Beautiful lighting and clever colour choices give this traditional property a contemporary edge

Combining traditional and modern styles, this couple have created a luxurious family home that Is both opulent and practical
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  • When Charlotte Bradley met her husband Rob he was living in this beautiful rural home which he had bought because he loved the location as well as the architecture. It’s a beautiful period home with gorgeous views across open countryside, yet it’s not too remote, and it has amazing period features.

    Rob had made several changes to the house including the addition of orangery ideas to complement the traditional style of the property. These days the orangery is used for entertaining, and for a bit of peace and quiet. ‘We like to read the Sunday papers in here,’ says Charlotte.

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    Hallway

    hall with chandlier and tessellated tile floor

    Image Chris Snook

    Creating drama with statement lighting in an otherwise neutral space is one of the ways the couple have brought standout style to the spacious rooms and high ceilings of the house. In the hall, a bold cluster lighting design from Arteriors welcomes visitors to the house, which has retained its original tessellated floor.

    Dining room

    dining room with amazing chandelier

    Rob had already reconfigured much of the house, but when Charlotte moved in, they decided to update the antique furniture and dark colours. To achieve a slightly less ‘bachelor-style’ look they brought in interior designer Gemma Hill from Bayswater Interiors.  The first room to be tackled was the dining room. In here, they chose a standout chandelier made to order by Mallory Custom Lighting  which resembles a giant sea anemone.

    ‘I love the drama the lighting adds,’ says Charlotte. ‘Gemma sourced and suggested things I’d never have found on my own.’ Metallic details also bring out the beautiful pattern on the decorative Victorian cornice.

    Kitchen-diner

    pale kitchen with blue island

    Image Chris Snook

    The most recent job they took on was the transformation of the kitchen-diner. ‘We extended out and added the glazing, so it’s now bright and light with large, sliding doors that can be opened up in warm weather to create an inside/outside space,’ says Charlotte.

    ‘Before, there was no direct access from the kitchen to the garden but now it’s practical for dining outside in summer, too. We eat all our meals there, the children do their homework at the island, and we cook there.

    kitchen with blue island

    Image Chris Snook

     The new extension includes a comfy central island where family and friends can sit, eat and chat in the classic painted kitchen that won’t date with time.  The bar stools are faux leather and wipe-clean, which is great with children, plus they add a pop of colour.

    Living room

    sitting room with lolipop chandelier and blue rug

    Image Chris Snook

    The couple also redecorated and refreshed much of the ground floor. While acknowledging the traditional architecture of their house, they have added a contemporary feel to fit with family life. ‘It was all project-managed by Gemma so there weren’t any disasters, but it was stressful living through it with two young children and three dogs, particularly when we had no kitchen for two months.’

    In the living room, they have chosen a light and airy neutral scheme, with colourful accents. This open-plan space adjoins the kitchen-diner, and its window seat has storage beneath and makes the most of the space. A graphic rug and bright cushions life the whole scheme.

    Bedroom

    bed with four poster

    Image: Chris Snook

    With its antique, barley-twist four-poster, this guest bedroom is a relaxing space with calming colours. ‘Everyone says they sleep so well here,’ says Charlotte. Anna French’s Margate wallpaper sets the tone for the rest of this neutral scheme. Its range of textures including wood and velvet add depth to the decorative look.

    The result of the refurbishment is a calm, family home. ‘I love it all,’ adds Charlotte. ‘It’s a large property but it still feels homely. This house is perfect.’

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