WHAT MY HOME MEANS TO ME

Model Kelly Brook

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS - KELLY BROOK

WHERE I LIVE

I was liv­ing in LA when I got a part in a pe­riod drama be­ing filmed in Kent, my home county. I hadn’t ap­pre­ci­ated be­fore how beau­ti­ful the coun­try­side and ar­chi­tec­ture were, and I de­cided it was time to move back. My home is a 15th-cen­tury tim­ber-framed Wealden farm­house with an oast­house at­tached, but it was the mag­i­cal qual­ity of the gar­dens that made me fall in love with the place. There’s an ap­ple and pear or­chard and a fresh­wa­ter spring by the kitchen door. Any­one who’s owned a pe­riod prop­erty knows it’s a never-end­ing labour of love.

I wanted the house to look its age, so I worked with an ar­chi­tect, strip­ping out the plas­ter to ex­pose the frame of the house and the orig­i­nal beams. But though it looks old, it’s su­per­ef­fi­cient and has un­der­floor heat­ing.

The in­te­rior style is rus­tic shabby chic, so I can’t go crazy with colour. Down­stairs I’ve kept it mainly creamy white with Far­row & Ball’s Point­ing. I’ve used its Peignoir for my bed­room and an olive green for the li­brary and bar area. There’s a trend for darker kitchens

and I’ve re­cently re­painted mine in a deep green, which I’m re­ally pleased with.

I re­placed the show­ers with cast-iron

bath­tubs, which are more in keep­ing with the style of the house. Lots of rooms have open fire­places, in­clud­ing the kitchen, where I have two Ge­orge Smith wing chairs close by, which makes the space feel more com­fort­able and so­cia­ble.

MY IN­SPI­RA­TION

I think some peo­ple ex­pect me to have plush vel­vet and dia­manté every­where, but my style is clas­sic – I love go­ing to an­tiques shops to buy bits and bobs, and I col­lect Por­tuguese cab­bage plates.

My grand­fa­ther and mother were keen gar­den­ers, but they had tiny coun­cil house gar­dens. My mum still kept chick­ens and grew veg, but she would have loved a gar­den like mine – I re­alise I’m lucky. Gar­den­ing is hard work, but great for clear­ing my head. Over the past 10 years, I’ve learnt so much. There have been some fail­ures – try­ing to grow French laven­der in the Kent soil was one! Liv­ing here has re­ally made me think more about na­ture. Now I’ve got the gar­den the way I want it to look. I’ve cre­ated a meadow with wild flow­ers to sus­tain the in­sects and nat­u­ral grasses for the rab­bits.

FAM­ILY LIFE

Au­tumn is my favourite sea­son – the house is so cosy. I put woolly Avoca throws on the so­fas and beds, we chop wood to make log stacks for the fires, and I start to cook stews and cur­ries on my Ray­burn.

Up in the meadow is a lit­tle fes­ti­val area where the light’s beau­ti­ful in the evenings.

I love hav­ing friends and fam­ily over for a hog roast served with lovely home­made ap­ple sauce and coleslaw. There’s a shep­herd’s hut there and I put up bell tents. I al­ways have plenty of friends want­ing to come and stay – it’s my own lit­tle par­adise. HB

Kelly Brook is sup­port­ing Macmil­lan

l Cancer Sup­port’s World’s Big­gest Cof­fee Morn­ing on Fri­day 28 Septem­ber. To get in­volved at home or at work and help change lives, visit macmil­lan.org.uk/ cof­fee

A keen cook and gar­dener, Kelly spends a lot of time in the ex­pan­sive grounds of her farm­house and pre­par­ing meals on her Ray­burn cooker

Kelly’s style is clas­sic – she loves buy­ing home­ware and fur­ni­ture at an­tiques shops, and col­lects Por­tuguese cab­bage plates

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