The owner has always dreamed of building her own home, which is why, when she and her husband were told that the foundations of their newly purchased Hampshire house were not sound for any extension work, the homeowner rose to the challenge with alacrity.
‘I knew what I wanted, a new house that felt old,’ says the owner. ‘A contemporary build, but with Georgian character. From the outside, the house would be pretty and traditional but not too grand. On the inside, with French doors, sash windows and high ceilings, it would feel light and airy but not modern.’
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Today, walking through the finished building, with its spacious rooms and generous, artfully placed sightlines that flow from front to back and side to side on every floor, it is clear that the owner’s ambition has been beautifully realised, thanks in no small part, she says, to her architect, Mike Fowler, of Fowler Architecture and Planning.
Although the house is spacious enough for the rooms to take plenty of colour, the owner (an interior designer of some 20 years’ standing) has held back from using bold tones, favouring a softer set of hues to decorate the classic interior.
She says she is more adventurous with her clients but explains that, ‘I need a really relaxing environment at home, one that will allow me to come back from work and have the space to think creatively. I can’t be too daring here.’
Her lead palette of pale raspberry and peony pinks mixed with light greens set against a backdrop of chalky whites may not be daring, but it is unquestionably effective, creating a gentle, visually soothing atmosphere.
As the lawn rolls away from the back of the house, a terrace was the perfect way to deal with the drop in levels, while also providing somewhere to sit and enjoy the views of the countryside beyond.
‘We had this huge artwork – it measures six feet square – for years before we moved into this house,’ says the owner. ‘Until now, I’d never had high enough ceilings to show it off properly.’ It is a perfect fit for the neutral tones of this spacious scheme.
This space is large enough to incorporate a comfortable seat, for the owner’s husband or a friend, so they can chat while she cooks. The fireplace was found in a reclamation yard in France, along with the salvaged flagstones. ‘They were probably originally in a monastery or chateau and I love the fact that we’re walking on flags that have been in use for centuries.’
‘I went to a house sale and came across this small floor drying rack, which was the ideal size for my laundry room,’says the owner of this serendipitous find.
A local oak-clad barn was the inspiration for the clapboard structure, which the homeowner and her husband had built at the same time as the main house.
Chalky pinks and grey-browns are given a boost by a sophisticated selection of textures. ‘The velvet armchairs and subdued wallpaper pattern make a subtle but undeniable impression,’ says the homeowner.
‘I chose a round table because it has a softer feel, and everyone can talk to each other; it works perfectly in this room,’ says the homeowner.
Instead of discarding a pair of old sofas, the owner decided to re-cover them in pink linen for this relaxed space.
The striking choice of wallpaper was inspired by the flourishing garden outside.
Wallpaper, in shades of soft grey and pale green, creates an inviting sense of calm.
Having seen a picture of a panelled bathroom in a magazine and fallen in love with the look, the homeowner asked her builder, to do something similar for this bathroom.
Here, the homeowner has captured her son’s personality through accessories, such as the Airfix-inspired sketches, which can be easily changed, so it will be simple to update the room as he gets older.
‘When I put up the pink wallpaper, the boys were sure their father wouldn’t like it,’ says the owner of this scheme, ‘but he told me that his favourite colour as a child was pink – he had a pink bike – so, actually, he loves our bedroom.’
The colour of this pink geometric rug, which was found on Etsy, ties in with the main bedroom and bathroom to provide a cohesive feel.
For a clean-lined look, the owner chose traditional folding shutters and had the walls clad with wide white boards hung horizontally.
Photography/ Alicia Taylor