Mel­low yel­low

An Aldeburgh cot­tage rekin­dles mem­o­ries of child­hood hol­i­days

EADT Suffolk - - Inside - WORDS & PHO­TOS: Tony Hall

Par­ents of­ten like to in­tro­duce their fam­i­lies to their favourite child­hood hol­i­day haunts. So it was for James and Liz Day, who brought their chil­dren, Archie, El­fie and Raffi, to Aldeburgh, for sev­eral years they rent­ing a prop­erty on Crag Path. But now they have their own four-bedroom cot­tage.

It re­quired con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment and ren­o­va­tion, in­clud­ing ad­ding a master bedroom in the roof, all ably over­seen by Liz. “My first visit,” re­calls James, “was when it was all fin­ished. It just shows the faith I have in Liz’s ex­cel­lent style and judge­ment.”

James is no slouch in the creative de­part­ment ei­ther. Brought up in West Nor­wood, south Lon­don, by a bar­ris­ter fa­ther and so­lic­i­tor mother, his first job af­ter school was train­ing as a cor­po­rate fi­nancier. “I hated it,” he says. “But I knew a friend’s fa­ther who ran a de­sign con­sul­tancy. I’d al­ways been in­ter­ested in pho­tog­ra­phy and he sug­gested I call round, which I did, wear­ing a suit, can you be­lieve? I’d never thought of pho­tog­ra­phy as a job, but I found I re­ally en­joyed the light­ing and com­po­si­tion. I got a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence as­sist­ing James Cot­tier, a well known pho­tog­ra­pher, who had been trained by Ter­ence Dono­van. In 1990, I de­cided to go free­lance.”Now James is an award win­ning pho­tog­ra­pher with a list of blue chip clients. He par­tic­u­larly en­joys por­traits for ad­ver­tis­ing and ed­i­to­rial clients, some­thing in which he spe­cialises.

Liz is from near Chep­stow, in the Wye Val­ley. Af­ter leav­ing school she went to univer­sity in Lon­don to study phi­los­o­phy. “To make ends meet,” she re­calls, “I worked in a night club and used to fin­ish at 5am. I don’t know how I did it. That’s how I met James. He came in one night and the man­ager, a friend of his, in­tro­duced us. We met up again the next day at Covent Gar­den tube sta­tion. I was an hour and a half late, but there he was, stand­ing in the rain and, need­less to say, it was love at first sight and we’ve been to­gether ever since.”

Liz ob­tained her MA in phi­los­o­phy but, rather like James, al­lowed her creative side come to the fore and be­came a jew­ellery de­signer, work­ing on pri­vate com­mis­sions, be­fore join­ing the PR de­part­ment of cel­e­brated jew­ellery com­pany Dinny Hall. Nowa­days, she is in­volved in styling and pro­duc­tion.

The re­sult of Liz’s creative in­put to the Aldeburgh cot­tage is a re­ally mod­ern fam­ily home, with some quirky touches. “It’s cer­tainly not just black and white,” com­ments James. Liz has cho­sen a very dark grey for the liv­ing room walls, spic­ing it up with arm­chairs in sharp, cit­ron yel­low. She has con­tin­ued the colour in the hall and up the stairs. In

‘My thoughts for the de­sign were light and airy, with a Scan­di­na­vian feel’

con­trast, the en­larged kitchen diner, is stun­ning in white, with funky metro in­dus­trial chic over­tones. With its large French doors it over­looks the deck­ing and size­able gar­den. Here, and in the liv­ing room, there is a smart wood burn­ing stove, fan­tas­tic on win­ter evenings.

On the first floor are three bed­rooms for the chil­dren, while a spa­cious master bedroom with en suite bath­room oc­cu­pies the en­tire top floor and has ter­rific roof-top views. With the beach and shops only five min­utes’ walk away, ev­ery­thing is con­ve­niently to hand. “My thoughts for the de­sign,” ex­plains Liz, “were light and airy, with a Scan­di­na­vian feel, but maybe with odd bits of a dark colour.” She is very pleased with the end re­sult, and con­fesses she found the build­ing process en­joy­able but tax­ing, trav­el­ling to and from Lon­don at least once a week.

BE­LOW LEFT: Sim­ple and stylish kitchen diner BE­LOW RIGHT: Kitchena­lia

ABOVE: James, Raffi, Archie, El­fie & Liz BE­LOW: The cot­tage ex­te­rior

ABOVE: A bold and beau­ti­ful liv­ing room BE­LOW LEFT: The stair­case with Ip­swich buses sign BE­LOW RIGHT: Fam­ily bath­room

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