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NOTHING SIMILAR IS QUITE THE SAME

For a free copy of our brochure please call 01473 826931 or visit www.jim-lawrence.co.uk

L-R Ava £137 Orla £176 Mia £116


L I V E

T H E

L I F E . . . L O V E

T H E

S T Y L E

& INTERIORS

MELLOW MOMENTS Style inspired by summerÕs golden days ‘WE HELD A TEA-PARTY PROTEST’

CALM,HAPPY & ORGANISED COUNTRY-STYLE DESKS CHIC-RETREAT BEDROOMS SECRETS OF ORGANISED KITCHENS

Dream Homes

❖ IDYLLIC THATCHED COTTAGE ❖ GLAMOROUS FARMHOUSE ❖ COASTAL VILLA ❖ RUSTIC BARN CONVERSION

US$9.99/AUS$10.50/NZ$13

ECO ACTIVISM IN THE COTSWOLDS

SEPTEMBER 2019

£4.50

RECALL 05/09/2019


THE HOME OF

modern country

To find all stockists in this issue, turn to page 138

INTERIORS & INSPIRATION

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SEPTEMBER Things we can’t live without

13 DESIGN NEWS What’s new in interiors this month 68 SHOPPING TREND Bring an artisan touch to your home with woven wonders 75 • SEASONAL DECOR Hold on to summer with a home full of orchard hues, fresh flowers, rope and wicker 84 • MAKE A HOUSE A HOME Streamline your kitchen to make cooking as stress-free as can be 92 • BEDROOM IDEAS Make a style statement with these fresh decorating schemes 100 • CHOOSE THE BEST DESK You won’t want to keep these shut away in a home office 104 ROOM ELEMENTS Cosy up your home ready for chillier days with these plush carpets 109 KITCHEN PROJECT How one interiors enthusiast made her inexpensive kitchen look fancy

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COUNTRY HOMES 14 • DORSET FARMHOUSE Preserving this country pile’s rich history was top of the new owners’ to-do list 28 • BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTRY HOUSE This family had been determined to not take on another project, that is, until they saw this thatched beauty

• ON THE COVER

40 • CORNISH COASTAL VILLA Gorgeous sea views and the grand American-style architecture won the hearts of this design duo 51 • YORKSHIRE BARN Turning two small cottages into one large one means there’s plenty of room for this family and their horses PLUS GET-THE-LOOK IDEAS FOR EVERY HOME

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115 HOME TECH Take control of your heating with a smart meter

51


116 92 SEASONAL FOOD 131

IN A COUNTRY KITCHEN Our latest pantry additions

132

SUMMER IN PROVENCE Be transported to the Med with these simple French dishes

LIFESTYLE 60

MY COUNTRY BUSINESS She now has a shop, but Poppy Treffry started out in her bedroom

73

DESIGNER PROFILE Meet the duo behind pattern and print company, Barneby Gates

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• LOCAL HERO There’s no

GARDENS 116 VILLAGE GREEN A lush expanse of succulents and colour, this vicarage garden is even home to a beautiful stream

JUST FOR YOU 66

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SHOPPING DIRECTORY All the contact details and websites featured in this issue

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124 LIVE LIFE WELL Happy thoughts and ideas for fashion, eco, wellbeing and more 127 COUNTRY PASSION Sarah Hardman shares the joys of botanical printing 129 A WEEKEND AWAY In historic Cambridge 146 MY FAVOURITE VIEW Kate Humble climbs up the Skirrid whenever she can

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To find all stockists in this issue, turn to page 138 COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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& INTERIORS 161 MARSH WALL, LONDON E14 9AP TELEPHONE 020 3148 5000 EMAIL countryhomes@ti-media.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Vanessa Richmond GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR Georgia Hibberdine EXECUTIVE EDITOR Andrea Childs HOMES CONTENT TEAM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Rhoda Parry 020 3148 7180 COMMERCIAL EDITORIAL OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Jane Akers 020 3148 7313 HOUSES EDITOR Vivienne Ayers 020 3148 7194 SHOPPING EDITOR Holly Phillips 020 3148 7195 NEWS AND FEATURES EDITOR Thea Babington-Stitt 020 3148 7458 CONTENT EDITOR Tara King 020 3148 7196 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Sara Bird (Style) 020 3148 7181 OFFICE MANAGER Michelle Briant 020 3148 7154 GROUP CHIEF SUB-EDITOR/PRODUCTION EDITOR Sarah Farley HEAD OF SUBS OPERATIONS Maxine Clarke HUB CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Amy Hodge DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Jennie Filer

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

SUB-EDITOR Chloe Hay HEAD OF ART OPERATIONS Alison Walter DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Emma Jackson ACTING ART EDITOR Hannah Bennewitz ART EDITORS Melanie Brown and Paula Jardine SENIOR DESIGNER Christina McQuillan DESIGNER Charlotte Holland EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Nicola Tillman DEPUTY EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Clare Willetts MARKETING Head of Marketing Sian Cupid 020 3148 6487 Deputy Head of Marketing Laura Timms 020 3148 6239 PUBLISHING Group Managing Director, Lifestyle Angela O’Farrell EA to Group Managing Director Donna McConnell 020 3148 5651 PRODUCTION Group Production Manager Steve Twort 020 3148 5439 Production Manager John Botten 020 3148 5443 Advertising Production Co-ordinator Barry Skinner 020 3148 2538 Digital Producer Andrew Howe 020 3148 3366 CIRCULATION Circulation Manager Alan Edwards 020 3787 9161 ADVERTISING Publisher & Head of Homes Network Joanne O’Hara 020 3148 7642 Advertisement Manager Sharon Goode 020 3148 7631 International/Luxury Account Manager Carole Bunce 020 3148 7620 Classified Senior Sales Executive Charlotte Beckett 020 3148 2511 Creative Media Manager Emilie Morrissey 020 3148 3647 Assistant Syndication Manager Efi Mandrides 020 3148 5485 REGIONAL ADVERTISING Regional Sales Director Katrina Hutchison 0161 601 3720 Sales Manager (Inserts) Canopy Media Michael Davie 07446 903582


The mood of the moment:

(BACKGROUND) LEAF FLOWER WALLPAPER IN PALE BLUE, £170 A ROLL, ANNA JEFFREYS

STRETCHING OUT THE SUMMER

Vanessa x Have you found us on Instagram, yet? Follow @countryhomesmag to get a sneak peek at beautiful homes and the inside track on interiors-industry news, events and people. No influencers, just a gentle slice of idyllic country life to give you a little escapism every dayÉ


Things we canÕt live without...

SEPTEMBER

Keeping summer games traditions alive for every generation of the family! Outdoor tug-of-war set, £25; wooden boule set, £14; outdoor junior croquet set, £30; outdoor rounders set, £15; junior skittles, £25, all National Trust Shop

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C O U N T R Y D AY S

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Indian summer glamping-themed dinners! Stripe tablecloth in Blue/ White, £79; tumbler glass, £12; wine glass, £16; stripe napkin, £9.90; Icons dinner plate, £25, all Lexington

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4 1 Hand-printed softies with star potential! Celestial cushion cover in Blue Yellow, 42x42cm, £49.50, Cressida Bell 2 Loud and proud colours with a nostalgic nod. Personalised Bright Dahlias 3 pint jug, H17xDia 22cm, from £50.95, Emma Bridgewater 3 An artisan illumination for glowing soirees... Ira bamboo lantern, L25xW25xH30cm, £45, Hare & Home 4 Vintage-inspired designs on luxurious-finish seating. Whitworth leather two-seater sofa in Light Brown/Charcoal, H86xW122xD73cm, £1,850, Laura Ashley

Extending an alfresco evening after the sun goes down with on-command warmth... Zen outdoor fireplace, H169xL60xD40cm, £525, Nordic House

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6 8 7 5 Preserving memories of adventures... Shagreen frame in Arabian Ivory, from £415 for 10x15cm, Katharine Pooley 6 Radiant, multicoloured checks spreading joy across the table. Nadu napkin, 45x45cm, €12, Caravane 7 An authentic Indian lunch box to transport picnic nibbles. Brass tiffin pot, H24cm, £60, Ibbi 8 Storage for bits and bobs or planting with leafy growers. Seagrass wicker baskets with tassels, smallest D32x27, £104 for set of three, Madam Stoltz at WA Green COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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Dive-into textures of waffly, organic softness… Indigo quilt, £450; Matka cushion cover, £45; Grey linen jersey pillowcases, from £25 a pair, all Ecosophy. Cosy rose cushion, £40; Blush throw, £80, both Nisi Living. Nut brown linen cushion, £45, Oggetto. Slippers, £32; vegan cushion, £90, both Yonder.Living

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9 Colour-popping, glazed terracotta trio for tapas. Duo glaze bowls in White, Yellow & Landscape Blue, H5xDia10cm, £29 for three, West Elm 10 Refined design on modern weaves. York throw in Living Coral, £200, 120x220cm, Englana 11 Eye-catching colour and texture. Assorted glass vessels on paulownia tray, H15.5 x D25cm, £35 for set of 7, Bloomingville at Hurn & Hurn. 12 Oversized platters for rustic feasts! Presentation table with cast iron handles, H2.5xL60xW20cm, £55, T&G Woodware

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Fluffy stacks in cosy hues! Cotton jacquard towels in White, Twill, Coral, and Blue, 70x140cm, £24.99 each, Imperium11

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13 Hard-wearing designs inspired by grape- picking baskets. Sommant hanging planters in Black/Gold, largest H51xW46x D36cm, £295, Oka 14 Ceramic and matt glaze breakfast sets. Tea cup and saucer in Orange, H6.5xDia 12cm, £40, Hend Krichen 15 Pleated delights for bright, bold interiors. Silk sari shade in Red and Green, H28xDia40cm, £262.50, Joanna Wood 16 Beautifully turned English ash and sycamore with a playful toy twist! Spinning top bowl, H11xC22cm, £58, Nick Fraser at Kobi & Teal 10

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

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C O U N T R Y D AY S

Things we canÕt live without...

SAYING GOODBYE TO ❝ SUMMER AND HELLO TO AUTUMN WITH A VIBRANT HARVEST OF COLOUR AND TEXTURE

Blooming buckets of dazzling dahlias! Cornflower Plaster Pink crepe dress; Geo Brampton rose Warm Cream crepe midi dress, £75 each, Cath Kidston


NEW AND INTERESTING

DESIGN NEWS Yonder launches vegan silk cushions Sabra silk is a cruelty-free fabric made from cactus fibres, and the chosen material for Yonder’s new collection of super stylish vegan cushions. Showcasing the brand’s signature Moroccan-boho flair, they are available in a wanderlust-y selection of colours, patterns and sizes – we’ll take them all! Vegan cushion in Denim Blue, £52, Yonder.

REIMAGINED DESIGNS FROM MAY MORRIS The talents of May Morris, daughter of William and pioneering figure in embroidery, are revealed in the Melsetter collection, which features several reimagined and original designs. Walls in Melsetter, £295 for 3m, Morris & Co at Style Library.

OTTO TILES ACE THE GRAPHIC TILE TREND

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

It’s your move! Inspired by the ancient game of backgammon, Otto Tiles & Design has created this fun and stylish new motif. Featuring precise, interlocking triangles, these individually handcrafted pieces create a striking and graphic interior. Suitable for walls and floors, both indoors and out. Gammon encaustic cement tiles in Beige and White, £96sq m, Otto Tiles and Design.

INDIGENOUS SERVES UP NEW CERAMICS

Velvet luxe from Atkin and Thyme

Available in a rainbow of glazes, Indigenous’s new sharing plates and platters, from £32.40 each, are handmade in France using locally sourced clay for a wonderfully earthy, Mediterranean look. Mix and match colours to create a delicious spread (and we’re not talking about the food!).

We love these new chairs from Atkin and Thyme, which take the velvet trend and give it a distinctive twist with exposed mango wood frames and chic brass detailing. The blend of rich colours and soft wood tones is spot on for a modern country decorating scheme, and looks especially great in period properties and barn conversions. Fitzgerald armchair in Champagne Pink velvet, £499, Atkin and Thyme.

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HISTORY REVEALED The renovation of this farmhouse revealed a fascinating past that Stephanie and Steven Thorne were eager to preserve

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D O R S E T FA R M H O U S E

Exterior The house was built in the late 17th century, with some parts dating back to the early 1600s

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Living room The entrance hall doubles as an informal living area. Adam’s Eden wallpaper, Lewis & Wood. Coffee table, Flamant. Eva sofas, Neptune

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D O R S E T FA R M H O U S E

Kitchen A rustic inset ceiling brings a country cottage feel to the extension. Suffolk kitchen; lantern pendants, both Neptune

H

aving several hundred years of history to contend with always makes a house renovation more complicated. For Stephanie and Steven Thorne’s 17thcentury farmhouse, its epic age meant a challenging journey as the couple transformed the dated interior into a gracefully refined modern country home, learning plenty about its past along the way. The farmhouse, set romantically amid acres of Dorset countryside, was never going to be a project for the faint hearted, but Steve had learnt from the experience of two previous renovations. ‘I discovered it by chance while browsing a property website, but because I’d promised Steph that our existing home would be the last I’d renovate, I went to see it on my own first,’ says Steve. It was the height of summer and he was beguiled by the property with its extensive grounds. As soon as Stephanie was on board, the couple bought the house and began to plot its interior transformation. ‘Our previous projects had been more industrial in style and nowhere near as old as this house, so we wanted help to make sure we got it right,’ says Stephanie. ‘We love muted tones, neutrals and light blues for understated elegance, and we didn’t >

AT HOME WITH... Owners Stephanie Thorne and her husband Steve, who is the CEO of a creative company. They live here with Steve’s son Connor, 24, as well as identical twins Sienna and Nola, 13. There’s also Brodie and Bria, the family’s two golden retrievers, Troy the Pyrenean mountain dog, 10 hens and a tortoise named Dude. The family moved to the farmhouse three years ago.

House A 17th-century farmhouse with eight bedrooms.

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D O R S E T FA R M H O U S E

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OUR PREVIOUS PROJECTS HAD BEEN ❝ MORE INDUSTRIAL IN STYLE AND NOWHERE NEAR AS OLD AS THIS HOUSE. WE TOOK A LOT OF CARE TO MAKE SURE WE GOT THE DECOR RIGHT HERE

Sitting room An original off-centre fireplace remains a striking focal point in the more formal of the two living spaces. Juliette 815 chandelier, Estro. Banquette made in Layton Henna fabric, Romo COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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D O R S E T FA R M H O U S E

Dining room Stephanie pulled the accent colour for this space from a favourite painting, which takes pride of place. Artwork, Danielle O’Connor Akiyama


Boot room A dedicated space for cleaning up after muddy dog walks is a luxury Stephanie’s so glad she went for. Units, Neptune

Sitting room A few personal touches let the couple’s style shine. Lamp base painted in Radicchio estate eggshell, Farrow & Ball

want anything oppressive. The interior would have to be light and fresh with simple clean lines.’ They also wanted some touches of bolder colour and print, inspired by the creations of Kit Kemp and the couple’s favourite Crosby Street Hotel in New York. Another strong influence was the Lewis & Wood Adam’s Eden wallpaper, which they put in the living room and up the stairs. ‘It has blues, light aubergines and a lot going on, which made it hard to put up. In places the pattern had to be cut fastidiously to work on the walls,’ says Stephanie. The house had not been touched for years so the scope of the Thornes’ ambitions was extensive. ‘The roof needed to be repaired, we rewired, put in new plumbing and then discovered we needed to rebuild chimneys, replace the iron guttering and the downpipes, put in new windows and doors and replaster throughout,’ says Steve. They also discovered that the ground floor had been laid straight onto dirt so they had to take it up and excavate 120cm down before installing a new wooden floor. As more layers were stripped back from the house, its secrets began tumbling out to the great delight of Stephanie, a history lover. ‘It’s my dream just to spend all day rummaging through an old attic looking for treasure,’ she says. The house had been >

LIVING THE DREAM A lover of history, Stephanie has enjoyed delving into the rich past of her own home

Have you made any unusual finds? We found an entire tree trunk supporting a wall in the kitchen!

Have you seen photos of the house in the past? Our neighbour was born here and she has shared some of her family photos with us. We also have one of the house after the 1947 roof fire.

Does the house have any local connections? It has connections with Canford Manor (now Canford School) in Wimborne, the former home of Lord and Lady Wimborne, as well as the hamlet of Knighton, which is thought to have been a medieval deer park during the reign of King Edward III.

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D O R S E T FA R M H O U S E

Main bedroom The couple were inspired by the bold colours and patterns of Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels. Headboard in Bordeaux in Pivoine, Manuel Canovas


Twins’ bathroom Tongue-and-groove panelling creates a truly country house feel. Similar panelling, The Victorian Emporium

well cleared of the previous occupant’s belongings, but Stephanie did find old newspapers lining the shelves. ‘We read about the Queen when she was young. There were even pages referring to World War II,’ she says. The old servant bell system was also recovered and although it no longer works, the family has installed it in the kitchen as a tribute to its bustling past. In befriending a neighbour, they gleaned more about their country pile. ‘Previously, the roof had been thatched, but a fire destroyed it in 1947,’ says Stephanie. Another of the updates the Thornes made was to extend the kitchen with a two-storey oak frame that includes a boot room and a guest bedroom above. Two long runs of dark grey cabinetry and masses of white quartz worksurfaces meet the needs of the family, as well as creating a relaxed area for entertaining. ‘Guests can sit at each island, with the person cooking in between,’ says Steve. This beautiful project could have quelled Steve’s addiction to renovation for good. ‘I’m always on the lookout for the next project,’ he says. ‘But I’ve found myself falling in love with this house more and more. And we have just taken on chickens, so who knows?’ Interiors by simshilditch.com

ON OUR DOORSTEP Visit… ‘We love visiting Kingston Lacy (nationaltrust.org.uk/kingstonlacy), a National Trust-run 17thcentury country manor house with an extensive collection of art, Egyptian artefacts and exquisite formal gardens to explore.’ Shop at… ‘Individual Interior Design (individualinteriordesign.co. uk) in Westbourne. It has a wonderful selection of wallpapers, fabrics and furnishings. John Bell (Bell’s Fisheries, 01202 884754) is a wonderful fishmonger who knows all of his customers’ names and PJ Keating (pkeatingbutchers.co.uk) is my family butcher, both based in Wimborne.’ Go for a meal at… ‘We adore The Tickled Pig (thetickledpig.co.uk) in Wimborne. The food is delicious and the ingredients come from local Dorset suppliers.’

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D O R S E T FA R M H O U S E

TwinsÕ bedroom Sienna and Nola were meant to have separate bedrooms, but they insisted on sharing. Beds, The Bed Workshop; upholstered in Faded Dotty Butterflies fabric, Peony & Sage

WE LOVE ❝ UNDERSTATED

ELEGANCE SO WANTED THE INTERIOR TO BE FRESH WITH SIMPLE, CLEAN LINES

FEATURE JULIET BENNING PHOTOGRAPHS PAUL RAESIDE

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


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

ORANGERIES

|

GARDEN ROOMS

|

CONSERVATORIES

|

OAk BuIlDINGS

Call for our new brochure or book a home design consultation 01278 764444 davidsalisbury.com


GET THE LOOK

Be inspired by STEPHANIEÕS BEDROOM Keep your bedtime book, eye mask and sleep spray neatly tucked away. Clifton cabinet in Dove Grey, £375, Laura Ashley Illuminate your boudoir with this stylish metallic marvel, complete with a chic grey shade. Ella silver table lamp, H71x W19cm, £219, Lene Bjerre at Houseology

CH&I loves... FLORAL EMBROIDERY

Envelop yourself in this heritage-inspired cuddle of cosy softness and warmth. Cotswold mohair throw in Pewter, L190x135cm, £120, Neptune

Dress your bed to impress with a smart troupe of colour, pattern and texture! Watelet cushion, W60xD35cm, £51, Oka 26

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

Take the swish factor ceiling high with this sleeping beauty. Pimlico four-poster bed, H220xW147xL209cm, from £995, The White Company

Theodosia embroidery, £145m, Morris & Co at Style Library

CH&I

MODERN Country CLASSIC Ashdown in Cobblestone, £162m, Designers Guild

StephanieÕs style tip... INTRODUCE GRAND-SCALE PATTERN, COLOUR AND WOW FACTOR WITH A BESPOKE HEADBOARD

Blooming Marvellous in Multicolour, £110m, Baker Lifestyle

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Keep a simple posy of scented blooms on your bedside table. White vase, H22.5xDia 13cm, £18, Hudson Home


A different perspective…

Inflating prices to discount them later is simply something we’ll never do. For us, generosity is always about giving you something meaningful, for free. And that’s precisely what we’ll be doing this August... For full terms, visit neptune.com/kitchenoffer

FREE SINK CABINET When you spend £8,000


FOREVER HOME Plucking up the courage to tackle a major renovation, Helen and Paul Jackson turned an historic house into an idyllic family home

Exterior The faรงade has been revived with a fresh coat of paint. Front door in Pearl Colour, Little Greene. Tiles, Bert & May

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTRY HOUSE

Living room The original inglenook fireplace with its woodburning stove is a delightful focal point. Sofa and footstool, Laura Ashley. Rug, Loaf. Flowers, Fullers Flowers. Cushion in Peony & Sage’s Feather & Egg fabric, made by Clarabelle Interiors. Walls in All White, Farrow & Ball

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Kitchen Helen painted the reclaimed wooden bench a pale blue. Bench in Pearl Ashes, Fired Earth. Pendant lights, Shackletons Home & Garden. Cushions made by Clarabelle Interiors 30

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTRY HOUSE

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aving outgrown their chocolate-box cottage, Helen Jackson was adamant the next family home would definitely not be a building project. ‘With two young children and busy lives, my husband Paul and I were determined to find a house we could move straight into, with the minimum of fuss or upheaval,’ Helen recalls. ‘The thought of messy, dusty building work filled me with dread.’ But after hunting for a suitable property in Buckinghamshire, they drew a complete blank. ‘We were all so attached to our cottage, we knew it would be hard to find anything to compare, particularly since we’d deliberately restricted our search to a five-mile radius,’ she says. ‘This part of the world is beautiful. It’s perfect for Paul’s commute and the children are settled here.’ After many viewings, only one property held any appeal. ‘This thatched house ticked several boxes, including a large garden and garage,’ Helen says. ‘Despite its tranquil location and views, I was worried. A renovation on that scale would be a massive project – just what I hadn’t wanted. We agreed it wasn’t for us.’ Months later, the situation took a twist. ‘A visit from my in-laws coincided with an open weekend at the thatched house,’ says Helen. Viewing the property with a more open mind, as the Jacksons strolled from room to room, obstacles were replaced with opportunities. ‘We began to feel excited, realising that the house offered incredible potential,’ Helen adds. ‘The short-term inconvenience would result in a fantastic family home.’ Having discussed in detail how best to reconfigure the house, the couple snapped it up and contacted an architect. ‘We agreed that repositioning walls on the ground floor and incorporating Crittall doors in the living room would inject much more light and improve the downstairs flow,’ says Helen. ‘Plus, if we built out at the back, we could create a new utility room and enlarge the kitchen. We also felt the attic could be a wonderful playroom.’ They moved in February 2017 and began work while waiting for planning permission for the ground floor alterations. The black beams were stripped and, on the first floor, the bedrooms were decorated and bathrooms replaced. ‘That first phase was fairly straightforward and didn’t prepare me for what was to come,’ Helen reveals. ‘When the structural work to remove walls started downstairs, I remember walking in at the end of the first day and being aghast. It looked as though a bomb had gone off.’ Over the next few months, the couple and their builders worked tirelessly, bringing their vision to fruition as smoothly and quickly as possible. ‘It was really hard work,’ Helen recalls. ‘We stayed in a holiday cottage for just three weeks of the sixmonth project, but for the rest of the time, we were in the house. I became project manager by default and was inundated with build decisions.’ But by August, the work was complete. ‘When embarking on this journey, I dug deep and discovered that, despite its stresses, undertaking a major build project is incredibly rewarding,’ says Helen. ‘We love our thatched home and its rambling garden, where we’re enjoying making precious memories with Isaac and Emilia as they grow up.’

AT HOM E WI T H. . . Owner Helen Jackson, an interior designer, and her husband, Paul, who runs a corporate finance business. They live here with children Isaac, 10, and Emilia, six. The family moved here in 2017.

House A four-bedroom detached thatched house, built in 1910 and extended in 2011.

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Kitchen Contemporary and classic blend together beautifully in this light and airy space. Roman blind in Sky ticking by Ian Mankin. Cabinetry in Linen, deVOL. Milk clock, Newgate Clocks

WHEN EMBARKING ON THIS ❝JOURNEY, I DUG DEEP AND DISCOVERED THAT, DESPITE ITS STRESSES, UNDERTAKING A MAJOR BUILD PROJECT IS INCREDIBLY REWARDING

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTRY HOUSE

ON MY DOOR ST EP... Visit… ‘Waddesdon Manor (national trust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor), near Aylesbury, is a favourite. The children love the woodland play area.’

Shop at… ‘Big Sky (bigskygtmissenden.com) in Great Missenden. This gem of an interiors store sells a constantly changing range of fabulous, unique pieces. My go-to florist is Fullers Flowers (fullersflowers. co.uk) in Princes Risborough. They sell the most stunning arrangements.’

Go for a meal at… ‘The Angel Restaurant (angelrestaurant.co.uk) at Long Crendon. It’s brimming with character, has a relaxed atmosphere and an excellent menu.’

Study A dark feature wall was chosen for the couple’s study. Walls in Dock Blue, Little Greene. Desk, The Dormy House

Living room Helen zoned the L-shaped room to create an inviting space. Mirror, Nordic House. Cabinet and stool, The Old Flight House

Living room New Crittall doors contrast perfectly with the antique French chair. Chair, Home Barn

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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WE REALISED THAT THE HOUSE ❝ OFFERED INCREDIBLE POTENTIAL.

THE SHORT-TERM INCONVENIENCE WOULD RESULT IN A FANTASTIC FAMILY HOME

Dining room A bargainfind sandstone fireplace, bought on eBay for £150, has been cleverly teamed with panel-effect wallpaper. Table, Home Barn. Runner, Maison Brocante. Floor tiles, Floors of Stone. Flowers, Fullers Flowers

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTRY HOUSE

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTRY HOUSE

IT’S SUCH A TRANQUIL SPOT. ❝ THE VIEWS FROM OUR TERRACE

ARE INCREDIBLE, PARTICULARLY THE BREATHTAKING SUNSETS

Main bedroom The restful palette was inspired by Helen’s favourite Cabbages & Roses fabric. Curtains and cushions in Hatley Dove, Cabbages & Roses. Quilt, The White Company. Bedside table, Loaf. Walls in Blackened, Farrow & Ball

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

FEATURE JANET MCMEEKIN PHOTOGRAPHS JEREMY PHILLIPS


Isaac’s bedroom The star fabric inspired this theme. Quilt, Great Little Trading Company. Blinds, Peony & Sage. Rug, Cox & Cox

Emilia’s bedroom Patchwork and stars combine to create a pretty pink scheme. Wallpaper, Peony & Sage. Bedside table in Pointing, Farrow & Ball

LIVI NG TH E DR EAM As an antidote to her and her husband’s busy lives, Helen Jackson wanted to create an interior with a soothing atmosphere.

Why did you choose a neutral palette? ‘I can’t stand clutter and prefer living in a home that feels calm and restful – hence the decision to go for a neutral, tranquil backdrop.’

Any other advantages? ‘Yes. I find that a neutral backdrop ensures that one room flows seamlessly into another.’

How has this worked? ‘The pared-back palette is fantastic as it means I can easily ring the changes with accessories, such as cushions and throws.’

How did you bring in texture? ‘I love wood and have left exposed many of the wooden beams, lintels and even the mantelpiece. I’m also a big fan of sheepskins, which are dotted around for a homely touch.’

En suite Wood panelling adds character and warmth. Panelling in Wimborne White, Farrow & Ball. Basin and wall lights, eBay

Family bathroom Pom-pom trims add a fun touch to this scheme. Floor tiles, Floors of Stone, Roman blind, Laura Ashley. Antique stool in Elephant’s Breath, Farrow & Ball

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GET THE LOOK

Be inspired by HELEN’S OFFICE Shine a light on your task with an adjustable classic. Firstlight Lighting Hampton desk lamp in brushed chrome, H45cm, £114, Luxury Lighting Count down to the weekend with this shiny and structured wall feature. Quad chrome wall clock by Newgate, H40xW40cm, £125, Heal’s

Drape this cosy layer over your office chair to make email marathons enduringly comfortable! Ludde sheepskin in Off-White, L90cm, £30, Ikea

Keep the art of the written word alive with this stylish set. Box of assorted pencils by Monograph, £15.99 for six, Trouva

CH&I loves...

HelenÕs style tip... CREATE A WORKSPACE THAT MOTIVATES YOU BY MAKING A WALL DISPLAY JAMMED WITH POSITIVE AND INSPIRING QUOTES CH&I

MODERN Country CLASSIC

Channel a Best Of British approach with this patriotic accent, handmade using traditional embroidery skills. Union Jack cushion, H35x W48cm, £75, Jan Constantine 38

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

Brinjal modern emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

Add a touch of class to the daily grind with this timeless piece, which combines an exquisite hand-distressed finish and bronzed hardware. Signature desk in Grey, H74xW120xD60cm, £319, Bauhaus at CFS

Dock Blue matt emulsion, £50 for 2.5L, Little Greene

Mercer Green emulsion, £42 for 2.5L, Abigail Ahern

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Tall, slim and just the thing to fit into tight spaces, this rustic addition provides plenty of storage courtesy of five deep drawers. Zelah oak fivedrawer tallboy, H129xW55xD40cm, £319, Roseland Furniture

DARK AND MOODY PAINTS


Treat your walls to Earthborn Our luxurious eco paint helps your walls breathe. So you can create beautiful spaces that are healthier for you and your home. Come and find out more at earthbornpaints.co.uk

 Colour shown: Hobgoblin


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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


C O R N I S H C O A S TA L V I L L A

Exterior The first floor of the elegant Edwardian house has a large main suite. There are three more en suite bedrooms on the more spacious ground floor

THE CALL OF THE OCEAN

Beautiful views of the sea made this elegant house in a pretty Cornish fishing village irresistible to Emma and John Sims Hilditch


42 COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


C O R N I S H C O A S TA L V I L L A

WE BASED OUR PALETTE ON THE ❝ SEASIDE SETTING – THERE ARE BLUES, OF

COURSE, BUT ALSO RICH BROWNS, CRISP GREENS AND HINTS OF ORANGE-PINK

Living room Soft shades of white make this a comfortable place in which to relax. Walls in Shaded White estate emulsion; Farrow & Ball. Bespoke curtains and blinds, Sims Hilditch; in Chukka Tusk, De Le Cuona. Oak flooring; Long Island sofa; Manhattan coffee table; Alex footstool in Ewan Stone fabric; all Neptune


Kitchen Pale, glossy surfaces bounce light around this space. Nice and Easy wall tiles, Marlborough Tiles. Old English White marble worktops; Tennyson pendants in white; Montague high-back bar stools in Silver Birch, all Neptune

R

ugged coastlines, azure seas, quaint villages… Cornwall holds a special place in many hearts and it is no different for Emma Sims Hilditch. She visited many times as a girl, spending bucket-and-spade holidays in St Mawes, and later returned regularly with her husband, John, and their three children, Daisy, Betty and Billy. Passionate sailors, Emma and John loved exploring the coast of the Roseland peninsula. ‘One afternoon, we were moored in an estuary near St Mawes when we spotted a house for sale,’ says Emma. ‘We had been considering buying a holiday home in the area and the property instantly ignited our interest. Inside, it was full of charm and elegance, and its location and glorious sea views won us over. We made an offer immediately.’ The couple bought the house in 2014 and began an extensive renovation. Emma, who runs an interior design company, and John, co-founder of Neptune, knew just what they wanted. ‘The house was in good condition, but we wanted to turn it into a family retreat,’ explains Emma. ‘Although our children are now grown up, we wanted to meet them there as often as possible, so comfort, convenience and a feeling of calm were our priorities. The biggest alteration was to the internal layout. Emma and John added en suite bathrooms to the three >

44 COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

AT HOME WITH... Owners Interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch and husband John, co-founder of furniture company Neptune, who bought the house as a holiday home in 2014.

House Four-bedroom detached villa, built in 1910


C O R N I S H C O A S TA L V I L L A

Dining area Fitted wall-to-wall storage provides plenty of space to stash crockery and glassware. Chichester dresser; Suffolk dining table, both Neptune. Table legs painted in De Nimes, Farrow & Ball


C O R N I S H C O A S TA L V I L L A

Main bedroom The sea views are gorgeous from this first-floor balcony. Chichester bed, upholstered in Cabbages & Roses’ Constance fabric, Neptune. Bespoke cushions, Sims Hilditch; in Maremma Rigato fabric, C&C Milano

ground-floor bedrooms, created an L-shaped, open-plan living/dining area with a woodburning stove and installed a simple kitchen. On the small first floor, they turned an office with a balcony and stunning sea views into a main suite, replacing the impractical, open-tread staircase that led to the space with a conventional one, and adding a large bathroom. The discovery of asbestos in the fabric of the building delayed the project by a few weeks, but they were able to move in at the beginning of autumn 2015. When she was designing the interior, Emma puzzled over how to create a contemporary British seaside feel while avoiding clichéd nautical or ocean references. The answer lay in observing the surrounding landscape. ‘Using blues is obvious,’ she says. ‘But when you look closely at the natural environment nearby, there is a whole range of other colours, too, including rich browns, crisp greens and hints of orange-pink. I chose a palette of cool, but not stark, whites, layered to create subtle tonal variations, together with soft blue-greys. Keeping the base colours neutral created a feeling of space, and then I added accents in stronger hues. We painted some furniture in the sitting room and dining area, and it has a real strength and contrast against the white backdrops. In some lights it looks grey, in others blue, and occasionally green. We > 46 COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

LIVING THE DREAM For Emma and John Sims Hilditch, buying a coastal holiday home meant they could enjoy the sea and indulge their passion for sailing

How do you spend a typical day sailing? We enjoy being out on the water for most of the day, so we’ll pack a picnic lunch and spend the day on the boat.

Where’s your favourite place to sail in Cornwall? The coast around St Mawes, where the Percuil River meets the Carrick Roads, is just so stunning.

What’s the best time of day for enjoying the sea view from your house? The evenings are beautiful, with the colours changing in the sky and the sun glimmering on the sea.


Main ensuite Emma and John converted an office into their first-floor bedroom and bathroom. Similar pebble-effect flooring, Michelangelo MS1 Galician Quartz, Karndean Designflooring

Hallway Plenty of space for boots, hats and baskets. Pembroke fitted storage, painted in Fog, Neptune

Guest bedroom All the ground floor rooms look onto the gardens. Headboards, Neptune; upholstered in Brera Lino fabric, Designers Guild. Broadstripe blanket in Indigo, Melin Tregwynt

I ADDED FURNITURE IN GLASS ❝AND METAL TO BRING IN THE

REFLECTIVE QUALITY OF WATER, LIKE SEA GLINTING IN THE SUN


C O R N I S H C O A S TA L V I L L A

Coastal escape

The house sits on the coast near the ancient fishing village of St Mawes, where the Cornish scenery is stunning

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ON OUR DOORSTEP Visit… ‘St Mawes Castle (englishheritage.org.uk/visit/places/stmawes-castle), built on one side of the Fal Estuary. The views are idyllic, taking in the Carrick Roads and St Anthony lighthouse, plus Falmouth and Pendennis Castle.’

Shop at… ‘Onda (ondarocks. co.uk) in St Mawes. The luxurious but wearable clothes here are so beautiful, and the shop has a wonderful selection of designers.’ Go for a meal at… ‘Hotel Tresanton (tresanton.com), a beautiful place by the sea in St Mawes. You can eat in the candlelit restaurant, on the terrace or in the Dog’s Bar, which has an open fire and board games.’

FEATURE KATHERINE SORRELL PHOTOGRAPHS ANYA RICE

love that the colour changes with the light.’ Another essential element of the decor is textural contrast. ‘I added chunky, woven textures and furniture in glass and metal,’ says Emma. ‘Natural materials have a beautiful character and I used them as much as possible, from oak floors to linen curtains and wool throws.’ Added to the mix are piles of books, collections of pebbles and sea shells, ornaments that the family have collected over the years, and a variety of works of art – some of them paintings by the couple’s daughter, Daisy, who is a professional artist. Now the house is finished, one of Emma’s favourite things about her holiday home is the incredible views of the St Mawes estuary and coastline, which are visible from almost every aspect of the house. In the mornings, the light is fresh and bright, while in the evenings it is mellow and peaceful – especially enjoyable from the lounge chairs on the patio. Emma and John, whose main home is in Wiltshire, try to spend at least one weekend a month in Cornwall, and more often in the summer. ‘The house is so close to the coastal path and to the beach,’ says Emma. ‘When I’m in St Mawes, I feel as if I’m cut off from the rest of the world. It’s a very special place, full of memories that will always be dear, and always a source of inspiration.’


GET THE LOOK

Be inspired by EMMA’S DINING ROOM Lift your dining table scheme with plain, but oh-so-lovely, linens in chalky pastels. Hemstitch linen napkin in Light Blue, £8, Sofi Linen

Bring the essence of a beautiful English garden to the table with a life-like touch of petal prettiness. Artificial roses in waisted glass vase, H36cm, £150, Peony at John Lewis & Partners Stack and display gleaming towers of fine white bone china – just because… Gio dinnerware, £275 for a 16-piece set, Wedgwood

CH&I loves... RUSTIC CEILING PANELLING

EmmaÕs style tip... A BEAUTIFULLY ORGANISED DRESSER FILLED WITH CROCKERY AND SPARE LINENS MAKES FOR AN ATTRACTIVE AND CH&I PRACTICAL FOCAL MODERN Country FEATURE

Bijou reclaimed wood panels in Creek Blue, £126.34sq m, Plaank

Perk up seating with comfy pops of sunshine to perfectly complement wooden, metal or woven furniture. Serena Steel Sunshine seat pad, £14, Laura Ashley

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

CLASSIC

Abundant with gorgeous natural features, super shapely legs and your choice of colour-painted finish, this is the perfect modern-rustic addition to the kitchen or dining room. Rustic oak dining table in Teal, L120x W91cm, £1,095, Farmhouse Table Co

Featuring a sweeping skirt for a traditional feel, this simple design will fit just as snugly in a contemporary setting. Havana Lloyd Loom chair in Silver Birch, £245, Neptune

Quercia Bianco panels, £18.51sq m, IPSL

Driftwood oak wood-effect tiles, £30sq m, Stone Tile Company

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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The beauty of bespoke curtains Custom-made to fit your windows perfectly

Elegantly transform your windows with hand finished custom-made curtains from Thomas Sanderson. Discover our bespoke service with contemporary designs and flawless installation for inspirationally dressed windows.

Book a personal design consultation: 0800 688 8118 or visit thomas-sanderson.co.uk


YORKSHIRE BARN

YORKSHIRE PRIDE Turning two halves of a neglected barn into one space was a huge task for Tracy and Ron Stark but it gave them the perfect family home

TV room Tracy used warm neutrals and patterned cushions for a cosy look. Sofa, Eastburn Country Furniture. Walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s Dovetail. Cushions, all Susie Watson Designs

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Dining room The fireplace contrasts beautifully with the dark grey wall. Wall painted in Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball. Floor, engineered oak from Eastburn Country Furniture. Pendant light, Laura Ashley

R

enovating a barn that was half rundown house and half milking stalls is not a challenge many would relish, but Tracy and Ron Stark did just that. The couple first spotted the property for sale 12 years ago. Located just across the valley from them, in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales, it was a must-see. ‘The barn was for sale in two lots,’ says Tracy. ‘One part was a three-bedroom cottage, while the rest was milking stalls for sale with planning permission to convert into a four-bedroom house. ‘We visited it on a sunny day and just fell in love with the views across the valley, as well as the fact it came with five acres of land,’ Tracy continues. ‘We knew if we bought both lots we could create one house with plenty of room for our two girls, then aged seven and six, to run around in. We’d also have space to keep horses.’ The family lived in a rented house for a year while the cottage part of the property was done up. An architect was brought in to draw up plans for both phases of the work. ‘We knew we couldn’t do all the renovation at once – partly due to the cost and also because there was so much to do,’ says Tracy. Firstly a new roof was needed and larger hardwood windows were installed to bring in more light. Inside, the house was taken back to bare brick, with some >

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

AT HOME WITH... Owners Tracy Stark works for Susie Watson Designs, and her husband Ron is retired. They live here with their daughters Lola, 19, and Sasha, 18, both at university, plus boxer Nelly, pug Delilah, and horses Noddy and Dillon.

House Barn originally built in 1842, now has four bedrooms.


YORKSHIRE BARN

Dining room A striped rug livens up the wooden floor. Rug, Ikea. Walls painted in Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball. Dresser, Eastburn Country Furniture. Wooden trays, Laura Ashley


Kitchen Tracy has injected shots of colour with blue-grey tiles and a painted island. Splashback tiles, Fired Earth. Cabinets, Eastburn Country Furniture. Island painted in De Nimes, Farrow & Ball. Range cooker, Aga

internal walls removed. Damp-proofing was put in and underfloor heating laid and the house was rewired. To improve the layout, the three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs were converted into two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downstairs, there were two kitchens and two living rooms, as the previous owners lived with a dependent relative. Tracy and Ron decided to convert one of the kitchens into a utility room, while the second living room became a dining room. The couple moved the front door to the other side of the house for easier access, and incorporated the original entrance hall into one of the kitchens to create a larger space. The chimney between the kitchen and the dining room was opened up, which meant putting in RSJs to support the ceiling, then all the beams had to be sandblasted. In addition, the septic tank was replaced and a new borehole created to supply water for the family. The walls were all insulated, too, ensuring that the house stays warm, even in the depths of winter. The family lived in the house for five years before starting the second phase – converting the milking stalls. ‘Our aim was to tie both houses together,’ says Tracy. The work differed from the first phase as the property consisted of just four external walls. ‘We knocked out the milking stalls first,’ she says. Internal > 54

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

LIVING THE DREAM For Tracy and Ron, renovating a barn meant they could create a house that perfectly suits family life

Any tips for anyone converting a barn? ‘Less rooms, more space! Don’t be tempted to sacrifice the integrity of the barn by carving it up into too many rooms as the space needs to be seen to be appreciated.’

What was the hardest part of the project? ‘We had to dig a borehole 30 metres deep to find where the water table was. We also used divining rods to find the exact spot where water was located – I had a go and it was incredible to feel them twitch!’

What has worked best? ‘Leaving the entrance open to the roof means that the sense of space is quite dramatic – it is 10 metres high from floor to roof.’


YORKSHIRE BARN

Main bedroom

WE’RE GLAD WE DIDN’T ❝ SPLIT THE HOUSE INTO TOO

Hallway A metal-framed mirror adds a decorative touch. Mirror, Angel & Boho. Sideboard, Eastburn Country Furniture. Lamps and shades, Susie Watson Designs

MANY ROOMS – SPACE HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE APPRECIATED

A king-size bed is the focal point here. Bed, find similar at Wayfair. Walls painted in Rose Mallow, Fired Earth. Cushions, Susie Watson Designs. Bench, Eastburn Country Furniture

Bathroom Exposed stone creates a rustic feature. Bath, Duravit; with walnut surround, Regal Interiors. Mosaic tiles, Fired Earth


YORKSHIRE BARN

Exterior Tracy with Nelly the boxer, Delilah the pug and horses Noddy and Dillon, and a neighbour’s horse

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

ON OUR DOORSTEP Visit… ‘Bolton Abbey (boltonabbey.com) is simply beautiful for a walk with the family and dogs.’

Shop at… ‘Susie Watson Designs (susiewatsondesigns.co.uk) in Harrogate, where we pride ourselves on making friends with our customers and giving the best possible service. Also, Isherwoods Butchers (isherwoodsbutchers.co.uk) in Silsden, which sells meat reared locally in the Airedale Valley, specialising in Aberdeen Angus beef. Also Keelham Farmshop (keelhamfarmshop.co.uk) in Skipton.’ Go for a meal at… ‘The Devonshire Brasserie at Bolton Abbey (boltonabbey.com/shop-eat/ eat/brasserie) is fabulous, with really good food in lovely surroundings. However, nothing beats Sunday lunch in The Woolly Sheep Inn (woollysheepinn.co.uk) in Skipton.’

FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS PHOTOGRAPHS MARK NICHOLSON

walls were then built and a new staircase and first floor added. ‘We opened up the entrance area to the roof trusses to make a real statement as you enter the house,’ says Tracy. ‘We wanted to maintain the integrity of the barn and being able to see the exposed beams was key – it gives an idea of the space and scale here.’ It was important to Tracy that the property retained its integrity and looked like an authentic barn conversion. She incorporated lots of natural materials, including slate and oak floors, while as much original stonework as possible was exposed, creating feature walls in the living room, cinema room and two of the bathrooms. Tracy was also keen to create an eclectic decor throughout the house. ‘I don’t like things that match,’ she says. ‘I prefer furniture and accessories to have a history and I’ve incorporated pieces collected over the years.’ The paintwork is important, too, and the largely neutral backdrop is punctuated with deep-toned feature walls and occasional pops of colour. ‘The house has definitely justified all the hard work – it’s an amazing place to live,’ says Tracy. ‘We grow our own fruit and vegetables and we’ve been able to keep hens. Living here is the best of both worlds – it’s easy to get to Leeds and Manchester, yet we’re in the country with everything on our doorstep.’


cordless power. made by STihl.

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LONDON

GUILDFORD

WILMSLOW

SOLIHULL

ST ALBANS


GET THE LOOK

Be inspired by TRACY’S LIVING ROOM Create a cosy glow with candlelight… Stone-based hurricane lantern, H30xDia14cm, £16.95, Baytree Interiors

Introduce this country character to a blank wall for a charming accent feature. Cowslip hare canvas, 70x70cm, £89.95, Nicola Jane Rowles

Welcome texture, pattern and colour with a wonderful Indian flatweave. Osborne rug in Beige/Multi, 152x243cm, £575, Wicklewood

Hand-cut petals and leaves appliquéd onto linen and finished with embroidery. Echinacea cushion, 50x40cm, £64, Susie Watson Designs

CH&I loves... NEUTRAL PAINTS Sink into sumptuous bliss on this deepbuttoned beauty. Bagsie sofa in Cobble house fabric, H83xW241xD112cm, £1,895, Loaf

Soft Truffle matt emulsion, £35 for 2.5L, Laura Ashley

CH&I

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Show off low-fuss fronds. Fern in pot, H30xW30x D30cm, £19.99, Bay Isle Home at Wayfair

MODERN Country CLASSIC

This rustic lovely features an antique white finish. Strasbourg coffee table, H45xW90xD60cm, £179.99, Chiltern Oak Furniture

TracyÕs style tip...

CHOOSE A HOMELY SCHEME FULL OF CHARM WITH A PALETTE OF SOOTHING, CHALKY NEUTRALS AND NATURE-INSPIRED PATTERNS ON TACTILE TEXTILES

Dun Beag matt, £24.50 for 2.5L, Isle of Skye Paint Company

Straw claypaint, £43 for 2.5L, Earthborn

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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❝I started with £200 and a sewing machine that blew all the fuses in the house❞

M

TEXTILE DESIGNER POPPY TREFFRY

aking a living from sewing her own sketches was just one of the ideas Penzance-based designer Poppy Treffry had when she finished college. Fortunately, Poppy’s early ideas, based on her drawings of Cornish scenery, nature and the charm of seaside living, created a lot of interest. Soon she had a successful home accessory brand on her hands and the belief she could establish her own creative path in life. ‘After my degree doing textiles and a stint helping creative cooperative companies launch themselves abroad, I ended up back at home exploring career options,’ explains Poppy. ‘It was then that I developed a way to machine-stitch my sketches on to home accessories.’ With a portfolio of drawings shuffled through and selected, the process of bringing the images to life began. ‘I started off cutting materials on a large wooden board on my bed and using an old sewing machine, which would short-circuit my dad’s house,’ recalls Poppy. ‘But the machine embroidery brought lots of character to my

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work and after spending time creating a collection, I was able to show my ideas.’ A business adviser saw these early designs at a friend’s gallery on the Isles of Scilly. Spotting a gap in the market for such original pieces, she offered to help and booked Poppy’s first trade fair slot at The British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate. Within a week a workshop had been found and less than a year later, Poppy was able to give up a part-time job and devote all her time to making and selling her products. Having only £200 to spend when she started, the brand’s early development relied on finding vintage and upcycled resources, so Poppy scoured charity shops, remnant boxes and sales for fabrics and vintage sewing machines. While originally this approach was to save money, they have now become part of the character of the brand. ‘Not long in, I got a loan from the Prince’s Trust for £1,000, which was a life saver and fundamentally changed my thinking on how I ran the company,’ says Poppy. ‘I had to write a business plan, I was mentored, they gave me pricing advice. They also introduced me to other makers, taught me how to market >


MY COUNTRY BUSINESS

Poppy started her business from her bedroom with an old sewing machine COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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What I love most about my work...

THE RESPONSE WHEN PEOPLE COME AND VISIT THE ❝ SHOP. THEY ARE JUST THRILLED TO SEE MY PRODUCTS UP CLOSE. IT’S LIKE THEY ARE IN A SWEETIE SHOP!❞ myself and importantly, to believe in myself. It was great support to have.’ Poppy did a lot of market research on where her products could sell. Local galleries were an obvious place to start and she spoke with a number of different makers for recommendations. ‘There are a good number of artisans and crafters here and we’re all very supportive. I had a number of people I could ask about where was the best place to be seen, what the mark-up was and if galleries supported and promoted artists,’ explains Poppy. ‘When I first started I hadn’t envisaged where else my accessories could be sold, but after going to trade fairs my eyes were opened.’ Realising the sales potential went far further than just the local market, Poppy in her studio, where the designs are brought to life

researching different shopping experiences and the overseas market was hugely exciting and a great way for Poppy to get her homeware to a wider audience. ‘There were concessions areas in department stores to explore and the growth in mail order, especially beyond the UK which has been extremely successful,’ says Poppy. Beginning with sewing machine-embroidered pieces including tea cosies, bags and cushions for the first few years, before going into printed textiles, it was clear that Poppy would need to get extra workers on board to keep up with demand. ‘Early on, my sister helped me with the sewing side of things,’ says Poppy. ‘I wasn’t sure at first about someone else replicating my work, but I showed examples and no one else could see the difference! Even now with the people who work in the studio, I can tell it’s not my hand, but I’m the only one who can.’ There’s been lots to celebrate along the way, from opening the shop to emails from happy customers. The latest highlight is the launch of a new collection featuring St Michael’s Mount, a popular attraction off the coast of Cornwall, accessible by foot at low tide. Poppy’s island sketches have been made into accessories which are sold in the island’s shop. ‘It’s such a celebrated and iconic place, which locals are very proud of, so it was thrilling to be asked to work with them,’ says Poppy. As the company and family has grown, there is now a team of 12 – plus daughter Bibba, who regularly visits the studio with her dad. Poppy is still the creative force behind the company and products, as well as being a mum. ‘I used to wonder about making the company bigger, but have realised that it’s the right size and it’s vital that my family and the brand can cohabit,’ says Poppy. ‘I hope we’ve set a good example in the pros of doing something you love and having a healthy work life balance.’ Poppy Treffry Shop, 42 Fore Street, St Ives TR26 1HE, 01736 795494, poppytreffry.co.uk

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MY COUNTRY BUSINESS

Bolts of fabric ready to be turned into beautiful homeware and accessories

A pinboard of ideas offers inspiration in a corner of the office

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ON OUR DOORSTEP... Visit… ’The iconic island St Michael’s Mount (stmichaels mount.co.uk). A beautiful setting off the Cornish coast with a castle, gardens and tiny harbour. Reached on foot when the causeway is at low tide, it’s a magical place.’ Shop at… ‘The great interiors boutique No. 56 in

Penzance (no-56.com). It sells beautiful homeware, clothing and gifts from small scale producers and craftspeople.’

Go for a meal at… ‘The lovely Mackerel Sky in Newlyn (mackerelskycafe.co.uk). It specialises in freshly caught local fish served in a type of Cornish tapas style.’

Poppy walking along Marazion beach with the famous landmark St Michael’s Mount behind her


MY COUNTRY BUSINESS

HOW TO PRICE UP your products FOLLOW OUR GUIDE TO TURNING YOUR PASSION INTO PROFIT

FEATURE AND STYLING SARA BIRD PHOTOGRAPHS DAN DUCHARS BOTH THE CONTENTED NEST

POPPY LEARNT ABOUT PRICING EARLY ON when setting up her home accessory business. ‘I applied for a loan from the Prince’s Trust and a business guru helped me define the whole financial structure from the beginning,’ says Poppy. ‘Being creative doesn’t mean that you can’t think fiscally, and she helped me narrow things down.’ HOW TO PRICE UP YOUR BUSINESS Be mathematical and practical about pricing up. It removes the emotional strings and really simplifies how to work out what you could earn. List and sum up what you can live on or what you want to live on. Add up what it costs to run the business, including rates, rent, staff and materials. Work out honestly how much time is spent creating products per week and decide how much you want to have as profit and how much you want to invest back into the business. ‘I added all this up and divided down into earnings versus time spent and I could see the business was viable, which was really important,’ says Poppy. ‘Remember the minimum wage exists for all, not just employees, and if you end up working all

hours for little return then maybe your products should just be kept as a hobby rather than a business.’ BE REALISTIC ABOUT PRODUCT PRICING It’s really important to be aware of how many hours are spent making versus the cost to purchase an item. Beautifully created pieces have to be commercially viable, too. Best practice in business is to be honest with regards to worth and effort. If a project takes too much time and the price point spirals, then it might not being worth pursuing from a business point of view. TREAT WHOLESALE CLIENTS THE SAME AS RETAIL Matching wholesale price mark-ups for trade clients with those that Poppy sells in her own shop keeps things clear between all sales methods. ‘It wouldn’t be good to undercut and it’s all about supporting each other and having relationships between buyers,’ says Poppy. ‘I look at wholesalers like Notonthehighstreet.com, who host many other crafters, as a good gauge with regards to pricing so that I know I am being fair.’

THE VALUE OF DISCOUNTS AND SALES Offering items for lesser amounts is a good way of clearing old stock or slow-selling items but should be a short-term and succinct activity. It might conjure up interest and produce sales, but long-term promotions devalue the brand and products. Think about having a loyalty system for regular customers. Poppy rewards her customers with stamps on a card. Incentives could be vouchers, a discount, or a free selected item worth a certain amount. MANAGING STAFF PAYMENTS Banding is a good way to price employee’s roles, especially if a member takes on lots of jobs. Work out how much time staff should be spending on certain tasks they manage. Pay any makers a piecework rate with the expected quality standards of handcrafted products clearly stated. Setting a goal for the numbers of products expected means makers can’t over deliver if a business can only afford so much. For more help on running a business, try thecreativebusiness network.com and princestrust.org.uk for information.

The one lesson I’ve learnt...

THE SMALLEST THINGS ARE IMPORTANT, SUCH AS PUTTING ALL YOUR CONTACT DETAILS ON EVERYTHING YOU SEND AND GIVE OUT. NO DETAILS MEANS NO DEAL

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CH&I loves... HOMESPUN WEAVES

Weave the way to a handmade home with artisan makes that show off texture and natural materials

For a feature display with a difference, use an ensemble of woven baskets arranged at staggered heights to create interest. Multi/Mandala large wall baskets, ÂŁ30 each; Multi/ Mandala/Tile small wall baskets, ÂŁ25 each, all French Connection Home


SHOPPING TREND

MAKE IT COUNTRY Skilfully crafted handmade pieces revive traditional country skills and offer must-touch appeal in today’s automated world. Plait an abundance of texture and interest into your space and choose furniture with cane and basket-weave details. Let unique textiles and upholstery satisfy the senses with their tactile appeal, homely pattern and colour. It’s a trend that slowly weaves its magic…

Loomed in South London using merino wool, lambswool and mohair, this vibrant design combines strong graphics with a luxuriously soft finish. Step blanket in Ochre and Terracotta, £660, Woven Form

CH&I

MODERN Country CLASSIC

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1 LA NTER N Create a magical atmosphere with bamboo and glass. Amilia lantern in Natural, £60.75, Lene Bjerre 2 RUG Warming colours and traditional Berber symbols. Vintage Moroccan rug, £420, Yonder Living 3 AR MOI RE Close-knit cane is a chic take on the look. Teak cabinet with mesh weaving, £1,229, Nordal 4 BA S KETS Made with hand-twisted sisal fibres and all natural dyes. Kenyan stripe baskets, from £32 each, Toast

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SHOPPING TREND Blanket-style vibrant stripes and a row of tiny tassels bring a burst of lively energy to bedrooms. Woven Rosado duvet cover, from £198, Anthropologie

Woven pendants soften the light, emanating a warm, ambient glow. Jute pendant (far right), £98, by Madam Stoltz at Smallable. Chair; baskets, similar from Nkuku

OUR EXPERT SAYS…

NATURAL MATERIALS ❝ ARE A WAY TO A MORE

SUSTAINABLE HOME, WHILE SUPPORTING TRADITIONAL SKILLS AND ARTISAN COMMUNITIES WORLDWIDE

HOLLY PHILLIPS, STYLE CONTENT EDITOR

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5 PLACE MATS Handwoven from a mix of Sabai grass and date palm leaves. Sabai grass place mats, £15 each, Toast 6 C US HI ON Inspired by Bauhaus and woven in India. Trent cushion, £55, Habitat 7 P OU F FE Put your feet up on a Norfolk native! Ernest pouffe in Crovie Pink Sky/Dark Berry, £490, Donna Wilson for SCP 8 STOO L Hand-braided with a natural finish. Rattan bar stool, £199, HK Living at Folk Interiors 9 M AGA ZINE R AC K Stash reading matter in a stylish basket. Woven basket, £44, Cosydar at Smallable

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


0800 789 789 | sharps.co.uk


FROM THE MAKERS OF BRITAINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BESTSELLING HOMES MAGAZINE

VISIT US TODAY!

 STYLE

IDEAS & DECORATING TIPS  GORGEOUS REAL HOMES  PRACTICAL PROJECT ADVICE


DESIGNER PROFILE

Meet Barneby Gates

Childhood friends Vanessa Barneby and Alice Gates pooled their creative experience in fashion and interiors to start their Wiltshire-based business in 2009 Tell us a little bit about your backgrounds. We met as children growing up in a village in Hampshire and both went to the University of Edinburgh. Alice studied fine art and went on to design prints for fashion labels such as Libélula. Vanessa’s career started in magazines, initially as an interiors stylist for House & Garden. Her passion for textiles and print led to a role overseeing the interiors section of Vogue. How did the business take shape? We set up Barneby Gates in 2009, working from the basement of Alice’s house. We had been discussing the idea for years, and as we were both designing our own houses at the time, it seemed like the perfect moment to make it a reality. Vintage bird trail wallpaper, £87 a roll

Describe your workspace. We are based in a tiny hamlet just outside Pewsey, Wiltshire, so very much in the countryside. Our studio is a long, converted barn. All the original beams, brickwork and hooks have been restored and we have installed full-height windows at one end so we can enjoy the beautiful view out over the garden. Where do you find creative inspiration? We often turn to nature. Anything from English robins and wildflower meadows, to bugs, bees and butterflies, can inspire us. We glean a lot from other areas of our lives, too – fashion, travel and art to name a few. One thing we’ve always strived not to be is trendy. We want our designs to stand the test of time. They often have a traditional starting point, such as a damask or trellis, which we then give a modern twist.

FEATURE TARA KING

Talk us through the design process. It normally takes about a year to get a new idea on the shelves. We bounce ideas off one another; it’s very much a collaborative process. Alice draws out each element by hand before scanning it into the computer and playing around with scale and repeat. We do a lot of

Pineapple wallpaper, £87 a roll

Cushions, from £69 each

surface printing, which uses thicker inks than most printing processes to give a lovely, hand-painted feel. What are the joys and challenges of being independent designers? We get a huge sense of achievement seeing our business grow into an international brand. But the downside is we’re both perfectionists so decisions can be incredibly slow! Barneby Gates, 01672 560240, barnebygates.com

3 more designers to watch... PETRONELLA HALL adds fun with pelicans and palms. petronellahall.com CHARLOTTE GAISFORD uses bold colourways to give traditional designs a modern twist. 01434 689583, charlottegaisford.co.uk PAPERBOY sparks the imagination with whimsical designs. 020 7193 9135, paperboywallpaper.co.uk COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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


SEASONAL DECOR

Capture the moment Celebrate the golden rays of late summer with a scheme that conjures orchard hues, lazy living and the woozy heat of an afternoon in the garden. Pretty printed fabrics and rubbed-down wood and wicker pieces, dressed-up with cushions and throws, set the scene

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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SEASONAL DECOR

CREATE A SPREAD OF ETHICAL PICNIC PRODUCTS Carry goodies from kitchen to garden with a scatter of cushions and throws on the grass for comfort. Mix eco-chic serveware in mouth-watering colours with wicker knapsacks, rustic baskets and metal trays.

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COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


MISMATCHED CHAIRS MAKE EASY COMPANIONS Easy loungers and classic deckchairs make for low-key seating, with cushions in summery shades. Tables in wood and metal add to the warm and welcoming look .


PETAL SHADES SING OF SUMMER Who needs paint charts and fabric swatches when a posy from the garden can inspire your summer decor? Nature knows how to harmonise colours beautifullyĂ&#x2030;


SEASONAL DECOR

SERVE UP PLOT-TO-PLATE STYLE Lunch never looked so good than at a table inspired by freshly picked produce. Choose ripe colours with scattered-fruit fabrics, and add coloured glass to bring an extra glow to the setting.

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HOUSE GARMENTS IN HUMBLE STORAGE Choose new Shaker-inspired hanging rails to store home and garden gear. A bamboo drum becomes a table or stool to aid quick-change moments.


SEASONAL DECOR

DESIGN A SPACE TO RELAX AND SNOOZE Take the weight off from those welly hours, with an easy corner ready for lounging. Dress a metal daybed with a blend of plain and simply patterned fabrics, with a garden-inspired wallpaper backdrop to add some seasonal flair.

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SEASONAL DECOR

ALL THE DETAILS, PRODUCTS & PRICES CAPTURE THE MOMENT Helene Pink/Green wallpaper, £170 a roll, Anna Jeffreys. Seagrass pom-pom basket, £20, Grand Illusions. Pink Summer Flower plate, £28, Penny Morrison. Plant pot, £8, Packhouse. Floral cushion cover, £55, Studio Sophie. Oak stool, £95, Garden Trading

CREATE A SPREAD OF ETHICAL PICNIC PRODUCTS PAGE 75

Bembridge basket, £45, Garden Trading. Pink rug (in basket), price on request, Bungalow. Mulaayam Ric Rac cushion in Denim, £45, Wave cushion in Blush, £45, both Birdie Fortescue. Cushion made in Helene Pink/Green, £150m, Anna Jeffreys. Tray, £39, Also Home. Bamboo cups, £24 for six; bowl, £25 for six; plate, £30 for six, all Forma House. Teapot, £28, Falcon

PETAL SHADES SING OF SUMMER

PAGES 76-77

Satsumas plant stand, £40; Vattenkrasse watering can, £9, both Ikea. Seagrass tray, £35, Cox and Cox. Basket bag, £38; lantern, £30; twine, £4, all Le Petit Jardin. Cane glass jar, £45, French Connection Home. Kilburn fork and trowel set, £23, V&A Shop. Dutch plant pot, £6.50, Grand Illusions. Rose Mika cushion, £45, Susie Watson Designs. Coral hammam throw, £45, Weaver Green. Amber glass, £36 for six, Rockett St George

SERVE UP PLOT-TOPLATE STYLE

Enamelware. Picnic basket, £89.95, Joules. Wire basket, £14.95, Grand Illusions. Basket backpack, £49, Basket Basket. Herringbone blanket (in basket), £45, Weaver Green. Disco balls, from £4, Amazon

MISMATCHED CHAIRS MAKE EASY COMPANIONS Hardwood Steamer chair, £189, Plant Theatre. Mattress, price on request, Bungalow. Pink tassel cushion, £40; tray table, £145; Orange velvet cushion, £36, all French Connection Home. Floral cushion cover, £55, Studio Sophie. Deckchair, £85, Garden Trading. Summer Green cushion, £42, Susie Watson Designs. Bamboo bowl, £25 for six; Pink cup, £3.95, all Forma House. Basket planter, £13.95 for two; Seagrass basket, £52.50 for three, Grand Illusions Garden Trading. Flat rattan dining chairs, £200 each; Blush Pink dinnerware, from £70; cutlery, £145 for 16 pieces, all Cox & Cox. Table, Vintage Emporium range at Pale & Interesting. Cushion made in Bud Green on Pink, £150m, Anna Jeffreys. Summer Green Mika cushion, £45, Susie Watson Designs. Ashok cushion, £180; Nankeeng cushion, £180; Summer Flower fruit bowl, £28; pudding bowls, £28 each; dinner plate, £60, all Penny Morrison. Plain Pink cushion, £25, Birdie Fortescue. Basket, £18; lantern, £30; mini plant pots, £4 each, all Le Petit Jardin. Bud vase, £4, Marks & Spencer. Napkins, £4.50 each, Cologne & Cotton. Coffee pot, £55, Broste

Hampstead bamboo chairs, £290 for two,

PAGES 78-79

Bergen clothes rail, £525, Cox & Cox. Apron, £54, Le Petit Jardin. Hammam scarf, £29; handled basket, £12, both Closet & Botts. Norfolk work shirt in Navy, £110; collarless work shirt, £107; dungarees, £95; Irish linen shirt, £149; Orange work jacket, £110, all Carrier Company. Khaki canvas holdall, £107.99, The British Bag Company. Dora pumps, £35 a pair, Dora Plimsolls. Pampas stool, £80, French Connection Home. Amphora cushion cover, £55, Studio Sophie. Vintage dresser, Vintage Emporium

range, Pale & Interesting. Table linen, Birdie Fortescue. Rug, price on request, Bungalow

DESIGN A SPACE TO RELAX AND SNOOZE Daybed, Vintage Emporium range, Pale & Interesting. Green throw, £49.50; Mulaayam Ric Rac cushion in Blush, £45, both Birdie Fortescue. Stripe cushion cover, £18.95, Grand Illusions. Cushion in Butterscotch, £55, Sofa.com. Pink Green Bloomsbury cushion, £56, Susie Watson Designs. Tassel throw, £95, Joules. Lattice basket, £32.99, Dobbies. Teacup, £7.94, Forma House

STAY ON SET PAGES 80-81

Go behind the scenes of our photo shoots and book a stay at one of the lovely location houses owned by Beach Studios beachstudios.co.uk paleandinterestingholidays.com

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FEATURE & ART DIRECTION SARA BIRD STYLIST SELINA LAKE PHOTOGRAPHS MAX ATTENBOROUGH STYLIST’S ASSISTANTS SARAH PRALL, LYNSEY FOX

HOUSE GARMENTS IN HUMBLE STORAGE


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

Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples

Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast

Selected departures up to November 2019 and April to November 2020. 8 days from only £729pp. Price includes: Discover the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum with a local guide Delve deeper into the mysteries of Pompeii on a guided tour Take a full-day tour of the breathtaking Amalfi coast Spend the day visiting the stunning island of Capri Enjoy a walking orientation tour of Sorrento Return flights from the UK 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) The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager

Selected departures up to October 2019 and April to October 2020 8 days’ half-board from only £899pp. Price includes: Guided tour of Dubrovnik the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ Visit to Krka National Park and its series of stunning waterfalls and lakes Visit to Mostar, with its iconic bridge Guided tour of Split including entrance to Emperor Diocletian’s monumental palace Visit to medieval Trogir, one of Dalmatia’s most seductive old ports Explore the Dalmatian coastline, studded with perfectly preserved Venetian-influenced villages Return flights from the UK Seven nights’ four-star hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager

Classical Spain – Seville, Córdoba & Granada

Lisbon, Porto & the Douro Valley

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Selected departures up to November 2019 and March to November 2020. 7 days from only £499pp. Price includes: Visit to medieval Ronda, one of Spain’s most spectacularly situated cities Visit Granada’s stunning Alhambra, one of Europe’s most romantic palace fortresses Guided tour of Seville and spend an evening sampling delicious tapas Visit to Córdoba with a guided tour of the Mezquita – probably the most beautiful mosque ever constructed – entrance included Return flights from a selection of regional airports, plus all hotel transfers Six nights in three-star superior and four-star accommodation, with breakfast The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager

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Selected departures up to October 2019 and April to October 2020. 8 days from only £999pp. Price includes: Explore Lisbon on a guided tour Visit the hillside town of Sintra and its National Palace Enjoy a guided tour of Porto, centre of the port wine trade Discover the Douro, one of Europe’s most beautiful river valleys, on a full-day tour See the holy shrine of Fátima and visit Coimbra University Experience the charm of 13th-century Óbidos Return flights from a selection of UK airports, plus all hotel transfers Domestic flights and ferry crossings as detailed Seven nights in four-and fivestar accommodation, with breakfast and three dinners (stays at the Royal Bridges Hotel include breakfast and one The services of our experienced and insightful dinner) tour manager throughout

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


STA RT WI T H A P L AN Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re designing a new kitchen layout or simply refreshing your existing one, the key to good organisation is a well-thought-out master plan. Go big with bespoke cabinetry, built-in drawers and vegetable stores, or choose simpler solutions such as boxes, baskets and bowls, to design a system that works for you.

Create an

ORGANISED KITCHEN Tidy shelves, clear surfaces and clutter-free drawers keep your kitchen functioning smoothly, making it a relaxing place to be 84

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS


MAKE A HOUSE A HOME

SORT OUT YOUR SINK AREA

ON THE SIDE Plate rack, £170, Stovold & Pogue. Utensil pot, £38, LSA International. Jangneus dishcloth, £2.95, Hus & Hem. Tilmo dish rack, £49.95, Nkuku

Henley oak kitchen, from £14,000, Neptune

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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MAKE A HOUSE A HOME

Towel rail, £250, Kitchen Makers

COLOUR-CODE KITCHEN UTENSILS

A DD S OM E O N- H AN D STOR AG E There’s nothing worse than scrabbling around at the back of cupboards for what you need, so go for simple storage solutions that are easy on the eye. A rail along the side of a worktop keeps tea towels neat and tidy, while transparent jars of dry ingredients look lovely lined up on a shelf and make it easy to see what you’re running low on. A handy kitchen trolley offers extra prep space and room for storage, and can be easily moved around as you cook and wheeled straight over to the dining table. 86

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

STOR E & OR DER Stacked glass jar, £6.95, Eden & Willow. Butcher’s trolley in Grey, £249, John Lewis & Partners


Lundy stone double larder, £999, The Cotswold Company

LOAD UP A LAR DE R Larder cupboards are full of clever storage solutions, such as built-in wine and spice racks, deep drawers and slim shelves. But you don’t have to go built-in to enjoy their benefits. Freestanding styles suit a country scheme perfectly, and make a modern alternative to a traditional dresser. We love a painted finish for a rustic feel.

OUR EXPERT SAYS…

NO ONE WANTS TO OPEN THE ❝ DOOR ON A MESSY CUPBOARD – CHOOSE JARS AND CROCKERY THAT ARE AS PRETTY AS THEY ARE PRACTICAL

TARA KING, STYLE CONTENT EDITOR


OUR EXPERT SAYS…

KEEP A JAR OF PENS TO ❝HAND SO YOU CAN JOT DOWN SHOPPING LISTS AND RECIPES AS AND WHEN YOU THINK OF THEM

TARA KING, STYLE CONTENT EDITOR

DI S P LAY BAS I C S Everyday items can be stylish, too, so choose kitchen essentials you’re happy to leave out on the worktop, such as artisan ceramics and rustic chopping boards. This frees up cupboard space for the less-pretty necessities. Old wooden crates on open shelving are ideal for storing cooking equipment, as well as your cookbook collection.


MAKE A HOUSE A HOME

Kelston towel rail, £25, Garden Trading

THINK OFF THE WALL

Chevrons window film, from £30m, MissPrint at The Window Film Company

PAR E- BACK YO UR S CHEME Complement an organised kitchen with an equally uncluttered decorating scheme. Neutral shades of white and grey paired with natural wooden cabinets make for a fresh take on modern country. Designer window film is a great alternative to bulky curtains and blinds, providing privacy and shade without sacrificing natural light.

FEATURE TARA KING

3 OF TH E B EST V E GE TA B L E STOR ES

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1. Folding wooden fruit and veg storage, £50, Next Home 2 . Aldsworth vegetable store, £125, Garden Trading 3 . Button tie vegetable bag, £5.99, Lakeland COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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LOCAL HERO

❝Our toxin-free tea

party spread awareness of local air pollution

FEATURE SOPHIE GALE PHOTOGRAPH (TEA PARTY) JOHN PLAYFOOT

Oxford graduate and mother of two, Jojo Mehta, campaigns tirelessly, for free, to protect the Cotswold countryside she loves It was my daughter Aster who first inspired me out of my armchair and onto the streets to protest. When she was just five years old, in 2013, she overheard me discussing fracking with my family, and said: ‘But Mummy, if it’s poisoning the earth, how can people do it?’ The simple logic stopped me in my tracks. I knew I had to do more to defend our beautiful countryside. I was born and brought up in Stroud, a pretty corner of the Cotswolds, which is known for its independent, Bohemian spirit. In 1994 I left to study languages at the University of Oxford. I loved it and gained a congratulatory first. But I was never tempted by big corporations, and chose to work as a tour guide instead. Some years later, I moved back to the Cotswolds with my husband, Matt, and our children, Aster and Dexter. It was joyful to return, but I learnt there were plans to build an incinerator that would emit dangerous toxins, harmful to human health and wildlife, in the area. It would be part of a new waste facility near Stonehouse, proposed by Gloucestershire’s council. It prompted me to consider environmental issues in depth, including fracking – a process that blasts water, sand and chemicals deep underground to extract gas or oil, which has a huge impact on our climate and countryside. I decided to get in touch with antifracking campaigner Katy Dunne and crowdfunded to print leaflets about fracking’s true consequences. The leaflets made

an impact, inspiring strong resistance in many areas, and helping frame a national debate. To raise awareness about the incinerator, we decided to hold sofa sit-ins and a tea party! We wanted to do something that would be inclusive to show activism could be for everyone. Sitting and drinking tea seemed a suitably genteel approach. We set up tables with pretty crockery on the grassy verge at the incinerator site. About 100 people attended, and we had great local news coverage. I helped persuade actor Jeremy Irons to join our fight. In spring 2016 a project was underway to crowdfund an alternative to the incinerator. Known as R4C, this facility would be far cheaper, and much less hazardous. Jeremy had made a film called Trashed, arguing for better waste management methods. He was performing at a theatre in Bristol, so I went to see the show and

Jojo brings a sense of fun to her activism, despite the serious motivation behind it

Locals have united in their mission to protect the countryside

left a postcard in his dressing room. At the end of the night, he met me and pledged a donation to R4C. He would also film a speech in its support. Many tens of thousands of pounds were raised, yet still the contract went to the incinerator. But there is now a police investigation into irregularities surrounding the contract. So watch this space… One of the most important meetings of my life came about through my work against fracking. In 2014, I got to know activist Polly Higgins, a former barrister who had moved to the area. Polly was campaigning to create an international law against ecocide, or serious damage to the environment. I started to volunteer alongside her. A law against ecocide could be our best hope in tackling the climate crisis. Tragically, Polly died earlier this year, but her mission lives on. This is now my life’s passion. It’s incredible to think it all started with a few leaflets. Now I am fighting to protect the landscape locally, and beyond. Small actions can lead to big changes. To support Jojo and Polly’s work, visit stopecocide.earth COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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BEDROOM IDEAS

Bell Twist carpet in Portland, £39.99sq m, Brintons, is similar. Interior design, John Evans Design

HEAVENLY EAVES

Sophisticated

RETREAT BEDROOMS

The roaring success of architecture-based TV shows is heralding a brave new approach to spatial design. One of the fastest ways to add drama is by vaulting your bedroom ceiling into the eaves. ‘Utilising the property’s full height adds volume and interest,’ says John Evans, director at John Evans Design. ‘Exposing beams in period properties also brings a rustic element that is perfect in a country setting.’

TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A CALM ESCAPE FROM THE HOUSEHOLD HUBBUB WITH THESE IDEAS FOR DESIGN UPDATES, COLOUR PALETTES AND FURNISHING IDEAS THAT BOOST BOTH COMFORT AND STYLE 92

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Linen duvet cover in Blush Pink, £145 for a double, Piglet, is similar. Maelee wallpaper in Mineral, £51 a roll, Sanderson at Style Library

TEXTURAL TOUCHES It’s the contrast of the so-soft throw, slouchy, washed linen sheets and weathered wood chest of drawers that makes this room so appealingly tactile. The finishing touch: a field of poppies on the walls. Faded pastel tones of blue, pink and green, paired with natural wood, work well in country homes.


BEDROOM IDEAS

SMOKY SHADOWS ‘Today’s most versatile and flattering grey has matured into a calmer shade with undertones of warm blue and purple,’ says John SimsHilditch, co-founder of Neptune. ‘It’s seen at its best in paint, such as our Smoke shade, which combines beautifully with shades of mouse and nut brown.’ Use floor-to-ceiling panelling and peg rails to add depth and shadow, and to make large grey expanses appear more dynamic.

Olivia headboard in Emma Dove, from £455; Castlefield stripe throw, £200; Florence cushion, £68, all Neptune

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Bespoke headboard, from £5,000; bespoke bedside tables, from £6,000 each, all David Linley

SIT, SNOOZE, DREAM… Part of the boundary-blurring, open-plan trend, the bedroom is evolving into a sumptuous living suite that’s no longer just for sleeping. Ground-floor bedrooms with garden access are prime candidates for this approach. Introducing furniture and accessories more typically found in a living room will encourage daytime relaxation away from the bed. In this guest bedroom furnished by David Linley, a selection of soft seating is positioned to capture the sun.

COLOUR-MATCH PATTERNS Upscaled pattern is this year’s twist on the retro trend, and it’s a look that translates surprisingly well in a cosy cottage. Little Greene’s managing director David Mottershead recommends focusing outsized pattern on one small area. ‘It works especially well on the wall behind the bedhead – it draws the eye, creates a “frame” and allows the bold pattern to really stand out,’ he says. Take a tip from interior designers and combine patterns – like this mix of florals and checks – using colour to unify the look.

Starflower wallpaper in Peacock, £84 a roll, Little Greene

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THE ‘NEW NEUTRALS’ A trend whisked straight from the fashion catwalks, neutral colours are making their way from camel coats and flesh-toned cashmere straight onto our bedroom mood boards. ‘Moving away from beige, the new neutral palettes are warmer and tonal, with a contemporary mix of dusky pinks and soft greys,’ says Katherine Mitchell, beds buyer at John Lewis & Partners. ‘To add depth, layer patterns and texture.’

Skye bed frame, £699 for a double; patchwork stripe quilted bedspread, £140, both John Lewis & Partners


BEDROOM IDEAS

Cushions, from £35 each; bedspread, from £425; Dhurrie rug, £345; leather pouffe, £125, all Raj Tent Club

HIGH DRAMA A bed tends to dominate a room at eye level. The solution? Look up! A four-poster will help draw the gaze upwards and ‘fill’ the empty space above the mattress. And after decades of bland ceilings (blame a revolt against Eighties Artex), pretty plasterwork and statement lighting are making a comeback. Add an ornate ceiling rose or chandelier to turn the ceiling into a real feature.

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Similar bedroom, around £20,000, Sims Hilditch. Alex footstools, £325 each, Neptune

THE POWER OF SYMMETRY Give your bedroom a boutique hotel edge by taking a symmetrical approach to the layout. The serene atmosphere in this main bedroom is largely down to the careful positioning of classically shaped furniture. ‘Good design is all about creating spaces that make your life more simple and in turn more joyful, and often this comes from the placement of furniture,’ says interior designer Emma Sims-Hilditch. ‘Working pieces in pairs creates a balancing effect. The symmetrical layout achieves a real oasis of calm.’

A BOLDER WAY WITH BLUE

Fabrics, from £37m each, Mystical collection at Blendworth

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Blue and white is a classic combo for the bedroom – creating a crisp yet calming look. Work in some luxe fabrics in regal shades of blue to update the look in a newly sophisticated, grown-up way. Stick to flora and fauna-based patterns and motifs to keep it country. We’re also seeing navy on the horizon, so look out for darker blues coming through. But however you play the blue and white trend, try to have fun – it’s a happy, easy-to-use combination that’s ripe for a more playful approach.


BEDROOM IDEAS

TONE AND TEXTURE

FEATURE LINDA CLAYTON

Gone are the days of matchy-matchy bed sets – a collection of cushions in a mix of florals, geo prints and plain fabrics feels far more contemporary. Choose shades with similar tones to unite the look and make your boudoir appear artfully curated, rather than randomly chaotic. Complete the look with textured walls using mineral-based lime paint, which has been around for thousands of years but is currently enjoying a style revival.

Try Palma lime paint, from £55 for 1L, Maitland & Poate. Headboard in Pure Orkney, £99m, Morris & Co at Style Library

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SLIM-STASHSTORE...

Choose the bestÉ

DESK

Made from reclaimed wood with a dusted cannonball frame, this industrial piece not only features two drawers, but also has two clip on shelves, ideal for stowing important papers. Gubbins slim storage desk, H90xW105xD52cm, £595, Loaf

FROM CALLIGRAPHERS TO KEYBOARD NINJAS, EVERY POISED PHILOSOPHER NEEDS THE PERFECT DREAM DESK TO GET THINGS STARTED (OR TO SIMPLY STAY ON TOP OF PAPERWORK MOUNTAINS) 100

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FURNITURE BUYER’S GUIDE

HANDCRAFTED HONEY Combining functional design with traditional craftsmanship, this robust talking point parades rich natural hues on unique parquetry with nickel-plated iron for an eclectic yet timeless look. Artisan honeycomb desk, H78xW133xD66cm, £570, Lombok

INDUSTRIAL DAYDREAMER With a patina celebrating its previous life, this reclaimed boat wood and recycled oil drum triumph certainly has a story to tell! Complete with a functional three drawer section – what’s not to love about this unique character? Reclaimed wood desk, H150xW76xD76cm, £885, Smithers of Stamford

TURN YOUR DESK ❝ INTO AN INSPIRING HUB OF POSITIVITY. STYLE WITH PLANTS, SCENTED CANDLES AND PRETTY STATIONERY TO BOOST MORALE AND WORK PRODUCTIVITY

ARCHITECT ASPIRATIONS Creatives will enjoy exploring thought bubbles of potential on this generously sized and super practical work station. Showcasing a striking contrast between exposed wood grain and colour, the surface height can be effortlessly adjusted to suit by raising the trestles. Workshop desk, H75xW160x D80cm, £550, Garden Trading

TRADITIONAL GRANDEUR Whether putting ink to paper or clicking your way through the digital world, this handsome, Edwardianstyle bureau promises to lend enduring support. The light grain of the natural white cedar make this impressive gent a timeless favourite. Rookswood classic writing desk, H130xW101xD65cm, £1,147, Artisanti

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FURNITURE BUYER’S GUIDE

GO BLONDE Dull, corporate desks begone! Small but perfectly formed, it’s all about the tactile rounded corners and bleached oak appeal of this modern country cutie! Jotter desk, H75xW110x D50cm, £495, Loaf

AIMING HIGH The only way is up with this oak-effect tidy tower! Combining handy shelves with a worksurface and laptop shelf, this clever, compact update will transform any unused nook into an instant home office. Malvern ladder desk, H190x W70xD50cm, £225, Next Home

COUNTRY CHIC Who’s working the hardest – you or this desk? Packing charm and practicality into space-saving proportions, this solid wood design features individually handcrafted wicker basket drawers, a warm neutral colour finish and inset protective glass top. An A for effort all the way! Farmhouse desk in Ivory, H80xW120x D48cm, £249, The Cotswold Company

FOLDING DESK TRAYS ❝ OR LEAN-TO LADDER DESIGNS ARE A PRACTICAL SPACESAVING SOLUTION IN SMALLER SPACES, ALLOWING YOU TO UTILISE EVERY INCH OF YOUR ROOM

SPINDLES OF STYLE Made from durable MDF with shapely solid beech wood legs, this desk comes in your favourite shade finish to complement your scheme... French two-drawer desk, H76xW120x D60cm, £445, The Dormy House 102

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FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS


COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS PA R T N E R S H I P

BUTTERFLY EFFECT

FROM TOP ARCHES AND GLOBAL SUNSET BY JAKE MOSHER, EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE AT RUNWAY-GALLERY.COM

DECORATE YOUR HOME WITH MODERN ARTWORK INSPIRED BY NATURE BY JAKE MOSHER, ONE OF RUNWAY GALLERY’S NEWEST MEMBERS Online platform Runway Gallery is a great place to buy modern art at the click of a button. One of its newest members, Montana-based awardwinning wildlife photographer Jake Mosher, creates kaleidoscope-like artwork inspired by the intricate patterns on butterfly and moth wings, observed through his lens at high magnification. Here, he shares his passion for nature and describes his unique working process. ‘I’ve always been fascinated with the natural world. I grew up in northern Vermont, a stone’s throw from vast, unbroken woods in an era without video games, DVDs and text messages. Instead, I’d throw on a backpack and go out exploring, camera in hand. After leaving my career as an explosives engineer, I moved to Montana and found myself sitting by a lake in the Rocky Mountains and was struck by its beauty – a beauty that deserved to be captured. In that moment I decided to focus on photography.

It was the colour of butterflies that drew me to them. I wanted a way to capture their beauty in a way that’s never been done before. I start by taking hundreds of highly magnified images of small sections of the wings, moving the camera a miniscule amount each time. Once my editing programme had stacked them into a single image, I began working with the pictures to create a beautiful, kaleidoscope-like effect. I feel a thrill of discovery, creating these images. I entwine art and photography, taking natural beauty and showcasing it in a way that’s never been seen before – like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. I like to call it Metamorphosis art. Working by myself gives me time to reflect. My routine changes from one day to the next, but always starts with a strong cup of coffee! I go out in search of pictures to capture or stay at home, editing. I’ve got a wonderful view of the mountains out of my window, so I’m inspired by my surroundings.

My art works wonderfully well in a country home. Against a neutral wall, the vivid colours stand out and lift your mood. I’d recommend not putting them in a frame; the freedom and flight of the butterfly shouldn’t be boxed in.’ Browse and buy a diverse range of artworks from Jake Mosher and various other artists at runway-gallery.com

NEXT MON T H Artist Bruce Atherton on how he communicates through painting, sculpture and photography

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ROOM ELEMENTS

Stylish & cosy

CARPETS

FROM STATEMENT STRIPES AND NATURE PRINTS TO CHUNKY WOOL-RICH DESIGNS, THESE LOOKS TICK ALL THE BOXES FOR STYLE AND COMFORT Flatweave Fitzroy Midnight runner, £129m, Roger Oates Design

RUNNER UP As it’s the first part of your house that guests see, ensure your hallway looks bright and inviting with a statement runner. ‘Chunky stripes are popular right now, especially in hallways and on stairs,’ says Roger Oates, founder of Roger Oates Design. ‘They draw the eye, cleverly creating the illusion of height and grandeur. On-trend blue and cream has a contemporary look.’ 104

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Columbus large floral carpet, £32.99sq m, Carpetright


TWO TONE As practical as it is stylish, the monochrome trend has made its way to the floor. ‘Oversized florals are a popular choice when it comes to patterned carpets, but they do have a tendency to look busy,’ says Anna Del-Molino, buyer at Carpetright. ‘A black and white colourway brings sophistication to a floral design, however big and blowsy it is.’

Aayla carpet in Cashmere Shawl, £98sq m, Axminster Carpets

VELVET TOUCH Super-soft underfoot, the latest carpets from Axminster feature a unique blend of sheep and alpaca wool – the first of its kind in the UK – in a range of pastel shades. ‘The challenge was to make a natural wool product that was beautiful and subtle in design, but with the luxe effect of soft brushed velvet,’ says Gary Bridge, design director at Axminster Carpets.

TEXTURED PLAIN For a fresh look, go for a beautifully textured design. The new line from Ulster Carpets draws on the great outdoors for inspiration, with indented patterns reflecting those found in nature. ‘The graduated effect adds interest so there’s no need for bold colourways,’ says Jeremy Wilson, sales director at Ulster Carpets.

OUR EXPERT SAYS…

IF YOUR ROOM IS ❝ AN UNUSUAL SIZE OR SHAPE, CONSIDER A BESPOKE MADE-TO-PLAN SERVICE TO ACHIEVE THE PERFECT FIT TARA KING, CONTENT STYLE EDITOR

Terræn Oksa Gra carpet, £43sq m, Ulster Carpets

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NATURAL CHOICE Malvern pure wool carpet, £46sq m, Sisal & Seagrass

Eco-friendly carpets are becoming increasingly popular. ‘Our Pure Wool collection is made without any dyes, chemicals or pesticides,’ says Guy Gibbon, director at Sisal & Seagrass. ‘Plus, the wool is sourced from farms within 100 miles of the factory, giving the carpet a very low carbon footprint.’

Wool snug carpet in Starlight Grey, £135sq m, Crucial Trading

CREATIVE DESIGN This season sees a return to patterns, in particular large-scale prints in muted tones. ‘Our collaboration with Timorous Beasties is the perfect fit for modern country homes,’ says Lisa Conway, residential marketing manager at Brintons. ‘The designs challenge conventions by avoiding symmetry.’

Golden Effie carpet, £89.99sq m, Timorous Beasties at Brintons

3 OF T HE B E ST TEXTURED RUGS

FEATURE TARA KING

Not just great to look at – these designs feel lovely, too

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1 . An additional tufted chevron adds interest. Monochrome chevron rug, £275, Cox & Cox 2. Contrasting high and low piles give a three-dimensional effect. Jordaan rug, from £395, Soho Home 3. This Berber-inspired design is made from super-soft New Zealand wool. Casbah wool floor rug, from £225, Loaf

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

TACTILE APPEAL Luxurious underfoot, with an amazing depth of colour, 100 per cent wool carpets – such as the Wool Snug range from Crucial Trading – are not only beautiful, but naturally flame-retardant and hypoallergenic, too. What’s more, wool fibres are protected by natural oils, which make them resistant to stains and easier to clean – particularly suitable for country living.


ROOM ELEMENTS

Need to know... OUR EXPERT SAYSÉ

FOR ADVICE ON CHOOSING ❝ CARPET AND UNDERLAY, FIBRES AND STYLES, AND FINDING LOCAL RETAILERS, VISIT CARPETFOUNDATION.COM TARA KING, CONTENT STYLE EDITOR

BUYING CARPET

■ INVESTING IN A GOOD UNDERLAY is essential to the longevity of your carpet. It can be made from a variety of materials and quality varies, so it’s important to choose one that is suitable for the grade of your carpet and expected level of wear. ■ THE STYLE OF CARPET you need depends on how the room is used. High-traffic areas benefit from hard-wearing loop and twist piles, while deeper Saxony and shag piles are more suited to bedrooms. Natural fibres are a great choice for country homes. ■ CARPETS COME IN different widths. All good companies will send an expert to your home to measure, but taking measurements yourself before you shop is a good way to get a rough estimate of price. ■ NEUTRALS CAN BE TRICKIER to pick than coloured carpets as they can all end up looking very similar in a brightly lit showroom. Before you buy, bring a sample of the carpet home with you and lay it on the floor in the room you want to use it in. Look at it as the light changes throughout the day. ■ TRIMS HELP ENSURE a seamless transition between rooms. They contribute to the overall look in a big way so it’s important to choose one that suits the style of your home. Visit stairrods.co.uk. ■ USING PATTERNED AND PLAIN carpet inventively to highlight an area of the room will create visual impact. Insetting a patterned rug into plain carpet is a clever way of defining a dining area, for example.

Waterlake runner, £99.50sq m, Alternative Flooring

PATTERN PLAY When walls and furnishings are plain and neutral, feature flooring becomes the focal point. In celebration of British wool, awardwinning designer Ella Doran has collaborated with Alternative Flooring to produce a stylish runner, featuring a distinctive pattern inspired by the movement of water. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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MADE BETTER

ENGINEERED FOR FOOD? Challenge accepted.

Engineered in Prescot since 1920.

Stoves Deluxe Range Cookers are designed with features to truly enhance your love of cooking Powerful, durable and reliable, with market-leading features, including a 5kW PowerWok Plus™ burner for rapid and intense heat, Steam & Infuse™ cooking accessory for fast flavour and reduction in cooking times, and so much more to maximize your cooking experience. STOVES.CO.UK

5kW POWERWOK +™ BURNER RAPID AND INTENSE HEAT SEALS THE FLAVOUR IN YOUR FOOD.


K I TC H E N P R OJ E CT

PROJECT PROFILE Owners Claire and Darren Beckett live here with their two daughters, five-year-old Amelie and two-year-old Isla, plus their Persian Cross cat, Marley.

House A two-bedroom Victorian terraced property just outside Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Project Combining the living room, dining room and small,

dark galley kitchen into a larger, more family-friendly, open-plan space with direct access to the garden and improved natural lighting.

Adding bifolds and a large skylight completely changed this previously dark space

Kitchen size 3.1x5.2m Designer Claire designed the new layout herself.

Cabinetry The Borrowdale kitchen range in Olive Green, Benchmarx.

Room to

GROW

CLAIRE BECKETTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SAVVY SHOPPING SKILLS AND EYE FOR DESIGN ACHIEVED A SPACIOUS KITCHEN-DINER THAT PERFECTLY SUITS HER YOUNG FAMILY

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Claire dresses the space with vintage finds and items from her own online store, chalkhomeware.co.uk

Darren bought the timber doors from a salvage yard and restored them to hide the boiler and laundry appliances

W

hen Claire and Darren Beckett had their first daughter, it quickly became apparent that their two-up, two-down home wasn’t going to cope for long. ‘It was just about big enough for the two of us, but when Amelie came along it definitely felt overcrowded,’ says Claire, who runs online lifestyle store Chalk Homeware. With precious little spare cash to increase their mortgage, the couple found another two-bed, but one that could be extended. ‘There’s a basement ripe for refurb and the loft can be converted, too, as and when funds permit, so eventually we will get the extra bedrooms we need without overstretching ourselves,’ says Claire. But before they could even move in, the property needed a lot of work on the ground floor. Luckily, Darren’s a carpenter and was able to do it himself. ‘It had been rented to students for more than a decade and the small galley kitchen with peeling lino and a damp smell was particularly grim,’ says Claire. But with Darren only able to work on the project – which involved knocking down walls, damp proofing and adding a sidereturn extension – in the evenings and at weekends, it 110

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dragged on for much longer than anticipated. Fortunately, the family could live with Claire’s parents during the process. ‘It took well over a year, but news of another baby on the way helped to speed things up,’ says Claire. When it finally came to the decorative touches, the budget had taken a serious hit, but Claire had a plan. ‘I’m all about working with what we’ve got. Over the years I’ve developed a skill for establishing the look I want, then searching and searching until I find the cheapest option possible.’ For the kitchen, she had fallen hard for a bespoke in-frame design with a relaxed, utilitarian style. ‘Most off-the-peg Shaker kitchens have a lay-on door, no frame, but then I spotted a classic in-frame display by Benchmarx Kitchens at our local Wickes and knew I could dress it up to make it work.’ While the main worktops are timber, Claire did splash out on Carrara marble for the island top. ‘I like materials that age gracefully and the uniqueness you can only get from nature. No one else has a worktop exactly like mine,’ she says. The same can be said for the reclaimed timber shelves Darren made. ‘It’s these unique touches that make our inexpensive kitchen feel much more special.’


K I TC H E N P R OJ E CT

Natural materials and tactile finishes decorate the space

I NEVER LIKE TO BUY ❝NEW – I LOVE THE

CHARACTER AND HISTORY OF RECLAIMED WOOD AND VINTAGE HOMEWARE

RANGE

Claire paired a reclaimed timber dining table with various chairs she had sourced over the years

DINING AREA

THE LAYOUT The kitchen-diner is an L-shaped room with the kitchen itself forming a rectangle at the back of the house. The island puts Claire at the centre of the action, and houses a dishwasher, plus crockery storage for easy unloading. The range cooker is on the only available external wall for extraction purposes, while a walk-in fridge-freezer is on the opposite side. The tall cupboard near the bifold doors keeps the boiler and laundry appliances hidden.

A hidden extractor fan keeps the look more streamlined

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ROOM TO GROW

3

CLEVER DESIGN SOLUTIONS

Grey grouting is much easier to keep looking fresh than the usual white

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1

DIY COOKER HOOD

Having failed to find an extractor fan design she liked, Claire asked her husband Darren to create a faux chimney-style hood using plasterboard-faced boxing. An inexpensive integrated cooker hood has been fitted underneath, with a trim of coving providing a bespoke look. Painting it in the same shade as the walls prevents it from dominating the room.


K I TC H E N P R OJ E CT

THE DETAILS CABINETRY The in-frame Borrowdale range in Olive Green (currently only available in Bone), from £4,069 for an eight-unit kitchen, Benchmarx Kitchens.

SURFACES Keynes mixed flagstone floor tiles, £38.30sq m, Beswick Stone. Herregards oak worktop, from £179 for a 300x 60x2.6cm length, Benchmarx Kitchens. Carrara marble worktop, from £350sq m, Stonetek. Blanco matt brick tiles, £22.95sq m, Walls and Floors. Walls painted in Heritage Chalk White vinyl matt emulsion, £30 for 2.5L, Dulux.

APPLIANCES Smeg C92DX8 dual-fuel range cooker, £1,099; Beko DIN15X11 full-size fully-integrated dishwasher, £260; Samsung RS8000 RS67N8210S9/EU American-style fridge freezer, £1,049; Bosch Serie 2 DLN53AA70B canopy cooker hood in Silver, £119, all Currys.

SINKS & TAPS Danbury lever bridge kitchen sink mixer, £99.95; Rangemaster farmhouse Belfast ceramic kitchen sink, £149.95, both Victorian Plumbing.

ACCESSORIES

FEATURE LINDA CLAYTON PHOTOGRAPHS @STUDIO.MAPLE

Using a disused fireplace as a log store brings a lovely, country touch to the room

2

FEATURE FIREPLACE

3

RUSTIC FLOORING

Andy Warhol All Is Pretty artwork, £170, King and McGaw. Heligan arched window wall mirror, £365, Oka, is similar. Find a reclaimed wood dining table, from £345, The Rustic Table Co, Etsy. Vintage dining chairs, £161 for set of two, Vinterior, will give you this mismatched look. Brooklyn cord sets with ES E27 bulb holders in Copper & Fabric flex, £25 each, Industville, are similar to the lights above the island.

With underfloor heating and loads of insulation in place, Claire and Darren didn’t need a woodburner. Instead, they decided to turn the original fireplace into a design feature. ‘I just love the rustic, Scandi look of this fireplace and it was so easy to achieve – in fact, I just picked up the kindling from our local garage. It’s really nothing special but it works beautifully,’ says Claire. The timber has dried significantly since it was first installed – Claire rammed it in tightly for a neat fit, so she’ll be topping it up the next time she gets fuel.

A key ingredient in Claire’s plan to create a luxury look for less was natural flagstone flooring. She knew the relaxed feel would elevate her simple Shaker units. After looking at hundreds of tiles, she chose this Keynes mixed limestone from Beswick Stone. ‘I love the grey and warm honey tones – they really come to life when the sun is shining,’ says Claire. ‘The Opus-style pattern makes it easier to achieve a nice, laid-back mix of colours. If they were all the same size and shape, the different tones would have been more stark and obvious.’

The Opus tile laying style is a classic modular repeating pattern of four different tile sizes

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AWA R D -W I N N I N G R I V E R C RU I S E S The Blue Danube – Vienna, Budapest & Salzburg

Upgrade your cabin from £100pp*

Selected departures up to October 2019 and April to October 2020. 8 days from only £1,099pp. Price includes: Guided tour of Vienna, city of Strauss and home of the Habsburgs Live classical quartet recital on board Visit to Baroque Bratislava, capital of Slovakia Cruise through the scenic Wachau, Austria’s premier wine region Visit to Melk Abbey, central Europe’s most spectacular Baroque monastery, and one of its premier academic institutions Visit to medieval Dürnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned whilst returning from the Crusades Tour of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and one of Austria’s most beautiful cities Explore the amazing basilica at Esztergom, Hungary’s oldest cathedral Tour of Budapest, Pearl of the Danube All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captain’s Dinner Return flights from a selection of regional airports Seven nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river view The services of our experienced cruise director and concierge

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Budapest to the Black Sea – Gems of Eastern Europe Selected departures up to September 2019 and April to October 2020. 15 days from only £2,299pp. Price includes: See Kalocsa cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and Paprika Museum Enjoy a guided tour of the historic Pecs and Budapest Take a scenic drive to the spectacular rock formations at Belogradchik and into the ‘Puszta’ Tour the historic city of Belgrade seeing the magnificent Kalemegdan Fortress Cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge and pass through the Djerdap locks Visit Pleven, the scene of a major battle during the RussoTurkish War Guided tour of Bucharest Visit the ancient Romanian port of Constanta on the Black Sea Visit Lepenski Vir and the fascinating Veliko Tarnovo Enjoy a guided tour of cosmopolitan Novi Sad Return flights from a selection of regional airports 14 nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river view All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure (except one lunch), including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captain’s Dinner The services of our experienced cruise director and concierge

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Free drinks package & gratuities

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To book or request a brochure, call 01283 523454 or visit cohriviera.co.uk Additional entrance costs may apply. Prices are per person, based on two sharing and subject to finite availability.Images used in conjunction with Riviera Travel. Offer operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel Ltd. ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430, a company wholly independent of Country Homes & Interiors, published by TI Media Limited. Prices correct at time of going to print. *Available on selected departures in October 2019. †Included on selected departures in September 2019.


HOME TECH

Buy the best...

MONEY-SAVING SMART THERMOSTAT

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEATING (AND THE MONEY YOU SPEND ON IT) BY INSTALLING ONE OF THESE HANDY ENERGY-MANAGING GADGETS The Netatmo Smart Thermostat (see right for details) includes a discreet wireless controller designed by Philippe Starck

BEST FOR VALUE

Smart Thermostat, £149.99, Netatmo An affordable smart thermostat that offers app and voice control of your central heating. You get two gadgets: the wired relay connects to the boiler, while the wireless thermostat goes anywhere and displays and controls temperature. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit (for Siri voice control). You can even control it with Facebook messages. Installation is a DIY job in less than an hour or there are recommended local installers, but not for a fixed fee. You can add individual smart radiator controls (£69.99 each).

FEATURE CARAMEL QUIN

BEST FOR INTELLIGENCE

n EASILY CONNECTED Smart thermostats connect your central heating boiler to an app, so you can easily create detailed schedules and even control heating remotely, saving you gas and money. The smart thermostat fixes to your boiler in place of the existing home thermostat; you can do it yourself or some systems offer professional fitting for a small fee. n CONTROL WIRELESSLY A smartphone app lets you schedule or control the heating from anywhere. For example, turn the heating down to ‘frost’ setting while you’re away on a winter holiday, then tell your home to warm up the day you’re due home. n DISCREET CONTROL You usually get two gadgets: one that connects to the boiler and then a separate thermostat (with display and controls) you can place where it’s easy to read. As with any thermostat, somewhere central to your home is good. n CLEVER ADD-ONS Some systems also let you add thermostats to your radiators that connect wirelessly, so the temperature in each room can be controlled individually. Programmed to suit your family’s needs, it saves energy by only using it when you need it.

Learning Thermostat, £219, Nest Nest is owned by Google, so its Android app works brilliantly with this and other Nest devices, including security cameras, doorbells and smoke alarms. You can also command it with iPhone, and by voice with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Learning Thermostat can control hot water as well as central heating. Its intelligence is outstanding: it can detect your preferred temperatures to create its own schedule and knows when you’re out (via sensors, plus your phone’s location) and turns the heating down. The round wireless controller is available in white, black, stainless steel or copper. An extra £60 flat fee buys professional installation.

BEST FOR PEACE OF MIND

Hive Active Heating, £179, Hive The fact it’s owned by British Gas, and that £70 extra buys you professional installation from a British Gas engineer, is reassuring to newcomers to smart homes. Hive works just like other smart thermostats, in that it lets you use an app to control central heating and hot water. Unusually, you need three devices: the thermostat, the receiver that attaches to your boiler and a hub for wireless communication. You can also control it by voice with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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SOMERSET GARDEN

The front garden is planted with herbaceous perennials, grasses, shrubs and eupatorium with clipped box balls edging the driveway

VILLAGE GREEN

Box balls on the lawn, flowing borders and glorious late summer planting bring a wonderful spirit to the vicarage garden of Trish and Jeremy Gibson

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SLUG HERE

Fringing the gravel path is a pretty border of Pennisetum macrourum, bronze fennel, wild carrot and cosmos

T

AT HOME WITH.. . Owners Trish and Jeremy Gibson live here with their rescue English Pointer, Archie. House Georgian and Victorian vicarage with Georgian outbuildings.

Features One and a half acres of neutral clay.

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heir first glimpse of the Old Vicarage in the Somerset village of Weare reminded Trish and Jeremy Gibson of a scene from the Hammer House of Horror. ‘It looked very grim,’ laughs Trish, ‘with masses of dense shrubs right up against the house and a lot of blank lawn, as well as a tennis court surrounded by a hideous chain-link fence.’ In spite of that, the couple ‘felt an immediate pull’ and relocated here from north Cornwall in 2013, to be near their family in Bristol. The overgrown Victorian shrubberies, thick, dark hedges and towering Wellingtonia might have put off some buyers, but Trish and Jeremy have renovated a series of houses and gardens in London, Bristol, Cornwall and France over the years. They love nothing more than getting their teeth stuck into a new project and could see the potential of this neglected garden on the edge of the Mendips, with its views of the village church and surrounding hills. Trish is the plantswoman and garden historian – she has an MA in Garden History and wrote a book on the landscape architect Brenda Colvin. Jeremy describes himself as ‘the grunt’ – the digger, the builder, the hedge cutter. Together, they make a great team. Restoring the house took longer than the couple expected, but when they eventually began work on the garden, one of the first things they did was remove the shrubs that obscured views of the plot out of the front windows, replanting the border with low herbaceous perennials. ‘The blank lawn did the appearance of the house no favours either, so we added box spheres along the edge of the drive and planted a tiered Cornus controversa for autumn colour,’ says Trish. The dogwood now stands in a bed planted with a combination of cerise, silver and white including herbaceous perennials such as magenta Knautia macedonica and pink >


SOMERSET GARDEN

DIFFERENT ❝THE LEVELS OF THE GARDEN – FRAMED BY ARCHITECTURE OF A RANGE OF PERIODS – GIVE WONDERFUL BORROWED VIEWS

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Red flowered Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Fat Domino’, broad-leaved sage and phlomis cover the mound

Dianthus carthusianorum, delicate umbels like fennel and wild carrot, and grasses including molinia and Pennisetum macrourum; clipped box provides year-round structure. ‘We’re not tennis players,’ admits Jeremy, though when they first moved in the tarmac court was invaluable for storing all the garden ornaments and plants he and Trish had brought with them from Cornwall. Planning to make a parking area for cars at the lower end of the court, hidden from the house by the natural contour of the garden, they laid a line of bricks to work out the curve of the drive. ‘The aim was to design a new garden on each side of the driveway to complement the rest of the garden and at the same time allow us to plant in a more contemporary style,’ says Trish. Both subsoil and topsoil were brought in to create new borders and a mound that rises to the same height as the one in front of the house, divided by paths into three distinct planting areas: reds and purples; yellows, greens and whites; pinks, silvers and purples. ‘I loved planning this using Pinterest to make boards for each of the three colour-themed sections,’ says Trish. The outer perimeter beds are planted with blues and whites, such as long-flowering Geranium Rozanne (‘Gerwat’), asters and grasses including tall, upright Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’. Columns of Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ punctuate the border, replacing the original pencil cypresses that failed to thrive on the heavy clay soil. Existing hedges provide a strong backdrop to which Trish and Jeremy added a low hornbeam hedge, creating layers of interest. Planting on the mound is a subtle mix of grasses, herbaceous perennials, bulbs and shrubby trees including the purple-leaved > 120

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

CH&I lovesÉ SUCCULENT COLLECTIONS These striking, sculptural plants are easy to care for and look good over a long period. Forms include creeping, mat-forming sedums, bold, spiny agaves and aloes, and aeoniums that look like small trees, with fleshy rosettes. They store water in their leaves so can cope with long periods of drought and thrive in gritty, well-drained soil in full sun. Here’s how to get the most from them... • Make sure your pots have good drainage. Dress the top of the soil with grit to keep their collars dry. • Use shallow pots for creeping succulents: sempervivums and sedums will even grow well in the holes of an airbrick. • Hardy succulents like sedums and sempervivums can be safely left out all year, whereas tender species like aeoniums, echeverias and agaves need to be brought inside over winter. • Group lots of a single type together or mix and match with a variety of shape and colour. • Drop large specimens of aeoniums into borders among other plants for an exotic effect.


SOMERSET GARDEN

The gravel path in the front garden intersects the borders planted with Pennisetum macrourum and bronze fennel

a joy to see the range ❝ofIt’s invertebrates we have here, especially the dragonflies that seem to be attracted by the stream


The church tower viewed through the branches of Cornus controversa underplanted with Dianthus carthusianorum

Indian bean tree, Catalpa x erubescens ‘Purpurea’, white-flowered black chokeberry, Aronia melanocarpa, and the stag’s horn sumach, Rhus typhina, flaming orange in autumn. ‘I particularly like the pink, silver and purple section, which includes Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’. It’s a prolific flowerer,’ says Trish. Teamed with the pink rose are silverleaved Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’ and Teucrium fruticans, and the pretty self-seeder Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’, which threads its dainty pink flower spikes in and out of other plants. ‘The driveway shrubbery is the first thing you see as you come in the front gates, and though it’s useful for privacy, we’ve tried to add some clarity and shape to it by lifting the crowns of some of the larger shrubs like cotoneaster and Portuguese laurel,’ says Trish. At the back the courtyards and terrace, once overgrown, are now sunny and ordered, fizzing with self-seeded Erigeron karvinskianus and home to collections of succulents and pots of choice salvias. The raised border below the terrace is a gauzy mix of grasses and herbaceous perennials that flower long into the autumn, including Gaura ‘Karalee White’, penstemons and geraniums. Above the terrace, the lawn slopes steeply, dotted with fruit trees around which the grass is allowed to grow long in the late summer, mown through with a path that leads to a small vegetable patch. After living in a quiet, rural spot in Cornwall for many years Trish and Jeremy appreciate the peace and serenity of their Somerset home, in spite of being in the centre of the village. ‘The garden has a lovely atmosphere, and not having to struggle with Cornish winds is a delight,’ says Trish. These days the Old Vicarage is less Hammer House of Horror and more horticultural heaven. 122

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

ON OUR DOORSTEPÉ Visit… ‘The Bishop’s Palace Gardens in Wells (bishopspalace. org.uk) for its beautiful gardens right in the heart of the town, full of fine planting among water and ruins.’ Shop at… ‘Axbridge Farmers’ Market (somersetfarmersmarkets. co.uk). It’s held on the first Saturday of the month and has everything from game, meat and fish to vegetables, bread and plants. One of our favourite stalls is Somerset Charcuterie.’ Go for a meal at… ‘The Ethicurean Restaurant, Barley Wood Walled Gardens, Long Lane, Wrington (theethicurean. com). It’s a wonderful setting serving delicious food beautifully presented. Very peaceful and with artists’ studios, too.’


SOMERSET GARDEN

1

2

3

Trish’s latesummer favourites 1 Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Fat Domino’/ Bistort has long spikes of red flowers. 2 Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’ is a selfseeding toadflax with shell pink flowers. 3 Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’ is a repeat flowering shrub rose with fragrant flowers. 4 Geranium Rozanne (‘Gerwat’) (PBR) is a floriferous geranium with violet flowers. 5 Aster divaricatus, a Michaelmas daisy with masses of tiny pinky white flowers. 6 Echinacea purpurea ‘Primadonna White’ is a sun-loving coneflower adored by bees.

FEATURE AND PHOTOGRAPHS CAROLE DRAKE

7 Pennisetum macrourum/African feather grass has arching tawny flowerheads. 4

8 Daucus carota/wild carrot has lacy umbels that turn into attractive seedheads.

5

6

7

8

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Live Life Well

HEALTH, HAPPINESS, FASHION, TRAVEL, PETS, PASTIMES AND OTHER THINGS TO MAKE LIFE LOVELY

Be creatively inspired by the beautiful orchard gardens at West Dean College in Sussex on a four-day botanical painting course, 22-25 September, £377 (westdean.org.uk)

WHAT TO PICK, SEE & DO Pick... apples, in season until mid-October See... birds flock and fly at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s annual Spurn Migration Festival, 6-8 September (spurnmigfest.com) Enjoy... dahlias at their best and pick up tips on how to grow them at Common Farm in rural Somerset, 17 September, £85 (common farmflowers.com)

FEATURE TARA KING PHOTOGRAPH TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

Learn... how to make natural home and beauty products using foraged finds, £45 (garturstitchfarm.com)

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LIVE LIFE WELL

3 steps to help you…

rebalance and find calm 1 TAKE PAUSE Start by finding a comfortable seated position with your back nice and straight. You can either sit on the floor with your legs crossed, or on a seat with your feet flat on the ground.

Calm candles Friends Naomi and Sarah started plant-based candle company, Seven Seventeen, in 2016. Each of their candles comes with its own feel-good mantra and has been hand-poured into a recycled glass jar. We love Off Duty, an uplifting blend of lime, basil and mandarin, £34, Seven Seventeen.

2 CLOSE YOUR EYES Begin to focus on your breathing, following each inhale and exhale as they travel through your body. 3 DEEPEN YOUR BREATH Inhale for a count of four and then exhale for a count of four. Continue to do this for several minutes until you feel your mind and body start to relax. Geelong slouch roll neck, £105; merino lounge pants, £79, both Celtic & Co

ONE TO FOLLOW… If you read just one blog this month, make it littlegreenshedblog.co.uk. Writer, photographer and mum-of-two Lou Archell curates beautiful posts with a focus on seasonal living – with stunning interiors and outdoor adventures that celebrate nature in all its forms.

WOVEN WONDERS Despite being one of the world’s most ancient crafts, basketry is now trendier than ever. In Baskets (£14.99, Hardie Grant Publishing), Tabara N’Diaye demystifies traditional weaving methods with an inspirational range of projects for the modern country home and maker, from lampshades and coasters to pretty plant hangers and storage solutions.

FEEL THE HEAT Living and working as a textile printer in London, Scandinavian-born Lo Blästa couldn’t find a good replacement for her Vetekudde (Swedish for wheat bag), a natural alternative to plastic hot water bottles. Instead, she decided to design and make her own using sustainable flax linen and wheat grown and harvested in the UK. We love the creatures print, £25, Blästa Henriët. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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3 of the loveliest…

woven wall hangings

Add a touch of homespun style F RU IT OF TH E LOOM The crocheted pear detailing can be stitched in your choice of colour – the perfect addition for a nursery or child’s room, £30, Logii

GEOMETR I C WEAVE Display a group of these embroidered hoops on the wall for a relaxed artisan look. From £26 each, Hmuirdesigns at Etsy

COAT TALES Renowned for its whimsical interpretation of British fashion, Cabbages & Roses creates limited-edition clothing that’s ethically made, longlasting and always beautiful. Irresistible tailoring and oversized silhouettes make the new-season coats our favourite buy for autumn. Pair with layered skirts and wellies. Sunday coat, £575; Swirly coat, £575, both Cabbages & Roses

A hard-wearing leather bag is the perfect choice for country style and Nkuku has one of the best collections we’ve seen. Soft, supple leather is coloured using tree bark and vegetable dyes before being handstitched by artisans, ensuring a unique finish. Prices start at £79.95. 126

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

Bring boho back with this macramé design, complete with tassels in natural black and cream tones, £75, Cox & Cox

CREATURE COMFORT Australian brand Bondi Wash has created a luxury dog shampoo made from a natural blend of native essential oils. Each oil has been specifically selected for its calming properties, so clean pups end up feeling serene as well as smelling sweet. £15 for 250ml, Aurora Pets

FEATURE TARA KING

BAGS OF STYLE

S EVENTI ES STYLE


LIVE LIFE WELL

Sarah finds inspiration on walks around the Isle of Skye

MY COUNTRY PASSION

Botanical printmaking

FEATURE TARA KING

Freelance writer Sarah Hardman moved to the Isle of Skye in 2017 with her partner and little boy in search of the quiet life. An avid plant collector, she uses her foraged finds to create beautiful nature prints I’ve always loved plants and flowers. My mum taught me a lot over the years, and now I’m a real collector. I have lots of old botanical guides (useful for identification) and there are pots of seed heads, feathers and bits of wood all over the house. Living seasonally is very important to me, so the idea of capturing and preserving nature’s beauty in the form of printmaking felt like a natural progression from foraging. I first tried botanical printmaking after seeing artist Stef Mitchell’s work on Pinterest. I contacted her and she was kind enough to teach me the basics of making prints by hand using a brayer (ink roller) and water-based inks. It’s so simple to master and the equipment is inexpensive, too – you don’t have

to be a great artist to produce beautiful results. I would recommend trying lino printing as well, and block carving is very relaxing. The process starts with identifying and collecting. Sometimes I go out looking for something specific, but often I’ll spot something interesting and want to take a closer look. I’m a big advocate of the ‘green therapy’ approach to life; spending time outdoors on a regular basis gives you opportunities to truly appreciate nature and all it has to offer. I do have to be a little practical, however – wilted stems, leaves and petals are no use for printmaking, so I do head home quickly with particularly beautiful finds! There’s something lovely about foraging alone, the freedom to

wander at will and observe and gather is really relaxing. Having said that, it’s also an activity the whole family can enjoy together. My little boy, Joe, often comes with me. He’s a real little outdoor adventurer and I take so much pleasure in nurturing his passion for nature. Creativity is a big part of my life and printmaking offers me the chance to express that in a relaxed way. Next, I want to master the art of making inks from plants!

Read this...

Be inspired by more of Sarah’s beautiful prints and stories of her foraging finds on her blog, Frond & Feather (frond-and-feather.com) COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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LIVE LIFE WELL

Bedrooms have a studious, yet calming atmosphere

Enjoy your favourite pre-dinner tipple in the club-style bar

A WEEKEND AWAY AT

The University Arms ENJOY AN OPULENT CITY BREAK AT CAMBRIDGE’S MOST LUXURIOUS HOTEL

F

FEATURE PATRICK HAMILTON COURTNEY

orgotten by much of Cambridge for many years, The University Arms – the city’s oldest hotel – had been neglected and was victim of a strange flirtation with a modernist wing in the Sixties. Luckily, new owner-developers set about restoring it to its impressive 19th-century glory last year. Now, with the ugly extension banished, the smart original façade restored and a top designer taking charge of the glamorous interiors, the hotel has regained its reputation as the best address in town. An idyllic spot for country folk seeking a city break, it’s also a popular destination among brunching locals and families

stopping over for a night while visiting the city’s various universities, colleges and schools. CITY SETTING The hotel is set on Parker’s Piece, a small stretch of parkland in the heart of Cambridge, lined on all sides by attractive period terraces. It’s a lovely setting for city accommodation, as certain suites overlook the green and provide a soothing hit of bucolic bliss. All of Cambridge’s most interesting attractions are an easy walk from the hotel, and the River Cam is just a few streets over – perfect for post-breakfast morning strolls. STUDIOUS OPULENCE Interiors man of the moment Martin Brudnizki was charged with the task of revamping the property, and his work here is a study in collegiate charm. Original features have been preserved and restored, including mahogany fireplaces, stained glass and

decorative moulding. Some rooms are tastefully themed around former and current students and residents of the city, such as Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin. MODERN TAVERN Brudnizki’s intelligent styling continues into the hotel’s restaurant, Parker’s Tavern, which takes its design ethos from the most sophisticated of dining halls. Overseen by chef Tristan Welch, the restaurant serves a menu of seasonal British comfort food and culinary classics. Find dishes such as roasted pilchards, fish cakes, honey and thyme Norfolk duck, and brown buttered sole. Be sure to try the rice pudding souffle – a sophisticated take on nostalgic school lunch puddings. The University Arms, Parker’s Tavern, Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AD, 01223 606266 universityarms.com

While youÕre there... At last, the hotel has been returned to its former glory

FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM

CAMBRIDGE BOTANIC GARDEN

An art and antiquities powerhouse, this gallery holds more than half a million spectacular works – from Egyptian artefacts to Picassos and van Goghs.

Supervised by the University of Cambridge’s department of plant sciences, these enchanting gardens hold numerous national plant collections of rare species.

COLLEGE TOURS A visit to Cambridge wouldn’t be complete without a nosy around some of its ancient colleges with their stunning architecture. Visit Cambridge offers private walking tours. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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& INTERIORS

Gorgeous houses, we want youĂ&#x2030;

If you'd like your home to be considered for a feature in Country Homes & Interiors, send your photos and tell us all about it at countryhomes@ti-media.com

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to come on over!


IN A COUNTRY KITCHEN

COOKS’ NEWS

Change your spots We might all have a stack of aprons hanging on the back of our kitchen doors, but it’s time to make way for something new. Witloft’s leather aprons have long been our favourite way to keep clean whether baking, barbecuing or even gardening, but this new leopard-print design adds an extra dash of fun. Handcrafted from high-quality leather and adjustable to suit all shapes and heights, it costs £149.95.

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT

ONE-STOP SHOP Overwhelmed by the number of gadgets and devices out there? Meet the new wave of onepot cooking. With an impressive list of functions – pressure cook, slow cook, air crisp, steam, sear, sauté, bake, roast and grill – the Ninja Foodi is a must-have. Air-crisp technology lets you create crispy fried foods with up to 75 per cent less fat than deep frying – hello, kale crisps! The pressure cooking function is perfect for a busy family, as you can make wonderfully moist roast chicken in less than half an hour, £199.99, Ninja Kitchen.

GROW IT YOURSELF With harvest time approaching, and kitchen gardens, orchards and even window boxes bursting at the brim with produce, you’re probably looking for new ideas for your seasonal glut. Published this month, Home-Grown Harvest (£14.99, Ryland Peters & Small) offers more than 150 recipes, with each chapter focusing on a different fruit or vegetable. From stews and salads, to pickles and preserves, with this hand-picked selection you’ll never get bored with any of your grow-your-own ingredients.

Beautiful brews Nothing beats a good cup of tea – especially when it comes from a stylish caddy. Newby has collaborated with Matthew Williamson to create a range of caddies featuring exotic colours and vibrant prints inspired by the Rajasthan region of India. The three fragrant blends are Maharaja’s Breakfast (a rich Assam), Exotic Earl Grey (bergamot and safflower) and Jasmine Rose Green (green tea with jasmine and rose), £30 each, from Selfridges and Newby. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

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Summer in

PROVENCE

EVEN A BRITISH STAYCATION CAN FEEL LIKE A MEDITERRANEAN ESCAPE WITH THE RIGHT MENU. ALEX JACKSON DEMONSTRATES SIMPLE, FRENCH COOKING AT ITS FINESTâ&#x20AC;¦

MOZZARELLA, PEACHES AND HAM >

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GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

TOMATO AND TAPENADE TART >

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GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

MOZZARELLA, PEACHES AND HAM Hardly a recipe, more of an assembly job, this is summer ‘cooking’ at its simplest. As the success of this dish hinges on the quality of the ingredients, wait until the peaches are perfectly ripe and sweet.

SERVES 4 4 x 125g balls of buffalo mozzarella 2 ripe peaches

Sea salt and freshly ground

Olive oil Lemon juice

4 slices cured ham, ideally Italian

black pepper 12 fresh basil leaves

1 Tear the mozzarella into large pieces and scatter over a serving dish or divide between four plates. 2 Halve, stone and slice the peaches into sixths or thick slices. Dress the peaches lightly with a tiny splash of olive oil and just enough lemon juice to balance out the sweetness of the peaches. Season with salt and black pepper. 3 Gently toss the basil through the dressed peaches, then arrange on the serving plate with the mozzarella. Drizzle over your best olive oil. Finally, drape the ham lovingly over the top.

TOMATO AND TAPENADE TART

preheat for 10min. Meanwhile, unroll your pastry and cut a sheet of greaseproof paper to the same size. Lay the pastry on top of it. Score a 2cm border around the edge of the pastry. 5 Spread the tapenade all over the pastry, within the border. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a single layer on top. Halve the small tomatoes, season with salt, and use them to fill any gaps. Drizzle over some olive oil and season with black pepper. 6 Remove the hot tray from the oven, slide the tart on top. Bake for 30min, or until the edges of the tart are puffed up and the base is cooked through and lightly golden. The tomatoes should have softened and taken on a little colour. 7 Season the tart lightly with a little sea salt and pepper, and then sprinkle over some torn basil leaves. Allow the tart to cool slightly on the baking tray, then slice into squares while still just warm. Drizzle with your best olive oil before serving.

ROAST HAKE, SAMPHIRE AND TOMATO SALAD Samphire and tomatoes are where the British summer meets its Mediterranean counterpart. These two ingredients combine really nicely, especially when dressed with plenty of herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.

SERVES 4

Given the right tomatoes, this tart is a highlight of the summer table. A sprinkling of fragrant basil at the end is essential, as well as a drizzle of your best olive oil. Nyons olives are best, but any soft black olives will do nicely.

MAKES 1 LARGE TART (ENOUGH FOR 4 PEOPLE FOR LUNCH OR LOTS OF SMALL SQUARES FOR A PARTY)

FOR THE TART 4 bull’s heart tomatoes Sea salt and black pepper 500g block of pre-rolled puff pastry Handful of small Italian plum tomatoes Olive oil 1 bunch of fresh basil

FOR THE TAPENADE 100g pitted black olives

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a fine paste ½tsp fresh thyme leaves, stems discarded 1 salted anchovy fillet, washed and patted dry 1tsp salted capers, soaked well, washed and drained 1tsp brandy 4tsp olive oil 1tsp red wine vinegar

1 First, slice the bull’s heart tomatoes into 1cm rounds. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and season well with salt. Leave for 30min. 2 To make the tapenade, put all the dry ingredients in a blender. Blitz well. Add the wet ingredients and blitz again until very smooth. 3 Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. 4 Put your largest baking tray in the oven to

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Olive oil Fresh rosemary, thyme, bay and tarragon, all on the stalk, for a bed of herbs 1kg hake, scaled Sea salt and black pepper 1 unwaxed lemon, ½ sliced

into rounds, ½ for juicing 200ml dry white wine 1tbsp butter 4 large ripe tomatoes 100g samphire, washed 1tbsp each fresh parsley and tarragon leaves

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. 2 Pour 2tbsp olive oil into a roasting dish and build a bed of herbs. Season the hake both inside and out. Nestle the fish in the herbs, slide a few slices of lemon and some tarragon stalks inside the fish. Pour over the wine, lots of olive oil and the butter. 3 Roast the hake for 20min, or until the flesh offers very little resistance when pierced to the bone. 4 Chop the tomatoes, then season. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Blanch the samphire for 1-2min. Drain. Toss the tomatoes and samphire together. Dress with a little olive oil, lemon juice and the chopped herbs. Arrange on a serving dish. 5 Flake the hake flesh off the bone in big pieces and lay them just to the side of the salad. Drizzle juices from the roasting dish over the fish. 6 Serve with some boiled and dressed Puy lentils or a crusty baguette, if you like.


ROAST HAKE, SAMPHIRE AND TOMATO SALAD

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BEIGNETS FILLED WITH SALT COD BRANDADE


GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

SALT COD BRANDADE Brandade has many uses – spread it over the top of a crouton to make a simple canapé, serve with toast, a soft-boiled egg and some chopped parsley, or use to stuff crisp, fried beignets (see next recipe). SERVES 4

BEIGNETS FILLED WITH SALT COD BRANDADE These beignets are effectively empanadas stuffed with a perked-up salt cod brandade, then deepfried until puffed up, blistered and lightly crisp. Serve with harissa or a red pepper sauce.

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT PHOTOGRAPHS MATT RUSSELL

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 15 BEIGNETS 400g salted cod fillet, soaked overnight

4tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 bay leaves 1tsp black peppercorns

and crushed 200g floury potatoes,

Milk

peeled and diced

1 To make the brandade, put the salt cod, bay leaves and peppercorns in a pan. Add enough milk to just cover the fish. Place the pan over a low heat and bring it very slowly to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Leave the cod to poach in the hot milk for 5min, then carefully lift the fish out. Discard the peppercorns and bay leaves, and set the milk aside. 2 Remove the skin from the cod, along with any bones that you can see. Heat the olive oil gently in a pan with the crushed garlic. Fry the garlic gently for 5-10min. Set aside. Add the potatoes to the milk and boil until soft. Taste the milk to see whether any salt is required – the answer is usually no! Drain and mash the potatoes, reserving the milk. 3 Flake the cod into a blender and add 1tbsp of the reserved milk. Blitz to a smooth(ish) purée. Add the potatoes, garlic oil and another tbsp of the milk. Blitz again. Loosen the brandade with a little more of the reserved milk, if needed. The brandade should taste strong but not overly salty, with a good hit of garlic and a lot of olive oil. COOK’S TIP To make your own salt cod, first pin-bone a cod fillet. Then, leaving the skin on, salt the fish heavily with coarse rock salt. Place in a lidded storage container and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, drain off any liquid and repack the fish with more salt. Leave in the fridge for a few days. Next, wash off the salt and leave the fish to soak in clean cold water overnight. Change the water once or twice.

Recipes from Sardine: Simple seasonal ProvenÇal cooking by Alex Jackson (£25, Pavilion Books)

Vegetable oil

2tbsp finely chopped

FOR THE DOUGH

fresh parsley or chervil

125ml olive oil

FOR THE SAUCE

125ml dry white wine 2 egg yolks

1 red pepper 2 garlic cloves, peeled

375g plain flour

Olive oil

Pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING

1 dried Spanish chilli 1 thyme sprig, leaves

½ quantity of salt cod brandade (see recipe, left) Zest of 1 lemon and

picked 1tbsp red wine vinegar 1tsp sweet paprika

1 orange

Sea salt

1 To make the dough, whisk the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and then stir in the flour and salt. Knead briefly to form a smooth, oily dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1hr. 2 Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Rub the pepper and garlic with olive oil. Grill the pepper, turning occasionally, until the skin is blackened and blistered. About halfway through the cooking time, add the garlic and grill until blistered and softened. Put the dried chilli in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to rehydrate. 3 Put the pepper in a bowl and cover tightly with clingfilm. Allow to steam for 15min, then peel off the skin. Don’t worry if some of the skin adheres to the flesh. Scoop out the stalk and discard the seeds. In a blender, blitz the pepper and garlic with the thyme and chilli to make a smooth sauce. Add 2tbsp olive oil, the vinegar, paprika and salt, to taste. The sauce should be smoky and sharp. 4 Mix all of the filling ingredients together. Season. 5 To make the beignets, roll out the dough to 1mm-thick. Using an 8cm cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Put a heaped tsp of the brandade in the middle of one half of each round, then fold over the other half to make a half-moon shape. Rub the edges lightly with water to help the dough to stick. Press and crimp the edges to ensure a tight seal. 6 Pour vegetable oil into a deep pan, until the oil is 5cm deep. Heat the oil to 170°C or until a small piece of bread fizzes and floats. Deep fry the beignets in batches for 3-4min until golden brown. 7 Drain the beignets on paper towels, then serve with the sauce on the side.

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SHOPPING DIRECTORY

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68

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Just for You

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M Y FA V O U R I T E V I E W

Kate enjoys views out to the iconic, volcano-like Sugar Loaf Mountain from the top of Skirrid

MY FAVOURITE VIEW...

From the top of the Skirrid, Monmouthshire Living in the Wye Valley, I am incredibly spoilt as far as views are concerned, but there’s something extra special about the world from the summit of a little mountain called the Skirrid, or Ysgyryd Fawr in Welsh. Also known as the Holy Mountain, there are lots of lovely myths and legends around it, and Owen Sheers wrote the most beautiful poems inspired by it.

Whether I’m with friends, my husband or just my dog, I tend to walk the same way up, winding my way through the woods at the base of the mountain, rather than going the more popular direct route. This way, I get a backwards helter-skelter view of the landscape as I start to climb, and I get to see it changing as I get higher. It’s the gateway to the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, so I look out over very 146

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS

green land, often dotted with fluffy white sheep. Then on the skyline as the land starts to rise, and the shades change from green to brown as the trees run out, there’s this perfect triangle right on the horizon – the Sugar Loaf Mountain. It’s so beautiful seeing this little peak coming out of nowhere, and in early summer I often hear cuckoos in the woods – a wonderful soundtrack to walk to. The whole of the Monmouthshire countryside opens up around me as I climb higher, and there’s this wonderful sense that I’m almost taking off, like one of the kites or ravens that soar in the sky around there. And when I finally get to the top, there’s the whole world in front of me! It’s enough of an effort that I feel I’ve earned the reward of the view and the cold cider that awaits

me at the bottom. It’s especially impressive on a summer evening when I can have the whole mountain to myself. It feels as though the view has been put on as a wonderful private show. There’s also something that happens to the light at the end of those long days – there’s this softness, which makes the landscape feel especially verdant and luxurious. I can stand up there and sometimes the wind is howling, other times it’s absolutely still, but whatever it’s like, it makes me feel so small and insignificant compared to the majesty of the landscape. Kate Humble has helped launch the Dettol Trigger Project, inspiring people to make small changes to reduce household waste and trigger a cleaner world. To find out more, visit dettol.co.uk/dettol-trigger-project

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT

Television presenter and naturalist Kate Humble’s go-to walk, up the Skirrid mountain in Wales, shows off the surrounding landscape at its finest


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