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MODERN COUNTRY Interiors & inspiration 10 15 23

FEBRUARY The things we can’t live without HOME NOTES MAKE A HOUSE A HOME With a timeless dressing table

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SEASONAL LOOKS Turn your home into a cosy haven to beat the bitter winter chill

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BATHROOM SERENITY Give your bathroom a spa-inspired makeover, then get pampering!

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LET’S TALK MARBLING And not just on countertops – it’s all the rage for textiles, too

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HALL SPECIAL It’s the first thing you see when you get home, so let’s make it shine

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MODERN COUNTRY CLASSIC Storage for boot rooms

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ROOM ELEMENTS Freestanding wardrobes to suit every scheme

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HOME TECH Cooking gadgets

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THE COUNTRY DECORATOR Welcome spring’s arrival by filling your home with greenery O

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GET CREATIVE Give dip-dying a whirl

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COUNTRY KITCHEN FOCUS How to sympathetically modernise a period space

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114 TO FIND ALL STOCKISTS IN THIS ISSUE, TURN TO PAGE 143

ON THE COVER

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Country Homes & Interiors

KENT TIMBER-FRAMED HOUSE Restoring this listed house was neither quick nor cheap, but the result made it all worthwhile O

BERKSHIRE VILLAGE HOUSE Dark hues and brass detailing play homage to this property’s history, while a new extension gives it a modern edge O

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DEVON COUNTRY HOUSE Luxe furniture in rich tones brings the neutral decor to life

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BUCKS NEW BUILD Sometimes, the only thing to do is knock it all down and start again

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PLUS GET-THE-LOOK IDEAS FOR EVERY HOME

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Gardens 19 GARDEN NOTES 114 A FLURRY OF SNOWDROPS

Like something out of a fairytale, the O’Reilly’s garden is a warren of beautiful, snowdrop adorned trails, rose arches and a trickling stream

24 Seasonal food 17 130

FOOD NOTES VEGGIE COMFORT FOOD Fulfil your resolution to eat less meat and more veggies this year with these delicious recipes O

Lifestyle 21 84

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OUR FAVOURITE SHOP Rummage through the eclectic wonders at Shave Green MY KIND OF COUNTRY Ian Sanderson’s daughter-in-law, Helen, shares the joys of living out her passions, surrounded by beautiful fabrics and countryside

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MAKE LIFE LOVELY Happy thoughts and ideas for fashion, eco, wellbeing and more

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OUT AND ABOUT Nip to the Black Mountains for a splendour-filled stay at Llangoed Hall

150

MY FAVOURITE VIEW For jet-setter Laura Hamilton, there really isn’t anywhere quite like home

Just for you 78 112

ENJOY A MASTERCLASS WITH KITCHEN EXPERT TOM HOWLEY SUBSCRIBE TO COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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TI Media Limited, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP, 020 3148 5000. Website: ti-media.com. ŠTI MEDIA LIMITED 2019. Distributed by Marketforce (UK) Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, London E14 5HU, 020 3787 9001. Country Homes & Interiors, ISSN 0951-3019, is published monthly, 12 times a year. Manuscripts and illustrations are welcome but on the understanding that we cannot be liable for their safe custody or return. We are sorry that manuscripts and illustrations cannot be returned, nor letters answered or acknowledged unless sent with a stamped addressed envelope. Published monthly by TI Media Limited. Colour origination by Rhapsody. Printed in the UK by the Wyndeham Group. Country Homes & Interiors is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not, without the written consent of the publishers first given, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade at more than the recommended selling price shown on the cover (selling price in Eire includes VAT) and that it shall not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS MAGAZINE One year full subscription rates for 12 issues including postage & packing: UK £58.40; Europe ₏148.40; Rest of world £175.60. For subscription enquiries please call 0330 333 1113, overseas call: +44 330 333 1113 (Lines are open Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm UK Time) or email help@ magazinesdirect.com. The US annual subscription price is $148.40. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Worldnet Shipping Inc., 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Subscription records are maintained at TI Media, 3rd floor, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Air Business Ltd. is acting as our mailing agent. All prices include postage and packaging. US Postmaster: Enquiries and address changes should be sent to: TI Media Ltd, Rockwood House, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3DH or call +44 330 333 1113 (Lines are open Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm UK Time) or email help@magazinesdirect.com.


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The mood of the moment: keeping things simple Launching yourself into a new year full of positivity and good intentions, it can feel like the never-ending winter weather is trying its best to cramp your style.

(BACKGROUND) TAMERLANE FABRIC, COL ROSE, £132M, RAPTURE & WRIGHT

So, the fight-back starts here! My tried-and-trusted cure for the winter blues is to walk them off. Yes, spring and autumn are supposed to be the best seasons for walking, but the bleak beauty of the north Norfolk coastline, where I grew up, is worth braving the elements for at this time of year. As Alfred Wainwright said, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing…’ At least grey skies give you the perfect excuse to spend as much time as possible snuggled up by the fire nursing a delicious glass of red or pottering happily around the kitchen concocting satisfying, savoury casseroles. You’ll find some real crowd-pleasers from Swedish chef Ylva Bergqvist on page 130 if you’re looking for some easy ideas. This issue is dedicated to the many simple pleasures of home, so whether it’s finding new ways to cosy-up your rooms, starting to plan this year’s planting for the garden, indulging in a long, delicately scented soak in the bath, or just kicking back and bingeing on a box set wearing cashmere PJs, you’ll find plenty here to get you through to spring. Enjoy!

Vanessa x

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Things we can’t live without

F E B RUA RY

Planting up the promise of spring with pretty, pure snowdrops, fresh moss and budding magnolia sprigs. Vintage botanical prints, from a selection at Peony & Thistle; vintage crate and wooden planter box, similar from Packhouse.

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C O U N T R Y D AY S

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1 Creating cosiness and warmth inside with an artisanal bamboo and glass design. Allegra lantern, H25xDia30cm, £60, Lene Bjerre at Banbayu. 2 Tactile tassels on cuddleme cushions. Chateau cushion, 45x45cm, col natural, £53, Bloomingville at Amara. 3 Luxurious, hygge feet warmers! Elskling natural wool felt slippers, £60, A Andreassen. 4 Popping the cork for Valentine’s celebrations. Duet bottle stoppers, L13cm, £16 for two, Anthropologie.

Getting toasty fireside with a handcrafted, contemporary update of a traditional favourite. Harp chair, £1,200; foot rest, £599; Gabro rug, £550, Ansel floor lamp, £175; Lyle cushion, £40, all Croft collection at John Lewis & Partners.

Walks wrapped-up in reversible sheepskin layers for the best of trad and modern looks. Sheepskin box jacket, £625; slouchy fine-knit roll-neck jumper, £92, cashmere wrist warmers, £42, all Celtic & Co.

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5 The ultimate brushed-cotton addition to drape over your bed or sofa. Blanket, 200x150cm, col Stone, £75, The Cotton Poet. 6 Adding a bright pop to your mantelpiece with a petite glass vessel. Round bud vase, H12xDia11cm, col green, £7.50, Garden Trading. 7 Wearing your heart on your hands! Mittens, £35.50, Eka at Etsy. 8 Button backing and shapely arms wrapped in tempting teal upholstery. Foxcote sofa, H88xD94xW164cm, col Neptune, £1,502, Willow & Hall. Country Homes & Interiors

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10 11 12 Romantic-retreat dining with staggered candlelight and seasonal delights... Shoreditch carver chair, col Hugo Pale Oat, £340; dining chair, col Hugo Pale Oat, £260; Balmoral extending table, £3,520; Herdwick sheepskin rug, £135, all Neptune.

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13 Spiralling vines and rounded buds delicately decorating bone china dinnerware. Halo dinner plate, col Midnight Blue, £44 for four; Boston ivy cereal bowl, col Midnight Blue, £36 for four, both Clarissa Hulse. 14 Positive starts to the year. The Daily Promise (£7.99, Hardie Grant Books), Waterstones. 15 Natural, rustic textures on chunky, reclaimed pieces. Chakala coffee table, H41xW60xD70cm, £395, Nkuku. 16 One-of-a-kind Cornish ceramics. Pottery, assorted colours, from £6, Relish. 12

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FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS STYLING (OPENER) SELINA LAKE PHOTOGRAPHS SUSSIE BELL

A restful sanctuary with super soft, breathable bedlinen, featuring dark, moody florals with undertones of sea foam blues and greens. Bali bedding, from £75 for a double set, French Connection Home.

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9 An industrial focal light with unique fittings to complement classic and contemporary schemes alike. Brooklyn pendant, H22xW20xD20cm, col pewter and brass, £79, Industville. 10 A chic ethnic perch. Fez Moroccan pouffe, H32xDia53cm, col white, £90, India May. 11 A cosy choice for style-savvy pets. Hyko medium pet bed, H17xW60xD45cm, col grey, £35, Made.com. 12 Hot crumpets with lashings of melted butter! Minshin butter knife, £38 for set of four, Kalinko.


C O U N T R Y D AY S

Colour of the moment

RUST

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

WELCOME EARTHY WARMTH INTO YOUR WINTER RETREAT WITH FOXY RUSSET AND TOASTED CHESTNUT HUES ON SLUBBY LINEN WEAVES AND ORGANICFEELING FEATURE WALLS TO CREATE A SUMPTUOUS, COSY AND INVITING SPACE.

Matt emulsion, col Chestnut, £38 for 2.5L; Dylan leather toggle, col Tan, £18; Harris tweed, col Bircher, £105m, Harry linen, col Rust, £49m, all Neptune.

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Home notes Seriously strokable fabrics

British furniture brand Willow & Hall has launched three new fabric collections – House, Signature and Heritage. The selection ranges from sophisticated neutrals to opulent rich hues, as well as elegant florals, soft stripes and coastline-inspired shell prints. We’re declaring our love for the high-back Kingswood sofa in Cotton Mulberry, £1,209.

O U R FAV O U R I T E K N I T D E S I G N E R

Melanie Porter

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Born into a family of skilled crafters, Melanie uses the same tools that her relatives have used for generations to create her unique knit upholstery designs for customers looking for truly individual, handcrafted items. From knitted upholstery panels on vintage furniture, to giant knits for throws and cushions and innovative wrap lighting, every piece is lovingly handcrafted, creating a beautifully bespoke work of art, tailored to the customer. What inspires you? I love learning new techniques and looking at how I can use them in my collections. I obsessively collect old craft magazines from the Seventies and constantly delve into them for inspiration. What makes your designs so special? Most of my work is handmade to order. While I have a strong design style, I work with each client to create a bespoke piece. Whether it’s sourcing a particular style of chair, or

Hardy, £2,600, Melanie Porter.

Lodge tool set, £85; Ash shovel, £15; Jutland tool set, £85, all Garden Trading.

Fireside hibernation... matching colours and textures to their existing furnishings, my focus is on designing a piece that is perfectly suited to their taste. What do you love most about what you do? While there are many different aspects to running a creative business, I think most of us really are in it simply for the joy of making and creating. What’s next? I am starting to work on a collaboration, which I hope will enable me to couple modern technology with my more traditional techniques. Melanie Porter, 07770 941305, melanie porter.co.uk.

Keep logs burning and flames crackling through the lingering cold with Garden Trading’s modern take on traditional fireside essentials. The tools are inspired by Austrian ski resorts and feature antique brass coatings and powder-coated carbon colourways. Prices start at £5 for the steel match box, increasing up to £90 for the wrought iron woodburner set, which comprises of a shovel, brush, poker and gauntlet gloves. Hearth style has never been so streamlined!

SPELL IT OUT Show your home some love this Valentine’s Day with five new adorable cups to mix and match from Design Letters: Work, Weekend, Love, Hello and Smile, all £17.50 each. Made from fine bone china, these Danish delights can be used to drink from or simply displayed for a decorative touch with an original, Scandi twist. Country Homes & Interiors

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Food notes We want this now... An essential for all Aga owners, Louise Walker’s newest book, The Traditional Aga Cookbook (£30, Absolute Press), offers more than 150 recipes, all created specifically for the famous range cooker. As well as covering the classics, the book puts to bed the myth that you can’t bake well in an Aga, and provides how-tos for everything from breads and brownies, to bagels and biscotti. This is one you won’t ever want to put away!

Perfect as a starter, or serve with salad and potatoes for a hearty main

O U R FAV O U R I T E . . . BLACK PUDDING PRODUCER

Clonakilty Food Co

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT

Forty years ago in the small town of Clonakilty, in Ireland, Colette Twomey and her husband, Edward, took over the local butcher’s – inheriting a secret black pudding recipe originating from the 1880s with it. After falling in love with the product, they started selling it across the country and abroad. Edward sadly passed away in 2005 and today Colette is the only person who knows the exact secret recipe. She tells us how they spread the word about their product… What’s so special about your black pudding? The taste, the texture and our secret blend of spices. Why did you decide to start making black pudding? We realised how special it was and how popular it was locally. What’s the best way to serve/eat your product? Slice it into 2cm-thick rounds and cook on a hot dry pan for two minutes each side – as simple as that! It is traditionally eaten at breakfast, but we have so many chefs and home-cooks using it in different ways, with fish, in salads, in pasta dishes… It’s just so versatile and adds so much flavour. What’s the best thing about running your business? The family feel that surrounds you.

Tuck into these spiced pear and Stilton tarts

What do you love about being based where you are? Clonakilty is the heart, the soul, the pulse of everything and it gives me great pleasure to be a part of this feel-good factor. What’s next for your company? Continued growth in the UK. We’ve got a foothold in the market from our Irish connections that live there, but we want to connect with more British cooks and foodies and encourage them to try our product and get them cooking with it! We know they’ll love it. Three words to sum up your company? Traditional, passionate and homely. Clonakilty Food Co, clonakiltyblack pudding.ie.

To make four tarts, start by heating the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Roll out 300g chilled puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a 12cm-wide pastry cutter, cut out four circles and put them on a greased baking tray. Brush 25g melted butter over the circles and score a 1cm border around the edge of each. Bake for 8min, until just golden. Core and thinly slice 2 pears and arrange the slices within the border of the tart cases. Sprinkle over ¼tsp ground cloves, a pinch of ground allspice, ¼tsp pepper, 75g Stilton, 1tsp fresh thyme, 25g walnut pieces and 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli. Return to the oven for a further 8-10min, until golden.

OLIVE ADOPTION Knowing the provenance of our food is becoming increasingly important to many of us, which is just one of the reasons why we love the Nudo Adopt programme. Supporting small-scale, sustainable artisan olive oil producers across Italy, Nudo allows you to adopt an olive tree (from £39) and enjoy tins of olive oil delivered to your door. Find out more at nudoadopt.com. Country Homes & Interiors

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Garden notes P E R F E C T F O R . . . PA R T I A L S H A D E Adding sparkle to our gardens in these chilly winter months is Cyclamen coum. These tiny plants with mottled silver and green kidney-shaped leaves and pink flowers are on the same scale as their bedfellows – snowdrops. They’re fully hardy and will offer flowers from December into March. Plants are happiest when planted under deciduous shrubs, but can also be a success when left to naturalise in short grass.

Buy British blooms for a healthy garden

Q&A WITH A SHARING GARDENER

Winter rose care

FEATURE TAMSIN WESTHORPE PHOTOGRAPHS GAP PHOTOS/ JONATHAN BUCKLEY, GAP PHOTOS/JOANNA KOSSAK

We ask Anne Chambers of Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Gloucestershire how she cares for her roses... At what time of year do you prune your roses? I prune our old-fashioned roses in November and the modern roses in February. We like to have all the roses in the garden pruned by the end of February before they start to put on new growth. Some roses need pruning more than once a year. Our banksiae rose is often pruned three times a year to keep it under control. When pruning, don’t be frightened to prune hard and remove old wood and misshapen branches. Roses are rarely killed by hard pruning. When do you plant your roses? We buy roses as bare root plants in November, but they can also be planted in February if the soil isn’t cold. Should we feed roses? At Kiftsgate we have good soil, so we rarely need to feed. People mollycoddle their roses. They are tough plants. We still have some that were planted by my grandmother in the Thirties.

Prevent this plant killer

What’s your favourite rose? One of the best performing roses in the garden is the hybrid tea rose ‘White Wings’. It has large, repeat-flowering singlescented blooms with pure white petals and stunning red stamens. Another great rose is Rosa x odorata ‘Bengal Crimson’ as it just keeps on flowering. To find out more about Kiftsgate, head to kiftsgate. co.uk – this year is their centenary year.

Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium, rife in southern Europe, that spreads via insects or through trade of infected plants. It restricts water movement in plants resulting in die-back and eventual plant death. Luckily, it has not yet been detected in the UK, but the RHS is calling on gardeners to keep a watchful eye on their plot. Rebekah Robinson, senior plant pathologist at the RHS, says, ‘To future proof your garden, it’s best to purchase plants that are UK-sourced and grown, or grown in the UK for a minimum of 12 months.’ Learn more about preventing xylella at rhs.org.uk/xylella.

Just what you need now... Make a New Year’s resolution to be more eco. The Urbalive 20L worm composter kit, £149.95, Wiggly Wigglers, will turn kitchen waste into a valuable liquid fertiliser. This attractive-looking wormery, in stone or lime, can be kept inside or out and is odour free. Add your tea bags, peelings and apple cores and let the worms do the work for you. Country Homes & Interiors

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OUT AND ABOUT

Owner Emma Barcia scours reclamation yards and auction houses for unique finds, as well as sourcing new treasures.

Shave Green’s diverse range of stock is full of pieces with a story to tell.

O U R FAVO U R I T E S H O P F O R ONE-OFF FINDS

Shave Green VISIT LYNDHURST FOR THIS TREASURE TROVE OF VINTAGE DECOR AND ECCENTRIC ANTIQUES In the New Forest town of Lyndhurst, Emma Barcia’s quaint interiors boutique, Shave Green, provides country home pieces with flair. We caught up with her to find out more…

reclamation yards and auction houses, alongside new textiles, local crafts, antler table lamps and paint.

a wide area. The town attracts visitors from all over and many are returning holidaymakers.

DESCRIBE YOUR CLIENTS’ STYLE

ANY FAVOURITE PRODUCTS?

Curious, merry and eccentric.

WHAT INSPIRED SHAVE GREEN?

Lyndhurst is regarded as the capital of the New Forest, and the natural beauty of the landscape influences how we style the shop. The name Shave Green is taken from a local woodland, and the colours and textures of the forest creep into my style without me even noticing. I love earthy tones and using wood and natural stone to reflect our beautiful surroundings.

My favourite pieces are constantly changing. I’m easily swayed by an old cart, an oil painting, a shabby old mirror – I’m like a child in a sweet shop.

WHAT ARE ITS STYLE PRINCIPLES?

We pride ourselves on giving old furniture a new home, and our stock includes recycled pieces from 20

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LOCATION SO SPECIAL?

WHO VISITS YOUR SHOP?

While we have strong community links, we draw our customers from

ANY EXCITING PLANS?

I have an amazing, long-suffering and loyal ‘Green team’ who are always there to support and grow Shave Green. A few years ago, we opened Goose Green Trading next door. It’s a small independent boutique and gift shop, mirroring Shave Green’s unique style. Shave Green, 63 High Street, Lyndhurst, SO43 7BE,02380 283915, shavegreeninteriors.co.uk.

FEATURE PATRICK HAMILTON COURTNEY

My passion for all things interesting and beautiful stems from spending my childhood rambling around a Cotswolds rectory with a family of collectors. Shave Green began over six years ago when I realised my ambition to have a shop selling decorative antiques, lighting, painted furniture and beautiful homeware.

WHAT MAKES YOUR NEW FOREST


C O U N T RY S T Y L E I C O N S

Make a house a home

The timeless dressing table Similar, walnut dressing table, £606, MoWdwrk at Etsy

Personalise your dressing table with collections of bottles or trinkets.

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One of the smaller home furniture pieces, and a little forgotten until its recent return to popularity, the dressing table is an elegant staple of the bedroom. More than just a place to get ready, it’s a place to gather thoughts for the day ahead. WHAT’S THE STORY The origins of the modern day dressing table or vanity unit can traced back to the late 17th century, and the high demand for specialised cabinetry. With the changing dress codes, attire and coiffures of the gentry of the day, the need increased for more places to put and use the growing array of bottles, perfumes and powders. Over the years, this piece became an essential part of the bedroom suite and, in various forms, has been designed to house mirrors, drawers and various complementary compartments. WHICH STYLE TO CHOOSE Try a classic, painted look for a simple country setting. In a Scandi scheme, go for light wood and clean lines. Or, to get the popular mid-century style, try a darker wood option with metal detailing. For a flexible look, invest in a dressing table with a separate adjustable mirror. You can switch up the appearance of a dressing table with new handles or knobs. For more storage options, choose a version with an extra shelf on top of the main base. STYLE IT UP Complement your dressing table with a bespoke seat. As it won’t use a lot of material, you could splash out on a designer fabric for an upholstered or loose cover stool – it's the perfect opportunity to bring a unique touch to a country bedroom.

FEATURE SARA BIRD PHOTOGRAPHS TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

IN OUR ONGOING SERIES, WE SELECT SIMPLE, COUNTRY-STYLE HERO PIECES THAT LOOK BEAUTIFUL... AND MAKE LIFE EVEN BETTER


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History in the making JENNY AND TIM BACKSHALL RESCUED A DERELICT TIMBER-FRAMED HALL HOUSE, RESPECTING ITS HERITAGE WHILE FUTURE PROOFING IT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME

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KENT TIMBER-FRAMED HOUSE

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KENT TIMBER-FRAMED HOUSE

Kitchen This beautiful archway linking the main hall to the kitchen was uncovered during the works. Aged Bourne flooring, Martin Moore Stone. Bespoke stools, Evernden Interiors; painted by The Furniture Painting Company. 26

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Research, teamwork and careful planning were all requisite ingredients in the renovation of this incredible Grade II*-listed 15th-century Wealden hall house, with owners Jenny and Tim Backshall leaving nothing to chance. ‘Our restoration builder, David Cox, even came along to some of our earlier property viewings to be sure we were buying a house that had real restoration potential,’ says Tim. ‘We all agreed this place offered a rare opportunity to revive a historic timber-framed building and turn it into a home.’ It was important for the couple that their children felt connected to the project before they left for university, so they would always feel like it was their home, too. ‘Thankfully, the sale completed quickly,’ says Jenny. ‘But the restoration was not something we could rush – it took us more than two years to complete.’ By the time the Backshalls took it on in 2013, the ancient building had been empty for three years. ‘It had no mains electricity, no central heating and was supplied by spring water,’ says Tim. ‘The house had been a tenant farmhouse for centuries, and although it desperately needed updating to suit modern living standards, we were fortunate that very little had been done to undermine the original fabric of the house.’ There were many Victorian additions, such as a bay window, staircase and scullery, along with Thirties windows throughout, but the conservation officer who assessed the building was happy with the couple’s plan to strip those away to bring back the medieval character. ‘We also removed false ceilings and partition walls,’ says Tim. ‘Our bedroom suite, for instance, had been two bedrooms and a bathroom, but we opened it all up to celebrate the beautiful timber structure and the original voluminous proportions.’ The Backshalls involved an interior designer in the project very early on, as they were keen to ensure that decisions were made about the layout well before services and wiring went in. Indeed, Belinda Benton, from Evernden Interiors, did more than just help them choose new furniture. ‘Belinda is really good at planning spaces from a practical point of view, as well as from an aesthetic perspective, so she had a huge amount of input,’ says Tim. ‘We did our own research into the history of the architecture,’ says Jenny. ‘But each person who was involved is an expert in their respective field, so we wanted to hear everyone’s ideas to make sure all potential problems were thought of, addressed and made part of the plan,’ she says. ‘Every room needed that little bit more work to ensure the integrity of the medieval structure was preserved and enhanced,’ adds Tim. ‘So it wasn’t exactly cheap to restore this house, but we think it was worth it.’ ‘We did feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure this home can be enjoyed by many generations after us,’ says Jenny. ‘We are only a tiny piece of its history, and subsequent owners may change the design to suit their tastes. But I hope we’ve secured the bones of this old house, and it will stand for many more centuries to come.’ ☎ Evernden Interiors, 01580 713778, everndeninteriors.co.uk

*

AT HOME WITH... Owners Jenny Backshall, a hairdresser, co-owns local salon, Lilygreen, with her twin sister. Her husband Tim owns Integrity, a brand management company. The couple bought this house in 2013 and live here with Harvey the labrador. They have three grown-up children who have all left home – Charlotte, Alistair and Nicholas. House A Grade II*-listed

15th-century Wealden hall house with later additions. It has five bedrooms.

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KENT TIMBER-FRAMED HOUSE

What we love most about living here…

‘This house makes us want to do things, to get outside and enjoy the countryside. We are project people and this place definitely has plenty of those for us to do’

Main hall The space is great for large gatherings around the inglenook. Earthy colours tone with the beams. Bespoke sofas and ottoman footstool, Evernden Interiors.

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Utility room A practical Shaker-style look is ideal for laundry and flower arranging. Units, Simon Jewell. Pennine sink, Shaws of Darwen. Tap, Perrin & Rowe. Airer, Garden Trading.

Living room Comfort and cosiness are the order of the day in this snug space. Bespoke sofas and ottoman footstool, Evernden Interiors. Bukhara curtain fabric, Lewis & Wood.

Hallway The polished mahogany handrail of the new staircase gives it a sweeping elegance. Encaustic floor tiles, Fired Earth. Jasper Peony wallpaper, Lewis & Wood.

Kitchen diner The Backshalls have mixed old, new, shiny and matt. Lights, Original BTC. Similar chairs, Great Furniture Trading Co. Kitchen The space was opened up and transformed with modern furniture and flooring. Kitchen, Simon Jewell. Antique French chandelier, Phoenix Antiques.

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Main bedroom The space celebrates the house’s architecture with a calming scheme that doesn’t distract from the wonderful timber. French antique bed, Tasha Interiors. Lamps, Heathfield & Co.

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KENT TIMBER-FRAMED HOUSE Exterior With the help of architect Nick Hobbs, Tim and Jenny swapped Thirties windows for correctly proportioned ones that suited the period of the house.

What makes this house a home…

‘The people in it. We designed this house with our family in mind, and our children love coming back; hopefully they’ll come to stay with children of their own one day’

Bathroom Soft pink adds a little warmth to the taupe scheme. Bath, Burlington. Basin, Heritage Bathrooms. Towel, Emma Bridgewater.

En suite Tim and Jenny wanted an open-plan en suite, but have hidden a shower and twin basins behind panelling. Bath, Burlington. Woodwork, painted in Charleston Gray, Farrow & Ball.

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KENT TIMBER-FRAMED HOUSE

*

O N O U R D O O R S T E P. . . Garden (01580 710701, nationaltrust.org.uk). We love walks around the grounds and through the farm, and always finish off in the café.’

Shop at… ‘Frankie’s Farmshop (01580 890713, frankiesfarm shop.co.uk) in Staplehurst, for

Charlotte’s bedroom The Backshalls uncovered a 16th-century window that had previously been concealed. Hand-printed cushion, Louise Townsend. Other cushions, Evernden Interiors.

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local produce, nursery plants and gifts. They also sell treats made by chocolatier Damian Allsop.’

Go for a meal at… ‘Three

Chimneys (01580 291472, thethreechimneys.co.uk) in Biddenden, and The Lord Raglan (01622 843747, lord-raglan.co.uk) in Chart Sutton. We love these rustic pubs that never change.’

FEATURE NAOMI JONES PHOTOGRAPHS ALUN CALLENDER

Visit… ‘Sissinghurst Castle


ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Jenny’s dining area Group a trio of these handspun, reflective statements for a dramatic feature, or mix different metals for an eclectic look... Stanley hammered nickel pendant, H20.5cm, £335, Original BTC.

Welcome garden-inspired beauty with arrangements that don’t require watering! Peony, chrysanthemums, berries & foliage, £150, John Lewis & Partners.

Bring a touch of modern minimalism to a period property with a light and bright decor scheme and simple, ‘just enough’ accessories.

Create a glowing ambience for entertaining with an abundance of candles and votives. Ornate candleholder, H27cm, £18, Amara.

Jenny’s style secret...

Introduce this French-style fancy to the dinner table for a design that translates hardwood and oak into elegant refinement. Chamonix dining chair, £205.80, La Maison Chic.

Mix old with new, such as antique furniture with contemporary lighting, for a modern farmhouse style that is homely yet subtly chic.

This wonderfully tumbled stone has a textured surface and aged edges – it’s the ideal practical and durable choice for classic kitchens. Aged Bourne limestone, £74sq m, Martin Moore Stone.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Modern Country Classic Turned leg table Featuring a solid timber table-top supported by decorative, spindle-like legs, these timeless pieces have provided the perfect gathering space for families since the 17th century. Whether you desire the

heritage sophistication of an antique table or prefer the simplicity of weathered wood, this generously proportioned, farmhouse favourite is a versatile addition, perfect for any family kitchen.

Where to buy…

•Farmhouse Table Company for Devon-made pieces. •Country Life Furniture for tailored sizing and finishes. •Cambridge Farmhouse Furniture for stain-proof and heat-proof designs.

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Exterior The extension,

B E R K S H I R E V I L L AG E H O U S E

by Orange Key Design Studios, brings a subtle modern edge to the rear of the property.

Something old, something new ANNA AND JOEL LOADER HAVE BROUGHT A PERIOD HOUSE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY WITH A CONTEMPORARY GLASS EXTENSION AND A MODERN INTERIOR

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Kitchen-diner The island creates a sociable space for the children to sit and chat while Anna and Joel are cooking. Cabinets; island, both DeVol. Similar bar stools, Wayfair. Lights, Industville. Dining table, Designers Guild. Benches, Made.com.

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B E R K S H I R E V I L L AG E H O U S E

What makes this house a home…

‘We’ve designed the spaces to ensure that each of the children has everything they need’ »

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Utility The untreated

Kitchen diner Large

oak and dark grey theme continues into this space. Similar seagrass basket, John Lewis & Partners. Cushion, Timorous Beasties.

windows and co-ordinated flooring create an easy flow between inside and out. Table, Designers Guild. Benches, Made.com.

Looking to move out of London, Anna and Joel

Loader fell in love with a village in Berkshire, near where Anna grew up. ‘We came out of the station and there was the feel of autumn – the smell of woodsmoke and mist over the canal,’ says Anna. ‘The setting sold the village to us. We knew it would be a lovely place to live.’ Anna and Joel then began looking for a house and one soon came up that seemed promising, but it sold straight away before they even had the chance to view it. However, the deal fell through and the estate agent got in touch with them when the house went back on the market, so the couple went to see it. ‘It was a lovely house, so we put in an offer immediately,’ says Joel. It was the period features that particularly attracted the couple. ‘The Victorian frontage was attractive, but there was also a Georgian property behind, so it had the best of both periods. Plus, it was light and spacious and it reminded me of my childhood home,’ says Joel. Although quite a bit of work needed doing to the property, the couple had a vision of what it could become. ‘We did a lot of remedial work at first,’ says Anna. ‘In fact, we started renovating as soon as we moved in.’ The couple carried out the work slowly over three years, replacing floors, installing underfloor heating and adding a new boiler. Walls were then re-rendered and replastered, ceilings were repaired and part of the roof

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*

AT HOME WITH... Owners Anna Loader works in finance and her husband Joel is in advertising. They live here with their children, Beatrix, 12, Willem, six, and baby Edward. They moved here in 2008.

House The five-bed property dates from the 1820s with later additions.


B E R K S H I R E V I L L AG E H O U S E Kitchen Deep grey-blue cabinets make a statement and contrast with the marble worktops, while brass touches are a nod to period style, and mirroring adds a bar-like feel. Flooring, Mandarin Stone. Splashback, DeVol.


Snug/library Dark walls and copper accents provide a warm and cosy atmosphere. Walls, painted in Railings, Farrow & Ball. Woodburner, Charnwood.


B E R K S H I R E V I L L AG E H O U S E

Snug A corner sofa is a sociable choice perfect for both family time and entertaining. Sofa, Sofa. com. Cushions, from a selection at John Lewis & Partners, Melin Tregwynt and Sofa.com. Coffee table, Sebastian Cox. Throw, Melin Tregwynt.

replaced. Once that work was completed, Anna and Joel gradually started to decorate the house. But, in 2016, they realised that they were in an extend-or-move situation. ‘The house had three bedrooms and after our son Willem was born in 2012, we had used them all up,’ says Anna. ‘Properties don’t come up for sale in the village very often, so we decided to extend.’ The couple visited architect and structural engineers Orange Key Design Studios to discuss their options. ‘We came back with designs that were beyond what we expected for the house and what it could be,’ says Joel. The design studio’s plan involved a contemporary side extension that created two more bedrooms and two extra bathrooms, plus a glass kitchen-diner extension that opened on to a Mediterranean-style courtyard. The challenge was getting the balance between bringing in more space and light, while retaining the period elements to keep as much of the property’s character as possible. ‘We went to lots of trouble to keep the original materials and find similar reclaimed ones that were sympathetic to the house,’ says Joel. ‘Roofing tiles were handmade to match the original ones and new windows commissioned to blend with the original sash windows. From the front it’s a quiet extension and we’ve retained the character from the road, but from the back it has a contemporary edge – we like the juxtaposition of old and new,’ he says. All in all, the project took around six months to

Cocktail shaker, Anthropologie. Pineapple ice bucket, Oliver Bonas. Similar stirrer, Urban Bar.

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Bathroom Continuing

Beatrix’s bedroom

the floor tiles up the walls gives this space a luxury, boutique hotel look. Tiles, Mandarin Stone. Stool, Soho Home. Pendants, Industville.

Anna’s chosen a softer colour palette for her daughter’s bedroom. Bed; bedlinen, both Made.com. Throw; cushions, House Doctor.

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* ON OUR DOORSTEP Visit… ‘The River Kennet and

Kennet and Avon Canal near Kintbury is a lovely area to go for a walk. You can walk past Barton Court and see abstract statues of deer from the footpath.’

Shop at… ‘Benchmark (01488 608020, benchmarkfurniture.com) near Kintbury, Hungerford. It’s a fabulous furniture workshop displaying great craftsmanship.’ Go for a meal at… ‘The Woodspeen (01635 265070, thewoodspeen.com), near Newbury. It’s a Michelin-star restaurant and cookery school set in a 19th-century farmhouse, and is known for its seasonal dishes.’

FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS PHOTOGRAPHS POLLY ELTES

complete. ‘We refurbished most of the house when we did the extension and repainted every room,’ says Anna. The dark blue and grey colour scheme, which provides continuity throughout the house, stems from the kitchen. ‘We wanted the kitchen to feel solid so we chose a shade of dark blue, with marble worktops for contrast,’ she says. The colour was then continued throughout the downstairs with similar shades used in the snug and library area. ‘It became a key colour for the house,’ says Joel. ‘Our mantra was to limit the palette and materials needed.’ Using as few ingredients as possible worked really well for the couple. Limestone flooring was laid throughout most of the downstairs rooms, while unfinished oak was used for the floor in the snug, plus the furniture, shelving and the window seat in the utility to create a light, natural feel. ‘We wanted it to have a sense of calm so we limited the raw materials and layered up with fabrics and pictures,’ says Joel. ‘The William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, played a big part.’ Anna and Joel are thrilled with the finished result. ‘The extension delivers on both a functional and a design level,’ says Anna. ‘It’s changed how we live as a family. We can talk to people when we’re cooking as they sit at the island, and we have cosy nooks where we can tuck ourselves away.’ Orange Key Design Studios, 01488 682918, orangekeyltd.co.uk.


B E R K S H I R E V I L L AG E H O U S E Main bedroom

What we love most about living here…

A Welsh blanket and a Russian nesting doll cushion introduce a subtle folksy theme. Bed, Sofa Workshop. Throw, Melin Tregwynt. Similar cushion, Wayfair.

‘We live in a village but can get to London within an hour. It’s the best of both worlds’

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ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Anna’s kitchen Create an ambient at-home restaurant feel with this industrial-classic beauty, that disperses light in an atmospheric way thanks to it’s timeless, ribbed-glass design. Brooklyn glass cone pendant, H27.5cm, £69, Industville.

No busy country home can do without versatile woven wonders to store and transport everything from veggie patch triumphs to laundry and everyday bits and bobs. Seagrass basket, £35 for two, John Lewis & Partners.

Pull up to the breakfast bar in comfort and style on this curved blend of natural mango wood and rustic iron, hand-carved by artisans. Loko stool, £140, Nkuku.

Lift a dark scheme with brass fittings and finishes on lights, drawer pulls and taps for a modern nod to period style.

Paint your cabinets in this mesmerising, midnight-sky blue for a dramatic scheme full of depth. Night Fishing active emulsion, £43 for 2.5L, Sanderson at Style Library.

Anna’s style secret...

Introduce a bar-like twist with mirrored splashbacks and contemporary artwork.

Make a striking addition to your counter and jazz up your five-a-day offering with this enticing, lustrous fruit bowl. Matt footed decorative bowl, col copper, H18xW30cm, £89.99, Wayfair.

Modern Country Classic Marble worktop

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Country Homes & Interiors

this cooling material has transitioned onto worktops, too. But with beauty, comes maintenance. Real marble’s susceptibility to staining means it’s not for everyone, however an aged look is very fitting in a rustic setting.

Where to buy…

•Rock & Co for luxury,

bespoke worktops. •The Marble Workshop for a comprehensive service from start to finish. •Stone Collection for expert fitters and lots of guidance.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Pristine, bright and uniquely patterned with a luxuriously smooth touch, marble is an ever popular choice for modern country kitchens. Despite being traditionally relegated to the larder to keep dairy and meat fresh,


  







      

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Rich pickings JEWEL TONES, GLINTS OF GOLD, OPULENT PATTERN â&#x20AC;&#x201C; KAREN CUMMINGS KNOWS HOW TO LEND PERSONALITY TO A NEUTRAL SPACE

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D E VO N C O U N T RY H O U S E

Sitting room This cosy family room is used by Karen for listening to music and curling up for a quiet read. Similar armchairs, Iggy, Sofa. com. Cushions (on the armchairs), Timorous Beasties. Lamps (on the sideboard), Cotterell & Co.

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Your first glance around this old house in Devon will

* AT HOME WITH... Owners Dentist Karen Cummings, who is moving into a career in interior design, and her husband, John, a company director, bought the house in 2002. They have two grown-up daughters, Georgina and Harriet, and two cockapoos, Coco and Tinka.

House A 17th-century, two-up, two-down six-bedroom house, extended in the Twenties.

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probably take in the rich colours and sumptuous textures of the exotic rugs and smart upholstery, all the unusual cushions, plus the vibrant artwork and ornate antiques. But look beyond to the bones of the house and you’ll notice all of these pieces sit against a fairly simple, off-white backdrop. ‘I love changing things around to celebrate the seasons,’ says the property’s owner Karen Cummings, a dentist who is masterminding her transition into a design career. ‘Having a neutral colour palette means you can do this very easily.’ Karen, who was born in Glasgow, her husband, John, and their two now grown-up daughters, Georgina and Harriet, moved into the house in 2002, and Karen immediately began renovations. As a gift to herself for her 50th birthday a few years ago, the former Army officer transformed the sitting room with some British-made furniture and accessories, mementos from travels overseas, ideas from her favourite interiors magazines and the quirky pieces that show her fun side. ‘I try to buy as much as I can from local suppliers and craftspeople,’ she says, ‘and when I visit my friends in Glasgow, I often do a bit of shopping up there, too.’ With Karen’s obvious talent for sourcing interesting objects to create stylish yet laid-back interiors, it comes as no

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D E VO N C O U N T RY H O U S E Sitting room Karenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love of bold, contemporary pieces is celebrated in this space. Similar velvet Chesterfield sofa, Debenhams. Chair, reupholstered in Omni Drips, and Roller cushion (on sofa), both Timorous Beasties.

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Kitchen Karen stylishly displays her love of pattern and wildlife. Blind, pelmet, Capuchins by Sanderson, Style Library. Scroll lamp is similar, Blue Isle. Walls painted in Oxford Stone, units, in James White, both Farrow & Ball.

What makes this house a home…

‘If there’s frost on the ground outside but the whole family, including the dogs, are gathered around the log fire, we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else’

Kitchen Locally made units and a workbench-style central island lend a country feel to this room. Units, island, Colystock Kitchens. Units in James White; island in Stiffkey Blue, both Farrow & Ball. Terracotta flooring, Original Style. 50

Country Homes & Interiors


D E VO N C O U N T RY H O U S E surprise that she’s had a fair bit of practice over the years. ‘I first met my husband as a fellow officer in Berlin, just as the Wall was coming down,’ she says. ‘John and I lived in lots of different houses all over the world, which we knew would only be temporary, but I insisted on making each one feel like home, adding personality to those bland, magnolia-painted properties with art and accessories.’ The couple may have had a quick turnaround on those early marital abodes, but they had a fair bit longer to think about how they would transform the house they now call home – for John, it’s the second time around. ‘This is where I grew up,’ he says. ‘My grandfather bought the original 400-year-old part of this house in the Twenties, and he extended the modest two-up, two-down dwelling to create a six-bedroom country house. It was later handed down to my father, but when he passed away, my mother no longer felt comfortable living here, so Karen and I decided to take it on.’ ‘We’d already left our Army life behind and were living with the girls in a lovely cottage nearby,’ says Karen, ‘but we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to transform the home that held such special family memories. After every visit, John and I would dream about the house, how we’d freshen up the dark Seventies interior and open up the kitchen into

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Sitting area Walls were knocked down to create a spacious kitchen-diner. Mirror, Jasper Jacks. Cupboard, in Parma Gray, Farrow & Ball.

Hallway The kitchen door, with the original Twenties servants’ bells above, leads to a hall featuring a painted skull by Karen’s artist brother, Douglas Moffat. Skull, Skulldouggery. Similar chair, Denbigh, Laura Ashley. Similar footstool, Red Tribal, Myakka.

Dining area Karen opted for a classic chunky wooden dining set. Similar table and chairs, The Oakloft. Cockerel artwork, Penelope Timmis.

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Main bedroom A painted skull by Karen’s artist brother, Douglas Moffat, hangs above the bed. Skull, Skulldouggery. Queen Bee cushions, Helkat Design. Walls, painted in Elephant’s Breath, Farrow & Ball.

What we love about living here…

‘This is such a spacious, comfortable home surrounded by beautiful countryside, yet we’re a stone’s throw from really good road links to major cities’

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D E VO N C O U N T RY H O U S E a spacious, modern family room.’ The kitchen was extended to include a cosy, informal seating area and a dining area. With military precision in the planning, it took the couple just three months to complete that initial phase of the renovation. ‘We had plenty of time to come up with ideas, so it was just a case of putting them all into action,’ says Karen, ‘then we could get back to enjoying family life together, appreciating the outdoors, walking, cycling and breathing in the fresh Devon air.’ Clearly, Karen has been very happy to adopt this county as her home, and it’s even helping her to develop her passion for interiors into a new career. ‘I love making people look great and thus making them feel better about themselves, but dentistry is incredibly demanding physically so I know I can’t continue forever, which is why I’m going part-time – to allow me to transition into interior design. ‘I’ve met so many people who need help to fall in love with their homes again. I love this house now, and it makes me incredibly happy to know that everyone who comes through our door – family, friends, clients and colleagues – is warmly welcomed here. I believe that’s something we should all feel about our home, so I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter of my life in this lovely old house.’ For more information on Cummings & Tomkins, visit cummingsandtomkinsinteriors.co.uk.

Guest bedroom Karen added mismatched lamps and antler artwork for a modern twist. Similar bed frame, Eliza, Laura Ashley. Leggy Flamingo lamp (on drawers), Graham and Green.

Exterior In front of a thatched Twenties summer house stands a sculpture commissioned by the couple to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in 2016. It was made by local craftsman Peter Stratton at Garden Quirks, who also landscaped the area.


D E VO N C O U N T RY H O U S E

*

O N O U R D O O R S T E P. . . Visit… ‘In winter, we love going for

walks on Exmouth Beach, followed by coffee and a slice of lemon polenta cake at Ivan’s (01884 821458, facebook.com/ivanscoffee), a dogfriendly café in Halberton.’

Shop at… ‘Darts Farm (01392 878200, dartsfarm.co.uk) in Topsham is one of those farm shops where you can practically do your week’s shop, then go on to buy a few pretty bits for the house, including the most beautiful flowers. If you have the time, you can even have a spa treatment, or a haircut. They have a restaurant, too!’ Go for a meal at… ‘The Bakehouse

FEATURE NAOMI JONES PHOTOGRAPHS BRENT DARBY

(01884 35222, thebakehouse cullompton.co.uk) in Cullompton is just lovely. They serve a good range of simple yet delicious breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas, but I’m particularly fond of their tapas selection if we go there for dinner.’

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ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Karen’s bedroom Create an airy look with a neutral foundation on walls and floors, then change up your cushions, blankets and lampshades.

Illuminate your scheme with a glamorous, fun twist! Flamingo legs lamp (shade included), H70xDia28cm, £89, Idyll Home.

Display this realistic yet animal-friendly decoration above your headboard to make a dramatic focal point with a difference. Faux deer wall mount with antlers, H48xW52xD33cm, £29.99, WalPlus Store at Etsy. Enjoy sweet dreams with this exquisitely crafted layer of silky loveliness that’s also hypoallergenic and temperature regulating… Sumptuous silk bedspread, 240x240cm, col grey, £298.99, The French Bedroom Company.

Complement your modern country space with this beautifully textured and durable design, for a flooring solution full of character and life. Alaska loop pile carpet, col beige, £29.99m, Carpetright.

Karen’s style secret...

Give a classic scheme a touch of modern eccentricity with mismatched lamps and original artwork.

Revel in the romance of this Victorian inspiration, complete with brass rail, bedknobs and a white finish. Juniper handcrafted cast metal bed, H142xL205cm, from £1,675, And So To Bed.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Modern Country Classic Wooden blanket box Arguably one of the most versatile and useful pieces in furniture’s history, this type of wooden trunk can be used for storing a variety of essentials in any room. Traditionally placed at the foot end of the bed, they are

filled with throws and blankets to layer up through the chilly, winter months. Modern designs come in a variety of sizes and painted wood finishes to offer rustic style with a touch of contemporary charm.

Where to buy…

•The Cotswold Co for classic modern country styles. •Just Ottomans for a wide variety of finishes, styles, sizes and shapes. •Barker & Stonehouse for reclaimed wood options.

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A new kind of country BY BUILDING FROM SCRATCH, JANE AND STEWART GILMOUR HAVE CREATED A STUNNING MODERN COUNTRY HOME WITH ALL THE WARMTH OF A TRADITIONAL RURAL DWELLING

Exterior The house fans out to match the shape of the plot. Stewart project managed the build, and installed all the insulation, studwork and plasterboarding himself. 56

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE NEW BUILD Living room The chimney in the centre of the house rises up through the double-height, open-plan space, and makes for an impressive focal point. Wooden armchair, Swoon. Floral cushion, Harlequin.

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE NEWBUILD Living room Arranging all the seating to face the window keeps the focus on the garden, while an eclectic combination of prints add interest. Small sofa, Swoon. Table lamp, French Connection Home. Grey coffee table, Made.com


Landing Sculptural lighting makes excellent use of the high ceilings above the living area. Pendant lights, Moooi.

Living room The openplan format of the downstairs space is ideal for family life. Similar log basket, Trouva.

What do you do when you’ve outgrown your home but love its location too much to move? That’s the dilemma the Gilmour family found themselves in for years – constantly on the lookout for exciting properties for sale in their Buckinghamshire market town, all the while making do in a too-small house. But then the plot that was to become their future home came up for sale. ‘We love this area and have a wide circle of friends and family here,’ says Jane. Although the couple had extended their current property, Jane’s husband Stewart was eager for a new challenge. ‘He has endless energy,’ she says. ‘He would take on another project tomorrow if he could.’ The property they bought had belonged to an elderly lady and hadn’t been touched in years. ‘We loved the quiet location at the end of a cul-de-sac, and we had been looking for a property that we could either extend significantly or knock down and rebuild,’ says Jane. Given how rundown the house was, the couple chose to do the latter. For seven months, while the couple developed their meticulous plans, the family of five lived in the rundown property. ‘It was small and quite cold, but we managed to have fun. Let’s just say, it was not without its challenges,’ says Jane. With the plans finalised, the Gilmours

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*

AT HOME WITH... Owners Jane Gilmour, a lawyer, and her husband Stewart, who works in financial technology, live here with their three daughters, Emily, 12, Beth, 10 and Elsa, six. The girls also have two hamsters, Misty and Teddy.

House A six-bedroom, modern family home designed by Stewart and OB Architecture.

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Living room A log pile cut into the chimney adds an interesting rustic architectural feature.

decamped to Jane’s parents’ home for a year, while the job of knocking down and rebuilding began. Stewart, who has a degree in industrial design, put his skills to use conceiving the new house, enlisting the help of architectural firm OB Architecture towards the end of the design phase. Having lived in London where space is at a premium, he was keenly aware of how to utilise every inch of square footage. ‘Stewart designed the footprint to maximise the space in the plot, which has an unusual fan shape. Every inch has been dedicated to something useful,’ explains Jane. The house is tilted diagonally across the plot, with a slightly shorter depth of lawn at the front. Impressively, Stewart also threw himself into the project management and the build itself, working on the brick cladding, landscaping the garden, and building the decking and children’s playhouse. Sharing a love of skiing, the family had a clear vision of their future home, which would be inspired by a contemporary yet cosy ski chalet. In wintertime, with underfloor heating in all the downstairs rooms and two open fireplaces, the house really comes into its own. ‘It’s incredibly economical and the heating bills are very low,’ says Jane. Walking into the open-plan kitchen, you’re met by a fireplace that is angled in three directions. ‘We

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Kitchen The sleek, modern space provides ample storage for all the family’s essentials. Kitchen, Red Kite Kitchens. Calabash pendants, Lightyears at Utility Design.


BUCKINGHAMSHIRE NEW BUILD Kitchen A high bar area provides a sociable space for dinner guests to sit and enjoy a drink while the couple prepare the food. Henriksdal bar stools, Ikea; upholstered in Mosaic Mulberry matt oil cloth, Only Oilcloths. Mirror, Maisons du Monde.

What we love most about living here… ‘The abundance of countryside. We’re in the Chiltern Hills and there’s a lot of local woodland. The transport links to London and the local schools are also both fantastic’

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Guest bedroom Unfussy modernist furniture is paired with elaborate floral wallpaper, and floating bedside tables cleverly conceal power points. Wallpaper, Designers Guild. Similar cube shelving, B&Q.

What makes this house a home…

Main bedroom

‘All the colour we’ve added throughout, and the central warmth of the fireplaces’

A feature wall of coral Chinoiserie blossom offers a soft contrast to the more modernist furniture choices. Wallpaper, Harlequin.

Bathroom A deep tub is

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the focal point of this modern scheme, while a punch of colour from the green side table adds interest to the calming grey tones. Similar table, Maisons du Monde.


BUCKINGHAMSHIRE NEW BUILD

FEATURE JULIET BENNING PHOTOGRAPHS BRENT DARBY STYLING MARY WEAVER

Garden Cool Gardens designed the planting plan, but Stewart did all the landscaping himself, including laying the patios and gabion stone retaining walls. Similar fire pit, The Farthing.

wanted it to be a central feature with the rustic brick chimney stack stretching up to the next floor,’ says Jane. A log pile, built into the wall, adds to the charm. As the property was taking shape, it became obvious that colour would be important. ‘In the early stages, the skeleton of the house was very neutral so we wanted to introduce a vibrant palette that would make our home unique,’ says Jane. She had reconnected with a childhood friend, Annabel Smith, who runs her own interior design firm, and together the two women worked on numerous mood boards and schemes to bring the house to life, including plans for several feature walls. Annabel also helped in upholstering furnishings and making light shades. Stewart and Jane love entertaining, so chose to include a kitchen bar, as well as free-flowing space from the kitchen to the living area, ideal for hosting guests. The family room, separated from the kitchen by a sliding pocket door, gets a lot of use in the evenings. ‘Often the girls will be watching a film in there while I’m cooking,’ says Jane. And sliding doors open up the entire ground floor to the garden, so the chalet-style house reflects the seasons. ‘We like the sense of bringing the garden inside,’ says Jane. Annabel Smith Interiors, annabelsmithinteriors.com. OB Architecture, obarchitecture.co.uk.

*

ON OUR D O O R S T E P. . . Visit… ‘We’re National Trust

members and love visiting Cliveden in nearby Taplow (01628 605069, nationaltrust. org.uk/cliveden). The gardens and woodlands down to the river are wonderful.’

Shop at… ‘Mira (01494 677990) in Beaconsfield. It’s a quirky gift shop that sells unusual gifts, jewellery and clothes.’ Go for a meal at… ‘The Cape

(01494 681137, thecapeonline. com) in Beaconsfield does a fantastic brunch. We also love walking to The Royal Standard of England, also in Beaconsfield, for a Sunday pub lunch (01494 673382, rsoe.co.uk). It’s the oldest freehold pub in England and is cosy and atmospheric.’

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ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by For a feature wall with an optical illusion, try this geometric design that features paper folds that create playful light-andshade effects. Papper wallpaper, £65 a roll, Sandberg.

Jane’s sitting room Group seating towards a window to keep the focus on the garden and enhance a sense of living in nature.

Pop this chic modern brass-andmarble silhouette on a side table for an of-the-moment, style switch-on. Marble disk lamp, H60xW32xD15cm, £199, Pols Potten at Amara.

Unite a space with this handmade creation, abundant with colourful floral motifs dancing in symmetrical pattern repeats. Midnight moods tufted rug, L250xW150cm, £669, Mineheart at The Gifted Few.

Jane’s style secret…

Add personal flair with an eclectic display of prints hung in an interesting, linear formation. Take your soft furnishings on a wanderlust journey with exciting tropical inspirations. Tropica Scandinavian cushion, 45x 45cm, £18, Kuushti.

Unwind on this luxurious high-end design which combines a contemporary box-shaped frame with sumptuous feather-filled cushions. Elkin three-seater sofa, H79xW190x D98cm, col Matrix Grey, £1,900, Habitat.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Modern Country Classic Retro easy chair Comfortable and stylish, this ergonomic favourite has a simple silhouette, contoured wooden arms and legs, and cushioned upholstery. Sturdy yet elegant, the understated aesthetic of this interior icon makes it a timeless choice for

classic and contemporary homes. Whether you choose a reinvented newbie or try upcycling a vintage find, take your pick from a spectrum of bold and vibrant upholstery choices. This seating style will never go out of fashion.

Where to buy…

•Swoon for laid-back angles

and luxurious upholstery. •Atkin & Thyme for handcrafted designs. •Rose & Grey for handfinished statement pieces with a green-friendly certificate.

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LIFE IS C O SY Snuggle up with shades of rose and fig, in chunky knits and soft chenille, and embrace heart-warming tones and soul-soothing textures that bring comfort when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cold outsideâ&#x20AC;Ś

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SEASONAL LOOKS

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SEASONAL LOOKS

ENJOY FIRESIDE MOMENTS EVERY DAY Set up your hearthside essentials, ready for toasty days. Matches and smoulder wraps take care of the fire, while marshmallows tempt you to indulge in a touch of sweetness… See page 74 for details.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

CREATE A WELCOMING SNUG Layer up woollens and weaves for a room that cradles you in comfort. Velvet chairs keep the look soft yet stylish. See page 74 for details.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

LAY A TABLE TO LINGER AT Don’t save soft furnishings for the fireside. Brought to the table, cushions, throws and chunky runners make mealtimes an opportunity to sit back and relax. See page 74 for details.


BEAT A RETREAT TO THE KITCHEN Bring a pretty glow to the heart of the home, with rosy tones of blush, plum and heather across crockery and kitchen linens. See page 74 for details.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

BRING A TOUCH OF LUXE TO LIE-INS A scattering of rugs and an abundance of throws and pillows bring ease to wintry mornings. Pom-poms and tassels add a playful touch. See page 74 for details.


CLOSE THE DOOR TO THE COLD Drape a doorway with a beautiful blanket – an easy hack to keep the chills at bay. Glowing candles and pick-me-up throws add to the sense of warmth. See page 74 for details.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

All the details

PRODUCTS AND PRICES

Pages 68-69

LIFE IS COSY Giant Merino ball of yarn, £37; giant knitting needles, £37, both Ona by Agne. Cheeky Chunky yarn, col Pewter, £11.99 for 200g, Wool Couture Company. Gravas pink ribbed vase, £8, Ikea. Ivory Epoch pot, £8; Fig candle, £20, both Anthroplogie. Njutning candle, col purple, £7 for three; ARV plate, col purple, £3, all Ikea. Glass tea light holder, col maroon, £20

for six, British Colour Standard. String, col purple, £2.50, from selection at Le Petit Jardin. Wooden dishes, from £16.95 for three, all Nkuku. Frayed linen napkin, £6, Flint Collection. Knitted rose dishcloth (just seen), £4.40, Folk Interiors. Embroidered trim, col ivory, £7m, Little India Store at Etsy. Shell yarn, £5.50 for 200g; 10mm bamboo needles, £6.20, both Hobbycraft.

ENJOY FIRESIDE MOMENTS EVERYDAY Timothy Oulton Noble Souls

Neptune. Meghan cushion, col blush, £28, Barker and Stonehouse. Wood for the Trees cushion, £55, Imogen Heath. Velvet cushion, col Raspberry, £54, Oka. Winter sunset throw, £128, Anthropologie. Ridged pot, £10, Anthroplogie. Candle, £11.50, Folk Interiors. Stoneware candleholder, £14, French Connection Home. (On shelf) Pitcher, £15, Luxe glass (as plant pot), £5, French Connection Home. Glass tea light holder, col maroon, as before. Pink ceramic vase, £20; pink bubble glass vase, £8.50; nude tea light holders, £3 each; frame, £12, all Packhouse. Watercolour painting, £95, Erica Just Artist. Pouffe, £95, French Connection Home. (On pouffe) Sophy tray, £40, Imogen Heath. Teapot, £55, LSA International. Candles from selection, Old Man & Magpie. Rustic basket, £25, Le Papillon Vert. Giant yarn, Wool Couture Company. Basket, £120, Garden Trading.

coffee table, £395, Barker and Stonehouse. Log basket, £52, Wovenhill. Chunky knit cushion, £49.95, King and Eye Crochet at Etsy. Stone bowl, £14; Warm Fireside candle, £6, both TK Maxx. Small candle, £11.50, Folk Interiors. Matches, £6, Dobbies. Winter Spice firelighters, £6.99 for six, Kindlecone. Decorative wax firelighters, £8 for three, Wyld Home. Olney side plate, £48 for six, Neptune. Sage smudge sticks, from £7, Trouva.

CREATE A WELCOMING SNUG

Wall painted in Soho House marble matt emulsion, £46 for 2.5L, Mylands. Stove 3112, £1,040, Morsø. Meraki rug, £315, Alem pom-pom rug, £335, both Also Home. Dominic armchairs, col Isla Grouse velvet, £900 each; Olney mug, £14 for two, all

LAY A TABLE TO LINGER AT

Pages 70-71

Wall clad in rustic wood shingles. Winglefield extending dining table, £2,586; Murciana goat hair armchair, £625; Pacos throw, col heather, £275, all Oka. Wishbone chair, col white, £670, Hans J Wegner for Carl Hansen & son at The Conran Shop. Lohals rug, £55, Ikea. (On table) Garment washed linen tablecloth, col Blush, £65; linen napkins, £26 for four, all Also Home. Waterfall carafe, col rose, £58; Mathilde vase, £42; pom-pom cushion, £58, all Anthropologie. ARV purple plate, £3, Ikea. Olney bowls, £54 for six; Olney side plates, £48 for six, all Neptune. Cutlery, £14.99, HomeSense. Violet glass tumbler, £6; Old rose dinner candles, £12 for six, British Colour Standard. Black candle platter, £40, Nordal. Luxe glass (as tea light holder), £5; Rattan chair (just seen), £195, both French Connection Home. Knitted plant pot holders, £55 each; Merino wool Alice Porto cushion, col Aubergine, £185, all Melanie Porter. Handmade

BRING A TOUCH OF LUXE TO LIE INS Cladding stained in Ronseal Black Pages 72-73

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Ebony wood stain, £10 for 2.5L, B&Q. Holly king-size bed frame in Zinc crushed velvet, £1,145, Button and Sprung. Curtains in Boho Velvets, col lilac 235267, £53m, Sanderson at Style Library. Olivia ruffle pillowcases, £65 each; Kaya velvet throw, £225; Unary velvet cushion, £47, all Also Home. Ashes of Rose linen duvet, £129.50; Ashes of Rose and pink lavender pillowcases, from £16.50 each, all Bohzaar. Shani tassel cushion, £45; Poppy field rug, £125, both French Connection Home. Pouffe cushion, £90, Yonder Living. Bluebell cushion, £65, Imogen Heath. Round cushion, £55, Loopsie Loop at Etsy. Pom-pom throw, £128; mug, £10, both Anthropologie. Alice Magnus throw, £420, Melanie Porter. Perle blanket with tassels, £69; Mariella kimono, £40, both Wallace Cotton. Stool, £315, Barker and

scented soy candles, from £7, Old Man & Magpie. Heather and magnolia plants from a selection, Dobbies.

BEAT A RETREAT TO THE KITCHEN Kitchen cupboard, £350,

Packhouse. Trivet cake stand, £7, TK Maxx. Sophy tray, £40, Imogen Heath. Iona marble and wood cheeseboard, £24; Beaumont stripe pot, £4; Delaney copper measuring spoons, £26; hammered copper prep spoon, £18, all Anthropologie. Acorn ceramic pot, £13; Banagher chopping board, £155 for three, all Oka. Knitted tea towel, col black, £15; knitted pot holder, col blush, £5.60; knitted dish cloth, col black, £4.40; knit tea towel, col blush, £15, all Folk Interiors. Large grey enamel and wood bowl, £26; Luxe glass pitcher, £15, both French Connection Home. Check linen tea towel, £16, Le Petit Jardin. Heather linen tea towel, £6.95, Closet & Botts. Gourmet oven glove, £8, Wallace Cotton.

Stonehouse. Stool, £60, Packhouse. Table lamp, £269, Olive and the Fox. Reindeer hide, £215, Hide rugs. Chyangra goat hair rug, £162, Oka. Skold sheepskin rug, £130; Ribba frame, £12, both Ikea. Candle, from £7, Old Man & Magpie. Poppyheads painting, £95, Erica Just Artist.

CLOSE THE DOOR TO THE COLD Wall painted in Plum Tree marble matt

emulsion, £46 for 2.5L, Mylands. Wedding blanket rug (as a curtain), £395, Raj Tent Club. Console table, £495, Oka. Peg rail, £41, Scumble Goosie. Cardigan, £138, Anthropologie. Chunky knit dusky pink scarf, £45.95, King and Eye Crochet at Etsy. Belmont jar, £55; Sefton blanket, £65, both Neptune. Nordrana knitted bag, £6.25 for two; Purple plant pot, £2.50, both Ikea. Rug, £95, French Connection Home. Baskets, from £32, Le Petit Jardin. (In basket) Scarf, £129, Ona by Ange.

FEATURE/ART DIRECTION SARA BIRD STYLING SELINA LAKE STYLING ASSISTANT SARAH PRALL PHOTOGRAPHY MAX ATTENBOROUGH

Pages 66-67


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T H I N G S T H AT M A K E U S G O O O H !

Uplifting harmony Create a beautifully calm and restorative space with simple bathroom fittings complemented by enveloping bath linens, fresh blooms and gently scented bath bubbles.

SERENITY

REVIVE BODY AND SOUL WITH ACCESSORIES THAT TRANSFORM YOUR BATHROOM INTO A SPA-STYLE SANCTUARY. AND RELAX…

Savoy towels, from £16; Brocklesby side table, £455; bath tidy, £49; Aurelie ultimate vase, £75, all The White Company.

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CHOSEN BY US FOR YOU

Enjoy a glass of fizz and a delicious lunch.

Discover how to create your dream kitchen.

TOM HOWLEY EVENT

Kitchen design masterclass LEARN ABOUT KITCHEN DESIGN FROM THE MASTER HIMSELF AT THIS SPECIAL COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS READER EVENT

J

oin the Country Homes & Interiors magazine team at a masterclass with bespoke kitchen designer Tom Howley this month, as we celebrate the very best of British luxury. Tom will share his kitchen expertise and industry knowledge on kitchen planning and design with us, along with news of the latest kitchen trends. After the talk you’ll have the chance to ask Tom your burning kitchen design questions, before enjoying a cookery demonstration by guest chef Nigel Smith. The

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day will then conclude with a relaxed lunch and a glass of wine. Tickets cost £25 each, plus all guests will receive a free gift bag.

r WHEN Thursday 7 February

from 11am to 2:30pm. r WHERE Tom Howley Showroom, 75 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AW. r HOW TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET Visit tomhowley.eventbrite.co.uk and click on the Tom Howley and Country Homes & Interiors event tab. Places are strictly limited.


T H I N G S T H AT M A K E U S G O O O H !

Natural energy Block out the diary and pencil in some pamper time... Be inspired by traditional Nordic spas and regenerate with a deeply nourishing, all-natural skincare experience.

Spa gift set, ÂŁ20 for six pieces, including natural hemp sponge, body brush, sponge, loofah, exfoliating glove and nail brush with pumice, all Nordic House. Country Homes & Interiors 79


T H I N G S T H AT M A K E U S G O O O H !

Croft collection bath bridge, £40; Design Project No167 marble tumbler, £16; soap pump, £20, all John Lewis & Partners.

80 Country Homes & Interiors

Kennet Carrara marble herringbone tiles, £79sq m; Corinium small jug, £9; Corinium tall jug, £11; Keats wall light, £110, all Neptune.

Circular wall mirror with shelves, col gold, £69, The Forest & Co.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Waffle guest towel, col white, £9; waffle linen bath robes, col white/ linen/eucalyptus, £85; round wire basket, £35 for two, all Murmur.


 



            



   

    


C O U N T RY T R E N D

Let’s talk...

MARBLING THE AMBIENT GLOW Large Artur table lamp, col stone crackle glaze, £135; straight empire handmade marbled 30cm paper shade, col Arno blue and red fans, £55, both Pooky.

The swoony, striking pattern formations of marble have got us in a whirl... This stone is a perennial favourite in modern country homes for its natural good looks and polished finish, but its dynamic mottled effects deserve to be seen beyond the kitchen and bathroom. Adding visual texture without the weight or price tag of the real thing, marbling effects can now be found across a variety of accessories, including cushions, crockery and tech. The look brings a sense of flow, intricate detail and elemental beauty to any space.

LOVE THIS LOOK? THEN TRY…

THE STATEMENT WALL High tide wallpaper mural, £150 a roll, Woodchip & Magnolia.

@

Using a large-scale feature wallpaper, for a pocket-friendly twist on traditional tiles. @ Mixing with other natural materials to add warmth and texture. Try furniture designs that combine marble, metal and wood for pared-back Scandi styling. @ Adding chic accents of opulence with delicate marble-effect finishes on smaller accessories – we’re talking everything from trinket bowls to clocks and candleholders. THE ACCESSORIES

THE ACCENT FURNITURE

Marble-effect tray side tables, small H59xDia38cm; large H73xDia46cm, £215 for set of two, Rockett St George.

DID YOU KNOW…? Formed of metamorphic limestone, marble comes in a variety of colours and variations, from brilliant bluish hues to rich yellows and deep greens.

Kinship marble coasters, H1.5xW10xD10cm, £30 for set of four, Oliver Bonas.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS BACKGROUND HARLEQUIN MAKRANA WALLPAPER, COL MOONSTONE, £68 A ROLL, STYLE LIBRARY.

THE BEDLINEN

Makrana bedding, col Moonstone, from £22, Harlequin at Style Library.

THE SOFT TOUCH Marble velvet cushion, 49x49cm, col dark grey, £95, Heal’s.

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M Y K I N D O F C O U N T RY

‘I’M INCREDIBLY LUCKY TO HAVE A JOB THAT INDULGES MY PASSION FOR TEXTILES’ Fabric designer Helen Sanderson

R

enowned for its collections of classic linens, sumptuous velvets and plain and printed textiles, family business Ian Sanderson has been designing and producing interiors fabrics since it was launched by Ian himself in 1964. The business is now run by his son, Julian, and daughter-in-law and design director Helen Sanderson, from their studio, office and warehouse on the family farm in West Berkshire. Helen, who has a degree in Printed Textiles from Winchester School of Art, joined the business in 1991, and married Julian in 1998. She takes a lot of inspiration for her designs from antique documents and vintage textiles, and the results mean Ian Sanderson fabrics are a firm favourite with interior designers and their clients – they can be found in leading hotels from Skibo Castle in Scotland and Ham Yard in London to The Pig Hotel in Bath. We went to West Berkshire to find out more about Helen’s life in the country. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A COUNTRY GIRL AT HEART? I have lived in London and love its busy-ness, but I do prefer to be in the country. As a child, I would garden with my mother; we used to have a veg plot and I

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would grow radishes and pick blackberries, using their juice for ink. We were lucky enough to have a river in the garden with clay in its banks, which I used to make pots. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE COUNTRYSIDE? Being in touch with the seasons and the weather. We cycle, run and walk a lot in all weathers. It’s lovely to see the emerging snowdrops in spring, bluebells later and the turning of leaves in autumn. There are particular aromas and sounds, too. It’s about being connected to your surroundings and working with them – it’s good therapy. WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME? Our house was originally a gamekeeper’s cottage and it has been extended over the years. It’s set in the Hampshire countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty beneath the Downs. In the garden, we’ve made raised beds where I grow flowers, vegetables and fruit. We also have an orchard, as well as three runner ducks, two cats, a stables, and, in the summer, Grandma’s cows come to stay. WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS? Printed and woven antique documents. We’ve accumulated quite an archive of fabrics:

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A stroll along the canal is one of Helen’s favourite pastimes. Bolts of fabric show the richness and variety of the designs.

Bluey-grey Ink Blot, part of the new Witterings collection.

The Carnarvon Arms has a feature wall of Ian Sanderson’s Rustica wallpaper.

Helen likes to sketch her designs by hand.

Blue velvet Poppinjay, along with a fabric under development.

Helen and Julian looking at new fabrics – they are works in progress for the new Witterings collection.

Highclere Castle, the setting of Downton, is a short drive from Helen’s office.

The pretty Jessamy Paisley print with some colour trials.


Helen chose Cossack plaid for her own living room sofa.

Poppinjay is one of Helen’s favourite archive designs.

I couldn’t live without...

‘MY FAMILY. IT’S YOUR FAMILY THAT KEEP YOU GROUNDED AND FOCUSED ON WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT, AS WELL AS THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE’

Getting out in nature is an important part of Helen’s day.

Zarina Paisley weave from the Bylina collection.

Burghclere’s little-known and unique Sandham Memorial Chapel.

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M Y K I N D O F C O U N T RY

Welsh blankets, patchworks, rugs, etc. I go to antiques and textile fairs around the country such as Talent for Textiles and Vintage Bazaar. Inspiration for colours is everywhere, from children’s books to contemporary ceramics, gardening and fashion. HOW DO YOU START EACH DAY? A quick jog up the lane helps my thoughts and planning for the coming day. Then, back home, a bowl of soaked oats and fruit makes for the best breakfast. I also make a sourdough loaf once a week, which takes about three days! WHERE DO YOU WORK? The office and warehouse makes up part of the family farm, just outside Newbury. HOW DID IAN SANDERSON START? Julian’s father, Ian, started the company in the Sixties, importing fabrics and then creating his own. He was a gifted and intuitive entrepreneur, ahead of his time. WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT? The best times are at the end of an exhibition when we’ve put together a great stand, launched the new collections and everyone’s worked together as a team. It’s always good to see our fabrics in interiors, private or commercial, where clients are happy.

FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS PHOTOGRAPHS ALUN CALLENDER

WHAT IS THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS? If you enjoy what you do, you can’t say it’s hard work, but you have to put the effort in to get results. You have to have a balance of instinctive creativity and commercial sense. WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE IAN SANDERSON PRODUCT? That’s impossible to answer, but probably the new designs I’m working on now. And Poppinjay, one of our archive prints, is a good one; the colourways came together quickly and once we’d achieved the right texture and marks on the screens, the design came to life. It’s the co-ordinating of print and weave that’s exciting, putting together different textures and colours in an unexpected way. WHICH OTHER DESIGNERS DO YOU ADMIRE? Enid Marx for abstract modernism and pleasure in pattern, and Josef Frank for his sheer exuberance.

H E L E N ’S C O U N T RY V I B E What’s your favourite winter recipe? Delia Smith’s apple and almond pudding. What’s your favourite warming drink? Hot berry juice as sampled on a trip to Lapland, best drunk in a Sami tent sitting on reindeer skins! What’s your favourite winter walk? The circular walk around East Woodhay, Heath End, North End and West Woodhay in the shadow of the Downs. What do you love about winter in the countryside? I love the stripped down shapes of the trees without their leaves, they have a beauty of their own.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE UK? It has to be the South Hams in Devon, particularly Totnes – it’s a fantastic place that embraces diversity in food, retail and creativity, and is always inspiring. The view from Bantham beach to Burgh Island is lovely, particularly if there are decent waves. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT WEEKEND… A bike ride in our wonderful countryside. Then, lunch at Honesty Hungerford in Barr’s Yard, followed by a walk along the canal. WHAT ARE THE HOT RURAL TOPICS LOCALLY? The proposed development of houses at Sandleford; it’s the location that inspired the rabbits in Watership Down. WE’RE COMING TO VISIT YOUR VILLAGE. WHAT MUSTN’T WE MISS? Of course, I’d have to say Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey), which is a stone’s throw from our office, and the nearby Carnarvon Arms pub, which has a feature wall of our Rustica wallpaper in the restaurant and serves great food. We recommend The Crown and Garter in Inkpen to our foreign visitors for a truly English stay. We also have a little-known National Trust property in Burghclere, Sandham Memorial Chapel, built to house a series of 17 paintings by Stanley Spencer illustrating his experiences in the First World War. And, of course, there are numerous beautiful footpaths to explore. ☎ 01635 33188, iansanderson.co.uk. Country Homes & Interiors

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P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E Sink into the invitingly soft, deepseated Radley range of sofas. Chaise end sofa in Romo Linara Battleship, from £4,002.

Perfect for country homes. Radley snuggler in Flourish Mist, from £1,748.

Relax on a super-comfy sofa TURN YOUR HOME INTO A SANCTUARY WITH LUXURY HANDCRAFTED FURNITURE FROM COLLINS & HAYES

W

hat makes you feel truly at home? Is it when you step through the door? Or when you slip off your shoes? Most likely, it’s the first moment you sink into an irresistibly comfortable sofa or chair. But if yours doesn’t quite feel like the lap of luxury, maybe it’s time to check out the fabulous range at Collins & Hayes. Understated yet elegant, each piece is handcrafted to ensure exceptional quality and longevity. Every sofa and armchair features sumptuous deep cushioning, hand-stitched details and carved oak feet, and uses the very best materials. Everything that goes into Collins & Hayes furniture is responsibly sourced – from exquisite goose feathers to solid 88

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hardwood frames. What’s more, each sofa and chair frame has a lifetime promise. Over the last 149 years, Collins & Hayes has become a specialist in handmade British furniture, offering a mix of classic and contemporary sofas and chairs in a range of luxury fabrics and buttery soft leathers. Whether your chosen look is the gently tapered Radley or the timeless Lavinia, you’ll find a design to suit your home. With your design decided, choose from a carefully curated fabric edit of pure cottons, fine linens, rich wools and sumptuous velvets. Select either upholstery or slip covers from more than 100 available fabrics, and personalise your pieces with contrasting or

complementary piping. You can also choose from the Romo range of Linara cotton linens in 360 hues, from neutrals to warm tones. From beautiful lines and timeless style, to fine craftsmanship and undeniable comfort, Collins & Hayes has everything you need to rediscover the joy of being at home.

See the latest collections of fabrics and furniture and find your nearest retailer at collinsandhayes.co.uk or follow on Instagram @collinsandhayes or Facebook @CollinsandHayesFurnitureLtd #collinsandhayes #mycollinsandhayes


HALL SPECIAL

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welcome-home

hallways

THE HALL HELPS ORGANISE YOUR MORNINGS AND GREETS YOU EACH NIGHT, SO MAKE YOURS A WELCOMING FEATURE YOU'LL WANT TO RUSH HOME TO

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Be bold If you are lucky enough to have a tall hall, make the most of its grand proportions by painting your front door in a bold shade, both inside and out. ‘You can further emphasise the ceiling height by painting the staircase, treads, risers and spindles in a dark colour, which will draw the eye upwards and contrast with pale walls,’ says Beth Dadswell, founder of Imperfect Interiors. ‘And don’t forget the lighting. Choose the largest, most dramatic pendant you can, as this will set the tone for the whole house. This is your wow moment, so don’t waste the opportunity to make a good first impression.’

Door painted in 50YY60538 exterior gloss, £41.19 for 2.5L, Dulux Trade. Woodwork painted in Hague Blue estate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L; lower wall in Hague Blue estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, both Farrow & Ball. Similar light, Caracella Deepamala one-light novelty pendant, £124.99, Wayfair. Interior design, price on request, Imperfect Interiors. Country Homes & Interiors

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HALL SPECIAL

2

Take a load off A seat or bench for pulling shoes on and off is handy for everyone, but essential for the elderly and less able, who may struggle without. Seating with storage underneath, or inside via a lift-up lid, has the added advantage of helping to keep your hall tidy. However, if the space is particularly narrow, it can prove wiser to sacrifice storage in favour of a bench with skinny legs that will allow more visible floor space. Make it extra comfortable with light padding and a few colourful cushions.

Curtains and cushion (front) in Full Flight Powder Blue Cottage pleat, £52m; cushion (back) in Saffron Plain Linen, £48m; cushion (middle) in Branching Out Scree, £52m; cushion (on bench) in Charcoal Simple Ticking Detail, £49.50m, all Vanessa Arbuthnott.

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3

The kids are all right If you have children and space for only one row of coat hooks, put them within easy reach of the youngest, to make hanging up coats easy. Hooks with name labels may provide extra incentive not to ditch their school bags in the middle of the floor. A shoe rack will also contribute to clear corridors – add a welly rack that holds boots upside down to protect floors.

Fetch wallcovering, col Fountain, £55 a roll; Bench seat cushion and blind in Walkies, £29.50m; Pitter Patter rug, col Pavement, 80x150cm, £180, all Villa Nova. Country Homes & Interiors

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Keswick large console table, £930; Garrick chandelier, £375, Neptune.

4

Everything to hand

Keeping clutter under control is essential in any hall, but particularly in narrow spaces that can quickly feel claustrophobic if they get messy. A slender console table is often all it takes to restore order. Include a dish for loose change, and a table lamp to welcome you home in the evenings. ‘An elegant, lightweight design that’s dainty on the eye won’t overpower the space,’ says John Sims-Hilditch, co-founder of Neptune. ‘Our Keswick console is perfect for storing everything you need in one place, so you’ll always know where to find your keys when you’re dashing out the door.’ You could add baskets beneath to tidy away hats and gloves.


H A L L WAY S P E C I A L

Ledbury Marina blue pattern tiles (on floor), £34.95sq m; Bond Street blue metro tiles (on walls), £24.95sq m, both Walls and Floors.

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Victorian updates

Disappointed that your ripped-up hall carpet didn’t reveal beautiful original tiles? Think of it as an opportunity to splash out on the latest twists on traditional period styles, and enjoy a fresh look that echoes your home’s heritage. Inspired by encaustic tiles of days past, these ceramic versions boast modern benefits. ‘They’re a fraction of the cost of encaustic tiles, but just as effective, and easier to clean and maintain,’ says Rob Maltman of Walls and Floors. Tiling walls to dado level is a chic way to protect them.

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HALL SPECIAL

6

Do away with draughts Some country homes, particularly barn conversions, don’t have a hall but instead feature doors that open into the living space. If this is you, invest in some beautiful full-length curtains. As well as helping to keep out draughts – thermal lining is your friend – a curtained entrance will make the interior feel cosier and less exposed, while introducing pattern and texture.

Curtains in Pure Acanthus Weave, £99m; armchair upholstered in Pure Belsi Weave, £99m, both Morris & Co at Style Library. Curtains backed in Chino Flax, £34m; armchair piped in Byron Wool, £65m, both Sanderson at Style Library.

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Chambalon Trail wallpaper, £129m, Zoffany at Style Library.

7

Go big & come home

If you’ve been lusting over the latest upscaled wallpaper patterns but are concerned about using them in your main living spaces, the hall affords the ideal opportunity. ‘As a welcoming focal point that links different areas of the home, the hall is a great space to be a bit bold,’ says Peter Gomez, head designer at Zoffany. ‘In most homes, the staircase is the only space that has double-height walls, making it even more suited to larger-scale patterns. Chambalon Trail, seen here, is a vertical trail design, so it naturally leads the eye from one floor to the next, cohesively linking both levels.’ Country Homes & Interiors

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8

Look again at vinyl As the most well-trodden path in any home, your hall floor needs to be hard wearing. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re keeping an eye on the budget, vinyl floors can prove surprisingly effective. Always check the design you like is specifically suited to heavytraffic areas and look for extra features such as scuff protection against marks from shoes, buggies and pets, plus slip resistance to prevent mishaps. Whatever type of flooring you choose, do invest in a decent size doormat at the entrance to help prevent traipsing the outside in.

Ultimate Expressions Stuttgart vinyl flooring, ÂŁ19sq m, Avenue Floors.


H A L L WAY S P E C I A L

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Low-stress stone

Brushed Charcoal limestone flooring, from £46sq m, Floors of Stone.

Black stone floors are notorious for being high maintenance. ‘This is usually down to the finish,’ says Sophie McKay at Floors of Stone. ‘Solid black tiles or shiny surfaces will show every little speck. However, this charcoal limestone has a beautifully textured surface, distressed edges and gentle colour variation, which makes it practical as the range of tones and textures hides a multitude of sins.’

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HALL SPECIAL

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Add personality

Shetland Dart 67cm runner in Shetland wool, £170lin m; bench upholstered in Fitzroy Black, £560 (including bench), both Roger Oates. 98

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FEATURE LINDA CLAYTON PHOTOGRAPH (1) CHRIS SNOOK

With plenty of wall space, halls are ripe for a gallery-style arrangement. Continuing your pictures up the stairs is a brilliant way to enjoy family photos and fun prints. Stair runners are also great for injecting personality, as well as reducing the clatter of footsteps up and down the stairs. ‘Be sure to add a decent quality underlay to help reduce resonating sound and prolong the life of your runner,’ adds Andy Guard, head of design at Roger Oates.


AWA R D -W I N N I N G R I V E R C RU I S E S On the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Main, Rhône, Douro, Seine, Saône or Dutch waterways Riviera Travel’s award-winning river cruises include everything you need for an exceptional experience. Cruise Europe’s most beautiful waterways aboard the finest ships, featuring superb dining on board and spacious suites and cabins – many with a French balcony for unrivalled views. Choose from 14 fascinating river cruises that take you to the iconic highlights as well as lesser-known gems in destinations such as Cologne, Trier, Koblenz, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Basel, Lucerne, Douro Valley, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam, Avignon, Arles, Bruges, Paris or Rouen. Cruise includes: • Spacious and beautifully appointed suites or cabins with hotel-style beds, en-suite bathrooms and river views • Exceptional cuisine with full board throughout • Extensive and fully inclusive touring programmes • Return flights from a choice of regional airports or standard class reserved seat on Eurostar from London St Pancras • Return rail connections on selected dates and cruises from over 50 regional stations (supplements may apply) • The services of our experienced cruise director and tour manager

To book or request a brochure, call 01283 523454 or visit cohriviera.co.uk Additional entrance costs may apply. Prices are per person, based on two sharing and subject to finite availability. Images used in conjunction with Riviera Travel. Offer operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel Ltd. ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430, a company wholly independent of Country Homes & Interiors, published by TI Media Limited. Prices correct at time of going to print.


Modern country classic BOOT STORES

KEEP MUDDY FOOTPRINTS OUTSIDE AND CLUTTER CONCEALED WITH OUR ROUND-UP OF WELLY LOCKERS, BOOT RACKS AND SHOE TIDIES.

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Sit and store

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Offering minimal elegance with plenty of room to store shoes and boots, this stable and durable cement and rustic acacia wood design can be neatly positioned beside a door for everyday use. Chilson hall bench, H45xW95.5x D34.5cm, £165, Garden Trading.

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2

M O D E R N C O U N T RY C L A S S I C S Classic cushion

3 Sleek shape

Take a cushioned perch and pull on your boots, ready to face the day, on this charming country piece, which boasts a soft-close lid, plentiful storage and a neutral colour finish. Chester storage bench with cushion, H60xW110x D35cm, col grey, £299, The Cotswold Company.

Say hello to tapered legs and a slatted shelf and pop this clean-lined, versatile wonder in your hall or boot room to keep footwear organised. Clockhouse oak-topped hall bench, H45xW100x D40cm, col charcoal, £239.90, The Farthing.

4

Simple style

This well-made Scandiinspired design is made from solid birch wood and painted in fresh white, providing long-lasting storage that’s as practical as it is beautiful. Wooden shoe rack, H41xW90xD35cm, col white, £125, Nordic House.

5 Personal touch

Designed, made and hand carved in Kent, with space for six pairs of muddy boots. Add wording of your choice to make a lovely feature and a must-have addition to any outdoorsy household. Personalised welly boot holder, H50xW75xD20cm, £350, The Oak & Rope Company at John Lewis.

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Homespun helper

Introduce this rustic yet sophisticated oak-carved character and pop a basket or two underneath to keep gloves in pairs. Edinburgh boot room three-seater bench (baskets not included), H47xW160xD42cm, £630, Neptune.

8

Contemporary country

Keep your hall clutter free with this lofty character. Designed to hold 16 pairs of shoes across seven shelves, extra features include a removable shelf for boots and a handy wicker basket. Mobel tall shoe cupboard, H180xW50xD40cm, col oak, £530, Wooden Furniture Store.

7

Crate expectations

Keep muddy walking shoes out of sight thanks to this sit-and-stash hero, which adds colour and contrast in mixed natural and inky tones... Welly, H45xW113xD35.5cm, col Inky Blue, £375, Loaf.

9

Family function

Keep footwear perfectly paired with the help of this clever unit. Crafted in fir and with name card holders, so you can even label up whose shelf is whose... Chedworth welly locker, H55xW121xD40cm, £265, LX Interiors at The Luxe Company. Country Homes & Interiors 101


WARDROBE MORE THAN SIMPLY STORAGE, A WARDROBE DEFINES THE LOOK OF YOUR BEDROOM – ITS SIZE, SHAPE AND COLOUR ALL MAKE AN IMPACT

THERE’S SO MUCH TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A NEW WARDROBE but get it right and it will

be a striking focal point for the room and a well-loved friend that makes keeping clothes tidy, and finding them quickly in the morning, so much easier. THE WARDROBE STYLE PLAYS A HUGE PART IN THE LOOK OF THE ROOM; country favourites include a rustic

distressed paint finish, tongue-and-groove panelling, a smooth, contemporary paint finish or tactile natural wood. If you’re tidy enough, or you’re kitting out a dressing room, you could dismiss doors in favour of open storage. DUE TO ITS SIZE, A WARDROBE WILL INEVITABLY BE A DOMINANT FIXTURE IN THE ROOM, its position

dictated by the bed and doorways. Measure carefully before ordering – unless you choose a model with sliding doors, you’ll need to allow space for doors and drawers to open. In terms of height, the taller the better, but watch that it doesn’t overpower the space. If the bedroom is small, or the staircase is awkward, a flat-pack wardrobe may be your only choice for easy installation. THE STORAGE IN A FREESTANDING WARDROBE IS NOT AS CUSTOMISABLE AS A BUILT-IN SOLUTION,

although Ikea does offer a huge range of internal fittings, including extra rails, adjustable shelves, baskets and drawers, for its Pax range. If your wardrobe comes with the bare minimum, you can always add a shoe rack or set of fabric hanging shelves at a later date. Modular wardrobes are worth considering; the New Hampshire range from The Dormy House includes cupboards and drawers that can be put together in various ways to achieve the combination that’s just right for your room. 102

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Elvarli three-section unit with shelves, drawers and hanging rails, H216x W205xD44cm, £380, Ikea.


ROOM ELEMENTS French wardrobe, H132xW100xD63cm, £572, The Dormy House.

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1

Shape shifter

Country cottages and period homes can be blessed with charm, but also with awkward room configurations. ‘With clever open-storage solutions to maximise the space, there’s no need to compromise on storage, even in a bedroom that’s an unusual size or layout,’ says Clotilde Passalacqua, interior design leader, Ikea. ‘By combining modules such as drawers and open shelves, clothes can be neatly sorted.’ Modular furniture can easily be customised to suit the space. Use Ikea’s online planning tool to put together your ideal arrangement.

Half measures

Whether you’re seeking a solution for the overflow from a stuffed-to-thebrim wardrobe, or simply adding some much-needed hanging space in a guest bedroom, it helps to think laterally. ‘Our new compact design has both hanging and shelf space as well as a handy wide drawer, and the lower height makes it an ideal dressing table surface, too,’ says Anna Trinder, director, The Dormy House. ‘You can choose a paint colour and knobs or handles from our range to customise it and make it your own.’

DESIGN TIP IF YOUR WARDROBE IS SUPPLIED FLAT-PACK, YOU’LL NEED TWO PEOPLE TO ASSEMBLE IT SINCE FULL HEIGHT FRAMES AND DOORS ARE HEAVY AND UNWIELDY. WHEN PURCHASING, CHECK WHETHER THE DELIVERY TEAM CAN BUILD IT FOR YOU AND WHETHER THERE IS A CHARGE FOR DOING SO.

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3 Super grain

New materials come and go, but real oak has enduring appeal for furniture-making. ‘It’s exceptionally durable and will complement any bedroom scheme,’ agrees Rachel Galbraith, creative director, Ercol. ‘This relaxed, modern design perfectly showcases the beautiful natural grain of the pale oak.’ Double chamfered edges on the traditional oval handles add a point of interest to the doors and drawer, while a clear matt lacquer protects the finish.

CH&I

LOVES

*

Original Chairmakers chair, col white, £900, Ercol at Heal’s

Teramo two-door wardrobe, H195xW113x D61cm, £1,475, Ercol.

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ROOM ELEMENTS

Camille closet, H180xW75x D50cm, £351, Maisons du Monde.

3 OF THE BEST...

Laundry baskets

KEEP CLOTHES OUT OF SIGHT UNTIL WASH DAY COMES AROUND

This fruity take on the traditional rattan basket will spark a smile each time you use it. Ferm Living braided pear storage, H59x W35xD35cm, £75, Cloudberry Living.

Go for a lively look in hand-woven natural water hyacinth, with a cotton liner for protection. Nadia laundry basket, col navy, H60xDia45cm, £69, John Lewis & Partners.

4

Rustic romance

This picturesque wardrobe might have taken its inspiration from the pages of a children’s story book. ‘I love the paint finish and heart design on this particular piece, which lend it a rustic, earthy charm,’ says AnneLaure Couplet, global brand director at Maisons du Monde. ‘It’s not too tall or wide, so works well underneath a sloping roof. Coupled with bright accessories, it will bring a homely, traditional feel to your space.’

Westcote Blue triple wardrobe, H191xW146x D54.4cm, £749, The Cotswold Company.

Choose the eco-friendly option with this classic hamper made from bamboo, with a removable liner. Woodford bamboo laundry hamper, from £15, Dunelm.

5

Bold gesture

Strike out from the more usual neutral shades and plain woods and instead make a vivid statement with a wardrobe in a rich, dark colour. ‘Our inky blue wardrobe is the ultimate centrepiece for a bedroom,’ says Nicolle Jillings, buyer, The Cotswold Company. Working a large block of solid colour into a bedroom design is often challenging, but that’s not the case here. ‘The mirrored door helps to break up the expanse of deep colour, plus, the reflections from it add a little sparkle and the brushed silver hardware brings a contemporary twist to the overall design,’ says Nicolle. Country Homes & Interiors

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ROOM ELEMENTS

6

Country classic

A mellow style ensures that this wardrobe, though large, will be perfectly at home in a relaxed country bedroom. ‘It’s part of our Hampton bedroom collection, characterised by a traditional tongue-and-groove effect and wooden tops,’ says Susie Gibson, home design manager, Next Home. Made from a mix of solid oak and oak veneers, with dovetailed drawers, it’s available in a choice of soothing tones, including stone, charcoal, grey and chalk. A handy full-length mirror is included on the inside of the central door.

DESIGN TIP ANGEL & BOHO PAINTS CLASSIC FRENCH-STYLE WARDROBES TO ORDER, IN A RANGE OF SIZES FROM SINGLE TO FOUR DOOR. CHOOSE A SHADE FROM Hampton triple robe in stone, H203.5xW157x D62cm, £1,250, Next Home.

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THEIR OWN DELICIOUS COLOUR PALETTE OR ASK FOR YOUR FAVOURITE FROM A MAJOR PAINT RETAILER.

French influence

Make a focal point of a laundry hamper by choosing a co-ordinating French country design. 106

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Rose Mist twodoor, one-drawer wardrobe, 205.9x W129.6xD67.5cm, £1,250, John Lewis & Partners.

FEATURE CAROLINE RODRIGUES

Bring timeless elegance and a touch of vintage style to the bedroom with a beautiful shapely wardrobe, finished in a subtle hand-painted grey. The hand-carved rose detailing highlights the curves, while ornate handles add charm. ‘We’ve included a drawer so that it’s as practical as it is pretty,’ says Katherine Mitchell, beds and bedroom furniture buyer, John Lewis & Partners. ‘All in all, this wardrobe makes a lovely addition to a country bedroom.’


3

HOME TECH

healthy cooking

GADGETS

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO KICK-START A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE THIS YEAR, TRY OUR PICK OF THE LATEST HOME HELPERS…

1

Best for...

Prepare healthy soups and sauces in Cuisinart’s Soup Maker Plus, £140. The slow stir function is an especially nice touch if you prefer your soups chunky rather than blitzed.

CREATING HEALTHY OILS

Oilpresso, £299, UK Juicers Most cooking oil is produced at very high temperatures, but that sadly destroys many of the oil’s natural health-giving properties. The Oilpresso (H35xW30xD18cm) uses cold pressing to create the freshest possible results. Simply put nuts or seeds in the hopper and the stainless-steel auger will squeeze out every last drop of oil, enabling you to prepare the freshest homemade salad dressing possible.

2Best for...

SMARTER SMOOTHIES

FEATURE CHRIS HASLAM

In a world where you can order your favourite restaurant dinner to your door at the swipe of a finger, and supermarket dine-in deals are more delicious than ever, many of us are spending less time in the kitchen. But it’s a shame to lose out on the joys of cooking. While social media bombards us with bonkers diets and get-fit-quick schemes, the fact remains that making nutritious meals at home is one of

the best ways to kickstart a healthier routine. We’ve chosen appliances that are simple and fun to use, and are designed to save you time and give you delicious results. As with any small appliance, it’s worth spending a little extra to get one with parts that can easily be removed for washing, and switched out for spare parts if things go wrong – rather than having to buy a whole new appliance.

DID YOU KNOW? APPLES WAKE YOU UP FASTER THAN COFFEE, AVOCADOS HAVE TWICE THE AMOUNT OF POTASSIUM AS BANANAS, AND BROCCOLI CONTAINS AS MUCH CALCIUM AS WHOLE MILK.

NutriBullet Balance Smart food blender, £149.99, John Lewis & Partners Virtually all kitchen brands are launching ‘smart’ products, and while some can feel needlessly hi-tech, this super-powerful 1200W app-connected blender (H40xW37xD19cm) is extremely useful. Connect your smartphone/ tablet via Bluetooth, choose one of the many smoothie recipes listed and simply follow the instructions. As you add ingredients, electronic scales weigh everything and give precise nutritional information. The blender is powerful enough to smash through seeds and nuts, too.

3 Best for..

SIMPLE SOUP

Total Control soup maker, £109, Morphy Richards Create delicious soups with no fuss and a lot less mess than the traditional method, with this all-in-one 1.6L, 1,200W design (H28.4xW26xD18cm). It sautés raw ingredients, simmers and then blends to your choice of smooth, medium or chunky soup. Choose from a range of pre-programmed recipes and leave it to do its thing, or tweak the settings using the manual control. Unlike other models, this one helps to determine portion sizes – meaning you won’t be tempted to have extra helpings or accidentally make more than you need. Country Homes & Interiors

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The countr y decorator

SPRUCE UP A SCHEME WITH GREENERY SHAKE OFF THE WINTER BLUES BY BRINGING IN LUSH PLANTS AND VIBRANT GREENERY TO BRIGHTEN UP TIRED DECOR

BAC K T O L I F E

1 Make an unused fireplace cavity a focal point by filling it with greenery. Use real or faux house plants in an assortment of ceramic planters, stone pots or woven baskets – try easy-care rubber plants, philodendron, aloes or spider plants. Start your arrangement with a couple of taller specimens at the back of the hearth to create height, with shorter ones in front, filling gaps with smaller pots. Weave in more greenery on tables and in floor-standing planters.

Patterned seagrass baskets, £85 for three, Out There Interiors. Carter coffee table, £660, Neptune.


DESIGN SECRETS House bamboo fourtier shelf unit, £79; Bow bench, £199; Burgon & Ball hanging planter, £7.99, all John Lewis & Partners.

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U P WA R D LY M O B I L E

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POTTED PLANTS

Tiered units or staggered shelving are great ways of giving plant displays some extra height. ‘Filling a room with natural greenery is a creative way not only to add colour but also to create a calming and serene decor that encourages wellbeing,’ says Lisa Cherry, Bathshop buyer at John Lewis & Partners. ‘Mix and match succulents and plants in a variety of shapes and sizes and in a range of vessels.’

Similar pink enamel mug, £11, HUH Store. Similar retro colander, £11.99, Wayfair. Plants, from a selection, Dobbies Garden Centres.

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Glass chimney vases, from £24 each, LSA International. Resin pelican, £55, Angel & Boho. Similar chair, Margot green velvet, £399, Made.com

Use enamelware mugs, teapots, jugs or even an old colander lined with plastic as planters – don’t worry if they’re chipped or a little battered in places, it all adds to the charm. ‘Got a lovely container, but don’t have the time or know-how to plant it?’ says Louise Golden of Dobbies Garden Centres. ‘Bring it in store, pick your greenery and one of our experts will plant it up free of charge.’

F O L I AG E F L OU R I S H

4 Make a statement with a flamboyant show of foliage on a cabinet. Gather a collection of vessels, from tall glass cylinders to simple ceramic pieces in a range of shapes, sizes and neutral tones, and indulge in a bold mix of greenery. Try simple stems of cow parsley and manzanita branches to add height, hydrangeas and dahlias for volume, and finish with hanging amaranthus spilling out of vases. Country Homes & Interiors

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Avignon floor tiles, £27.52sq m, Tons of Tiles. Similar Skurar hanging planters, £4 each, Ikea.

Similar shabby chic chest, £16.99, Live Laugh Love. Mini white cyclamen, £2.80 each, Wyevale Garden Centres.

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5 Bathrooms make the perfect spot for hanging

H A N G I NG GA R D E N

plant varieties that thrive in high humidity, such as tillandsia, heartleaf philodendron and string of pearls. Trailing greenery will break up a large expanse of tiling and add a splash of colour to a monochrome scheme. Hanging plants from the ceiling or a wall will keep surfaces clear, and, in a steamy environment, they’ll need little upkeep.

a selection of spring flowering plants in a mini wooden chest from a junk shop or charity store. Give it a distressed finish with a coat or two of chalk paint, and sand lightly at the edges. Line drawers with black polythene, stapled in place, before adding soil and your plant. Go for small varieties like cyclamen, snowdrops or crocuses.

TA B L E T O P GA R D E N I N G

7 Set up an easy dining table centrepiece. Ivalo glass dome, £68, LSA International. Similar palm leaf bowl, £9; dinner plate, £12, both Cult Furniture.

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Succulents are great for creative arrangements, as the shapes are fabulous, they’re low-maintenance and need very little soil to thrive, so can be potted in almost any container. Go for succulents in a range of shapes and sizes, displayed under glass domes. Add single succulents in mini glass holders at each place setting for a finishing flourish.

NEXT MONTH NEW-STYLE CURTAINS

FEATURE LISA FAZZANI PHOTOGRAPHS (1,4, 5, 6, 7, 8) TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

F I L L A D RAW E R

6 Put together a pretty display by potting up


DESIGN SECRETS

G R E E N RO O M

8 Refresh a neutral sitting room or conservatory with a leafy botanical print. Start small with a line-up of cushions in a mix of lush green leafy patterns, or try a trio of framed botanical prints on the wall above the sofa. For a bolder look, add an accent chair upholstered in a lively fabric or a panel of statement wallpaper. Take the botanical theme up a level by adding a row of blinds in a fresh fern-print fabric.

Similar Woodland Ferns fabric, ÂŁ63m, Sanderson. Similar white four-block coffee table, ÂŁ349, Dwell.


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A flurry of snowdrops WITH PATHS THAT TWIST AND TURN THROUGH DUSTINGS OF WHITE FLOWERS, MARGARET AND HUGH O’REILLY’S THATCHED COTTAGE GARDEN IS AN ENCHANTING PLACE TO TAKE A WANDER

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HERTFORDSHIRE GARDEN

The garden is threaded with narrow paths that lead down to the stream, past pillows of snowdrops and crocuses. The Giverny-style bridge provides a crossing over the water. Country Homes & Interiors

115


Rose arches in the garden were made for Margaret’s head height but are too low for Hugh.

Up and down, up and down. I will lead them up and down.’ A

AT HOME WITH... Owners Margaret and Hugh O’Reilly. House Listed semi-detached thatched cottage that is thought to date back to 1760, located on a peaceful country lane. Garden An informal plot that extends over a third of an acre. The sloping site is home to a small cascading pond, garden art, winter planting and water features. The soil is clay with flint.

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Country Homes & Interiors

quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems a fitting way to describe this delightful Hertfordshire garden. Indeed, from the front, Elia Cottage appears almost untouched by the modern world and, opening the front door onto the country track, you would hardly bat an eyelid to see a passer-by dressed in Shakespearean garb. Tucked behind the thatched cottage is a garden full of drama, art and intrigue. The unique site leads down to a dip and then up the hill again, and it is at the top of this hill that Oberon, Titania and more of the Bard’s characters have been known to gather. ‘A few years ago, we built a stage at the top of the hill, put on Shakespeare plays such as ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and sold tickets for charity,’ explains Hugh. ‘Over the years we’ve lived here, Margaret has used the garden to raise thousands of pounds for local charities and is constantly coming up with fundraising ideas.’ Margaret is a woman with great vision and artistic flair. When she first viewed the house over 30 years ago, it was the garden that grabbed both her attention and that of her son Luke, then a toddler. ‘My son asked me if there were fairies here – and the garden continues to bring out that sense of adventure in visiting children,’ she says. ‘I had never before seen a garden where the terrain went up and down like this, and it presented a challenge that I was eager to take on.’ ‘At one point this farm labourer’s cottage would have boasted a lovely plot but by the time we arrived, both house and

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HERTFORDSHIRE GARDEN

This bench – one of many in the garden – sits among the red stems of the Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’.

Galanthus nivalis populate the garden.

What we love most... ‘I love the common snowdrop and have no desire to plant some more unusual types. It’s been a joy to watch our garden naturalise over the years’

Common snowdrop and Iris reticulata.

Helleborus ‘Christmas rose’ and common snowdrops.

Margaret has teamed real logs with a bought tree-stump table.

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Crocuses and snowdrops skirt WKHWLQ\VWUHDP

garden were in desperate need of attention,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; recalls Hugh, a retired printer. When the garden is open to the public, the couple display images of the plot as it was before they transformed it. The site has been tamed and is beautifully maintained, yet offers a sense of adventure and freedom. Look carefully and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find lanterns, old picture frames, a wooden grass snake and many other well-placed features and recycled items. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Margaret brought the green bench at the top of the garden back from the tip and after a lick of paint it was almost like new,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Hugh. As you step into the garden, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the entire plot, leaving you eager to explore. There is nothing formal about the space and the journey from top to bottom is different every time. With more than one route around the garden, several people can set out from the back door at the same time and journey up to the end of the garden without ever crossing paths. The area outside the back door is home to pots of pansies and polyanthus. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I love my pansies but, being surrounded by fields, the mice venture from their rural retreats to come and nibble them,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Margaret. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Joining the pots is winter flowering witch hazel that I recovered from a skip.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Just below the house is a summer house with a clock on the roof. Margaret has decorated the inside with her paintings, drawings and floral arrangements, creating for herself the perfect spot to plan her next fundraiser or planting scheme. In summer, the garden is billowing with cottage garden plants and the paths are almost impossible to pick out thanks to the bounty of flowers. In the winter, snowdrops, hellebores and

Âť

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Country Homes & Interiors

Modern Country Classic

Ponds Water features are both beautiful and beneďŹ cial to visiting wildlife. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what to think about... Ĺ&#x2DC; 3RQGV ZRUN EHVW LQ D VXQQ\ VSRW DZD\ IURP RYHUKDQJLQJ WUHHV $ SRQG LQ IXOO VKDGH ZLOO TXLFNO\ EHFRPH PXUN\ DQG SODQWV ZLOO IDLO Ĺ&#x2DC; %HIRUH GLJJLQJ OLIW DQG NHHS WKH WXUI WR FUHDWH D QDWXUDO HGJH ODWHU Ĺ&#x2DC; 7KLQN RI ZLOGOLIH E\ FUHDWLQJ a beach or shallow side to the SRQG VR KHGJHKRJV FDQ HDVLO\ take a drink from the water. Ĺ&#x2DC; $GG PRYHPHQW WR \RXU SRQG DQG HQMR\ WKH UHOD[LQJ VRXQG RI ZDWHU E\ FUHDWLQJ D VPDOO ZDWHUIDOO or adding a fountain. Ĺ&#x2DC; .HHS DTXDWLF SODQWV LQ FKHFN Ĺ&#x2DC; <RX PXVW HPSOR\ D TXDOLĹľHG HOHFWULFLDQ WR LQVWDOO OLJKWV IRXQWDLQV RU SXPSV LQ \RXU SRQG Ĺ&#x2DC; 6XSHUYLVH FKLOGUHQ DURXQG water features at all times.


HERTFORDSHIRE GARDEN

What makes this garden so special... ‘This garden has allowed us to raise money for causes close to our hearts, which has bought us and others a lot of happiness’

A woodland path with the colourful stems of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ in the distance. Country Homes & Interiors

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A place to sit and look out over carpets of snowdrops, kept healthily in the shade thanks to the mature trees.

crocuses steal the show. The garden is transformed from a cottage garden to a woodland garden almost as if by magic. Many of the trees, such as the Cornus florida ‘Eastern flowering dogwood’ and amelanchier ‘Shadbush’, and hedges are now mature and offer shade to the woodland plants. Margaret has added to the forest feel by creating log steps that are infilled with chipped bark. ‘As the garden goes down and up and is west facing, it can be a frost pocket,’ she says. ‘Therefore, everything here must be hardy. When we moved here, there were only a few snowdrops and crocuses but, over the years, they have naturalised along with the hellebores.’ As you head down the narrow paths and steps, you discover a mini bridge, reminiscent of Monet’s garden at Giverny, that looks as if it is crossing a stream. ‘The stream is in fact a drainage ditch in disguise,’ explains Hugh. ‘It takes water to the River Ash and although it is always full in the spring, it can dry out in summer, so in an ideal world we’d love to line it to make sure there is water all year.’ Regulating moisture year-round is always an issue, but Hugh has some tricks up his sleeve. ‘The soil is either very wet or very dry so we constantly try and improve it with compost and well-rotted manure,’ says Margaret. Hugh’s compost heaps are tucked away discreetly at the bottom of the garden – perhaps sitting alongside the fairies, among their carpet of snowdrops.  1 Elia Cottage, Nether Street, Widford, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 8TH, 01279 843324, ngs.org.uk. The garden is open for the National Garden Scheme on 15 and 17 February, 12pm-4pm. 120

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ON OUR D O O R S T E P. . . Visit... ‘Myddleton House Gardens, Essex (0300 003 0610, visitleevalley.org.uk) was the home of gardener E A Bowles. In February, you’ll find an extensive collection of snowdrops.’ Shop... ‘Matthews Plants (01279 793539, matthewsplants.co.uk) in Roydon is a family-run nursery and plant centre – everything sold here is grown here.’

Go for a meal at...The Bull,

(01279 841100, thebullmuch hadham.co.uk), Much Hadham. A traditional pub with an inglenook fire to warm your toes by.’


HERTFORDSHIRE GARDEN

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Picks for early spring 1 The evergreen foliage and pendant flowers of Helleborus foetidus span late winter and spring. 2 Galanthus nivalis has naturalised well throughout the garden. 3 Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ enjoys highly-scented winter flowers. 4 Iris reticulata ‘Purple Gem’ boasts plum purple petals splashed with white. 5 Eranthus hyemalis displays cup-shaped bright yellow flowers in late winter. 6 Hellebore ‘Penny's Pink’s light flowers turn deeper pink as they age. 7 The scented blooms of Lonicera fragrantissima suit sun or part shade.

FEATURE TAMSIN WESTHORPE PHOTOGRAPHS MARIANNE MAJERUS

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8 Crocus tommasinianus are a perfect source of early nectar for bees.

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Original Art & Limited Edition Prints

RUNWAY GALLERY

w w w . r u n w a y - g a l l e r y. c o m / c o u n t r y h o m e s a n d i n t e r i o r s in association with

Pictured: Out of the Darkness II by SYRETT, limited edition print, £1200


Make Life Lovely

FASHION, WELLBEING, ECO, PETS AND OTHER NICE THINGS

3 THINGS TO KNOW…

About the Chinese Spring Festival 1 PREPARATIONS KICK OFF WITH LITTLE YEAR, starting on 28 January and Chinese New Year officially begins on 5 February, followed by two weeks of celebrations, culminating with the Lantern Festival on 19 February. 2 2019 IS THE YEAR OF THE PIG. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. People born under the sign of the pig are said to have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune. 3 RED IS TRADITIONALLY WORN and families eat dinner together at home, where rooms are trimmed with red decorations. Firecrackers are set off at midnight – traditionally, this was to provide protection from Nian, a Chinese sea monster.

DON’T LOSE YOUR SPARKLE Perfect for chilly Sunday afternoons cosied up on the sofa – watch old movies in style wearing this super-soft cashmere, sparkle-tipped hoodie, £169, from The White Company.

GAME ON A love of travelling and playing board games was the impetus behind Ox, with creators Steve Ranson and Octavia Warren wanting an easily transportable game that they could play just about anywhere. The addictive two-player game, £30, rolls up neatly to pocket size and is inspired by the best bits of the pair’s favourite games – Frustration, Backgammon and Draughts. Find out more at oxthegame.co.uk. Country Homes & Interiors

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HAPPY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS

3 REASONS TO LOVE…

Shibori

1 IT’S AN AGE-OLD TECHNIQUE Shibori is a Japanese dyeing technique that involves folding, twisting or bunching cloth, then binding it and resist-dyeing in indigo. 2 IT’S HAVING A MOMENT Shibori’s timeless blue and white tones and distinctive patterns have an artisan quality that’s hot right now.

Stay cosy

3 IT’S ADDICTIVE The technique is easy to master, and there’s an infinite number of patterns to create. Find inspiration, together with techniques, design ideas and different projects in Shibori: For textile artists by Janice Gunner, £14.99, Batsford.

Some like it hot Ensure your favourite brew stays piping hot with Ember’s clever temperature-controlled mug, £79.95. Embedded with sensors, the mug connects to an app so you can select the optimum temperature for your tea, coffee, and other hot drinks.

Cushion in Hailey White with embroidery 40x60cm, £41.99, Greengate.

No matter how chilly it is, there’s something magical about sitting on a comfy cushion and warming your hands by a firepit. Add some marshmallows to the mix and you have a setup the whole family will love!

Beat the cold Protect your pooch from the elements when you head out on a walk. Ethical pet care brand, Hownd, has just launched a hempbased balm, £10 for 50g, to protect dogs’ noses, ears and paws. Perfect for dabbing on your dog’s pads when the pavements are icy and gritty, the natural, vegan balm also has sun protection so can be used all-year round. Country Homes & Interiors

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HAPPY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS

On your bike Doing it yourself is the ethos behind the Bamboo Bicycle Club. Instead of buying a ready-made bike, you buy a kit to make your own eco-friendly, bamboo bike frame at home. And if you’re in need of some extra guidance, the Club also runs two-day workshops where you can construct your frame with the team’s help. Prices start at £285 for a kit.

BUY BRITISH

JAMES & CO

Set in the heart of Dorset, James & Co is a luxury home fragrance brand run by Tiffany Connor. Growing up with a father in the same industry, Tiffany decided to launch her own boutique label, with a range of reed diffusers, from £5.99, and candles, from £5. Find them in gift shops and on Amazon.

Rustic charm

Swap plastic kitchen storage for a prettier and more sustainable alternative. Sophie Conran’s woven willow basket, £18, hangs neatly on the wall and is perfect for storing bread, linens, or even plants and flowers.

3 OF THE BEST…

Winter wellies

KEEP YOUR FEET DRY, WHATEVER THE WEATHER Chuck on some chintz with these cheery floral wellies made of vulcanised rubber with a cotton lining and cushioned sole. Fairweather II navy/floral wellies, £50, Regatta.

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2

Two tone

An equestrianinspired design, these stylish boots have contrast cuffs, a jersey lining and a zip up the back for easy removal. Andalou Ponti lined boots, £135, Le Chameau.

3

Fur trimmed

Keep feet toasty in these all-black wellies with an insulated padded lining, faux-fur cuff and enhanced-tread non-slip soles. Downton premium wellies, col black, £69.95, Joules.

FEATURE LISA FAZZANI

1

Rose tinted


OUT AND ABOUT Guests can enjoy fabulous fine dining, with seasonal menus created by forager and head chef Nick Brodie.

Set amidst beautiful countryside, the grand residence is the perfect place for a relaxing break.

COUNTRY HOUSE SPLENDOUR IN WALES

Llangoed Hall

FEATURE PATRICK HAMILTON COURTNEY

STAY AT THIS BLACK MOUNTAINS HOTEL TO ENJOY ITS BEAUTIFUL SETTING AND COSY INTERIORS Huddled deep within the Welsh countryside, Llangoed Hall is a handsome former residence turned stylishly old-school hotel. Alongside an enviable art collection and award-winning fine dining, the property also lays claim to a guestbook with a sprinkling of stardust – Jane Fonda, Lauren Bacall and Prince Charles have all visited, thanks to the hotel’s proximity to the world famous Hay-on-Wye festival. INTERIORS WITH CHARM Llangoed was once owned by Laura Ashley’s widower Sir Bernard Ashley, and exists today as something of a hybrid between a grand private residence, country house hotel and art museum. Much of Ashley’s

noteworthy collection of 20th century British art remains, with works by figures such as Augustus John and Henry Scott Tuke drawing in an art-loving crowd. The graceful decor reflects Llangoed’s Edwardian heyday, while a healthy dose of Laura Ashley textiles references the hotel’s previous ownership. NATURE AND LITERATURE Situated in the picturesque Wye Valley, Llangoed Hall is just a short drive from both the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, so guests can enjoy walking, hiking or rambling through some of the UK’s most gorgeous countryside during their stay. For those who would prefer to while away a cosy afternoon with a well-thumbed book, Hay-on-Wye –

known as the UK’s bookshop capital – is just nine miles away. A CIVILISED STAY After a day exploring the landscape and pottering around the second-hand bookshops, guests can retire to the hotel for an elegant dinner courtesy of Nick Brodie, the talented head chef. Brodie’s seasonal menus make use of foraged ingredients, and have regularly appeared on lists of the UK’s best restaurants. After dinner, you can retire to your luxurious bedroom and find a decanter of sherry waiting for you. HOW MUCH? From £150 per night based on two sharing. Llangoed Hall Hotel, Llyswen, Brecon LD3 0YP, 01874 754525, llangoedhall.co.uk.



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Dip-dyed

PASTELS Prettify wooden utensils by wrapping masking tape a few inches from the end of the handle, paint and leave to dry before removing the tape.

As we begin to look forward to the promise of spring, many of us will be looking to refresh our homes with softer, more uplifting shades. Pastels are a soothing choice, but can sometimes appear a little sugary when used to excess. This is where the technique of dip-dyeing has its moment. Adding a hint of colour to plain household objects such as wooden utensils and storage jars gives them a subtle refresh and can take less than an hour to complete. Painting a taped off section provides a neat band of colour, or why not try hand dyeing to create a delicate ombré effect? We show you how, with this collection of crafts that look sweet enough to eat.

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Country Homes & Interiors

PEP UP PLAIN HOUSEHOLD ITEMS BY USING SIMPLE PAINTING AND DYEING TECHNIQUES TO CREATE UNDERSTATED OMBRE EFFECTS THAT COMPLEMENT A COUNTRY SETTING

STORAGE JARS

Personalise white ceramic storage jars with a dipped effect. Measure around a third up from the bottom of the container and add a horizontal strip of masking tape all around. Cover the rest of the jar above the tape, before spray painting the exposed base. Leave to dry upside down, adding a second coat if needed. Once dry, remove the masking tape. Spray each jar in a different pastel shade. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch multi surface spray paint, £10, B&Q.


G E T C R E AT I V E

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KEEP IT NEAT Use a new container for each shade and if you’re making lots of napkins, remember the quantity of dye used, so the colours stay consistent.

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FEATURE STEPHANIE DURRANT PHOTOGRAPHS TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

OMBRE NAPKINS

Impress dinner guests with pastel dip-dyed napkins. Make up a dye solution, using a smaller quantity of dye to make a pale shade. Using rubber gloves, dampen a plain white napkin and dip it in the dye bath so the colour rises halfway up. Pull the napkin out of the dye in stages, removing a bit more of the fabric from the dye each time to create an ombré effect. Rinse in cold water, then leave to dry. Launder before using. Fabric dye in French Lavender, Powder Pink and Tropical Green, £3.39, all Dylon. Linen napkins (set of four), £19.99, Zara Home.

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Cauliflower korma Âť

Live life a

LITTLE GREENER Ylva Bergqvist shows you how to put vegetables at the heart of suppertime with these heart-warming soups and stews that make the most of British produce


C O U N T RY H O M E S & I N T E R I O R S

Green Thai soup »

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C O U N T RY H O M E S & I N T E R I O R S

MILD INDIAN CAULIFLOWER KORMA WITH CURRY AND GREEN PEAS

CARROT SOUP WITH ORANGEMARINATED LENTILS

This is a mild curry with warm spices like cumin and cardamom. The ginger provides a little heat, but you

Carrot is a great fit with ginger, cumin and sour yogurt – the perfect ingredients for a tasty soup.

can add finely chopped green chillies for extra spice.

If you’re a carrot enthusiast, replace the water

SERVES 4

with carrot juice for a more intense flavour.

SERVES 4

1 large onion, diced

300g green peas

Oil, for frying

Salt

1 onion, diced

4 large potatoes 700g cauliflower

Lime juice Big bunch of coriander

2 garlic cloves, crushed Olive oil, for frying and

1tsp ground cumin 2tsp curry powder

leaves, to serve Naan bread or rice, to serve

to serve 1tsp ground cumin

Big bunch of flat-leaf parsley or coriander

1½tsp cardamom seeds, crushed

For the nut and coconut mix

1tsp ground coriander 50g root ginger

leaves, chopped 1 spring onion, finely

2tbsp concentrated vegetable stock

50g roasted salted cashews, roughly chopped

700g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

shredded Juice of ½ orange

700ml water

Zest of 1 lime

2tbsp concentrated

½tsp harissa or

200ml dairy-free cream 40g root ginger

100g toasted coconut chips

vegetable stock 1L water

chilli flakes 1tsp ground cumin

Salt 200g dairy-free yogurt

2tbsp olive oil Salt

1 Fry the onion in plenty of oil in a pan for around 5min, over a low heat, until soft. 2 Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes into 1cm cubes. Chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Save the cauliflower leaves. 3 Turn up the heat and add all the spices to the pan with the onion. Fry for another minute or so while stirring. Add the potatoes and stir while mixing in the cauliflower, stock, water and cream. Cover, and leave to simmer for 15min, or until the potatoes are tender. 4 In the meantime, peel and grate the ginger. Squeeze the juice out and stir into the pan. 5 Mix the nuts with the lime zest and coconut. 6 Add the cauliflower leaves and peas to the curry and let them warm through. Add more water if it boils off. Season with salt and lime juice, to taste. 7 Top with the nut and coconut mixture. Garnish with coriander and serve with bread or rice. COOK’S NOTE: The curry turns out differently depending on what kind of potatoes you use. A floury type thickens the dish, while a firm potato keeps its shape and makes the sauce thinner.

For the orangemarinated lentils 100g dried red lentils

1 In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil over a medium-low heat while stirring, for 5min or until soft. Raise the heat, add the spices and fry for 2min while stirring. 2 Peel and finely grate the ginger, squeeze out the juice and save it. Discard the remains. 3 Add the carrots, ginger juice, stock and water to the pan. Cover, and simmer over a medium heat for around 15min, until soft. 4. In the meantime, bring 500ml of salted water to the boil. Add the lentils and cook, covered, for exactly 2min. Remove from the heat, stir and leave, covered, for 2min. Stir and taste – if they are suitably al dente, you can drain the water. Otherwise, leave them to stand for another minute or so. 5 Combine the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the lentils. Season. 6 Blend the soup until smooth and season to taste. Warm it up and top with the lentil mix and a dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with olive oil. COOK’S NOTE: If you eat dairy products, you can use full-fat yogurt.

‘More vegetables and less or no meat – that’s how more and more people are eating today. Most would probably agree that a vegetarian diet is better for the environment. I would also like to add that it is delicious!’

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Carrot soup

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Vegetable stew

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PHOTOGRAPHS LENNART WEIBULL

C O U N T RY H O M E S & I N T E R I O R S

VEGETABLE STEW WITH SAFFRON, CURRY AND PARMESAN CREAM

GREEN THAI SOUP WITH COCONUT CREAM AND FRIED ONIONS

There are many good things that can be said about

Sometimes I come across some vegetables at

sweet potatoes: they’re good-looking, easy to peel

the very back of the freezer suffering from freezer

and quick to cook. But, most importantly, they’re delicious – especially when partnered with acidic

burn – that’s when I make this soup, and feel really good about myself and life!

tomatoes and lots of spices. This stew has an unusual ingredient – cheese rind – for an umami flavour.

SERVES 4

SERVES 4

1 onion, diced Rapeseed oil, for frying

2tbsp concentrated vegetable stock

4 garlic cloves Olive oil or butter,

400g tin butter beans 4 slices of multigrain

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

600ml water 400g tin coconut cream

for frying 1 onion, diced

bread 100g chopped herbs,

1tsp green curry paste 300g frozen green peas,

1 lime 2tbsp white miso

3 firm potatoes 500g sweet potatoes

such as flat-leaf parsley, basil leaves or dill

defrosted 500g frozen broccoli

Thai basil and coriander leaves, and crispy onions,

200g celeriac, peeled

Miso

florets, defrosted

to garnish

and diced Pinch of saffron

Salt Honey

2tsp curry powder 2 x 400g tins cherry

Chilli flakes

For the Parmesan cream

tomatoes Vegetarian Parmesan rind 600ml water

100g mayonnaise 4tbsp finely grated Vegetarian Parmesan

1 Peel the garlic, leave 1 clove whole and finely chop the others. Heat a little oil in a pan over a medium-low heat and fry the onion for around 5min, or until soft. 2 In the meantime, peel the potatoes and sweet potatoes and cut them into 1cm cubes. 3 Add the celeriac and chopped garlic to the pan and increase the heat. Fry for a few minutes, stirring continuously. 4 Add the potatoes, spices, tomatoes, cheese rind and water to the pan, cover, and boil for 10min. Rinse the beans, add them to the pan, and leave to simmer for another 5-10min, until the potatoes are tender. 5 Meanwhile, cut the remaining garlic clove in half and rub the cut edges on the bread. Sprinkle the herbs on top. Fry the bread in oil or butter in a frying pan. 6 Mix the mayonnaise and Parmesan together. 7 Remove the cheese rind from the pot and discard. Season the stew with the miso, salt, honey and chilli flakes. 8 Serve the stew with the bread and Parmesan cream on the side.

1 In a pan, fry the onion in oil over a medium heat for approximately 5min, stirring, until soft. Add the garlic and curry paste (add more for a spicier, more intense flavour). Increase the heat and fry for another 2min, stirring. 2 Put 100g peas aside. Add the rest of the peas, the broccoli, stock and water to the pan. 3 Whisk the tin of coconut cream and add ¾ of it to the pan. Leave the soup to simmer, uncovered, for 10-15min, until the veg is soft. 4 Blend the soup until smooth and dilute with a little water if it is too thick. 5 Stir in the juice of ½ the lime and the miso. 6 Pour the soup into bowls, drizzle the rest of the coconut cream on top and sprinkle with the extra peas, herbs and crispy onions. Cut the rest of the lime into wedges and serve alongside. COOK’S NOTE: If you want to add even more greens, throw in a large handful of fresh or frozen spinach, too. Also, remember to double check the list of ingredients in the curry paste to make sure that no dried prawns have crept in. Fermented fish is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, so it’s easily done.

Ylva Bergqvist is a Swedish chef and food blogger. These recipes are from her new book, 30-Minute Vegetarian (£16.99, Hardie Grant)

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F U L LY E S C O RT E D T O U R S

Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast and Montenegro

Lake Como, St Moritz and the Bernina Express

Selected departures from April to October 2019 8 days’ half-board from only £899pp.

Selected departures from April to October 2019. 8 days from only £799pp.

Price includes: Guided tour of Dubrovnik the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ Visit to Krka National Park and its series of stunning waterfalls and lakes Visit to Mostar, with its iconic bridge Tour of beautiful, unspoilt Montenegro with visits to the UNESCO-listed towns of Perast and Kotor Guided tour of Split including entrance to Emperor Diocletian’s monumental palace Visit to medieval Trogir, one of Dalmatia’s most seductive old ports Explore the Dalmatian coastline, studded with perfectly preserved Venetian-influenced villages Return flights from the UK Seven nights’ fourstar hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager

Price includes: Visit chic St Moritz in the heart of the Swiss Alps, with a journey on the Bernina Express Take a lake cruise to stunning Bellagio on Lake Como, with a private visit to the enchanting Villa del Balbianello Spend a day visiting majestic Lake Maggiore Enjoy a full-day visit and guided tour of Bergamo Visit Lugano, a stylish and elegant Swiss town by the lake Return flights from the UK Seven nights in a choice of well-located four-star accommodation with breakfast and dinner (stays at the Grand Hotel Menaggio are on a bed-and-breakfast basis, with dining options The services of our experienced and insightful available) tour manager

Lake Garda, Venice and Verona

Classical Spain - Seville, Córdoba and Granada

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Selected departures from April to October 2019. 8 days half-board from only £599pp. Price includes: Tour wonderfully unique Venice with a local guide – choose our classic or ‘undiscovered’ tour to uncover the less-explored highlights Enjoy an entire day exploring beautiful Lake Garda, both on land and by boat Tour medieval Verona with a local guide and see its classic sights or choose our ‘undiscovered’ tour to delve into its lesser-known gems Spend the day in the breath-taking Dolomites seeing some of the finest alpine scenery in the world Enjoy two free days to further explore at leisure or relax and soak up the incredible scenery Return flights from the UK Seven nights in a choice of conveniently located accommodation rated three-star to four-star superior, with breakfast and dinner The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager

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Selected departures from March to November 2019. 7 days from only £499pp. Price includes: Visit to medieval Ronda, one of Spain’s most spectacularly situated cities Visit Granada’s stunning Alhambra, one of Europe’s most romantic palace fortresses Guided tour of Seville and spend an evening sampling delicious tapas Visit to Córdoba with a guided tour of the Mezquita - probably the most beautiful mosque ever constructed - entrance included Return flights from a selection of regional airports, plus all hotel transfers Six nights in three-star superior and four-star accommodation, with breakfast The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager

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To book or request a brochure, call 01283 523454 or visit cohriviera.co.uk Additional entrance costs may apply. Prices are per person, based on two sharing and subject to finite availability. Images used in conjunction with Riviera Travel. Offer operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel Ltd. ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430, a company wholly independent of Country Homes & Interiors, published by TI Media Limited. Prices correct at time of going to print.


C O U N T RY K I T C H E N F O C U S

NEW BEGINNINGS A NEW ADDITION TO A MEDIEVAL HALL, THIS STRIKING OPEN-PLAN KITCHEN REFLECTS THE BUILDING'S HISTORY WHILE BRINGING IT UP TO DATE FOR MODERN FAMILY LIFE

* PROJECT PROFILE Owners Sharon Barton, a

structure far more in keeping with the property’s historic architecture. It offers a larger kitchen-living space that better suits the scale of the house.

House A Grade II-listed

Kitchen size 7.9x5.6m Designer David Sant, senior

freelance interior designer, and Peter Barton, a businessman, plus 15-year-old twins, Francesca and George. medieval hall house in a picturesque village in Kent.

Project A small, poorly constructed lean-to kitchen extension was replaced with a

designer, Martin Moore.

Cabinetry The Architectural range by Martin Moore, in oak with putty painted finish.

From the bar stools to the light pendants and the A-frame beam above, this dramatic kitchen is an elegant study in symmetry.

»

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CH&I

LOVES

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Odeon marble pendants, £2,025 each, Timothy Oulton.

A professional-style spray tap on the kitchen sink is ideal for hosing down dishes that are too big for the dishwasher.

There’s nothing like completing a lengthy

renovation process and then sitting back to enjoy the fruits of your labour. But for Sharon Barton, that pleasure was short-lived – almost the moment the last lick of paint had dried, her husband, Peter, was itching to move. The renovation had taken such a long time that moving really wasn’t on Sharon’s radar. As a compromise, she agreed to consider a new home, but only if Peter found one that ticked every single box. Naturally, Sharon then stumbled across the perfect property. ‘It’s a really striking medieval house in a central village location, but tucked away so I’d never noticed it before. When I saw the For Sale sign, I couldn’t help telling Peter,’ she says. ‘He loved it too, so we took a deep breath and dived back into another major refurb.’ The property was in a fairly unloved state (to put it mildly), but the core timbers were in good order. ‘The only real downside was the miserable, poky kitchen, housed in a lean-to – you couldn’t even squeeze a table in,’ says Sharon. It took more than two years, and required the help of architects Kent Design Studio

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Country Homes & Interiors

The window-facing island features an induction hob with downdraft extractor, so the chef doesn’t miss out on the fabulous views.

and Historic England, to get a new extension passed. The resulting oak-framed structure with casement windows and clay-tiled roof is sympathetic to the original property, yet its scale makes it feel modern. It was this blend of traditional and contemporary that steered the design. From her work in interior design, Sharon knew where she wanted to get her kitchen from. ‘I’ve trekked around all the top London showrooms with my clients and, for me, Martin Moore has always been head and shoulders above the rest, on quality but also design difference. While others tread a safe path, Martin Moore is always doing something a little bit different and pushing design boundaries,’ she explains. So, together with designer David Sant, Sharon chose materials and finishes that would reference the classical materials in the house. Now that the dust has settled once more, Sharon is finally able to sit back and enjoy the finished result, but is completion another cue to move? ‘As far as I’m concerned this is our forever home, and our final kitchen – we’ve designed it to last,’ she says.


C O U N T RY K I T C H E N F O C U S

While the rest of the worktops are crisp white, the island’s surface is lightly marled to achieve a subtle design difference.

‘A timeless design with modern appliances felt like a smart move for the kitchen – it’s such a lovely space to be in, we’ll never grow tired of it’

Sinks

Bi fold doors

Fridge Island Hob

Sofa area

Cupboard

Doors

The layout

Larder

The majority of cooking and prepping takes place at the central island, with the sinks positioned under the window, as Sharon finds it unnatural to have them anywhere else. A large larder to the left of the island makes ingredient gathering a one-trip task.

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Sharon’s pride and joy, the double larder cupboard is painted inside in Martin Moore’s pretty Soft Sage.

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design solutions TO INSPIRE YOU

1

B R E A K FA S T CU P B OA R D

Originally the breakfast cupboard was next to a table, but the family all preferred to eat at the island. ‘We’ve since replaced the table with an extra sofa,’ says Sharon. But the breakfast cupboard is far from redundant. ‘Being that little bit further away from the main kitchen means friends and family can make drinks without getting under my feet,’ adds Sharon.

By incorporating a prep sink, boiling water tap and coffee machine into this unit, the couple have created a hot drinks bar.


C O U N T RY K I T C H E N F O C U S Statement lights put the focus on the island while drawing the eye up to the beams above.

The details CABINETRY

Kitchen cabinetry in oak with putty painted finish, from £35,000, Architectural range, Martin Moore.

SURFACES

Bianco Orion Quartz worktop (on island), £575sq m; Bianco Assoluto Quartz worktop (on perimeter units), £385sq m, including installation, Martin Moore. Mortar Lime Porcelain flooring, 120x60cm, £34.80sq m, Mandarin Stone.

APPLIANCES

BM454110 combi microwave oven, £3,362; BO450111 oven, £3,134; WS462110 warming drawer, £2,052; BS475111 combi steam oven, £2,052; BO471111 oven and rotisserie, £3,574; CX480110 induction hob, £4,229; VP414110 teppan yaki, £2,466; SET2AL4801 downvent extractor, £6,638, all Gaggenau. ICBIT-30CIID integrated fridge with freezer drawers, £6,780; ICBIW-24 wine storage, £8,760, both Sub-Zero. CVA6431 Nespresso built-in coffee machine, £2,699, Miele.

SINKS & TAPS

Elio 32800790 polished chrome mixer tap, £678; Tara ultra professional polished chrome mixer tap, £1,182; polished chrome soap dispenser, £251, all Dornbracht. 5281-NA Strive undermounted stainless steel sink, £804; 3333-NA Icerock stainless steel sink, £353, both Kohler. PRO3-VAC Fusion round polished chrome boiling water tap, £1,150, Quooker.

ACCESSORIES

FEATURE LINDA CLAYTON PHOTOGRAPHS DARREN CHUNG

Odeon marble pendants, £2,025 each, Timothy Oulton. Black carbon high stools, £725 each, Mooi at Made in Design.

2

S TA T E M E N T L I G H T S

3

S P I C E D R AW E R S

In pursuit of light pendants that would be dynamic enough to stand their ground against the gorgeous beamed ceiling, Sharon discovered these beauties by Timothy Oulton. ‘The key with statement lighting is to find something that stands out, while also tying in with the rest of the room’s decor and colour palette so they feel like a natural fit, and you’re unlikely to tire of them quickly,’ advises Sharon. In the case of these Odeon chandeliers, the marble echoes the veining in the island worktop below, while the metallic frame matches the bronze casement windows in the exterior, as well as the socket plates in the kitchen.

Sick of buying spices, only to find she already had them in the back of her cupboards, Sharon asked designer David Sant to include spice storage in the kitchen plans. After writing off vertical spice racks – the type fitted to the back of a larder door – due to the inevitable rattle when opening and shutting, David suggested a drawer. Sharon negotiated two drawers and the deal was sealed. ‘I love how I can see everything in one place, and have already made savings by not buying extras. One drawer has all the pretty matching ones by Bart, and the other is a more unruly selection of everything else,’ says Sharon.

All the drawers are made from solid oak with traditional finger joints for longevity.

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C O U N T R Y H O M E S & I N T E R I O R S PA R T N E R S H I P

A polished palette ARTIST AND DESIGNER SYRETT’S HYPNOTIC PAINTINGS ARE PUSHING CREATIVE BOUNDARIES IN THE SPACE WHERE FASHION MEETS ART

H

aving developed a strong background in textiles, design and fashion styling, SYRETT moved into the world of fine art 14 years ago – and now, his work can be found in galleries and collections around the world. His recent pieces explore the artistic possibilities of nail varnishes and lacquer in swirling, abstract paintings that are steeped in dreamy romanticism, while exploiting all the textural possibilities of this unusual medium. It’s a style he refers to as Haute Couture Abstraction. ‘People often respond to my work as if they’re looking at clouds,’ says SYRETT. ‘Everyone sees something different and, strangely, men and women will view the same image completely differently. I heard one couple discussing a painting, and he had an affinity with the shapes, as they reminded him of a favourite album cover, while she enjoyed the romantic feel of the colour mixes.’ His collections include the Magazine series, inspired by fashion media (including ‘Hunger’ – shown right). The latest series is the Designer collection, with each piece named after a fashion icon SYRETT particularly admires, from ‘Coco’ (Chanel) to ‘Alexander’ (McQueen). Nail varnish is not the easiest medium to work with, but SYRETT relishes the scientific process and artistic possibilities. ‘Once the powders have been weighed out and mixed into liquid form, and you’re using them to paint, you have to know how quickly the different pigments move and dry, depending on their density,’ he explains. ‘It’s exciting, as you’re never sure what the finished result will look like.’ For the Designer collection, SYRETT teamed up with luxury varnish producer True Brit London. ‘I’m very fortunate to be

142 Country Homes & Interiors

Hunger, limited edition print, £200, by SYRETT

collaborating with True Brit London, as I have access to its colour lab,’ he says. ‘It’s a treasure trove for me, with so many beautiful powder pigments – I get lost in them.’ It’s no surprise that the fashion world provides SYRETT with so much inspiration and makes him so adept at predicting future trends. ‘As a textile designer, I worked four years ahead of production,’ he says. ‘Now, working as an artist, I have the freedom to be an image-maker in real time, though I still work seasonally, creating two collections a year. Forecasting change, and producing something different and unusual are really important to me.’ SYRETT’s work is available to purchase from runway-gallery.com

Runway Gallery is a new venture that showcases contemporary, fashion-focused art, all online and available at the click of a button. It’s the brainchild of Daniel SYRETT, whose own unique work is part of a range of affordable artworks from 14 celebrated artists. Visit runway-gallery.com

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NEXT MONTH Duma Arantes lives and works in her native Lisbon. Her work depicts female forms – mostly the face – yet never shows the entire figure.


Shopping DIRECTORY YOU’LL FIND ALL THE COMPANIES IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE HERE

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M Y F AV O U R I T E V I E W

‘Box Hill provides me with pure escapism’ Laura Hamilton, T V presenter

the sky’s clear you can see for miles, over beautiful hills and dales – it’s a lovely place to spend time with family or go for a romantic walk. It’s fantastic at any time of the year, but particularly so during snowy Februaries when there’s a wonderful atmosphere with lots of families running about and playing on sleds and toboggans.

The first time I visited Box Hill was with an old motorcycle-riding boyfriend. I was sitting on the back of his bike as he rode up the hill and he took me to this motorbike café on the way back down, which just seemed so unexpected for this otherwise totally peaceful area. It was such a different experience! In a total contrast, in April last year my husband and three kids organised a surprise champagne picnic for me up there, which was the perfect way to spend my birthday.

My children adore running around and exploring the woods. They love the outdoors in general, and discovering new places, which is great because they’ve been travelling with me since they were about three weeks old! But as much as they do enjoy that, they love being somewhere that they’re familiar with, too, and so Box Hill has become the perfect place to take them to spend 150

Country Homes & Interiors

an afternoon closer to home. I think they take after me in that respect, because to me England is such a beautiful, special place. Our small island offers so much, and even though I’m on a beach pretty much every other weekend, whenever I land back in the UK and see all the greenery, I know I’m home.

Nearly two years ago we took over a closing Post Office in nearby Purley, and we’ve developed a coffee shop and deli there to provide a new space for the community. We’ve integrated it into our visits up Box Hill, too. The family might pop in and have brunch there on a Sunday before heading up the hill for the afternoon, or on warmer days, we’ll collect a picnic from the shop to enjoy after the walk. It’s been a huge achievement for us to get something like this off the ground, and really rewarding, too. It was wonderful to have Box Hill so close by during all the renovations – it’s a place of pure escapism, where you can switch off, have a breather and feel like you’re a world away from everywhere else, even though you’re so close to the city. I’m not somebody that relaxes very easily, but when I’m on Box Hill, surrounded by open space and fresh air, I find myself appreciating things and breathing more deeply, worlds away from the stresses of daily life. Laura Hamilton presents A Place in The Sun on Channel 4. For more information visit laurahamiltonofficial.com.

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT PHOTOGRAPH (MAIN) ALAMY

On a crisp and cold day, there’s nowhere more amazing to be than up on Box Hill in Surrey. When


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