Sitting on an acre of land, the owners’ home enjoys uninterrupted views across the Box Valley in Wiltshire, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The house, which is built of mellow Bath stone, was extensively altered 25 years ago.
‘You could tell the owner had done it with passion,’ say the couple. ‘We loved the scale of the rooms, as well as the stone mullion windows and flagstone floors.’
By the time the current owners moved in, the property was in need of updating. The house was decorated in rather oppressive shades of mustard, cold blue and dark pink, while the garden was a tangle of brambled and ground elder.
For the couple, it was a case of adapting the rooms to suit their sensibilities. ‘Our work means that life is often busy, so we’re gradually making our way through the rooms,’ they explain. ‘There’s no great rush.’
The pair started with the kitchen, as it was ‘particularly miserable’, with its striped pine cupboards, chipped tile worktops and dingy yellow walls. The room has been transformed with units in a pale palette of soft grey topped with luxurious Carrara marble that maximises the light.
The owners have a love of collecting pieces from all over the world, and the striking Marco Zanini fruit bowl, which belonged to the late David Bowie, is one of their more recent auction acquisitions.
With its chequered grey-and-white painted floorboards and Swedish-style furniture, the elegant dining room has a Gustavian aesthetic. What really stands out though is the tin tile ceiling, which lends a modern edge to the space and creates a stunning feature. You can get the look with a wallpaper design, to save on budget.
Dining room corner
A favourite addition to this space are the tiles in the dining room fireplace, which the owners had painted in Delft style. Closer inspection reveals that each one has a picture that is meaningful to the couple. ‘We’re enjoying adding our own personal touches,’ they say.
For the living room idea, the mood is different, with fine walnut antiques and classic, buttoned sofas rubbing shoulders with Australian Aboriginal art and Indian statuary. ‘We love so many different styles that we didn’t feel that we had to stick to just one,’ explain the owners. ‘We wanted the rooms to be individual and distinctive from each other.’
What comes across throughout the house is the couple’s passion for collecting art and intriguing objects. In the living room, the fireplace provides a perfect frame for displaying treasured pieces.
A moody wallpaper injects a sense of drama into this compact space, taking it from functional to ‘wow.’ Colourful artworks and antique lights on the walls add to the character of the scheme.
The statement wall is the ‘Nuvolette’ design from the Fornasetti II collection by Cole & Son.
Whitewashed furnishings keep this attic area bright and welcoming. Chests of drawers double as bedside tables to ensure there’s adequate storage, despite the sloped ceilings. ‘Each room has its own unique look,’ say the owners. ‘That way we never get bored of the interiors.’
A monochrome palette works perfectly in this contemporary bathroom. Classic modern sanitaryware has been eschewed for a more luxurious vanity unit that is a great match for the beautifully veined marble backdrop.
Wooden beams add to the character of the space, creating a cosy atmosphere in this attic bedroom. A predominantly white scheme helps to make the most of modest room proportions. Modern cushion prints ensure the room feels modern, while adding a hit of colour.
The couple continue to travel and are always on the lookout for new objects that will enhance their interiors. ‘We love having an eclectic home,’ they say. ‘And this house lends itself so well to a wide mixture of styles, from ultra modern pieces to glamorous antiques.’
This house tour originally appeared in 25 Beautiful Homes.