I'm moving back to London in a few weeks. It's quite exciting but I leave the countryside with much fondness, for it has been a rediscovery. I have been living in my grandmother's old house for the last few years and for various reasons, not least because she passed away in the summer, we are selling it. I spent days getting the place ready for the estate agent's photo session and rather fixated onto styling the place. As he was touring the house to take the right pictures, it seemed to me rather sad that the details would be missed. I thought it rather nice to present an alternative view. I have no doubt the owner will modernise it so I wanted to have a few pictures to document this end of an era.
My house-dressing started with me eliminating any bottles I didn't like, the brushes I thought rather nice.
and in the kitchen:
The new owner will obviously replace these apricot basins. White and green objects and bottles seemed to work, anything not matching was duly dispensed behind the cupboard door.
And Dr Hauschka only by the bath:
I made these curtains myself from aged linen pillowcases my grandmother had given me. I repaired the pillowcases until the holes were too big, but I liked the holes and raggedy frayed edges as bathroom curtains, a little uneven but I liked them. And Penhaligon bottles sat nicely next to this silk-like linen.
I shall be editing down my stuff as I move into a 1960s flat and embrace modernism. I shall keep this set of linen towels - they must have been initialled with PG (my grandfather's initials) in the 1930s. You can see the Art-Deco shapes. I never got to ask why they embroidered the man's rather than the woman's initials.
I shall keep my books, of course, and in particular my collection of Persephone Books, to which I have added three more since this photo. The furniture will find a new home. I was very proud of the patchwork curtains I made from off-cuts. The room was so cold I used a heavy blanket to interline it.
I loved using things like bedsteads that we don't really use any more. It reminds me always of staying with my grandmother as a child.
in particular this bamboo one is nice, with matching chair:
I shan't miss the Aga. Maybe it's a generational thing. I'm sure the new owner will remove the tiles, which is a shame, but I do understand. They are from Cole and Son, though I'm not sure they do tiles anymore, just wallpaper.
Some things have travelled with me, from when I lived in Ecuador more than 15 years ago. Though I think it's time for them to move on too.
There is a grand fireplace in the house, but I rather like this simple one in the study. I like the brick and wooden mantlepiece.
The house was built in the 1980s using old brick. My grandparents built it with an Arts & Crafts style - though thankfully it has more light than many real Arts & Crafts houses. It's sweet that there are some motifs of the Arts & Crafts era, like this heart motif in wrought iron.
They had a very fine joiner who made beautiful doors from oak, which are all over the house
and oak skirting and shelves. It's this kind of detail that gives a place a nice finish. I think I shall do something like this, in a more modernist style with my new flat.
And the lightshades, these I think my brother will have.
I am not sure if anyone has reserved these fabulous 1950s pineapple lamps. I went to Capri once and found a hotel full of all this type of stuff. I think it must have been frightfully chic in that era, and they were probably from Italy as my grandmother loved the Amalfi coast. There are photos of her swimming with gloriously ornate swimming caps in the sea at Positano. These lampshades and highly-decorated swimming caps seem to me to be from the same slice of design.
I will be taking these two, which I rather like.
they are more in keeping with my 1960s era
This area had piles of teabag boxes, herbs and all sorts. Amazingly, it is still quite clear and tidy a week on.
Finally, the wonderful pelmets. My mother wants these as they were a gift from her.
Update.. you can view the proper property listing here: Holmwood For Sale