The height of el­e­gance

The clas­sic in­te­rior of this Ge­or­gian prop­erty mar­ries pat­tern, colour and tex­ture to cre­ate a fam­ily home with a con­tem­po­rary feel


Re­s­plen­dent in its set­ting on top of a hill in the bu­colic Wilt­shire coun­try­side, Sasha and John Kennedy’s Ge­or­gian coun­try villa com­mands mag­nif­i­cent views. The il­lus­tri­ous house has gone through sev­eral in­car­na­tions – it was a hos­pi­tal dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and, at one time, was even di­vided up into flats. Prior to Sasha and John buy­ing it, the prop­erty had be­come a fam­ily home again, with a sub­stan­tial ren­o­va­tion in the Six­ties that fea­tured in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion by John Fowler.

Look­ing to make an es­cape from Lon­don, the Kennedys bought the house five years ago, in or­der to turn it into an idyl­lic fam­ily home for them­selves and their three young sons. ‘It was hard not to fall in love with the house,’ says Sasha. ‘There’s a sense of space, but it’s also very cosy. We can en­joy the space while the boys are grow­ing up and we don’t feel we’ll be rat­tling around in it when they’ve left home.’

When the fam­ily moved in, the decor had not been touched for around 50 years, so work needed to be done to make it a more suit­able home for a young fam­ily. ‘There was no un­der­floor heat­ing and no en suites apart from the mas­ter bed­room,’ says Sasha. ‘We also wanted to add a boot room and a util­ity room, and to cre­ate a more open-plan liv­ing feel.’

The house was taken back to the bare bones while work such as plumb­ing and the electrics were done and new heat­ing in­stalled, with the fam­ily mov­ing into a farm­house on the land while the builders made progress. Down­stairs, the lay­out re­mained the same, but up­stairs, in­ter­nal walls were re­moved and sev­eral small rooms were knocked

to­gether to cre­ate more spa­cious bed­rooms, while re­dun­dant cup­boards were trans­formed into en-suite bath­rooms.

Sasha en­listed the help of Ta­line Find­later and Vic­to­ria Gray of Olivine De­sign with the in­te­rior. ‘We wanted a scheme that was coun­try yet con­tem­po­rary,’ says Sasha. ‘It was im­por­tant for us to re­spect the her­itage of the house. And while we didn’t want the in­te­rior to date, it also had to be in keep­ing with us as a young fam­ily. We wanted clean lines that mar­ried with the house, rather than frills and tas­sels. Mak­ing the rooms feel spa­cious and light was also a pri­or­ity.

‘We love in­ter­est­ing and tex­tu­ral fab­rics – they help to cre­ate rooms that are warm and invit­ing. In terms of colour and fab­ric, I briefed Ta­line and Vic­to­ria that we were open to ev­ery­thing. I couldn’t sug­gest what I wanted, but I knew what I liked when I saw it.’

Olivine De­sign came up with care­fully con­sid­ered schemes in­cor­po­rat­ing tex­ture and pat­tern that give each room an iden­tity, while at the same time, con­tin­u­ing the colour pal­ette from one room to the next to en­sure the flow of the decor. The colours also take into ac­count the fact that the house is north/south fac­ing, so that the rooms on one side of the house re­quire warmer colours.

These cosier rooms are par­tic­u­larly al­lur­ing on win­try days, com­ing into their own dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son when open fires blaze, fo­liage swags adorn the man­tel­pieces and the en­trance hall wel­comes guests with a mag­nif­i­cent tree and gar­landed ban­is­ter. ‘There is plenty of space for friends and fam­ily,’ says Sasha. ‘Christ­mas here is very spe­cial.’

DRAW­ING ROOMSit­u­ated in the old­est part of the house, this large room was given a re­lax­ing, grown-up decor to stand the test of time, with wide-planked floor­boards for a con­tem­po­rary fin­ish. Up­right Full Back three-seater sofa, £3,240 plus fab­ric; two-seater sofa, £2,755, plus fab­ric, both David Seyfried, david­; up­hol­stered in Clay­don in Red, F3721/06, £99m, and Lisle in Beige, F3826/01, £108m, Cole­fax and Fowler, cole­ Michi­gan silk 1525 wall­cov­er­ing, £135m, Stereo, avail­able through Olivine De­sign, Rich­mond ot­toman, be­spoke size, King­come So­fas, king­come­so­; up­hol­stered in Izmir Rouge, F0860003, £285.60m, Pierre Frey, pier­ Cur­tains in Lam­pas Sa­nary Vieil, 4029-04, £278.50m, Lelièvre,­ING ROOMThis north-fac­ing room com­bines claret-coloured walls with dark wood fur­ni­ture and floors so that it feels es­pe­cially cosy on a win­ter’s day. Walls in Book Room Red, £45 for 2.5L, Far­row & Ball at Home­base, home­ Snowy fir tree on log, £12; triple snowy fir tree on log, £24; baubles from, £4 each; gold resin par­tridges, £15 each, all Gisela Gra­ham, gise­la­gra­ Clear glass ribbed baubles, £6, The White Com­pany, the­white­com­

KITCHENSasha chose a warm blue for the Shaker-style cab­i­netry, con­tin­u­ing the colour pal­ette with a blind fab­ric com­bin­ing blue and acid green. In­dus­trial stools in­ject a mod­ern touch.Suf­folk cab­i­nets with Chich­ester mould­ings, painted in Aqua Blue eg­gshell, £54 for 2.5L, Nep­tune. The Suf­folkkitchen starts from £13,000, Nep­tune, Nep­­BRARYAn earthy pal­ette, plaid fab­ric wall­cov­er­ing and an antler-style light fit­ting evoke a hunt­ing-lodge feel.Walls in La­nark Plaid fab­ric in Beige, £104m, Cole­fax and Fowler, cole­

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