back to our roots

Leav­ing the cap­i­tal gave Anna and Ed Stone the chance to cre­ate a clas­sic fam­ily dwelling

25 Beautiful Homes - - NEWS - Fea­ture Aman­der meade | Photography rachael Smith

For­mer town­ies find ru­ral bliss in a 1920s home in Peter­bor­ough that’s ideal for fam­ily liv­ing

favourit e room ‘I think the bal­ance in the sit­ting room is right: just for­mal enough but still feels cosy’

The birth of daugh­ter Halle prompted Anna and Ed Stone to look for a prop­erty with more room and out­side space. Orig­i­nally from East Anglia, the cou­ple had in­tended to re­main in Lon­don, where Ed’s work is based, but trips to fam­ily near Peter­bor­ough planted an idea in their minds. ‘When we saw what our bud­get could buy here we were stag­gered,’ ex­plains Anna, ‘and find­ing that the rail com­mute to Lon­don is un­der an hour made up our minds.’

An on­line search be­gan, dur­ing which an in­trigu­ing three-storey fam­ily house cropped up time after time. ‘It clearly needed lots of work and Ed ini­tially felt it was too big, but I couldn’t re­sist com­ing to view it,’ re­calls Anna, who runs her own in­te­rior de­sign com­pany. ‘I could see how the house would work for a grow­ing fam­ily and luck­ily Ed trusted my judge­ment.’

The cou­ple knew the project would take sev­eral years to com­plete and so opted to paint over the gar­ish 1980s wall­pa­per as a tem­po­rary mea­sure, and spent their ini­tial bud­get on mak­ing the gar­dens safe for Halle. ‘The house was like an ice­box so we re­placed all the

win­dows and the old, in­ef­fi­cient Aga to try and sta­bilise en­ergy bills,’ says Anna.

Grad­u­ally, more func­tional jobs fol­lowed, such as mov­ing wa­ter tanks and re­plac­ing ra­di­a­tors and light fit­tings, un­til even­tu­ally Anna could be­gin the cre­ative process she loves.

Walls and ceil­ings were stripped, and pe­riod features such as pic­ture rails re­stored. Log burn­ers were in­stalled in the two orig­i­nal fireplaces in the sit­ting room and snug, and an oiled oak floor was laid in the re­fit­ted kitchen. Halle, now 10, and her brother Ottó, 8, have a large bed­room each and the mas­ter suite at the top of the house is a lux­ury Anna and Ed fully ap­pre­ci­ate. ‘This floor was orig­i­nally two bed­rooms so we were able to cre­ate a dress­ing room, which freed up the area in the bed­room usu­ally oc­cu­pied by wardrobes,’ ex­plains Anna. ‘I love how the rooms are now utilised and there is no dead space. Hav­ing two guest rooms on the first floor means that vis­i­tors are al­ways com­fort­able, too.’

Anna’s mother is Ice­landic and this her­itage has in­flu­enced her ap­proach to dec­o­ra­tion. ‘I pre­fer a pale colour pal­ette with plenty of art­work to add in­ter­est,’ she says. ‘I love mix­ing me­tals, too –

par­tic­u­larly for light­ing, where I use aged brass and an­tique cop­per to warm up the cool colours on the walls.’

The cou­ple’s move to a larger prop­erty dove­tailed with Anna’s par­ents’ de­ci­sion to down­size, so they have in­her­ited plenty of fur­nish­ings. ‘Luck­ily, much of my par­ents’ fur­ni­ture is clas­sic mid-cen­tury, which is so on trend, and strikes just the right chord in this house,’ says Anna. ‘I’m a big fan of teak and its rich colour, which cre­ates warmth in an un­der­stated way, pre­vent­ing pale colours from feel­ing too clin­i­cal.’

A decade on, the project is com­plete and Anna has no re­grets about leav­ing Lon­don. ‘Ed’s com­mute is easy and we have all the room we need,’ she says. ‘ We also love hav­ing fam­ily close by and a gar­den we could never have dreamt of in the city. I have re­ally en­joyed the process of ren­o­vat­ing a home for my fam­ily. I’m so glad we made the move and took the time to make this house a real home.’

FAM­ILY ROOM This re­laxed, com­fort­able space is where the fam­ily gather and watch TV. The chil­dren do their home­work at the ta­ble here, too, un­der Anna’s watch­ful eye. the din­ing ta­ble, chairs and rug are fam­ily heirlooms. Astro G-plan cof­fee ta­ble, from £

SIT­TING ROOM The square lines of the sofa, which was re-cov­ered by a com­pany that makes cus­tom Ikea cov­ers, work well with the retro-style fur­ni­ture. ‘I’m so pleased with how it turned out,’ says Anna. Bankeryd sofa, from £ 475; Stock­holm cof­fee ta­ble, £195, both Ikea, would suit. Blue vel­vet sofa cover, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, Bemz. Find a sim­i­lar rug, from £178, Hide Rugs

KITCHEN A free­stand­ing cen­tral is­land fit­ted with a new oak top is perfect for ca­sual din­ing. Solid smoked oak Bum­ble stools, £320 per pair, Loaf. Oxford units, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, Bench­marx Kitchens. Merle cop­per pen­dant lamp, from £147, The Libra Com­pany

MAS­TER BED­ROOM The me­tal­lic and leather bed­side ch­ests lend a bou­tique ho­tel feel to this top-floor re­treat. Chicago bed­side trunks, £775 each, Feather & black. try Cox & Cox for vel­vet cush­ions, from £30 each. Mus­tard print cush­ions, £55, Mad­der Cutch & Co

MAS­TER EN SUITE Anna added a basin to a vin­tage wash­stand to cre­ate a be­spoke van­ity. taranto basin, £90, Vic­to­rian Plumb­ing. try batik tiles, £ 49.99sq m, topps tiles

HALLE’S BED­ROOM bold, pretty bed­ding and lots of accessories add colour and fun. Dunelm sells quilted bed­spreads like this one, from £60. the Leirvik bed frame, £89, Ikea, is sim­i­lar

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