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Wear your heart on your windows.

Don’t just like your curtains. Love them.



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

BRIGHT NEW START Update your interior with fresh looks

How an engine house became a Cornish gem

FARMHOUSE CHARM Concrete and wood bring a Dutch house to life




January 2019 inspiring homes 27 32 42 46 61

H O M E F O R T H E H O L I D AY S This

revamped Sixties house in County Durham is now a welcoming place to spend Christmas T H E B I G P I C T U R E Creative touches bring personality to this property in Stockholm L E T I T S N O W A Swedish apartment decorated in cool whites and soft textures A N O V E L TA L E The owner of a north London flat used her love of books and travel to inspire her home’s new look F A M I LY P L A N N I N G Bold tones and a rejigged layout have turned an old cottage in Cambridgeshire into a bright, practical home


68 78 84 96 103

F E S T I V E F A I R Y TA L E With its

thatched roof and farmhouse interior, this Cornish former dairy is a bewitching retreat P U R E C H I C Elegant furnishings lend a sophisticated feel to a Finnish home A L L I N T H E D E TA I L How one couple updated a Fifties townhouse in west London OP E NING UP Installing a sleek glass floor and industrial-style steel staircase has created exciting new spaces in this Oxford semi L AT I N L E S S O N Bringing Italian elegance to a soulless Sixties bungalow in Wales was this couple’s aim

A Swedish country house, dating from 1929, has been given a bright new look (page 32).

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126 130

P A S T P E R F E C T The owners of this listed cottage in

Wiltshire were keen to uncover their home’s fascinating history W I N T E R WA R M E R A moody colour palette of greys and blues and strings of twinkling fairy lights set the scene for an atmospheric Christmas in this Finnish apartment C O A S TA L C A L M Muted tones and a clever layout have given this flat in Devon a serene feel C O U N T R Y P U R S U I T Creating a comfortable place for family Christmases was the priority for this Dutch pair when renovating their once-dilapidated farmhouse

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I N D U S T R I A L R E V E L AT I O N Reclaimed furnishings

enhance the rustic charm of this Cornish former engine house H E AV E N LY H AV E N A couple have filled a Dutch converted linen plant with curios and salvaged pieces T R E A S U R E T R O V E Brimming with vintage finds, upcycled furniture and bold colours, this south London cottage has plenty of individual style

replanned 50 64


74 122


M O D E R N V I N TA G E A timeless mix of contemporary

and traditional touches in an East Sussex period semi A P E R F E C T F I T Bespoke solutions have made the most of the space in this Edinburgh apartment A S P E C T O F L O V E The spectacular views from an Edwardian terrace in north London inspired two house-hunters to take on a major renovation project R E T R O R E V I VA L These owners used mid-century furniture to give their Sixties detached in Kent fresh character

distinctive 12 20 54 112

T H E G I N G E R B R E A D H O U S E Christmas baking is a

much-loved festive tradition for the owners of this Danish villa E C L E C T I C E L E G A N C E Vintage and antique objects enhance the character of this Victorian home in Lincolnshire S W E D E I N S P I R AT I O N Scandi design influenced the interior of this family-friendly villa in Surrey P L A C E O F M E M O R I E S A Sixties bungalow in East Sussex is a showcase for this couple’s inherited items and interesting souvenirs picked up on their travels abroad

r e g u l a r f e at u r e s


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N E W S This month’s hot shopping trends T R AV E L O F F E R Luxury river cruises T R AV E L O F F E R Take an escorted European tour W H E R E T O B U Y Find stockists listed in this issue here R O O M E N V Y The scheme that has inspired us this month

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For Christmas week, not just Christmas day

Finding room for festive food and drink is always a challenge. With more space inside than you’d expect, the RS8000 fridge freezer has room enough to see you through until the New Year.



25bh | e d ito r ’s le t te r



WELCOME Brrr. Winter is well and truly upon us and, while I will never be a chilly weather person at heart, this year I have been enjoying the feeling of warmth that envelops you when walking into a toasty home. When we redesigned our house, we invested in underfloor heating. It has been a game changer and left our place feeling so cosy – and ‘cosy’ is a word I keep hearing at this time of year. In the past, it may have meant small, dark rooms, too much wood, squishy furniture, etc, but cosy these days is framed as the ultimate luxury. Let’s call it the New Cosy – think warm, relaxed, comfortable, candlelit. This issue’s homes are rich in New Cosy atmosphere – Jess’s converted engine house in Cornwall features rich wooden panelling and pops of gold (page 36); concrete details are softened by exposed beams and twinkling lights in Margret and Henk’s home (page 130); while tan leather bar stools lend texture to Charlotte and Cameron’s white kitchen (page 50). I hope you find inspiration in this issue and take time out of the holiday period to enjoy it. You’ll find me snuggled on the sofa with a blanket and a hot choc… SARAH SPITERI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR


Download back issues onto your device. Zoom in on images to see the details more clearly

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

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OUTSIDE THE BOX Clementine cabinetry is just one of the bold design decisions in this Thirties London home

RICH PICKINGS In a Yorkshire period property, dark, moody hues set the scene for luxe furnishings

Safeship Fulfilment (01795 662976) Vol 22 No 1 ISSN 1369529 ©TI Media Limited, 2019. Distributed by Marketforce (UK) Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, London E14 5HU (020 3787 9001)

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For when they come bearing gifts

When they’re home for the holidays, QuickDrive™ can get a whole term’s worth of laundry really clean, really fast. So you can focus on catching up on more than their washing.



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T R E N D S | W H AT ’ S N E W | M U S T- H AV E B U Y S


2 3 5




9 7 red & green Create a sophisticated look this winter by filling your home with elegant accessories in those classic Christmas tones 1 WHAT A CRACKER Christmas tree crackers, £55 for set of six, Thornback & Peel 2 WITH LOVE Mistletoe Christmas card, £2.50, Lucy Bowes Design

8 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

3 EVERGREEN BEAUTY Berry stocking, £35, Sophie Conran 4 DRINK UP Wackie Dot glass, £55, Nina Campbell 5 SOFT TOUCH Rubra cushion cover, £60, Oka

6 TABLE TALK Linen napkin in Green/White O and Red/White O, £22 each, Ottolenghi 7 DECK THE HALLS Paper-chain garland kit in Mistletoe,

£14.50, The Shop Floor Project 8 FAUX FESTIVE Balmoral artificial tree, £149, Dobbies 9 DECORATIVE TOUCH Rowan spray in Russet, £8, Neptune


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For when you can’t face another flat Yorkshire

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Baking sets the scene for Christmas in the chic home of Julie Wettergren and her husband Christopher Andersson


SITTING ROOM Horizontally striped wallpaper gives the illusion of width, while vintage prints create a chic picture wall. Get the look by turning a vertical-striped wallpaper sideways: Enderby Black & Dark Grey Striped Wallpaper, £48 a roll, WallpaperKing, is a match. Find budget vintage prints on Juniqe

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home truths THE PROPERTY Red-brick villa L O C AT I O N Hellerup, Denmark R O O M S Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2009 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a flat in Copenhagen but needed more room,’ says Julie.

Julie likes to lay her Christmas dining table with lots of evergreens, pine cones, candles and decorated napkins. Vitra Eames DSW chairs in Basalt, £365 each, Heal’s. Secto 4200 ceiling light in black, £430, John Lewis & Partners

25bh | da n i s h v i l l a DINING ROOM

A pine sprig tucked in a rolled napkin makes it instantly festive. Try faded grey linen napkins, £19.99 for four, Zara Home. Nordal Diamond wine glasses, £4.95 each, Trouva


‘A slim worktop creates a more sophisticated look,’ says Julie. Find Corian worktops from £200, Arlington Direct Worksurfaces. Hygena three-piece Athina fitted kitchen unit, £223.99, Argos, is similar. Try Gubi Bestlite wall lamps, £346, DM Lights


or jewellery designer Julie Wettergren, the festive season begins in October. ‘I put raisins and nuts to soak in rum for the Christmas biscuits that we always bake,’ she says. ‘The children, Conrad, 10, and Telma, seven, and I go hiking in the woods where we collect cones, moss and branches for our decorations. We can’t wait for Christmas to start but we do this in secret because we always promise my husband Christopher that we won’t begin preparations before the end of November.’ Julie starts on her baking projects early, because each year the family makes a beautiful gingerbread house to celebrate Christmas. ‘We bake one weekend, do the icing the next and assemble everything on the third weekend,’ she says. ‘It takes weeks to get a gingerbread house built. ‘Christmas baking is a tradition I grew up with, and I love sharing it with my children. It creates an expectation of what’s to come and gives me quality time with my family, away from all the technology and screens.’ It’s no wonder, then, that the kitchen is a key room in this elegant villa. It was also the only one that needed an entire renovation. ‘We loved the charm and soul of the house when we first saw it, but the kitchen was completely worn out,’ says Julie. Replacing it with low-level units painted black kept it in line with the decor in the rest of the house. ‘I love decorating with black and grey because it gives the rooms some depth,’ she says. ‘I’m not a big fan of lots of bright colours, but I love contrasts, and natural light.’ There are no curtains throughout the house, which allows light to


Bauble-shaped bakes echo the pastel-coloured tree decorations, which date from Julie’s childhood. Pillivuyt tiered cake stand, £59.95, Kings and Queens, is similar

Favourite room ‘I love the sitting

room, where we spend quality time together’ 14 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

SITTING ROOM The grey sofa is a practical option with two children and Holly the dog. Seattle corner sofa in Granite velvet, £1,949, Swoon, has this look. Try Craig & Rose Esterhazy chalky emulsion, £35 for 2.5 L, Homebase. Pink Drum Silk lampshade, £24, Habitat, is a match

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25bh | da n i s h v i l l a SITTING ROOM

Helped by the children, Julie created the intricate gingerbread house, as well as cookies, meringues and homemade chocolate trules. ‘I do all the baking with my kids,’ says Julie. Try the Biscuiteers DIY gingerbread house kit, £34.99, Selfridges


The diamond wallpaper on the stairs is a striking focal point. Helene Blanche Harlequin Raw Gold TCW wallpaper, approx £123 a roll, Tapet Café, achieves this efect

flood in. ‘Since we have trees and nature all around the place, we never use anything to cover our windows,’ says Julie. ‘We like light, and although we have blinds we never use them so I’m actually thinking of taking them down. ‘I’m very much into detail and like to think that I’ve decorated the whole house with personality and charm. I’d describe my style as vintage with a touch of nostalgia and some modern twists, and I enjoy unearthing antiques in flea markets all over the world.’ At Christmas, the dramatic decor here comes into its own and provides a chic background to the sparkly pastel baubles that Julie decorates the tree with. ‘When I bring out the decorations it reminds me of my childhood,’ she says. ‘The things I’ve inherited from my family have soul, and to me that means cosiness and security. Every year, the children and I buy a slightly more expensive bauble to hang on the tree, creating new memories for the future. We buy a new tree each year – one with roots, so it can be planted in the garden afterwards. Gradually we are creating our own small forest in the back garden. December is a time for special gatherings in this household. Christmas Eve is spent with Julie’s extended family – they eat duck, dance around the Christmas tree, and exchange presents. Christmas morning in Denmark is quiet and spent with the children. The family love their home, but with two growing children and a dog, they are keen to have more space. ‘We may create an extension in the next year or so,’ says Julie. ‘We love living here, surrounded by beautiful countryside, so we certainly don’t want to move.’

My inspir ation ‘I look up to my dad, a furniture designer, who made our table’ 16 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019


MAIN BEDROOM Muted grey and beige tones, combined with the sensuously textured cushions and throw, add a peaceful, calm feel. Try It’s About RoMi Citylights Swing Arm lamp, £129.99, Wayfair. Find similar linen and velvet cushions, from £6.99 each, H&M Home

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ECLECTIC ELEGANCE Sarah Davenport readies her home for the season with flowers and foliage, enhancing her unusual vintage finds FEATURE RACHEL LEEDHAM | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH


home truths THE PROPERTY Double-fronted Victorian home L O C AT I O N Lincolnshire R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, snug, study, utility room, cloakroom, five bedrooms (two en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before buying this house, we lived in a new-build stone house in a nearby village,’ says Sarah.

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p e r i o d p ro p e r t y | 25bh

KITCHEN Vintage cabinets lend a freestanding feel, and a sheet of aged brass makes an unusual splashback. French kitchen unit (made into an island); wooden chest, both Newark Antiques & Collectors Fair. Tolix stool in matt white is similar, ÂŁ233.59, Tolix

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ach Christmas Eve, the home of Sarah Davenport, her husband Ross Dennison and their two daughters, April, 6, and Verity, 4, is filled with the chatter of friends catching up over mulled wine and festive nibbles. ‘It’s a tradition we started a few years ago,’ says Sarah. ‘Christmas Day is spent with family but the night before is when we catch up with all our friends.’ Sarah and Ross’s Victorian home, situated in a market town in Lincolnshire, certainly lends itself to entertaining, with its inviting, open-plan kitchen and dining space housed in a new extension flowing seamlessly from the sitting room. ‘We wanted a design that felt in tune with the original building,’ says Sarah. ‘The idea was that it should look as if it had always been there.’ When the couple purchased the house three years ago, it was crying out for love and attention: ‘The previous owner had lived to

be 101 and she hadn’t managed to do much over the last 30 years,’ says Sarah. ‘Before we moved in, we had to rewire and replumb throughout, as well as restore all the sash windows. We also replaced the floor joists in the two front rooms.’ The next phase of works was the extension, and the family bravely moved in, restricting themselves to certain rooms as the two-storey build took shape. As well as providing a new kitchendiner, it has given them two extra bedrooms and a bathroom on the floor above. Sarah has many strings to her bow, having been a florist before moving into product design, creating horticultural items for well-known homeware brands. Since the arrival of her daughters, she has worked as a stylist and has recently launched her own lampshade business, That Rebel House. ‘I’ve always been interested in quirky objects and individual pieces that are vintage or antique, rather than mass-produced,’ Sarah says of

DINING AREA A Twenties opaline glass lamp helps to define this space, and an Oriental silk scroll on paper backing adds a decorative touch. Vintage lamp, price on request, Below Stairs of Hungerford. Oriental silk scroll, price on request, Tom Scott Antiques SITTING ROOM With its linen sofas and Berberstyle rug, this area has a relaxed, Scandinavian feel. Stocksund sofa, from £400, Ikea. Nyborg rug, £295, La Redoute. Victorian chair, Palace Antiques HALL The Victorian tiles and the Anaglypta wallpaper are original – Sarah painted the lower wall dark grey for a more contemporary feel. Wallpaper painted in Tallanstown Grey pure flat emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5L, Paint & Paper Library

i n s p i r a t i o n ‘I gravitate towards pieces with a botanical theme, and my home wouldn’t feel finished if I didn’t have lots of plants and flowers’

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MAIN BEDROOM A vintage German wall hanging is a striking feature above the bed. Pleated Ikat linen lampshades, £75 each, That Rebel House GUEST BEDROOM Sarah updated an old wooden bed with vibrant emerald green paint. Lampshade, £95, That Rebel House VERITY’S BEDROOM Victorian salon chairs in gold velvet lend a sumptuous touch. Try the Aria cocktail chair in Colonel Mustard, £530, Perch & Parrow B AT H R O O M A dark antique mirror looks modern in this clean white scheme. Grosvenor floor tiles, £61.98sq m, Topps Tiles A P R I L’ S B E D R O O M Blue original fireplace tiles add a pop of colour here. Try the feather-efect metallic wings, £180, Rockett St George

her style, which is a curated mix of French and English vintage and antique pieces. In the kitchen, fitted units sit alongside freestanding furniture, including an antique French kitchen cupboard, a military chest and a metal apothecary cabinet, all found at local fairs. ‘Ideally, I would have had only freestanding units but that was impractical,’ says Sarah. ‘Instead, I chose neutral white fitted cupboards so the other furnishings became the focus of the room.’ She has also embraced the abundance of original details in the house, such as the fireplaces, which have been painstakingly stripped back to reveal Victorian tiles and iron surrounds, as well as mouldings and picture rails. ‘I am a huge fan of picture rails, as they let me switch art and mirrors around without putting holes in the walls. I’m constantly moving things about, mainly

because it’s such a simple way to regenerate a space and give it a whole new feel.’ There is a subtly Scandinavian aesthetic to some rooms, notably the main living space with its linen sofas and monochrome Berber rug. ‘I enjoy that clean-lined style but I’ve also mixed in older pieces, too.’ Sarah says. ‘I wanted to include a period item in every room, to reference the era of the building.’ Although the couple’s possessions span diferent eras and styles, a shared colour palette pulls them together. ‘I’ve stuck to white, green and grey, as well as timber and metals,’ says Sarah. Even her Christmas decorations fit the brief, with striking tassel garlands picking out the gleaming brass accents of the lighting and mirrors. ‘I like decorations that are a bit diferent and not too traditional,’ she says. Which also rather neatly sums up this welcoming home.

d e c o r a t i n g t i p ‘An old piece can come to life in a more contemporary setting – such as mahogany antique furniture in an all-white bathroom’

The home of the


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

m o d e r n d e tac h e d | 25bh SITTING ROOM An L-shaped sofa makes good use of this space, and colourful cushions lift its pale grey shade. Cosmos modular sofa, £1,998, Delux Deco. Remona cofee table, £78.99, Wayfair, is an alternative. Try Anglepoise Type 75 floor lamp, Margaret Howell Ochre Edition, £220, John Lewis & Partners

Home for the holidays Olga Prinku and Andrew Wright turned a jaded Sixties property into a light-filled space, future-proofed for family Christmases FEATURE ANNABELLE GRUNDY | PHOTOGRAPHY COLIN POOLE

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Olga made the cofee table from a surplus kitchen unit door, and produced the cow prints on a screen-printing course. Mendini sofa, £699,, is comparable. Kragsta white side table, £55 for set of two, Ikea

d e s i g n t i p ‘Spend where it shows – we invested in good-quality quartz kitchen worktops, which really lift our inexpensive and understated cabinets’ HALL

To make the entrance bright and welcoming, the couple remodelled the stairs, and painted everywhere white. Hand-knitted stockings, £45 each, Prinku. Try Bay Stripe Dhurrie rug, £20.99, Wayfair

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xcitement was tinged with anxiety when Olga Prinku and her husband Andrew Wright received a phone call confirming that their recent bid on a Sixties house had been successful. ‘We couldn’t quite believe we’d finally settled on somewhere,’ explains Olga. ‘Although we wanted our own home, we were lucky to be living quite comfortably in a relative’s property. With no pressure to move, what started as a temporary solution had turned into a three-year stint.’ The couple had returned from working abroad to the Northeast, to be near Andrew’s family. With their son Matty just a baby, they began searching for a family home. ‘We didn’t have a particular style in mind, just somewhere with plenty of light and outside space so we could enjoy the rural life,’ Olga explains. Their hunt ended when they found a Sixties house tucked down a

quiet lane. It had only one previous owner, and although the property had been well loved, it was extremely dated. ‘There were patterned wallpapers, an avocado bathroom suite and the main bedroom had a pine sauna cabin,’ says Olga. ‘The secluded location is very special, though, and the space flowed well.’ Fortunately, the couple could remain where they were living, as their new home had to be stripped out for underfloor heating and a new kitchen and bathroom. Plans also included replacing flooring, fitting sliding glass doors to maximise light and connect the living areas to the garden, and complete redecoration. Their builders carried out most of the work, but the couple were determined to do whatever they could to keep costs down. ‘I’m so glad we weren’t living on site, but we were here every day,’ says Olga. ‘We sourced all the materials down to the last nail, and painted

m o d e r n d e tac h e d | 25bh INSPIRING

home truths THE PROPERTY Detached Sixties house L O C AT I O N Stockton-on-Tees R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, study, four bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a house nearby owned by Andrew’s family,’ says Olga.

KITCHEN-DINER Bold pendant lights illuminate the long dining table made by Andrew and Olga, while the chairs provide a splash of colour. Hektar pendant lights, £20 each; Metod units with Ringhult doors, £69 for 60cm base unit, all Ikea. Eames DSW-style dining chairs, £69 each, Cult Furniture

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Opening up the eaves has created more natural light and space. Quick Dry Blackboard Paint, £6 for 500ml, Wilko. Deswin chair, £20, MyFaktory, is similar

d e s i g n t i p ‘Use odd spaces such as eaves and alcoves to create extra storage, so you can put things away, leaving the house clutter-free and easy to clean’ MAIN BEDROOM

A homemade bench has turned a window into an inviting seating area. Wire mesh dining chair, £56, La Maison Chic. Try Majestic engineered ash flooring, £63sq m, Discount Flooring Depot

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most of the rooms ourselves. It was stressful, but we learnt a huge amount.’ Designing the new kitchen-diner proved tricky. Initially keen to include an island, Olga struggled with the layout. She eventually picked two runs of wall units with neatly concealed appliances and a central dining table. She loves clean lines and pared-down, Scandi style, so elements such as the matt white kitchen cabinets and ash flooring are typical of her taste. ‘When the flooring arrived, it was the wrong product,’ Olga recalls. ‘Luckily, it was my second choice, so rather than wait for the replacement, I negotiated a discount, which helped our budget, and kept us on schedule.’ Timeless white painted walls provide the backdrop for greys and blues, plus pops of more vibrant shades. Furniture is functional and understated and, alongside high-street buys, Andrew and Olga have built one-of pieces, such as the kitchen

table and bedroom window seat, from surplus timber and other components. Texture is a feature throughout, with weathered driftwood accessories interspersed with warm woolly fabrics and Olga’s own chunky-knit cushions and blankets. At Christmas, she loves a natural feel and dresses the house with handmade garlands, decorations and wreaths, blending berries and dried fruit with greenery, branches and cones. ‘I don’t usually have a plan,’ she admits. ‘I’m happy going to the fields or the beach to see what I can find and then I’ll make something from it.’ A traditional tree, in festive red and white, is the focal point of the sitting room at Christmas time. Some decorations are treasured gifts or travel mementos, and Olga and Matty, now seven, enjoy making new ones to add to the collection. ‘Having our own home has made all the diference and we’ve no more plans to move,’ says Olga. ‘We feel we really belong here now.’



32 SHOWROOMS NATIONWIDE Request a free brochure

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THE BIG PICTURE Susanne Nyléns’ house on the banks of Stockholm’s Lake Mälaren was a blank canvas just waiting for her artistic touch FEATURE NICKY ADAMS | PHOTOGRAPHY ANNE NYBLAEUS/A DESIGN FEATURES

SITTING ROOM The original fireplace (opposite) makes this a wonderfully relaxing spot in winter. Armchair inherited from Fredrik’s grandfather and re-covered in Opera Sapin, £96m, Pierre Frey. Cofee table, £723, Oscar & Clothilde. Bespoke rug, NTK Europe

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s w e di s h rus ti c | 25bh INSPIRING

home truths THE PROPERTY Four-storey house built in 1929 L O C AT I O N Bromma, Stockholm R O O M S Sitting room, kitchen- diner, cloakroom, two TV rooms, five bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in the same suburb in a smaller house,’ says Susanne.


run-down four-storey country house that dates from the Twenties might not have been the obvious property to grab the attention of interior designer Susanne Nyléns when she began searching for her family’s next home. But consider that it is surrounded by apple orchards and is located on the shores of Stockholm’s Lake Mälaren and the decision to buy makes more sense. ‘This area is known as Höglandet, which means “high land”,’ explains Susanne, ‘so the views of the surrounding landscape are quite spectacular. From the start, I loved the huge garden and the serenity of the setting, and I could see that the inside would be a great opportunity to put some of my interior design ideas into practice.’ With its basement, attic and two floors of living accommodation, as well as a tired panelled exterior façade that is typical of the Ornäsvilla style of Swedish rustic architecture, the house was a substantial renovation project. Susanne firstly focused her attention on getting the interior ready for her business consultant husband Fredrik, as well as daughter Ebba, 14, son Filip, 10, and Vera the family dog, to move in. She lost no time in ripping out the old carpet, which covered every floor, and setting to work with a sander. ‘When we uncovered it, the ground floor was a mixture of diferent types of wooden flooring,’ she says, ‘so we created a new herringbone parquet throughout the hallway and into the kitchen to match the beautiful original in the living and dining areas. ‘We also stripped all the staircases and painted every wall in cool, neutral tones. Doing this instantly brought the house

DINING AREA White cupboards and a display of vintage bird prints create appealing symmetry. Per Söderberg NEB table, £1,780, Länna Möbler. Hans J Wegner CH 24 chairs, £589 each; Jonas Bohlin Kvist light, £1,088, all Skandium. Vintage bird prints, Home Market

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KITCHEN ‘I want my guests to feel cared for, which is why I love to cook for them,’ says Susanne. Custom-made doors by Järfälla Kök, fitted to Ikea carcasses, from £23. Bar stools, £244.63 each, Tolix. Jieldé Augustin pendant lights, £253 each, Made in Design

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together, giving it a style of its own and making it feel even bigger.’ Susanne cleared out the basement to make it workable as a laundry room, store and garage and, on the ground floor, knocked through into the former maid’s parlour to extend the kitchen and dining area to create a real family hub. ‘We spend most of our time there,’ she says, ‘so that was really a good idea. It’s a lovely and bright space with beautiful windows and doors that lead to the garden terrace.’ As well as the four bedrooms on the first floor, Susanne managed to carve out a TV room for the children. She also transformed the attic into a fifth bedroom with its own sitting area, making it ideal for guests. ‘I’m very pleased that we’ve retained the character of the interior of the house and simply refined it,’ says Susanne. ‘It still feels substantial, solid and spacious.’ The house happily consumed furniture and furnishings from the family’s previous home, and Susanne enjoyed picking up new items as they caught her eye in stores and antique shops. ‘When we travel, I’m always on the lookout for vases, ceramics, cushions and all kinds of lovely curiosities, whether new, heritage or vintage,’ she says. ‘The monochrome colour scheme I’ve chosen meant I could add a lot of detail this way, without overwhelming the house.’ Some of her favourite items are those she and her husband have inherited. ‘The gold-framed paintings in the dining area were my grandmother’s and Fredrik’s grandfather bequeathed us several classic Swedish antiques, including the chair in the sitting room, which we re-covered in velvet, and lots of ornaments and vases. They look at home next to new items that I’ve bought, and I love the way they add a bit of family heritage to our home.’ The exterior of the house, however, became Susanne’s next challenge. ‘We could not have imagined how much work it would be to replace the façade and put on a new roof,’ she admits. ‘The whole process took almost six months and the place was such a mess. All we could do while it was going on was think about how lovely it would be when it was finally completed!’

MAIN BEDROOM Restful rich green accents add vibrancy to this stylish sleeping space. Headboard, £585, Mille Notti. Domo bedside table, £385, Royal Design. Konsthantverk Uno lamp, £123, Stockholms Ljusbutik. Deva green cushion cover, £45, Chhatwal & Jonsson

E B B A’ S B E D R O O M The neutral palette in this room is lifted with a little bit of sparkle. Headboard, from £59.50, Made By Märtha. Grey cashmere throw, £320, Stackelbergs. Try Fifth Avenue Sparkle Gold cushion, £15, Dunelm. Jieldé Signal table lamp, £215, Made in Design


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R E V E L AT I O N Jess Clark has used reclamation yard ďŹ nds to bring eclectic style and rustic chic to a historic Cornish engine house FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS | PHOTOGRAPHY POLLY ELTES

fo r m e r e n g i n e h o u s e | 25bh UNIQUE

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Victorian former engine house L O C AT I O N Cornwall R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, cloakroom, cinema room, three bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘My main home is a Grade II-listed cottage in Penryn,’ says Jess.

DINING AREA An old church pew and school chairs work perfectly in this informal eating spot. White enamel lampshade is a match, £58, Labour and Wait. Chairs and pew, from a selection, both Timber Track

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KITCHEN Stainless-steel surfaces and a painted concrete floor are in keeping with the property’s industrial roots. Try the jute round rug, £125, The White Company. Flavel electric double-oven cooker in silver is a match, £699.99, Currys. Four-slot NewGen toaster, £195, Dualit HALL A woodburning stove creates a warm welcome in the entryway. Walls painted in Skimming Stone estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. The Stack is available to rent through Unique Home Stays,

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CINEMA ROOM Film-themed memorabilia gives this space a distinctive look. Vintage film reels, price on request, Shiver Me Timbers. Tina Ratzer Twist A Twill blanket in Corn Yellow has this look, £125, Trouva. Try the Reclaimed four-door, four-drawer large cofee table, £599, Uneeka


hen searching for a place where she could get away from it all, Jess Clark had a specific wish list. ‘I was trying to find somewhere that was interesting architecturally, located on the north Cornish coast and close to the beach,’ she says. ‘I fell in love with this amazing Victorian industrial building as soon as I saw it from the top of the long path that leads down to its front door.’ The former engine house extends over five floors and is surrounded by rolling countryside. The previous owners had extensively refurbished the property, stripping it back to the original stonework throughout. ‘Their renovation had respected the house’s history,’ says Jess. ‘The result was an interior that was pared back, rustic, and a little rough round the edges. It inspired me to create a raw feel that wasn’t too neat. I wanted a relaxed family home that was great for holidays, and was a cosy place to spend Christmas with my children, Lola, 10, and Bodi, six.’ Working with an older property wasn’t without its challenges, however. The long path leading to the house made it diicult to get things inside. The five floors also meant there were plenty of narrow

stairs to climb. ‘Getting furniture in was quite a struggle,’ says interior designer Jess. ‘One of the sofas got wedged between floors, so the builders had to try another route, taking it through the window. That experience certainly dictated some of the future decisions I made when choosing furniture.’ Jess was keen to maximise the stunning location of the house, so she built a deck area at the rear, complete with a whirlpool tub that made the most of the surrounding views. An outdoor kitchen was also added. Inside, changes were made to the layout. ‘On the second floor, there was a large main bedroom and a snug, and I wanted to create more space for a sitting room,’ says Jess. ‘So I repositioned the wall and reduced the size of the main bedroom. I also added a cloakroom on the same floor.’ A basement room became a cosy cinema room, as it has no windows, and Jess has stuck to the cinematic theme by displaying vintage film reels and movie memorabilia around the room. Redecorating the house took three months, and Jess had clear ideas of the look she was keen to achieve. ‘I wanted to have a diferent theme in each room,’ she says. ‘For instance, one of

f a v o u r i t e s h o p ‘Not far from here there’s a reclamation yard called Shiver Me Timbers – it’s always full of great finds’ 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019 | 39

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SITTING ROOM Jess has used vintage buys and a warm colour palette to create a stylish, lived-in feel. Afaw Berber-style rug, £99, La Redoute. Bagsie sofa in Winter Sky clever velvet, £2,295, Loaf. Take a look at Uneeka’s Rustic TV unit, £429. Georgette footstool in Butterscotch cotton matt velvet has this look, £750, TERRACE This spa-style outdoor deck is the perfect place to admire the views all year round. Black and brass hurricane lamp is a match, £16.99, Force 4 Chandlery. Multiblock throw, £89.95, Bronte by Moon

the guest bedrooms had an exposed, peeling paint wall with an interesting patina, which inspired a Moroccan look for that room. Then I went for a stargazer theme in another bedroom, with vintage books and a telescope. I wanted to combine industrial and rustic elements, as well as vintage finds throughout. Many of the lampshades are reclamation yard finds and I pick up old kitchenalia whenever I see it. Brand-new things wouldn’t suit this house – I wanted the interior to feel as if it had evolved organically over time and have a very lived-in mood. I was lucky enough to discover my Ercol sofa onFreecycle. I’ve also added in pops of colour, such as mustard, and opulent fabrics, such as velvets.’ With the renovation and redecoration complete, the house is now ready to receive visitors. ‘I’m so pleased with how it has all come together,’ says Jess. ‘It’s such an amazing building, that my main aim was to make the most of all those elements that make it unique. The house has a lovely warmth, which comes into its own at Christmas. This really is a very special place.’ 40 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019


MAIN BEDROOM Wooden panelling plus pops of gold give a warm, rustic look. Try the Charley chaise in Yolk Yellow, £299, Berber Kilim cushions are similar, from £58.99, Maison de Marrakech

B AT H R O O M Vintage fittings characterise this dramatic space. The Bath Co Dalston vanity unit with white marble basin is comparable, £449, Victoria Plum

B AT H R O O M An imposing mirror and claw-foot bath add glitz and glamour. Extra-large gilt mirror is a match, £598.50, La Maison Chic. Try the Bath Co Dulwich grey roll-top bath with claw feet, £589, Victoria Plum

GUEST BEDROOM Jess has created an astrological theme in this loft area. The Zira jute ochre circle rug has this look, £189, The Rug Shop. Down Pipe estate emulsion is a similar wall and floor colour, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

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LET IT SNOW Cool whites, sparkling candlelight and soft textures provide the backdrop to Yuletide celebrations in Elisabeth Nilsson’s home FEATURE EMMA J PAGE | PHOTOGRAPHY JOHAN SELLÉN / LIVING INSIDE

DINING ROOM Sitting snugly between the sitting room and the kitchen, this area is a natural magnet for family gatherings. Foscarini Le Soleil pendant light, £575, The Conran Shop. KBH chairs, €975 each, KBH Shop. Bermuda table, £4,512, Twentytwentyone. Iittala Nappula candleholders, £31 each, Trouva


home truths THE PROPERTY Apartment in a house built in 1918 L O C AT I O N Stockholm R O O M S Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen-diner, study, bedroom (en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a villa just outside Stockholm,’ says Elisabeth.


s the festive season approaches, all is calm in Elisabeth Nilsson’s elegant apartment which is just the way she likes it. Having fallen for the handsome townhouses in this area of central Stockholm, the textile specialist moved here with her husband Sture once her children had flown the nest. ‘We bought the apartment during a December six years ago and there was this magical Christmas feel in the whole area, with its red-brick façades and a magnificent church at the centre,’ says Elisabeth. ‘So every year, we recreate that feeling at home. We have also started a new tradition, whereby we invite all our family and friends for homemade spiced wine in the run-up to Christmas Eve – the ritual of heating white wine and adding cinnamon, cloves, star anise and vanilla is something we love to do. It really kicks of the season.’ With a background in sourcing and supplying textiles, Elisabeth is no stranger to decorating and home renovation, but for the first time, moving here did not entail any major building works. The apartment had already been fully refurbished by a well-known Swedish architectural firm, Tham & Videgård. ‘We had always refurbished our previous properties,’ explains Elisabeth, ‘but


This corner room benefits from dual-aspect windows, allowing in plenty of light. Casa Botelho’s RD15 eight-arm chandelier, £4,805, recreates this look. The Imo folding stool, £355, Pinch Design, is similar to this one. White linen sofa, price on request, Garbo Interiors


Floor-to-ceiling storage and a central island make the most of the space. The plain white units are ofset by Swedish limestone worktops and stained oak parquet flooring. The Integra Fusion kitchen, from £3,962, Magnet, has this streamlined look


A round table dressed in textured linens makes for an intimate eating zone. Find tablecloths like these at Summerill & Bishop. The Hooked pendant, from £210, Buster+Punch, is similar. Sonna Rosen Danish Sunbeam chairs, £1,213 each, 1stdibs. The artwork is by Luciana Ame

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A bold artwork and an oak storage bench strike a contemporary note in the entrance to this apartment. Try Desenio for modern prints


Neat sliding doors separate this chic bathroom from the

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bedroom, where base and wall units, plus a shower, are cleverly incorporated into the compact area. Metro white tiles, £19.50sq m, Topps Tiles, are similar


‘We furnished this room simply for a serene feel,’

says Elisabeth, who opted for space-saving floating bedside tables and a muted grey-and-white palette. Maisons du Monde has a range of similar floating shelves, from £115. The Birdy wall light, from £222, Holloways of Ludlow, is comparable to this one

when we saw this apartment, we loved the fact that it had a timeless feel – it’s just what we would have done if we had been starting from scratch.’ The lateral space, with its enfilade of sitting room, dining room and kitchen flowing seamlessly from one to the other, features a largely monochrome palette that creates a sense of efortless cohesion. Stained oak floorboards provide a natural anchor, contrasted by plenty of white cabinetry for a light touch. ‘This home is smaller than our previous villa, but it feels just as spacious thanks to plenty of floor-to-ceiling storage and sleek design solutions, such as the bathroom, which is integrated into the bedroom but separated by a simple sliding door,’ notes Elisabeth. When it came to decorating this space, the couple let the architecture do the talking, with its graceful proportions and generous, original window frames. ‘I chose a palette of of-whites and greys, warmed up with plenty of luscious textures such as rustic woods, raw linens and deeppile rugs,’ says Elisabeth. ‘They are warming touches that work particularly well at Christmas, and they are given a lift by some dramatic artwork. We also love the warmth of the oak features.’ Fittingly, the tree is adorned simply. ‘I find that our Christmas tree looks great decked out only in lights,’ says Elisabeth, who complements the rustic look with fresh foliage dotted around the house. ‘Then of course, we have a typical Swedish stove in the sitting room, which we light most evenings. It’s very dark at this time of year, so lighting is important to us and candlelight creates a soothing atmosphere.’ Though their children, Lovisa and David, have left home, they still live nearby and Elisabeth will be preparing a feast to remember over Christmas and the New Year. ‘They will come home to the smell of gingerbread baking,’ says Elisabeth. ‘Then after the traditional celebrations, we’ll be heading of on a family skiing trip to northern Sweden. But as much as we love travelling, one of the highlights will be returning to this cosy home. It’s our favourite place to be.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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i n s p i r a t i o n ‘I’m always inspired by a combination of function and serenity in a home, and I prefer a neutral palette against which pops of colour can sing’

STUDY A useful oice space leads directly of the bedroom. Its monochrome palette lends a unifying feel. Bermuda desk, €1,935.69, Asplund. Lars Beller Fjetland Touchwood chair, €259, Hem

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SITTING AREA Warm colours and textures make this light-filled area feel cosy. Sofa, from £3,000, Liberty. Elitis Bubble cushions, £150 each, Abbott +Boyd. Berber table lamp, £231; Merton floor lamp, £415, both Oka. Atari cofee table, £975, Chaplins

A novel tale

Michelle Barker’s love of books and travel was key to bringing a sense of substance and style to her remodelled flat FEATURE KAREN JENSEN-JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY NICK SMITH


home truths THE PROPERTY Second-floor apartment in an 1850s red-brick terrace L O C AT I O N North London R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ dining area, kitchen, reading room, bedroom, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2004 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I moved here from a rented flat in north London,’ says Michelle.

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he design inspiration for Michelle Barker’s apartment in north London came from her passion for reading. ‘It’s so important for me to have a place for my books and a quiet space where I can read,’ she explains, ‘and that was how the idea for the refurbishment started. ‘I’d always longed to buy my own home and after renting for a few years, the time felt right to make the move,’ she continues. ‘My mother started the search with enthusiasm and came up with 60 possible viewings. We eventually narrowed it down to just three, and this property had the best light and potential.’ After buying the place, Michelle gave it a mini makeover involving repainting the walls and fitting new carpets throughout. She lived in the flat for more than a decade before deciding to embark on a major

refurbishment with the help of interiors firm Sarah Moss Design. Despite its diminutive size, the apartment has a bright and spacious ambience, and with all the rooms flowing of the hall, the layout feels both practical and flexible. ‘But it was tired and cramped, and I wanted to update it to suit the way I live my life,’ explains Michelle. ‘I knew what I wanted but just didn’t know how to achieve it, and that’s where Sarah’s help was invaluable.’ Her professional eye enabled Michelle to combine a stylish home with her everyday needs. ‘I disliked the cluttered spare bedroom in particular because it seemed such a waste of space, so when Sarah suggested I have a reading room fitted with floating bookshelves, I was intrigued,’ says Michelle. ‘It was always going to be a challenge to house so many books, but we managed to whittle them


Michelle’s books are close to hand in this quiet corner. Soulé chair in chalky pink velvet, £1,125, Loaf. Haseform floating book towers, £160 each, Connox


Sleek and unfussy cabinetry maximises storage space, while a simple marble countertop enhances the streamlined look. Mixer tap with spray rinse, from £520, Hans Grohe. Bitra kitchen hook rail, £58, Rowen & Wren. Fern Herringbone blind, £450, Loaf

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‘Choosing a mix of fabrics and contrasting colours is a great way of adding depth,’ says Michelle. Elitis Kea, Miami and Soria cushions, from £120, Abbot+Boyd. Wisteria lamp bases with Ikat shades, £260 each, Pooky. Try the Wilde mirror in gold, £100, John Lewis & Partners

f i n a l w o r d ‘Redesigning such a small space was refreshing and fun – my home not only looks good, but it feels great to live in and is also very practical’ down. Now they’re a lovely feature alongside a luxurious velvet armchair that everybody wants to sit in.’ With the focus on favoured key pieces, the idea for vibrant orange chest of drawers in the bedroom came from Sarah. ‘I’d mentioned to her how much I admire Kit Kemp’s style of combining oversized pieces with bursts of colour and she suggested this piece,’ says Michelle. ‘Not only is it a striking feature, but it’s practical in such a small bedroom.’ With space at a premium, Michelle and Sarah worked together to get the most out of every room. ‘My home has the feel of a big studio flat with walls,’ says Michelle. ‘Each room has its own character but with similar-sized furnishings and flashes of colour creating a theme. The bedroom has a gentle, nurturing atmosphere and the reading room is an oasis of calm. The sitting room, 48 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

however, feels much busier with more visual stimulation and treasured pieces from my travels, and it’s such a luxury to have a dining table and comfortable chairs for entertaining.’ With an unfussy kitchen that is both practical and modern, Michelle is keen to point out the clever detailing in this compact scheme. ‘It’s very sleek with no nooks and crannies for food to gather in, so it’s easy to look after,’ she enthuses. ‘I’m delighted with the marble worktop and upstand, which give the space such a clean line. I followed the same criteria in the bathroom and kept it very fresh and understated.’ The most recent incarnation of this much-loved home has created a happy ending for Michelle. ‘I always loved the light and layout, but now I feel every inch of space has been maximised,’ she says. ‘It’s a place I really enjoy spending time in.’


‘A contrasting shade stops a neutral scheme from looking too bland,’ says Michelle. Try Long Island Marble tiles, £69.98sq m, Fired Earth


o Exceptional clean burning wood stoves @charnwoodstoves


V I N TA G E When they renovated their seaside home, Charlotte and Cameron Berry set out to create a light, bright space, full of timeless character FEATURE JO LEEVERS | PHOTOGRAPHY KASIA FISZER

KITCHEN-DINER Charlotte wanted this multipurpose space to be welcoming and sociable. Phaona pendant, £65, Maisons du Monde, is similar. Fitzroy bar stools, £132 each, SuperStudio. Quartz worktops, Caesarstone, price on application

e dwa r d i a n s e m i | 25bh REPLANNED SITTING ROOM The couple reinstated a wall to create this area. ‘It’s snug and is our favourite place to relax,’ says Charlotte. White Robin Day Loft sofa, £1,900, Cimmermann, is similar. Try Leopard Love cushion, £50, Rockett St George

home truths THE PROPERTY Semi-detached Edwardian house L O C AT I O N East Sussex R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, study, cloakroom, three bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2011 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Our family moved here from a smaller house in the same area,’ says Charlotte.

The owners of this light-filled home, Charlotte and Cameron Berry, have diferent ideas when it comes to house styles, as Charlotte explains: ‘If we each had to pick a favourite, Cameron would choose an old cottage with low beams and quaint windows, while I prefer architecture that gives a feeling of space and airiness.’ Luckily, with its tall ceilings and copious character, this Edwardian house in Hove, East Sussex, was just the right blend of old and new for its owners, and now demonstrates how period features and vintage touches can be integrated into a fresh, modern look. Time and a lot of hard work were needed before this perfect balance was achieved for Charlotte and Cameron, who live here with their daughters, Bethany, a make-up artist, and Amelia, a student. ‘The house felt incredibly dated when we viewed it,’ recalls Charlotte. ‘It had red carpets, dark wood furniture and the walls were stained yellow from years of cigarette smoke.’ But they could still see the potential of this handsome home. ‘I fell in love with the hall and the staircase detailing – even with a red carpet!’ Charlotte adds. It certainly helped that this is the third house the couple have tackled together, plus Cameron has worked in the building trade for many years, and runs a property maintenance and development business. Charlotte now

HALL ‘I fell in love with the width of this space,’ says Charlotte. Cinnamon oak flooring, £55sq m, Quick-Step, is comparable

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25bh | e dwa r d i a n s e m i B AT H R O O M Clean lines allow more elaborate decorative touches to shine. Wash freestanding bath, £349, Bathstore. Copper pipe shelf, £60, Industrial Decor Style at Etsy, is similar

teaches road safety in primary schools, but her previous career was buying and selling French antiques, having discovered France’s brocantes and markets after her mother and stepfather moved there. ‘We visited several times a year and often brought home the odd decorative headboard or gilt mirror,’ she says. This gradually developed into Charlotte sourcing and selling professionally, renting a space within the shop Three Angels, in Hove. Happily, she managed to keep some favourite pieces, which are now on display. ‘Because antiques are timeless, they go well with the clean, modern look that I love.’ Work was carried out in three phases, starting with stripping, updating and decorating. The second stage came three years ago when a new rear extension became their spacious kitchen-diner, featuring crisp white cabinetry, warm touches of leather and oak, and vintage accessories. ‘Until then, we managed with a kitchen so small it felt like we were cooking in a caravan,’ says Charlotte. ‘The new kitchen-diner

lesson learnt ‘Have the confidence to buy things you love. If you follow your heart you’ll create a look that’s personal to you’ B AT H R O O M Herringbone tiling adds textural detail. Kennet tiles, £79sq m, Neptune. Savoy basin unit, £350, Bathstore

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has changed the way we interact as a family – it’s a really sociable spot.’ The final stage was redesigning the main bedroom, decorating it with dashes of colour, antique finds and family heirlooms. ‘Trends come and go, but I think you need to be brave and hold on to the things you really treasure,’ Charlotte says. ‘If you stay true to what you really love, a sense of style will always shine through, because you are the common thread – it’s all been chosen by you.’ Subtly uniting all these spaces is a sense of light and flow. ‘My aim was to make it as bright as possible,’ says Charlotte. ‘By combining that feeling of modern airiness with characterful vintage finds, I hope we’ve created a look that transcends time.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

A M E L I A’ S B E D R O O M A French armoire and piles of cushions create an aura of luxury. Similar armoire, from £750, The Hoarde. Emily bed, £550, Laura Ashley, is similar

BETHANY’S BEDROOM ‘Bethany helped design her room and fell for this bold paint shade,’ says Charlotte. Feature wall painted in Stikey Blue estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

MAIN BEDROOM ‘We left decorating our room until last, and I love its serene feel,’ says Charlotte. Similar vintage bedside table, from £150, The Hoarde. Cushions, £8 each, H&M Home

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home truths THE PROPERTY Detached villa, built in 2007 L O C AT I O N Surrey R O O M S Hall, formal sitting room, sitting area/kitchen-diner, family room, snug, five bedrooms (two en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2007 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved here from a modern house nearby,’ says Catarina.

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Catarina and Mats Gustafsson designed their new home to create a family-friendly, Scandi-influenced living space FEATURE SARAH WARD | PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRENCH

SITTING AREA Wall-to-wall windows fill this space with natural light. ‘This is my favourite place in the house,’ says Catarina. Large Charles sofa, £5,500, B&B Italia. Edge cofee table, £1,400, Poliform. Tripod wenge floor lamp, £740, Heathfield & Co

SITTING AREA ‘I can easily swap these orange cushions for a new look – that’s the advantage of furniture in neutral colours,’ says Catarina. Velvet cushion in orange is a match, £10, John Lewis & Partners

HALL A vast artwork by Ignacio Valdes and a trio of blue vases make a dramatic statement. Alcor console, £3,500, B&B Italia. Walls painted in Chalky Downs 4 paint mixing matt, £27.56 for 2.5L, Dulux


hen Catarina and Mats Gustafsson first saw plans for an impressive villa on a private estate in Surrey, they knew they had found their future home. ‘It was everything we’d been looking for,’ says Catarina. ‘Our children, Carl, now 19, and Cecilia, 17, were six and eight at the time, and we wanted a family home with a pool and large garden.’ The house ticked all the couple’s boxes. Mats, a lawyer, needed an easy commute into London. Catarina wanted to be near good schools, and was keeping her eye out for a new-build property by an established developer. ‘We weren’t keen on spending one or two years refurbishing somewhere old,’ she says. ‘Period houses are charming, but they’re not for us. We were looking for the fresh, modern feel 56 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

of a new build, with underfloor heating and cavity walls – the quality that comes from buying from a reputable builder. The location of this house was excellent, it was on a private estate, and near a good school.’ The fact that the house was at an early stage of the build process was an added bonus. ‘It was a brick shell when we bought it, so we were able to influence the floorplan,’ says Catarina. ‘We could move some of the internal walls – or take them out completely – and decide on paints, flooring and fittings. It was so exciting and I couldn’t resist popping in to see how things were coming on and to check on the progress of any changes I’d asked for – I was probably very annoying.’ Originally, the plans were for an entirely open-plan ground floor, but Catarina asked the developers, Octagon,

KITCHEN ‘Having an island allows family and friends to gather while I cook,’ says Catarina. Manhattan pendants, £300 each, BSweden. Stools, £400 each, The Sofa & Chair Company

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d e s i g n t i p ‘Go for classic furniture in neutral colours and use throws, cushions and flowers to accessorise. That way, it’s easy to change the feel of a room’

KITCHEN The former light-oak cabinet fronts were replaced with a darker wood, creating a stylish new look. Cabinetry, £25,000, Design Matters. Splashback wall (behind glass) painted in Pavilion Gray estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Similar floor tiles, price on request, Domus

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MAIN BEDROOM Furniture was kept minimal in this room, for an uncluttered, light feel. Bed, £11,000, Duxiana. Delia bedspread, £499, Himla. Bedside cabinet, £300, BoConcept. Walls painted in Chalky Downs 3 paint mixing matt, £27.56 for 2.5L, Dulux

C E C I L I A’ S B E D R O O M A wire attached to the wall provides a fun place to display photographs. Velvet cushion, £85, Heal’s. Try the Kragsta nest of tables, £55, Ikea

to add a wall and sliding doors to separate the living spaces. ‘We are Swedish and Swedes tend to enjoy open-plan living areas, but this was too open even for us,’ she says. She also asked the builders to lay wooden floors throughout. ‘They are more aesthetically pleasing, and you can clean them very easily,’ she says. Catarina’s Scandinavian heritage has inspired the cosy, contemporary feel of the interior. Downstairs, a light-filled, open-plan sitting room/kitchen-diner with underfloor heating beneath the wooden boards is the hub of family life, while a formal sitting room provides a separate child-free space for adults to gather. The aesthetic is light, clean and contemporary, while throws and rugs add colour and comfort. Since moving in, Catarina and Mats have updated the 58 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

kitchen, replacing pale cabinet fronts with darker brown units. ‘My taste has changed over the past decade,’ Catarina says, ‘and updating the kitchen has made a real diference to the feel of our house.’ While oranges, deep reds and warm greys feature throughout, blue is the unifying and consistent theme. ‘I enjoy using diferent shades of that hue,’ says Catarina. ‘There are variations of it everywhere. Our house is large, and the thread of blue provides a vital link from room to room.’ She describes her own style as ‘contemporary classic’, and claims Scandinavian interiors magazines are one of her main sources of inspiration. ‘I don’t subscribe to the Scandi minimalistic look – I prefer something warmer and cosier,’ she says. ‘This is a family home, and we want everyone to feel welcome here.’

C A R L’ S B E D R O O M Oranges, blues and greys create a contemporary space for the couple’s son Tolsey rug, £410, Neptune. Orange Balmoral throw, £78, Barnbury







New Stressless Aura & Aurora Sofa with Style ta bles ÂŽ

Made in Nor way by Ekornes since 1934 ÂŽ

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KITCHEN The couple inherited this timeless, Shaker-style scheme installed by the previous owners, but added a butcher’s block in the centre to create a focal point. The Sussex painted kitchen island has this look, £599, The Cotswold Company


By replanning its layout and boldly updating the decor, Georgina and Simon Grace turned a tired cottage into a bright and welcoming space to spend the next phase of their lives FEATURE AMANDER MEADE | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH




Georgina saw the idea for gold ceiling stars on Pinterest and loved the ‘outside in’ feel they gave. Burnt orange cotton velvet sofa, £949, Velvet ottoman, £229, HomeSense

An unusual wallpaper enlivens the entryway and diferentiates the space from the dining room beyond. Bumble Bee wallpaper, £89 a roll, Farrow & Ball

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Cottage dating from around 1840 L O C AT I O N Cambridgeshire R O O M S Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility room, cloakroom, conservatory, four bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a Victorian detached house in Peterborough,’ says Georgina.

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Contemporary furniture covered in richly toned velvet adds a sophisticated feel. Orson corner sofa in Midnight Grey, £949, Cushions, from a selection, TK Maxx. Sonoma cofee table, £399, Marks & Spencer


hen Georgina and Simon Grace first thought about starting a family, they began their search for a long-term property. The couple were living in Peterborough, but had their hearts firmly set on a more rural setting, but still within Cambridgeshire. ‘We really loved the area’s picturesque villages, combined with the easy commute to London,’ says Georgina. Viewing a pretty cottage with potential in an ideal location, the Graces were initially put of by the configuration of the first floor. ‘The previous owners had sacrificed one of the bedrooms in favour of a large bathroom,’ says Georgina. ‘We wanted to reverse that, so we brought our builder along to the viewing to ask his advice. He proposed a clever way that we could steal space from the landing in order to restore the fourth bedroom and create a more modest-sized family bathroom instead.’ CLOAKROOM ‘I made braver choices in the bathroom and Reassured that the layout could be cloakroom, where characterful wallpaper really improved to better suit their requirements, brought the spaces to life,’ says Georgina. the couple made a successful ofer and the Dara wallpaper in Noir by Manuel Canovas, £135 a roll, Wallpaper Direct structural work was completed in just over 62 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

three months. Upon moving in, Georgina devised an individual look for each room, which her decorator followed to the letter while Georgina, who works for Google, was at the oice. ‘The interior was dark and gloomy, with an abundance of alcoves that we filled in to create a streamlined feeling,’ says Georgina. ‘We also painted the ceiling beams white, to create a sense of height.’ Throughout the cottage, restful, muted colours have been used for the walls and window treatments, allowing Georgina’s more bold decor choices to shine through. ‘I love punchy colour when it comes to decorating, but I have to keep myself in check when choosing wallpaper, as I could easily go too far,’ she says. ‘I like to choose unique designs, but I restrict myself to just one wall so the pattern isn’t overwhelming.’ With the exception of a few key pieces, like the grandfather clock in the sitting room, which was a wedding gift, the couple shopped specifically for each diferent room. ‘Our previous home was an airy Victorian house with high ceilings and completely diferent proportions to this place,’ says

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lesson learnt ‘Professional decorators can save you money, get the job done faster and prevent costly mistakes – especially in older houses, where walls are rarely straight’



As Theo grows up, the stylish chair here will be moved to free up space. Strandmon wing chair, £180, and matching footstool, £55, Ikea

Georgina. ‘I have mixed contemporary classic furniture with plenty of cushions, throws and colourful art to add personality. I like to display items that Simon and I have collected together on our travels, as they personalise our home and hold special memories for us. I love using textural fabric, too, and velvet is my favourite.’ Lighting has also been carefully thought out, with downlighters and lamps strategically placed in each room to create a soft, relaxing ambience. To finish her restful room schemes, Georgina loves to use fresh flowers and scented candles as final touches. With impeccable timing, just as the couple’s hard work was complete and the house was ready, baby Theo, now 17 months, came along. ‘We have worked hard to create a welcoming family home that is cheerful in the daytime and peaceful in the evening,’ says Georgina. ‘Now that Theo is on the move, we know that more and more of his paraphernalia will take over the house, but we don’t mind at all – we set out to create a family home and we couldn’t be happier, with this precious phase of our lives.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

Forest-themed wallpaper lends a soothing quality. Cole & Son Woods wallpaper, £85 a roll, Designer Wallpapers. Highgate Mulberry winged headboard is a match, £399, Time4Sleep. Hemnes bedside tables, £80 each, Ikea


Aqua and lilac tones and a whimsical wallpaper combine for a dreamy, relaxing retreat. Julia Rothman Daydream wallpaper in lilac, £130 a roll, Hygge and West. Trafalgar slipper bath, £349, Victorian Plumbing


A dark grey feature wall creates a dramatic backdrop for metallic furnishings and vibrant cushions. Alana copper double bed, £399; Alana bedside table, £99, both

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home truths THE PROPERTY Apartment in a townhouse, built in 1880, converted in the Thirties L O C AT I O N Edinburgh R O O M S Sitting room/ kitchen-diner, two bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We both had flats in Edinburgh, before buying this, our first home together,’ says Lynsay.

A PERFECT FIT Unique, bespoke design solutions have maximised the space in Lynsay and Jeff Bell Manson’s urban apartment FEATURE ALISON GIBB | PHOTOGRAPHY DOUGLAS GIBB

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SITTING AREA In this open-plan scheme, a modern corner sofa and statement cofee table take centre stage. Quattro corner sofa, £3,000, Martin & Frost. Batu Batu teak root cofee table, £699, Pad Lifestyle. Lobbak rug, from £65, Ikea. Spider AIM pendant light by Flos, £750, Amara

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i n s p i r at i o n ‘I let my surroundings influence my design, so as this is a city centre apartment, we have made it quite urban’

KITCHEN-DINER ‘We chose understated white units with a slim-profile worktop because we wanted the kitchen along the rear wall to virtually disappear,’ says Lynsay. For a similar kitchen, try Howdens, £20,000. Nyvatnett brushed stainless steel tap, £90, Ikea. Dutchbone Franky bar stools, £259 each, Houseology

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GUEST BEDROOM A piece painted by Lynsay makes a colourful focal point. Cushions, from £25, TK Maxx. Jesse ladder shelving unit is similar, £85, Habitat

B AT H R O O M Traditional and modern elements create a harmonious atmosphere here. Crosswater mixer tap, £613; freestanding bath, £2,500, both Victor Paris. Monsuri extending wooden bath rack, £30, Amazon

MAIN BEDROOM This compact retreat was decorated in darker hues for a cosy, restful feel. Walls painted in Railings estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Ercol bed, £780, Martin & Frost. Copper wall lights, £85 each, Cotterell & Co. Throw in Plaster, from £65; cushions, £35 each, both Design Project at John Lewis & Partners


ynsay Bell Manson was instantly attracted to this bright apartment located in a Victorian townhouse in Edinburgh. ‘It was converted into flats in the Thirties, and we were drawn to its history, but also to the chance of making some radical alterations,’ she says. Architect Lynsay, who has her own practice, Studio LBA, and her husband, Jef, were keen to give their new home a modern touch. The front room, once a formal sitting room, had been partitioned to make space for a bedroom, while the kitchen was at the rear. Lynsay and Jef decided to take the apartment back to its bare bones, knocking down the partition and restoring the front room to its original proportions. They moved the kitchen into the new living area and turned the rear space into a guest bedroom. ‘Undertaking the renovation ourselves was demanding,’ says Lynsay. ‘I’m so focused FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

on clients’ projects at work that it was quite stressful renovating our own home at the same time. There were occasions when we had to rush our decisions more than I would have liked, despite always advising clients to take their time. It reminded me that it’s essential to spend time in a property, getting to know it, before making major changes.’ One learning curve came when she and Jef hurriedly stripped the floorboards after they moved in. They realised their mistake when the boards transpired not to be in good enough condition for the look they were aiming for. ‘We ended up replacing them with brand-new oak,’ says Lynsay. The couple also stripped back all the doors to the original warm, Canadian oak which, fortunately, yielded a better result. ‘I love natural materials, especially wood and stone,’ says Lynsay. To this end, she has chosen finishes for their texture as much

as their colour, ensuring her home embodies classic design values. ‘I didn’t want to take shortcuts or make throwaway choices,’ she says. ‘Sometimes, you have to invest in the details to get things right.’ The highlights of the interior are the contrasts that Lynsay and Jef have created between its period features and the bespoke, modern additions installed alongside them. They have created clever counterpoints between the historic building and urban, contemporary finishes, such as the concrete surround to the TV cabinet, which mixes a minimal aesthetic with unique details. ‘Despite being incredibly central, our home is so peaceful – it’s in a quiet cul-desac and there are shared gardens,’ says Lynsay. ‘Being so passionate about work, it can be hard to switch of, but having this wonderful apartment to retreat to is always restorative. This place is our sanctuary.’ 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019 | 67

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home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Former dairy, built in the 17th century L O C AT I O N Cornwall R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, utility room, cloakroom, conservatory, two bedrooms, dressing room, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a farmhouse, also in Cornwall,’ says Sarah.

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SITTING ROOM Sarah chose a neutral palette and casual linens for a relaxed, chic look. Blanket box, from a selection, Louisa Grace Interiors. Garden Trading sells a large log basket, £120

FESTIVE FAIRYTALE Sarah Stanley and Andy Davey have given their storybook thatched Cornish cottage a farmhouse look with a Scandi feel that is particularly bewitching in the winter FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS | PHOTOGRAPHY POLLY ELTES

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The gorgeous rustic porch with its painted door creates a magical welcome for Sarah, her daughter Morgan and their dog, Precious. Front door painted in Light Peachblossom Tom’s oil eggshell, £67 for 2.5L, Little Greene. The wreath came from The White Company; its ivy and pussy willow wreath, £40, is similar

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A cool palette, reindeer-skin rug and soft sheepskin throws add a nordic-style twist to this cosy scheme. The Northern Sweden reindeer hide rug, £169.99, The Organic Sheep at Trouva is comparable. Sheepskins, from £53 each, Barnscroft of Devon. Vintage wooden stool, from a selection, Louisa Grace Interiors

bsolutely magical,’ says Sarah Stanley of the first time she saw her cottage with its thatched roof, near the north Cornish coast. Sarah and her husband, Andy, had been looking for a home in Cornwall when Sarah’s niece spotted this place online. ‘It was so pretty that I fell in love with it there and then.’ Sarah was equally enchanted when she explored the interior. ‘It had a charming farmhouse feel, with a large kitchen that was part of the original dairy,’ she says. ‘The cottage is set over four levels, so it felt spacious and it had a warmth that we loved. We knew it was the ideal retreat for us, and our children, Bryce, now 23, Josh, 22, and Morgan, 21.’ Although the house was in a good state structurally, it was dated. ‘It had purple carpets on the stairs and a light pink one in the sitting room,’ says Sarah. ‘The decor just didn’t suit the property. But I knew we could turn it into something special.’ Sarah wanted to create a warm, rustic, farmhouse look where the kitchen was the heart of the home, with a range cooker and chunky table. She was also keen to give the interior a Scandi feel while remaining sympathetic to the house’s agricultural roots. ‘I wanted as many pieces as possible to be recycled and hand-built,’ she says. ‘We took out the standard radiators and replaced them with reclamation ones and, with a light sanding, they look amazing.’ Further salvaged pieces, including a beautiful freestanding roll-top bath, have found a new life in the bathroom. ‘The

FAVOURITE room ‘The light-filled kitchen with its traditional range cooker reminds me of days spent baking as a child, helping my mother in our old farmhouse’

DINING AREA This low-ceilinged space was originally the dairy and Sarah has painted the walls, ceiling and floorboards white to keep the scheme as light and bright as possible. To make the most of the space, extra seating has been built into the windowsill. Vintage Eastern European school chairs, price on request, Peppermill

Antiques. Shimla pendants in Distressed White, from £99.50 each, Nkuku. Floorboards painted in Slaked Lime Deep floor paint, £67 for 2.5L, Little Greene

DRESSER An assortment of antique buys creates an interesting vignette. Vintage blue dresser, from a selection, Louisa Grace Interiors

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Sarah’s vintage furniture enhances this light-filled space. Deconstructed grey linen armchairs, £495 each, Graham and Green. Shop counter, £690, The Hoarde, is a similar cabinet. Oriental Weavers checked flatweave anti-slip rug in grey, from £24, Dove Mill


A distressed table in a quiet

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corner is an ideal display space for a carefully gathered collection. White Amish tin star, £29, Lime Lace at would suit this scheme


To add character, almost everything in this elegant space is reclaimed. The Spey cast-iron bath with ball-and-claw feet is similar, from £3,570, Drummonds

original scheme was only two years old, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise that we decided to remove it, as there was a serious water leak that wasn’t visible,’ says Sarah. It took around three months to complete the restoration, with the couple’s building team taking time to get every detail in the cottage just right. The exterior rubble and cob walls were painted a soft marshmallow pink, and the dusky pink windows and door finish of the look beautifully. Keen to give the cottage a distinctly individual look, Sarah enlisted the help of interior designer Paul Hervey. They put together a mood board of the look Sarah wanted to achieve and sought out original pieces on eBay and in reclamation yards. ‘I didn’t want anything reproduction,’ says Sarah. The cabinet doors in the kitchen were replaced and the worktops were sanded back to give the room a rustic modern farmhouse look. ‘We upcycled an old wooden table that used to belong to my grandmother and put a zinc top on it.’ Throughout the property, the neutral palette of grey and white creates a calm, stylish feel and keeps the look light. ‘I love the tranquillity of this setting,’ says Sarah. ‘It really feels like you are so far removed from the everyday. In the winter, we enjoy heading of for windswept walks and then coming back to the cottage to hunker down by the fire.’ At this time of year, the cottage is particularly captivating. Garlands of greenery, and a Christmas tree are adorned with decorations taken from nature; frosted pine cones, fragrant dried apple and orange slices and swathes of silvery eucalyptus. ‘This is such a cosy home,’ says Sarah. ‘There couldn’t be a more welcoming place to spend the festive season.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y



Taupe fabrics and wallpaper make a statement beneath the beamed vaulted ceiling. Crackle Charcoal wallpaper, £78 a roll, Andrew Martin. Broadstripe blanket in grey, £259, Melin Tregwynt. Key West mahogany and Kubu rattan headboard, from £286.50, Maisons du Monde, has this look. Hambledon towel ladder, £110, Garden Trading, would work here

The focal point of the undereaves space is a beautiful Gustavian-style bed. The Verona double bed, from £945, Feather & Black, has the same look. Try the Classic Cotton quilted bedspread, £65, Soak & Sleep. Old Factory pendants in pewter, £59 each, Industville. The Fable is available to rent through Unique Homestays, 01637 881183,

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A SPEC T OF LOVE After a two-year house search, Heather and Thomas Borsje finally came across a property that took their breath away FEATURE SEÁN O’CONNELL | PHOTOGRAPHY PHILIP RAYMOND

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home truths THE PROPERTY Edwardian terrace L O C AT I O N North London R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen, dining/family room, cloakroom, four bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a modern two-bedroom flat nearby,’ says Heather.

DINING AREA The table, made by Thomas, takes centre stage here. Droplet lighting, made to order, Charlotte Packe. 412 CAB dining chairs, £876 each, Cassina. Storage unit, price on request, Kiko Construction


eather and Thomas Borsje’s search for a new home took much longer than they anticipated. ‘We centred our search on villagey areas in north London,’ explains Heather. ‘But few of the properties were right for us and, unfortunately, when we did eventually put in an ofer on one, we were gazumped.’ So their relief was immense when, after two years, they discovered an Edwardian house ripe for renovation. On looking around it, they were both smitten by its spectacular views, which included the historic Alexandra Palace, standing resplendent on a distant hill. But a vision of a diferent nature would clearly be required to turn this unloved property into their dream home. ‘The house had been divided up and used for multi-occupancy so there were lots of small rooms, each with their own sink,’ says Heather. ‘We realised that, structurally, it would be a major project to turn it back into the family home it

F A M I LY R O O M ‘We introduced green to link this space to the garden,’ says Heather. Walls painted in Cook’s Blue estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Neowall sofa, £5,523, Twentytwentyone SITTING ROOM The deep, rich colours make this room extra cosy for winter. Skyscraper rug, price on request, Luke

Irwin. Bacco armchairs, from £1,847 each, Casa Botelho. Garcon cofee table, price on request, Julian Chichester KITCHEN Generous shelving creates stylish storage space here. Bespoke kitchen units, Williams Ridout. French Carriage oak flooring, £106sq m, The Reclaimed Flooring Company

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25bh | p e r i o d r e n ovat i o n MAIN BEDROOM ‘We expanded the windows to capitalise on the amazing views,’ says Thomas. Ermes poufs, £1,264 each; Rio throw, £778; Rio cushions, from £110 each, all Casa Botelho

originally must have been.’ So the couple called in Hugh Cullum Architects and plans were subsequently drawn up to remodel the interior layout, plus create a side extension and convert the loft into a master bedroom suite. While the building work was underway, the pair rented a flat nearby. ‘Our builders, Kiko Construction, were amazing – particularly on one occasion,’ says Heather. ‘After the radiators were installed, we realised they were taking up more wall space than we’d envisaged, so we asked for them all to be removed and underfloor heating installed instead. This was just a few days before the flooring was due to be laid, but the builders pulled out all the stops to do the work in time.’ Shortly after the structural work began, the Borsjes started planning the interior design with the help of designer Caroline Cobbold. ‘She prompted us to look online for ideas, then she created design boards with fabrics and product suggestions based on our feedback,’ says Heather. ‘She was also invaluable for sourcing a wide variety of items.’ ‘With just a few days to go before moving in, we still had to choose wall paint, so we went for rich, bold tones,’ says Heather. ‘Considering how quickly we did it, it works surprisingly well.’ Heather and Thomas are clearly delighted with all the choices they have made, not just for themselves but for their family-to-be, because the couple are expecting twins. Whether this turns out to be their forever home, only time will tell, but the couple feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved here. ‘Our previous house was only a few miles from here, but with all we’ve done to this place, we actually feel we’ve come a long way,’ says Thomas. ‘Now it’s time to settle down.’

F A M I LY B AT H R O O M Sleek gold fixtures and fittings give this space a chic, contemporary look. Walls painted in Plummett estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Tura gold towel radiator, price on application, Edwins Bathrooms MAIN EN SUITE Large windows and a freestanding bath

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make a graphic statement. Formoso Grande bath, £2,499, Clearwater. For similar tiles, try the Hamlin tiles, £10.09 each, Topps Tiles GUEST BEDROOM ‘We chose a scheme that would create a peaceful vibe,’ says Heather. Highgrove cushions, £40 each, Amara. Copper-lined shade, £90, Love Frankie


p r o m o t i o n a l f e at u r e | 25bh DRAW THE EYE Give the hall a focal point with a stair runner. Morocco runner in Agadir, Kersaint Cobb

KEEP CALM Choose a plain design for a relaxed feel. York Wilton carpet in Chambray, Ulster

BE BOLD A colourful pattern will make a big statement. Wool Fabulous carpet in Ruby, Crucial Trading


Research by The Carpet Foundation confirms that carpet is a smart choice for homeowners looking for beautiful flooring that’s both practical and healthy to live with


arpet has always been a popular choice for British homeowners. As well as contributing to the style of a room thanks to the huge variety of designs available, there are many practical benefits, too. Carpet adds warmth underfoot, creating a cosy retreat, and also helps to insulate our homes and reduce noise pollution. Some people believe that carpet isn’t the best option for asthma and allergy suferers because the fibres can harbour dust mites. But a recent review of research by The

Carpet Foundation has confirmed this not to be the case*. The humidity in carpet is too low for dust mites to thrive. In fact, its three-dimensional structure acts like a sponge and soaks up most of the mites and allergens, which can then be removed with regular vacuuming**. This prevents pollutants from becoming airborne, meaning they can’t be inhaled, so air quality is improved. Wool carpet is especially good for creating a healthier home environment. It absorbs common airborne pollutants and holds them in the pile, helping to improve

air quality***. The Carpet Foundation regularly reviews research on asthma and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that removing carpet is beneficial to asthma suferers. So if you or someone in your family has asthma, you can be confident that carpet is a sensible option. For peace of mind, buy carpet from a retail member of The Carpet Foundation, with a Code of Practice approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. For further information and advice on choosing carpet, please visit

the carpet foundation is supported by: ■ Abingdon ■ Associated Weavers ■ Brintons ■ British Wool ■ Brockway ■ Cavalier ■ Cloud 9 ■ Cormar ■ Crucial Trading ■ Telenzo ■ Hugh Mackay ■ Kersaint Cobb ■ Kingsmead ■ Penthouse ■ Regency Carefree ■ SEBO ■ Thomas Witter ■ Ulster ■ Victoria ■ Whitestone Weavers ■ Wilton Royal *‘Carpet, Asthma and Allergies Myth or Reality’, MW Sauerhoff, 2008 **Adilah N, et al, ‘The Effect of Frequent Vacuum Cleaning on the House Dust Mite Allergen, Der P1, In Carpets: A Pilot Study’, Nz Med J, November 1977, 438 9 ***Causer SM, ‘Absorption of Nitrogen Dioxide by Carpets’, Wronz Report; Causer SM, et al, ‘The Role of Wool Carpets in Controlling Indoor Air Pollution’, Proceedings of the 9th International Wool Textile Research Conference, Biella, Italy, 1995

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PURE CHIC Hanna and Aleksi Heinonen’s home is anything but shabby, especially when it glows with seasonal sparkle FEATURE MELANIE WHITEHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY LIVING INSIDE/KRISTA KELTANEN

SITTING ROOM The shelving units were blue when the couple moved in. ‘We painted them white, which suits our scheme more,’ says Hanna. Chimney breast wall painted in Cornforth White estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Tartan wool blankets, from £20, Heritage of Scotland, are similar

fi n n i s h h om e | 25bh INSPIRING

DINING AREA Frosty natural light is filtered by white sheer curtains, while sheepskins add cosiness to mid-century dining chairs. Eames Vitra DSR plastic chairs, £255 each, Heal’s. Bergitte sheer curtains, £15 a pair, Ikea, are similar

home truths THE PROPERTY Single-storey house built in 1992 L O C AT I O N Southwest Finland R O O M S Sitting room/ kitchen-diner, five bedrooms, two bathrooms, sauna P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We used to live in a one-bed flat in Helsinki,’ says Hanna.

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25bh | fi n n i s h h om e S TA I R S A spiral staircase is a space-saving option. Try the Dolle Calgary Anthracite spiral staircase kit, from £590, Loft Centre

C DINING AREA A large mirror, decorated with a wreath, reflects the space, with a Finnish spice cake in pride of place. Mosser baby pink milk glass cake stand, from £44.99, The Cake Decorating Company, is a good match KITCHEN The new marble-topped island, which was added

by Hanna and Aleksi, is where the children eat breakfast. The silverware pieces were inherited from Aleksi’s mother. Carrara white 20mm polished slab, £75.99sq m, Travertine Tiles. Summer Garden framed prints, £325 for nine, Oka, are similar. Artemide Tolomeo micro desk lamp, £152, Paper Rooms

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hristmas is a time of high excitement for Hanna Heinonen, her husband Aleksi and their three young children: Iines, Lilli and Frans. ‘Finns take it very seriously,’ explains Hanna. ‘We spend quality time at home with the family and enjoy the results of our hard work through the dark days, as we wait for the snow.’ When the couple were expecting their second child, Lilli, they decided to move to a bigger home outside the Finnish capital, Helsinki, and Christmas played a part in choosing a town on the southwest coast. ‘We were looking for a place to spend Christmas with a big family – and a big tree,’ says Hanna. When the couple first saw their house, they fell in love with the functional layout and open space. ‘We adored the large windows opening to the south, the gardens for the children and the nice neighbourhood, all just two kilometres from the city centre.’ Most of the work facing them was cosmetic. ‘The floor was wood but it was yellowish oak,’ recalls Hanna. ‘We sanded it down and then rubbed lye and white oil into it. Lye is a strong, alkaline solution, an old-school option that prevents wood from yellowing.’ The next step was to paint the walls and ceilings white throughout, a popular choice in Nordic interiors, as Hanna explains: ‘White surfaces, like snow, reflect the rare daylight we get, so we like to make the most of it. Here, on Christmas Eve, the sun rises at 9.39am and sets at 3.20pm. Without snow, the day can be darker than midsummer’s night.’ In the sitting room, the couple modified the red-brick fireplace by giving it a more contemporary surround and replacing its dated brown hearth tiles with black stone. The wet room tiles were replaced, the kitchen cupboards repainted and an island added. Outside, the front entrance was repointed with natural stone, and at the back of

KITCHEN These are the original units from 1992, which have been repainted white. The double ceramic sink was an Ikea find – Hanna liked its country-house look. Havsen sink is a match, £205; Bodbyn doors are similar, £46 each, both Ikea

GUEST BEDROOM This attic space also doubles as both a study and TV room. Berrington bed would work here, from £299, The Cotswold Company

d e s i g n a d v i c e ‘Maintain the original identity of your home, but don’t follow rules too rigidly’

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IINES’S BEDROOM Even the children’s rooms have chandeliers, coupled with twinkling fairy lights. The glass and acrylic crystal chandelier has this look, £928, Italian Lighting Centre. Try Blaze On cream fairy lights, £26.50, Trouva

the house a large terrace was built from Siberian spruce, a wood that is naturally weather resistant and which gradually turns grey. Hanna had originally planned a shabby chic interior, but she had to reconsider. ‘Aleksi and his friend’s father – an expert amateur builder who helped us throughout – had filled and sanded all the surfaces so they were pristine, which kind of spoilt the shabby intention,’ she smiles. Instead the style is now purely chic – a calm, peaceful, romantic interior with cosy sheepskins on the chairs, gauzy white drapes hanging at the window, oversized glass chandeliers throughout, flickering candles and splashes of colour. ‘It’s important to surround yourself with furniture and objects that you really like and things that have good memories or are inherited,’ says Hanna. ‘I also prefer updating old furniture or recycling to buying new pieces.’ Although she has stuck to a monochrome palette here, Hanna loves colour – but in muted, soft tones. ‘I lived in Italy for a while and I adored the bright colours there, but the light is so diferent here in the north. Bright colours tend to feel harsh during our long, cold winter, when nature is full of shades of white and grey.’ By contrast, Christmas brings warmth and family fun. ‘It’s important to us, it’s the same every year, and it’s the only day of the year when we have a tight schedule,’ says Hanna. ‘We start at 8am on Christmas Eve with a sauna, then we eat porridge at 10am. Later in the afternoon we have mulled wine with friends, supper at 6pm and then Santa Claus pops by, and the children open their presents. On Christmas Day we recover, sleep late, stay at home in our pyjamas, then go to my parents’ house for dinner. All in all, this is the perfect place to spend Christmas – and every other day of the year.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

MAIN BEDROOM This room’s cosy feel is accentuated by a faux-fur throw on the bed – a gift from Hanna’s parents. Walls painted in Borrowed Light estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Try textured faux-fur throw, from £60, Next Home

LILLI’S BEDROOM The colour scheme is pink and baby blue with a touch of gold – ‘Perfect for a little girl,’ says Hanna. The wooden bed was inherited from Lilli’s great-grandparents. Try Woodland wall stickers, £20, Next Home. Find angel posters, from £6.95, on Poster Lounge

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The bespoke staircase beyond the table has the appearance of floating in mid air. Staircase, price on request, Aedes Construction


ith an interior as flawless as that of Trisha and Michael Walters’ London home, selecting a favourite feature is a tall order. However, if pushed to choose, Trisha says her pick would be the staircase, which is engineered from walnut and glass. ‘It’s just so gorgeous, it’s a work of art in itself,’ she says. The glass is meticulously cut to form perfect joins, while the rich wood handrail appears to float on top. Trisha sees the staircase as key to the design ethos behind her home – luxury materials, clean lines and exacting attention to detail. ‘It’s interesting what you learn about your tastes,’ she says. ‘I never knew I disliked metal fixings with such a passion. I certainly wasn’t popular with my builders, I can tell you.’ This staircase was a mere pipe dream when Trisha and Michael first bought their townhouse – an infill built in 1955 following wartime bomb damage. ‘There 84 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

A considered take on Fifties design informs Trisha and Michael Walters’ home, with its pale palette, subtle Moorish motifs and dazzling glass details


home truths THE PROPERTY Townhouse built in 1955 L O C AT I O N West London R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, TV room, study, laundry, cloakroom, gym with en suite, wine cellar, three bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before we moved here, we lived in a Victorian terraced home in West London,’ says Trisha.

DINING AREA Trisha and Michael borrowed the chairs for a week to decide if they were right – the set has now become a permanent feature. Similar Johannes Andersen set of 12 chairs and dining table, price on request, Sarah Potter. LJusstake candlestick, £80, The Conran Shop

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Having a blank canvas allowed Trisha to specify a chimney breast large enough to accommodate this painting of a Hanoi street scene. Platinum rug, £4,443, The Rug Company. Bespoke rectangular outline cofee table, Richard Taylor Designs

wasn’t much about the house that appealed to us, apart from its location,’ says Trisha, ‘but it was the last house on the street to be renovated, which piqued our interest. The building is east-west facing, so it had plenty of light, but it also had a giant staircase in the middle, with poky rooms leading of it. That had to go. The work was as close to a rebuild as you can get without tearing down external brickwork. Two months into the renovation, we walked into the house and we could look straight up at the sky.’ With planning permission already granted to convert a roof terrace into a fully fledged mansard extension, the Walters were able to gut the interior to create a bespoke layout. ‘Our friend and property manager, Piers Rance of Aedes Construction, came with us to view the original house and he was so excited by the project,’ says Trisha. ‘He drew up the floor plans and, once the staircase was repositioned to one side, the house almost designed itself.’ The first floor became an L-shaped sitting room, while the second floor was given over to the main bedroom and bathroom. With two extra guest bedrooms and a bathroom in the mansard roof, plus the unexpected discovery of a 450sq ft basement, the Walters have ended up with a light, spacious home. Once renovated, the scale of the property meant that the decorating would 86 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

require more time and experience than the couple could provide, so they looked to interior designers Wilding & Wolfe. The Fifties provenance of the house was key to Trisha’s vision and early on in the process, she showed the designers images of the era that she had gathered to clarify the look. One was of an Erik Buch bar stool, with distinctive dark hardwood legs and a leather seat with a gentle upward curve on the back edge. The rich dark wood tones and spare design of the stool, typical of Modernist interiors, are now apparent throughout, in the new staircase, in the rich dark wood

1 SITTING ROOM Trisha’s passion for Australian art is apparent in this vibrant painting of Uluru. Painting, price on request, Mark Gawne Fine Art. Vintage Italian rosewood sideboard, price on request, Fiona McDonald 2 GUEST BEDROOM One of the two guest spaces in the new mansard roof was designed as a twin room for the couple’s nieces and nephews when they come to visit at Christmas. Mid 039A two-drawer bedside table, price on application, Chelsea Textiles. Gräshoppa desk lamp in matt white, £399, The Conran Shop

floorboards that line the corridors, and in various decorative pieces. At Christmas, the wood is refreshed with bouquets and arrangements of fragrant greenery. Of her finished home, Trisha says, ‘We managed to source original pieces from antiques dealers – even tracking down the exact bar stools from my picture. But I was clear that I didn’t want the decor to look like a period pastiche. Yes, the house has stand-out pieces, but they don’t overwhelm. Our home is classic, calm and comfortable, but most of all, it is always a wonderful place to spend the festive season.’

3 BATHROOM These elegantly shaped wall tiles, reminiscent of traditional Moroccan designs, prevent this marble-clad space from feeling too clinical. Bespoke tiles, price on request, Lindsey Lang. Central fixed shower head, from £135; shower arm from £89; both Crosswater 4 STUDY Colour has crept into the oice area shared by Trisha and Michael, in the form of deep blue walls. Walls painted in Zofany Prussian flat emulsion, £46 for 2.5L, Designer Paint. Blind made in Blakeney slate, £72m, Colefax & Fowler

5 SNUG This open-plan sitting area, sited at the rear of the first floor, is a clever use of the L-shaped floor plan. Tunis sofa fabric, £85m, Zimmer & Rohde. Sixties floor lamp, price on request, Fiona McDonald 6 MAIN BEDROOM The decor here is based on a painting of the Atlantic coast of Spain that used to hang above the bed in the couple’s previous home. Interior design and blanket box, price on request, Wilding & Wolfe. Sack cloth cushion, £205; Urban Loop cushion, £175, both De Le Cuona

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CONTEMPOR ARY ART FOR YOUR HOME Represented by Runway Gallery, Astrid Vos’ quirky illustrations will add a fashionable flourish to your home colour palettes, Astrid favours smoky colours that work together tonally. She also takes leads from her favourite designers and what they’re showing seasonally. ‘I love the romance of Chloé, the hardness of Versace and the eccentricity of Gucci – for me he was the king of fashion,’ she says. Trends play an enormously important part in Astrid’s art work. ‘New season trends reflect the pulse of our society and are constantly evolving, just as day follows night. I’m always fascinated and inspired by new colours and new faces to draw,’ Astrid says. ‘Sometimes the people I draw are very shy about themselves – and the way I represent their character makes them feel a sense of self worth and confidence they haven’t felt before. There are lots of layers and depth to all my portraits, which reflects the personalities I’m trying to capture,’ Astrid says. With art so often in the news for fetching eye-watering sums at auction, it’s worth remembering 94% of us buy from the heart compared to 62% who look for a return on their investment.* And Astrid’s advice is to buy art because you love it. ‘If I could buy just one artwork it would, without question, be a Rothko because his paintings have such depth.’ You can view and buy artworks at runway-gallery. com and book Soho Salon Supper Club tickets at

Green Eyes & Pink Thoughts by Astrid Vos

N E W WAY S TO B U Y I N S P I R I N G A R T If you’re looking to buy contemporary art, take a look at the new Runway Gallery online for original, signed artworks and limited edition prints or visit @runwaygallery on Instagram. Curated by artist SYRETT, this new digital platform houses a 14-strong collective of celebrated artists, whose work has been exhibited internationally, including Bruce Atherton, Louise Dear, Astrid Vos and SYRETT. Prices start at £200 for prints, rising to £20,000 for original works. Artist SYRETT is also the brains behind the new Soho Salon Supper Club, monthly gatherings where art enthusiasts can meet up-and-coming artists and view their work. Tickets cost £45 each and include a cocktail on arrival, an artist’s talk, plus a life-drawing session and three-course dinner at top London restaurant Scarlett Green.



msterdam-based fashion illustrator Astrid Vos has made her mark on the fashion world with her colourful, lifelike drawings and has worked for some of the biggest names in fashion. When she began posting her fashion drawings and portraits on Instagram in 2016, she captivated top fashion designers and very soon built up a serious and dedicated fan base. With a unique style that’s sophisticated, luxurious and full of glamour, she is one of the most esteemed and creative fashion illustrators working in the industry right now and it’s easy to see why. Having studied drawing at the Fashion Academy in Arnhem, which she describes as the best education she could have had for becoming a fashion illustrator, Astrid then worked for top global trendforecasting agencies in Paris. Over those 13 years she sketched straight from the world’s top runways, producing illustrations for fashion designers like John Galliano and fashion blogger AnnaNooshin, as well as doing live sketches for global beauty brands such as L’Oréal. ‘Fashion is not superficial – like art, it reflects our progress and evolution. It’s this very energy that inspires me to create,’ she says. Astrid’s creative process involves a mix of gouache, watercolour and chalk, and focusing on colour, line and texture. When it comes to

d u tc h c o n v e r s i o n | 25bh SITTING ROOM ‘I constructed the sofa myself, using a couple of old pallets and cushions we bought online,’ says Remco. Swoon’s Sullivan cofee table, £349, would work. Try the Bow large floor lamp in chrome and white marble, £129,

H E AV E N LY H AV E N Filled with curios, Remco and Manonne Kemper’s home offers a unique take on rustic living – pretty, playful and primed for the festivities FEATURE STEVEN EFSTATHIOU | PHOTOGRAPHY LOUIS LEMAIRE/INSIDEHOMEPAGE

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home truths THE PROPERTY Former linen-bleaching plant L O C AT I O N The Netherlands R O O M S Hall, sitting room, kitchen-diner, oice, two cloakrooms, four bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2007 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a ground-floor apartment in Amsterdam,’ says Remco.

KITCHEN ‘I made the ceiling-mounted pot rail using two luggage racks that were salvaged from a Dutch train,’ says Remco. Andy Thornton sells train luggage racks, £174 each. The glazed armoire is vintage – try Neptune’s Henley 5ft glazed rack dresser, £3,225

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ou could say our house is our hobby,’ says Remco Kemper of the spacious property in rural Holland he shares with his wife Manonne and their children Nola, 14, Nikki, 13 and Tommy, nine. ‘We’ve been busy with it for the past 10 years,’ he adds with a smile, acknowledging the fact that not only did the couple raise a family during the same decade, but they also founded their own company specialising in bags and accessories and they continue to develop plans for both their home and the business. This industrious pair have an eye for detail and respect for integral design that is reflected in the urbane and engaging rough-luxe look they’ve created in their interiors, which are packed of warm, earthy textures, temptingly tactile surfaces, crafted fittings and unusual accessories. Located a short stroll from the dune-lined coast, the building had originally been a bleaching plant, connected by canal to the linen works in Amsterdam and Haarlem. In subsequent years, its role – as well as its size, with extensions added during the late-19th and early-20th centuries – changed radically. Firstly, it was employed as a laundry, then a glue factory, before it was spotted by the Kempers. ‘We bought the property from an artist who used most of it as his studio,’ Remco explains. Struck by its generous proportions and light-filled ambience, the couple knew it would make a fabulous home, close enough to the cities to enable them to maintain their careers – Remco was then a furniture designer and Manonne was a make-up artist – while benefiting from the clean air, idyllic scenery and wide-open skies in this part of the Netherlands. Still, it was no

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i n s p i r a t i o n ‘We love hunting for old and unique pieces, as well as antique building materials, to use in our home’

DINING AREA ‘The weighing machine looked smaller online and we meant to put it in the bathroom,’ says Remco. ‘It didn’t fit there, so now we use it to weigh products we send out and our suitcases when we travel.’ The Baldwin pendant ceiling light in antique brass, £60, John Lewis & Partners, is a good alternative. Try Ikea’s Vardagen tablecloth, £12

25bh | d u tc h c o n v e r s i o n d e c o r a t i n g a d v i c e ‘Never compromise on quality – take things slowly and wait to buy something special’

DINING AREA ‘We purchased the dining chairs when we had a financial stroke of luck,’ says Remco. ‘They’re the most expensive items we’ve bought.’ Gispen 201 cantilever tubular steel chairs, price on request, Gispen. For a similar lounge chair, try the LC4 chaise longue in hairy hide and leather, £3,810, The Conran Shop

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HALL Peeling plasterwork and exposed bricks give this space an industrial feel, while strings of fairy lights add a magical touch. Cox & Cox’s majestic deer head, £40, would also suit this space

TOMMY’S BEDROOM A reclaimed shopfitting makes a quirky display case. The Forest & Co metal and glass wall cabinet, £220,, has a vintage-style look

NIKKI’S BEDROOM ‘The dressing table and stool were a gift for Nikki’s fourth birthday,’ says Remco. ‘She really wanted them, rather than a toy.’ Try Wayfair’s Vida Nishano dressing table set with mirror, £105.99

mean feat to transform the dilapidated artist’s studio into the study in modern rustic elegance it is today. ‘I did much of the renovation work myself,’ says Remco. ‘After we had finished demolishing and removing all the unstable elements, we were left with mainly the walls,’ he continues. ‘We almost built the place from scratch. The idea was always that whatever we did, it had to give the impression that it had always been part of the original house. So, there are no contemporary additions and new materials. A lot of the interior fixtures were salvaged, which we found online at Marktplaats (the Dutch version of eBay), such as the doors, the metal banister for the stairs and the basins for the bathrooms.’ ‘We don’t like things to be too thought out or conceived,’ he adds. ‘We prefer that our home should have a natural, self-evident air to it. Our taste is eclectic and the house has the feel of a big brocante. I also freelance as a consultant in home decor and textile design, and from my travels I bring back a lot of small pieces of furniture and accessories. There’s no specific plan or design – we slowly collect and only buy what we both really like.’ Christmas celebrations in the Kemper household are carried out in the same considered, yet efortlessly stylish manner. ‘What we enjoy most is simple food, made of excellent ingredients,’ says Remco. ‘Lunch or 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019 | 93

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MAIN BEDROOM ‘The Lloyd Loom chair was a gift from Manonne’s mother, who is also very fond of collecting,’ says Remco. Try the Wickham Lloyd Loom armchair, £379, John Lewis & Partners

dinner is our favourite way of celebrating with our friends and family. We particularly like smaller, more intimate parties rather than large gatherings. ‘Decorating is Manonne’s passion and, since she’s easily bored, each year she comes up with a diferent angle for the festivities,’ he continues. ‘And because the house doesn’t seem to support very traditional embellishments, it usually turns out quite unusual, while at the same time it’s rather subtle and not at all in-your-face. At least, that’s how we see it.’ As a result, fairy lights are strung over furniture and down walls, while candles abound on mantels and floors; garlands and baubles hang from the rafters and the tree is a simple bare-branched afair, though glistening with a riot of illumination and twinkling decorations. Warmed by the logburner, the rooms are sufused with an air of magic, one that constantly changes and grows as Remco and Manonne embark on ever more projects. ‘Recently, we bought a section of the neighbouring building and renovations are about to start on that,’ says Remco. ‘Both areas used to be part of the same bleaching plant, so we’re delighted to be able to restore them as a whole. It’s the same as us as a family – we love to spend time together and, more often than not, prefer to just stay here at home. I guess that’s why we value this house so much. It’s a retreat from the world.’ 94 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

N O L A’ S B E D R O O M A desk positioned under a window provides a bright study space. Hemnes desk, £235, Ikea. For a similar chair, try the vintage industrial metal model A Tolix armchair, £343 for a set of two, Pamono

B AT H R O O M The twin basins are echoed by pairings of light fittings, taps and mirrors, creating a pleasing sense of symmetry. The Burley II 51cm 2-taphole wall basin, £160, Aston Matthews, would also look good here. For a similar light, try Garden Trading’s Chatham small bulkhead, £25. To learn more about Remco and Manonne’s bag and accessories company, visit


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OPENING UP home truths THE PROPERTY Semi-detached house, built in 1927 L O C AT I O N Oxford R O O M S Kitchen-diner/sitting room/dining area, TV room, studio, study, utility room, three bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2002 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, I lived in a flat in Barcelona,’ says Penny.

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Installing a glass floor and steel staircase resulted in a radical update for Penny d’Aguilar’s home FEATURE ALISON GIBB | PHOTOGRAPHY DOUGLAS GIBB


aving lived in Oxford in her early teens, Penny d’Aguilar moved to London at the age of 18, determined never to look back. However, after many diverse chapters, including working as a secretary and an estate agent in London, emigrating to Canada with her first husband, starting a family in Surrey with her second and

eventually moving to Barcelona with her two small boys to do an MA in Fine Art, she found herself feeling a little rootless. When the boys became teenagers, she began to feel that the safe and cultural environs of Oxford chosen by her own mother, all those years ago, might be the ideal new start. Penny bought her current home while still living in Spain and rented it out for a few

e x te n d e d s e m i | 25bh SITTING AREA This space was deliberately sunken to create separation from the kitchen. Kasha corner sofa, £2,500, Habitat. Gazco Studio 3 open-fronted fire, £2,020, West Country Fires, is similar

KITCHEN Exposed bricks provide a rustic contrast to the sleek gloss-black units and acrylic worktop. A bright tea towel by Penny’s sister-in-law, textile designer, Nikki D’Aguilar, is a beautiful finishing touch. Franke Sirius 1.5 bowl tectonite sink, £249.99, Ship It Appliances. Franke Bern Pro single-handle pull-down sprayer tap, £258, eBay

DINING AREA Penny inherited the table from her grandmother. The light was from Dwell but the Franklite Vetross triple pendant light, £215.61, Lights 2Go, is a good alternative. Try Ikea’s Volfgang dining chair, £70. The rug was from John Lewis & Partners; the Coast Diamond hand-woven rug, £229, Barker and Stonehouse, is a match

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STUDIO Roof windows flood this room with light, creating the perfect place for Penny to work on her paintings. For a similar sofa, try the Anneka, £399, Sofology. Faux-fur throw in white, £90, John Lewis & Partners SITTING AREA A large window in charcoal grey aluminium adds drama to this space, which is open to the rafters. A shawl bought from a market in Barcelona and a nursing chair Penny inherited from her mother provide pops of pink. Arkos floor lamp, £138, Wayfair. The Seren Conqueror 10-column radiator in gun metal, £240, B&Q, is similar

years. ‘I designed the extension remotely, inspired by all the wonderful interiors and architecture I was enjoying in Barcelona,’ she explains. Penny wanted a warehouse loft feel, inspired by industrial buildings of the Thirties. ‘I was looking at rusty metal and concrete finishes and the local tradesmen here thought I was mad,’ she says. ‘My radical plans were unrealistic but turned into a happy compromise. The less edgy choices I made are actually more homely,’ she concedes. Installing the glass floor upstairs was a nervous moment: it took 12 men to carry it. ‘I’m so pleased I chose it, though – it allows sunlight to stream through,’ says Penny. The addition of the second concrete-and-steel staircase has created a pleasing sense of vertical space, with exciting voids and split levels. ‘I love how this house has turned out,’ 98 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

says Penny. ‘It’s an unusual, continental style and I’ve painted it white throughout to unify and simplify some of the complex spaces.’ Penny enjoys her job as an estate agent but painting is her passion, so having her own studio was essential. ‘I like to retreat and focus on my art,’ she says. Penny started painting as a child under the tutelage of her grandmother, who had attended the Royal Academy. ‘I stopped for a while before biting the bullet and going back to art school.’ The property is a flexible home with open spaces as well as more intimate, private spots. ‘My dream of creating a living space for myself, with extra bedrooms in a separate area that I can let out, has turned to reality,’ she says. ‘I now rent rooms to students, enabling me to work part time as well as paint when I want. It’s the ideal set-up.’

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DESIGN TIP ‘It’s important to pay attention to lighting – use lots of lamps to create a warm, inviting atmosphere’ MAIN BEDROOM Penny’s friend made the bedspread and upholstered headboard, plus curtains to fit the unusual-shaped window. Vispring Regal mattress and divan, £5,665, Heal’s. Wall painted in Pelt estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


EN SUITE Simple black tiles are lifted by a trim of exquisite, much more expensive glass mosaic tiles. A bespoke vanity unit makes the most of the room’s awkward corner. Pink Bisazza glass mosaic tiles, £246sq m, Tiles Naturally

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TREASURE TROVE Vintage finds, upcycled furniture and splashes of colour fill Helen and Andrew Fickling’s eclectic home FEATURE JACKY HOBBS | PHOTOGRAPHY HELEN FICKLING

SITTING ROOM The neutral palette Helen chose makes the perfect backdrop for her unique furnishings and elegant Christmas decorations. Real tree, £70, The Christmas Forest. Christmas tree candles, £5 each, Gisela Graham. Glass decorations, from £2 each, George & Beth Vintage

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home truths THE PROPERTY 1850s semi-detached cottage L O C AT I O N South London R O O M S Hall, double sitting room, kitchen-diner, study, three bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 1990 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before, we lived in a small cottage in Hampshire,’ says Helen.


elen and Andrew Fickling were looking to move to London from Hampshire and quickly realised that renovating a run-down property aforded the best opportunity on their limited budget. Months of house-hunting finally revealed a potential property – a former workman’s converted cottage, which hadn’t been touched since the Forties, when it had been split into two flats. ‘It was in desperate need of love but had something special about it,’ recalls Helen. The building’s meagre facilities meant there was considerable work to do; there was an outside toilet, a dangerous gas burner in the sitting room, electrical cables strung across the ceilings and a problematic roof. But despite its dilapidated state, the potential was clear and, stretching themselves, the couple bought the property. Plans and renovations proceeded at a pace. Both Andrew and Helen have a keen eye for design and swiftly made their mark on the previously lacklustre and cramped dwelling, creating a spacious home of great character. Key to the redesign was opening up and extending the internal space by incorporating a side alley into the hall, erasing the dividing dining/sitting room wall and adding a full-width, lanterned dining area to the kitchen. ‘It’s a great, flexible entertaining space, perfect at Christmas when friends and family descend,’ explains Helen, pleased that, ‘all the rooms are now a decent size’. The walls and high ceilings are predominantly white, with pale grey accents and surprising splashes of colour. ‘This is a throwback to my Zimbabwean roots,’ says Helen. ‘Africans

SITTING ROOM Helen collects a variety of vintage accessories to create interesting vignettes. Retro pieces of furniture add character, too. Candlestick, £85, George & Beth Vintage. Mirrors on

mantelpiece, from £110 each; vintage stepladder , £112, all Lille Braderie. Similar modular sofa, £ 1,200, Designers Guild warehouse sale. Wooden sleigh, £125, Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair. Cox & Cox’s iron cabinet, £350, is similar

KITCHEN-DINER The original round Arkana table was chosen in white to enhance the bright space. Try Ikea’s Docksta table, £130. Eames chairs, £340 each, The ConranShop.Treecandles,£11.99 each, Zara Home, are similar

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MAIN BEDROOM To maximise space, Andrew built drawers and a cupboard into the chimney recess. Built-in cupboard painted in Elephant’s Breath estate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball HALL Vintage glass Christmas tree decorations pick out the hall’s vibrant back wall colour, while giant paper pom-poms and bells stand out against the coloured backdrop. Wall painted in Fuchsia Lily

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matt emulsion, £23.30 for 2.5L, Dulux. Paper pom-poms and bells, from £1.75 each, Re-Found Objects. Large Victorian terracotta pot, £85, George & Beth Vintage. Super Pink set of 30 assorted baubles, £10, Amara, is a good match

HANNAH’S BEDROOM Like her mother, Hannah loves all things vintage and has decorated her room with a Seventies palette. G Plan Fresco teak floating top desk, £395, Retrolicious, is comparable. Retro wallpaper, £12.73 a roll, Etsy, is similar

who move west import sunshine and colour.’ Her home provides a natural setting for an eclectic and ever-changing mix of furniture, furnishings and accessories. ‘I love midcentury design,’ she enthuses, and uses their Arkana dining table, Eames dining chairs and the Italian Fifties sideboard every day. The clean, sculpted look spills into their 19-year-old daughter Hannah’s kitsch Seventies-style bedroom, too. Recently, Helen has skilfully introduced a more pared-back look where French vintage pieces assume a quiet authority. Furnishings, textiles and accessories bring gentle tone, texture and sheen, adding subtle layers to windows, mantels and walls. Helen harbours unusual pieces, too, such as a vintage sledge, used seasonally as a cofee table. The Ficklings travel to flea markets, car-boot sales, auctions and brocantes here, in Belgium and France, in search of unusual and interesting pieces. ‘We go with an empty car and an open mind,’ says Helen. They gather beautiful vintage paraphernalia, which can be bought from their online business, George & Beth Vintage, or at their biannual pop-up shop in south London. At Christmas, Helen embellishes the decor with gold, silver and glass. Mirrors are decorated with ivy or mistletoe, and trees in the sitting room, hall and kitchen airm the season and shimmer with fairy lights. ‘We join neighbours for pre-Christmas drinks, or sometimes we share the festivities by dividing out the cooking,’ says Helen. ‘Someone organises the starter, the main course is served somewhere else and dessert at another house. It’s a great way of celebrating.’


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SITTING ROOM The rug helps to define the seating area of this large space, which also has a dining area. The Vindum rug, £80, Ikea, is similar. Distressed grey chunky wooden cofee table, £595; two-seater buttoned sofa, £995, both Mutare

home truths THE PROPERTY Sixties detached house L O C AT I O N South Wales R O O M S Hall, sitting/dining room, kitchen, snug, study, utility room/cloakroom, gym, three bedrooms (one en suite), dressing room, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 1999 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved from a large terraced house nearby,’ says Lisa.

L AT I N L E S S O N Lisa Davies and Paul Jones have transformed a Sixties dormer bungalow into a spacious home with classical good looks inspired by Italian design FEATURE ANNA TOBIN | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

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KITCHEN Although the units are nearly 20 years old, Lisa has kept the look fresh in here by adding new handles and worktops and regularly updating the display pieces. Reclaimed timber bar stools, £145 each, Mutare

SITTING ROOM The glazed armoire provides a dust-free display area for the couple’s attractive glassware. Armoire painted in Pitch Black estate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Try the Hanley pillar lamp stand, £58, Neptune


HALL Lisa’s eye for proportion ensures this space feels homely, rather than cluttered. Walls painted in Lamp Room Grey estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

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t’s hard to believe that Lisa Davies and Paul Jones’ beautiful home was once a soulless, single-storey bungalow. ‘The land the house is built on once formed part of a large country estate,’ says Lisa. ‘The main house was demolished, a large part of the land was sold of for a housing development and this flat-roofed bungalow was built in the Sixties. The previous owners then added an additional storey.’ Fast forward about 30 years, and when Lisa first set eyes on the house in 1999, it was in a very poor state of repair. ‘You couldn’t reach the front door for brambles,’ she says. Luckily, there is nothing Lisa loves more than a project. At the time, she was running a fabric shop and while she loved helping customers put together their decorating schemes, she was thrilled to get the chance to work on her own home. ‘I couldn’t wait and started decorating it immediately and it has been a passion of mine to get this home finished for the past 19 years,’ she says. ‘I’ve always had a firm vision of how I wanted it to look and feel – comfortable and timeless. I don’t have the inclination or the finances to keep changing it, so it was important to get the basics perfect – the decor, fixtures and fittings – and then be able to easily tweak the finishing touches. The final flourishes of the soft furnishings and the accessories are what I really love.’ According to Lisa, many people remark that the house has an Italian look and feel and while she insists that this was never the plan, she tends to be naturally drawn to all things Italianate. Inspired by this renovation, Lisa now

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FAVOURITE ITEM ‘I love our 30-year-old dining table, which I stripped, sanded, stained and painted at least a half a dozen times to achieve this look’

DINING AREA A large freestanding mirror draws extra illumination into this corner of the sitting room. Distressed timber cage-style chandelier, £295, Mutare. Try the RV Astley dining chairs, £256 each, Houseology

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25bh | s i x t i e s d e tac h e d MAIN BEDROOM The dramatic beaded pendant light adds subtle glamour to the rustic backdrop of white walls and exposed timbers. Extra large wooden beaded chandelier, £365; Arianne nickel chrome lamp with shade, £185, both Mutare

DRESSING ROOM A space-saving sliding door divides this area and the main bedroom. Reading chapel accent mirror, £36.99, Wayfair, is similar

B AT H R O O M Finds from antiques shops bring character to this space. Try the Runda round countertop basin, £54.95; BCT Tiles Naturals Stone multiuse mosaic tiles are similar, £79.98sq m, both Victorian Plumbing

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runs a home refurbishment business and interiors store called Mutare, which translates as ‘change’ or ‘transform’. The couple carried out most of the work on their home themselves. Lisa installed the kitchen when they first moved in, but she has since enhanced it with new worktops and handles. Paul is a carpentry lecturer and he has created many of the bespoke items that Lisa designed. ‘We work as a team,’ says Paul. ‘I make everything and Lisa sands pieces down, paints them and adds the finishing touches.’ Paul even built the latest addition to the property – a timber-framed side extension, which has added an en-suite bedroom with a balcony upstairs. ‘As the house was once a bungalow, the downstairs was always larger than the first floor, which made the whole house feel out of proportion,’ says Lisa. ‘I knew that once we had extended above the garage, it would finally feel finished.’ Lisa regularly scours antiques shops and homeware stores in Wales and around the couple’s holiday home in Italy for pieces for her clients and herself. ‘I pick things up all over the place,’ she says. ‘And if I can’t find what I’m looking for, Paul will make it or we’ll upcycle something. The result is a home with an eclectic and individual feel. ‘I’ve loved being involved in the evolution of this house, whether it’s being knee-deep in paint and stain, or out in my wellies landscaping the garden,’ Lisa continues. ‘There is nothing that I would have done diferently. I walk into any room here and any part of the garden and I love what I see and really appreciate it every day. It has taken nearly 20 years, but I think we can finally call it finished.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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DINING ROOM ‘The L-shaped bench allows our friends and grandchildren to all fit around the table,’ says Camilla. Large Dinard tablecloth, £195, Oka. Ingolf dining chairs, £50 each, Ikea, would work here. Try Brooklyn Dome pendant lights, £79 each, Industville


home truths THE PROPERTY Grade II-listed cottage L O C AT I O N Wiltshire R O O M S Hall, formal sitting room, sitting room, kitchen-diner, media room, cloakroom, three bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2002 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Tom and I also have a house in Surrey,’ says Camilla.

Past perfect Steeped in history, a rundown Georgian terrace in the West Country proved the ideal site for Tom and Camilla Harrington to create a cosy hideaway FEATURE MAGGIE COLVIN | PHOTOGRAPHY ROBERT SANDERSON

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om and Camilla Harrington’s home has a chequered history. Back in the 14th century, it was no more than a wine store. ‘The round barrel-shaped cavities are still visible,’ says Tom, pointing out dents in the front façade. ‘Apparently, in those days, wine merchants would roll barrels through these openings for storage and eventual resale.’ Centuries later, the blacksmith who shoed the horses of passing travellers, plied his trade here. His original chimney is now part of the cooking recess in the kitchen. After another 200 years, Georgian gentry added the smarter façade and the new front room, now used as the main sitting room. These hints into the property’s past, Tom’s passion for history, and the cottage’s idyllic Wiltshire location convinced him and Camilla to buy the place. As Tom explains, ‘When tourists search online for the prettiest village in the UK, up pops ours. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant nearby, two pubs and a meandering river, which we paddle in to cool down on hot summer days.’ On first viewing, the couple recognised that this characterful property could be turned into the perfect escape for holidays all year round. Camilla, who’s Danish, has a strong sense of design and style, and was quick to spot the potential of its quirky features, while Tom, eager to uncover its history, could hardly wait to see what lay behind the panelling installed in the Sixties. With the go-ahead from the local conservation society, they were able to strip out much of the interior, removing rickety ceilings and rotting floors to improve head height and structural stability. A new RSJ was required to support the first floor, which, Tom says, ‘felt as though it might have

EXTERIOR Well-established wisteria creates a warm welcome. FORMAL SITTING ROOM Camilla found a pair of wing chairs on eBay and had them reupholstered in a favourite fabric.

Wing chair covered in Geese, £41m, Emily Bond. The Carron woodburning stove from Direct Stoves, £695, is similar SITTING ROOM ‘I purposely selected these bright sofa cushions to inject some

colour and warmth into this room,’ says Camilla. ‘This is our favourite place to sit on wet and chilly days.’ Peregrine square cushion cover, £42; Damavand table lamp, £195, both Oka. Carew Jones Malmaison rug, £220, Laura Ashley

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lesson learnt ‘With exposed beams, it’s best to stick to paint only on the walls, as we found that even small-scale wallpaper designs didn’t look right’

EN SUITE Boarded up until newly discovered, this space has been crafted into a spa-like retreat. Try Chatsworth slipper bath, £500, Victorian Plumbing; in Mouse’s Back estate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

MAIN BEDROOM ‘This window really catches the morning light,’ says Camilla. Bed, £1,900, Brissi. Lola bedside table, £199, Swoon, is similar. Altea lamp base, £145, India Jane. Lampshade in Geese fabric, £41m, Emily Bond

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GUEST BEDROOM The dog-motif fabric was the starting point for this elegant scheme (above right). Blinds, cushions and lampshades in Black Labrador fabric, £52m, Emily Bond. Bespoke headboard, Brissi

been held together with paper clips,’ recalling the day when builders finally discovered some structurally sound original beams and a whole new room, previously boarded up, next to the main bedroom. Installing the new ceilings also allowed for sleek, built-in spotlights and the chance to conceal new pipework and wiring. Oak flooring was laid throughout the ground level, enhancing the feeling of space and continuity. ‘We were initially going to distress the new boards, but once laid, we really liked their warm honey colour so we left them as they were,’ says Tom. Once all the building work was complete, the couple then acquired two cocker spaniels, Gerald and Baxter, who provided the inspiration for their fabric choices. ‘I found dog-themed fabrics from Emily Bond,’ says Camilla. ‘Country-style textiles work well in this house, because it already feels very rural, even though it’s in the heart of a village. Emily’s designs are fresh, with a relaxed, fun vibe.’ The couple largely decorated and furnished the house together, sourcing everything from beehive window locks, doorknobs and coat hooks to paintings and quirky touches such as the silver stag’s head hanging in the kitchen. They share a taste for old-school comforts, soft colours and the occasional bold painting, cushion and throw. ‘We are a good team,’ says Camilla. ‘My design decisions were inevitably influenced by the Danish style of relaxed living, which characterised my childhood home and that’s a style that Tom enjoys, too – we’re very pleased with the finished look. This home has proved to be a perfect getaway. We love walking the dogs in the countryside – and they love spending time here just as much as we do.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

arty style, smarty prices decorative lighting from




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PLACE OF MEMORIES Antique accents and treasures gathered on holidays abroad are the inspiration behind the unique decor of Eva Sacchi-Hunter’s seaside home FEATURE JANE CRITTENDEN | PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRENCH


home truths THE PROPERTY Detached Sixties bungalow L O C AT I O N East Sussex R O O M S Sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility room, cloakroom, six bedrooms (two en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before, we lived in a Victorian flat near the seafront,’ says Eva.

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KITCHEN The sleek white cabinetry and slim-profile island gives this space a weightless feel. Worktop, from £480sq m, Resilica. Yambol pendant with ribbed glass shade, £108, The Lighting Company

KITCHEN Swapping this space with the dining room has directed light from the roof lantern to the new island, where it is most needed. The Ollie rattan armchair is comparable, £299.99, Trendy Products

DINING ROOM A generous opening links this space with the verdant, plant-filled sitting room. Round pedestal table, £500, Ardingly Antiques Fair. The Deauville chairs are similar, £159 for two,

DINING ROOM ‘My parents gave me this crystal chandelier,’ says Eva. ‘They bought it for their first home in the Sixties, soon after they were married.’ The Traditional Italian antique chandelier has this look, £1,400, Crystal Corner

SITTING ROOM A Kenyan holiday inspired the chair. ‘We saw locals relaxing in these lovely string chairs on their verandas – I couldn’t resist buying one,’ says Eva. Carved-oak wainscot chair is similar, £495, LT Antiques. Reindeer hide, £180, Artemis

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SITTING ROOM The brick wall creates depth, and a display of mirrors, pictures and antiques spark curiosity. The Grand Piano is a similar love seat, £5,139, Chaplins. The Persia rug in Astara Red is comparable, £174.95, Modern Rugs

d e c o r a t i n g t i p ‘Consider your ceiling colours – dark hues introduce intimacy; matching them with walls has a cocooning effect, and lighter tones heighten a space’


va Sacchi-Hunter’s home, which she shares with her husband, Austen Hunter, showcases a collection of art, furniture and antiques she has either inherited or bought over the years at flea markets and on trips overseas. Her textured and colourful approach enhances the original parquet flooring and the newly painted white walls. ‘When we first saw this Sixties bungalow from the outside, it seemed so small and didn’t resonate with us at all,’ says Eva. ‘But we loved the large footprint, as we knew we could knock down walls and create a large, flowing downstairs space.’ Although the previous owners had renovated the property, Eva’s brother’s architect partner came up with a design to add a bathroom, two guest bedrooms, and a main en-suite bedroom, creating plenty of space for the couple and their children, Viola, now 12, Greta, 10, and Iris, 7. The project began around the time Iris was born, in 2011, and the family stayed in 114 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

their previous flat while AKT Construction carried out the building work. At one point, a burst pipe in the loft threatened to derail the project, but resulted in an unexpected design revelation. ‘Water damaged the plaster on one of the sitting room walls and when the builders exposed the brick during repairs, I thought it looked wonderful and decided to keep the wall bare,’ says Eva. Reluctant to rip out the new kitchen, Eva consulted Design Interiors to work out a revised layout. ‘We kept the units, had the doors resprayed in pale green and chose a white worktop,’ she says. ‘We also added an island with a resin-and-glass surface.’ Throughout, the wood floors and white walls set a neutral base that Eva has slowly decorated with personal treasures. ‘Years ago, we were given pieces and regularly visited antiques fairs,’ she says. ‘Now, we tend to pick up interesting objects while out and about, on holiday or visiting Italy, where I’m from.’ A Sixties crystal chandelier, once owned by Eva’s parents, makes a striking

vintage statement above the dining table, and a trip to see her brother in Frankfurt yielded four vintage bar stools. Other pieces hint at holidays spent further afield, too, such as the Kenyan handcarved wooden chair in the sitting room, while the riadinspired en suite provides the ultimate sanctuary. Eva tracked down traditional Moroccan tiles and finished the walls with tadelakt – decorative Moroccan plaster. Colours inspired by nature are evident throughout, including the pale green kitchen, teak parquet and oak flooring, while verdant plants draw out the stippled orange brick in the sitting room. The pistachio-green love seat echoes the colours Austen wore on the couple’s wedding day, and a decadent goldfinished ceiling in the sitting room displays a bird-adorned pendant lampshade. ‘I love the birdcage light, as it’s so unique,’ says Eva. ‘We’ve so enjoyed creating our home – there wasn’t really a conscious thought process behind our choices, but it has become a place that’s filled with all the things we love.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

LANDING The crocheted lampshade, easel and sewing machine make a pleasing pause point. Lampshade, £70, Bright One. String of 35 bauble lights, £39.95, Cable & Cotton

EN SUITE A Marrakech-inspired theme provides the perfect home for this decorative screen. Try the Moroccan iron screen, £69.95, Moroccan Decor. Zellige basin tiles in Rose Mauve, £182sq m; cement floor tiles, £138sq m, both Emery et Cie

MAIN BEDROOM Eastern-influenced decor creates a tranquil space to sleep. The Lazy Occasional chair is similar, £595; Seba double bed, £1,595, both Lombok

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home truths THE PROPERTY Top-floor apartment in a Twenties building L O C AT I O N Helsinki R O O M S Hall, sitting room, family room, kitchen-diner, oice, two bedrooms, bathroom R E N T E D S I N C E 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We owned an apartment in a diferent part of Helsinki before moving here,’ explains Lotta.

W I N T E R WARMER Lotta and Olli Huvinen’s preferred colour palette of brooding greys and blues provides a cosy setting for their family’s Christmas FEATURE RACHEL LEEDHAM | PHOTOGRAPHY KRISTA KELTANEN/LIVING INSIDE

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SITTING ROOM Wooden oorboards and white seating provide a neutral backdrop for glossy Christmas decorations. For a similar zebra-print fabric (on chairs), try Illusion in Camel, £202m, Jim Thompson Fabrics

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F A M I LY R O O M The blue-green walls are the boldest choice Lotta has made for the apartment – and the colour she loves the most. Walls painted in Oval Room Blue estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

SITTING ROOM Lotta confidently mixes pieces from diferent eras, including an antique glazed cabinet, a mid-century table and a modern chandelier. Heracleum II chandelier, from £2,711, Moooi. Noguchi cofee table, £1,550, Heal’s


eeks before Christmas, the Helsinki home of Lotta Huvinen, her husband Olli and their two young children, Romeo, seven, and Stella, five, is already adorned with twinkling fairy lights. ‘I call them my lights for the dark months,’ says Lotta. ‘We also have a lot of candles burning – they make our home feel really warm and cosy.’ Adding to this atmospheric feel is the apartment’s moody backdrop of greys and blue-greens, something of a departure from the pale walls often found in Scandinavian homes. ‘My mother is an architect and I grew up in a very minimalist home with white walls and classic pieces by designers such as Alvar Aalto,’ explains Lotta, an interior designer. ‘But with each home Olli and I have lived in, the colours have become bolder, and I’ve gravitated to older pieces of furniture.’ The family began renting this Twenties apartment in the southern district of Ullanlinna 18 months ago, after selling their flat in Töölö, west of the city. ‘Our children had started kindergarten in this area and we fell in love with it – it feels like a little Paris,’ says Lotta. ‘We sold our old flat very quickly so it made sense to rent, as we realised it could take a long time to find the right place to buy. This apartment is similar to our previous one and we love the way the rooms flow into each other –and being on the top floor means that we have wonderful views across the rooftops.’ Fortunately, the property’s owner was open to the idea of Lotta repainting the walls. ‘This had a huge impact – it

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HALL A built-in bench (righ), re-covered in a striking ikat fabric, features useful additional storage. Painting by Vincent Bakkum. The Searchlight dome pendant lights, £60.65 each, Wayfair, are similar

i n s p i r at i o n ‘I love to bring new life to antique pieces, such as the white Swedish chairs in the sitting room, which have been transformed with a contemporary zebra print’ suddenly became our home,’ she says. The flat’s gracious proportions lend themselves well to the couple’s possessions, a mix of antiques and contemporary pieces. ‘I like to hunt for things in flea markets as well as through online auction houses, such as Bukowskis,’ Lotta explains. ‘Many of our furnishings have moved with us, including the dining table, which was bought by Olli before we met. It dates back to the Twenties, like the building, so it feels as if it has come home.’ As well as working as an interior designer, Lotta ofers a home-organising service, and so she is adept at keeping clutter at bay. ‘I believe it’s vital that everything has its place and also that we shouldn’t hold on to stuf for the sake of it – people often think they need a bigger house or more storage simply because they have too many things,’ she observes, adding, ‘My motto is to buy little, but buy well.’ True to this dictum, Lotta has upcycled good-quality pieces that she and Olli bought years ago: for example, a sofa

KITCHEN-DINER The couple restored an antique map table and teamed it with mid-century chairs for a chic, eclectic finish. Eames DSW side chairs, £365 each; Eames DKR wire chairs, £360 each, all The Conran Shop

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B AT H R O O M The family inherited this simple, clean-lined design. Similar floor tiles, Malacassa in Spa, £134.98sq m, Fired Earth. Similar blind fabric, Polka Dot, £49m, F&P Interiors

CHILDREN’S BEDROOM Romeo and Stella sleep in beds that were made by Lotta’s grandfather for her mother and uncle in the Fifties. Numero 74 bed canopy in Dusty Pink, £94, Smallable

d e c o r at i n g t i p ‘At Christmas, dress your home with lots of fresh flowers and foliage in a similar palette to your interior’

MAIN BEDROOM Dusky pink walls provide a pleasing backdrop for a treasured painting and an antique cabinet. Walls painted in Calamine estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Washed linen duvet cover set, £79.99, H&M Home

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in the sitting room has been revived with new upholstery in a watery-green velvet that pairs beautifully with the grey walls. Some of the items have been passed down through the generations, such as the rocking chair in the family room, which belonged in Lotta’s grandmother’s childhood home in Sotjala, or the children’s table and chairs, which were made for her father and his sister. One of her most cherished pieces is a painting of peonies left to Lotta by her grandmother, which now takes pride of place in the master bedroom. ‘It was only when I hung it up that I realised that the colours in the painting – the greys, blue-greens and dusky pinks – are exactly the scheme of this home,’ she notes. A week before Christmas, the family chooses the largest tree possible for the sitting room, and it is adorned with shimmering decorations that Lotta has picked up on her travels. ‘The scent of the tree is such a big part of Christmas for me, as are the smells of baking gingerbread and mulled wine,’ she says. ‘It’s family traditions like these that I want the children to remember – and pass on to the next generation.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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KITCHEN-DINER A gold trolley stocked with cocktail-making essentials lends a glamorous touch. Graham and Green’s Caldwell drinks trolley, £450, is a good alternative. The Zinc pattern scatter cushion, £35, French Connection at DFS, is similar

R E T R O R E V I VA L Building an extension has allowed Sarah Stretton to give her home a makeover that combines both modern and mid-century style for a smart Sixties throwback FEATURE ABBI HENDERSON | PHOTOGRAPHY GEORGIA BURNS

s i x t i e s d e tac h e d | 25bh


home truths THE PROPERTY Detached house, built in 1965 L O C AT I O N Kent R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ playroom, kitchen-diner, three bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a Thirties semi-detached house in the same area,’ says Sarah.


hen it comes to talking about her home, Sarah Stretton, a primary school teaching assistant, isn’t shy about admitting that she wasn’t fully sold on it at first. After losing out on the Victorian property of her dreams to sealed bids, she couldn’t see herself – and her family – settling in a Sixties house with what felt like a serious lack of character. Her husband Adam, however, recognised its potential. ‘Adam saw this house on the internet and couldn’t get it out of his head,’ says Sarah. ‘I agreed to check it out, but I

didn’t really like it, even though it had a driveway, a garage, a huge wrap-around garden and was in close proximity to a great primary school for our sons, Luke, now nine, and Jake, who is seven. I could see the positives, of course, but I didn’t get the feeling that I hoped I would when finding the perfect family home.’ Despite Sarah’s uncertainty, the pair realised it was too good an opportunity to miss, so they put in an ofer and managed to secure the house for less than the asking price. Ideal, since the property needed a fair amount of work to make it liveable. Its drab

interior left a lot to be desired and the dirty floors and surfaces certainly dampened any moving-in-day excitement. ‘The removal men even commented that we’d left a palace to come to a dump,’ Sarah recalls. ‘It wasn’t quite that bad, but it felt lifeless. There were balls of cat fur on the floor where the previous sofa had been and cobwebs on the walls. We spent almost a full day vacuuming.’ Having already completed one huge house renovation in their previous property, Sarah wasn’t sure that starting another project was the best idea with two small children. But with an increasing need for

KITCHEN-DINER Grey tones and wood finishes create a harmonious feel. Bodbyn cabinet doors, from £22 each, Ikea. Edelweiss dining table, £379, DINING AREA A vintage wicker chair adds to the room’s retro look. The peacock chair was from a charity shop; try Gumtree for comparable designs. The dining chairs were bought on eBay; look at Atlantic Shopping’s Grafton chair, £89.99. Matalan’s ceramic planter £8, is a match LANDING A gallery wall of favourite prints makes a feature of the otherwise plain stairwell. Try the Don’t Grow Up print, £17, Yoyo Studio at Juniqe sells a range of framed Frida Kahlo prints, from £39.95 each

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more space, the couple settled on a singlestorey extension to expand the kitchen to make way for a generous family dining area. Light, along with easy access to the garden for Luke and Jake, were priorities, so Sarah and Adam had bifold doors fitted at the end of the kitchen and added large glass panes elsewhere to allow more sunshine in. ‘The extension has tripled the size of the kitchen,’ says Sarah. ‘My favourite part has to be the view into the garden through the bifold doors. We love throwing them open in the summer, but even when it’s cold and

grey and the rain is beating down you can still sit with a cup of tea and enjoy the view.’ Eventually succumbing to the period style of the property, Sarah settled on a retro-inspired scheme downstairs. ‘I wanted our decor to be sympathetic to the age of the house,’ she says. ‘Plus, I had fallen in love with the interiors on the TV show Mad Men.’ The pair sold their oak furniture and sourced pieces with a mid-century feel. ‘Luckily, retro furniture was making a comeback, which made it easy to get hold of,’ says Sarah. ‘The only drawback was that due SITTING ROOM ‘I loved the wallpaper so much that I bought it months before we decorated,’ says Sarah. The wallpaper was from B&Q; try the company’s Colours Ailsa soft lemon geometric wallpaper, £12 a roll. Zinc four-seater sofa, £899, French Connection at DFS. Afaw Berber-style rug, from £99, La Redoute SITTING ROOM Mustard accents add warmth to the subtle grey scheme. The side table was from Sainsbury’s Home; consider the Andy black metal side table, £80.39, Maisons du Monde SITTING ROOM To avoid a cluttered feel, Sarah bought Scandi-style armchairs instead of the larger ones that matched the sofa. Ekenaset chair, £170; Lovbacken side table, £45, both Ikea

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to its popularity it became diicult to find bargains.’ Local charity shops and eBay were her go-to haunts for furnishings, while jazzy patterns and a palette of grey and primary colours enhance the look. The bedrooms are more modern and trend-led, with deep colours on the walls and metallic accents. While Sarah and her Sixties house may have got of on the wrong foot, she couldn’t be more relieved that she took the risk and bought this place. ‘We love living here,’ she says. ‘It’s perfect for our family and lifestyle, and that’s the best you can hope for.’

s i x t i e s d e tac h e d | 25bh JAKE’S BEDROOM ‘He calls this his rocket room because of the high ceiling,’ says Sarah. ‘And he chose grey for the walls because he likes the sitting room scheme and Star Wars accessories.’ Walls painted in Crown Breatheasy Cloud Burst matt standard emulsion, £16 for 2.5L, Homebase

HALL ‘This area is dark, which I love, so instead of brightening it with pale hues I chose a navy wallpaper,’ says Sarah. Wallpaper, £40 a roll, Graham & Brown. Sunburst mirrors, £20 each, HomeSense

futur e plans ‘Eventually, we would like to extend the back of the garage to create an office space for Adam that doubles as a guest bedroom’

MAIN BEDROOM ‘The whole family hated the dark green colour when I started painting the walls, but now they love it,’ says Sarah. For a similar wall paint, try Valspar Deep Green Sea matt emulsion, £33 for 5L, B&Q. Finlay king-size bed, £599,


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COASTAL CALM Thanks to clever spatial planning and an eye for muted tones, Diana and David Hales have created a serene retreat to welcome friends and family FEATURE AMELIA THORPE | PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL CRAIG


home truths

DINING AREA Custom-made banquette seating allows for the maximum number of diners. Oversized pendant lights and feature wallpaper catch the eye. Osborne & Little Laguna wallpaper, £61 a roll, TM Interiors. Caravaggio Light Years P3 suspension lights, £459 each, David Village Lighting

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THE PROPERTY Apartment in an Edwardian house conversion L O C AT I O N Devon R O O M S Hall, kitchen-diner/ sitting room, three bedrooms (two en suite), shower room P U R C H A S E D 2002 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘This is a holiday home – our main home is in Surrey,’ says Diana.

e dwa r d i a n a pa r tm e nt | 25bh


Diana made the mirror above the fireplace from nine bevelled mirror tiles. ‘I love the way it reflects flickering candlelight,’ she says. Mirror tiles, cut to order, Leatherhead Glass. For similar display cabinets, from a selection, try No44 Furniture & Fine Things


he rain was pouring down, the wind biting and Diana and David Hales were becoming increasingly miserable. ‘We were house hunting on the north coast of Cornwall one Easter weekend and it was absolutely freezing,’ recalls Diana, who runs Surrey interior design practice David Hales Design Studio with her husband. ‘I’d set my heart on buying a home by the sea, but David was much less keen on the whole idea. The weather certainly didn’t help.’ Diana had heard about an apartment, part of a recently converted large Edwardian house, on the south coast in Devon. ‘I persuaded David that we should drive over, and by the time we got there, the sun was shining and it must have been at least 10 degrees warmer,’ she says. It wasn’t just the weather that persuaded the couple to buy the two-bedroom property – it had stunning views of the sea, tall ceilings and original

fireplace, plus close proximity to sheltered beaches they could enjoy with their six-year-old daughter Annabel. With David finally on board, the couple bought the apartment. ‘He was initially worried that buying a second home was a whim, but he now says it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done,’ says Diana. ‘That was 16 years ago and we still come here as often as we can. Being by the sea is where I feel totally relaxed and creative, and I love going for long walks along the coast with our dachshund Archie.’ With an expert eye for using space to best efect, the couple recently began considering how to rethink the layout to increase the bedrooms from two to three and add an extra bathroom, so that it would be easier to welcome friends to stay. ‘The main bedroom and en suite were enormous and we really didn’t need that much room,’ explains Diana. So they decided to poach space from the main bedroom and hall in order to create a third


‘This is such a comfortable place to curl up and read a book,’ says Diana. Southdown sheepskin throw, £125, Neptune

2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019 | 127


With an internal wall removed, the kitchen now opens on to the living area, so no one is cut of from the conversation. Bespoke cabinetry, price on request, Smallbone of Devizes. Unsui quartz worktop, from £400sq m, Silestone. FAB28 Retro fridge, £1,299, Smeg


The new porthole reflects the marine location and also creates an unusual feature here. Farmhouse sink, from £301, The Kitchen Sink Company


‘I wanted a seaside theme, without going over the top,’ says Diana of her choice of paintings. Paintings and prints, from a selection, India Jane. Similar console table, from £210, No44 Furniture & Fine Things

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bedroom and shower room, which doubles as a utility, and remove an internal wall to create an open-plan kitchen-diner/sitting room, ideal for entertaining friends, to replace the series of small rooms they had before. ‘We were worried that the kitchen and hall would be dark because they have become internal spaces, but then we had a brainwave – we put portholes into some of the walls and doors to allow natural light to flow through the apartment,’ says Diana. In keeping with this home’s role as a retreat, Diana chose a gentle colour scheme, working with soft, comfortable materials to create a welcoming, serene environment. ‘I like using muted palettes – nothing too jarring – so that as I walk in, my shoulders drop and I instantly feel calmer,’ she says. They added natural timber flooring throughout the apartment to create a sense of cohesion, with of-white

painted walls. ‘I kept all the colours light to enhance the feeling of space, and we had quite a few pieces of furniture custom made, such as the sofa, dining table and banquette, because we wanted to make the best use of every inch of room,’ says Diana. Using their professional expertise, Diana and David also took time to ensure the apartment is eminently practical: the sofa is covered in faux leather (‘so it won’t be damaged by wet swimming costumes’), the kitchen worktops are made from a stain and scratch-resistant quartz surface, and most of the cushion covers can be laundered in the washing machine, so the apartment withstands plenty of wear and tear when friends and family arrive. ‘I don’t want to be spending my time cleaning – the whole point is to be able to relax and enjoy the sea when we get here,’ says Diana. ‘Fortunately, that’s exactly what we do.’

e dwa r d i a n a pa r tm e nt | 25bh MAIN BEDROOM Although the size of this room was reduced in the new layout, it is still spacious, an efect enhanced by the light, uncluttered decor. For a similar bed, try No44 Furniture & Fine Things. Oka has a range of table lamps that are a good match for this style, from £55

FAVOURITE ROOM ‘I love the main bedroom, because I can enjoy the view of a beautiful sandy cove without getting out of bed’ GUEST BEDROOM Touches of lilac and green add delicate colour and enhance the restful feel of this room. Cologne & Cotton has similar quilts, from £165. The Trisphera Shagreen lamp, £285, Oka, is a good match

EN SUITE The ornate silver-framed mirror strikes a glamorous note in this bathroom. For this opulent look, try the Hart silver swept mirror, £735; Duravit Vero basin stand, £209, and Astro Verona wall lights, £111 each, all CP Hart


2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019 | 129


DINING AREA ‘We love the original oak beams,’ says Margret. The oak shelving unit was picked for a cohesive look. Industrial galvanised pendants, £192 each, Factorylux. The Windsor Dove Grey chairs, £295 each, Sustainable Furniture, are similar. The light oak double pedestal table, £695, The Cotswold Company, would work here. Adelaide floor tiles in Lava, £41sq m, Tons of Tiles, are a match

home truths THE PROPERTY Farmhouse built in 1894 L O C AT I O N The Netherlands R O O M S Hall, sitting room/ kitchen-diner, study, pantry, three cloakrooms, sewing room, five bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2003 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before, we lived in a nearby villa in the woods,’ says Margret.

C O U NTRY PURSUIT Margret and Henk Mann spent three years renovating their characterful farmhouse, which comes into its own at Christmas FEATURE JANE BOWLES | PHOTOGRAPHY LOUIS LEMAIRE/INSIDE HOME

d u tc h fa r m h o u s e | 25bh

2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019 | 131

SITTING ROOM A concrete fireplace adds a striking modern contrast. Parquet cofee table, £550, Graham and Green, is comparable. Edwina armoire, £1,125, Sweetpea & Willow, is similar

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elebrating Christmas on their farm is a dream come true for Margret and Henk Mann. ‘We always wanted to live in a rural farmhouse, since our now grown-up children, Willemijn and Adriaan, were small,’ says Margret. ‘We looked at so many diferent places over the years, but nothing ever quite fitted the bill.’ Then fate stepped in. ‘I was browsing the paper when I saw a tiny ad, saying this farm was for sale,’ says Margret. ‘By coincidence, Henk and I were visiting the area with Willemijn for a riding competition that weekend, so we decided to arrange a viewing. When we caught our first glimpse of the property, with its lovely landscape and summer house, we both fell in love with it on the spot, despite the fact that it was practically a ruin. The house had a major subsidence problem, a badly leaking roof and walls full of holes that had been stufed with newspaper. It was in such a terrible condition that even the estate agent warned us to think twice. But the setting was idyllic and we knew that this was the home we’d been searching for.’ With the sale agreed, the couple drew up a schedule of work and fitted out the summer house to act as a temporary home while the main building was remodelled. ‘We’re experienced renovators, so we managed the project ourselves,’ says Margret, who co-owns interiors company Poldershop 38. ‘Some people said we should tear the house down completely, but we loved the tall doors, wooden beams and high ceilings and wanted to preserve its character. We asked our builders to rebuild the structure and install new heating and electrics, but decided to remodel the interior ourselves.’ The couple spent three years renovating their farmhouse. ‘We devoted all our free time

d u tc h fa r m h o u s e | 25bh KITCHEN The couple designed and built the units and sandstone and concrete island themselves. Lacanche Citeaux Classic 150 oven, £9,290, Range Cookers. Rose & Grey’s black rattan bar stools, £195 each, are similar

f a v o u r i t e i t e m ‘We both love to cook for family and friends, especially at Christmas, so our Lacanche three-oven stove is a firm favourite’

25bh | d u tc h fa r m h o u s e

GUEST BEDROOM The wallpaper’s button-back look softens all the wood. Scion’s Nuevo geometric wallpaper, £41 a roll, John Lewis, would work in here. Stockholm bed, £1,800, Gustavian, is similar. Rustic step shelf ladder, £212, Grace & Glory Home, is a match

EN SUITE Vintage and contemporary styles blend seamlessly in this luxurious bathroom. Trend freestanding bath, £849; Transition floor-standing bath shower mixer, £1,299, both Bathstore, are similar

to the project and rebuilt everything, from the walls and doors up,’ says Margret. ‘We took our time to do the work slowly and learnt a lot as we went along. If something didn’t go right, we simply did it again. A handyman friend also gave us advice and lent us plenty of useful tools.’ Many of the farmhouse fittings are made from building materials recycled from other parts of the structure, as well as pre-loved family furniture. ‘Timber from the old kitchen was reused in one of the bathrooms, and the cloakroom washbasin is made from my grandmother’s old cofee table,’ says Margret. When the renovation was almost complete, Margret turned her attention to the decor. ‘We wanted a mix of new and vintage country style, with colours and textures drawn from the natural world,’ she says. ‘I used a calming palette of chalk paints with soft, earthy tones, which gives the house a peaceful, restful feel.’ The interior is furnished with pieces collected on the couple’s travels throughout Europe, from antiques shops and recycling centres to brocantes. ‘I like furniture with a story and enjoy giving old items a new lease of life by painting them.’ Now, with the farmhouse finished, Margret and Henk are thrilled with the result of their hard work. ‘It’s the house we always dreamt of, and the perfect setting for our Christmas celebrations,’ says Margret. ‘Decorating for the holidays is one of my favourite things to do, and I like to get creative and try something diferent each time. Last year, we had three Christmas trees, decorated simply with tiny, twinkling lights, as well as wreaths and groups of candles. It’s wonderful to share this fantastic space with family and friends at this time of year.’

MAIN BEDROOM A classic French-inspired scheme in soft shades creates a relaxing ambience. Try the Hadley sleigh bed, £995, Cotswold Company. Colette bench, £178, Maisons du Monde, is similar

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| 25B H

EUROPEAN ESCORTED TOURS Fascinating European tours that take you to the iconic highlights as well as lesser-known gems.



Eight days from £899PP

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Departures from April to October 2019

Departures from April to November 2019

PRICE INCLUDES Ă Discover hidden cultural treasures in the traditional villages of inland Sardinia Ă Explore medieval Alghero’s fascinating Catalan heritage on a guided tour Ă 7RXU ΖWDOLDQ LQXHQFHG %RQLIDFLR LQ )UHQFK &RUVLFD ZLWK DQ H[SHUW JXLGH Ă Admire the fabled Costa Smeralda’s picturesque coastal towns and villages Ă Marvel at the Santu Antine nuraghe Ă Discover the ancient Phoenician ruins at Tharros Ă Visit a family owned wine estate and enjoy a tasting of Sardinia’s wines Ă )HDVW RQ WUDGLWLRQDO 6DUGLQLDQ IDUH DW D IDPLO\ UXQ DJULWXULVPR D UXUDO UHVWDXUDQW serving dishes made with fresh, local produce Ă 5HWXUQ LJKWV IURP D VHOHFWLRQ RI UHJLRQDO DLUSRUWV SOXV DOO KRWHO WUDQVIHUV Ă Seven nights’ accommodation in four star hotels inclusive of all local taxes, with breakfast and four dinners Ă The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

PRICE INCLUDES Ä‚ Discover the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum with a local guide Ä‚ Delve deeper into the mysteries of Pompeii on a guided tour and visit the Naples Archaeological Museum Ä‚ 7DNH D IXOO GD\ WRXU RI WKH EUHDWK WDNLQJ $PDO FRDVW Ä‚ Spend the day visiting the stunning island of Capri Ä‚ Enjoy a walking orientation tour of Sorrento Ä‚ 5HWXUQ LJKWV IURP D VHOHFWLRQ RI UHJLRQDO DLUSRUWV SOXV DOO KRWHO WUDQVIHUV Ä‚ Seven nights in a choice of conveniently located accommodation rated three to four star superior, plus breakfast and dinner (stays at the Hotel Mediterraneo are on a bed and breakfast basis) Ä‚ The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout



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PRICE INCLUDES Ă Visit chic St Moritz in the heart of the Swiss Alps, with a journey on the Bernina Express, one of the world’s most spectacular alpine railway journeys Ă Take a lake cruise to stunning Bellagio on Lake Como, with a private visit to the enchanting Villa del Balbianello and its inspiring gardens Ă Spend a day visiting majestic Lake Maggiore, nestled between Italy and Switzerland Ă Enjoy a full day visit and guided tour of Bergamo, the most captivating medieval town in northern Italy Ă Visit Lugano, a stylish and elegant Swiss town by the lake Ă 5HWXUQ LJKWV IURP D VHOHFWLRQ RI UHJLRQDO DLUSRUWV SOXV DOO KRWHO WUDQVIHUV Ă Seven nights in a choice of well located four star accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, with breakfast and dinner (stays at the Grand Hotel Menaggio are on a bed and breakfast basis, with dining options available) Ă The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

PRICE INCLUDES Ă Tour wonderfully unique Venice with a local guide choose our classic or ‘undiscovered’ tour to uncover the less explored highlights Ă Enjoy an entire day exploring beautiful Lake Garda, both on land and by boat Ă Tour medieval Verona with a local guide and see its classic sights or choose our ‘undiscovered’ tour to delve into its lesser known gems Ă 6SHQG WKH GD\ LQ WKH EUHDWKWDNLQJ 'RORPLWHV VHHLQJ VRPH RI WKH QHVW DOSLQH scenery in the world Ă Enjoy two free days to further explore at leisure or relax and soak up the incredible scenery Ă 5HWXUQ LJKWV IURP D VHOHFWLRQ RI UHJLRQDO DLUSRUWV SOXV DOO KRWHO WUDQVIHUV Ă Seven nights in a choice of conveniently located accommodation rated three star to four star superior, with breakfast and dinner Ă The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Call 01283 743370 to book or for a free brochure, or visit TERMS & CONDITIONS: Additional entrance costs may apply. Prices are based on two people sharing and are correct at time of print. Single supplements may apply. 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 25 Beautiful Homes, published by TI Media Limited.

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 / 2 5 b e a u t i f u l h o m e s in association with

Pictured: Green Eyes & Pink Thoughts by Astrid Vos, limited edition print, 42cm x 59.4 cm £975

s to c k i s t s | 25bh

WHERE TO BUY Details of companies featured in the January issue


Abbott+Boyd Aedes Construction AKT Construction Amara Amazon Andrew Martin Andy Thornton Ardingly International Antiques & Collectors Fair Argos Arlington Direct Worksurfaces Artemis Asplund Aston Matthews Atlantic Shopping B&B Italia B&Q Barker and Stonehouse Barnbury Barnscroft of Devon Bathstore Below Stairs of Hungerford BoConcept Bright One kirstybrightone Brissi Bronte by Moon BSweden Bukowskis Buster+Punch Cable & Cotton Caesarstone Caroline Cobbold Casa Botelho Cassina Chaplins Charlotte Packe Chelsea Textiles Chhatwal & Jonsson Cimmermann Clearwater Baths Colefax and Fowler Cologne & Cotton Connox Cotterell & Co Cox & Cox CP Hart Crosswater Crystal Corner Cult Furniture Currys David Village Lighting de Le Cuona Delux Deco Desenio Design Interiors Design Matters Designer Paint Designer Wallpapers Designers Guild DFS Direct Stoves Discount Flooring Depot DM Lights Dobbies Garden Centres Domus Dove Mill Drummonds Dualit




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Marketplace Looking to buy something for your home? You’ll find it in our easy-to-follow guide


140 Gardens

141 Beds & Bedding

141 Stairlifts

139 Furniture

Why not visit our online interiors directory at housetohome.

Marketplace FURNITURE





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25bh | i d e a s to s h a r e

ROOM ENVY Each month we bring you a scheme that intrigues, delights and dazzles


ensington’s eccentric Blakes Hotel, considered the original boutique hotel, is a London institution. Tightlipped discretion and luxurious couture stylings have made the property a favourite with figures from across the worlds of Hollywood and high society, with Princess Margaret, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Moss all on the guest list of this sultry hideaway. Decor was overseen by influential hotelier and interiors maverick Anouska Hempel, a designer with perfected approaches to both zen-minimalism and all-out eclecticism. We adore the serenity of the hotel’s Corfu Suite, once named the most seductive hotel room in the world. The stuf of romantic legend, this tranquil bedchamber cossets guests in swathes of buf, taupe, and pristine ivory; a calming colour scheme that promises to unwind even the most highly strung of city folk. As the name would suggest, a 142 | 2 5 B H JA N UA RY 2019

Grecian vibe runs through the room set of by its pièce de résistance, a four-poster bed enfolded in seductive linen drapes that echo the billowing robes of a Greek goddess. Mother-of-pearl inlaid chests and white-stained furniture help set the calming tone, while a number of carved earthenware jars anchor the room to its Mediterranean influences. The look is completed with murals depicting classical architectural motifs, and a generous assortment of pure-white orchids. If you can tear yourself away from this white wonderland, venture downstairs for dinner in the restaurant, a chic space inspired by the old Turkish steamer boats that sail along the Bosphorus. Finish of this most decadent of evenings with a descent to Blakes Below, the hotel’s intimate basement bar where glamorous chinoiserie panels, sink-in banquettes and moody lighting are guaranteed to put a twinkle in any design-lover’s eye.


The Corfu Suite at the Blakes Hotel is a Greek chorus of cosseting drapes and calming hues

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

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

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