This project is a favourite. We have been working with the client on a phased redesign and redecoration of the house over the past ten years. The house its nestled in beautiful countryside overlooking the rolling hills of historic Watership Down, renowned for its book by author Richard Adams. The area is steeped in history, with settlements dating back to the Iron Age. The house was built just after the turn of the 20th Century, and sits handsomely in its decorative gardens surrounded by rolling green fields.
In the main guest bedroom we reupholstered the client’s existing headboard in Pierre Frey’s fabric Zag, a favourite, and piped in Lewis and Wood’s luxurious velvet. The curtains are Dianthus by Soane Britain and we used the client’s existing lamp base, giving it a fresh look with a bespoke lampshade made by Ashoka Designs in printed linen by Pukkaprint.
The kitchen was installed over 12 years ago. It’s layout and mechanisms were in great condition, so rather than rip out and install new, we gave the original kitchen a facelift, re-colouring the cabinet doors and fitting new pull handles. We also extended the storage by putting a row of cupboards to divide the kitchen table with the dining room. This was a trend we saw post-lockdown, against contemporary open plan living, reverting back to smaller spaces to compartmentalise our homes for specific functions.
The kitchen table is the original and works perfectly with the @penny_morrison_ltd printed linen curtains. We used the client’s existing French chairs, having them sanded down, re-painted and reupholstered in Penny’s printed linen Ashok.
The dining room is a mix of classic antique furniture combined with new pieces. The future is a mix of heirlooms and wonderful finds from auction houses such as Dreweatts who have been auctioning fine art and antiques for the past 260 years. The room is painted in atmospheric green Vert de Terre by Farrow and Ball with Green Smoke bookcases which perfectly pick out the greens in the luxury linen curtains by Soane Britain. The textural herringbone sisal flooring works so well in this period country house setting, bridging the divide between classic and contemporary style. We love the unique decorative table pieces from Mrs Alice.
The drawing room has been re-designed to make a larger double sized room. The ceilings are high, allowing for statement pieces of artwork, lighting and furniture, large sofas and an oversized ottoman. The pieces installed need to be in scale with the size of the room. When you have a larger room, it’s helpful to create a natural divide with furniture, or with a rug, so that guests don’t feel daunted in the space. I searched around the house and found an antique table which is perfect as a sofa table, dividing the room in two and giving an intimate seating area around the fireplace. I created a library area with a desk for working, bookcases and armchairs for reading, or having a cosy chat with a friend overlooking the lawns and fields beyond.
I love a bookcase filled with rows of colourful books, old and new, travel books, biographies, novels, whole sets of historical literature. It must tell a story about the family who live here and their interests, both past and present. The faux leather bound books were installed on the secret door. These have been custom made for the client with special book titles and authors made for each member of the family, including the dogs. The bookcase is lit with antique brass picture lights for an atmospheric finishing touch.
The button back armchairs were purchased by the client from Dreweatts and reupholstered by us in Fox Linton’s chenille Rice Stitch. The small Daisy Trellis cushion Chelsea Textiles is a favourite of the client’s and had to be included in the scheme.
I love this Suzani which we found from our friends at Suzani House. It was the perfect piece bringing in the bluey greens of oval room blue and the warm tones of the Soane Britain patterned linen curtains. They work so well together because of their colours but also their botanical theme. The lampshades made by Ashoka Designs tie in perfectly with the curtains, with a smart teal edge to reinforce the colour theme. We refrained from layering a rug on top of the wool carpet for a more contemporary style, and to ensure that the Suzani, and the curtain fabric were the heros in the space.
This has been the most wonderful project seeing the house grow with the family and creating space for them all to enjoy it.