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
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