COUN­TRY LIFE’S se­cret ad­dress book

You’ve just bought a coun­try house and now you’re faced with the busi­ness of restor­ing and en­hanc­ing it—and pos­si­bly knock­ing it down and start­ing all over again. Or per­haps you’ve de­cided that the house you’re in isn’t ful­fill­ing its po­ten­tial. Who are y

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Com­piled by Ara­bella Youens

If you’ve bought a coun­try house and face the prospect of restor­ing it or sim­ply want to im­prove the prop­erty you al­ready have and are look­ing for help, Ara­bella Youens presents COUN­TRY LIFE’S top 100 ar­chi­tects, interior de­sign­ers, builders and gar­den de­sign­ers

It is rare that a house is ever frozen in time. Suc­ces­sive own­ers have needs and tastes that add some­thing new; colour pal­ettes change, lay­outs are re­con­fig­ured, cel­lars be­come me­dia rooms, derelict out­build­ings are re­born as swim­ming pools. Or some­times they sim­ply need to be pro­tected from the rav­ages of time— or the rav­ages of their pre­vi­ous own­ers.

All these changes of­fer an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to make a house your own. We are for­tu­nate in this coun­try to have a wealth of ex­perts to help us on our way—ar­chi­tects, de­sign­ers and builders whose in­ti­mate knowl­edge of coun­try houses and their gar­dens of­fer an ex­tra­or­di­nary op­por­tu­nity to max­imise the pos­si­bil­i­ties that they present, whether they are vil­lage houses, con­verted barns or listed manor houses.

the following are those who Coun­try Life con­sid­ers to have the ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and skill—and a lit­tle magic—re­quired to take a coun­try house to the next ex­cit­ing stage in its evo­lu­tion. Giles Kime


As the name sug­gests, coun­try houses are shaped by their set­ting. It’s a re­la­tion­ship that’s hugely com­plex to man­age cor­rectly. Ev­ery­thing from fram­ing the cor­rect views from the win­dows to meet­ing the chal­lenges of 21st-cen­tury liv­ing—in­for­mal spa­ces with built-in flex­i­bil­ity for en­ter­tain­ing when re­quired —de­mands care­ful thought.

Thanks to the sup­port and ex­per­tise avail­able, there’s never been a bet­ter time to tackle a new-build coun­try­house project. Whether your taste is for the Post­mod­ern or neo-clas­si­cal, there’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary pool of tal­ent avail­able in Bri­tain, some of it worl­drenowned. In ad­di­tion, with the (al­beit mar­ginal) re­lax­ation of plan­ning laws —specif­i­cally, Na­tional Plan­ning Pol­icy Frame­work Para­graph 55, which re­places some fiendishly com­pli­cated reg­u­la­tions—con­struct­ing new coun­try houses on green­field sites isn’t quite as chal­leng­ing as it once was.

It won’t be within ev­ery­one’s de­sire or grasp to start a new coun­try house from scratch, but the more than 300,000 own­ers of Grade II, Grade II* and Grade I listed houses in Eng­land and Cat­e­gory A and B houses in Scot­land are also com­pre­hen­sively served by prac­tices that have deep, spe­cial­ist knowl­edge in the restora­tion and re­fur­bish­ment of these im­por­tant his­toric build­ings. Some of those listed are formed of sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial­ist ex­pe­ri­ence of coun­try-house work. ADAM Ar­chi­tec­ture World-renowned team of six ar­chi­tects with a port­fo­lio span­ning many coun­tries and ver­nac­u­lar styles from Re­gency to mod­ern Clas­si­cal via Pal­la­dian and Arts-and-crafts.

They say ‘We’re one of the lead­ing prac­ti­tion­ers of tra­di­tional and pro­gres­sive ar­chi­tec­ture and con­tex­tual ur­ban­ism in Europe’

We say ‘Im­pec­ca­ble cre­den­tials for de­sign­ing new-build coun­try houses in a tra­di­tional ver­nac­u­lar and a favourite of The Prince of Wales’

01962 843843; www.adamar­chi­tec­ An­drew Jones As­so­ciates Res­i­den­tial work com­prises barn con­ver­sions, loft con­ver­sions and ex­ten­sions. Lon­don clients in­clude de­vel­oper Candy & Candy and de­signer Kelly Hop­pen.

They say ‘We pro­mote en­thu­si­asm and co-op­er­a­tion among all par­ties in­volved’

We say ‘A hands-on ar­chi­tect with a mod­ern touch and a strong em­pha­sis on nat­u­ral light’­drewjone­sas­so­ci­; 020–8643 0601 An­drew Wright As­so­ciates Ar­chi­tect and mas­ter­plan­ner who works in a dra­matic and mod­ern id­iom. Cur­rent projects in­clude Higher Map­ston, a twin-domed new fam­ily house within the Dart­moor Na­tional Park.

They say ‘De­sign should re­spond to each in­di­vid­ual sit­u­a­tion. When it does, the per­son­al­ity that emerges helps to en­hance and de­fine a very spe­cial sense of place’

We say ‘In­spi­ra­tional con­tem­po­rary and sus­tain­able de­signer of new coun­try houses’­drewwrigh­tas­so­ci­ ANTA This High­lands-based de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture firm was founded by Lach­lan and An­nie

Ste­wart in the early 1980s and un­der­takes projects in the UK and over­seas, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the restoa­t­ion and con­ser­va­tion of his­toric build­ings in Scot­land. He is the ar­chi­tect, she runs an interior-de­sign and home­ware busi­ness.

They say ‘Our ar­chi­tec­ture is strongly in­formed by the Scot­tish ver­nac­u­lar and we are best known for our own in­ter­pre­ta­tion and con­tem­po­rary take on the build­ing tra­di­tion’

We say ‘Fear­less out­fit that’s per­fect for seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able con­ver­sions of Scot­tish cas­tles’

01862 832477; Ben Pen­treath (see also Interior De­sign­ers)

Ben and his large team de­sign new-build houses in a range of Clas­si­cal styles. Ben is also a big player in the mas­ter­plan­ning of the Duchy of Corn­wall’s Pound­bury devel­op­ment in Dorset.

They say ‘What­ever the size of project, we ap­ply the same prin­ci­ples: an un­der­stand­ing of scale and pro­por­tion, in­tel­li­gent care and at­ten­tion to de­tail and the cre­ation of build­ings that feel time­less and ap­pro­pri­ate to place’

We say ‘A real tal­ent who can draw, de­sign and write beau­ti­fully about his life, which dances be­tween Dorset and Blooms­bury. He’s in such de­mand, we’re not sure that he ever sleeps’

020–7430 2526; www.ben­pen­ Birds Portch­mouth Rus­sum Ar­chi­tects Mod­ern prac­tice whose most re­cent coun­try­house suc­cess was Down­ley House, an orig­i­nal se­quence of dif­fer­ently shaped build­ings that in­cor­po­rated the ru­ined walls and set within the ex­ist­ing walls of an ear­lier house lo­cated in a hid­den val­ley in the South Downs AONB.

They say ‘Our ideas draw strength from ur­ban, his­tor­i­cal and so­cial anal­y­sis, con­tem­po­rary cul­ture and art through to the tech­nol­ogy of con­struc­tion’

We say ‘Thought-pro­vok­ing prac­tice if you’re look­ing to do some­thing highly dis­tinc­tive’

www.bird­sportch­mouthrus­; 020– 7253 8205 Craig Hamil­ton Ar­chi­tects Spe­cial­ists in pro­gres­sive Clas­si­cal and tra­di­tional houses in a coun­try and ur­ban con­text that has un­der­taken sev­eral com­mis­sions for chapels in re­cent years, in­clud­ing one that won a Ge­or­gian Group Award last year. They say ‘We are com­mit­ted to the devel­op­ment of the Clas­si­cal lan­guage of ar­chi­tec­ture’ We say ‘Ex­cel­lent pedi­gree—the Prince of Wales is a fan—and at the top of the Clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­ture game’

01982 553312; www.craighamil­tonar­chi­tects. com Don­ald In­sall As­so­ciates When it comes to man­ag­ing, re­pair­ing and adapt­ing his­toric build­ings as well as new­build houses, this large prac­tice of seven of­fices knows its game. Its ex­pe­ri­ence and its port­fo­lio of work are very im­pres­sive.

They say ‘We are a lead­ing con­ser­va­tion ar­chi­tec­ture prac­tice with more than 50 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the care, re­pair and adap­ta­tion of his­toric build­ings’

We say ‘Ex­perts in know­ing how to bring an old coun­try house into the 21st cen­tury’ www.donaldin­sal­las­so­ci­; 020– 7245 9888 Fran­cis Johnson and Part­ners Prob­a­bly best known for de­sign­ing large-scale new-build coun­try houses that are re­spect­ful of lo­cal ver­nac­u­lars in Eng­land, it was the first prac­tice to com­plete a house un­der the re­quire­ments of PPG7 (‘Gum­mer’s Law’). The prac­tice also un­der­takes mod­estly sized houses. Based in Glouces­ter­shire, Yian­gou can tackle even the most com­plex projects They say ‘We have a rep­u­ta­tion for the de­sign of new build­ings in Clas­si­cal and tra­di­tional styles as well as the schol­arly re­pair and restora­tion of his­toric build­ings’

We say ‘There is no whiff of cookie-cut­ter style here. This is a ver­sa­tile a prac­tice with a good track record of de­liv­er­ing well-de­signed, in­di­vid­ual new coun­try houses’ www.fran­cisjohn­son-ar­chi­; 01262 674043 Fran­cis Terry and As­so­ciates Fran­cis Terry re­cently left his fa­ther’s prac­tice af­ter more than 20 years (see Quin­lan & Fran­cis

Terry, p64) and his newly es­tab­lished eight­strong team prom­ises great things in the fu­ture.

They say ‘Our ap­proach is to de­sign build­ings that sat­isfy the needs of our clients while si­mul­ta­ne­ously cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­ture’

We say ‘A master draughts­man with tremen­dous ex­pe­ri­ence and em­pa­thy for the neo­clas­si­cal tra­di­tion’ 01206 580528; Giles Quarme & As­so­ciates Ex­perts in the con­ser­va­tion, restora­tion and al­ter­ation of his­tor­i­cal build­ings in the UK and over­seas—the prac­tice was most re­cently com­mis­sioned to work on an Ed­war­dian colo­nial build­ing in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

They say ‘We spe­cialise in all as­pects of work re­lat­ing to his­toric build­ings and the de­sign of new build­ings within Con­ser­va­tion Ar­eas and AONBS’

We say ‘A prac­tice par­tic­u­larly worth ap­proach­ing if you’re tackling a project on a listed house in one of Lon­don’s con­ser­va­tion ar­eas’ 020–7582 0748; Gluck­man Smith Tom Smith has won awards for his res­i­den­tial work in Glouces­ter­shire, in­clud­ing the sen­si­tive con­ver­sion of an early-19th-cen­tury stone-built thresh­ing barn into an eco-friendly fam­ily home.

They say ‘Our de­sign process aims for an ar­chi­tec­ture that bal­ances po­etic and ra­tio­nal sen­si­bil­i­ties’

We say ‘A good mix of ex­pe­ri­ence for any­one with projects in both Lon­don and the coun­try­side and look­ing to use one prac­tice’ 020–7998 1525; www.gluck­man­ Groves-raines Ar­chi­tects Ni­cholas Groves-raines has more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the sen­si­tive and con­struc­tive re­use of his­toric and listed build­ings, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on Scot­tish projects. They say ‘My tech­nique is very much of the

present while re­spect­ing our ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage and pre­serv­ing it for the fu­ture’

We say ‘Su­per-stylish ap­proach to both the ex­te­ri­ors and in­te­ri­ors of his­toric Scot­tish prop­er­ties, with a fo­cus on cre­at­ing com­fort­able fam­ily homes’

0131–467 7777; http://groves­ Hoare, Ridge & Mor­ris Multi-skilled prac­tice that runs from mas­ter­plan­ning vil­lage ex­ten­sions right through to the de­sign of fur­ni­ture and in­te­ri­ors, with a strong bent on sus­tain­abil­ity. Ex­pe­ri­enced in gain­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion for ma­jor al­ter­ations to Grade I-listed prop­er­ties.

They say ‘We work on sen­si­tive his­toric sites, al­ter and re­pair im­por­tant listed build­ings as well as de­sign sig­nif­i­cant new build­ings’

We say ‘Strong East-an­glian team that’s re­ally in­ter­ested in de­liv­er­ing en­ergy im­prove­ments to old houses’

01728 688747; James Gorst Ar­chi­tects Although the prac­tice also works on the con­ser­va­tion and restora­tion of his­toric build­ings, de­signs for new houses tend to be in a mod­ern id­iom. Cur­rent projects in­clude a large, con­tem­po­rary coun­try house with es­tate build­ings in Northamp­ton­shire.

They say ‘We de­sign con­tex­tu­ally re­spon­sive, in­di­vid­ual build­ings that en­twine aes­thetic val­ues with func­tional ra­tio­nal­ism’

We say ‘Def­i­nitely worth con­sid­er­ing if you’re look­ing to build a new house or or sym­pa­thet­i­cally adapt an old one in a con­tem­po­rary style’ 020–7336 7140; www.james­gorstar­chi­ John Simp­son Ar­chi­tects An out­stand­ing body of work on im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tions and build­ings—the prac­tice was re­spon­si­ble for the new Mccrum Yard at Eton Col­lege, opened by The Prince of Wales in 2015. Other projects in­clude the Soanein­spired Ash­fold House in West Sus­sex and build­ings in Pound­bury.

They say ‘Ar­chi­tec­ture is a pub­lic art in which each and ev­ery build­ing façade forms the char­ac­ter and shape of the pub­lic realm’

We say ‘A firm that ex­cels at build­ing coun­try houses de­signed for the 21st-cen­tury fam­ily’ www.john­simp­sonar­chi­; 020–7405 1285 John Stark & Crick­may Part­ner­ship Long-es­tab­lished Dorset prac­tice with a broad port­fo­lio of work rang­ing from re­build­ing Ince Cas­tle in Corn­wall following a fire to new-build houses and do­mes­tic ex­ten­sions.

They say ‘We work on all as­pects of con­ser­va­tion as well as new build­ings on sen­si­tive sites, sym­pa­thetic al­ter­ations and ad­di­tions’

We say ‘Good full-ser­vice prac­tice with all­round ex­per­tise’

01305 262636; Ju­lian Bick­nell & As­so­ciates A Lon­don-based spe­cial­ist in new-build houses in the tra­di­tional or Clas­si­cal style, with a strong fo­cus on the South-east, notably, the Went­worth and St Ge­orge’s Hill es­tates.

They say ‘Our de­sign phi­los­o­phy com­bines a deep sym­pa­thy for tra­di­tional de­sign and build­ing meth­ods with a full un­der­stand­ing of en­ergy strate­gies and con­struc­tion man­age­ment’

We say ‘Can de­sign on a large scale: big houses are the prac­tice’s bread and but­ter’ 020–8891 1001; www.ju­lian­bick­ Kay Pils­bury Thomas Ar­chi­tects A fam­ily prac­tice of ar­chi­tects and interior de­sign­ers work­ing with old and listed build­ings from coun­try houses to cot­tages and barn con­ver­sions mainly in East Anglia and Lon­don. They say ‘We have a vast knowl­edge of his­toric build­ings of all pe­ri­ods and how they have evolved over the cen­turies’ We say ‘Good knowl­edge of the East An­glian ver­nac­u­lar’

01799 599208; Kit Rae-scott Not all de­sign­ers of build­ings are qual­i­fied ar­chi­tects. Kit Rae-scott is one such, with a re­mark­able port­fo­lio of work in the South­west, in­clud­ing Shil­stone in Devon, the win­ner of the Ge­or­gian Group’s new build­ing in the Clas­si­cal tra­di­tion award in 2011

They say Noth­ing—and you won’t find a web­site

We say ‘For a metic­u­lously de­signed coun­try house in a tra­di­tional id­iom that suits its lo­cal­ity, Mr Rae-scott is hard to beat’

01297 22172; kit.rae-scott@hot­ Lind­say Buchan Ar­chi­tects Ed­in­burgh-based ar­chi­tect with a track record of suc­cess­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions with plan­ning de­part­ments and His­toric Scot­land. The prac­tice has tack­led projects through­out the UK.

They say ‘There is no house style. I be­lieve in ap­pro­pri­ate, sym­pa­thetic de­sign and not sub­scrib­ing to cur­rent fash­ions just for the sake of it’

We say ‘Def­i­nitely worth con­sid­er­ing for projects around Ed­in­burgh and East Loth­ian’

0131–554 9008; www.lind­say­ Marc Deaves A Lon­don-based ar­chi­tect who be­gan his ca­reer work­ing on his­toric and listed build­ings for the Grosvenor and Cado­gan es­tates. He has be­gun to take on ma­jor coun­try-house projects, in­clud­ing En­combe, Dorset.

They say ‘I seek to re­spect the char­ac­ter and his­tory of the build­ings I work on, un­pick­ing past mis­takes, choos­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ma­te­ri­als and mak­ing them suit­able for mod­ern-day use’

We say ‘Takes a thought­ful, prac­ti­cal and re­al­is­tic ap­proach to the prob­lems of restor­ing his­toric build­ings. No web­site’ 020–7498 9361; marc@mar­ Ptolemy Dean Ar­chi­tects A Coun­try Life con­trib­u­tor and spe­cial­ist in his­toric preser­va­tion as well as the de­signer of new houses in sen­si­tive lo­ca­tions—we're big fans. He’s also the Sur­veyor of the Fabric at West­min­ster Abbey, where he's build­ing a new stair tower to the tri­fo­rium.

They say Very lit­tle—the web­site is just one page. Which speaks vol­umes

We say ‘A very safe pair of hands and par­tic­u­larly skilled in mak­ing thought­ful and sen­si­tive ad­di­tions to his­toric build­ings’

020–7378 7714; www.ptole­my­ Pur­cell With nu­mer­ous re­gional of­fices, Pur­cell has

been in­volved in ma­jor restora­tion projects of coun­try houses and his­toric build­ings across the coun­try, in­clud­ing work at Stowe, Went­worth Wood­house and Ful­ham Palace as well as work on his­toric churches.

They say ‘We guide build­ings’ trans­for­ma­tions, help clients to build new struc­tures and cre­ate new spa­ces through be­spoke de­sign’

We say ‘Im­pres­sive track record of plan­ning the re­fur­bish­ment and re­de­vel­op­ment of sen­si­tive his­toric build­ings’

020–7397 7171; www.pur­cel­ Quin­lan & Fran­cis Terry Ar­chi­tects Con­tin­u­ing in the Clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­ture tra­di­tion of the prac­tice started by Ray­mond Erith in 1928, this is one of the ma­jor play­ers op­er­at­ing to­day. Re­cent projects in­clude the new in­fir­mary at the Royal Hospi­tal Chelsea and Queen Mother Square in Pound­bury.

They say ‘Our phi­los­o­phy is to make new build­ings fit so well into their con­text that they look like they have al­ways been there’ We say ‘Clas­si­cal and tra­di­tional ar­chi­tects

par ex­cel­lence with an im­pres­sive record for se­cur­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion for com­pletely new coun­try houses’ 01206 323186; www.qftar­chi­ Simp­son & Brown Ar­chi­tects Ed­in­burgh-based prac­tice with wide-rang­ing skills such as for cas­tles, dis­til­leries and mon­u­ments —it’s looked af­ter Lind­is­farne for the Na­tional Trust since 1990.

They say ‘While re­spect­ing the past, our ar­chi­tec­ture strives to re­spond to the chal­lenges of the fu­ture’

We say ‘Ex­cel­lent all-rounder, es­pe­cially for projects with an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal as­pect’

0131–555 4678; www.simp­so­nand­brown. Stu­art Martin Ar­chi­tects Dorset-based prac­tice orig­i­nally based on con­ser­va­tion work, but now in­creas­ingly in­volved in new-build houses, in­clud­ing a cedar-clad house in Rock, Corn­wall.

They say ‘We are an award-win­ning ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice that de­signs in­no­va­tive tra­di­tional houses’

We say ‘Ac­com­plished prac­tice that de­liv­ers many dif­fer­ent styles and fin­ishes’ 01935 83543; www.stu­art­marti­nar­chi­ Thomas Croft Ar­chi­tects West Lon­don-based prac­tice that’s worked for Sir Paul Mccart­ney, Richard Cur­tis and Philip Mould among oth­ers. Projects in­clude a new brick, flint and pan­tile hol­i­day house in north Nor­folk and a barn that’s an in­ter­est­ing col­lage of ar­chi­tec­tural frag­ments.

They say ‘We spe­cialise in in­tro­duc­ing con­tem­po­rary in­ter­ven­tions in his­toric build­ings or new build­ings that re­late strongly to his­toric set­tings’ We say ‘A good choice for those who like ro­bust ar­chi­tec­tural state­ments’ 020–8962 0066; Thomas Ford & Part­ners Although re­li­gious build­ings are a par­tic­u­lar area of spe­cial­ism for the prac­tice, com­pleted com­mis­sions also in­clude the restora­tion of Pu­gin’s house in Rams­gate, Kent. It’s also worked for The Land­mark Trust.

They say ‘We rel­ish the chal­lenge of un­usual projects’

We say ‘Huge depth of knowl­edge’

020–8659 3250; www.thomas­ Watson, Ber­tram & Fell Broad-spec­trum prac­tice with ex­pe­ri­ence in coun­try and town houses as well as vil­lage mas­ter­plan­ning for the Duchy of Corn­wall and Crown Es­tate and coun­try es­tates such as Ilch­ester and Ozle­worth.

They say ‘We are a long-es­tab­lished, award­win­ning prac­tice with a rep­u­ta­tion for fine ar­chi­tec­ture’

We say ‘Very strong ex­pe­ri­ence of coun­try­house ren­o­va­tion in the West Coun­try’

01225 337273; Yian­gou Clas­sic to con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tect based in Cirences­ter, Glouces­ter­shire, it spe­cialises in new coun­try houses as well as the con­ver­sion and re­mod­elling of ex­ist­ing ones. Typ­i­cally work­ing with very high-end clients, it also de­signs glass-walled pool houses and lav­ish wine cel­lars.

They say ‘Our projects are al­ways a re­sponse to the in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics of a site’

We say ‘An es­tab­lished go-to prac­tice, with par­tic­u­lar strength in the Cotswolds’ 01285 888150; http://yian­ Acres Wild This West Sus­sex-based duo is known for its abil­ity to cre­ate a se­ries of in­ter­lock­ing spa­ces, some­times with linking wa­ter fea­tures. The com­pany has wide ex­pe­ri­ence of typ­i­cal soil types of the South-east, from free-drain­ing chalky and acidic to heavy wealden clay.

They say ‘We cre­ate a bold un­der­ly­ing struc­ture that’s then soft­ened with full and nat­u­ral­is­tic plant­ing’

We say ‘Wa­ter is a big theme, whether it’s in a nat­u­ral form or as at­trac­tive land­scap­ing around a swim­ming pool’ 01403 891084;

An­gela Collins Gar­den De­sign Es­tab­lished in 1990, the com­pany is known for its Clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­tural shapes set within ro­man­tic plant­ing in large coun­try gar­dens.

They say ‘My pri­or­ity is to marry the house to the coun­try­side be­yond where bil­low­ing and ro­man­tic bor­ders are punc­tu­ated by strong ar­chi­tec­tural plant­ing’

We say ‘A clas­sic de­signer work­ing prin­ci­pally in the Cotswolds, who keeps a care­ful eye on cre­at­ing eas­ily main­tained gar­dens’

07876 592440;­gela­ Ara­bella Len­nox-boyd This Ital­ian-born land­scape de­signer for more than four decades has a host of gold-medal­win­ning gar­dens at Chelsea un­der her belt.

They say ‘There are few prac­tices that have worked on as var­ied a pal­ette, whether it be ma­jor English coun­try es­tates, a con­tem­po­rary roof ter­race in Hong Kong or a pri­vate sea­side gar­den in Spain’

We say ‘A glob­ally recog­nised tour de force’ 020–7931 9995; www.ara­bel­lalen­ Arne May­nard Gar­den De­sign One of the most cel­e­brated gar­den de­sign­ers work­ing to­day (past clients in­clude Queen Ra­nia of Jordan), who of­fers cour­ses at his me­dieval tower house in Mon­mouthshire.

They say ‘A gar­den needs to re­spond to its sur­round­ing land­scape, its his­tory and the build­ings within and around its con­fines’

We say ‘Tal­ented all-rounder—you can’t go wrong for a clas­sic coun­try gar­den’ 020–7689 8100; http://arne­may­ Christopher Bradley-hole His ground-break­ing Latin Gar­den won best in show at Chelsea in 1997 and sig­nalled a change in at­ti­tude to­wards Modernism, not just at the show, but also in the wider world.

They say ‘We are a de­sign con­sul­tancy at the lead­ing edge of land­scape and gar­den de­sign pro­vid­ing a spe­cial­ist de­sign ser­vice for con­tem­po­rary land­scapes’

We say ‘A leader in the field, who cre­ates min­i­mal, har­mo­nious spa­ces. The think­ing man’s gar­den de­signer’ 020–7357 7666; www.christo­pher­bradley­ del Buono Gaz­er­witz Land­scape Ar­chi­tec­ture Tom­maso del Buono left his na­tive Florence in the 1980s to study in Lon­don. Af­ter work­ing for Ara­bella Len­nox-boyd, he set up in part­ner­ship with Paul Gaz­er­twitz.

They say ‘We don’t have a fixed style, but favour clean lines, play­ing with scale and pro­por­tions, beau­ti­ful ma­te­ri­als, un­fussy de­tail­ing and giv­ing our gar­dens a strong struc­ture to sup­port more, softer plant­ing’

We say ‘Mod­ern and el­e­gant de­signs that are of­ten de­fined by struc­tures’ 020–7613 1122; http://del­buono-gaz­er­witz. Ge­orge Carter Gar­den De­sign A sculp­tor turned gar­den de­signer and the creator of many no­table projects, in­clud­ing the Gar­den of Sur­prises at Burgh­ley House, Lin­colnshire, Ge­orge is strong on well-pro­por­tioned spa­ces and vis­tas.

They say ‘We spe­cialise in for­mal gar­dens in­spired by the sim­ple geom­e­try of 17th­cen­tury gar­dens’

We say ‘The per­fect op­tion for any­one keen on strong shapes and struc­ture’ 01362 668130; http://george­carter­gar­ I. & J. Ban­ner­man Dubbed the ‘Bon­nie and Clyde of gar­den de­sign’, Is­abel and Ju­lian Ban­ner­man have an ap­proach to de­sign that, although rooted in his­tory and the clas­si­cal tra­di­tion, is fresh, eclec­tic­gar­den at and High­grove sur­pris­ing. and Their Arun­del work Cas­tle. in­cludes

work They for say liv­ing ‘We in’ strive to cre­ate places that

heav­i­lyWe say scented ‘Ro­man­tic with and an the­atri­calex­cel­lent pedi­gree’de­signs,

www.ban­ner­man­ Jinny Blom A pro­lific land­scape ar­chi­tect whose work in­cludes both tra­di­tional schemes and high­drama con­tem­po­rary styles. She’s also known for her com­plete dis­cre­tion when it comes to clients and her will­ing­ness to dig along­side her crew.

They say ‘De­sign is more a mat­ter of in­tel­li­gence and ap­pro­pri­ate­ness than in­flict­ing a style’

We say ‘Never ham­pered by one look, her de­signs are as var­ied as her clients’ 020–7253 2100; www.jin­ny­ Julie Toll Land­scape & Gar­den De­sign One of the first to pi­o­neer meadow plant­ing in pri­vate gar­dens, Julie Toll en­joys in­cor­po­rat­ing the work of crafts­men into her de­signs.

They say ‘We go to great lengths to en­sure the plant­ing is imag­i­na­tive and at­trac­tive to wildlife, us­ing a wide range of be­spoke plants to com­ple­ment hard land­scap­ing, and pro­vides sen­sory beauty’

We say ‘A con­sid­ered de­signer with a port­fo­lio that ranges from Hert­ford­shire to Ne­vis’

01438 310095; www.juli­ Kim Wilkie A de­signer of in­ter­na­tional note—work takes him to Chile, Moscow and Oman—he trans­formed the once murky court­yard at the V&A.

They say ‘I try to un­der­stand the me­mories and as­so­ci­a­tions em­bed­ded in a place and the nat­u­ral flows of peo­ple, land, wa­ter and cli­mate’

We say ‘Tech­ni­cally tal­ented and very strong on cre­at­ing struc­tural forms with the land­scape’ 01489 891691; Lu­ciano Gi­ub­bilei A Sienese de­signer who has won awards at Chelsea and also works with Fer­gus Gar­rett at Great Dix­ter, East Sus­sex.

They say ‘Gar­den­ing is, to a large de­gree, per­for­mance art and, like all great mu­sic and theatre, gar­dens need to be con­stantly rein­ter­preted to re­tain their rel­e­vance and vi­tal­ity while pre­serv­ing the orig­i­nal fabric’

We say ‘He cre­ates gar­dens that are un­der­stated and el­e­gant—they’re sim­ple at first glance, but lay­ered with more com­plex­ity’ 020–7622 2616;­cianogiub­ Mar­cus Bar­nett The for­mer Scots Guards officer grad­u­ated with dis­tinc­tion from the Inch­bald School of Gar­den De­sign and his prac­tice works on town houses, roof ter­races and es­tates both here and over­seas.

They say ‘Our pas­sion is to cre­ate gar­dens that are se­duc­tive and ab­sorb­ing in their vis­ual beauty, har­mo­nious, ever-chang­ing and with a slowly un­fold­ing story’

We say ‘Stylish de­signer at ease with large land­scap­ing projects’ 020–7736 9761; www.mar­cus­bar­ Marie-louise Agius of Bal­ston Agius This de­signer has an im­pres­sive port­fo­lio that in­cludes Lon­don projects, roof gar­dens, a pri­vate es­tate in York­shire and an ur­ban plan­ning project. She won a gold medal at Chelsea in 2013. Marie-louise also looks af­ter the gar­dens at Exbury, Hamp­shire, cre­ated by her great-grand­fa­ther, the cel­e­brated plants­man Lionel de Roth­schild.

They say ‘We are highly ex­pe­ri­enced in ar­chi­tec­ture, land­scape plan­ning, forestry, horticulture and gar­den man­age­ment’

We say ‘Clever, adapt­able de­signs that in­te­grate house and gar­den beau­ti­fully’

01380 848181; www.bal­ston­ag­ Mary Keen Lady Mary Keen has worked on gar­dens across Europe and Amer­ica and counts Lord Roth­schild among her clients. She also de­signed the gar­dens at Glyn­de­bourne.

They say Noth­ing at all—she lets her gar­dens speak for them­selves

We say ‘One of the most rev­ered fig­ures in the field’ Con­tact by word of mouth Pip Mor­ri­son Un­til re­cently a dou­ble act with Mary Keen, there’s scarcely any­thing about him on­line. They say Noth­ing—pos­si­bly too busy work­ing We say ‘A re­ally good choice for some­one who wants the tra­di­tional look, but hasn’t got much ex­pe­ri­ence in own­ing a large coun­try gar­den and needs hand-hold­ing’

Con­tact by word of mouth Robert My­ers As­so­ciates Large prac­tice based in Cam­bridge, but work­ing through­out the UK and over­seas with a long pedi­gree of Chelsea medals. El­iz­a­beth Banks, the pres­i­dent of the RHS, is a con­sul­tant.

They say ‘We de­velop site-spe­cific land­scape de­signs that in­cor­po­rate an un­der­stand­ing of the his­tor­i­cal, ar­chi­tec­tural and cul­tural con­text’

We say ‘Robert is cel­e­brated for his ex­tra­or­di­nary at­ten­tion to de­tail’ 01544 232035; www.robert­my­ers-as­so­ciates. Ru­pert Golby A Kew-trained de­signer with a loyal following in the Cotswolds, in­clud­ing Dayles­ford House, and be­yond, Ru­pert be­gan his ca­reer as an ap­pren­tice with Rose­mary Verey.

They say ‘I’m not a de­signer with a sig­na­ture style. I be­lieve in the own­ers be­ing the main in­flu­ence on the gar­den though I also draw on the lo­ca­tion for in­spi­ra­tion’

We say ‘An ob­vi­ous choice for a clas­si­cally in­spired Cotswold gar­den’ 07785 228384 Si­mon Johnson Highly ex­pe­ri­enced in a va­ri­ety of cli­matic con­di­tions, from the shores of the Baltic to the south­ern Mediter­ranean. For many years, he worked with Pene­lope Hob­house and his re­work­ing of the land­scape at Parn­ham House in Dorset is out­stand­ing.

They say ‘I try to find the right bal­ance be­tween what peo­ple think they need and what is best for the place’

We say ‘A good bet for own­ers of mul­ti­ple homes in var­ied cli­mates’­mon­john­ Todd Longstaffe-gowan He ad­vises on a num­ber of pub­lic and pri­vate gar­dens, in­clud­ing Kens­ing­ton Palace.

They say ‘Todd brings to his gar­den de­sign a sense of the com­plex­i­ties of our re­la­tion to the past’

We say ‘An al­most un­par­alelled mix of his­tor­i­cal and hor­ti­cul­tural knowl­edge’ 020–7253 2100; www.tlg-land­ Tom Stu­art-smith He’s the re­cip­i­ent of many Chelsea awards with a long his­tory of work­ing in coun­try­house gar­dens of con­sid­er­able stature.

They say ‘We are a prac­tice with an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion for mak­ing gar­dens that com­bine nat­u­ral­ism and moder­nity’

We say ‘Im­pec­ca­ble taste and a good choice for cre­at­ing a gar­den that will last gen­er­a­tions’ 020–7253 2100; www.tom­stu­art­ Xa Tollemache Highly ac­com­plished gar­dener whose de­signs range from court­yard gar­dens to large es­tates.

They say ‘I use the in­flu­ence of the house, land­scape and lives of the peo­ple liv­ing there as the start but­ton for the de­sign that will fol­low’

We say ‘A good choice for a grand, tra­di­tional gar­den, es­pe­cially in East Anglia’ 01473 890799;

The dec­o­ra­tors

In the past, Bri­tain’s colo­nial and trad­ing past in­stilled in de­sign­ers the unique ca­pac­ity to em­brace ex­ter­nal in­flu­ences and make them their own. That spirit is alive and well to­day, but the style is in a con­stant state of evo­lu­tion and re­mains tan­ta­lis­ingly hard to de­fine.

For some, like Ben Pen­treath, it’s about lay­ers, en­com­pass­ing ‘a melange of ac­cu­mu­lated gen­er­a­tions of fur­ni­ture and clut­ter, such as a 1930s bath­room with no shower, poor heat­ing, prim­i­tive wiring and some of the most beau­ti­ful fur­ni­ture you have ever seen’.

For oth­ers, it’s a more dis­ci­plined com­bi­na­tion of faded chintzes and prized an­tiques. There is now also a grow­ing band of de­sign­ers whose in­ter­pre­ta­tions mix con­tem­po­rary touches in the form of blocks of colour, mod­ern fur­ni­ture, strik­ing paint­ings and highly dec­o­ra­tive light­ing—all of which are held to­gether un­der the wide um­brella of the mod­ern English coun­try look.

Al­i­dad For­merly a di­rec­tor of the Is­lamic Art de­part­ment at Sotheby’s, he’s lived in Lon­don for more than 40 years and works mainly in Bri­tain, Europe and the Mid­dle East.

They say ‘His unique aes­thetic blends a wide spec­trum of lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als and a deep art his­tor­i­cal knowl­edge with time­less re­straint’

We say ‘A de­signer who’s not afraid of us­ing pat­tern and fabric with grand ef­fect’

020–7384 0121; http://al­i­

Ben Pen­treath (see also Ar­chi­tects) A Lon­don and Dorset-based poly­math (interior de­sign is one arm of his busy ar­chi­tec­turalde­sign prac­tice), who’s known for cre­at­ing rooms that are time­less, but not locked into any his­tor­i­cal pe­riod.

They say ‘We draw in­spi­ra­tion in equal mea­sure from the great English prac­ti­tion­ers of the 1960s and 1970s and from his­tor­i­cal in­te­ri­ors of ev­ery pe­riod, but all in­fused with a fresh, mod­ern sen­si­bil­ity’

We say ‘A master at re-cre­at­ing the many lay­ers of the coun­try-house look up­dated with flashes of colour’ 020–7430 2424; www.ben­pen­

Ch­ester Jones A de­signer who trained as an ar­chi­tect and works in a mod­ern id­iom, us­ing an­tiques and arte­facts from a range of cul­tures and pe­ri­ods.

They say ‘Liv­ing con­tent­edly is, to a great ex­tent, feel­ing com­fort­able in one’s own sur­round­ings. Fa­cil­i­tat­ing this is our prin­ci­pal ob­jec­tive’

We say ‘A se­ri­ous de­signer with a pared­back style and overtly artis­tic eye’

020–7498 2717; http://chester­

Colin Or­chard Based in Chelsea and the Cotswolds, Colin worked at Sibyl Cole­fax & John Fowler be­fore set­ting up on his own in 1989. He's re­pon­si­ble for the exqusite re­vival of the in­te­ri­ors at Bal­lyfin.

He says ‘I want my clients to be to­tally happy, but ex­cited, too’

We say ‘The ul­ti­mate in the English coun­try­house style’ 020–7351 5501; info@col­i­nor­

Dou­glas Mackie De­sign The ar­chi­tect is renowned for his in­te­gra­tion of se­ri­ous art col­lec­tions with beau­ti­fully con­ceived back­grounds.

They say ‘My phi­los­o­phy is to cre­ate a per­fect bal­ance be­tween fur­ni­ture, art and sculp­ture’

We say ‘A so­phis­ti­cated dec­o­ra­tor who uses mod­ern Bri­tish art and con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture with strik­ing ef­fects’ 020–7487 3295; www.dou­glas­

Ed­ward Bul­mer A spe­cial­ist in the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion and re­dec­o­ra­tion of his­toric build­ings and houses, Ed­ward has worked on a wide range of his­toric houses, in­clud­ing Althorp and Good­wood. He's also a paint spe­cial­ist, with his own range.

They say ‘Al­most al­ways, these houses are used to dis­play col­lec­tions of art and I ap­proach this as half-cu­ra­tor and half-de­signer. If the re­sult isn’t con­ve­nient or com­fort­able, it has failed’

We say ‘A undis­puted spe­cial­ist for Grade Ilisted in­te­ri­ors’

01544 388535; www.ed­ward­bul­mer­

Emma Sims-hilditch A Wilt­shire-based de­signer who cham­pi­ons a con­tem­po­rary coun­try look that sits hap­pily in ev­ery­thing from manor houses and cot­tages to apart­ments and town houses.

They say ‘We be­lieve true luxury is about qual­ity of life, em­brac­ing the beauty of ev­ery­day liv­ing to cre­ate a look that is truly in­spir­ing’

We say ‘Emma cre­ates el­e­gant and cheer­ful rooms that are firmly rooted in mod­ern coun­try liv­ing’ 01249 783087;

Guy Good­fel­low The Lon­don-based, full-ser­vice team, which in­cludes ar­chi­tects and draughts­men, was re­spon­si­ble for the restora­tion of Gars­ing­ton Manor as well as Lon­don town houses.

They say ‘His nat­u­ral flair, com­bined with his clas­si­cal back­ground, guides the de­sign process of projects to­wards their ap­pro­pri­ate and suit­able dec­o­ra­tion with un­mis­tak­able orig­i­nal­ity’

We say ‘Not locked into one par­tic­u­lar look —re­fresh­ingly un­pre­dictable’

020–7349 0728; www.guy­good­fel­

Hen­ri­etta Spencer-churchill Hav­ing stud­ied at the Inch­bald School of De­sign, Lady Hen­ri­etta set up Wood­stock De­signs in 1981. It spe­cialises in the ren­o­va­tion and restora­tion of Clas­si­cal and listed build­ings.

They say ‘We in­cor­po­rate cur­rent trends and tech­nol­ogy while re­spect­ing his­toric char­ac­ter and ar­chi­tec­ture’

We say ‘For clas­sic coun­try-house dec­o­rat­ing, look no fur­ther’

www.spencer­churchillde­; 01993 811887

Hen­ri­ette von Stock­hausen Hav­ing co-founded VSP In­te­ri­ors with Jane Petti in 2000, Dorset-based Hen­ri­ette has built up a rep­u­ta­tion for skil­fully blend­ing colour with beau­ti­ful an­tiques that is in­spired by her Euro­pean child­hood.

They say ‘With a spell in stage and theatre de­sign, Hen­ri­ette brings a sense of drama to any space’

We say ‘A per­fect choice for young fam­i­lies mov­ing into a big coun­try home’ 07787 574192; www.vspin­te­ri­

Hugh Les­lie Strong form and colour are a big player in his de­signs, which of­ten in­cor­po­rate dif­fer­ent styles and pe­ri­ods.

They say ‘Hugh’s flex­i­ble ap­proach and wide-rang­ing ex­per­tise make for a work­ing re­la­tion­ship that’s sec­ond to none’

We say ‘Pre­dom­i­nantly Lon­don-fo­cused with a heavy bent to­wards a clean mid-20th­cen­tury look’ 020–7584 7185; http://hugh­

Jane Churchill In­te­ri­ors Dec­o­rat­ing is in her blood—her great-aunt was Nancy Lan­caster—and she’s be­come a house­hold name since start­ing out in 1975. She’s renowned for her tra­di­tional sense of style and em­bod­i­ment of all things quintessen­tially English.

They say ‘Jane com­bines clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary el­e­ments so that each project is unique and per­sonal to the client’

We say ‘Tran­scends fash­ion to cre­ate good­look­ing coun­try style with mod­ern de­tail­ing’

www.janechurchillinte­ri­; 020–7730 8564

Ja­nine Stone & Co Lon­don and Cheshire based mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary prac­tice with ar­chi­tec­tural, interior-de­sign, build­ing and project-man­age­ment teams in one seam­less unit to of­fer the ul­ti­mate con­cept-to­com­ple­tion de­sign ser­vice for pri­vate res­i­den­tial projects. These of­ten in­volve be­spoke fur­ni­ture com­mis­sions, art cu­ra­tion and unique de­sign so­lu­tions for 21st-cen­tury liv­ing.

They say ‘We un­der­stand the de­mands of work­ing with dis­cern­ing pri­vate clients and their need for a spe­cial level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism, ini­tia­tive and dis­cre­tion’

We say ‘Cre­ative, clas­si­cally in­spired de­sign team with a long list of in­ter­na­tional clients’

020–7627 5300; www.ja­nine­

Joanna Wood One of the most es­tab­lished fig­ures in Bri­tish interior de­sign, known for lav­ishly com­bin­ing tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary el­e­ments

They say ‘Joanna brings to each project her care and at­ten­tion to de­tail, cre­at­ing a time­less style and pro­duc­ing a re­sult that is both prac­ti­cal and vis­ually ex­cit­ing’

We say ‘An en­gag­ing per­son­al­ity and long­stand­ing mem­ber of the Pim­lico Road de­sign set’

020–7730 5064; www.joan­na­

John Evans A Birm­ing­ham-based team that pro­duces topend con­tem­po­rary clas­sic de­signs for town and coun­try houses.

They say ‘He cre­ates interior spa­ces that evoke clean sim­plic­ity with a com­fort­able bal­ance of pro­por­tion and scale’

We say ‘Con­sider for some­thing dra­matic and un­usual, such as a state­ment pool house or a sub­ter­ranean spa’

020–7252 2392; www.johnevans­de­

Katharine Poo­ley De­signer to the rich and very rich, the for­mer Mor­gan Stan­ley em­ployee be­gan her dec­o­rat­ing ca­reer in Sin­ga­pore, where she de­signed four homes.

They say ‘We un­der­stand the ul­ti­mate bal­ance be­tween luxury and in­tel­li­gent de­sign’

We say ‘From Chelsea town houses to con­verted barns in the Cotswolds, her de­signs are el­e­gantly ex­e­cuted’

020–7584 3223; www.katharinepoo­

Keech Green Known for its ‘mod­ern deco’ ap­proach to interior de­sign, Gra­ham Green and Michael Keech work on a va­ri­ety of projects, in­clud­ing the in­te­ri­ors for a 45,000sq ft neo-clas­si­cal house in York­shire.

They say ‘The de­sire for longevity en­sures that we rise above the preva­lence of short­term “fash­ion state­ments”’

We say ‘Ex­perts in re­strained colour pal­ettes and luxury fin­ishes’

020–7351 5701; www.keech­

Lucy El­wor­thy A de­signer blessed with an ex­cep­tional eye for colour and pat­tern as well as an abil­ity to track down un­usual and eclec­tic pieces.

They say ‘Lucy has the in­nate per­cep­tion, em­pa­thy and un­der­stand­ing to help cre­ate a style that fits a client’s per­son­al­ity’

We say ‘Mar­ried to ar­chi­tect John Com­par­elli, with whom she of­ten col­lab­o­rates, cre­at­ing a rare and win­ning dou­ble act’

07957 693246; www.lucyel­wor­

Max Rol­litt This Winch­ester-based an­tiques re­storer and dealer turned dec­o­ra­tor and fur­ni­ture de­signer has a clas­si­cally re­fined yet in­for­mal style.

They say ‘His ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence has de­vel­oped an in­her­ent sen­si­tiv­ity to­wards the ma­te­ri­als and Clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments that are con­densed in the dec­o­ra­tive arts’

We say ‘He an aes­thetic that's rooted in the clas­sic English tra­di­tion with a mag­pie’s eye for beau­ti­ful pieces’

01962 791124; www.maxrol­

Mcwhirter Mor­ris A Chelsea-based de­sign duo formed by for­mer Sibyl Cole­fax & John Fowler dec­o­ra­tor Sarah Mor­ris and an­tique dealer James Mcwhirter. They work across coun­try houses, Lon­don town houses and hol­i­day homes over­seas.

They say ‘Our in­te­ri­ors com­bine com­fort, charm and per­son­al­ity with equal at­ten­tion paid to ar­chi­tec­ture and works of art’

We say ‘Not gov­erned by fash­ion trends, they pro­duce at­trac­tive, pretty rooms in the clas­sic coun­try-house form’

020–7349 2575; www.mcwhirter­mor­

Mli­naric, Henry and Zervu­dachi David Mli­naric es­tab­lished his firm in 1964 and worked on many im­por­tant Lon­don and coun­try houses, many in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Na­tional Trust. Now a con­sul­tant, his team is based in two of­fices in Bel­gravia and Paris.

They say ‘Par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis is placed on a sym­pa­thetic use of colour, an elec­tric aes-

thetic that of­ten in­cludes both an­tiques and mod­ern fur­ni­ture and, most im­por­tantly, com­fort for the client’

We say ‘Un­der­stated and el­e­gant de­sign­ers used to dec­o­rat­ing houses all over the world’

020–7730 9072; mh­zlon­

Nina Camp­bell The grande dame of interior de­sign­ers, who’s known for her wit and sense of style, as well as her ex­ten­sive range of fab­rics and wall­pa­pers. One of her first com­mis­sions when she started out was to dec­o­rate Annabel’s night­club.

They say ‘Her de­signs ap­peal to both young and old and sit well in both con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional in­te­ri­ors’

We say ‘Con­fi­dent use of colour and pat­tern, all un­der­pinned with com­fort’ 020–7225 1011; http://ni­nacamp­bellinte­ri­

Paolo Moschino for Ni­cholas Haslam Con­tem­po­rary de­sign­ers who favour glossy sur­faces, good art and lav­ish ma­te­ri­als with a clien­tele based across the world’s most in­flu­en­tial cities.

They say ‘Although ini­tially grounded in the prin­ci­ples of English de­sign, the ar­rival of Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen brought a Con­ti­nen­tal flair to the com­pany’

We say ‘A so­phis­ti­cated and ex­pen­sive look that trans­lates just as well in a Lon­don pent­house as it does in an old rec­tory’ 020–7730 8623;

Penny Mor­ri­son South African by birth, Penny isn’t bound by English tra­di­tion and her trade­mark eclec­tic look lay­ers old and new, re­sult­ing in an un­cere- mo­nious and wel­com­ing fin­ish.

They say ‘I use a mix of an­tique and mod­ern fur­ni­ture to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing at­mos­phere while fo­cus­ing on com­fort’

We say ‘Imag­i­na­tively in­cor­po­rates ex­ist­ing pos­ses­sions into new schemes and has her own range of fab­rics’

01547 560460; www.pen­ny­mor­ri­

Piers von Westen­holz A for­mer Olympic skier who en­joys a rep­u­ta­tion as one of Bri­tain’s more re­spected an­tique deal­ers, he’s worked with many dec­o­rat­ing lu­mi­nar­ies, in­clud­ing David Mli­naric and Robert Kime, and spe­cialises in sourc­ing an­tiques for large coun­try houses.

They say ‘Sim­plic­ity and com­fort are my watch­words’

We say ‘The per­fect choice for any­one who re­spects books and an­tiques’ 01279 842545; www.westen­

Pippa Pa­ton With a fleet of clients in the Cotswolds—in­clud­ing own­ers of cot­tages, barn con­ver­sions and Grade Ii-listed manor houses—ox­ford­shire­based Pippa has built up a rep­u­ta­tion for her cool-headed, func­tional yet eclec­tic de­signs.

They say ‘With a real em­pha­sis on pre­ci­sion and cre­ative de­tail, the mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team cre­ates beau­ti­ful and in­spir­ing con­tem­po­rary homes that peo­ple love to live in’

We say ‘Per­fect for any­one look­ing for a clean and con­tem­po­rary coun­try-house look’ 01865 595470; www.pip­pa­p­a­ton­de­sign.

Rivière In­te­ri­ors With back­grounds in the dec­o­ra­tive arts, Robert and Josyane Young are known for their abil­ity to jux­ta­pose tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary ma­te­ri­als and ac­cents.

They say ‘A com­pleted project ide­ally dis­plays a sen­si­tiv­ity for ex­ist­ing ar­chi­tec­ture, an un­der­stand­ing of space, a con­fi­dent touch with colour and tex­ture, a cer­tain in­di­vid­ual orig­i­nal­ity and hon­ours the client’s brief’

We say ‘One of a re­li­able band of deal­erdec­o­ra­tors who source beau­ti­ful an­tiques and know how to use them’ 020–7228 7847; www.rober­ty­oun­gan­

Rita König The jour­nal­ist turned interior de­signer has a large, Lon­don-based stu­dio work­ing on res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties where she in­tro­duces her sig­na­ture look of English with a hint of ec­cen­tric­ity mixed in.

They say ‘A home is made up of lay­ers that you’ve ac­cu­mu­lated at dif­fer­ent stages and have mean­ing’

We say ‘Adept at mix­ing old and new with re­laxed and un­pre­ten­tious re­sults’ 020–3735 7280; http://ri­

Robert Kime A man with unim­peach­able taste, who brings an­tique deal­ing, tex­tile col­lect­ing and an abid­ing pas­sion for putting rooms to­gether with great ef­fect. He has worked on both High­grove and Clarence House. (No re­la­tion to our very own In­te­ri­ors Ed­i­tor.)

They say ‘His in­te­ri­ors ap­pear to have evolved over time, com­bin­ing a re­laxed mood with an­tiques, vin­tage tex­tiles and quirky pieces’

We say ‘For a beau­ti­ful and lay­ered coun­try­house look, you can’t go wrong’ 020–7831 6066;

Rose Uni­acke Once a name known only to those with their ear to the dec­o­rat­ing ground, she now has the soubri­quet of be­ing ‘the Beck­hams’ interior de­signer’—we think that shows they’ve got good taste.

They say ‘In­te­ri­ors mat­ter: they change the things we do and the way we do them. That’s why Rose works as hard as she does to de­sign har­mo­nious in­te­ri­ors that are at once re­as­sur­ing and up­lift­ing’

We say ‘Pared-back el­e­gance is her leit­mo­tiv. No room is ever over-fur­nished’ 020–7730 7050; http://rose­u­ni­

Sibyl Cole­fax & John Fowler Founded in the 1930s, this is one of the most long-es­tab­lished interior dec­o­rat­ing firms in Bri­tain with a world­wide rep­u­ta­tion. Work spans not-able coun­try houses, city apart­ments, ranches and trop­i­cal beach houses. The busi­ness has moved to new premises on Pim­lico Road.

They say ‘The eight de­sign­ers have more than 150 years of col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence

be­tween them and are as used to cre­at­ing 21st-cen­tury in­te­ri­ors as they are to work­ing on im­por­tant his­toric build­ings’

We say ‘Clas­si­cally stylish with a unique her­itage’

020–7493 2231; www.sibyl­cole­

Stu­dio Atkin­son The de­signer has been closely in­volved with Soho House (and, more re­cently, the mem­bers’ room at Queen’s Club). Susie is known to es­chew what­ever is con­sid­ered fash­ion­able and, in­stead, bring rooms to life through mix­ing un­ex­pected el­e­ments.

They say ‘Ev­ery space should in­vite and in­spire, each de­tail be care­fully con­sid­ered’

We say ‘A great op­tion for a new gen­er­a­tion of coun­try house own­ers’ 020–7835 5525; http://susieatkin­

Thorp Headed by Philippa Thorp, this large, Bel­gravi­abased prac­tice is known for its transat­lantic style, which trans­lates cleanly from Long Is­land to Lon­don via light-filled coun­try houses.

They say ‘Our interior de­sign brings tex­ture, colour and form to­gether to cre­ate in­ti­mate liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments that re­flect your per­sonal style and char­ac­ter’

We say ‘Su­per-stylish dec­o­ra­tor to the jet-set’

020–7235 7808;

Tod­hunter Earle Lon­don de­sign duo (with a large, ex­tended team of young de­sign­ers) who di­vide their time be­tween the city and their coun­try houses. Projects en­com­pass coun­try houses, town houses, yachts and ho­tels.

They say ‘A happy job is a good job’ We say ‘Very hands-on fo­cus which de­liv­ers a wide va­ri­ety of in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the on-trend, mod­ern, coun­try-house look’

020–7349 9999; http://tod­

Veere Gren­ney Hav­ing trained un­der Mary Fox Lin­ton, Veere was a di­rec­tor at Sibyl Cole­fax & John Fowler be­fore launch­ing on his own. He has an im­pres­sive port­fo­lio of projects to his name on both sides of the At­lantic.

They say ‘He’s a master at mar­ry­ing the hum­ble with the grand and clean moder­nity with clas­si­cism’

We say ‘Supremely el­e­gant and pared-back style—suits the anti-flo­ral bri­gade per­fectly’ 020–7351 7170; www.veere­gren­

C. Tavener & Son Ltd Es­tab­lished in 1846, the fam­ily firm works on high-end projects from Bel­gravia and Hol­land Park to Paris and Provence.

They say ‘At­ten­tion to de­tail is at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do’

We say ‘This com­pany is at the pin­na­cle of the Lon­don build­ing trade’

020–7328 7111;

Car­pen­ter Oak An oak-frame build­ing busi­ness of 30 years’ stand­ing, this Devon-based com­pany raises more than 60 frames a year, from oak sun­room ex­ten­sions to high-end ar­chi­tec­tural oak houses in the UK and over­seas.

They say ‘If you’re look­ing to cre­ate an oak­framed house, ex­ten­sion or out­build­ing, we have the ex­pe­ri­ence to make your am­bi­tion come alive’

We say ‘Has the com­plete team, from project man­agers to frame de­sign­ers and car­pen­ters, so it's worth con­sid­er­ing if you’re look­ing for a has­sle-free turnkey ser­vice’ 01803 732900;­pen­

El­lis & Co Ltd Award-win­ning ex­perts in the con­ser­va­tion, re­pair and ren­o­va­tion of his­toric houses across Som­er­set and the South-west.

They say ‘Our aim is to pre­serve the past sym­pa­thet­i­cally and hon­estly for the ben­e­fit of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions’

We say ‘Ex­cel­lent op­tion for re­pair or restora­tion of Grade I-listed houses. The firm’s re­cent work on St Giles House on the Shaftes­bury Es­tate won a host of awards’ 01749 342706; www.el­ Ken Biggs West Coun­try-based fam­ily firm founded in 1928 that cov­ers both com­plete new-build houses to gen­eral re­pairs and ex­ten­sions.

They say ‘We can cover a full spec­trum in all as­pects of con­struc­tion to a project value of £6 mil­lion’

We say ‘John­nie Bo­den’s con­trac­tor of choice with an ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion for friend­li­ness and pro­fes­sion­al­ism’ 01761 470743;

Oak­wrights Oak-frame house builder that prides it­self on its state-of-the-art equip­ment: 80% of the pre­ci­sion cut­ting is done by ma­chine, with the crafts­men do­ing the scribe work, dec­o­ra­tion and em­bel­lish­ment, much of which is done us­ing tra­di­tional hand tools.

They say ‘We blend tra­di­tional and mod­ern con­struc­tion tech­niques to cre­ate a tra­di­tion­ally jointed and pegged tim­ber frame with all the com­forts of a mod­ern home’

We say ‘A for­ward-think­ing com­pany with im­pres­sive tech­nol­ogy skills’

01432 353353; www.oak­

Prime Oak Based in the West Mid­lands, this well-es­tab­lished oak-frame builder can do the full range, from an or­angery or sta­ble com­plex through to a new-build house. Sis­ter com­pa­nies in­clude oak-framer Julius Bahn and the gar­den room and win­dows sup­plier Mont­pe­lier.

They say ‘We pro­vide an out­stand­ing qual­ity prod­uct cou­pled with ex­act­ing yet per­sonal ser­vice’

We say ‘Good all-rounder that sup­ports crafts­man­ship by run­ning an ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme with lo­cal col­leges’ Prime Oak: 01384 296611; www.primeoak. Julius Bahn: 03444 171400; www. julius­ Mont­pe­lier: 01384 279933; www.mont­pe­lier­join­

R. Durt­nell & Sons Bri­tain’s old­est build­ing com­pany (es­tab­lished in 1591), which works through­out Lon­don and the South-east and spe­cialises in restor­ing and ren­o­vat­ing his­toric build­ings.

They say ‘By un­der­stand­ing our clients’ needs and ob­jec­tives, we are bet­ter equipped to de­liver the high-qual­ity build­ings that have been our hall­mark since the days of El­iz­a­beth I’ We say ‘A safe pair of hands for a con­tem­po­rary new-build or restora­tion project’ 01959 564105; http://durt­

R. Mould­ing & Co Sal­is­bury-based fam­ily busi­ness that, as well as build­ing and restor­ing coun­try houses, has carved out work at Stone­henge.

They say ‘Ev­ery­thing we do is driven by the lat­est build­ing stan­dards and tech­niques, un­der­pinned with the pas­sion of our ded­i­cated team and a core un­der­stand­ing of tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als and skills’

We say ‘Skilled team that’s worked on coun­try houses from all pe­ri­ods’

01722 742228; www.rmould­

R. W. Arm­strong A 60-year-old re­gional firm with a rep­u­ta­tion for high-qual­ity re­fur­bish­ments and ren­o­va­tions of listed houses, as well as Lon­don town houses and smaller projects.

They say ‘We are a res­i­den­tial builder in Hamp­shire pro­vid­ing high-qual­ity build­ing ser­vices for the county as well as for most of the South-east’

We say ‘Re­li­able and knowl­edge­able, it’s re­spon­si­ble for build­ing many de­signs by ADAM Ar­chi­tec­ture’ 01256 850177; www.rwarm­

Steven­sons of Nor­wich A spe­cial­ist in the de­sign, restora­tion and in­stal­la­tion of dec­o­ra­tive ceil­ings, wall pan­els and stone-ef­fect build­ing façades.

They say ‘We have more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with plas­ter, lath and lime plas­ter.’

We say ‘For dec­o­ra­tive cor­nices and ceil­ing roses or their restora­tion, go to Steven­sons’ 01603 400824; www.steven­sons-of-nor­wich.

Symm A fam­ily-owned, Ox­ford-based com­pany in­volved in some of the grand­est new coun­try houses be­ing built to­day as well as tra­di­tional coun­try cot­tages and Lon­don pent­houses.

They say ‘We are no or­di­nary builder’ We say ‘A lead­ing firm, which un­usu­ally car­ries out most of the spe­cial­ist trades it­self rather than em­ploy­ing sub-con­trac­tors’ 01865 254900;

Wal­ter Lilly Very-high-end Lon­don builder whose re­cent projects in­clude a £28 mil­lion sub­ter­ranean ex­ten­sion and re­fur­bish­ment of a 22,000sq ft Grade I-listed house in May­fair and a £9 mil­lion fit-out on a 27,000sq ft house in Hamp­stead.

They say ‘The brand is a by­word for luxury and re­fine­ment’

We say ‘Lon­don builders don’t get much grander’ 020–8730 6200; www.wal­

Quin­lan & Fran­cis Terry Ar­chi­tects re­placed a Vic­to­rian ex­ten­sion with some­thing more in keep­ing with the pe­riod for Higham House in Es­sex

Neo-clas­si­cal Bighton Grange in Hamp­shire was de­signed by ADAM Ar­chi­tects

Allt-y-bela, Arne May­nard’s home, shows his in­no­va­tive and witty ap­proach to plant­ing

Tom Stu­art-smith has a long his­tory of work­ing in coun­try-house gar­dens of stature

Max Rol­litt has a ‘mag­pie’s eye for beau­ti­ful pieces’ that cre­ate re­fined com­fort

Sibyl Cole­fax & John Fowler is Bri­tain’s long­est-es­tab­lished interior-dec­o­rat­ing firm

Bathing beauty: for the ul­ti­mate interior-de­sign ser­vice, con­sult the ac­claimed multi-dis­ci­plinary team at Ja­nine Stone

Easy el­e­gance is the key to Emma Sims Hilditch’s con­tem­po­rary coun­try style

An R. Mould­ing & Co crafts­man hard at work

Prime Oak can call on a range of ex­pe­ri­enced spe­cial­ists to cre­ate be­spoke so­lu­tions

R. W. Arm­strong com­bined pe­riod pres­ence and 21st-cen­tury fam­ily com­forts in this el­e­gant Ge­or­gian prop­erty

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