NEW TRA­DI­TION This el­e­gant self-build house in Hert­ford­shire is brim­ming with pe­riod-style fea­tures

It’s hard to be­lieve that Mon­ica and Mark Mas­ter’s el­e­gant, pe­riod-style home is just six years old

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture ser­ena fokschaner |

With its high ceil­ings, ex­posed beams and sash win­dows, it is easy to as­sume that Mark and Mon­ica Mas­ter’s home is a re­vamped pe­riod prop­erty. De­spite hav­ing time­less char­ac­ter in spades, the house was, in fact, con­structed in 2011.

lo­cated on the fringes of a quiet Hert­ford­shire vil­lage, the five-bed­room home is built where a 1950s house once stood. ‘The pre­vi­ous owner had re­quested plan­ning per­mis­sion to build a new prop­erty, but then pulled out and put the ex­ist­ing house up for sale,’ ex­plains Mark, who put in a suc­cess­ful bid for the house six years ago. The Mas­ters then com­mis­sioned Eastabrook Ar­chi­tects to de­sign a new three-storey prop­erty for the plot.

Start­ing from scratch meant that not an inch of space is wasted, and also al­lowed for a dash of drama to be in­cor­po­rated into the dou­ble-height hall, which is dom­i­nated by a swirling Bath stone stair­case with an oak balustrade. Mark and Mon­ica called in in­te­rior de­sign com­pany Sims Hilditch to de­sign room schemes for the en­tire house. The cou­ple knew ex­actly what look they wanted to cre­ate; ‘com­fort­able’ and ‘re­laxed’ were two of their key words. ‘ We like sub­tlety and warmth; the sort of home that feels in­stantly wel­com­ing – not too mod­ern, hard-edged or cold,’ says Mark.

An ex­haus­tive at­ten­tion to de­tail com­bined with the use of top-notch ma­te­ri­als en­sures that ev­ery room has a calm el­e­gance. The fo­cal point of the kitchen is a vast is­land, topped with a wood and stone work­top, which is used as both a cook­ing and a so­cial­is­ing area. Even a func­tional boot room off the kitchen has a lux­u­ri­ous feel, with a chic console, ban­quette seat­ing and cus­tom shelv­ing.

Else­where, echoes of calm tones and lux­u­ri­ous tex­ture knit the dif­fer­ent rooms to­gether. In the sit­ting room, a mir­rored cof­fee ta­ble sits among so­fas up­hol­stered in a mod­ern mix of vel­vet and cot­ton. The same com­bi­na­tion of com­fort and quiet so­phis­ti­ca­tion per­vades the rooms up­stairs, where neu­tral colours, clas­sic lighting and be­spoke stor­age blend for a sense of re­fined coun­try style. ‘It’s a house for life, where we can put down roots,’ says Mark.

Pho­tog­ra­phy David cleve­land

MAIN BATH­ROOM Mir­rored pan­els en­sure this scheme feels won­der­fully spa­cious, while a huge dou­ble-ended bath is ideal for a long, re­lax­ing soak. Marl­bor­ough tub, from £2,625, Vic­to­ria + Al­bert. For a sim­i­lar bath filler, try the Cross­wa­ter Mike Pro free­stand­ing bath/shower mixer, £504, CP hart

LAND­ING A large glass chan­de­lier is the per­fect fin­ish­ing touch to this dou­ble-height hall, which fea­tures an im­pres­sive stone spi­ral stair­case. Carved bath stone stair­case, made to or­der, APS Ma­sonry

BED­ROOM Bed­side lamps are set into a be­spoke head­board. A sub­tle stor­age wall tucked be­hind the bed cre­ates plenty of space for a dress­ing area at the other end of the room. the Vin­tage eti­enne bed­spread, from £120; Vin­tage eti­enne cush­ion cov­ers, from £35 each, all the white Com­pany, are com­pa­ra­ble

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