What my home means to me Liz Earle
Wellbeing author Liz Earle, 54, lives in a farmhouse in the West Country on an organic farm with husband Patrick, 57, and the three youngest of her five children
for a long time and wanted to bring up the children with more freedom and fresh air so 16 years ago we moved here. At first we lived in a manor house and then took over a derelict farm, converting the land back to organic: we now produce 100 per cent grass-fed beef from Hereford cattle.
Our house is right in the middle of the farm
so we have a 360-degree view of the fields. We rebuilt it pretty much from scratch and used a soft, mossy green, local stone called Chilmark. To maximise the light, we installed new sash windows, French doors and light wells in the roof. We also hunted down huge Yorkshire stone floor slabs from an old church and bought some wooden beams at an auction in France – it now looks like a traditional farmhouse.
There’s a real sense of space
in our house. You go through a big front door into the hallway and straight through to French doors that lead out on to the garden. We’re surrounded by green, so I’ve used paint colours that coordinate with the landscape – a lot of cream, grey and muted shades of green.
The kitchen is the heart of our home
and has a lovely atmosphere. Although I have five children with ages ranging from 26 to seven, only three of them live at home – two are away working – and I’m at my happiest when they’re all here together round our old Chalon table while I cook on the four-oven cream Aga.
I love soft, tactile fabrics,
and we have chairs covered in velvet as well as big squashy sofas that you just sink into. I also like natural linens and have some Bennison botanical print, heavy linen curtains, which have a slightly faded look. There’s a botanical theme that flows through the house, whether it’s in the paintings of flowers or captured in smaller details.
Looking out across the fields
helps me get my thoughts together. Now I no longer work with the Liz Earle Beauty Co,
I’m a big fan of working from home, whether it’s on ideas for my Wellbeing website or a new book. I have a writing desk underneath the window and enjoy gazing at the horizon in particular; it’s very calming to watch the sun rise and set. You can’t fail to be inspired by the natural world. Whether I’m cooking with produce from the garden or looking for botanical ingredients for seasonal recipes and herbal remedies for wellbeing, it all comes back to the incredible beauty of nature and trying to live in harmony with it.
Colours influence me and
I’m a big fan of pink. We have a formal drawing room based around shades of pink and green, and I collect vintage tapestry cushions, quite a few of which are in pretty pinks with flower motifs. Our aim is to live here for ever. We have planted oak trees knowing we won’t reap the benefit for another 20 years or so, but that our children will see them grow and, hopefully, so will their children.
for roast chicken or some of our home-grown roast beef with Yorkshire puddings. We also have a big vegetable garden and I love pottering out there, growing on seedlings and trying lots of different varieties, picking what’s available, whether it’s beans, asparagus or tomatoes.
We moved around a lot when I was a child, so maybe that’s why I appreciate being settled. My father was an admiral in the navy and when he was home we loved being in the garden together. Now as a family we like to take a rug out, throw it under a tree and picnic on the farm. I find it uplifting to bring plants inside. Most windowsills have planters or a pot of herbs, just something to bring life into the home. And a favourite switch-off time for me is on a Friday evening when I cut some flowers or foliage to arrange in the house, and to celebrate having the family together. HB
l To buy Liz Earle’s Wellbeing magazine, visit the website lizearlewellbeing.com. To order The Liz Earle Yearbook
Volume 1 (£25, Liz Earle Associated Productions), at the special price of £20, visit the website and enter housebeautiful5 at the checkout between 4 October and 1 November 2017.
Liz’s family love coming home for a roast dinner served with vegetables from the kitchen garden
MY FAMILY LIFE Our oldest children love coming home
Pink and botanical prints are passions WHERE I LIVE We’d been in London
Plants and pots of herbs fill the house
Hereford cows are bred on Liz’s farm