WHOLE AGAIN Once divided into flats, this Dutch-style house in Hampshire has been returned to a family home
Jasmine and Leo Thompson turned a divided period property back into a beautiful family home
Behind the façade of Jasmine and Leo Thompson’s refined Hampshire home is a hubbub of family activity – the couple have five children aged between six and 18. ‘Leo and I have demanding jobs, and the children are in and out of the house, so life is a little hectic at times,’ says Jasmine.
It was a bountiful garden and unequalled views of the surrounding countryside that persuaded the couple to buy the house as a fixer-upper 1o years ago. ‘We needed a space large enough to accommodate everyone,’ explains Jasmine. ‘When I stood on the terrace I thought, wow, and I said to Leo, “This is it”.’
The Cape Dutch-style house, built by Queen Victoria’s former physician, had been divided into wings and partially rented out by the previous owners. ‘They were an elderly couple who had brought up their family here,’ says Jasmine. ‘There was so
much love in this house, it felt like we were taking on a wonderful legacy. The challenge was to carefully restore the property back into one residence and to make it our own.’
Shortly after moving in, however, Jasmine fell pregnant with her youngest daughter, Amelia, and so, in the beginning, it was a case of hastily removing partition walls. Then, a couple of years ago, Jasmine called on interior designer Stephanie Dunning to help plan a more extensive renovation. ‘With the children and our jobs, we simply didn’t have time to finish it ourselves,’ she recalls.
Once the structural adjustments and restoration of the original parquet flooring was complete, Jasmine’s decorating brief was refreshingly simple: light and airy. Stephanie delivered a muted palette, shot through with pops of rich colour. The rooms are sparingly furnished with carefully chosen antique pieces. ‘I don’t like too much furniture, but the balance and flow is just right,’ says Jasmine. ‘As well as being stylish, it feels welcoming and comfortable. It’s a wonderfully chaotic house, but every time I walk through the front door, I think, “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.’
SITTING room A large patterned rug defines the seating area in this spacious, light-filled room. aksu graphite large rug, £1,995, Designers guild. garcon square coffee table, £2,229, Julian Chichester