losing precious work surface space.”

ABOVE The rich colour of the island is a bespoke Humphrey Munson stain called Portobello Oak. The cabinetry to the right of the cooker houses a Sub-Zero fridge. Supporting pillars have had cabinetry built around them. The one shown here cleverly houses a coffee machine. RIGHT The walk-in pantry behind the kitchen is accessed via either end through glazed doors. With artisan shelves, this is the main storage area for dry goods. Humphrey Munson kitchens start from £40,000


LEFT Additional storage is provided in the form of a larder cupboard with an integrated spice rack, making the most of all the available space in the kitchen. BELOW Middleton Bespoke works with Mylands Paint and encourages clients to be braver and choose stronger colours. The solid antique-brass handles balance the country colours with a rich depth. OPPOSITE This room was designed to be a sociable space. “The brief was to create a welcoming family kitchen. There is plenty of space to prep on the island and around the key areas of the sink, larder and Aga,” says Middleton. This kitchen is from the Middleton Bespoke Elemental Range and starts from £20,000

JASPER MIDDLETON Owner, designer and cabinetmaker, Middleton Bespoke “The beautiful white Aga is the focal point for this kitchen and the relaxed symmetry, created either side with the counter-mounted cupboards and open shelving, draws the eye to this area and creates a more informal, country mood. The open shelving also allows the owner to inject some personality and change things from season to season – bringing a gentler feel to the kitchen. “The details reflect the heritage of this beautiful Sussex country cottage. Detailing such as natural materials and hand-carved brackets harness a more countrified mood and help to ‘seat’ the cabinetry within the kitchen as though it has always been there. The heritage green on the island adds to the calm and elegant feel of this period home. “The mix of materials creates a soft, natural feel within the kitchen. On the island, where the owner likes to prep and bake, the oak surface is beautifully tactile and adds visual warmth. The more practical stone counter tops are situated around the cooker and the sink. The crown-cut oak veneers on the open shelving areas bring a feeling of luxury and quality to the kitchen, and help link all the wood textures together. The hand-crafted brackets on the island also add to the understated luxury of this kitchen and the heritage of the property.”


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LUKE MCHARDY Owner, designer and cabinetmaker, Luke McHardy & Co “In my opinion, the freestanding pantry (below right) is the standout feature of this kitchen. As a traditionalist, I always get excited when a client produces a picture of ornate furniture for us to replicate. Without the tall units, the kitchen may have become lost amongst the vast wall space. The shelves help to soften the fridge-freezer unit (to the left of the Aga) by connecting it to the opposite wall in a way that is not too overpowering. As the ceiling was high above the splashback, we needed to ensure that the balance was correct: a lower splashback would have looked too squashed and anything higher would have looked too long. “To achieve a seamless mix of classic and contemporary, this kitchen has a number of different textures and finishes. The honed granite work surfaces have made the semi-gloss finish of the island fronts stand out and become the focal point of the kitchen. The matt finish of the floorboards helps emphasise the texture of the wood grain, which flows into the dark but softened matt finish of the pantry unit. We barely sanded the reclaimed boards used for the shelves to maintain the texture of the wood.”

RIGHT A showstopping centrepiece, the island is painted with a specialist antique-gold metal paint from Anka Metal Coatings. BELOW RIGHT The brief was to create a kitchen that combined contemporary and classic features. Blakeney Oak floorboards from Broadleaf were used for the wall units. The freestanding pantry unit is painted in Farrow & Ball Railings. BELOW Sourced from a reclamation yard, the dark brackets supporting the open shelving tie in with other elements in the kitchen.




Interior designer and owner of Tor Interiors “It isn’t vital to have the same design and colour palette in the kitchen as the rest of the house, but what is important is that the style complements the architectural design. This room is in a variety of stone hues to create different tones of the same colour in different light throughout the room. We used a wonderful Robert Allen fabric in raspberry for the window dressings, which act as an important feature and focal point for the room. The fabrics used on the bar stools are individual yet complementary. There is no rule, but I prefer to work with linen in a country kitchen. However, this does not mean it shouldn’t be vibrant, modern and luxurious. “The client wanted a large kitchen that allowed lots of workspace for preparing food and cooking, but also space for entertaining. The composite work surfaces and the stone flooring are smart as well as being ideal for rigorous daily use. “With its beautiful glazed roof, doors and windows framed by the statement curtains and display cupboards for glassware, the dining area provides a light airy space that feels separate from the kitchen by day and provides a cosy contemporary space at night. There is lighting in the glazed units with pre-set lighting schemes for various moods. It is the simple, small details, like the red cords from which the pendant lights hang, that bring the room together.” Q


ABOVE A soft neutral backdrop of Paint & Paper Library’s Stone II for the walls and Stone IV for the cabinetry is juxtaposed by the lively curtain and blind fabric in Ikat Fret in Raspberry by Robert Allen. RIGHT As the client is a keen dinner party host, the dining area needed to seat 10 comfortably. The raspberry-coloured Windsor chair, combines a traditional country design with the vibrancy of a modern colourway.





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FASHION ered ed ment

hen planning a new kitchen, along with carefully selecting the style, materials and finish, the most essential element to take time over is the configuration of storage. By choosing the most efficient, practical solutions for everything from cookware and crockery to food, baking equipment and utensils, a layout can be designed to maximise flow and ergonomic usage. “For most people the kitchen is the hub of the home and serves as a combined sitting room, dining room, office and food factory,” says Merlin Wright, design director at Plain English “We also still have projects with the more traditional separation of cooking and dining functions or with dedicated larders and sculleries.”


The ideal first step to creating the perfect bespoke kitchen is therefore to consider how the space is used and which functions need to be incorporated. “We spend a lot of time with our clients to work out their needs, which are sometimes different from what they think they want,” adds Wright. “An enthusiastic chef may have very different requirements to a client who is single or has a young family, so the main thing is to assess how they cook and how much they need to store. The serious cook might want everything to hand and on shelves, whereas another client might want a clear space with everything neatly behind doors. It is always a question of balance. An efficient workflow will be more important for some than others, who may be more concerned with aesthetics over practicality.”

PLAN FOR PERFECTION It may at first seem overwhelming but by taking the time to consider all storage needs, the result will be an efficient, ergonomic kitchen that is a joy to use each and every day. Many designers advise taking a good look at the current layout and set-up and making a list of what does and does not work. Think about the way the space is currently used and what changes could make life simpler. Even something as simple as having food storage nearer the cooker and the crockery cupboard closer to the dishwasher can change the way the kitchen is used, for the better.

CREATING A MULTIFUNCTIONAL SPACE Today’s kitchens serve a multitude of activities, from eating and entertaining to working from home or relaxing after a hard day. This is especially true in open-plan configurations. Many designers look at creating specific areas or zones to serve a separate purpose, especially in larger spaces, and this is where bespoke storage really comes into its own. As well as the typical cabinets, drawers and cupboards, many kitchens now incorporate discreet charging stations inside drawers for tablets and mobile phones. This is handy for keeping cables and leads 

ABOVE A large island can offer plenty of storage for kitchen essentials, keeping them close to hand. Spitalfields kitchen, from £45,000, Plain English OPPOSITE Make the most of a high ceiling with tall cupboards. A sliding ladder in a distressed finish matches the timber flooring and provides access to higher storage such as these recessed alcoves in varying shapes. Kitchen from £30,000, Mowlem & Co


tidied away, and as more and more of us are using tablets for recipes and step-by-step guides rather than cookery books, it makes sense to keep a tablet or similar close by. Pop-up plug sockets and spice racks and integrated knife drawers are useful. Customised drawer inserts can be shaped specifically for utensils and gadgets such as corkscrews, bottle openers, bar tools, scissors and tin openers. “Keen bakers can conceal their heavy-duty KitchenAid mixer behind a countertop cupboard,” says Louisa Eggleston, creative director at Humphrey Munson, “with equipment below and ingredients on the shelving above, meaning everything they need is in one area. Kitchens should be easy, intuitive and have plenty of space for the people using them, whether prepping food, making coffee or just charging their phone.” BUILT-IN SOLUTIONS For a seamless finish and an uncluttered look, builtin storage is the best option. Consider combining different-sized compartments for larger items as well as those small, easily misplaced pieces. “Pan drawers with a large weight -carrying capacity are essential in the cooking zone,” says Andy Stirling, creative and design director at The Shaker Kitchen Company. “For efficiency it is worth considering the storage for frequently used utensils such as wooden spoons and tongs, as well as the most-used cooking and seasoning pantry essentials such as oils, salt and pepper.” Jane Stewart, design director at Mowlem & Co, believes it is all about using such innovations as vacuum drawers. These are used to extract oxygen and air from vacuum sealing bags, providing ideal conditions for long-term food storage. “This means food lasts longer,” she explains, “and fridge space is freed up [as food is in neat packages]. Using steel-mesh drawers for less perishable fruit and vegetables also frees up fridge space.” Bespoke wine cellars or wine-storage rooms are also on the increase, as homeowners are wise to the idea of investing in the correct temperature and humidity control for a prized collection. “The way wine is stored has changed in recent years,” explains Alex Beaugeard, director at Lanserring. “There was a time when the aspiration was a dank cellar to put wine down in as an investment for the future. However, habits appear to have changed. The wine room or cocktail bar is  112 THE ENGLISH HOME

Here, drawers and cupboards are combined with open oak shelving for books and displaying items. Cley Kitchen, from £30,000 Naked Kitchens

LEFT Create tailored storage to suit personal requirements, such as this knife drawer made of oak. Classic Bespoke kitchen, from £25,000, Middleton Bespoke FAR LEFT This large freestanding cupboard is perfect for concealing small appliances such as a built-in coffee machine and toaster. The Architectural kitchen, from £35,000, Martin Moore RIGHT This boldly painted island includes wine storage, openslatted wooden shelving and drawers with nickel cup handles. Kitchen from £10,000, The Shaker Kitchen Company

An existing cellar is not required to install this spiral underground wine store as the company digs the hole. Planning permission is not needed unless the property is a listed building. Original Spiral Cellar, from £37,000, Spiral Cellars

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swiftly becoming a centrepiece to a main reception room. Often concealed cleverly or lit to create drama and anticipation, these wine rooms are a contemporary way to prevent modern interiors from over-formality, without compromising their interest or lustre.” Additional built-in storage options include having a carpenter or cabinetmaker build bespoke bookshelves over and around doorways, creating window seats with storage pull-outs below, concealing recycling units within base cabinets or islands and installing tambour shutters at the rear of worktops to hide small appliances from view. FREESTANDING FURNITURE Kitchen islands are a wonderful way of introducing multiple storage solutions into any scheme. The options are seemingly endless – deep or slimline drawers for pots, pans and baking trays, vertical pull-outs for serving trays and chopping boards, open slatted shelving for easy access to different-sized mixing bowls, metal drawers for fruit and vegetables, dedicated spice and knife drawers and even built-in appliances such as dishwashers, fridge drawers, wine cabinets and hobs with downdraft extractors.

ABOVE This kitchen features curved drawers and dresser-style cabinetry with glazed and solid doors. Portobello bespoke kitchen, from £50,000, Mark Wilkinson LEFT This wine room is in a zoned-off area and has room for 86 bottles in three independent temperature zones. From £19,000 at McCarron & Co RIGHT Keep dried food and ingredients close at hand with a double-fronted larder cupboard. Summerville kitchen, from £40,000, Tom Howley



Incorporating a tall oven-housing unit, rather than having ovens under the counters, provides useful storage space for cake and roasting tins. Kitchen from £7,000, The White Kitchen Company

Larder cupboards are another effective modular storage solution and appear especially elegant in a classic kitchen scheme. “A well-stocked larder will have deep internal drawers and adjustable shelving, which offers a huge amount of functional storage,” says Stirling. “Internal door-mounted spice racks are also ideal for vinegars, spices, salts and sweeteners.” Opt for a glazed rather than solid front if the idea of having everything on show appeals. Breakfast cupboards are another highly sought-after addition with double doors that open up to reveal small appliances such as a toaster, kettle, coffee machine and juicer alongside all the usual breakfast condiments and necessities. After use, everything can quickly and easily be concealed from view, leaving the room feeling ordered and organised once again as the day begins. Tall floor-to-ceiling cabinets are ideal for creating maximum storage. “In general I advise clients to only fit these if they have high ceilings,” explains Tom Howley, creative design director at his eponymous firm. “In smaller spaces, waist-height pull-out drawers are the best option. These give access to copious work surface space that floor-to-ceiling cabinetry cannot provide in the absence of an island counter and several low-lying storage units. This will open up the space at head height to give the impression of a more spacious kitchen.” Q 116 THE ENGLISH HOME

ABOVE This bespoke window seat has drawers that provide additional storage for occasional items whilst shelves above create a handy spot for books. Kitchen from £40,000, Humphrey Munson RIGHT A Le Mans storage fitting by Kesseböhmer makes the most of the space in a corner unit. Le Mans corner unit, from £290, Kesseböhmer; Shaker kitchen, from £25,000 at 1909 Kitchens BELOW This kitchen drawer was created for a foraging chef. Tradescant kitchen by Arteim at Lanserring. Bespoke storage solutions from £3,500 and kitchens from £50,000



T: 01548 830069 F: 01548 830912 We purchase Agas for restoration THE ENGLISH HOME 117

Look to continuity of style and materials when opting for open-plan layouts. Bespoke orangery from ÂŁ40,000, Vale Garden Houses

A ROO for


Clever dressing of conservatories and garden rooms allows for year-round enjoyment of these most evocative of spaces, whatever the weather



ABOVE For those worried about fabrics fading, choose paler colours and prints and consider versatile loose covers that can easily be changed if required. Long Island dining chair in Emma Sage, £340, and Winsford china, from £9.80 for two cups, all Neptune LEFT Stone flooring is an appealing and robust option in a conservatory. Dijon tumbled limestone, from £45.50 a square metre (100mm x 200mm), Floors of Stone. Bespoke bench seating, deVOL


othing compares to a conservatory or garden room when providing a bright and relaxing place in which to spend time. And although some may still wish to use such spaces for their intended function as a traditional plant house, for the majority a well-planned and -executed glazed extension will be regarded as a means to extend the home. Today’s structures are therefore required to fulfil many functions, and whilst traditionally they remain separated from the house by a door, current thinking favours a more integrated approach, culminating in flexible, open-plan spaces, ideal for creating today’s multi-purpose rooms. However, ensuring a comfortable and viable environment within any glazed structure will require careful consideration of the impact of increased exposure to the elements. FURNISHING FACTORS When it comes to furnishing these rooms, choices should inevitably be based on how the area is to be used, as well as how it looks. A relaxed family room or second living space, for example, will require plenty of seating in shapes that will not overcrowd the space. Sofas and chairs in paler, neutral colours or prints should prove slower to show fading, making light and breezy cottons or linens a popular choice here. Jane Hindmarch, marketing manager at Vale Garden Houses, recommends “natural fabrics blended with polyester, nylon and acrylic, as they are generally less likely to fade”. Investing in blinds with a highperforming reflective coating can further help protect against damaging rays.

For a more traditional conservatory feel, Diana Holloway, managing director of Holloways, champions a relaxed mix of “natural materials, such as rattan, woven willow and abaca, or Lloyd Loom furniture, as they can withstand the higher levels of heat and humidity found in a sunny room, so are the perfect materials for these places”. Elsewhere, furniture fashioned from stone, metal or glass brings elegance to proceedings and is will not be sensitive to sunlight. Do not dismiss more rustic teak for table and chairs, as this robust garden favourite can also shrug off changes in temperatures, although it is worth bearing in mind that as a rule, most “wooden furniture can fade – walnut being a good example, or even get a suntan, as in the case of cherry or maple,” cautions Hindmarch, who suggests “periodically moving pieces around, along with the position of ornaments and lights, or selecting painted pieces that alleviate this problem”. HARMONIOUS DETAIL To ensure an inviting environment and cohesive flow between old and new, choose fixtures and fittings that blend sympathetically with adjoining rooms. Remember to consider the garden, as glazed structures offer a link to the outside world and this will also determine the practical and aesthetic features. Decorating with heritage hues, by the likes of Little Greene and Farrow & Ball, offers a natural progression from the garden to the interior. However, do be sure to test paints prior to application, as strong sunlight tends to wash out colour. Nelly Hall, brand director at M&L Paints, recommends “painting 

FAR LEFT A classic and convivial furniture layout accentuates the formal lines of this traditional orangery whilst allowing for easy access and flow around the space. Bespoke orangery, from £48,000, Malbrook ABOVE This pared-back lean-to conservatory has an almost Mediterranean feel, reflected in the use of simple countrystyle furniture. Made-to-order conservatory, £POA, Hartley Botanic MIDDLE Introduce quality outdoor garden pieces with treated timbers, stone and metal furniture, all designed to withstand extremes. Chilson cement fibre and acacia table, £900; Thurloe powder-coated steel chairs, £70 each, all Garden Trading LEFT Add to that garden aesthetic with inviting layers of throws – perfect for use inside and out. Throws from £40; Wimpole Meadow Grass cushion, £25; Mendi Seagrass basket, £30, all National Trust Shop

ABOVE LEFT The addition of ceiling fans will aid ventilation by providing a cooling down-draught and drawing air up towards open vents. Bespoke conservatory in Moss Green, from £35,000, Marston & Langinger LEFT A freestanding stove helps instil a warm and welcoming ambience on winter nights. Compact designs need not mean compromising on heat output. 850 Wood Stove, from £1,825, Contura

pieces of paper in favoured shades to see how colours respond during the day and which work best in different lights”. The use of pretty printed wallpapers can create a unique feature, whilst simply exposing robust brickwork or stone can instil relaxed, rustic styling and help link a room back to the original. Of course, it goes without saying that surfaces underfoot will need to be practical – durable, lowmaintenance flooring, such as sealed stone and ceramic, should cater to all aspects of conservatory living. Where timber is preferred, Hindmarch suggests “engineered wood for its structural stability”.Alternatively, hard-wearing luxury vinyl, laminate or linoleum flooring also works well in glazed structures and should prove resistant to fading. With regard to lighting, Hindmarch suggests that “lighting schemes should ideally be considered at the design stage of any build so unsightly wires can be hidden within the internal design of the room”. Where this is not feasible, a flexible combination of wall, table and floor lights should suffice – although pendants should be added to the mix where possible. “Putting lighting on a dimmer will also allow for a change of mood to suit any and every occasion,” says Sally Storey, creative director of John Cullen Lighting.

CLIMATE CONTROL Taming temperatures is the key to success when creating a space that can be enjoyed all year round. Whilst advances in glazing have gone a long way to improving thermal performance and comfort in garden rooms, serious attention should be paid to the planning and installation of heating, ventilation and shading solutions. Investment in manual or electronic roof vents should ensure a good flow of fresh air. Automated systems can be programmed to maintain a predetermined temperature or close when rain is detected. Traditional ceiling fans, such as those by Fantasia, will also help cool things down, as will permanent extractor fans that allow for more frequent changes of air. “Fitting blinds can make a huge difference to temperature control and shading in the conservatory,”

says Richard Hussey, marketing director at Appeal Home Shading. It is also worth noting that roof blinds are particularly effective at cutting down on heat and glare. Check motorised systems for ease of use, and consider traditional pinoleum or the latest climate-control blinds such as those by Hillarys or Thomas Sanderson, for assured year-round regulation. Alternatively, shutters are proving an increasingly desirable option. In an orangery or tiled garden room, some may want to consider more standard treatments, such as Roman blinds, to further soften the overall look. When it comes to heating, Karen Bell, sales director at David Salisbury, observes “customers are increasingly looking to underfloor heating to provide a comfortable, even heat”. Just like conventional radiators, water-based systems tend to be an extension of the home’s domestic system and, as such, will be dependent on boiler capacity. However, standalone, independently controlled electric underfloor solutions are also an option, and should prove particularly advantageous to those with smaller or separated spaces. Contura’s Phil Wood, country manager for the UK and Ireland, advocates the addition of a real fire, “as the warmth from a stove is enhanced when linked with outside space.” Just bear in mind that strict regulations apply regarding materials and flue height. Q

ABOVE LEFT With an innovative honeycomb design, these thermally efficient shades can reflect up to 78 per cent of the sun’s rays in summer, and retain up to 46 per cent of heat in winter thanks to an innovative coating on the window-facing side of each blind. Made–to-order conservatory blinds, from £150, Duette ABOVE RIGHT Lowmaintenance luxury vinyl flooring offers a convincing alternative to traditional timber and can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating. Farmhouse Oak AR0W7630, £70 a metre, Signature collection, Amtico



Whilst styles should complement adjoining spaces, do take into consideration the size and shape of structures – a chandelier, for example, is a great way to accentuate the height and grandeur of a lantern or high-pitched roof. “Always consider lighting something beyond the glass, such as flower beds or trees, in order to draw the eye further, and create an enticing feature of the garden at night,” adds Storey.


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Conservatory DIRECTORY G

lazed structures provide a unique link to the garden and according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors can add at least five per cent to the value of a home. It therefore pays to employ a reputable firm to ensure a good return on investment. The reputable companies listed here offer valuable advice and guidance and full management of all aspects of the design and build. Some may also help secure planning permission. However, it is recommended that any prospective company is always researched thoroughly, prior to commission.

Apropos Specialising in the design and creation of traditional and contemporary-style bespoke glass and aluminium structures. Prices from £15,000. Tel 0161 342 8206


Border Oak

David Salisbury

Timber-framed garden rooms and orangeries, constructed from durable, eco-friendly green oak. This vaulted garden room costs around £78,000. Tel 0800 288 8333

Timber extensions, plus a range of standard design green oak framed garden room kits, complete with technical drawings. Kits start from £11,876. Tel 01568 708752

Timber orangeries and conservatories, plus traditionally jointed and pegged oak structures with glazed, lantern or tiled rooflines. Prices from £40,000. Tel 01278 764444

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Julius Bahn

Architectural cast stonework for freestanding or attached orangeries in the classical tradition, plus sourcing of joinery and glazing. Prices on application. Tel 01604 770711

Oak-framed orangeries, conservatories and garden rooms, hand-crafted using timber from sustainable sources. Prices from around £40,000. Tel 03444 171400 

Conservatories and orangeries, designed and hand-crafted from hardwood. Prices on application. Tel 01420 520009


Marston & Langinger

Designed and individually built conservatories and orangeries, crafted from durable, FSC-certified hardwood. Prices from £48,000. Tel 020 8780 5522

Traditionally styled garden rooms, orangeries and traditional conservatories, manufactured from durable, maintenance-free aluminium. Prices start at around £35,000. Tel 01243 214550

Timber-framed conservatories inspired by different architectural periods and available in various configurations. The Belton (above) from £40,000. Tel 08454 103030

Prime Oak

Richmond Oak

The Caulfield Company

High-quality, durable, bespoke structures built with air-dried seasoned oak and available with fully glazed, lantern or tiled rooflines Prices on application. Tel 1384 296 611

Custom-made oak conservatories, orangeries and garden rooms. Specialist in conservation areas and listed buildings. Expect to pay £80,000 for this orangery. Tel 01323 442255

Hand-built conservatories using durable hardwoods, the company specialises in heritage projects and listed buildings. Bespoke designs from £35,000. Tel 0113 387 3118


Vale Garden Houses

Westbury Garden Rooms

Contemporary glazed steel or aluminium structures, but also experienced in traditional timberframe construction and designs. Prices on application. Tel 020 7684 1065

Design and construction of traditional timber conservatories, orangeries and garden rooms, specialising in period properties. Prices from £40,000. Tel 01476 564433

Custom-made glazed and timber buildings, including orangeries, conservatories and garden rooms, kitchen extensions and pool houses. Prices from around £45,000. Tel 01245 326500 Q


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QUINTESSENTIALLY Inspiration for seasonal pastimes and making the most of life at home starts here


PERFECT PANCAKES Life’s pure pleasures are often its simplest. One such instance of this is whipping up a batch of pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday, which this year falls on 5 March. To partake in this day of feasting before Lent, add a pinch of salt to 110g of plain flour and sift into a bowl. Whisk in two large eggs, followed by 275ml of milk to form a smooth batter. Melt a knob of butter in a hot frying pan and pour in a ladleful of batter at a time. Cook on both sides until golden. Serve with lemon and honey for a taste of indulgent luxury.


nuances of nature this month

Life at home


his is a month of transition and preparation for the embrace of spring. As the days grow longer, we, like nature around us, are drawn towards the sunlight and look to re-feather our nests.

Setting the scene for sleep

How to refresh duvets & pillows Ideally duvets should be washed or dry cleaned at least once a year and pillows twice a year. But after the longer nights of winter months and the impact of tightly closed windows, spring refreshment is essential. Feather & Black reveals that most bacteria will be killed at 60 degrees in a washing machine and that drying duvets and bedlinen in direct sunlight also helps banish micro-organisms such as bed mites.

March is National Bed Month, championed by The Sleep Council to encourage focus on improving beds and bedrooms for the best night’s sleep. Warmth, light, comfort and use of technology in a bedroom all impact on quality of sleep. The Sleep Council recommends a cool 16–18°C (60–65°F) as the optimum temperature in a bedroom, although children and older people may benefit from a warmer heat setting. Having extra layers of blankets and throws close to hand is wise, as is adjusting duvet insulation. Duvet warmth (not weight) is measured in tog ratings: the higher the rating the warmer the duvet. John Lewis offers 11.5and 15-tog duvets that, it says, are suitable for year-round use. It also offers custom-made duvets – useful for couples who have different heat requirements as each half of the duvet can be made in a different tog rating. As morning sun can wake some sleepers earlier than desired, blackout blinds or curtains with blackout lining can help. However, curtains hung from a pole without an accompanying blind can still allow sunlight to encroach above the heading. Fixing the pole higher, using a

curtain track that hugs the wall or adding a pelmet can resolve this issue. Air quality is important. Opening windows each morning, or leaving a narrow chink open at night will allow in fresh air to rebalance air quality. A dehumidifier can also help, and certain potted plants are beneficial in purifying air. NASA’s 1989 Clean Air Study demonstrated “the potential for improving indoor air quality by removing trace organic pollutants from the air in energy-efficient buildings”. Peace lilies, spider plants and Boston ferns were amongst those proven to offer purifying benefits.

Investing in a new bed Comfort, of course, is key to a good night’s sleep. Replacing a bed that no longer offers the right support and choosing the biggest bed that the bedroom will allow will translate to better rest. It should be possible to lie next to a partner with elbows out and not touching. A bed should be 4–6in (10–15cm) longer than the taller person. Be sure to check dimensions, particularly as bed sizes are not standardised even though the names – king size and so forth – may sound as if they are, and be aware European sizes differ. Mattresses should always be tested before buying and investing in quality is money well spent, especially considering approximately a third of life is spent in bed. The National Bed Federation – the trade body for the bed manufacturing industry – offers an online bed buyer’s guide ( 

LEFT Goose feather and down duvets, from £58.50, Cologne & Cotton ABOVE Rochester bed linen, from £35 for a pair of standard pillowcases, Christy OPPOSITE Juliet Painted Caned Bed, from £4,070 for a king size, And So To Bed 130 THE ENGLISH HOME

In an English garden


he earliest leaves are beginning to bud, raising spirits of those keen to see green from their windows again. On a sunny day, one might brave the chills with morning coffee in the garden. Planning and planting vegetables and fruits for the coming year can begin in earnest in the greenhouse and the most sunny kitchen gardens, whilst the lawn will almost certainly be ready for its first mow (see page 136 for lawn care and maintenance advice).

In bloom The vagaries of weather and climate mean that flowers can bloom late or early due to unseasonable chill or sun, but usually in March woodland banks become strewn with wild primroses (protected from picking) and hedgerows may be sprinkled with the white blossom of blackthorn. Meanwhile gardens welcome the arrival of nodding daffodils, narcissi, hyacinths and the earliest tulip varieties such as ‘Van der Neer’ (dark purple), ‘Chatto’ (hot-pink double blooms), ‘Purissima’ (white flushed with yellow) and ‘Orange Emperor’. One of the first signs of spring is the eruption of narcissi in gardens

Marvel at magnolias Magnolia trees in all shades of pink and white begin to burst into bloom in March. The English Garden, our sister title, recommends seeing magnolias en masse at the gardens at Mapperton House in Dorset, Borde Hill in West Sussex, Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire, Batsford Arborteum in Gloucestershire or Caerhays in St Austell – which is home to the National Collection of Magnolias.

Tulip ‘Chato’ available to purchase from Sarah Raven

Time to plant SWEET PEAS These can be sown from October to December or January to March. Winter-sown seeds will flower between May and August, and spring-sown seeds between June and September. Sweet peas have a vase life of three to five days and benefit from regular cutting. BORAGE These pretty blue flowers have a cucumber-like flavour and can be sprinkled on salads, a summer pudding, frozen in ice cubes or used to decorate Pimm’s. Sow under cover in March and outside April to July. ANTIRRHINUM Better known perhaps as snapdragons, these tall flower spires are ideal

for a cutting garden, sown in a sunny, sheltered position. Other seeds to sow now include aquilegia, campanula, cosmos and foxgloves. VEGETABLES Sow the following vegetable seeds this month, according to Thomas & Morgan seeds: In the greenhouse/indoors: Basil, chilli peppers, tomatoes and aubergines. Directly outdoors: Beetroot, carrots, chicory, broad beans, spinach, peas, Swiss chard, chives, dill, parsley and watercress (in containers sitting in 5cm of water at all times). 


In an English kitchen


Seasonal ingredients IN THE BRITISH VEGETABLE PLOT Root vegetables and early spring greens predominate: Brussels sprouts Cauliflower Celeriac Celery Chicory Leek Kale Parsnip Purple sprouting broccoli Radicchio Rhubarb (forced) FROM BRITISH SEAS Look to shellfish such as cockles, and particularly mussels and oysters which are at their best this month. SPRING LAMB British lamb is available from spring until summer, although March may be a little early so check the label to be sure. Mutton (from an animal at least two years old) is readily available from October to March and has a richer, gamier flavour, suited to longer, slower cooking. LEFT ABOVE Celery’s versatility means it can be braised, used to add flavour to sauces or to make soup, amongst other things. LEFT Cauliflower’s simple flavour is delicious whether roasted whole with spices or baked as a gratin.

Sophie Conran’s recipe for Moules Marinière Serves 6–8 Ingredients 2 kg of mussels A knob of butter 8 shallots, peeled and chopped finely A pinch of saffron threads 1 glass of white wine (175ml) 400ml fish stock 400ml double cream A bunch of fresh parsley, chopped Clean the mussels well and remove the beards

• Discard any mussels that do not close when tapped. • Melt the butter in a large pan with a lid and gently fry the shallots for 10 minutes, being careful not to brown them. •Sprinkle in the saffron and splash in the glass of white wine. •Leave to simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the wine has evaporated and the shallots are a wonderful golden colour. •Pour in the fish stock and bring to the boil, then tip in the mussels. •Put the lid on the pan and give the pot a good shake. •Simmer for five minutes then take only the mussels out of the pot, using tongs if you have them, and pop them in a bowl. •Discard any that have not opened properly during cooking. •Glug the cream into the soup and scatter in the parsley. Heat through and simmer gently for five minutes. •Put the mussels back into the pot, shake once more with the lid on, then ladle into bowls, dividing the soup evenly between them. •Serve hot, with your favourite crusty bread. For more Sophie Conran recipes, visit Q


uying foods imported from around the world at the supermarket can mean feeling disengaged from what is in season in our own country. For fresh flavour and low food miles, it makes sense to be aware of seasonal ingredients. Below is a list of some of the foods at their best now, whether buying from a British supplier or thinking of homegrowing for harvest this time next year. Additionally, National Butchers’ Week, now in its twelfth year, starts on 11 March, seeking to remind us of the expertise and careful sourcing of meat at local butchers’ shops.

Mussels can cooked with white wine and served simply with parsley and lemon; combined with chorizo and tomato sauce for a richer incarnation; or teamed with miso soup, grated ginger and spring onions. Bowl from a selection in the White Porcelain range by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion


nglish d

ABOVE Stretches of lush lawn and traditional herbaceous borders give the Hilltop Garden at RHS Hyde Hall, Essex its gentle English charm. LEFT Lawnmower manufacturer Allett holds its Creative Stripes competition every year, with hundreds of entries demonstrating the beauty of a lovingly nurtured lawn. Shown here is one of last year’s entries – a garden in Wiltshire.


hrowing back the curtains on a sunny spring morning to reveal a tranquil view of an English garden is one of life’s simple pleasures. Filled with birdsong and a plethora of scented blooms, it is a sight to revel in – and at the very centre of this lies a lush, velvety lawn. Smooth, neatly clipped with just the hint of a heavy dew remaining, this area of fine grass is the result of years of meticulous care and is as highly cherished by its owner as any prize-winning flower or vegetable. In fact, without the traditional English lawn one could argue that the rest of the garden would simply blur into a mishmash of colour and foliage. But when did this simple feature become such a symbol of status and so embedded in British culture? CULTURAL IMPORTANCE “Lawn is a derivation of the medieval ‘lauwn’ or ‘laune’ – a grazed non-wooded area of a deer park,” explains Michael Klemperer, senior gardens advisor for English Heritage. “Later on, this function was replaced by sheep or cattle, but not before grass had become a preserve of the near regions of the country estate in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Cut short by legions of staff with scythes as a setting for parterres, beds and pleasure grounds, the lawn became a preserve of the rich as it was difficult to tend and maintain without significant labour.” The fashion for such ornate and intricate gardens was inspired by the grounds at the Palace of Versailles, designed by French landscape architect André Le Nôtre in 1661 under the watchful eye of Louis XIV. The exquisite parterres, grassy groves and stately walks punctuated with ostentatious water features were the envy of many estate owners across Europe, several of whom set out to create their own variations. But it  THE ENGLISH HOME 137

ABOVE The Sundial Garden at Gumby Hall in Lincolnshire was laid out in 1901 by Margaret and Stephen Massingberd, the owners at that time. Now managed by the National Trust, its tranquil setting can be savoured by visitors coming to witness the fragrance and beauty of the surrounding roses. ABOVE RIGHT There are few things as uplifting as taking in the scent and sight of a freshly mown lawn on a sunshine-filled spring day. The neat stripes here draw the eye to the summer house at the end of the garden and enable the cottagegarden-style planting to sing out.

was perhaps Versailles’ Royal Way (or Great Lawn) – an expansive rectangular area of beautifully manicured grass, originating from an earlier layout – that became the focus of garden envy. Other social trends and innovations also contributed to the popularity of the perfect lawn. “By the Victorian era, lawns had been perfected into a fine art,” explains Klemperer, “with companies such as Suttons offering varying grass-seed mixes for differing purposes from as early as the 1850s. By this stage, significant lawn preparation and feeding was in full swing with horticulturalists.” But there were other contributing factors besides horticultural innovations. “The UK has long been very sporting,” explains Guy Barter, chief horticulturalist, Royal Horticultural Society. “Think Wimbledon, bowling greens, golf and cricket pitches – everyone loves to stroll and play on grass.” Croquet was another popular pastime that although often regarded as quintessentially English is now popular across the world. Invented by John Jaques II and introduced at the Great Exhibition of 1851, it soon became hugely fashionable in high society and was surreally epitomised in Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland published in 1865. Developments in engineering also played an important part in popularising the lawn. “Until the 1830s all grass was kept short by scythes,” Klemperer says. In 1830, when Edwin Budding invented the ‘mowing machine’ at Thrupp in Gloucestershire, the lawnmower as we know it started to appear. This


invention made having a lawn accessible to the middle glasses, as you did not need to pay people to scythe the lawn or own a flock of sheep.” STYLES & DESIGN The shape and scale of a lawn will influence the overall look of a garden and can be skilfully used to create the illusion of a larger or more interesting space. Designers have long used rectangular stretches of grass to accentuate the length of a space and to heighten the sense of drama and importance of a garden, and in turn the property and its owner. Today’s experts veer towards using a series of interlocking grassed rectangles and squares to add interest to a long, narrow garden, or opt for sweeping curves or circles for a softer effect. Stepped designs are reminiscent of traditional ha-has but can be used by owners to zone outside space for different roles, such as entertaining or flower and fruit borders, rather than to keep grazing animals at bay. Achieving the perfectly striped finish is the goal to which many devout gardeners aspire, as Christopher Cooper from lawnmower manufacturer Hayter explains. “We’ve always been a nation of gardeners, and the perfectly striped lawn has truly become a symbol for the quintessential British garden. I think British sports such as tennis and football, and iconic locations like Wimbledon, have helped see the striped lawn become the status symbol it is today.” Indeed, the quest for stripes and patterns has become an art in itself, with mower company Allett holding an annual

Emphasise the clean lines of a shaped lawn with timeless raised stone edging. Arcardian lawn edging, from £20 for a 450mm length, Haddonstone

competition for the most creative design. Roy Allett from the company says: “It’s the moist British climate that enables achieving the perfect lawn. A quality heavy-duty cylinder mower with a rear roller makes it possible to create a wide range of designs, as it is the direction of each pass that creates the alternating light and dark stripes.” Attaining a prominent design takes time, as Allett explains. “Grass that is 12.5mm to 15mm in length is perfect for cutting. You can mow as little or often as you like during the growing season, but always cut the same area in the same direction as before to embed the design.” NURTURE NATURE Myth and legend often surround the matter of lawn care, but simple common sense and regular labour reap rewards. As Barter explains, “Mow often and feed well is the basic pattern to exploit the ability of grass to squeeze out other species and survive close ‘grazing’ or clipping. In dry spells, watering is valuable, but to save water it is often best to let the lawn go brown even if this means some patching or over-seeding in autumn.” Lawn care is seasonal and the cycle of tasks depends on whether or not the grass is still growing. Spring and summer tasks arrive along with the warmer temperatures that encourage grass to grow. These tasks include regular mowing, applying a moss killer where needed and a spring and summer feed that will aid growth and inhibit weeds. September is also favoured for many tasks, as the soil is warm and the grass still

growing. Maintenance includes scarifying (removing dead grass, leaves and moss with light raking to improve water and fertiliser absorption), spiking (with a fork or hollow-tined aerator to create holes into which a top dressing can be raked to improve aeration and water penetration), and the removal of bumps and dips to create a flat surface. With a bewildering array of lawn products on offer, the fear of making the wrong decision often results in inaction, as Barter observes: “Interestingly only about 25 per cent of gardeners invest in lawn-care products, weedkillers and fertilisers to help make their lawns better, which is perhaps rather unwise.” Watering a lawn is often a contentious matter, but there is no denying that regular water or rainfall is needed to keep a lawn in tip-top condition. 

Quintessentially English, the croquet lawn at Gravetye Manor in Sussex dates from around 1884 when renowned garden designer William Robinson first bought the property. Its carefully manicured surface strikes a dramatic contrast to the wild gardens on either side.

ABOVE LEFT Terracotta rope edging adds a timeless air. Victorian Scroll edging, £3.99 for a 235mm length, Bowland Stone ABOVE RIGHT Lamb House in Rye, East Sussex is being revived by the National Trust. Once home to writer Henry James, the Georgian house is partly surrounded by a meandering lawn.

A CUT ABOVE Buying the right lawnmower to suit the lawn is key, and will make all the difference to the ease of the task and the overall finish. Deciding between a manually propelled and self-propelled design is of great importance, and especially worth considering if the garden is on an incline or if the user suffers from a back complaint. Selecting either a rotary or cylinder design is another key decision, and once again depends on the nature of the terrain. For an immaculately flat and formal striped lawn, opt for a cylinder design with a rear roller. If the surface is undulating and contains a variety of fine and coarse grass, a rotary mower is a better option. Take time to consider the preferred power source for a mower. Petrol designs are reliable and ideal for large areas. Electric versions are limited by the length of the cable. Solar-powered robotic mowers are also available but are mostly suited to smaller gardens due to their limited battery capacity. “They are effective and save work,” Guy Barter says, “but do not produce the best finish, cutting in rather a random pattern, which I understand is typical of these mowers.” Christopher Cooper from Hayter says: “I believe one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a new mower is to check what assurances the mower will have. When you spend more, you usually expect to get much more in terms of quality as well as better and longer warranties. At Hayter, we offer a lifetime crankshaft and deck warranty, as well as an up to five-year guarantee on the rest of the machine. A long guarantee shows the manufacturer has confidence that their machines will stand the test of time.” Keeping a large area of grass in top condition requires regular mowing and it is crucial to have a machine that can cope with this workload. Ride-on mowers are specially designed for this, and although they are a major investment, they will last several years if carefully mainained. Petrol driven, they come in a range of cutting widths and engine capacities. Relatively new to the market are designs with a zero-turn capability that have a tighter turning circle and are particularly suited to sites where there are plenty of trees and borders. There are two different types available. Tractor ride-on mowers resemble 140 THE ENGLISH HOME

small tractors with cutting blades underneath and a rear collection box. They cut in a rotary motion, as controlled by the driver, and can tackle both coarse and fine grass with ease. Adapted petrol mowers are designed as push-along mowers but can be connected to a seat and roller attachment. The high-powered engine can usually switch from push to self-propelled, and as it cuts in a cylinder motion it is ideal for achieving a fine cut. Husqvarna and John Deere offer top-end models for up to £8,500. It is worth checking maintenance services offered by local dealers before buying. SEEKING INSPIRATION In England there are plenty of inspiring lawns at which to marvel. Chiswick House in West London boasts a pioneering garden that set a precedent amongst the gentry with its rolling lawns and grassy walkways peppered by classical temples, a river and a cascade. The impeccable Salisbury Lawns at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire cover over five and half acres. Klemperer suggests the tennis court and cricket green at Mount Grace Priory, North Yorkshire; the Bowling Green at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire and the magnificent bowling green and parterre lawns at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire. Particularly elegant sweeping lawns grace National Trust properties Buscot Park in Oxfordshire and Killerton in Devon. Q

TOP Matching the right type and size of mower to a lawn is crucial for both performance and for the health of the grass. Smaller petrol mowers are light and easy to manoeuvre around areas up to a tennis court in size and awkward corners. IZY HRG466 single speed mulching petrol lawnmower £629, Honda ABOVE At over 280 years old, Salisbury Lawns at Chatsworth, Derbyshire are firmly associated with the notion of high status and England’s finest treasure houses. They highlight some of the property’s main features such as the Cascade (above).


Sprinkler systems include sled-style oscillating sprinklers (a flat rectangular base on the lawn with an arm that rotates through 180 degrees) reminiscent of childhood summer holidays that spray arcs of water from side to side. These are perfect for square or rectangular lawns and can be adjusted accordingly. Circular, rotating sprinklers cover a wider area and can be sled or spike based. Choose from those with a steady spray or a pulsating jet that delivers the greatest coverage. Automated built-in sprinkler systems are also increasing in popularity. Installed as a permanent fixture with a network of underground pipes, individual sprinkler heads are submerged beneath the surface and rise when needed to water the surrounding area. A control board manages frequency and timings.

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Gosling in his London library with the largescale elephant folios stacked tightly on a low shelf in the foreground.




I bought the book Views Of The Pavillion, Brighton about eight years ago at auction. Copies rarely come up for sale as the plates (right) are hand-painted watercoloured aquatints and are so remarkable that many copies have been split up, the plates framed and dispersed. This one survived at Worthing Public Library in West Sussex but health and saftey rules have dictated that libraries can’t keep these very large-scale books – usually referred to as ‘elephant’ folios – because someone might take one down from a shelf and kill themselves! George IV had this book made so he could present his architectural prowess to his guests, even though it was architect John Nash’s. The book was part of the propaganda of Regency design, when chinoiserie was at its pinnacle in the world – it never got any crazier. I have thousands of books in my London library, and although I have several on the Regency period, this is my favourite because it is detailed, handcoloured and beautifully preserved. The palette of colours is so typically Regency – the arsenic greens, lapis blues, puce pinks. The watercolours are so detailed you can trace the actual pieces of 146 THE ENGLISH HOME

furniture, fireplaces and porcelain pagodas to where they are located now, in Buckingham Palace. You see, Queen Victoria was so embarrassed by the Royal Pavilion, she abandoned it. However, when she had Buckingham Palace enlarged, the government made her re-use the furniture from the Pavilion because they had spent so much money on it. She loathed chinoiserie, so the front rooms of Buckingham Palace – which the Royal family walk through to go out to the balcony – are filled with the chinoiserie from Brighton and no one sees it. It’s not even on the private tours today. I got permission to sketch these rooms and rediscover pieces from the book. I love that detective work in design. I think this is the absolute book on the Royal Pavilion. There is no way I would ever part with it. I never sell any book I buy. My collection has grown because the more I uncovered about George IV and the Regency period, the more frisky I became about the threads that link certain books together. I never think that I own the book collection, it’s something I’m lucky enough to have for my lifetime.” Q Discover Tim Gosling’s work at

Furniture designer Tim Gosling reveals his personal design obsession

TOP & ABOVE Examples of the detailed, vibrant handcoloured plates inside Gosling’s copy of Views Of The Royal Pavillion by Nash & Brayley, printed in 1838.

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