This family home is somewhat of a masterpiece. The home owner's passion for art is clear to see from the captivating interiors. Calming colours act as a backdrop to invite you to explore the artwork.
For some it might be a vibrant rug, for others a swatch of fabric, but for this art enthusiast, the catalyst for the look of her home is the art she has amassed over the years. The unusual prints and paintings, and the deft watercolours and sepia photographs peppered across the walls of this Hampshire house all set the tone for the decor – a painterly palette of bright teals, dove greys and soft pinks, like brushstrokes on a canvas.
The owner tells of her initial draw to the property back in 2015, ‘It felt untouched but cared for, while sash windows and a wide hall made it feel spacious. The light corridors were ideal for an art collector in need of wall space, too.’
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When it came to the decor the owner enlisted the help of an interior designer, ‘oddly enough, although I feel confident choosing art, I default to a neutral zone when it comes to decorating.’ she explains.
The interior designer knew it was her job was to make the art, which is bold and eclectic, really stand out. Luckily the house didn't require any structural changes, it was all about adding colour and details to bring the house and art collection to life.
Several mood boards later and the kitchen was repainted in a blazing blue, which ‘wraps around the room, hugging the original Aga, wide window and walk-in larder with
its marble shelves’
The Shaker-style cabinetry changed character against the new walls, too – from a cold white to a warmer, pink tone. Over the island, colourful glass pendants – one of the rare new purchases – hang like jewels on a necklace and even the bar stools have been updated with fresh paint.
Family dining area
‘In each room we’ve taken our cue from the artwork,’ In the sitting room, it is the Impressionistic still life that captures your gaze, singing out from seagrass walls that echo the painting’s palette. Opposite, the new limestone fireplace and fender are another addition that have brought personality to a once-featureless room.
Another focal point in the living room is the specially made bay window seat. The view out is framed by ruffled London blinds in a blowsy floral.
‘We arrived with lots of furniture, much of it inherited, so it was a case of working with what we had,’ says the owner. Worn sofas and lacklustre armchairs and footstools have been revived, and lamps crowned with new fabrics.
‘People can be wary of mixing prints, but if you balance the different scales or contrast organic shapes with geometric designs, it works surprisingly well,’ says the interior designer.
The sense of reinvention also appears upstairs in the main bedroom. The once yellow-white bed frame has been refreshed with a coat of French grey paint. The calming shades in this room evoke a restful mood.
Each wall invites you to admire the artwork. There are sentimental portraits of the family and a watercolour of the Cornish church where the home owners married.
‘Everything has a personal connection. Collecting art is not about buying pictures that look pretty, but finding work that stirs an emotion. That’s what art should bring to a home.’
Keeping the original fittings, the bathroom feels updated with a fresh colour on the walls.
This picture perfect family home was originally featured in 25 Beautiful Homes February 2018
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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