A quiet luxury makeover turned this country home into the ultimate retreat

Replacing colourful carpets and a bright green kitchen with a neutral colour palette transformed this five-bedroom home

quiet luxury living room in Hampshire
(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

Interior designer Laura Hammetthad always dreamed of an idyllic country life but the practicalities of running a business in the capital kept the family firmly rooted in London. Until lockdown, that is. In 2020, Laura and husband Aaron sold their London home and moved with their two children to Hampshire. ‘I viewed about 20 houses and knew what a gem this one was as soon as I came up the drive,’ Laura says.

The house is detached, with a majestic but mellowed red brick Georgian exterior, an enviable amount of room for living, entertaining and working, and five bedrooms spread over three floors. There’s also a separate barn that the couple eventually plans to transform into guest accommodation.


quiet luxury kitchen in Hampshire

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

While the house had been well maintained, there was potential for cosmetic updates. ‘It had lots of plush, colourful carpets, including in the bathrooms! And a bright green kitchen, and anyone who knows our work knows that’s not our style,’ explains Laura Hamnett

She wanted a classic country kitchen but with a twist to it, so she designed an island that was based on a French butcher’s block, to feel more like a standalone piece of furniture. The Aga was in place when the couple purchased the house but the couple had it re-enamelled and also opened up the surrounding chimney area. A combination of closed cupboard storage space and open shelving creates a tidy aesthetic but with plenty of display potential, too. 

For practicality, a larder-style cupboard houses all sorts of everyday essentials and a specific breakfast-making area with doors that can be closed shut when not in use. 

Breakfast nook

breakfast nook

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

A glazed breakfast nook sits between the kitchen and living room. It was created by the previous owners, but fits nicely with the flow of the original Georgian layout. Utilitarian striped cushions on bench-style seating create a welcoming and relaxed vibe.

Dining room

elegant dining room with wooden table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

Georgian elegance is on display in the formal dining room, beautifully complemented with modern furniture pieces, a curated collection of antiques as well as accessories from Laura’s own Laura Hammett Living range. It is a wonderful space for grown-up entertaining.

Utility room

cream decorated utility room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

Period style lighting, a classic butlers sink and a ceiling-mounted clothes dryer add charm to the compact utility room.

Boot room

boot room in georgian house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

A shelf of baskets provides ample storage space in the boot room and a bench allows for wellies to be kept neat and tidy. Limestone tiles are a practical option with a beautiful aesthetic.

Living room

quiet luxury living room in Hampshire

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

Laura and Aaron's style melds classic and contemporary, with a clever mix of neutral tones, modern materials and eye-catching detail. The aim here was always to create a relaxed family home with a strong country vibe and a balance of heritage and modern.

The living room is a harmonious blend of sophisticated neutrals, rustic textures and period elegance that combine to create a calm environment. Laura has paired contemporary pieces with antiques to great effect.

Home office

home office with built in bookshelves

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

Laura and Aaron regularly work remotely from home, so a comfortable but stylish office area was essential. A wall of built-in storage provides space for books and files.

‘Our previous house in London was quite contemporary and fully open plan but, particularly after lockdown, we really appreciated the privacy of separate rooms in a more traditional Georgian layout,’ Laura says.

That's why, during the first stage of renovations, as well as redesigning the kitchen and redecorating throughout, they also prioritised creating a separate study. ‘We also decided early on to sacrifice one of the bedrooms at the very top of the house and turned it into a home cinema room, complete with a popcorn machine,' says Laura.

Main bedroom

neutral luxury bedroom in Hampshire

(Image credit: Future PLC/Julian Abrams)

Laura has used natural materials such as linen, aged bronze and reclaimed timber to create a home that looks lived in and is clearly well loved. ‘We have a very neutral palette as I love the serenity, especially after a busy day,’ she says. 

The couple’s bedroom has a restful feel with pale wood tones, crisp white bed linen and accessories in warm taupe. Elegant lighting and a rattan ottoman add a touch of luxury. Laura made the headboard and canopy herself.

Sara Emslie
Contributing houses editor, Country Homes & Interiors

Sara Emslie is an interiors and lifestyle journalist, as well as the author of two books on

interior design – Beautifully Small: Clever Ideas for Compact Spaces and Urban Pioneer:

Interiors Inspired by Industrial Design – both published by Ryland, Peters and Small. Sara

lives in Richmond, London, and enjoys travelling all over the UK and abroad producing

features for many of the leading home interest magazines, as well as organising and styling

shoots for commercial clients. She particularly likes the diversity of work that each new

assignment brings and the numerous opportunities to be able to communicate the

constantly evolving trends in interior design through both words and pictures. When not

working, Sara makes hand-thrown porcelain pieces on the potter’s wheel.