At home with…

Take a look inside mid-cen­tury lover Hes­per Hawkins’ cre­ative home

Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words and styling: CIARA EL­LIOTT Pho­to­graphs: JEMMA WATTS

Once upon a time, this mid­cen­tury house in Su!olk was a pipe dream for Hes­per and her hus­band Lind­say, who used to pass the house daily be­tween the school run and the o"ce. “I’d drive by it for years, ad­mir­ing the Crit­tall win­dows, its flat roof and red bricks,” re­calls Hes­per. “Hon­estly, I never imag­ined that one day we’d be liv­ing here.”

But tim­ing is ev­ery­thing, and when the house did even­tu­ally come on the mar­ket, the cou­ple – who had two chil­dren at the time – were ready to move. “It’s hard to be­lieve that that’s over 14 years ago now. And while we’ve done so much to change the in­ter­nal lay­out, what we haven’t done is change how it looks from the out­side.” Choos­ing to leave the ex­te­rior they fell for un­touched, Hes­per notes that “a sur­pris­ing amount of peo­ple com­ment on how strange our house looks, of­ten won­der­ing if we might change the win­dows, put a pitched roof on or ren­der the bricks. But I love how it looks.”

With four chil­dren – Jes­sica, 20, Molly, 16, Isaac, 14 and Ma­bel, 10 – as well as Dotty the labradoo­dle and Mog the cat, the inside of the house has evolved along with the fam­ily. “We’ve moved the kitchen to the big­gest and bright­est room in the house and cre­ated more liv­ing ar­eas for us and the chil­dren, as well as ex­tra stud­ies for my­self and my hus­band.”

The most re­cent ad­di­tion has been a util­ity room with ply­wood cup­boards, green tiled floors and lots of space, which is where Hes­per spends most of her time now. “I flit be­tween here and the kitchen, and have an arm­chair in each room so

“The mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture pieces came into their own when we moved here.”

friends or fam­ily can re­lax while we catch up and I can carry on pot­ter­ing!”

Hes­per cre­ates a cosy feel through­out her home us­ing colour and craft el­e­ments, as well as pieces she picks up in lo­cal shops and on her trav­els. “I’m def­i­nitely drawn to mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture. A few years ago a friend took me to a shop o Columbia Road in East Lon­don that was clos­ing down. They were selling pieces of a 1960s wall unit and that was the start,” she en­thuses. “My love of mid-cen­tury looked a lit­tle odd in our pre­vi­ous brand new house, but the pieces came into their own when we moved here. I also love Josef Frank wall­pa­per and fab­ric too.”

But not ev­ery dec­o­rat­ing idea has worked for Hes­per, who says cer­tain trends don’t seem to fit her style. “I loved the greys peo­ple were play­ing with and wanted to in­cor­po­rate them. I tried it in paints and wall­pa­pers, but they never looked right. The greys just didn’t sit well in my al­ready colour­ful home.”

So are there any in­te­rior trends she’s adopted? “I de­cided pink was the way for­ward, but choos­ing the right one took months. My liv­ing room was cov­ered in pink squares. I’d think I’d found the right one, only for it to change from one wall to

“I try to buy as I find, and if I love it, I know it’ll def­i­nitely work some­where.”

the next.” The time spent was more than worth it how­ever, as Hes­per fi­nally found the elu­sive shade she was look­ing for, and is slow­ing ad­ding it all over the house. “It’s called Rusling by Lit­tle Greene. The pink is pale, just a hint re­ally, but so warm and it goes beau­ti­fully with all the wood in our house. It also looks good with crisp white paint and warm greens as well as all the other colours go­ing on in here.”

One thing Hes­per al­ways sticks to though is cork floor­ing. “It re­minds me of our houses grow­ing up. It was some­thing we used in the bath­room, then in the kitchen, and now in the din­ing room. It’s such a hard work­ing ma­te­rial.” In terms of pulling the whole look to­gether, Hes­per doesn’t have any set rules. “I con­sciously never buy any­thing to match. I try to buy as I find and if I love it, whether

it’s a chair, cush­ion or print, I know it’ll def­i­nitely work some­where.”

Go-to stores in­clude Tea and Kate and Vanil as well as SCP, Cou­ver­ture, Garb­store, Donna Wil­son and Two Columbia Road. But for Hes­per, “my favourite things in the house are the orig­i­nal pieces of art­work. I es­pe­cially love a paint­ing I have from my granny of Mouse­hole in Corn­wall, which is the first hol­i­day we ever took with my el­dest when she was just three months.”

Filled with evoca­tive trea­sures and dec­o­rated with care, it’s clear to see both Hester and this much-loved home have found their hap­pily ever af­ter.

Hes­per’s a mama and home­maker who al­ways has a pro­ject on the go, be it illustrati­on, cro­chet, or em­broi­dery. Find snaps of her makes and her retro home on In­sta­gram at

01 The kitchen still has its orig­i­nal Crit­tall win­dows.

03 Hes­per’s bright and cheery desk ac­ces­sories in­clude a peg board from Vi­o­let and Percy.

02 The new util­ity room is a favourite space of Hes­per’s, with cab­i­nets and shelv­ing by Luke Bid­dulph Kitchens.

04 This desk is a mid-cen­tury clas­sic from Two Columbia Road.

01 The vin­tage Josef Frank print wall­pa­per makes a bold state­ment in the hall­way.

02 Mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture even makes it into the bath­room, too.

03 Wooden ac­cents through­out give a 1970s feel.

04 Teenager Molly’s an­tique brass bed has been sprayed white, act­ing as a can­vas for her grow­ing col­lec­tion.

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