Sunday, 21 September 2014

Brook House Bed & Breakfast in Somerset as seen in ...

..... 25 Beautiful Homes Magazine

Brook House Luxury Bed & Breakfast, Somerset

Becky enjoys an abundance of fresh vegetables from her kitchen garden

Becky is a great cook and her guests enjoy her homemade cakes!

A Burford White Kitchen from 'Howdens' with solid oak worktops

The snug is warm and cosy.

Guest bedroom with blue and white colour scheme has a wonderful airy feel.

Guests can enjoy this ensuite bathroom

Saturday, 13 September 2014

People's creative talent never ceases to amaze me.

Spent another wonderful day 
 in the company of a thoroughly lovely couple who have created a 'heavenly haven' full of natural botanical beauty!

Tina's effortless arrangement of Sunflowers in a vintage enamel planter is just so  beautiful.

Rustic French style garden furniture and bird cage hanging from an apple tree complete this pic.

Using vintage style teapots for a floral arrangement is such a simple but effective idea.

This rustic and distressed terracota pot full of white geraniums looks so beautiful amidst flowing branches.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

House Beautiful Magazine June 2014

'Fabulously Chic'

 Old Rectory Renovation

   Built around 1650 Kate Macey’s home was originally a rectory associated with the 14th century village church. It continued to be a church property until 2006 when it was sold to a local family, before Kate bought it in 2013. Built from a mix of brick, Blue Lias and Hamstone, the house is Grade 2 listed. Entranced by the beautifully preserved open fireplaces, the original gothic and sash windows, paneled doors and elm floorboards, Kate put aside her concerns about its neglected condition determined to restore it and add modern comfort. ‘The period details; the walled courtyard, sloping garden and apple orchard drew me in’, recalls Kate. ‘I hoped that by adding a new heating system together with wood burners, new kitchen and bathrooms that these modern conveniences would blend perfectly with the old bones of the house’.

Kate is enjoying spending as much time as possible in her new kitchen
    She sold her Bristol city flat moving to the village where she’d grown up, and where her family still lived, just ten minutes drive from her business. ‘As the tea shop got busier it didn’t make sense living far away,’ says Kate. ‘And I was able to move in with my parents for the five month upheaval of the restoration work.’

        Kate project managed the build, dividing her time between running the tea shop and overseeing the renovation, a juggling act that proved challenging from the outset. Her surveyor had advised that he suspected a problem with the timber floors upstairs but as he wasn’t allowed to take up the boards during his inspection he couldn’t be certain of the damage. Immediately after buying the property, Kate hired a carpenter to inspect the joists and floorboards. ‘He asked if I wanted the good or bad news!’ recalls Kate. ‘There was woodworm everywhere but it could be treated. He then advised that most of the joists would need replacing.’ She was forced to delay work on the house for six weeks while the woodworm was treated and new joists were made and fitted. ‘I spent many nights worrying. It added quite a few thousand pounds to the budget but in the long run it’s reassuring to know I have a woodworm free house,’ says Kate.

Woodburning Stove from Sandpits Heating Centre in Curry Rivel
    Despite managing up to twelve tradesmen on site at the same time everything ran surprisingly smoothly. ‘They all worked alongside each other to a tight timescale because I wanted to move in as quickly as possible’, says Kate. Aside from rewiring, replumbing and replastering the entire house, the interiors needed updating. Kate’s vision included staining the original parquet flooring in the hallway black. ‘I’m so pleased with its dramatic effect,’ says Kate. Conversely, upstairs the original elm floorboards were simply sanded back and left untreated.

  The staircase was strengthened and all the spindles were replaced and repainted. Two new wood-burning stoves and nineteen new traditional-style radiators were fitted, the roof was insulated and all the windows and broken panes repaired. Throughout the house Kate has created a classic English country look with a hint of French chic. In the open-plan kitchen/dining room, a new gas Aga and Kate’s collection of vintage china, displayed on open shelves around the room, contrast with an elaborate glass chandelier. Among all the hard work and upheaval, the renovations yielded a welcome surprise when a Victorian fireplace was uncovered in one of the bedrooms and Kate renewed it with new tiles. ‘After a good clean and a repaint it looked great’, she recalls.

     Having lived in the house for almost year Kate finds she loves it even more in summer when the lavender (in the garden?) is in full bloom. ‘The scent fills the air and I get a lovely view from the windows (lavender all around the house?), it’s just one of the many reasons I’m so glad I made the move from the city to the country.’

Chandelier from Living Pretty and Fabric from Emily Bond
      Kate has successfully created a dramatic entrance hall by staining the parquet flooring black. The curtain and lampshade fabric is from the Labrador Fabric Collection at Emily Bond A glorious rustic Elm dining table is centre stage in the dining area of Kate’s spacious kitchen. Her vast collection of vintage china is available to hire at Living Pretty.

Stunning collection of Vintage China to hire from Living Pretty

    Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Skimming Stone and the woodwork in Elephants Breath Comfy seating makes the living room a great place to relax after a hard day in the Tea Shop. Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White. The Clearview Stove is from Sandpits Heating Centre.

    The cushion fabric is from Ian Mankin and the tablelamps from Laura Ashley. Kate enjoys views across the Somerset levels from her bedroom. Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Shaded White and the woodwork in Hard Wick White. The bed is from Living Pretty and the Laundry Basket with Rope Handle from Garden Trading. Using pale, glossy natural marble makes the narrow bathroom appear more spacious.

House Beautiful Magazine


Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White. 
Walls in the guest bedroom are painted in Cornflower White from Dulux. Living Pretty 01458 253357 
Emily Bond 01173 763 067 
Garden Trading 0845 6084448 
Farrow & Ball 01202 876141 
Mandarin Stone 01600 715 444 
Sandpits Heating Centre 01458 251476 
Wells reclamation Yard 01749 677087 
Laura Ashley 0871 983 5999 
Ian Mankin : 020 7722 0997

Friday, 7 February 2014

Interior Designer

The House Clinic

Sarah Pritchard - The House Clinic

Working with Sarah Pritchard from Hertforshire interior design practice The House Clinic for the day was such fun! We worked together on some shots for her website which is now live. Sarah is a very talented young interior designer with a great eye for detail and I think we got some great shots. We tried using a mirror to reflect these designer magazines which resulted in an interesting look.

Rolling up and getting creative with blueprints !

Gathering together interesting fixtures and fittings such as frame samples and fabrics to start building a design mood board.

Folding these beautiful fabrics and using only available light  and reflectors to replicate the true rich colour and texture was key.

Distracted by our little helper!

Capturing the threads in this exquisite Designer hand woven silk wallpaper proved a particular challenge.

Love the light here!

Again trying to pick up the threads on this exquisite handwoven silk wallpaper was tricky because of reflection.

Umm. Not sure about this shot?

Sarah designed this stunning bathroom and what a triumph!

The House Clinic is a unique interior design practise, specialising in the design, specification and installation of bespoke, modern interiors. Established by designer Sarah Pritchard, The House Clinic offers a new and inspirational approach to interior design. With 8 years experience and a portfolio that extends from London to Hong Kong, Sarah has developed a tiered design service, providing the client the flexibility to choose what ‘prescription’ best matches their needs.