MOD­ERN VIN­TAGE

A time­less mix of con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional touches in an East Sus­sex pe­riod semi

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - FEA­TURE JO LEEVERS | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY KASIA FISZER

The own­ers of this light-filled home, Char­lotte and Cameron Berry, have dif­fer­ent ideas when it comes to house styles, as Char­lotte ex­plains: ‘If we each had to pick a favourite, Cameron would choose an old cot­tage with low beams and quaint win­dows, while I pre­fer ar­chi­tec­ture that gives a feel­ing of space and airi­ness.’ Luck­ily, with its tall ceil­ings and co­pi­ous char­ac­ter, this Ed­war­dian house in Hove, East Sus­sex, was just the right blend of old and new for its own­ers, and now demon­strates how pe­riod fea­tures and vin­tage touches can be in­te­grated into a fresh, mod­ern look.

Time and a lot of hard work were needed be­fore this per­fect bal­ance was achieved for Char­lotte and Cameron, who live here with their daugh­ters, Bethany, a make-up artist, and Amelia, a stu­dent. ‘The house felt in­cred­i­bly dated when we viewed it,’ re­calls Char­lotte. ‘It had red car­pets, dark wood fur­ni­ture and the walls were stained yel­low from years of cig­a­rette smoke.’ But they could still see the po­ten­tial of this hand­some home. ‘I fell in love with the hall and the stair­case de­tail­ing – even with a red car­pet!’ Char­lotte adds.

It cer­tainly helped that this is the third house the cou­ple have tack­led to­gether, plus Cameron has worked in the build­ing trade for many years, and runs a prop­erty main­te­nance and de­vel­op­ment busi­ness. Char­lotte now

teaches road safety in pri­mary schools, but her pre­vi­ous ca­reer was buy­ing and sell­ing French an­tiques, hav­ing dis­cov­ered France’s bro­cantes and mar­kets af­ter her mother and step­fa­ther moved there. ‘ We vis­ited sev­eral times a year and of­ten brought home the odd dec­o­ra­tive head­board or gilt mir­ror,’ she says. This grad­u­ally de­vel­oped into Char­lotte sourc­ing and sell­ing pro­fes­sion­ally, rent­ing a space within the shop Three An­gels, in Hove. Hap­pily, she man­aged to keep some favourite pieces, which are now on dis­play. ‘Be­cause an­tiques are time­less, they go well with the clean, mod­ern look that I love.’

Work was car­ried out in three phases, start­ing with strip­ping, up­dat­ing and dec­o­rat­ing. The sec­ond stage came three years ago when a new rear ex­ten­sion be­came their spa­cious kitchen-diner, fea­tur­ing crisp white cab­i­netry, warm touches of leather and oak, and vin­tage ac­ces­sories. ‘Un­til then, we man­aged with a kitchen so small it felt like we were cook­ing in a car­a­van,’ says Char­lotte. ‘The new kitchen-diner has changed the way we in­ter­act as a fam­ily – it’s a re­ally so­cia­ble spot.’

The fi­nal stage was re­design­ing the main bed­room, dec­o­rat­ing it with dashes of colour, an­tique finds and fam­ily heir­looms. ‘Trends come and go, but I think you need to be brave and hold on to the things you re­ally trea­sure,’ Char­lotte says. ‘If you stay true to what you re­ally love, a sense of style will al­ways shine through, be­cause you are the com­mon thread – it’s all been cho­sen by you.’

Sub­tly unit­ing all th­ese spa­ces is a sense of light and flow. ‘My aim was to make it as bright as pos­si­ble,’ says Char­lotte. ‘By com­bin­ing that feel­ing of mod­ern airi­ness with char­ac­ter­ful vin­tage finds, I hope we’ve cre­ated a look that tran­scends time.’

LESSON LEARNT ‘Have the con­fi­dence to buy things you love. If you fol­low your heart you’ll cre­ate a look that’s per­sonal to you’

KITCHEN- DINER Char­lotte wanted this mul­ti­pur­pose space to be wel­com­ing and so­cia­ble. Phaona pen­dant, £65, Maisons du Monde, is sim­i­lar. Fitzroy bar stools, £132 each, Su­per­stu­dio. Quartz work­tops, Cae­sar­stone, price on ap­pli­ca­tion

SIT­TING ROOM The cou­ple re­in­stated a wall to cre­ate this area. ‘It’s snug and is our favourite place to re­lax,’ says Char­lotte. White Robin Day Loft sofa, £1,900, Cim­mer­mann, is sim­i­lar. Try Leop­ard Love cush­ion, £50, Rock­ett St Ge­orge

HALL ‘I fell in love with the width of this space,’ says Char­lotte. Cin­na­mon oak floor­ing, £55sq m, Quick-step, is com­pa­ra­ble

BATH­ROOM Clean lines al­low more elab­o­rate dec­o­ra­tive touches to shine. wash free­stand­ing bath, £349, bath­store. Cop­per pipe shelf, £60, In­dus­trial Decor Style at etsy, is sim­i­lar

BATH­ROOM Her­ring­bone til­ing adds tex­tu­ral de­tail. Ken­net tiles, £79sq m, Nep­tune. Savoy basin unit, £350, bath­store

AMELIA’S BED­ROOM A French armoire and piles of cush­ions cre­ate an aura of lux­ury. Sim­i­lar armoire, from £750, the hoarde. emily bed, £550, Laura Ash­ley, is sim­i­lar

BETHANY’S BED­ROOM ‘Bethany helped de­sign her room and fell for this bold paint shade,’ says Char­lotte. Fea­ture wall painted in Stiffkey blue es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Farrow & ball

Main BED­ROOM ‘We left dec­o­rat­ing our room un­til last, and i love its serene feel,’ says Char­lotte. Sim­i­lar vin­tage bed­side ta­ble, from £150, the hoarde. Cush­ions, £8 each, h&m home

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