The owner, an interior designer, and her husband, who works in finance, live here with their two sons, plus their pet Cocker Spaniel. They moved here in 2013, having decided to leave London for the countryside in order to give their children a rural upbringing.
When they decided to move, they were in the fortunate position that the owner’s mother planned to downsize from her 30-year-old house at the same time and, as they loved the property, they took it over.
‘It’s an amazing place,’ says the owner. ‘It’s grand and lovely, but because it’s relatively new, it’s warm! This is a country house where you don’t feel cold all the time. Plus, it’s ideal for a family as the layout flows really well and there’s a playroom off the kitchen. It also made sense to move here as we knew my mother-in-law would be living nearby – my family live overseas, so it was important for us to be near family here. Added to that, there are good schools in the area and it’s only an hour by train to London.’
The owner was keen to update the house and put her own stamp on it so she set to work straight away as she was pregnant with her second child and wanted to complete the house before he was born.
Changes were made to the layout and a neutral colour palette used to create a light and airy home, which, along with the beautiful garden, has proved the perfect place to bring up children. ‘We can open the doors into the garden and let the children run around. They have so much freedom and have a whale of a time. I feel very lucky. We are loving the country life – it’s the perfect move.’
The owners kept the existing elegant Shaker-style kitchen but gave it a fresh coat of paint to keep it light and bright. ‘We took out some twee tiles in the alcove where the oven is and replaced them with brick tiles that made it clean and simple,’ says the owner. ‘Eventually, we’d like to extend into the garden and open up the space.’
Classic country ingredients include the painted dresser – the perfect place for storing glassware and the family’s collection of copperware – and the antique table, chairs and bench, which add timeworn character and conjure up a quintessentially rustic look. Stone flooring keeps the look light. ‘We put in limestone floor downstairs so that it all flows. The pale cream colour opened everything up,’ says the owner.
Artisans of Devizes
Clunch wall paint
Farrow & Ball
When it came to decorating the house, the owner’s interior design skills came into their own. She has successfully blended old and new pieces to create a modern country home, as shown in the elegant living room where traditional dark wood furniture sits easily with clean-lined sofas and a glass table. An easy-on-the-eye palette creates a soothing atmosphere. ‘I wanted the house to be calm but not totally neutral,’ says the owner.
In the stunning light-filled orangery, iconic designer chairs and oversized statement pendant lights add a retro touch, creating an edgy scheme. ‘We chose the lights because we wanted something to hang down and fill the room as it’s quite a large space with a high ceiling,’ says the owner. ‘You can see the lights from the hallway and we needed something to draw the eye in.’
Rockett St George
The impressive open four-poster bed originally belonged to the owner’s grandmother. The owner kept the look soothing with a harmonious blend of muted colours. ‘I wanted a main bedroom that made a statement. I opted for greys and creams so the house flowed well,’ she says. ‘Calm schemes were important because after a day at work, we didn’t want to come back to a busy house. I wanted it to feel peaceful, but was keen to introduce a tactile element with texture.’
Renovations began at the top of the house with the guest bedroom. A modern four-poster bed is a chic choice alongside the bedside table, which is a family heirloom, and the vintage-find French door, which has been transformed into a statement mirror. ‘I like a mix of new and old so we combined modern and antiques together,’ says the owner. ‘I had some modern pieces from London, plus antiques from both the sides of the family, so we wanted them to blend.’
For the child’s room, the owner chose a sophisticated but fun look that has a subtle wildlife theme. The bed has been made super inviting with layers of throws creating a cosy feel, while a pop of colour is injected with patterned cushions. Meanwhile, a sheepskin rug adds warmth underfoot and is perfect for playing on the floor. Further interest was added with a display of artwork creating an on-trend collage wall.
In the guest bedroom, the owner plumped for a scheme with a hint of colonial chic. The antique open four poster belonged to the owner’s great grandmother and its warm tones are complemented by antique furniture, while folksy and floral cushions inject a modern country touch. Meanwhile, delicate colour is introduced with pale blue walls, while a zesty throw and cushions add extra zing.
Tongue-and-groove panelling provides a coastal-meets-country backdrop in the pared-back children’s bathroom, which is tucked away under the eaves. Further period charm, and an extra maritime touch, is added with a roll-top bath painted in a pretty shade of sea green, while nautical sketches add definition to the walls. A vintage Windsor chair encapsulates classic good looks, while a geometric cushion brings the scheme bang up to date.