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

HOMES RICH CHARACTER Personal interiors with stylish details

FOR YOUR MOODBOARD Elegant barn conversion Designer Victorian townhouse Sussex seaside bungalow

Woodburners and open fires... chic ideas for the season

November 2019

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A H E A D O F I T S T I M E History meets

modernity in a Grade-II listed Bradford barn A M O D E R N T W I S T A Dorset farm building was rebuilt, stone-by-stone, to form a Georgian-style home full of pre-loved finds Y O R K S H I R E ’ S F I N E S T The loving touch of one owner has reinstated a sense of grandeur in this historic farmhouse H O M E AT L A S T One couple faced a race against time to revamp their Aberdeen cottage before they became a family of three S E T T L I N G I N A mellow, natureinspired scheme fills this Surrey new build


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L I V I N G T H E D R E A M Opportunity

knocked twice for this owner when she was offered the keys to a Surrey Edwardian house S C E N E S E T T E R In designing their dream home, one couple built themselves a front-row seat to the stunning views of the South Wales valleys S TA R T U R N How a film set decorator turned a cottage in Berkshire into a blockbuster A K I N D O F M A G I C Having fallen under the spell of this listed longhouse in Suffolk, this family were determined to maintain its enchanting ambience

Expert help was needed to combine two Victorian townhouses into one (page 30).

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U R B A N O A S I S How one well-travelled pair created

a unique retreat right in the heart of Paris D O U B L E V I S I O N Two became one when this London family combined a pair of Victorian townhouses A N E L E G A N T B L E N D A talented team designed a beautifully sophisticated home for one London couple C O L O U R H A P P Y Bold hues and family heirlooms create a unique look in a Victorian bungalow in Cape Town B I G G E R & B E T T E R The owners of a terrace in London wasted no time enlarging and updating their house A R T A N D S O U L A native New Yorker’s love for abstract art served as the muse for his London family home L E V E L B E S T Fresh from their Indian honeymoon, these newlyweds wanted to recreate an exotic ambience in their basement apartment in Edinburgh V I C T O R I A N R O M A N C E Soft hues and a loving hand have transformed a period home in London B A C K T O L I F E Bargain finds, bespoke cabinetry and bold colour have all helped invigorate this south London Victorian property

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H I D D E N T R E A S U R E Despite years of neglect,

this Georgian townhouse in Lincolnshire had some thrilling surprises in store for its new owners S I N G U L A R B E A U T Y An interior designer fell in love with the unique, dramatic space she’d created in a post-war detached holiday home in Iceland C L E V E R W I T H C O L O U R Wow-factor wallpaper and bold paint hues create interest in a Surrey period villa O R I G I N A L C H A R A C T E R The renovation and extension of this Arts and Crafts house in Hertfordshire has resulted in a true masterpiece

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P L A I N A N D S I M P L E An unprepossessing Sixties

home in West Sussex has been given a clean, green new look C H A N G E O F S C E N E Swapping city life for a rugged surfing spot led these seasoned renovators to a Thirties detached property in Northern Ireland A N A R T F U L C O N V E R S I O N This studio in a Finnish warehouse is part guest house, part gallery

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T R AV E L O F F E R Luxury European river cruises W H E R E T O B U Y Find stockists listed in this issue R O O M E N V Y The scheme that’s inspired us this month


Exceptional clean burning wood stoves @charnwoodstoves

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR SARAH SPITERI Executive Editors Kate French and Pip McCormac Group Creative Director Emma Williams Group Chief Sub Editor Anne Esden Commercial Editorial Operations Director Jane Akers Homes Content Team Editorial Director Rhoda Parry Commissioning/Interiors Editor Fiona Mace Head of Art Operations Alison Walter Art Editors Melanie Brown and Paula Jardine Senior Designer Christina McQuillan Designer Charlotte Holland Head of Subs Operations Maxine Clarke Hub Chief Sub Editor Jennifer Spaeth Senior Sub Editors Marian McNamara and Karen Wiley


CEO TI Media Limited Marcus Rich Group Managing Director Life & Style Angela O’Farrell EA to Group Managing Director Life & Style Michelle Briant Managing Director Mark Winterton Business Director Grainne McKenna Digital Director – Life & Style Group Sarah Rafati


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WELCOME There is something enchanting about autumn. Turning leaves, chilly evenings, the first roaring fires... Our November issue is full of inspiration for this transitional season. Many of our gorgeous homes feature ideas for fireplaces, from contemporary woodburners to decorative mantelpieces. I particularly love the hallway of Georgina Salter’s Grade II-listed longhouse in Suffolk, where a traditional open fire feature combines with a contemporary pendant to great effect (page 136). Warm colours, natural materials and rich textures also strike an autumnal note. Gayle Wailes’ Lincolnshire townhouse uses these details in abundance (page 8), while the deep palette of Sarah Ord’s Victorian bungalow has a cosseting charm (page 75). As well as hunkering down this month, you may also be considering a project, as there’s still time to add the finishing touches before the Christmas mayhem – just. You will find some beautiful kitchen and bathroom looks in this issue as well. Happy planning! SARAH SPITERI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR


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SETTING THE SCENE The owner of this Bristol home loves going to town with baubles, foliage and candlelight

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Festive cheer fills this beautiful Oxfordshire farmhouse in time for a family gathering

All prices quoted in this issue including VAT at the current rate were correct at the time of going to press, although you are advised to check cost and availability before buying. 25 Beautiful Homes is published by TI Media Limited, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Repro by Rhapsody, 109/123 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4LD. Printed by Walstead UK Limited. Cover printed by Walstead UK Limited. Publisher’s subscriptions rates for 12 issues (including p&p): UK, £52.20; Europe & Eire, €170.20; USA & Canada, $111.30; rest of the world, £129.90. For all subscription enquiries and UK orders, call 0330 333 1113 or email For overseas orders, please call +44 (0) 330 333 1113.

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There were surprise discoveries aplenty during the renovation of Gayle Wailes’ listed home FEATURE AMANDER MEADE | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

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home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse L O C AT I O N Lincolnshire R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, living/dining room, kitchen-diner, cloakroom, three bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom, plus a self-contained basement flat P U R C H A S E D 2014 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a barn conversion in Cambridgeshire,’ says Gayle.

LIVING/DINING ROOM A woodburning stove makes this dualpurpose space perfect for cosy evenings in. Furniture painted in Country Grey chalk paint, £19.95 for 1L, Annie Sloan. Walls in Purbeck Stone estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Rug, £140, Next Home

DINING AREA Gayle’s trademark style of combining soft shades with dark furnishings makes a dramatic statement in here. Endon Studio single suspension pendant lights, £18 each, Ocean Lighting. For a Smeg fridge freezer like this one, £1,999, try John Lewis & Partners

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SITTING ROOM Deep tones and luxurious fabrics create a soft, cocooning effect. Velvet sofa, £2,160, Walls in Grey Moss absolute matt emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Little Greene. Graphite sheepskin throw, £175, Cox & Cox


efore Gayle and Richard Wailes bought their elegant townhouse, family life was far from ideal. Gayle and the couple’s two children, Eddie, now 20, and Claudia, 17, were based in Cambridgeshire while Richard was working in London for most of the week. Searching for a home to put down roots together, Gayle spotted a house for sale in the centre of an impressive Georgian terrace in Lincolnshire and went to view it immediately. Smitten by the graceful proportions of the rooms, which were arranged over four floors, she recognised the flexibility the house could offer. ‘With two teenagers and lots of visitors, several floors seemed like a great opportunity,’ recalls Gayle, who also adored the views over the surrounding countryside. But having been rented out for almost a decade, the house had been seriously neglected and considerable renovations were needed. The first undertaking was a new roof followed by replacing the barely functioning boiler and plumbing. ‘A lot of money was spent on very unglamorous jobs but they had to be done,’ says Gayle. Despite the unloved state of the interior, she didn’t rush to begin the transformation, preferring to wait a few months until she had developed a sense of how each room would be used. Redecoration began in the south-facing sitting room, where Gayle was confident that a darker shade would work on the walls due to the abundance of natural light. Sumptuous velvet sofas, stripped oak floorboards and the beautifully restored fireplace draw upon the grand Georgian tradition of a sitting room on the first floor, but with a modern-day twist. Elsewhere, walls have been painted in a natural palette, providing the perfect backdrop for Gayle’s upcycled vintage furniture. ‘I like to combine softer

KITCHEN Vintage wooden finds complement the stripped oak flooring while also lending warmth to the grey and black palette. Take a look at Astro Ginestra light grey pendant, £163, First Choice Lighting

C L A U D I A’ S B E D R O O M The Louis XV bed was a bargain eBay buy, which Gayle reupholstered in grey linen. Lamp, £75, Cox & Cox. Cushions, from £45, H&M. Wall in Charleston Gray estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

EN SUITE Moroccan-style tiles add character to the contemporary walk-in shower unit. Abbey Decor wall tiles, £38.40sq m, Porcelain Superstore, are near-identical

pale grey and off-white shades with furniture and accessories in darker tones to add definition,’ she says. The couple brought only their favourite items from their previous home, preferring instead to seek out vintage and antique furniture especially chosen for each room. ‘I’m a huge fan of Newark Antiques Fair and habitually return to the same particular few traders who specialise in the reclaimed, distressed look that I love,’ explains Gayle. ‘I also scour auction sites and keep my eyes peeled for local bargains.’ In the kitchen, the couple were thrilled to discover that the existing granite worktops were immaculate, although the cabinetry was in need of cosmetic attention. Refurbishing, repainting and new handles provided an inexpensive update, while the addition of open shelving means that Gayle’s vast collection of vintage kitchenalia is always within easy reach and also adds a striking decorative touch. ‘The previous owners left a fabulous range cooker by Lacanche behind, too, which we had reconditioned and now looks like new,’ she adds. Many more fantastic finds were revealed as the renovations continued, including some beautiful chandelier light fittings covered in dust and dirt, oak flooring, original fireplaces and cast-iron radiators. ‘Every room contained a surprise and it was a bit like stumbling upon lost treasure,’ recalls Gayle whose training as a fashion designer influences her approach to the colour, texture and symmetry of her furnishings. ‘I was striving for a relaxed and welcoming feeling throughout, so I use plenty of candles and home fragrances, as well as fresh flowers and house plants, which add a little joie de vivre,’ she explains. ‘We have guests of all ages and everyone says they feel very comfortable here, which is the best compliment I could receive.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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i n s p i r at i o n ‘We once stayed in a chic boutique hotel in Majorca and I loved its simplicity and use of natural textures’

MASTER BEDROOM ‘I bleached and waxed a piece of reclaimed door a friend was throwing away and had it made into a unique headboard,’ says Gayle. Find a similar natural rush mat, from £30, eBay. Cushions, £45 each, French Connection Home

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Singular beauty Interior designer Rut Káradóttir decided on a dark and dramatic colour scheme to give this home instant sophistication FEATURE SEÁN O’CONNELL AND HALLA BÁRA GESTSDÓTTIR PHOTOGRAPHY GUNNAR SVERRISSON/LIVING INSIDE

KITCHEN-DINER Dark yet warm colours accentuate the sculptural white accessories. Walls in Moon Grape matt emulsion, £42 for 2.5L, Fired Earth. Try the Bolero industrial-style table, £290, Nisbets. The Homcom vintage bar stool, £79.99, ManoMano, would work here

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home truths THE PROPERTY Detached house, built in 1946 L O C AT I O N Akureyri, Iceland R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner, four bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2010 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘The owners also have a home in the capital, Reykjavik,’ says Rut.

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design tip ‘For added interest, try creating some contrast in a room – simply pair elegant fittings with some rougher textures’

LANDING The enormous circular window is a fabulous original feature. The vase of green fronds adds a refreshing dash of colour and enlivens the space. Black MDF console table, £35.99, VidaXL, is comparable

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SITTING ROOM The soft grey veins of the white marble surround soften its effect and unite the colour scheme. For bespoke marble fire surrounds, try Natural Stone Installers. Ikea’s Ramsebo wing chair, £325, would work here. Try the Anatole coffee table, £730, Wayfair. The Dar Katie 18-arm crystal chandelier, £1,075, Beardsmore Lighting, is a match

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ut Káradóttir was won over by the charm of this period house in northern Iceland. Not only was it in a small, friendly community with a thriving arts scene, but it was also set in the midst of beautiful countryside. The twist, however, was that Rut did not own the property – as an interior designer, she had been asked to renovate it. ‘The owners were keen to have a modern interior with a hint of sophistication, and I immediately felt I could create the kind of home I’d live in myself,’ says Rut. ‘It made the whole process so much easier.’ One major change was opening up the downstairs. The existing layout was a collection of small rooms with a lack of natural light. Removing walls and introducing glazed interior doors created a largely open-plan space, where light flows from one area to another, and views of the countryside can be enjoyed from every room. The fact that the property is the family’s holiday home gave Rut a degree of freedom. ‘A second home doesn’t have to be practical in every respect,’ she says. ‘Colours

BEDROOM A cool Scandi look prevails here. Hay J110 armchair, £225, Ambiente Direct. Hemnes bedside table, £50; Hemma lamp base, £5, both Ikea EN SUITE Statement patterned floor tiles bring energy to this space. Try Patchwork 04 tiles, £57.75sq m, Tiles-Direct. Dalby vanity unit, price

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can be darker and you can incorporate more pattern and texture.’ Complementing the outdoor surroundings was a factor, too, and the resulting scheme is every bit as dramatic as the landscape. In the sitting room, dark walls contrast with the glamour of an exuberant central chandelier while the choice of furniture is designed to create a homely, restful air. Wooden flooring also helped to create a link with nature and a practical surface. For consistency, the same flooring and colour scheme carry through to the kitchen-diner, a space of interesting contrasts. The working end of the room is minimalist in its use of materials – clean-lined cabinetry, a modest sink and sleek marble worktops – while the dining area is plush and moody. This richness of texture is particularly evident upstairs, where a softer mood is achieved in the bedrooms through colours and textiles that provide a touch of romance. In terms of looks and usability, this house works well on many levels and more than meets Rut’s expectations. ‘When it was finished, I loved it so much, I could happily have moved in myself.’

on request, Albion Bath Company, is similar. Mirror, £20, Matalan MASTER BEDROOM Ruched light shades add romance. Hayward upholstered headboard, £435, Mood Collections, would work here. Try the Loft Zigzag floor lamp, £882, Made in Design. The purple pleated lampshade, £45, Décor, is a match


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URBAN OASIS home truths THE PROPERTY Modern apartment L O C AT I O N Northeast Paris R O O M S Kitchen-diner/ living area, cloakroom, four bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2017 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before, we lived in a smaller apartment in the centre of the city,’ says Stina.

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Stina and Ruben Pariente Gromark have created a light-filled retreat in the heart of Paris FEATURE SUE UCEL | PHOTOGRAPHY ANNE NYBLAEUS/A DESIGN FEATURES

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tina and Ruben Pariente Gromark are unquestionably a global couple. Stina is originally from Sweden and Ruben grew up in Egypt, Poland and France. After graduating from London’s Central St Martins, they spent much of their time living in Sweden and Spain. Having then settled in Paris with their son Elliot, now three, they found they needed a home big enough to cope with

visiting family and friends. So, in 2017, they moved to a larger apartment near the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, which met their needs for more space, better air quality and a convenient location for work. Seeking to increase the sense of space in the apartment, the couple approached Ruben’s father, Jacques, an interior designer, who came up with the idea of an atrium. They knew it would work, however, it was


This space combines a modern sofa and heirloom furniture with finds from the couple’s travels. Cream three-seater sofa with piping, £1,166, Turnbull & Thomas, is similar


Stina and Ruben cut the birch plywood unit fronts and topped them with concrete worktops. Bespoke Cosmic Concrete worktop, price on request, Marta Bakowski

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‘We mixed this sunny yellow wall colour ourselves,’ says Stina. Laufen Pro S basin, £122, is similar; try the Neptune Black single sink tap, £34.95, both Victorian Plumbing


This cosy space is a fun spot for the couple’s son to play in. Jieldé Signal lamp, £220, Lumitop. Try the vintage child’s chair, £42.22, Barn Owl Vintage France at Etsy

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not a straightforward addition. Besides the logistics, meetings had to take place with residents who overlooked the glass roof and issues concerning the way rainwater ran into the car park had to be addressed. Once the couple began putting their ideas into practice, they paid special attention to choosing the right materials. These include the glass atrium, which is softened by a cherry blossom tree in the

centre and a climbing jasmine which fills the apartment with its delightful fragrance. ‘The apartment is modern, with straight lines – a cube, with rather hard materials,’ says Stina. ‘To balance this, we tried to incorporate natural elements such as wood and stone, and upcycled as much as possible.’ When it came to the layout, the couple’s aim was to mould the kitchen into a social area in the centre of the apartment. The

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dining table was bought from the previous owners, while classic Bentwood chairs in black add definition and shape. With their busy lives – Stina runs a design studio, Stinsensqueeze, and Ruben is a DJ and event producer and runs a record label – it was important to create a peaceful bedroom, a place to recharge with as little clutter as possible. To maintain this focus on simplicity, the bathroom is streamlined


with a built-in structure for the sink and towels. White tiles are strikingly highlighted with orange grout and contrasted with a bold black shower and taps. With this imaginative revamp complete, not only has this light-filled, characterful apartment become the ideal family home for Stina, Ruben and Elliot, but it is a wonderful place for all their visitors from far and wide to gather together.


This retreat has been kept deliberately uncluttered. Firstlight Ohio black brass wall lights, £33 each, Switch Lighting, are similar


White tiles create a streamlined look, while the bold orange grouting adds interest and sharp definition. Try the Brooklyn Linea white wall tiles, £13.50sq m, Homebase. Orange grout, £12.17 for 2.5kg, Tilefix

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AHEAD OF ITS TIME home truths

THE PROPERTY Converted Grade II-listed dry-stone barn L O C AT I O N Bradford R O O M S Hallway, sitting/ dining room, kitchen, office, cloakroom, three bedrooms (two en suite), one bathroom M O V E D I N 2003 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We had a barn conversion in France,’ says Julie.

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Julie Ashworth’s versatile home succeeds thanks to forward thinking and imaginative design FEATURE HEATHER DIXON | PHOTOGRAPHY DAVE BURTON


A first-floor glass mezzanine links the two storeys and creates a spacious atrium. Similar floor tiles are Amadeus black stone-effect floor tile, £58.81sq m, Victoria Plum


Julie is an accomplished furniture maker and many of the pieces in her home – including this dining table – were made by her. The sliding opaque doors along the back wall hide a huge storage area. Arne Jacobsen Series 7 dining chairs, £150 each, The Home


The boarded walls and ceiling were slotted into place to minimise damage to the original stone walls. Balzac chair and footstool, £4,230, by Matthew Hilton for Scp at Heal’s

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The compact bedroom includes a half wall which hides an en suite area on one side and storage on the other, while the height of the room creates a sense of space. Double bed, from £375, Muji. Saltort quilt cover set, £13, Ikea. The plain wool throw in Claret is similar, £75, John Lewis & Partners


The long, narrow bathroom cleverly utilises space. Bath, sink and shower, Hansgrohe at Morlands Bathrooms


Exposed beams, stone walls and skylights have transformed the dark old barn into a home full of texture and natural light.


lutter doesn’t feature in artist Julie Ashworth’s vocabulary – or in her minimalist home. Apart from books, there is very little in the way of day-to-day paraphernalia. It’s there, of course, but hidden behind walls and design-led storage solutions. ‘I like clean lines, open spaces and attention to detail,’ says Julie. Hence her converted Yorkshire barn in which huge oak beams, steel girders and exposed stone are given more emphasis than decor. And the little furniture she has was either chosen for its functional design or was made by Julie, who did a college course in cabinet-making as a mature student. After living in a barn conversion in France for several years with her former husband, Julie came back to the UK to find 28 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

a property to renovate. ‘I loved the barn as soon as I saw it,’ she recalls. ‘The stone was solid and honest, and inside I could see huge potential in the vast open space.’ The listed barn came with an adjoining cottage, where she lived while the barn was renovated. It was architect Andrew Brown from Architecture519 who created Julie’s wish for a three-bedroom cathedral-like space with masses of hidden storage. ‘Andrew was the moving force behind it,’ says Julie. ‘He came up with many of the extraordinary design ideas.’ One of which is a large sliding door that can be pushed across the ground-floor room to separate Julie’s study, from where she runs her company Yoojoo, specialising in handmade illustrated paper products, and the kitchen, which is in a ‘pod’

extension to the rear of the barn. ‘I love the flexibility of the house,’ says Julie. ‘There are so many beautiful architectural details that it still feels very warm and welcoming. I love the sitting area by the big windows because it links me directly to the outdoors, although it did take three goes to get the window right.’ Yet the ups and downs of the project were soon forgotten after Julie moved into the barn and sold the cottage. ‘When we renovated in France I vowed “never again”, then we did this and I realised I’d got the bug again,’ says Julie. ‘I’m planning to build something smaller, not too far from here, specifically to suit my lifestyle. It will be challenging, but I think you can achieve most things if you are determined enough.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y


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DOUBLE VISION Faced with the challenge of turning two townhouses into one, Miranda Davies decided to enlist expert help FEATURE JULIET BENNING | PHOTOGRAPHY ALICE RIDLEY


This elliptical-shaped table maximises space and can seat up to 14 people. Chilworth extendable table and Barnsbury vitrine, price on request, both Ali Robinson at Robinson van Noort. Beetle velvet dining chairs in Navy and Grey, £868 each, Gubi at The Conran Shop

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The wallpaper was the starting point for this scheme and looks different from every angle, depending on the light. Kamiko Sisal wallpaper, ÂŁ448 for 6m roll, Schumacher at Turnell & Gigon. Bespoke rug designed by Robinson Van Noort and made by Roger Oates

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M home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian townhouse L O C AT I O N Southwest London R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, dining room, kitchen-diner, TV room, two studies, utility room, cloakroom, playroom, seven bedrooms (two en suite), two dressing rooms, five bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2005 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We were living in the house next door when we decided to buy this place and create one large home,’ says Miranda.

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iranda Davies and her husband were living in a Victorian townhouse in southwest London when the house next door came up for sale. The couple debated whether or not to buy the property. ‘We knew that if we didn’t, someone else would develop it so we decided to go for it,’ says Miranda. ‘We rented it out for 10 years while we raised the money to combine the two properties to create a single home for our growing family of four children and numerous pets.’ The couple envisaged a dramatic makeover for both houses and enlisted husband-and-wife architecture and design team Robinson van Noort to help realise their vision. ‘With such a radical overhaul in mind, it was imperative to work with people we really trusted,’ says Miranda. ‘I’d seen Ali and Carolyn’s work in a friend’s property and loved it, and when I met them we got along immediately and felt we could work well together.’ Challenges arose right from the outset of the project. ‘Both houses were originally designed by the same architect, so from the exterior they could always have been one building,’ says Ali. ‘We initially planned to remove the partition wall between them and build a central staircase but were then asked by the local authority to retain the central wall and come up with a new way to link the two houses. We eventually joined them together by puncturing through the sitting room wall, which was a big constraint, but ultimately it challenged us to

1 , 3 & 4 KITCHEN ‘Ali assured me that the warmth and character of the old exposed brick wall would soften the contemporary feel,’ says Miranda, ‘and it does!’ Bespoke units by Robinson van Noort. Banquette upholstered in Mustang White, price on request, Yarwood Leather. Eames DSW side chair, £370, The Conran Shop 2 SNUG ‘I wanted somewhere relaxed to have coffee with friends or read without having to go to the TV room,’ says Miranda. Hay Mags Soft Low sofa modules, from £829, Utility Design. Polished plaster wall, price on request, Armourcoat

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create these unusual and charming spaces, and some interesting lateral views.’ Ali’s reworked design connected the living space with the rest of the house, with sight lines stretching through to the dining room at the far end. Once the structural aspects were under way, the focus turned to planning the interior schemes. ‘I had strong ideas about what I wanted and gave Ali and Carolyn hundreds of cutouts from magazines,’ says Miranda. ‘Our interior had to be livable and welcoming – I didn’t want a show home where family and friends would be afraid to sit down.’ As well as creating a warm, neutral and contemporary feel, Miranda was keen to retain many of the building’s original features, such as the windows, cornicing and wooden staircase. She also favoured using furniture from all periods of design. ‘Ali and Carolyn were great at finding pieces and sent me all over to look at what they had sourced from auction houses,’ reflects Miranda. ‘There was a lot of persuasion involved with some items, but they were always right.’ The project took 18 months to complete and the family are delighted with the result. ‘Everyone who visits the house is struck by the amazing interior spaces,’ says Miranda. ‘We wanted the two houses to feel like a single home and we’re thrilled that we’ve realised our vision.’

1 & 2 CHILD’S BEDROOM ‘My daughter was eight when we completed the project and I opted to keep her room neutral enough that she won’t grow out of it,’ says Miranda. See Shanghai Birds wall stickers, £32, Koko Kids at 3 , 4 & 6 GUEST SUITE Miranda wanted stand-alone pieces rather than anything built-in in here. Aalto clothes rail, £275, Cox & Cox. Bespoke occasional chair, Sheen Upholstery 5 MASTER EN SUITE The polished plaster wall was heavily waxed to create a waterproof finish. Papillon small pendant, £312, Forestier at Made In Design. Coniston freestanding bath, £4,447, CP Hart. Try Grohe Essence floor-mounted bath shower mixer, £680,


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INSPIR ATION ‘I got ideas from a variety of houses and projects I saw in magazines and online, and collected cuttings to help fine-tune them’


‘We had to retain the chimney breast, so we wrapped it in storage units to create a feature,’ says Miranda. Bespoke joinery by Robinson van Noort. Tekla pure new wool blanket in Lavender, £175, The Conran Shop, would also work

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PLAIN AND SIMPLE Practicality was paramount for Charlotte and Leigh Bowen, but they still managed to combine clean looks with good design FEATURE STEPHANIE SMITH | PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID GILES

home truths THE PROPERTY Sixties detached bungalow L O C AT I O N West Sussex R O O M S Kitchen-diner/sitting room, four bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms, plus a onebedroom annexe in the garage. P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘This is a first-time holiday home,’ says Charlotte.

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KITCHEN ‘We bought inexpensive carcasses, and new doors, which we painted,’ says Charlotte. Metod units, from £93 each, Ikea. Doors, from £53 each, Foxstow Shaker Doors; painted in Inox and Hicks Blue intelligent gloss, both £31 for 1L, Little Greene. Astro Ginestra 300 lights, £80 each, UK Electrical Supplies

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25bh | c oa s ta l SITTING ROOM ‘I didn’t want bulky or fussy curtains, so we went for blinds in grey – white might have been a bit clinical,’ says Charlotte. Try Tuiss Utopia blinds in Mist, from £9.99 each, Blinds 2 Go. Jude sofas have this look, £1,500 each, Love Your Home

SITTING ROOM ‘We needed the house to be robust yet feel light, fresh and airy, so walls and floors are all durable and washable.’ Fatonia rug is similar, £270, La Redoute. Strada Tavolini nest of tables, £375, Another Brand

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fter buying an unremarkable seaside Sixties bungalow on the West Sussex coast that was in need of serious TLC, Charlotte and Leigh Bowen were confident they could turn it into a coastal home packed with style. ‘We wanted a home here as it’s a special place to us,’ says Charlotte, a design consultant who works with husband Leigh, an eco architect, at their practice, 50 Degrees North. The couple may have had a head start in terms of design skills, but they still needed to do plenty of research, and find the right team to create a home for themselves and their children, Phoebe, 15, Nesta, 12, and Felix, 10. ‘We didn’t have a fortune to spend doing it up, but we wanted to do it properly so we didn’t rush anything.’ After buying the property in November 2015, knowing they were going to extend into the roof space to provide two extra bedrooms as well as two more bathrooms, they went through a year of planning and building before moving in almost three years ago. Throughout the house every little detail has been carefully thought out. ‘The eco credentials of a property are very important to us, and we’ve clad the exterior in Siberian larch, which will weather well, and the roof and windows are zinc,’ explains Charlotte. ‘We’ve totally insulated the house, plus put down underfloor heating everywhere so it’s as energy efficient as possible.’ Uncomplicated design is at the core of the couple’s plans. Where possible, they have gone for ultra-simple surfaces. ‘We wanted wooden floors everywhere and

design tips ‘Plan your lighting design at a really early stage, to open up a world of opportunity and benefit from all the wonderful moods that can be created at the touch of a button’

DINING AREA ‘We added a banquette in a colour that complements the walls,’ says Charlotte. Walls painted in French Pale Grey; banquette in French Dark Grey, both intelligent matt emulsion, £50 for 2.5L, Little Greene

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25bh | c oa s ta l neutral wall colours for a welcoming, natural and practical feel,’ says Charlotte. ‘The upstairs bedrooms have been clad in OSB – Oriented Strand Board. It’s basically leftover bits of wood stuck together and is environmentally friendly. You just need to paint it with a fire-retardant varnish.’ The other element that received particular attention was the lighting. ‘We took on a lighting designer, Richard Voller, which may sound grand, but task, mood and general lighting makes so much difference. Everything matters, from the lights to the bulbs and the sockets.’ Despite all the wood and neutral finishes, Charlotte added bursts of colour, particularly in the bathrooms, with three vanity units in pink, blue and yellow. And she has some advice for anyone planning to paint everything white. ‘We wouldn’t advise it,’ she says. ‘For one thing, it shows up every single mark, so you’ll find you’re always touching it up. Picking softer neutral shades in highquality paint avoids that and also helps differentiate the spaces, plus it adds a feeling of warmth.’ The couple used Little Greene’s colour consultancy service to choose their paint. ‘They sit down with you and go through the whole house, asking what happens in each room and suggesting colours,’ says Charlotte. And with the house finished and ready to enjoy for weekends and holidays, the couple have one remaining project. ‘We’ve got the annexe for my parents to tackle,’ says Charlotte. ‘I used to come here on holiday year after year with them as a child, and we want to re-create that experience for all of us – and generations to come.’

FELIX’S BEDROOM ‘I fell for the coastal feel of this boat design,’ says Charlotte. Zingara Delft wallpaper, £73 a roll, Little Greene. Tarva bed frames, £80 each, Ikea

P I N K B AT H R O O M ‘We sprayed the vanity unit three times to get the right colour,’ says Charlotte. Try Crosswater Glide basin unit 700, £705, Bathrooms by Design

PHOEBE’S BEDROOM Oriented strand board provides the warmth of wood, plus great texture. OSB board, from £7.12 a sheet, B&Q. Vinyl Flooring in Pebble Grey, £29sq m, Colour Flooring Company

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c o u ntry | 25bh

A MODERN TWIST Lisa and Richard Dennis combined period-style features with contemporary furniture and lighting for a fresh, relaxed look FEATURE ANN BROAD | PHOTOGRAPHY COLIN POOLE

home truths

THE PROPERTY Georgian-style new build L O C AT I O N Dorset R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner, family room, laundry room, boot room, seven bedrooms (four en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2006 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a five-bedroom terraced house off Clapham Common, London,’ says Lisa.


In this corner of the kitchen, an unusual pendant light is suspended above a marble-topped table, creating a stunning focal point. Titania light, £1,590, Sylvie. The table was from The French House; The Furn Shop’s Westminster marble-top table, £825, is similar

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et in a valley in the beautiful Dorset countryside is the Georgian-style home of Lisa and Richard Dennis and their three children. The couple have completely rebuilt their home stone by stone, recycling as much as possible along the way. ‘We fell in love with the valley,’ recalls Lisa. ‘There are some beautiful, old indigenous broad-leaf trees and with its meandering stream, the valley attracts a wonderful variety of birds – visitors include the heron, kite, jay, wagtail, woodpecker plus all types of finches.’ The couple’s stunning home was originally a hunting lodge and part of a large estate. ‘The main house is now a school and our house then became part of a farm as parcels of land were sold off,’ says Lisa. ‘Various flocks of sheep roam the land, which is now the perfect size for a dog walk.’ When Lisa and Richard bought the property in 2006, the interior of the original house was fairly basic. ‘The rooms at the back of the house on the ground floor

didn’t have foundations,’ explains Lisa. ‘The floors were literally mud, but even the farmer had built an elevated extension at the back to take advantage of the view of the valley.’ The farm building also included an old dairy and the couple decided to renovate this first and use it as temporary accommodation while working on the rebuild of the main house. ‘We dismantled the lodge, stone by stone, preparing each piece for use on the rebuild,’ recalls Lisa. ‘With the help of our architect Simon Morray-Jones, we came up with a new design, then got to work on the rebuild, which took just over a year. It was a great project to be involved with.’ Lisa has created a wonderful, light spacious feel throughout her home, enlivened by an inspiring collection of art, contemporary lighting and antique furniture and textiles. ‘I love art and have been collecting pieces for years, so I had a vision of pure white walls, which would serve as a pristine backdrop,’ she


Shelves positioned from floor to ceiling make the most of the space. Berber rug, £439, Maisons du Monde. Little John floor lamp, £1,250, Sylvie


Contemporary chairs have been teamed with a traditional refectory table, creating a bold contrast. Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chair, £388, Nest. Caravaggio matt metal pendant, £215, Holloways of Ludlow


Touches of green echo the colours of the garden and valley beyond. Sleek sofa, from £2,275, Designers Guild. Try the Arabesque Blue rug, from £91, The Rugs Warehouse


The sweeping staircase adds grandeur and character. The Flos Arco floor lamp, £1,655, The Conran Shop, is similar. Get Stuffed sells stag’s heads, price on request

f a v o u r i t e f e a t u r e ‘I love the light in the house and the views through every window and still see it as a work in progress – lots to change and improve’


An antique French shop counter with a stone top makes a beautiful and unique island unit. The Howell station square wall clock, £39,, would also suit this setting

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Armchairs lend an inviting feel, while rugs add pattern and warmth. Try Dunelm’s Grace armchair, £139


Lisa’s vintage finds make an eye-catching display. Etsy sells soda syphons, from £50 each


The walls and woodwork have been painted to match the bath, creating a dramatic monochrome scheme. Annie Sloan’s Graphite wall paint, £39.95 for 2.5L, would work here. Classic bath shower mixer, £1,128, Lefroy Brooks


Cool grey and splashes of gold combine for a sophisticated feel. Biella Elephant Grey/Birch, super king-size duvet cover, £190, Designers Guild. Hooglig’s Mustard Yellow Deca block print cushion, £55, is identical

says. High ceilings and large windows were an important part of the design, creating impact and enabling natural light to fill each space. ‘The architectural style of the house is Georgian, and the interior reflects this, but is obviously new,’ explains Lisa. ‘It’s a fine line between creating relaxed, relevant interiors and a potentially nasty pastiche.’ The build was a huge undertaking and it took time to search for materials. Lisa’s aim was to use suppliers in the area. ‘I sourced as many elements locally as possible, but there were inevitably items for which I had to go further afield,’ she explains. ‘I bought a lot online. The hallway stone flooring came from France; the boot room doors I bought on eBay were salvaged from an old hall; the marble fireplace in the family room was a slightly damaged vintage piece from Chesneys. I made it a rule that everything had to be used – no returns – and convinced myself that any elements that didn’t quite match each other

would create a less curated environment – as though the house had been added to over time.’ Lisa’s attention to detail and passion for design is evident throughout her home. ‘I’ve always had a fundamental interest in interiors and have now renovated several houses,’ she says. ‘One of the key areas of any interior is the lighting and so when the opportunity came up to work with a new lighting company I grabbed it. Sylvie is a company that designs and makes wooden lights here in Dorset. The shades are formed from strips of wood veneer and create the most beautiful effect. It’s an exciting opportunity to create original, sustainable, handmade British products.’ Lisa has added two lights from this range to the sitting room – a favourite area for her family. ‘It’s cosy and warm here in the winter yet light and breezy in the summer,’ she says. ‘We all make a point of sitting on the sofas to catch up, without the distractions of phones and screens – it’s wonderful.’

d e s i g n a d v i c e ‘Try to keep your ceilings as high as possible – nothing impacts the feeling of a room more than the space above your head’ BEDROOM

A beautiful bed throw from North Africa adds rustic charm. Theseus pendant light, £640; Little Hintock bedside lamp, £420, both Sylvie. Tria bedside table, £125, Loaf

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Change of scene Dave and Emily Lynas extended their Thirties home to take advantage of the spectacular sea views


SITTING ROOM The simple display on the mantelpiece can be easily moved and refreshed. Stag antlers, price on request, Enniskerry Antiques. Similar woodburner, £339, Stoveworld. Downloadable deer head silhouette print, £5.08, Italicsandcapitals at Etsy, is a good match

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c oa s ta l | 25bh SITTING ROOM A dusky pink sofa brings a soft dose of romanticism to this neutral scheme. Florence corner sofa, ÂŁ3,300, Love Your Home, is similar. Try the Porter floor lamp in Clay, ÂŁ163, Jim Lawrence

SITTING ROOM The retro chair offers a place to relax with a record or a book. Find vintage Sixties cabinets and leather chairs, price on request, The Old Cinema

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25bh | c oa s ta l KITCHEN-DINER Setting a row of pattern into the tiled splashback creates a vibrant focal point. Tolix Stool, £255, Made In Design. Patisserie Sucre 2 floor tiles, £74.70sq m; Metropolitan Brompton Road wall tiles, £89.38sq m, both Fired Earth

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d e c o r a t i n g t i p ‘We kept the walls neutral to create a calm background for the splashes of colour added with furnishings and art’

home truths THE PROPERTY Detached Thirties house L O C AT I O N Northern Ireland R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner, four bedrooms (one en suite), one bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before this, we lived in a house in Dublin, but we wanted a change of pace and to live close to my family,’ says Dave.


tunning vistas, great surf and a desire to raise a family in a quieter place led café owners Dave and Emily Lynas to a somewhat unloved detached Thirties house overlooking a rugged stretch of coastline in Northern Ireland. The couple had both grown up in this area before moving to Dublin, but were now ready to leave behind city life and move back to the north, where they still have family. ‘I’m a keen surfer and this is a wonderful surfing spot, with beautiful views,’ says Dave. Having previously renovated two houses in Dublin, the couple jumped at the chance to buy this property and weren’t put off by its barely habitable state. To help them work out how best to use the space, they recruited local architect Michael Williams of Williams Creative Design. ‘We wanted to retain the character of the house and had a very strong idea of what it should look like,’ says Dave. Eventually, after months of planning applications and building work, a fabulous extension began to take shape. ‘The house has been transformed by the extension,’ says Emily. On the ground floor they created the large

kitchen-diner and sitting room with two Velux windows to bring in light, as well as large sliding doors and windows that reveal the dramatic landscape and everchanging weather. Upstairs, they enlarged the master bedroom, adding an en suite, and created a large bathroom and bedrooms for their sons, Finn, three, and Josiah, 18 months. When the builders finished, the couple had a large blank canvas on which to stamp their style. The kitchen they chose is a bespoke design by Rhatigan and Hick in County Wicklow. ‘When we visited the showroom, we were taken by the handmade cabinets, but also the company’s whole ethos. They came here and hand-painted all the units once the kitchen was fitted,’ says Emily. The grey units seem to reflect the moody sky and polished marble worktops elevate the sturdy, functional wooden cabinetry. Emily and David love to reuse and salvage wherever possible, and have become skilled treasure hunters. ‘We were so happy when we found our antique parquet flooring, which was originally from a nearby school,’ says Emily. ‘It was delivered in individual pieces and then painstakingly laid. It unifies the old and new parts of the house.’ It’s also very robust, which is essential for a young, outdoorsy family. With the renovation work complete, the house is full of stories, with each item telling its own tale. Dave and Emily’s carefully chosen vintage furniture and classic design pieces mingle effortlessly to create a characterful home. The house has a serene, Scandinavian feel, with plain white walls and plenty of simple but beautiful furniture, plus vibrant splashes of well-placed colour. Now, with a fourth member of their family on the way, more extensions planned for the house and a new café about to open, the couple are more rooted than ever in this idyllic coastal spot and feel fortunate to call it home.


S TA I R WAY Dave and Emily stripped back the original stairs. Wicklow travel poster, from £20 unframed, Yard Gallery

BEDROOM The pieces in here were chosen with the period of the house in mind. Throw, £110, Labour and Wait

B AT H R O O M Blue tiles highlight the taps. Try Chatsworth 1928 wallmounted white mixer taps, £99.95, Victorian Plumbing

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home truths THE PROPERTY Detached Victorian villa L O C AT I O N Guildford R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner/living area, study, utility room, four bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2013 P R E V I O U S P RO P E R T Y ‘We lived in a similar period property nearby,’ says Ruth.

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CLEVER WITH COLOUR Ruth Culhane’s Victorian villa has been brought back to life with bold shades and touches of texture FEATURE KAREN JENSEN-JONES | PHOTOGRAPHY NICK SMITH


Ruth’s unique canine buys give the space a fun, quirky feel. The Riva dining chair in Lime, £69, Danetti, has this look


Deep inky blues from floor to ceiling create a cosy cocoon. Walls and ceiling in Drawing Room Blue estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


ooking around Ruth Culhane’s beautiful Victorian villa, there is something interesting and colourful at every turn. With her penchant for bold colours, vibrant wallpapers and her resourceful purchasing prowess, she has created a unique family home. ‘My husband Simon and I bought this house because we wanted a bigger garden for our three dogs,’ says Ruth. ‘It was around the corner from where we lived and as soon as I walked in and saw the garden,


Subtle touches of gold give this space an opulent feel. Macchine Volanti wallpaper, £345 a roll, Cole & Son at Designer Wallpapers

I knew it was right. I loved the house too, even though it needed renovating, but I was confident I could bring it back to life.’ The family lived in the house for eight months to familiarise themselves with the space before moving out for the two-year renovation. ‘Living in the house for a while meant I understood the flow of the space and it helped us to plan the rooms,’ says Ruth. ‘We knocked two rooms into one to create the sitting room and, unfortunately, many original features, such as fireplaces,

had been ripped out, so we set about restoring the house to its original glory.’ Ruth had a clear vision of how she wanted the house to look. ‘The interior isn’t very light, so I decided to use dark colours to complement the period of the property,’ she says. ‘The blue Venini chandelier was the starting point in the sitting room and encouraged me to paint the whole space in an inky dark blue. As the paint went on, I felt the room was big and airy enough to take the colour onto the ceiling too. The

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Bright floral fabric brings a colourful, feminine touch to the grey and white palette. Bed, £1,800, Designers Guild


A wall of shimmering silver tiles adds a note of luxury to the simple white scheme. Dune tiles, £705.28sq m, Aqva


The clean, sleek styling is softened by a velvet stool. Kohler Briolette countertop basin, £675.66, Kohma

strong shade really complements the period of the house and I absolutely love it.’ Ruth is also a huge fan of wallpaper and will happily while away hours on the high street hunting for the right pattern and colour. ‘I have such a love for wallpaper and as you can see, I’ve used it in a number of rooms,’ she says. ‘I never tire of the Surfacephilia Beau wallpaper in our bedroom because it’s so bold but it doesn’t feel overpowering. I also enjoy hunting down mid-century light fittings. It’s very 56 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019


Gold and bronze accessories create a sumptuous look. Aubrey Gold wallpaper, £125 a roll, Surfacephilia at Designer Wallpapers

satisfying when you find something you really love for your home.’ Ruth’s house is an eclectic mix of old and new, and she’s especially proud of her auction house and eBay finds. ‘I have some old furniture that’s more expensive, but I also like to recover things from eBay, which I might slightly alter,’ she says. ‘It makes the house more interesting. I bought the kitchen units and island from a designer in London because it was the size and shape I like. It was green and ex-display, so I had it

resprayed in grey and added new worktops. I’m delighted with how original it looks.’ Deana Ashby from Bathrooms & Interiors lent her expertise to create a lighter feel in the bathrooms. ‘I wanted a white scheme and Deana sourced some beautiful mosaic tiles with a pearl effect,’ says Ruth. ‘She also added gorgeous little details, such as lovely handles and mirrors.’ As a result, Ruth and Simon now not only have the ideal garden for their dogs, they also have a beautiful, vibrant home. FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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‘This extension was completed just in time to welcome 25 guests on Christmas Day,’ says Wendy. Bespoke units, Peter Thompson of York. Brooklyn dome brass pendant, £69, Industville. Weathered oak counter stool, £190, Cox & Cox

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c o u ntry | 25bh ANNEXE KITCHEN

Wendy chose a rustic look for the former farmworker’s cottage, which has been turned into a guest annexe. Shaker-style units and worktop, price on request, Wren Kitchens

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Grade II-listed farmhouse, built in 1756 L O C AT I O N East Yorkshire R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, dining room, kitchen-diner, utility room, six bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms, plus one-bedroom annexe flat P U R C H A S E D 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before this, we lived in a David Wilson Home in West Hull for 11 years,’ says Wendy.

Yorkshire’s Finest Quite by chance, Wendy and Dean Simpson stumbled upon their dream farmhouse and rescued it from the ravages of time with elegant additions and improvements befitting its stately presence FEATURE NATALIE FLAUM | PHOTOGRAPHY JEREMY PHILLIPS

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Mid-century furniture and a bold feature wall bring a modern feel to this formal entertaining area. Ferm Living Family Tree wallpaper in Petrol, £65 a roll, Cloudberry Living. Expanding walnut dining table, from £599, West Elm


nteriors blogger and Instagram influencer Wendy Simpson and her husband Dean had no intention of moving until they spotted a farmhouse for sale on an estate agent’s website five years ago. ‘We were intrigued, as having lived in this area for 11 years, we’d never noticed the house before,’ says Wendy. ‘From the moment I stood on the doorstep admiring the old blue door with its pretty patterned glass, etched with stars and polka dots, I was totally smitten. The house is set back on grassy banks with a cobbled path entrance amid rolling hills. Dean warned me to play it cool, but I couldn’t contain myself and showed my hand the minute the agent opened the door.’ The previous owners had lived here for 47 years and the house was well-loved and

‘Bringing original details back to life and making them work for the way we live today were real high points,’ says Wendy. Mabel armchair, £1,050, Rose & Grey. Moroccan Berber rug, from £399, City Cows. Jamila curtain fabric, £100sq m, Sanderson

abundant in high-quality carpets, curtains, wall coverings and impressive architraves. More importantly, the ‘bones’ of the house were so good, with elegantly proportioned rooms, fireplaces and staircases. ‘The Georgians completely got it right in terms of architecture,’ says Wendy. Six months passed and the couple felt like their chance to buy the house of their dreams was slipping away as they struggled to sell their current home. Sure enough, it went under offer to another buyer and the couple were left deflated, even after accepting an offer on their house. Soon after moving into rented accommodation, they received a call to say the house was back on the market. ‘I screamed with delight!’ says Wendy. The couple moved in with their three children Molly, Grace and Kitty, and dogs

FAVOURITE FEATUR E ‘Local stonemasons J Rotherham crafted a laser-cut fireplace modelled on a design from a French chateau’

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The couple were delighted to uncover a fireplace during the renovation of this room. Marlborough bath, from £2,680, Victoria + Albert Baths. Victoria double console basin (right), £795, Heritage Bathrooms. Shower screen, price on request, Matki


‘I love the patina of the original Douglas fir handrail,’ says Wendy. Walls in Cornforth White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


Scooter and Reggie, on the coldest Easter with snow falling on moving day. So the priority was installing new central heating, replumbing and rewiring. Ceilings were also removed and some of the windows replaced in the coldest, dampest weeks of the year. The kitchen was the warmest room in the house, thanks to the inherited vintage Aga that had been converted from solid fuel to oil. ‘It ran like an inferno, which was great during the record-breaking cold weather, but not so good when it couldn’t be turned off in summer!’ says Wendy. ‘In the end, we sold it.’ Despite the property being Grade IIlisted, consent was granted straight away for a modern kitchen extension. Old bricks were reused from the previous structure, while a new roof lantern and four sash

windows flood the space in natural light. There were delays when the builders uncovered a Georgian water chamber that had to be inspected for toxicity and signed off by local conservation before it could be drained and filled in. The renovation threw up many other surprises along the way, each discovery strengthening the bond Wendy feels with the house. ‘During our first year here, an elderly couple visited from Australia so that the wife could see her ancestral home,’ says Wendy. ‘Her great-great-grandfather lived here with his wife, seven children, 11 servants and their children, until they emigrated to Melbourne in 1854.’ Those early residents couldn’t have found better custodians than the Simpsons, who have breathed new life into this historic house.

‘After removing 300 years of wallcoverings, we lined the panels and painted them,’ says Wendy. Antoinette bed, £1,145; Mimi bedside table, £225, both Loaf. Bedlinen, from a selection, Laura Ashley

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LAST WOR D ‘We’ve always had a strong sense of wanting to do the “right thing” for the house. Now it’s finished, we feel like we’re living the dream’


Wendy turned an old boiler room door into a distressed headboard using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. For design inspiration, see Wendy’s blog @theyorkshirehomestead. and Instagram @the_yorkshire_homestead


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Home at last

With a baby due and a dramatic renovation underway, Leanne and Calum Watt faced a race against time to settle into their cosy, family-friendly cottage FEATURE NATALIE FLAUM | PHOTOGRAPHY JEREMY PHILLIPS


This space in the new extension is the perfect place for the family to relax together. Berlin corner sofa in Tan is similar, £2,899, Swoon. For similar cushions, try Habitat. The Pivot Black floor lamp is a match, £195, Cox & Cox. The Clap Trap coffee table has this look, £425, Loaf

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c o u ntry | 25bh KITCHEN-DINER

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Farm workers’ cottage, built in 1901 L O C AT I O N Aberdeen R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner/living area, study, snug, three bedrooms, dressing room, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2013 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before, we lived in a nearby three-bedroom semi-detached, which we renovated,’ says Leanne.

To showcase this double-height space, the couple kept the walls free of units, instead creating shelves from scaffolding boards. Bespoke scaffolding board table, RCC Furniture. Burford units, price on request, Howdens. Solid American walnut worktops, price on request, Worktop Express. Oak flooring, price on request, Jewson


Deep blue-painted walls provide a striking backdrop for family photos and prints. Walls in Sooty Lashes, £28 for 2.5L, Valspar. Newbury large sofa, £1,299, Marks & Spencer

d e s i g n i n s p i r a t i o n ‘I like a country cottage feel mixed with a modern rustic look, which we achieved using reclaimed and upcycled materials’


eanne and Calum Watt love the lifestyle in Aberdeen, once described as the happiest place in Scotland. Having outgrown their three-bedroom semi, the couple wanted a new home nearby with plenty of character. So when they spotted a rundown 100-yearold cottage in 2013, they didn’t hesitate. ‘It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy this house – we viewed it on the Tuesday and put our offer in the next day,’ says Leanne. ‘The cottage had no insulation, was freezing cold and covered in brown wallpaper, but we could see its potential.’ The couple moved in with Leanne’s parents for almost a year, while work went ahead on the house. ‘I remember getting the keys on the first day and standing in front of the house, not knowing what at all to do,’ says Leanne. Aided by an architect friend, they reconfigured the layout, planning 66 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

a single-storey extension that would encompass the full height of the cottage. The property was ripped back to its shell on day one and a builder friend of Calum’s called in various tradesmen for the electric and plumbing works. ‘This project was way beyond anything we’d done before and no part of the place was left untouched,’ says Calum. ‘I was on site most days, overseeing and building the extension while Leanne, by then pregnant with our son, Innes, handled the design and finances. We knocked down internal walls, installed a new heating system, a new roof and insulation, moved the front door and painted all the rooms.’ The couple were keen to evoke a country cottage feel with luxurious touches, such as a dressing room and spacious bathroom. The master bedroom is situated downstairs, with a staircase leading up to the loft. ‘The house was formerly two cottages that were

combined over time,’ says Leanne. ‘The bedroom and loft used to be a cobbler shop, and we did come across lots of old shoe heels.’ On the other side of the house, another set of stairs leads to another bedroom and a nursery. The former living room has been turned into a bathroom after having the old stone fireplace and chimney removed, and a storage cupboard built into the recess. Leanne and Calum moved into the cottage in May 2015 and Innes was born in September. ‘It was a stressful time, we were trying to finish decorating while looking after Innes,’ says Leanne. ‘I wouldn’t do it again, but the reward was seeing it all finished. On a bright day, the light streams in, and the extension is the perfect place to spend time together with our newest arrival, Murray. ‘This is our happy place now. We’ve put so much work into this renovation that it really makes us appreciate coming home.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

c o u ntry | 25bh MASTER BEDROOM

These wooden stairs leading up to the loft add architectural interest to this simple scheme. Hemnes chest of eight drawers, £215, Ikea. Chunky knit Breckon Ochre throw, from £25, Dunelm


The country cottage feel continues in this loft space, but with a modern monochrome twist. Vintage postcard wallpaper, £150 for three rolls, Wyld Home. Ethan Ivory gloss bedstead is similar, £419, Dunelm


Floor-to-ceiling wall tiles and grey parquet flooring bring texture to this clean and serene setting. Metro tiles in Bone, £19.50sq m, Topps Tiles. Amtico parquet flooring, price on request, Frasers of Ellon


An all-white scheme suits brightly coloured accessories. Alex cot bed in Solid White is similar, £125, John Lewis & Partners. Try the Brent chest of drawers, £194.99, Wayfair. Luggy basket, £49, Olli Ella

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AN ELEGANT BLEND 70 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

c it y | 25bh FAMILY ROOM

‘The neutral walls allowed me to play with colour and pattern in the fabrics,’ says Sam. Ottoman in Cubis in Pomelo, £46m, Romo. The Anelle lamp base, £78, Lighting & Lights, would suit this space

home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian townhouse L O C AT I O N Southwest London R O O M S Sitting room, kitchen, family room/dining area, study, three bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We were living in a mews house in South Kensington,’ says Sam.


An oversized mirror reflects light and gives the illusion of a wider space. Round bevelled mirror, £69.99, The Range, has this style. Cushions in Sidonie in Magenta Fig, £149m, GP&J Baker at Jane Clayton

am and Guy Dawson have lived a back and forth life together for the past 14 years. Guy’s work as a non-executive director means being based in London, and Sam had ties to Hove where she lived with her children, Holly and Charlie, now 22 and 20. When the couple bought this Victorian London townhouse four years ago, a Bob Dylan print in an art gallery sparked Sam’s decorating ideas. ‘I instantly loved its blend of dusky pinks, deep purples and blues – and these colours became the inspiration for our whole house,’ she says. ‘I’m amused that the print is called Train Tracks, as it aptly portrays my life travelling to and from London to see Guy.’ For a couple of years, the artwork sat in Sam’s Hove home while she and Guy renovated the London property. Although

the house had been extended, it was narrow and they wanted to maximise the space. The lower ground floor was a main focus, with no flow between the kitchen, dining room and family room. Sam got in touch with Woodmans Construction, who had worked on the couple’s previous house projects. ‘The team have always been faultless so there was no doubt we’d use them,’ says Sam. The owner suggested contacting Granit Architecture for expert space-planning, and they advised knocking through walls and rotating the staircase to enlarge the kitchen. ‘It was a fantastic solution,’ says Sam. ‘Now we walk down into the family room and see straight into the garden, with a glass balustrade making the space feel open.’ Granit’s architects and interiors team also advised on the configuration and

Talented teamwork lies at the heart of Sam and Guy Dawson’s beautifully updated home FEATURE JANE CRITTENDEN | PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRENCH

2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 71


Mid-grey painted base units are combined with softly textured wall cabinets for a chic, contemporary look. Bespoke kitchen, River Woodwork. Brooklyn glass dome pendants, £109 each, Industville, have this look

DESIGN TIP ‘Injecting flashes of print in a neutral scheme is a good introduction for the colour-shy’


The rich colours in this artwork inspired the interior scheme. Train Tracks limited-edition print by Bob Dylan, from £15,850, Castle Fine Art

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design of the kitchen, a bespoke build by River Woodwork, and enlarged the master en suite with joinery custom designed and built to fit the space. When it came to planning the decoration, Sam and Guy called on Ingrid Parnis of Equilibrio Interiors, a designer they knew from holidays in Portugal. ‘I’ve always been drawn to colour and patterned fabrics, but with so much choice, I’ve played it safe,’ says Sam. ‘I’d seen Ingrid’s approach in friends’ holiday houses and love the way she uses bright tones to bring a space to life – it makes rooms feel fresh and light.’ Straight away, Sam showed the Bob Dylan print to Ingrid, who suggested a selection of contemporary print upholstery fabrics drawing on the purples and pinks in the picture. ‘One of Ingrid’s choices was the same fabric I had used for curtains before, but in a different colourway,’

explains Sam. ‘I was delighted as it was clear that Ingrid was exactly on my wavelength.’ Design talks continued as the house was stripped back, and a friend suggested Sam contact Farrow & Ball colour consultant Joa Studholme to help choose paint shades. ‘Joa has a brilliant eye for the nuance of colours,’ says Sam. ‘She looked at each room, the light and the fabrics and then put together a colour specification for the whole house.’ When Sam and Guy moved back into their home 18 months later, all the work was complete. ‘Ingrid has a fantastic team who do everything, even hanging the curtains – it’s all very seamless,’ says Sam. ‘The colours and furniture make this house feel so much more contemporary and more “like me” than any other place I’ve lived in,’ she adds. ‘Downstairs seems significantly bigger – some of our friends think we extended – but we’re simply using every inch of space we already had.’

c it y | 25bh MASTER BEDROOM

The reupholstered chaise and headboard bring a singular statement pattern to this calming scheme. Headboard and chaise in Karoo in Indigo, £129m, Threads at Jane Clayton. Walls in Shadow White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


The darkest tone of the chevron stripe is echoed in the blind trim for a crisp, cohesive finish. Headboard in Scala in Charcoal, £46m, Romo. Crystal table lamp, £155, JR Lighting, is similar


This Moroccan-style blind fabric beautifully offsets the sculptural freestanding bath. Blind in Bella in Rose Indien, £102m, Manuel Canovas at Colefax and Fowler. Picasso bath, from £1,295, Lusso Stone, is a good match


2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 73

Viking ocean ships are designed just for you On a Viking ocean cruise ship, you won’t find a rock-climbing wall, wave machine or casino. What you will find are serene Scandinavian interiors, inspiring lectures on history and art, music and dance performances from your destination, regional wines, and restaurant menus inspired by local cuisine. That’s because Viking ships are not designed to be everything to everyone. Just everything to you.

2020 eight-day ocean cruises from £1,690pp 2020 eight-day river cruises from £1,395pp Call 020 8780 8594 or visit Prices and availability are correct at time of going to print but are subject to change. From prices are based on two people sharing the lowest grade stateroom available on Danube Waltz river cruise and a Penthouse Veranda Stateroom on Iberian Explorer ocean cruise, departing on selected dates in 2020. Single supplements apply. Prices valid until 31 October 2019. For more information please visit or call us.

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COLOUR HAPPY Sarah Ord’s vibrant home pays homage to the individuality and creativity of family members past and present FEATURE EMMA J PAGE/TRACY CHEMALY PHOTOGRAPHY WARREN HEATH/BUREAUX/LIVING INSIDE

SITTING ROOM This encapsulates Sarah’s eclectic style, with its bold contrasting red and green walls, and heirlooms that include her uncle’s rifle shooting trophies. For a similar armchair, try the Hutch in Vintage Tan leather, £1,190, Old Boot

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SITTING ROOM The velvet sofa beside an ottoman covered with a Senegalese mat is one of many contrasts of colour and texture here. Large Squishmeister sofa, £2,095, Loaf, has this look. Artwork by Mary Visser

SITTING ROOM This painting is by Sarah’s cousin, Nicola Taylor. The silver pineapple lamp, £125, Graham and Green, would work

DINING AREA A high ceiling allows for the dramatic turquoise clay bead chandelier. Marla white beaded chandelier, £135, Rockett St George, has this look

H A L LWAY Sarah found the antique bureau on Gumtree; the landscape above it was painted by her grandmother. Source a writing bureau like this, from £650, at Selling Antiques

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home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian bungalow L O C AT I O N Cape Town, South Africa R O O M S Hallway, kitchendiner/living area, three bedrooms (two en suite), garden office P U R C H A S E D 2007 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a Victorian terrace in Tamboerskloof,’ says Sarah.


hough the first thing you notice may be the dramatic colour, if there is one thread running through Sarah Ord’s home – it is the concept of family. Almost every treasure within its walls has a familial connection, from the hatboxes owned by her great-grandmother and the paintings by her cousin to the trophies won by her uncle. What’s more, Sarah’s mother used to live here, too. ‘I bought the property more than a decade ago, and for a time my mum lived here while I lived in Cape Town’s city centre, which makes it extra special,’ says Sarah, who returned to this quieter suburb with her young children, Charlie, six, and Sam, two. ‘To me, a house is not a home if it doesn’t reflect the layers and stories of the journey you take through life – the things that are beautiful or have meaning to everyone in the family. So our place is full of one-of-a-kind items, from a glass claret jug that was owned by my grandfather to lamps collected by my mum.’ When Sarah moved back to this Victorian bungalow, it was the start of a new chapter. ‘I felt like I needed a new lease of life,’ says the interior designer who runs Sarah Ord Interiors. She immediately painted the walls of the kitchendiner/living area in a deep forest green, inspired by the shade of a ceramic tankard that she had found in a local antiques store and now uses as a vase next to her bed. ‘Colour resonates so much for me that I can’t imagine my home without it,’ she says. ‘I surround myself with as many contrasting patterns and hues as I can.’ Layering is key to Sarah’s look. ‘Because of our home’s heritage status, there is a limit to how many structural changes I can make,’ she says. ‘So

KITCHEN Sarah added her trademark splashes of green and blue for an instant colour lift. Try the weathered oak bar stool, £160, Eastburn Country Furniture at

GARDEN Warm days are spent around Sarah’s grandmother’s old cast-iron table and chairs, which have been spray-painted purple.

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i n s p i r at i o n ‘My schemes are filled with treasures that I collect on my travels – eclectic pieces such as fabrics, ceramics and small artworks that catch my eye’

aside from knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, I’ve focused on aesthetic improvements over the years. The front door, for instance, has been through a few incarnations – from heritage green to yellow, red and blue.’ Alongside family heirlooms and memorabilia are pieces that Sarah has picked up on her travels and extended stints living in Paris, London and the Maldives. Also a self-confessed Gumtree addict, she trawls the website late at night in search of items to add to her collection. Sam’s cot was one such piece, its turned legs and embellished edges revealing rare craftsmanship. Another lucky find was the writing bureau in the hallway, which opens to reveal leather inlays. ‘I love to bring old pieces into a modern context,’ says Sarah, whose home happily accommodates a blend of vintage and contemporary. ‘Mixing the two styles creates a new narrative. For me, it’s as though funky grandparents are indulging quirky youngsters under one roof!’ Thinking outside the box has resulted in some inspired design decisions: the master bedroom’s headboard is upholstered in a blue-and-red patterned dress fabric; the coffee table is covered in a vibrant woven plastic floor mat; and various pieces of cloth, including ikat, African wax prints, florals and leopard print, have been sewn into myriad cushions or turned into striking lampshades. Sarah is also a fan of John Fowler’s English country-house aesthetic, evidenced by the Forties-style chintz drapes in the dining area. ‘I love to mix and match – collecting is what I do best,’ she says. As a result, Wedgwood dishes sit comfortably alongside Moroccan pots and candlesticks bought at the side of the road. Although these treasured pieces bring joy, Sarah’s home is very much a place to be lived in and used. ‘The boys love to jump on the furniture, build forts under my desk and snuggle up on my bed watching movies,’ she says. ‘It is always loud and messy, but so full of love.’ Proof, if it were needed, that this colourful home boils down to one essential ingredient – family. 78 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

MASTER BEDROOM This scheme is a playful homage to pattern. The needlepoint teapot cushion was made by Sarah’s grandmother. Try the mahogany four-poster antique French-style bed, £1,199.99, Homes Direct 365

B AT H R O O M A green-painted vanity unit adds depth, while monochrome floor tiles inject a graphic note. Vinyl flooring by Novilon; for similar tiles, try Neisha Crosland’s Dovetail Ink Black, £46.80sq m, Harvey Maria


SCHMIDT GROUPE SAS - RCS COLMAR B 326 784 709 - Non-contractual photographs -

DIAMOND JUBILEE Celebratory offers until 26 th October

To see the real kitchen being installed on the mountain, watch our videos at

Right now at Schmidt, enjoy our celebratory offers on our most beautiful models of kitchens, wardrobes and appliances. Offers as breathtaking as our creation for the extreme mountaineer Kenton Cool.Whether you live in a house, an apartment or on a mountainside, come in store or visit



Reclaimed brick gives this scheme a gently aged look, while furnishings are bespoke for an individual touch. Sofa, made to order, Tamarisk Designs. Curtains and cushions, bespoke; tables and mirror sourced by Chameleon Interiors

home truths THE PROPERTY A detached new-build cottage L O C AT I O N Surrey R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner/living area, three bedrooms, dressing room, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D L A N D 2017 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved from a nearby five-bedroom house,’ says Sally.

Settling in

Sally and Derek Frost have built a beautiful home that perfectly suits its stunning countryside location FEATURE ROSALIND ERSKINE | PHOTOGRAPHY FIONA WALKER-ARNOTT | STYLING LAURIE DAVIDSON

c o u ntry | 25bh


Timber flooring , rustic wood and similar decoration ensure a seamless flow between the kitchen and sitting room. Walls in Warm White elite emulsion, £49 for 2.5L, Zoffany at Style Library. Carpet, from £8.95sq m, Vincent Flooring


fter waiting 17 years for a plot to become available, Sally and Derek Frost were finally able to buy the land on which to build their dream home. ‘It was the location that really attracted me, which is why we waited so long,’ says Sally. ‘The house is on a private road with no passing traffic. I love the quiet surroundings, the wonderful

field views and the fact that we’re just a two-minute walk from the local town.’ Keen to have a modern property but with traditional elements, the couple instructed a bespoke builder to construct their new home. ‘I wanted the open-plan kitchen-diner/living space and sitting room to flow well despite being separate areas, so there’s a big opening between the two,

which makes the whole space perfect for entertaining,’ says Sally. ‘Also, we’d originally planned to have four bedrooms, but decided that a dressing room would make better use of the fourth bedroom space,’ she adds. Once the main structure was in place, the builders incorporated reclaimed materials such as old bricks and wood 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 81


Sally decided on curtains in this part of the kitchen as they add a luxurious touch. La Boussole dining table, £2,350, India Jane. Windsor dining chairs, £180 each, eBay


Mirror tiles and marble worktops give this space a modern finish. Kitchen, Ashfronts Bespoke Homes. Deco Glass Pewter tiles, £174.60sq m,Fired Earth, have this look


The desk is made from reclaimed oak originally intended for the kitchen. Office chair, £120, Lots Road Auctions

DESIGN INSPIR ATION ‘The starting point for the interior decoration was to add character. These natural elements also complemented the semi-rural location and provided the base for the decoration, which was brought to life by Yvonne Jones of Chameleon Interiors. Having worked with Sally and Derek from the early stages of the build, Yvonne had developed a good sense of the look and feel the couple wanted to achieve. With

Sally’s guidance, she devised a colour scheme of grey, plum, green and gold, which reflects the changing hues of the landscape, and furnished the rooms with bespoke designs mixed with vintage pieces and custom-made soft furnishings. ‘I wanted a relaxing, homely feel that was also stylish, so the bespoke furniture and soft furnishings provided exactly

what I was looking for and complement the vintage pieces really well,’ says Sally. ‘We chose a neutral paint tone for the walls and a simple, earthy colour scheme that was timeless instead of overly fashionable.’ The result is a relaxed country theme, but with an up-to-date and luxurious twist. The complementary elements in Sally’s home extend beyond the interior. ‘Yvonne

c o u ntry | 25bh BEDROOM

Natural wood and a beautiful palette of toning greens combine for a timeless feel. Bespoke headboard, blind and soft furnishings, all Chameleon Interiors


‘We chose this suite for its vintage yet modern look, which suits the style of our home perfectly,’ says Sally. Suite, from a selection, Heritage Bathrooms


This calming scheme features soft hues that reflect the views. Small classic Chinese cabinet, £195, Furnish, has a similar style

the semi-rural location, which resulted in the calm, earthy colour scheme’ and our garden designer, Cheryl Cummins, worked together on the selection of plants so that their colours could be echoed in the fabrics used for the cushions on the chairs and sofas in the rooms,’ Sally says. ‘Upstairs, the master bedroom has been designed with tones of gold and pops of black. The two guest bedrooms, one double and one single, have both FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

been given different soothing colour schemes with luxurious textiles to offer the best night’s sleep,’ she adds. Sally wanted a dedicated study area downstairs, but she didn’t want to feel ‘locked away’. As space is tight, Yvonne opted to close up the doorway from the hallway to the kitchen to create an office area for her. ‘I really like the desk set-up,’

says Sally, ‘as it’s much better to walk in the front entrance and see a neat desk area rather than a doorway.’ After such a long wait, Sally and Derek are delighted with their new home. ‘I think this is a unique property – a brand-new house with the look and feel of a much older place,’ says Sally. ‘And everything about it suits us down to the ground.’ 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 83

PhotograPhy Paul Raeside/

Welcome to the World of

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

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BIGGER & better A large single-storey extension and some careful replanning has unlocked the potential of Lizzy and Ricky Stringer’s terrace FEATURE KAREN WILSON | PHOTOGRAPHY FIONA WALKER-ARNOTT


Vintage-style pieces bring character to a corner of an otherwise contemporary kitchen. Le Brun French oak Oatmeal armchairs, £344.99 each, My Furniture. The Orchard antique brass pocket watch wall clock, £78,

2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 85

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home truths THE PROPERTY Victorian villa L O C AT I O N South London R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner, snug, utility room, cloakroom, three bedrooms, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2018 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a two-bedroom terrace nearby,’ says Lizzy.

LESSON LEARNT ‘As I discovered from our previous home, day-to-day water marks can easily stain wooden worktops, so this time I decided to go for quartz surfaces’

86 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019


A large island was at the top of Lizzy’s wish list, to make the most of the space. Handcrafted wooden stools add a rustic element. The Chatsworth units in Light Grey and Dust Grey, from £12,000, Sigma 3, are similar. Loko stools, £125 each, Nkuku. Try Wood and Beyond’s prime engineered oak herringbone flooring, £41.50sq m

25bh | c it y

Futur e plans ‘The utility room still needs to be fitted out, and we want more furniture for the snug, a bigger dining table and a mirror and console table for the landing’



The side table was made by Ricky, who also took the framed photographs while on a trip to South America. Try the Alpen Home Diamond Hill rustic coffee table, £185.99, Wayfair. The Twickenham sofa in Anneliese Steel, £1,354.50, Laura Ashley, has this look. Loaf’s Postino side table, £150, is similar

ike many London buyers, Lizzy and Ricky Stringer could only step up the property ladder by taking on a project. Having already moved the bathroom upstairs and created a bigger kitchen in their previous home, they were keen to renovate again on a larger scale when a Victorian villa came up for sale in Dulwich. ‘I looked past the dated decor and noticed the high ceilings, generous room sizes and beautiful wide staircase,’ says Lizzy. ‘I knew we could strip everything back and start again.’ As they wanted to get the work done straight away, the plans were drawn up during the buying process. ‘We submitted them the day after we exchanged contracts,’ says Lizzy, ‘and the builders started upstairs while we waited for planning permission.’ Luckily, the couple were able to rent a friend’s flat nearby for four months, visiting the site three times a week. Work started in summer 2018, with damaged picture and dado rails replaced and reclaimed fireplaces sourced for the bedrooms, while new wood-effect sash windows replicated the originals. ‘Unfortunately, the only thing that is original is the brown stone fire surround in the snug,’ says Lizzy. The rear section of the house has been remodelled by knocking together the kitchen and dining room, demolishing the lean-to and extending into the side return and rear garden to create a 30ft kitchen-diner with a new utility room and downstairs cloakroom. In the master bedroom, the original floorboards were restored and a reclaimed fireplace was installed, along with panelling and bespoke alcove wardrobes. ‘We tried to bring it back to the period,’ says Lizzy. ‘Our builder did a great job with the panelling, which he recreated from Pinterest pictures I showed him.’ Reconfiguring the layout of the bathroom, which had a shower over the bath, proved challenging. ‘We spent a long 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 89

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time in there with the builder and a tape measure but couldn’t work out how to fit in a walk-in shower and a freestanding bath,’ says Lizzy. ‘In the end, we had to move the door.’ When it came to the decor, Lizzy describes her style as classic London chic. ‘I love places like Soho Home, so have bought pieces from its collection, such as its Burleigh pottery,’ she says. ‘The neutral tones at Daylesford’s cottages and spa retreat have also given me ideas for the soft greys and whites in the sitting room. However, I think you can go a bit more dramatic in smaller spaces like I’ve done with the bathroom.’ Although the project was completed on time, there were several issues that pushed the couple over their budget. ‘We had to replace all the rotten joists and flooring in the hallway and sitting room, and it cost extra to reroute the pipework to a new manhole cover in the garden,’ explains Lizzy. ‘We also invested in a new front door as the stained glass fell out of the flimsy original one, and we spent a bit more than initially planned on the kitchen and on good-quality windows.’ Despite the overspend, the couple are pleased with their finished home. ‘I love how quiet and private it is at the back of the house, and the new space is great for New Year’s Eve parties and summer barbecues,’ says Lizzy. ‘We’re lucky enough to have parking, which is unusual for London, so it’s ideal for commuting. The area is lovely with lots going on, so we don’t see ourselves moving anytime soon.’


Bespoke wall panelling brings period elegance to this scheme. Try the Cologne grey fabric king-size bed, £279.99, Happy Beds


Metal-framed screens and decorative tiles create a bold look. Designer black Shoji Crittall-style 1000mm shower screen, £265.97, Arte floor tiles, £28.99sq m, Tons of Tiles

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Fa s c i n a t i ng p e ople

home truths THE PROPERTY Arts and Crafts house L O C AT I O N Hertfordshire R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner, snug, study, utility room, cloakroom, four bedrooms (one en suite), bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2009 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We moved from a smaller house less than a mile away,’ says Alison.

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ORIGINAL CHARACTER Alison and Tom Anderson relished the chance to reveal the true beauty of this period property and added a sympathetic extension to make it ideal for modern life FEATURE AMELIA THORPE | PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL CRAIG

KITCHEN-DINER Dark blue Shaker-style cabinetry and industriallook pendants give this room a modern edge. Real Shaker cabinetry painted in Pantry Blue, from £12,000, deVOL. Heavy Metal pendant lights, from £145 each, Buster + Punch. Urban Quartz Noble Carrara quartz worksurfaces, price on request, Marble & Granite Worktops

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rapped in an Eighties time warp’ is how Alison Anderson describes the listed Arts and Crafts house in Hertfordshire that she bought with her husband, Tom, 10 years ago. ‘We’d just renovated a house nearby and weren’t planning on moving, but I’d become slightly obsessed with looking at the property pages in the local paper,’ says Alison. ‘My mother was staying and when I showed her this interesting-looking house, she suggested that we go to have a look at it, just for fun.’ The house, built in 1908, was set back from the road and concealed by an overgrown garden, dense laurel bushes and a tall conifer tree. ‘But as we drew closer to the front door, I noticed the beautiful Butterfly plan and original features,’ says Alison. Butterfly suntrap architecture, where the wings of the house are constructed at an angle to the core, is characteristic of the Arts and Crafts period. ‘The design means that the rooms are filled with sunlight.’ Alison, who had been working in interiors PR, and Tom, a regulatory consultant, have two daughters, Evie, now 14, and Libby, 12, plus two Burmese cats, Belle and Bosco. ‘We could see the potential of the property as a family home and the fact it needed lots of work didn’t put us

d e s i g n t i p ‘Think carefully about lighting – use dimmer switches and mix

DINING AREA The height of the pendant lights can be easily adjusted, thanks to ceiling hooks. ‘I like versatile design,’ says Alison. ‘It’s easy to move the lights and the table out of the way if we have a party.’ Try Boho tasselled macramé shades, £159 each, The Knotted Touch. Hooks, £17 each, Buster + Punch. Dulwich dining table, from £1,780, is similar; DSR chairs, £255 each, both The Conran Shop. Blinds in Palmeral fabric, £95m, House of Hackney KITCHEN-DINER Alison repurposed a former window into a spice cupboard once the new extension was built. ‘It’s a lovely feature and I didn’t want to lose it,’ she says. Similar plate rack, £225, Susie Watson Designs. Form bar stools, £230 each, Normann Copenhagen

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off – quite the opposite, in fact,’ she says. ‘We like the opportunity to put our own stamp on a place, rather than pay for someone else’s ideas.’ Inspired, the couple decided to buy the house. With their busy family life and careers, the couple chose to renovate the property in stages, tackling the bramble-filled garden before moving on to restoring the original leaded windows, whiterendered gables and terracotta floor tiles, as well as rewiring and replumbing. Next came new bathrooms and a redecoration of the bedrooms while they saved up enough to approach the final stage – renovating the reception rooms on the ground floor and building an extension to house a new kitchen, which was completed last year. ‘The old kitchen was small and dark, with no direct access to the garden,’ says Alison. The new extension to the rear of the property has oak French doors opening onto the patio and lawn and is filled with natural light, thanks to the full-height windows and skylights. It also connects to a dining area in the original part of the house, previously used as a study, while the old kitchen was converted into a snug. ‘This layout, with its easy sense of flow between rooms, is much better suited to our family life,’ says Alison. ‘There’s no more carrying food all the

table lamps, wall lights and ceiling pendants to create layers of illumination’ SITTING ROOM ‘I chose a soft grey palette and added colour with accessories that I can change,’ says Alison. Walls in Cornforth White modern emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Similar lamp, price on request, Pooky Lighting STUDY The bespoke cupboards were made to store Alison’s files, and the original floor was sanded and brushed with white oil. Cupboards painted in Worsted modern eggshell, £69 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Hooked wall light, £260, Buster + Punch. Try the white raffia basket, £75, Design Vintage UTILITY ROOM The cabinetry matches the kitchen for a sense of cohesion. Bespoke units; Villeroy & Boch butler sink, £360; aged brass Mayan pillar taps, £310, all deVOL. Sheila Maid airer, £63, Willow & Stone

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25bh | tow n way through the house to have lunch in the garden, and then traipsing all the way back because I’ve forgotten the salt and pepper.’ Alison’s aim was to create an inviting home with a classic feel, sympathetic to the age of the house, and to include colour and vintage finds to add interest and relaxed character. ‘I’m not into perfection,’ says Alison. ‘Homes should reflect the personalities of the people who live in them, so why not surround yourself with the pictures, books and things you love? Being surrounded by beautiful pieces is always good, although not so much that you feel overwhelmed.’ She favours a mix of old and new, and enjoys spending time hunting around vintage stores and antiques markets, then editing her finds to create a balanced and mellow look that suits her style. Once the house renovation was complete, it prompted Alison to rethink her career. ‘We have no plans to move again, which made me realise how much I would miss working on a project,’ she says. When friends started asking her to redesign their homes, Alison decided to retrain, and she opened her own interior design business last year. ‘It was “now or never”,’ she says. ‘And I’m so glad that I chose “now”.’

l a s t w o r d ‘Have beautiful things to look at, but take care to curate the look’

MASTER BEDROOM By removing a false ceiling, Alison and Tom revealed the soaring height of this room, boosting its sense of space. Woodland Ferns curtain fabric, £63m, Sanderson. Hollywood mirror, £555, Abigail Ahern. For a similar chest of drawers, try the Blythe, £759, Heal’s B AT H R O O M ‘The blue tiles add a splash of colour and the brassware is a nod towards vintage style,’ says Alison. ‘I like the way the metal develops a beautiful patina over time.’ Light Blue Smoke 1017 Zellige tiles, from £117.60sq m, Mosaic del Sur. Shower curtain, £78, Anthropologie. Brassware, from £499.20 for a wall-mounted tub spout, Waterworks

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Innovative photography duo French Cowboy have a passion for storytelling that adds a playful edge to their dramatic work, which is available at Runway Gallery


tylish, striking, poetic, arresting… those words best describe the photographic work of French Cowboy, a creative collaboration between Mia Macfarlane and Julien Crouigneau, which was established in 2012. ‘Every day is an opportunity to create and we live to shoot’, says Julien. They’re one of a number of celebrated artists featured on Runway Gallery, an online showcase of contemporary, fashionfocused artworks. The duo believe their work is ‘another step towards fashion photography receiving the recognition it deserves as an art form in the mainstream’. Here, Julien tells us more.


HOW DID FRENCH COWBOY COME ABOUT? The idea was born on our first

holiday together. We were in Mallorca and we came up with this strange character – a French cowboy who tries his best to be a real cowboy. We spent the entire vacation imagining awkward, funny situations for him. It was the first story we created together, so we decided to keep the name. TALK US THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS. In the words of film director

Henri-Georges Clouzot, ‘To make a film you need: firstly, a good story; secondly, a good story; thirdly, a good story’. We always start with the story. By talking through ideas, we come up with a richer, more detailed version. Then we start researching all the elements; the location, ambience, colours, models and styling. We end up with very detailed mood boards.

HOW DOES FASHION INFLUENCE YOU? Fashion is the artist’s colour palette

that allows us to tell the story we want to tell. Fashion inspires us, but we’re not driven by trends. When we saw Guo Pei’s show in 2017, we could visualise the photos we wanted to take. Her Legend collection featured sculptural dresses in the shapes of a Fabergé egg, a papal statue, fairy-tale queens… but we saw a royal garden with insects and animals. A month later we had the shoot organised with insects and taxidermy birds to go with our vision.


We definitely prefer cooler hues. We set our white balance on both of our cameras to be just slightly blue. We’re attracted to the dramatic yet calming quality of it. HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DISPLAY ARTWORK IN YOUR OWN HOME? For

smaller spaces, we take a bold approach by hanging oversized artwork – the contrast creates a striking, installation-like feel. We don’t feel the need to match art to a room scheme; juxtaposing colours and styles brings an element of surprise. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE BUYING ART? Live by the

mantra ‘buy what you love’.

Owning a piece of art is as easy as clicking a button with new online venture Runway Gallery. Showcasing contemporary, fashion-focused works, enables you to snap up original prints for your home.

DON’T MISS Runway Gallery will be exhibiting at Photo North Festival, from 30 November to 2 December, at the Harrogate Convention Centre. Following on from its debut success last year, the lively event brings together exhibitions, talks, workshops and portfolio reviews from highly respected and emerging artists. Visitors can also enjoy an eclectic programme of music, street-food stalls and licensed bars. ‘Our collaborative and relaxed approach means everyone feels welcome,’ says Peter Dench, one of the event’s curators. ‘Whether you’re a professional photographer, keen student or art enthusiast, you’re guaranteed to leave feeling creatively inspired.’ Tickets cost £7.50 for daily entry or £15 for the full three days. For more information, visit photonorth

COMING NEXT MONTH… Look out for our December issue, where we chat to fashion illustrator Sue Dray about how she captures the creativity, attitude and fast-paced nature of high fashion in her abstract paintings. 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 97

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ART AND SOUL A collection of mid-century abstract paintings sparked the stunning decoration of Peter Stromberg’s family home FEATURE ANDRÉE FRIEZE | PHOTOGRAPHY RICHARD POWERS


Marion has created a simple, restful scheme around two of Peter’s favourite pieces – the Persian rug and abstract painting. Vintage Persian rugs, from £2,200, Rugs of London. Madison coffee table, from £1,910, Tom Faulkner

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The decorative glass panels in the door are an original feature. Circular large wall mirror, £259, Made in Design, is similar. Bespoke console table, Cox London

home truths THE PROPERTY Terraced townhouse L O C AT I O N North London R O O M S Hallway, kitchendiner/living area, utility room, study, three bedrooms, (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2016 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before this, I lived in a house in Hampstead,’ says Peter.


ative New Yorker Peter Stromberg is no stranger to life’s challenges and is used to adapting to changing circumstances. ‘I came to the UK to open the London office for my firm in 2001. I thought it was for a couple of years but, 17 years later, I’m still here,’ he says. Then, after a long marriage, he and his wife decided to part, leaving him to start over and set up home for himself and his three children, who stay with him part-time. Peter had been living in Hampstead for the previous 10 years, so he decided to stay in the area. ‘It made sense, plus I love it here,’ says Peter. ‘It’s like being in the country, except that it’s in London. This house appealed to me, thanks to its glorious period features and generoussized rooms, especially on the ground floor. It’s similar to an old New York brownstone, except that it’s less cramped and there are more green spaces around.’ He was also drawn to a full-height glass extension overlooking the garden. Another bonus was that the house needed very little renovation, as the previous owners had installed new bathrooms and a new kitchen. Having purchased the property, Peter then decided to enlist expert help to undertake the interior decoration. ‘Given my work commitments, and the fact that I travel back and forth between the UK and US for business, I needed someone to take care of the interior design,’ he says, ‘especially since all I brought with me


Simple white seating and cabinetry creates a calm space. Bertoia white plastic dining chairs, £276 each, The Conran Shop. Similar antique dining tables, from a selection, Pamono

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Bespoke bookcases were built to house Peter’s library. Bookshelves, price on request NRT Carpentry. Try the Beat Stout white pendant light, £815, Tom Dixon. Ludwig armchair in Rouge, £659, Swoon, is similar


The chic white vanity unit fits the minimalist aesthetic of the house. Try Porcini Emperador marble tiles, £69.59sq m, Mandarin Stone

FAVOURITE ROOM ‘I particularly like my study in early mornings when the winter light falls on the wonderful glass panels’


Peter’s son chose red and grey, with an industrial feel. Walls in Cornforth White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.L, Farrow & Ball. Brunel desk, £549, Heal’s


The deep royal blue chair upholstery picks out the same colour in the rug. Varese Marine blue velvet, £72m, Designers Guild, is similar. Midnight Blue velvet quilt, £229, Heal’s, is a match

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was a rug, one painting, my library and my wardrobe.’ A friend recommended interior designer Marion Lichtig, so Peter got in touch to see if she would be interested in the project. ‘We got along instantly, seeing eye to eye on taste,’ says Peter. ‘I wanted to achieve the casual elegance the space requires, but I wanted the children to feel at home, too.’ Having found common ground in taste and style, Peter gave Marion a free hand in the decoration. ‘He was incredibly generous with his trust in me,’ says Marion. ‘I got to pick everything – which, for an interior designer is a wonderful situation. But I took my time, so that the style looks like it was furnished gradually, rather than being “done”.’ When it came to reworking the interior, a major focus for Marion was Peter’s art collection. Art is one of Peter’s passions and he is constantly adding pieces. ‘When I first moved to London, I went to various fairs, such as Frieze and the Affordable Art Fair,’ he says. ‘I’m drawn to early- to mid-century abstract representation, and I feel the house still needs more paintings. I would like to add more to the master bedroom and I’m also planning to upgrade some of the others.’ Above and beyond the period features, Peter’s new home has a distinctly minimalist aesthetic. Initially this was not to his taste, but as time has gone by, he has come to find its simplicity quite refreshing. ‘Marion has combined my love of Danish furniture, mid-century abstract paintings and Persian rugs to create a family home that feels like it evolved over time,’ he says. The decoration is now essentially finished, with just a little fine-tuning and finessing still required. ‘I have a very busy life, but I love coming back here, as it has a real sense of calm,’ says Peter. ‘I like being out in the garden on warm nights and hosting barbecues for friends on Sundays. It’s a fun house to live in, too – it’s the family home that I was looking for.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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Carefully planned symmetry adds to the grandeur of this room. Chimney breast wall in Stiffkey Blue estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. China lamps, £3,600 for two, George Pirie Antiques


A daring palette and eclectic treasures have pushed the boundaries of Saffron Hodgson’s basement flat FEATURE ALISON GIBB | PHOTOGRAPHY DOUGLAS GIBB


ewly married in 2017, Saffron Hodgson and her husband Nick, visited Rajasthan for their honeymoon. ‘I love to travel and have been to a lot of places but we were totally blown away by the beauty of the scenery and the colourful saris 102 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

and the fabrics there. We did an amazing tour of the palaces and I came home determined to inject the spirit of this trip into our home,’ Saffron explains. When they bought their Edinburgh flat, the ‘bones’ of it were all in place, which meant that Saffron could focus on the

decor. Being a basement, the period features are not as grand as you might find on the upper levels of a Victorian terrace. ‘We sacrificed the more generous proportions available in a property on a higher floor for a garden,’ says Saffron, but the simplicity suited her. She knew she wanted to create


Colourful cushions and collectibles create a cosy feel in this indoor/outdoor space. Hemnes daybed, £240, Ikea. Walls in Calke Green estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


‘The table was a wedding present,’ says Saffron. ‘It came from Hampton Court Palace, where an ancestor had lived as a Queen’s General.’ Circular grid wall mirror, £259, Time & Tide. Metal balloon table lamps, £300 for two, India Jane

home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Garden apartment in a Victorian terrace L O C AT I O N Edinburgh R O O M S Hallway, sitting room/dining area, kitchen, utility room, conservatory, two bedrooms (one en suite), one bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2017 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I lived in a modern apartment nearby, before Nick and I got married two years ago,’ says Saffron.

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The light granite surface adds a flash of brightness to the dark grey breakfast bar. For a similar worktop, try Mayfair Granite, £394m. Java wicker bar stools are similar, £140 each, The Rattan Company

favo u r i t e item ‘My plate collection on display in the kitchen adds a shot of colour, and each plate conjures up a great memory’

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Saffron added the wooden panelling as an opulent touch. ‘It covers a multitude of sins really effectively,’ she explains. Walls in Skimming Stone estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Ikat 45cm lampshades, £111 each, Pooky

a colourful backdrop for her beloved finds and collections. ‘When I travel, I find I absorb colours and ideas, and bring home a sense of the place,’ she adds. Memories of the couple’s travels were certainly on Saffron’s mind when it came to decorating the sitting room. ‘I wanted to create the feel of a Parisian apartment,’ she explains. ‘I’m a keen collector and my mum is an artist so my home also serves as a personal gallery.’ Artworks and souvenirs from a variety of exotic destinations line the walls, and Saffron was also given some family heirlooms as wedding presents from relatives, so has added some beautiful antique furniture into the mix. She has FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

managed to successfully layer her most treasured possessions with furniture bought from high street stores, resulting in a wonderfully eclectic tapestry-like display of colour and pattern. The conservatory links the apartment to the outside. ‘I adore nature, and the two of us spend all our time in there during winter and summer. Thanks to the underfloor heating it’s never too chilly,’ says Saffron. Plants, animals and birds have provided a great source of inspiration for Saffron throughout her life. ‘I studied textiles and I’ve always loved printing, and I often looked to my parents’ garden for ideas – it’s just full of flowers, and now having

a garden of my own, my interest is stronger than ever,’ says Saffron, who launched her own range of fabrics called Crocus Design. You can find Saffron on Instagram @saffronhodgsoninteriors. Her style is bold and colourful. ‘I like playing with scale: oversizing is a very effective trick,’ she says. ‘Despite the fact that our apartment is relatively modest, I have deliberately avoided choosing small furniture. Big lamps are a favourite guilty pleasure of mine.’ That classical influence is everywhere to be seen. The symmetry and vivid displays of art and antiques, along with the clever use of pattern have elevated this basement apartment to a whole new level. 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 105

LIVING the DREAM The perfect house may be right on the doorstep, as Liz and Steve Hudson found to their delight FEATURE IFEOLUWA ADEDEJI | PHOTOGRAPHY FRASER MARR

KITCHEN-DINER ‘I don’t like everything to match,’ says Liz. ‘I like the richness of the combination of materials and colours.’ Walls in Pink Ground modern emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Splashback in Mexican Brick/Metro tiles in Special Green, from £94.50sq m, Milagros. Oak parquet flooring, £44sq m, Havwoods, is similar

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home truths THE PROPERTY Detached Edwardian house L O C AT I O N Surrey R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, drawing room, kitchen-diner/living area, utility room, five bedrooms (one en suite), two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 1998 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘This is the village I was born in,’ says Liz. ‘I lived in a cottage before moving to this house.’

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he first time Liz and Steve Hudson were asked whether they wanted to buy the grand Edwardian house opposite the cottage where they lived next to Liz’s parents, they had to pass. ‘I’ve known this house all my life and always loved it,’ says Liz, ‘but we couldn’t afford it.’ Six years later, in 1998, they were asked again and couldn’t say no. The Hudsons were in no rush to update their new home, but eventually they decided on a side extension to create a large kitchen-diner. Liz was keen to have a Neptune kitchen and

was pleasantly surprised by the designer’s proposals. ‘She suggested installing a breakfast bar that would offer views out to the garden,’ says Liz, who added the long dining table. ‘I wanted to be able to host a lot of people for dinner, but for the table not to look intrusive if there were just a few of us,’ she says. ‘I found the perfect table on eBay, from a farm in Somerset.’ Liz decided to manage the whole project while working

full-time. She wanted to create a space that was sociable and in keeping with the period features of her home. ‘I sourced a lot of the materials myself, as I love finding quality things that no one else has,’ she says. ‘For instance, I wanted solid wood windows, and I managed to get two sets of French doors for £150 each.’ The back doors are from a Georgian house in the village that was being knocked down. ‘I was out running one

INSPIRATION ‘I love interiors and I always look at homes for sale to see the decoration’

day and saw them, so asked if I could have them,’ says Liz. Liz’s knack for seeking out interesting one-offs extends to the many antiques and items of furniture that she has upcycled to create her characterful room schemes. They blend with lively colours, patterned textiles and rich textures for an overall eclectic look and relaxing feel. This warm, inviting home has become the ‘pre-party house’ in the village. ‘I’ve lived here all my life, so we know everyone,’ says Liz. ‘People drop by on their way out for drinks. We love sharing it with friends.’

SITTING ROOM Antique finds and upcycled pieces exemplify Liz’s distinctive style. Walls in Mole’s Breath; wall panelling and joinery in Purbeck Stone, both from £46.50 for 2.5L,Farrow & Ball

LANDING A vintage French poster makes a fun focal point. Crystal chandelier, £10, car-boot sale

BEDROOM White painted boards and layered pink patterns create a casual New England feel. Cushions, £90 each, Osborne & Little. Try the Cottage gingham rug, from £19.99, Modern Rugs

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BEDROOM The beautiful antique screen inspired the colours of the room. Corbeille French bed, £1,495, The French Depot, has the same look. Bedside lamp, £280, Oka


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AN ARTFUL CONVERSION home truths THE PROPERTY A first-floor studio apartment in a converted warehouse L O C AT I O N Hanko, Finland R O O M S Kitchen-diner/living area/bedroom, bathroom P U R C H A S E D 2011 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Our main home was too small for guests, so we converted this old warehouse for visitors,’ says Tomi.

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Running out of room, Tomi Parkkonen and Anna Piiroinen created this new space for art – and family and friends FEATURE MELANIE WHITEHOUSE | PHOTOGRAPHY KRISTA KELTANEN/LIVING INSIDE

c oa s ta l | 25bh LIVING AREA Even in a Finnish winter, the interior is light and bright, thanks to the pale grey floor and the sofa, inspired by a photo Tomi took of a wall in their home when they moved in, which now hangs in the kitchen. ‘From this I picked the colours for the apartment,’ says Anna. Crumpet large sofa in Spiced Orange Clever Velvet, from £2,095, Loaf, is similar. Try Light Grey utility floor paint, £25.95 for 2.5L, Paint People

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ith two grown-up daughters, and grandparents and friends constantly coming to stay, Tomi Parkkonen and Anna Piiroinen were crowded out of their home in the pretty town of Hanko on Finland’s south coast. But at the far end of their courtyard was a dilapidated old warehouse used for storage. ‘We bought it in 2011 to convert it into a guesthouse,’ says Tomi, a photographer with Studio Tomi Parkkonen. ‘It had been empty for decades, and we had to renovate it from scratch, putting in water pipes, electricity and heating.’ Outside, they added black-framed windows and doors, to contrast with the brick walls and retain the

100-year-old building’s industrial look. Inside, they created a ground-floor space for work by local artists. In 2018, when they had more funds in place, the conversion of the first floor got underway. ‘With help from a builder it took three months,’ says Anna. ‘Without him there still wouldn’t be a guesthouse!’ The newly renovated first-floor apartment is open plan, with a separate bathroom, and the kitchen, dining, living and sleeping areas delineated by furniture. Anna, who’s a writer, based the decoration of the studio on her love of French decor. ‘The guesthouse is elegant, bohemian and minimalistic,’ she says. ‘I left space around the furniture so it would feel airy, and

KITCHEN Pillars with industrial-style supports define the area and separate it from the dining space. Anna designed the cooking zone, choosing statement black lights for the walls rather than cupboards. Find Eames-style Geneva dining chairs, from £63 each, PrivateFloor. The asparagus plate is by artist Heikki Kukkonen; Emma Bridgewater sells an oblong asparagus plate, £39.95. Bazar wall lights, £139 each, By Rydéns at Nordic Nest. Try Cevica Provenza Verde Victorian wall tiles, £49.70sq m, Tiles Direct

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included art and art books. It has the same kind of vibe as our own home, but it’s a bit lighter and very serene. Tomi sometimes tiptoes in there to read in secret!’ Almost all of the furniture is inherited. ‘The old wooden bench is from my great-aunt, and the footstool, with a cross-stitch capercaillie grouse, was made for my aunt, a keen hunter,’ says Anna. ‘I’ve included local paintings, as well as souvenirs from around the world.’ White walls with black accents make this small space feel airy, with warmth introduced via the golden hues of mid-century wooden furniture and tactile fabrics in glowing shades, such as the mustard velvet sofa, which picks up a tone in a photo by Tomi. ‘The

couch was one of my wishes from the start, but it wasn’t easy to find the exact shade,’ says Anna. Continuity of colour links different zones, so the green handmade Spanish kitchen tiles echo the artwork on the wall. In fact, Anna got so carried away creating her colour-coordinated interior that she forgot to include a cupboard for hiding away the cleaning products. ‘However, the result is, I think, so beautiful that small imperfections in functionality can be forgiven,’ she says. ‘After all, it’s not a permanent home – it was a labour of love to restore an old building and create two gorgeous, peaceful spaces where family and friends can stay, and enjoy our passion for art and photography.’

LIVING AREA The antique wooden bench was inherited and has useful storage beneath the seat. Copy the idea with the Cooper Oak hall bench, £350, Perch & Parrow. The painting is by Heikki Kukkonen B AT H R O O M The wall-hung vanity unit creates a feeling of space above the tiled floor design. The Chatsworth vanity in Traditional White, £219.95, Victorian Plumbing, has a similar look

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i n s p i r a t i o n ‘We’ve been influenced by Picasso’s ceramics and the colours of southern France, such as deep, warm mustards and ochres’

BEDROOM Repeated pops of grey and ochre unite the different zones throughout the apartment. Dark grey linen sheets, from £39.99, Zara Home, are similar. Try Etsy for a patterned kilim


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Victorian ROMANCE home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Victorian link-detached house L O C AT I O N Southeast London R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner/living area, study, utility room, five bedrooms, two bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2015 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived close by in a house we’d built ourselves,’ says Shauna.

Shauna O’Handley and Adam Glabay couldn’t resist the charms of their period home FEATURE JANE CRITTENDEN | PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES FRENCH

SITTING ROOM Pink and blue tones are weaved throughout the house to tie all the rooms together. Julianne sofa in Blush Pink, £999, Try the vintage coffee table by Rodney Kinsman, £198, Retrospective Interiors

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SITTING ROOM A Victorian cabinet matches the age of the house. Victorian cabinet, £150, Windsor Antiques of Dulwich

DINING AREA ‘The mid-century Polish Cyrk posters make me so happy,’ says Shauna. ‘I love the vibrant colours and the style.’ Pamono sells vintage Cyrk posters, from £240

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KITCHEN Shauna loves the bespoke design and says it is an affordable option when you work with the right supplier and use local artisans. Cabinetry, Piqu Kitchens; painted in Oval Room Blue dead flat, £62 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Cupboard upcycled with Emperor’s Silk chalk paint, £19.95 for 1L, Annie Sloan

LIVING AREA The houndstooth rug is made from an offcut of carpet that Shauna and Adam liked. Fabula Living Tilia rug in Yellow/White, from £885, Utility Design, has a similar look

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LIVING AREA The space is big enough to have a second seating arrangement. Try Vinterior for a mid-century leather swivel armchair, £550


he desire to tackle a Victorian house renovation was what pushed Canadians Shauna O’Handley and her husband, Adam Glabay, to sell their London self-build and start another project. ‘There’s a real romance to a period property and we were keen to put some shine back into an old house,’ says Shauna. ‘We wanted a calm colour scheme with rooms that flowed, yet with each having its own separate identity.’ Adam, a software engineer-turned-property developer, viewed the house first. He noted the sizeable ground floor already extended to the side and rear, with a conservatory tagged on the back. Although it was leaking and unpleasant, it was clear the extension could be rebuilt, and they could convert the loft. Shauna clocked the uPVC windows. ‘I’ve always dreamed about living in a house with sash windows,’ she says. ‘Reinstating them is what this house deserved and it restored the Victorian feel.’ The couple also put back coving in the knocked-through sitting room, reinstated the fireplace and built a Victorian-inspired staircase. ‘The staircase is now over three floors and ties the newly converted loft space into the rest of the house, making it feel as though it has always been here,’ Shauna adds.


When the building work got underway, the couple put together a core palette of restful materials to anchor the interior decoration. All the joinery is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pointing and the same floral wallpaper runs up both stairwells. ‘It was hard to find a pattern that didn’t look old-fashioned but would still be sympathetic to the house,’ says Shauna. ‘This one struck the right balance and went on to inspire the blues and pinks in the rest of our home.’ In the sitting room, teal mid-century chairs are combined with a blush pink sofa – with a nod to the Victorian era in the solid cabinet – pulled together with a multicolour rug and throw. ‘Pink is more notable here with a touch of blue on the way to the blue-painted kitchen,’ says Shauna. ‘Sticking to the two colours keeps the restful sense throughout.’ C R E AT I N G F L O W

H A L LWAY A sisal stair runner is a visual transition between the downstairs hardwood floor and upstairs carpet, while the blue trim nods to the blue kitchen. Rosanna Trellis wallpaper, £65 a roll, John Lewis & Partners, is similar

Upstairs has a similar feel – bedrooms decorated in soothing shades of blue and bluey-green – and then in the bathroom, the twin-colour scheme hits the loud button. ‘Red artwork and a turquoise blue cupboard are a clash that we really love in here,’ says Shauna. Furniture is arranged to encourage a good flow of space throughout the house. Mid-century chairs on wheels can be moved around to separate or bring together both ends of the sitting room. A steel-framed breakfast bar extends the kitchen island and makes the space feel open. Art and mementos finish off the house, personalising rooms to connect the couple with a place, person or feeling. ‘We buy something if we have an immediate reaction to it, whether it makes us laugh or take a closer look,’ says Shauna. ‘In the hallway, I’ve hung my late mum’s scarf on a hook so she’s the first thing I see when I come home. The project was tough compared with our self-build, but we’re really pleased with the outcome. The layering of colour and our mix of new and old has created a home that we absolutely love.’ FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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MASTER BEDROOM The plaid wallpaper has a relaxed grey-blue tone that works with the natural textures. Ralph Lauren Egarton Plaid wallpaper, £57 a roll, Designer Wallpapers

B AT H R O O M ‘The Psycho print, positioned opposite the shower curtain, is a bit of cheeky fun,’ says Shauna. Poster Lounge has Psycho poster prints from £5.95. Tevah Coral bath mat, £15, Dunelm

GUEST BEDROOM Farrow & Ball’s Cromarty is a muted period colour but Shauna and Adam have dialled the decor the other way with the addition of vivid yellow. Cromarty estate emulsion, £46.50, Farrow & Ball. Lucia bed, £375, Habitat

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home truths T H E P R O P E R T Y Detached, self-built contemporary home L O C AT I O N South Wales R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner/living area, study, snug, utility room, boot room, cloakroom, five bedrooms (all en suite) P U R C H A S E D 2017 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a barn conversion a few miles away,’ says Jess.

SCENE SETTER Jess and Andy Fox fulfilled a long-held ambition when they designed and built their own home with spectacular valley views FEATURE ANNA TOBIN | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

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The smart bank of slate grey cabinets is framed by striking hexagonal tiles. ‘These were a last-minute addition,’ says Jess, ‘as we decided the area would look too plain if left painted.’ Milano Infinity Plus kitchen, from £5,830, Wren Kitchens. Amsterdam 3D Hexagon tiles in Grey, price on request, Porcelanosa


everal years ago, Jess and Andy Fox and their children Emily, 19, and James, 15, took on a barn conversion shell and fitted it out themselves. That gave them the taste for a bigger project and reinforced Andy’s long-standing desire to build his own home. ‘We began house-hunting in 2016, because we found where we were living too remote,’ says Andy. ‘We went to look at a house up the road from here and on our way back we passed someone putting up a for sale sign

on a bungalow. We didn’t like the house, but we loved its position and view.’ The couple knew immediately that it was the perfect site for their dream home so took the risk of buying it without planning permission. They set to work designing the layout, positioning all of the rooms to look out over the valley, with most opening on to balconies or the garden. ‘We made the downstairs a large, flowing entertaining space and all the bedrooms upstairs en suite, because we often have guests staying and


Glass patio doors blur the lines between indoor and outside spaces. Polished concrete dining table, £3,499, Woodstock Bespoke Furniture. Lily bar stools and carver chairs, £139.99 each, My Furniture


The floating staircase and doubleheight glazing ensure that this entrance makes a lasting impression. Bespoke staircase, Stairkraft. Trellis Round rug, from £178, iRugs UK, is similar

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The painting between the alcove shelves is a TV that displays artwork or photos when not in use. Samsung The Frame TV, from £1,099,

1 1 SITTING ROOM This relaxing and sociable space centres on a gold-toned coffee table that echoes the theme of metallic accessories throughout the house. Sofas, price on request, Natuzzi. Phoenix Occasional coffee table in Gold, £369.99, Wayfair 2 BEDROOM The pretty floral duvet cover is the focal point of this serene scheme and brings together the gentle hues of the walls and furnishings. For alternative bedlinen, see the Felicity white floral reversible duvet set, from £22, Dunelm

we didn’t want to be bumping into each other on the landing at night,’ says Jess. The couple took their ideas to local architects Hall & Bednarczyk, who designed the structure. Then, soon after planning permission was granted the demolition work began. To fund the project and to give himself time to devote to it, Andy sold his shares in his shop-fitting business. He went from being managing director to employee and moved to a four-day week, so he could spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the house. ‘To save on costs, we didn’t use a main contractor,’ he says. ‘Instead, I broke the


Richly layered bedlinen in soft greys and pinks blends beautifully with natural wood in this cosy scheme. Toshi chests of drawers, £499 each; bedside table, £179, Atkin and Thyme

work into packages. I employed a builder on a weekly basis for the demolition and foundations. A timber-frame company built the main structure and I did nearly everything else.’ The work took 14 months during which the family rented a house nearby. Jess, a former nurse, spent most of this time focusing on the interior. ‘I was busy sourcing the paint, wallpaper, fixtures, fittings and furnishings,’ she says. ‘The bespoke staircase was our one big luxury. And we splashed out on a few key standout pieces, such as the Italian sofas in the sitting room, but almost everything



A buttoned headboard and mirror finishes give a boutique hotel feel. Grey Seattle Mirror bedside cabinets, £299 each, Benjamin’s Interiors

3 else came from the high street,’ she adds. The couple chose a kitchen from Wren, as they had been pleased with one they’d had previously. ‘The quality is great and everything arrives with the door and drawer fronts fitted,’ says Andy. ‘As I installed it, I wanted it to be as simple as possible.’ Jess opted for a light grey backdrop throughout the interior, adding pops of brightness with soft furnishings and accessories. ‘I took inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram,’ she says. ‘I got the idea for the fireplace from Pinterest and Andy built it.’ But while Andy



enjoyed being hands-on with the build, he says he would never project-manage again. ‘Whenever something went wrong one of the tradespeople always blamed someone else. If we had used a single contractor it would have been their responsibility and not cost me,’ he says. Despite the challenges, the family love the result and are now working on the outside space. ‘I’ve built stables and a chicken coop and next we’ll add a small herd of alpacas to the menagerie,’ laughs Andy. Cocker spaniels Barney and Wilson and cats Casper and Mungo may not be so amused!

3 EMILY’S BEDROOM The slim vertical bookcase provides a useful display area in the corner. Lack wall shelf, £50, Ikea. Try Vinterior’s handmade cushion with palm leaf tropical design print and teal velvet, £26 4 MASTER EN SUITE Attention to detail adds interest to every room in this home. Here, a large round shagpile rug mirrors the shape of the twin bowl basins that sit atop the generous vanity unit. Soho Teak vanity cabinet, £999, Tikamoon. Vista cream shaggy circle rug, £59.99, The Rug Shop, is a match. Mimica Fumo textured mix porcelain wall tiles, £56.60sq m, Mandarin Stone


A high-level window offers light and a sense of privacy, which is enhanced by ‘hugging’ the bath within three walls. The Beck Touchstone bath, £1,699, Bathstore, has this look

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EST. 1920



V E R Y. C O . U K

c it y | 25bh KITCHEN ‘I wanted the kitchen cabinetry to match the period of the house, and I chose a warm, quite traditional neutral shade for the walls to anchor the artworks and the more adventurous hues,’ says Judy. Cabinetry, from £25,000, Kitchens by Holloways; painted in Teal and Blue Gum, both £35 for 2.5L, Paint & Paper Library. Thea pendant lights, £115 each, Pooky

BACK TO LIFE Judy Stephenson rejuvenated her period home with bold tones and eclectic items, old and new FEATURE ALIX BATEMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

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SITTING ROOM ‘My aim was to create a more formal space than the family room and a slightly florid Victorian vibe.’ Valentin footstool, from £260,


ooking to make a fresh start as a single interesting colours to disguise their very poor mother, and on reduced finances, to condition,’ she recalls. ‘And pictures placed on boot, economic historian Judy walls hid imperfections, while furniture was Stephenson was on the hunt for a placed strategically in front of cracks.’ home for herself and her two children, Belle, Taking her cue from the existing vibrant now 16, and Arthur, 12. This interesting arsenic hue on the sitting room walls, Judy three-bedroom Victorian property was repainted the other rooms and tried to put her affordable, not too far from the children’s possessions in some sort of order. ‘I bought schools and friends, and had the potential bright accessories in places like the Habitat for a loft conversion. The fact that the property sale when I needed pieces to bridge gaps or T H E P R O P E R T Y Victorian had not been altered and the layout was still to distract,’ she says. Combining these with home dating from 1902 traditionally Victorian was also a draw. antique pieces, both heirlooms and items bought L O C AT I O N South London Judy’s first move was to convert the loft at auction, and canny finds from local junk shops R O O M S Hallway, sitting to create two bedrooms and a bathroom, mixed in with the odd item from Ikea, Judy put room, family room, kitchen, five bedrooms (one en suite), and in 2015, once she had the money to do together an eclectic and highly colourful scheme. three bathrooms so, Judy replaced the rotten windows with In 2017, the leaking bathroom was replaced P U R C H A S E D 2013 hardwood sashes. ‘The new windows just with two smaller versions, and in 2018 an PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘I lived in a large refurbished made the place feel more solid,’ she says. exceptionally beautiful kitchen was installed terraced house in nearby The house dates from 1902 and was one and is now the home’s centrepiece. ‘Up until Clapham Common,’ says Judy. of only three built by a developer on an empty then, I’d done everything on a shoestring, plot at the end of an 1870s terrace. It was in a though obviously everyone’s perception of very bad state of repair, and previous owners had made it a shoestring varies,’ smiles Judy. With herringbone flooring, look appealing, but done little to improve it. ‘Someone had traditional cabinetry, brass fittings and floor-to-ceiling shelves carefully papered over the cracks by installing dangerous electrics filled with vignettes of coloured glassware and ceramics, both and a leaking shower tray, not to mention putting a nice oak floor priceless and everyday, the kitchen is the room she clearly has down onto a crooked substrate, and cutting through the wall for a the greatest affection for. Judy’s home is a testament to her huge cable to wall-mount a TV,’ says Judy. ‘I bought pretty light clever eye for antiques, tones, texture and a bargain, as well fittings and painted the hallway the woodwork and walls in as her ability to imaginatively combine all four to great effect.

home truths

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SITTING ROOM A collection of monochrome artwork creates a statement behind this antique bench. 40-piece lithographed view of London from Trellick Tower in five frames, ‘Fragmented City’ by Joy Gerrard

H A L LWAY A lime green newel post makes a real contrast with the red stair runner. Diamond flatweave Rouge stair runner, £129 lin m, Hartley & Tissier

MASTER BEDROOM A studded velvet headboard adds a luxurious feel. Caitlin headboard, from £350, Charlotte James, sourced by Nicki Cox Interiors

MASTER BEDROOM Bespoke joinery and soft greens and pinks create a sanctuary for Judy in the master bedroom. Woodwork painted in Aquamarine, £64 for 2.5L, Little Greene


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STAR TURN Jessica and Robbie Pownall’s home is a masterclass in mixing old and new FEATURE SERENA FOKSCHANER | PHOTOGRAPHY DAVIDE LOVATTI

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home truths THE PROPERTY 19th-century house L O C AT I O N Berkshire R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, kitchen-diner/living area, TV room/study, playroom, utility/boot room, cloakroom, six bedrooms, dressing room, five bathrooms (four en suite) P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘We lived in a house in London before moving here,’ says Jessica.

SITTING ROOM Rich blues and golds stand out against a white and cream backdrop and add opulence and glamour. Matchstick estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball, is a similar wall colour. Todi chair, £1,450 plus fabric, Artisanna London. Try the Bluebell sofa, from £1,460, Sofa com

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SITTING ROOM Jessica didn’t want to introduce ornate architectural details as her antiques provide enough decoration. For a similar wall light, try the Sweet Olive two-light, £180, Lighting & Lights

hen interiors consultant Jessica Pownall and her antiques dealer husband Robbie first saw their present home, they were unconcerned by the lack of period detailing. ‘This house isn’t an architectural masterpiece with interesting features like cornicing or beams,’ says Jessica. ‘But that worked in our favour. Our antiques have strong personalities, so they need space to breathe.’ Jessica and Robbie discovered that the house had evolved gradually from a 19th-century cottage, with various architectural additions over the decades. ‘We liked the huge party room, which was built at the back of the house in the Seventies,’ says Jessica. First impressions of the rest of the house, however, were slightly less favourable. ‘The decor was brown and orange everywhere,’ says Jessica, who found the layout equally unwelcoming. ‘There was no flow to the interior. What is now our sitting room was previously divided into a small galley kitchen and a dining room. The large party room was “zoned” into small entertaining spaces framed by strange-looking arches, while upstairs areas had been partitioned off to create a separate flat.’ Having worked as a set decorator for films, however, Jessica had a clear sense of how to reconfigure the layout and was undaunted by the challenge. She promptly set to work supervising the transformation.


Downstairs, the first step was to pull down the partitions between the galley kitchen and dining room to create a formal yet comfortable sitting room. ‘We added a fireplace to create a focal point for the room,’ says Jessica. Light now floods into the reconfigured living spaces through French doors opening onto the garden. In the spacious party room, Jessica removed the ‘strange arches’ to create a single, flowing space where a raised dining area leads into the kitchen and TV area. She also

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i n s p i r a t i o n ‘I’m influenced by mid-century Continental furniture design classics by makers such as Carlo de Carli and Maison Baguès’

KITCHEN-DINER Vibrant wall art and bold red seating add a warming contrast to the plain white walls and units. Darcy dining chair, £850 plus fabric, Artisanna London. Bespoke cabinetry, Roundhouse. The vintage stool was from Pamono; the brass and leather bar stool by Börje Johanson, £1,414, is a similar design. Try Farrow & Ball’s Lime White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L

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25bh | c o u ntry MASTER BEDROOM Delicate printed wallpaper adds subtle pattern without overpowering the scheme. Sticks wallpaper, £153.60 a roll, Knowles & Christou. The Ghini Fronds cushion, £32, Oka, would also work here

d e c o r at i n g t i p ‘Mid-century designs are timeless, so don’t be afraid to mix with newer pieces to create a fresh classic and contemporary feel’

installed a woodburning stove and comfortable sofa for TV suppers and designed the streamlined kitchen, offset by vintage bar stools. For dinner parties, an antique screen hides clutter discreetly from view. ‘It’s not just about the look,’ says Jessica. ‘We’ve made the space more practical, too.’ PLANNING THE DECOR

BEDROOM A grey headboard was chosen to match the colour of the walls for a cosy, relaxed look. Try Loaf’s tall Luna headboard, £475 for a double. Cornforth White estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball, is a good alternative wall colour

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The building work took five months to complete, giving Jessica ample time to re-envision the interior. She chose a palette of restrained neutral shades to set the scene for her collection of treasured mid-century pieces and antiques. As founder of Artisanna London, which specialises in mid-century inspired seating, Jessica has collected many pieces during her years spent trawling flea markets in France and Italy. In addition, she has designed her own elegant range of handmade slipper chairs, armchairs and dressing-table stools, which ooze understated luxury. Many of these feature prominently in her family home. ‘I’ve drawn on collectable pieces, but updated the shapes and proportions for modern living,’ she explains. FINAL FLOURISHES

Attention to detail is a key feature of the decor, as shown by the high-end finishes that Jessica has chosen. Luxurious walnut parquet flooring was selected for the hallway instead of more conventional flagstones. Mirrored furniture and touches of gold and bronze throughout the house are a nod to 20th-century glamour. In the garden, Jessica has added a tree house for her two young sons and a life-size giraffe sculpture as a ‘bit of fun’. ‘This is not your predictable country house,’ she says. FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

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home truths THE PROPERTY Grade II-listed longhouse L O C AT I O N Suffolk R O O M S Hallway, sitting room, living room, kitchen-diner, pantry, snug, study, library, utility room, mud room, seven bedrooms, dressing room, three bathrooms P U R C H A S E D 2012 PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before, we owned a Victorian terrace in London,’ says Georgina.

KITCHEN Georgina’s carpenter shortened the legs of an antique draper’s bench to create this island unit. Form bar stools, £230 each, Normann Copenhagen. Marrakech Mabrouka wall tiles, £721.23sq m, Fired Earth

A kind of magic Enchanted by this characterful building and its surrounding land, Georgina Salter has worked tirelessly to conserve it for generations to come FEATURE RACHEL LEEDHAM | PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SMITH

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H A L LWAY The sinuous lines of the pendant light bring a contemporary edge to the entryway, which the family loves to use in winter when the open fire and underfloor heating come into their own. Large Vertico pendant light in copper, ÂŁ895, Petite Friture at Twentytwentyone

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DINING AREA Mid-century Eames chairs and a simple oak table bring a contemporary edge to the beautifully weathered beams and stone floor. DSW Eames chairs, ÂŁ1,699 for four, Lovely & Co. Branche wall lights, from â‚Ź272 each, Emery & Cie

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d e s i g n t i p ‘It is important to listen to what the building tells you – I don’t think this house would have suited a polished scheme’

SNUG The bespoke fitted oak cabinetry, finished with leather handles, was designed to blend with the beautifully weathered beams. Tetrad Lewis sofa in Harris tweed, £1,500, John Lewis & Partners


hen Georgina and Nigel Salter began mulling over the idea of moving their young family from London to the Suffolk countryside, a 35-acre estate was not at the top of their wish list. ‘I’d originally thought that a house with a couple of acres of land might be good, so that we could consider keeping a pony for our children, Marnie, now 14, Rory, 13, and Thibaud, 10,’ says Georgina. ‘But we just fell in love with this house and its enchanting location.’ Reached by a long driveway lined with lime trees, there is certainly something beguiling about the place, with its grounds teeming with wildlife and its structure featuring timeworn oak beams and undulating walls. ‘It’s a very quirky home, and we didn’t want to lose any of its natural charm,’ says Georgina. ‘It’s the sort

of place where you might expect to find the unexpected.’ ‘The unexpected’ fittingly describes the family’s first, freezing winter in the Grade II-listed house, which consists of two farm buildings dating to the 16th and 17th centuries that were joined together in the Victorian era, when an extension was also added. ‘The previous owners had bought the building as a wreck and carried out the first phase of the works,’ says Georgina. ‘But, that winter, we started to realise just how much was left to do. The draughts were so strong in certain parts of the house that they would lift up the rugs.’ Insulating the building became a priority, as was installing a proper kitchen – there were no units or worktops. Fortunately, the couple quickly found a local artisan builder, Gary Oughton, who was completely in tune with the sensitive approach they wished to 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 139

MUD ROOM This space was created in the Victorian era to join the two farm buildings together. Alphabet II poster, £100 unframed, Ron King Studio

B AT H R O O M Moorish-inspired tiles provide a dazzling backdrop to an elegant copper bath. Andalucia Bodegas tiles, £13.50 each; Babylon brushed copper bath, from £5,400, both Fired Earth

MASTER BEDROOM A contemporary upholstered bed adds a luxurious touch in here. Charles king-size bed, from £4143, B&B Italia

140 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

c o u ntry | 25bh

d e s i g n i n s p i r a t i o n ‘We chose simple furnishings for the bedrooms, so they wouldn’t compete with the wooden beams’

MARNIE’S BEDROOM A pale palette unites items from various eras, including a Victorian bedstead and modern Scandi storage. Miller floor lamp, £129; Miller table lamp, £49, both Snow cabinet A, £1,474 Asplund at Skandium

take. ‘We simply wanted to restore everything that was already here,’ says Georgina. ‘We have used traditional building materials throughout, so that the house can breathe.’ What had appeared to be a lot of furniture in their modest London townhouse was quickly swallowed up by the many rooms in the longhouse, and Georgina’s approach has been to furnish it gradually, picking up pieces from local antiques fairs and junk shops and mixing them with resolutely contemporary designs, such as the striking fibreglass pendant light in the entrance hall. A folder filled with tear sheets that she had amassed over the years proved particularly useful during the process. ‘This was my chance to realise so many of the ideas I’d taken from magazines,’ she says, citing as an example the main family bathroom where FO R STO C K I STS G O TO W HER E TO B U Y

Moorish-style tiles now serve as an exotic backdrop to a sculptural copper bath. Pale beams and textural lime-washed walls have created a pared-back palette throughout much of the house, and Georgina, an illustrator, has adapted many of her furnishings to suit the scheme. An exception to the pale palette is the living room, where Georgina chose jewel-like colours and luxurious fabrics. Perhaps the most rewarding part of this project has been learning to manage the land, which Georgina and Nigel have turned into a private nature reserve. ‘This is such an agricultural area that to have wildlife corridors is crucial to provide places where wild species can thrive,’ explains Georgina. ‘It is a tremendous amount of work but it is very satisfying and good for the soul. We fell in love with this magic kingdom, and we want to keep it alive.’ 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 141

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or by post using coupon below to: Offer 25BH104 YouGarden, PO Box 637, Wetherby Road, York YO26 0DQ PLEASE SEND TO: Offer 25BH104, YouGarden, PO Box 637, Wetherby YOUR PAYMENT DETAILS I enclose a cheque/Postal Order payable to


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DON’T FORGET: Deduct 10% (10p in every £1) if you joined the YouGarden Club: *We’ll automatically renew your membership every year, so you can keep saving AND the price will NEVER go up... GUARANTEED! Full details at Offer subject to availability and in the event that this offer is oversubscribed, we reserve the right to send suitable substitutes. Delivery to UK only and a £6.00 surcharge will apply to the following postcode areas: AB, BT, DD8 11, GY, HS, IM, IV, JE, KA27-28, KW, PA20-80, PH19-50, TR21-25 & ZE. See website for full terms & conditions.

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1 If you’re not totally happy with your ord return it within 30 days and we’ll replac refund in full. 2 Should any hardy plants fail to thrive th we’ll replace free of charge.You just pay Peter McDermott, Head Gardener

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s to c k i s t s | 25bh

WHERE TO BUY Details of companies featured in the November issue


Abigail Ahern Ambiente Direct Annie Sloan Another Brand Anthropologie Architecture519 Armourcoat Artisanna London Ashfronts Bespoke Homes B&B Italia B&Q Barker and Stonehouse Bathrooms By Design Bathstore Beardsmore Lighting Benjamin’s Interiors Blinds 2 Go Buster + Punch Castle Fine Art Chameleon Interiors City Cows Cloudberry Living Colefax and Fowler Colour Flooring Company Cox & Cox Cox London CP Hart Daylesford Décor Design Vintage Designer Wallpapers Designers Guild deVOL Dunelm Emery & Cie Emma Bridgewater Enniskerry Antiques Equilibrio Interiors Etsy Farrow & Ball Fired Earth First Choice Lighting Foxstow Shaker Doors Frangipani Home Frasers of Ellon French Connection Home George Pirie Antiques Get Stuffed Graham and Green






Granit Architecture Gumtree Habitat Hall & Bednarczyk Architects Happy Beds Hartley & Tissier Harvey Maria Havwoods Heal’s Heikki Kukkonen Heritage Bathrooms Holloways of Ludlow Homes Direct 365 Hooglig Howdens Ikea India Jane Industville iRugs UK Jane Clayton Jewson Jim Lawrence John Lewis & Partners Joy Gerrard JR Lighting Kitchens by Holloways Knowles & Christou La Redoute Labour and Wait Laura Ashley Lefroy Brooks Lighting & Lights Little Greene Loaf Lots Road Auctions Love Your Home Lovely & Co Lumitop Lusso Stone Made in Design Maisons du Monde Mandarin Stone ManoMano Marble & Granite Worktops Marion Lichtig Marks & Spencer Marta Bakowski Matalan Matki Mayfair Granite Milagros Modern Rugs Mood Collections


Morlands Bathrooms Mosaic del Sur Muji My Furniture Natural Stone Installers Natuzzi Nest Next Home Nicki Cox Interiors Nisbets Nkuku Nordic Nest Normann Copenhagen NRT Carpentry Oka Old Boot Olli Ella Osborne & Little Paint & Paper Library Paint People Pamono Perch & Parrow Peter Thompson of York Piqu Kitchens Pooky Lighting Porcelain Superstore Porcelanosa Poster Lounge PrivateFloor Rcc Furniture Retrospective Interiors Rhatigan and Hick River Robinson van Noort Rockett St George Roger Oates Design Romo Ron King Studio Rose & Grey Roundhouse Rugs of London Sanderson Sarah Ord Interiors Schumacher at Turnell & Gigon Selling Antiques Sheen Upholstery Sigma 3 Kitchens Simon Morray-Jones Skandium Soho Home Stairkraft Stinsensqueeze Stoveworld Studio Tomi Parkkonen










Susie Watson Designs Switch Lighting Swoon Sylvie Tamarisk Designs The Albion Bath Company The Conran Shop The French Depot The French House The Furn Shop The Home The Knotted Touch The Old Cinema Antiques The Range The Rattan Company The Rug Shop The Rugs Warehouse Tikamoon Tiles Direct Time & Tide Tom Dixon Tom Faulkner Tons of Tiles Topps Tiles Turnbull & Thomas Twentytwentyone UK Electrical Supplies Utility Design Vida XL Vincent Flooring Vinterior Waterworks Wayfair West Elm Williams Creative Design Willow & Stone Winsor Antiques of Dulwich 07545 656903 Wood and Beyond Woodmans Construction Woodstock Bespoke Furniture Worktop Express Wren Kitchens Wyld Home Yard Gallery Yarwood Leather Yoojoo Zara Home Zoffany






2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019 | 143

Just for You

An advertisement feature bringing you the best value for those special purchases around your home.

To advertise, please call 0207 611 1061 or email

CREATE A ROOM FOR ALL SEASONS Control the temperature and ambience of your home with these stunning bespoke blinds. Provide valuable shade and insulation, and help reduce glare to create a relaxing environment. Perfect for conservatories, orangeries, gables, roof lanterns and bi-folding doors, with remote control options and smart device integration.

SMART GARDEN ROOMS, OFFICES AND STUDIOS Cra�ted and manufactured in the UK, SMART is one of the leading garden room suppliers, o�fering a wide choice of styles, sizes and optional extras enabling you to create your perfect garden space. Boasting full thermal insulation, double glazing and professional installation in your garden, redefining your living space has never been easier. Contact us for a catalogue or a FREE no obligation site consultation. Web. smartgardeno� Tel. 0800 242 5559


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YOUR KITCHEN WORKTOPS TRANSFORMED IN A DAY Quartzize produces a beautiful quartz-stone product that overlays your existing work surfaces as if by magic. The company manufactures and installs its stunning quartz overlays to enhance your kitchen with a real stone look and feel. This is a superbly simple way to improve your work tops without the mess or fuss of removing the existing ones. Quartzize can also fit new sinks taps and hobs to give your whole kitchen a completely new high-quality look. Quartzize are hygienic, long-lasting, easy to care for and timeless.


Contact Conservatory Blinds Limited for your free brochure or quotation, and save up to 25% o�f the most popular blinds.

The luxurious Chesterton corner sofa and matching tempered glass-topped coffee table are perfect for entertaining outdoors. Offering generous and comfortable seating for five, the chunky seat, back and side cushions featured have removable covers meaning they can be hand washed to deal with any stubborn stains. With a maintenance-free construction of thick polyrattan and a strong, metal frame this superb set can even be left out all-year round.

Was £599, it’s now just £399 for readers when you quote code JFU26SEP a saving of £200! To order, visit or call 02037 728 752 by 26.10.19


CALLING CONSERVATORY OWNERS! A Rundle & Dorey insulated conservatory ceiling will give you back the luxury living space that you dreamed of. No planning permission required and every installation is covered by a ten-year insurance-backed guarantee. Also available is the Pinnacle range of lightweight, tiled roof replacement - fully approved and building regulation certified.

Tailormade Sofas o�fer a traditional handmade service producing sofas in their own workshop above the Showroom. All sofas are built to individual size requirements, with a choice of cushion fillings to suit, and a comprehensive range of quality fabrics available for that individual look. A beautiful selection of traditional, modern, and contemporary designs awaits you in the showroom in High Wycombe. All items carry a 10 year frame guarantee, most orders delivered within six weeks.

Quartzize are currently offering free fitting exclusively to all Just For You readers, a saving of up to £250. Call 0800 802 1792 now for a FREE quotation or visit

To claim FREE Guardsman Fabric Protection Plan, visit showroom Victoria Street, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 2LT, tel 01494 462233, T&C’s apply before 31.10.19.

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All companies listed are wholly independent. We recommend that you carry out your own checks before entering into any agreement. When making any purchases we would recommend that you use a credit card providing protection in the unlikely event of any issues. No part of this page maybe reproduced without the permission of Canopy Media.

Marketplace furniture


“Exceptionally comfy and looks amazing in our lounge.”


Helen 8th July 2018

Request a FREE brochure call 0800 470 0160 QUOTE BHOMES73H



Albion’s Handmade Bathroom Furniture

was £2129 Autumn Sale price £1599

Beautiful and practical storage

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or visit

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for bathrooms big and small.

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From 450mm to 1500mm wide.

Painted to your choice. HAND MADE IN ENGLAND


To advertise here, please call 020 3148 2261, or email

Marketplace furniture

SALE NOW ON Only £349. Only from us.


Space craft

Elgar sofa was £469 - now £349 Tele 01685 844944

Double your useable space with our sofa beds.

Experts in small space living 21 stores | 0345 609 4455 |

sofas and sofa beds




Over 60 models to choose from . No risk 21 day moneyback trial . 5 year hardwood frame guarantee . Direct from the manufacturer

For a brochure call 01495 244226 or visit

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Marketplace sofas and sofa beds

Autumn SALE

Let’s design together

13 Showrooms Nationwide

Saltdean in Textured Plain Bianco £1,3 4 £1,185

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Handcrafted for you in Nottinghamshire

Megan 3 seater was £919 - now only £769

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The Ambassador Four Poster Bed


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To advertise here, please call 020 3148 2261, or email

Marketplace home improvements

floor coverings




Great Looking Styles

urn oo or Coal

Selling Top Quality Stoves for over 20 years

Big Stocks of Flue Pipes & Accessories in-store

All Stoves conform to EN13240


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WENTWORTH £358.80 REGAL III £502.80


29038 TELESALES: 0115 956 5555 bathrooms


What’s unique about an Albion Bath?



OWN A BESPOKE NATIONWIDE AWNING TODAY SEE OUR EXTENSIVE RANGE ONLINE NOW “Nationwide Awnings are designed to provide a stylish and practical area to enjoy outdoor living whatever the weather.”

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Etruscan Bath - 3 sizes made

Our special material, Iso Enamel, keeps your bath hotter for longer, and only a third of the weight of cast iron.

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To advertise here, please call 020 3148 2261, or email

25bh | i d e a s to s h a r e Ghent’s 1898 The Post hotel is stylishly dark and suitably decadent

ROOM ENVY alk about moody spaces. This compact but oh-so-cosy bedroom in Ghent’s 1898 The Post hotel takes the dark decor trend to new heights with a scheme that reflects the property’s 19th century, majestically spired, neo-gothic façade. Let’s start with the walls. A deep, midnight shade of forest green – try Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green for similar – on the walls and ceiling maximises the perception of space, blurring lines and tricking the eye into imagining ceilings to be higher than they really are. Sweeping curtains in a shade of green-grey linen bring some softness to the room, while the black-painted window frame ensures there is no contrasting interruption to the flow of dusky colours. The result proves wrong those dark-paint naysayers, creating a room with greater 150 | 2 5 B H N OV E M B ER 2019

depth and intrigue than a boudoir of this size painted white could ever hope to achieve. The plush divan bed’s valance shares the same fabric as the curtains for continuity, while crisp white cotton sheets provide the room’s lightest element. Lighting is all low level so as not to illuminate the ceiling, helping to retain that lofty visual illusion. Vintage metallic wall lights and turned wooden lamps topped with earthy taupe shades cast a warm glow across the room. The space is finished with a collection of antique walnut tables – bedside, occasional and desk – topped with traditional brass and leather writing accessories to reference the building’s original purpose as a post office. We challenge you to stay here and not to later depart with the urge to immediately recreate the decadent, luxurious look at home.



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

uniquely yours...

for our latest brochure | 0161 873 8333 STUDIES




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