A WHITE Christ­mas

Us­ing a pale colour scheme and an­tique fair nds, Clare Teed has turned a 19th-cen­tury Cor­nish farm­house into a peace­ful re­treat that, at Christ­mas, has added sparkle


For Clare Teed and her fam­ily, Christ­mas Day in their Cor­nish hol­i­day home is a tra­di­tional a !air, fol­low­ing a much-loved rou­tine that be­gins with stock­ings and ends with watch­ing a "lm or play­ing a game. ‘ We love it. The "res make it all so cosy, and the house ac­com­mo­dates lots of fam­ily with­out feel­ing we are on top of each other.’ It’s a far cry from their "rst Christ­mas in the house, when they camped out in draughty rooms and cooked lunch on an an­cient Aga that kept go­ing out. It was 2007, and Clare and her hus­band David had just bought the Grade II-listed for­mer farm­house in a vil­lage on the north Corn­wall coast. ‘ We didn’t even look at any other prop­er­ties. We loved the house and its lay­out, the gen­er­ous size of the rooms and the fact that it’s in the heart of the vil­lage yet feels se­cluded,’ says Clare.

The fact it’s a hol­i­day home meant Clare felt she had much more free­dom when dec­o­rat­ing. With a back­drop of so#, light colours, she has clev­erly com­bined an­tique and mod­ern pieces, all of them quite min­i­mal in form and many of them el­e­gantly func­tional. ‘I re­ally didn’t want to be pre­cious,’ says Clare. ‘ If you keep colours sim­ple

you can bring beau­ti­ful tex­tures in, and it means that mix­ing old and new can re­ally work.’ To keep costs down, she hunted for fur­ni­ture at Sun­bury and Ard­ingly an­tiques fairs. ‘ I’ve al­ways en­joyed cre­at­ing unique in­te­ri­ors, and us­ing an­tique and vin­tage fur­nish­ings that aren’t avail­able on the high street makes this so much eas­ier. Rather than choos­ing a par­tic­u­lar pe­riod, I have al­ways been drawn to more rus­tic and util­i­tar­ian pieces. I love the idea that things have been used be­fore, and I prefer the eclec­tic look to ev­ery­thing match­ing.’

Clare added other ! nds from sal­vage yards and sales, as well as ex- dis­play pieces and old French linens, washed and tum­ble- dried ‘so they’re nice and "oppy, and won’t shrink when I wash them again’. These she had made into slip cov­ers, cur­tains and cush­ion cov­ers. There are touches of colour around, but on the whole the ef­fect is one of pared- down sim­plic­ity and un­der­stated com­fort. ‘I like white and think that di #er­ent tones of it look so in­ter­est­ing to­gether. My fa­ther was a cab­i­net­maker so I’ve al­ways loved wood – the mix of calm and pale pieces with wooden "oors is so ap­peal­ing.’

At Christ­mas, Clare puts to­gether a care­ful choice of dec­o­ra­tions that she has col­lected over the years, with the oc­ca­sional twin­kle of fairy lights and some sculp­tural "ower ar­range­ments. The theme is sim­ple and nat­u­ral,

with lots of green­ery from the gar­den, wil­low and moss, sup­ple­mented by can­dles that pro­vide a gen­tle glow in al­most ev­ery room. ‘ The front door wreath is al­ways home­made, and ev­ery year I try and get a cou­ple of vin­tage things from a shop called A ic in Hamp­ton Hill,’ says Clare.

This down-to- earth a itude is ev­i­dent through­out, where the thought­ful ren­o­va­tion has re­sulted in a calm and beau­ti­ful home. ‘I wanted some­where that could cope with lots of guests, with sand from the beach, with wet, win­try days, as well as sunny sum­mer days,’ says Clare. ‘A hol­i­day home has to be a place to re­fresh and recharge all year round. In win­ter we can go for long walks in the fresh air and then come back to warm rooms and so­fas we can sink into. Be­ing here makes Christ­mas re­ally spe­cial. It’s a won­der­ful place and we love it.’

THIS PAGE FROM TOP Fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions and brass add colour to Clare’s pre­dom­i­nantly white dis­play; she de­signed the wood kitchen with lime­stone sur­faces and had it built by lo­cal fur­ni­ture mak­ers. LEFT The pen­dants are East­ern Euro­pean fac­tory lights. The dresser is from Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket.

CLOCK­WISE FROM ABOVE Clare uses pale colours as a back­drop to high­light tex­tures and pat­terns. She made the cush­ions from an­tique lace and an old blan­ket. The wall light is from Hec­tor Finch; Clare lays the ta­ble in the open-plan din­ing area; a chic, slate-tiled en suite bath­room.

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