With the help of artist Philippa Jeffrey and her husband Jonathan, this Grade II listed 18th century farmhouse has emerged from the shadows into the light. When they bought their country house five years ago, it was very dark, with drab gray and beige decor. But it’s fast becoming a modern take on the Charleston style – the Bloomsbury Group’s decorative Sussex home. Rich, inspiring and uplifting shades and stimulating patterns make their mark in every room of the house. Philippa left no surface untouched.
And the truly unique decorative finishes make this one of the best homes in the world, full of inspiring touches we would all love to see in our own homes. Here are the highlights.
Lobby – a place to linger
The spacious lobby is a place to linger, with a characterful cantou fireplace and an inviting mid-century-style armchair. Upholstery fabric and a stylish geometric print rug bring the look straight into this century. Hallway ideas and updates like these would work just as well in a newer property as they do in this 18th century farmhouse. The slate floor was added by the previous owners. In the fireplace are old magazines from when Philippa worked for a fashion magazine.
Dining room with gallery wall display
During the recent lockdown, between the children’s homeschooling, Philippa decided to refresh the kitchen scheme, incorporating an unusual new decorative element that literally takes things to a new level. Built into the height of the kitchen is a mezzanine, added when the previous owners updated the kitchen. Philippa uses the staircase wall for a gallery display of paintings and prints. An art gallery might not be at the top of your bucket list. dining room ideasbut any kind of gallery display near a dining table provides a good talking point at mealtimes and injects personality into a space.
Kitchen with soft pink cabinets
The kitchen was a later addition to the house, and Philippa wanted to do everything she could to make it as light and airy as possible. The previous owners had added dark wooden beams and black granite worktops, so Philippa and Jonathan kitchen ideas included replacing the worktops and painting the beams white – a feat considering the height of the ceilings. The kitchen layout was good and the cabinetry, in two shades of beige, was originally by Mark Wilkinson and far too good to replace. Philippa wanted a new look and room for a table. And pink cabinets are her favorite dusty pink shade that she uses a lot in her work, so the color seemed like an obvious choice. This pretty piece really is proof that you can create a very different look just by slathering on a coat of paint in a fresh new shade.
Bedroom – an oasis of calm…and pattern
Above the lovely Graham & Green inlaid bedside cabinet is one of Philippa’s paintings, one of the subtle changes that gave the room a real boost. Other bedroom ideas here that are worth copying include layering and combining sheets from different brands – nothing too matching. Thus, the vintage-style bed linen is topped with a bohemian throw, a striped pillowcase and a vintage lace cushion.
The child’s room is pretty in pink
One of the more recent updates upstairs is to the children’s bedroom. It was a lockdown project so so far few young guests have had the chance to sleep here. The couple worked together on the room, Jonathan lined the four walls and the ceiling to create a cozy and cocooning space. The wallpaper is Love Leaves by Common room.
Philippa has added accessories and furniture in her favorite hues – many pieces are antique or vintage finds. Philippa made the lampshade herself and the vintage patchwork quilt was made by her mother-in-law
The downstairs powder room is full of inspiration that would work just as well as bathroom ideas for master bathrooms. The sink is from a vintage store, and the couple sourced the marble and round bowl online, then added Moroccan faucets from an Etsy merchant. The fabric was also found on Etsy
The old exterior view of the farmhouse
It’s not just the interiors that have been updated. Every window in the house had to be replaced as the old ones were rotting, causing heat loss and condensation. These are heritage style wooden replacements. All the stones in the house have also been repointed using traditional methods and, to everyone’s delight, the wisteria has been preserved.
This is a thorough and inspired renovation – inside and out – that has brought life and color back to the old farmhouse.