raising THE roof
After an extensive and stressful renovation, Tania and Andrew Hayward are finally able to make a toast to the successful fruits of their labour
It took a year of hard work to transform this Sussex property into a beautiful family home
Simple, pared-back festive decorations are the order of the day in Tania and Andrew Hayward’s serene home. But they are no less striking for that. Mantelpieces are decorated with twinkling lights, a tree dressed in gold and silver takes centre stage and the air is scented with zesty orange and cinnamon.
It is fair to say the journey to this beloved family house wasn’t always so calm. Tania and Andrew initially had very different criteria when looking for their forever home. ‘Andrew is a perfectionist who was drawn to the idea of a modern house, but I’m strictly a period property girl,’ says Tania. ‘Needless to say, our search was not an easy one.’
‘ We’d been looking for a large country property for a long time,’ recalls Tania, ‘ but every building that we viewed involved making so many compromises.’ Finally, they found a detached property that seemed to fit the bill. ‘This was the first house we could see ourselves and our four children living in,’ says Tania, a property manager. ‘It’s spacious and close enough to other neighbours not to feel too isolated.’
But the couple soon realised that there was a significant problem. ‘We discovered that the whole roof needed replacing, which was a huge, extra expense,’ says Tania. ‘We’d had problems with leaks before, which made us cautious, but we loved the house so much that we took the cost of the work on the chin.’ With the roof needing to be replaced, the couple estimated they had about a year’s worth
of renovation before they could move in. ‘Fortunately, we still had our old house, so we could live there during the work,’ says Tania. This was just as well considering the other issues that arose after they signed on the dotted line. ‘There were so many hidden problems that weren’t apparent initially, including asbestos, damp and shoddy plumbing.’
DESIGNING THE DECOR
Once the house was ready to decorate, Tania approached interior designer Emma Hooton for help. ‘I like interior design and I enjoy coming up with ideas, but a house of this size felt daunting,’ she explains. Together, Tania and Emma worked out a design that included complementary shades with splashes of colour to punctuate the schemes and add interest. ‘ We’ve used grey as a backdrop, combined variously with purple, mustard, red and orange – in fact, I never knew how much I loved grey until we moved here,’ says Tania.
Now that the house is finally completed, Tania is enjoying turning it into a family home. ‘It’s a wonderful house in every season, but during the winter it is something special,’ she says. ‘ We spend hours decorating the tree – or redecorating it after our twins, Violet and Jakimo, seven, have had a try.’ Digby, 15, and Felix, 12, like to assist too.
‘This year, I’ve moved away from my usual antique gold and red theme to antique gold and silver,’ continues Tania. ‘I have a new colour scheme each year and spend every evening in the run-up to Christmas decorating packages and attaching tags. Even though the children are growing up, I hope we will always retain the magic of Christmas.’
Dining area This bespoke dark wood table is the spot where the family likes to gather together. Byron Chair in Chase erwin Ultrasuede taupe with Mulberry piping, price on request, the Sofa & Chair Company. Walls painted in Pavilion gray estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball
Sitting room an oversized rug defines the seating area. try the georgian Range geo-ze97, £16,000, Chesneys. Black Lacquer opium coffee table, £1,895, orchid. Bespoke armchairs in nice Chopper natural, C&C Milano
Kitchen Splashes of red add interest to this otherwise neutral scheme. Bernard bar stools in Chase erwin Ultrasuede Mulberry, price on request, the Sofa & Chair Company
main Bedroom ‘i love crisp cotton sheets and deliberately buy slightly less expensive ones so i can replace them every 12 months or so,’ says tania. headboard covered in Velours opera Vert De gris, £65m, Pierre Frey; with royan rose piping, Manuel Canovas
Bathroom the vanity provides plenty of storage, which keeps the room clutter free. walls painted in Slipper Satin estate emulsion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Farrow & ball