Their home is in a wonderful, tiny village in the UK and is a place I would visit regularly. Aside from lovely friends who live there the village and the area has a calming rejuvenating effect on me. I’m not sure why or how it does it, but it feels every time I go there I feel I am given a boost.
It is really hard to describe, it’s almost like a mental glass of wine but then I feel physically good too, even if we’ve had late nights and early(ish) mornings. I wasn’t laying in until noon either, for a start as many of you know, the countryside is bloody noisy and the ducks on the pond outside my window at 5.00am were no exception. Plus her husband thinks laying in is bad for the soul, at least bad for mine anyway.
Maybe it is the slightly magical, pagan feel to the area, very old, very rural, very mystical almost. Perhaps it’s just being around my oldest, dearest friends.
So back to my point they are redoing their whole home, aforementioned curtains I believe are becoming blinds, carpets are being replaced by marble tile, red brick fireplace is now off white with a wood-burner and downstairs bathroom formally green and festooned with rosettes and ribbons from her horse, will now be wallpapered with hummingbirds. In addition all hardware, lights, fittings and fixtures are being replaced. They are really replacing everything.
The only exception is the kitchen where they have beautiful hand carved pine cabinetry that is unique, I’ve not seen anything similar and apparently a chap from the village did it twenty years ago.
The significant difference is this time they are using local interior design company Cotton Tree to assist them, as my friend says “Charlotte helps me decide what I don’t want and narrows down my options for what I do want”.
I used to think I’m reasonably confident in my taste and what styles work, I can decorate a house, make it look nice etc and I can, but what I can’t do is see beyond the obvious possibilities. And whilst there are all the usual magazines, House Beautiful Home & Garden, Elle Décor for inspirations putting it into practice or understanding how to achieve a certain effect is so much harder.
And this is where engaging with a good interior designer can make your house go from quite lovely to absolutely fantastic. My friend knew she wanted marble floor tile and the interior designer helped her fit the rest of the palette and design around that. My friend feels somewhat as though her hair is on fire due to the upheaval and doing all of the house at the same time, but her interior lady pours water on the flames and cools the heat with regular, timely consultations. She is even helping them re-hang their art.
The saying is an Englishman’s home is his castle, but interchange Englishman to any other nationality and castle with the relevant cultural abode and it applies to all of us I think. Our homes are hopefully where we feel the safest and happiest and the décor plays a huge part in those feelings.
A company I talked to this side of the pond, Dawn Cook Designs says “hiring a good designer is making an investment in your future…making sure you spend your money in the right way, and on the right items. It’s also protecting your wallet from the wrong decisions. Just like any other relationship, there has to be a good connection and it has to be the right fit to get to the right design.”
I am so looking forward to visiting my friend’s house when we go back at the Holidays, I am almost excited as she is, because not only does it sound beautiful, but it sounds like a total transformation. I have no doubt I will feel as serene and reinvigorated as I always do but I have to say I won’t miss the twenty year old curtains!
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous – Sophie
P.S. This is my friend’s wee Australian cattle dog trying to work out why her home is in the state it is