Interior designer Linda Morey-Burrows and her husband have transformed this Georgian rectory on the outskirts of Bath into their personal gallery
Interior designer Linda Morey-burrows and her husband have transformed this charming Georgian rectory on the outskirts of Bath into their personal gallery
When they first set eyes on this historic rectory near Bath, Linda Morey-burrows, founder of architectural design practice Moreysmith, and her art consultant husband Patrick Burrows knew it was the perfect project for them. ‘The house had been renovated and divided into three separate dwellings, there were very few bathrooms and it was certainly not to our taste,’ Linda says. They fell instead for the listed yellow Cotswold stone bones of the building – luckily left unscathed during all the work on the house – and its glorious views over Limpley Stoke in the Avon valley.
After remodelling the property into a spacious six-bedroom family house with en-suites, a home workspace, a dressing room, a dedicated guest wing and an almost self-contained apartment on the top floor, Linda and Patrick started imprinting their personal taste on this home. ‘ We wanted it to feel like the most unique, comfortable and exclusive private villa in a hotel,’ Linda says. The idea was to mix old treasures with new finds: classic 20th-century designs by Charles and Ray Eames, contemporary B&B Italia sofas and, what Linda calls, ‘ hand-me-down pieces – a Singer sewing machine inherited from Patrick’s family and an old gateleg table from mine’.
The walls are painted warm, neutral colours to provide a quiet backdrop for the jewel in the crown: the couple’s modern art collection. Pieces range from the subtly decorative, such as the off-white ceramics that make up Edmund de Waal’s A Light in the West, to the ceiling-height Principles of Infinity sculpture by Nika Neelova and a ‘slightly shocking’ portrait named White Pop by provocative British artist Gavin Turk. ‘The symmetry of classic Georgian architecture encases our art beautifully,’ Linda says. But her love of this house is not purely due to its artistic merit. ‘Although it feels like we are a million miles from anywhere, hidden in the countryside, you can get to a coffee shop, a good restaurant and the train station in ten minutes. That’s a real highlight.’ moreysmith.com
PICK COLLABORATIVELY ‘Art is a big part of our life and professions,’ Linda says, ‘ but Patrick and I don’t have exactly the same taste (that would be boring). We go to art fairs together and show each other pieces we each like. Eventually, we find something that we both fall for.’ EMBRACE THE OLD If an artwork isn’t to your taste, but has sentimental value, don’t get rid of it. ‘ We have a couple of traditional pieces that Patrick got from his family, not pieces we’d have chosen, but you have to find a place for them because they’re about the memory of the person who gave them to you.’ Try re-framing a traditional painting in a sleeker frame to modernise it. BUY WHAT YOU LIKE Don’t just pick something you believe might increase in value. That way, if it doesn’t, you’ll still always enjoy it in your home and not regret buying it. Then, if it does explode in value, that’s a bonus.
DON’T HANG PICTURES BY YOURSELF ‘ We always go around the house together, leaning pieces against the walls to see what works and what doesn’t,’ says Linda. ‘Keep your house evolving: I like to move, re-hang and swap things around fairly regularly.’
Living room Yorkshire-born artist Harland Miller’s Plan B, My Story is lit by the Swarovski chandelier. The ‘Febo’ sofa and ‘Frank’ side table are both by Antonio Citterio for Maxalto at B&B Italia Hallway Oak floorboards provide a contrast to the luxe furniture, which includes Antonio Citterio’s ‘Acanto’ bench for Maxalto at B&B Italia, a ‘Brimstone’ console from Holly Hunt and an ‘Arctic Pear’ chandelier from Ochre. The sculpture is Principles of Infinity by Nika Neelova Stockist details on p213 ➤
Bedroom The ‘Alcova’ canopy bed by Antonio Citterio for Maxalto at B&B Italia is presided over by an original fireplace, above which hangs Aurora Lying Down, a canvas by British artist James Lloyd