Approached from its leafy drive, Hedera House looks like a perfect Regency villa: a confection of pale plasterwork and neo-classical mouldings. With its white louvred shutters the house almost looks as if it belongs in a warmer location and this perhaps offers a first clue to its rather colourful history.

the impressive drawing room. A pair of Directoire style chairs have been covered with Bennison’s Indian bird fabric.

the impressive drawing room. A pair of Directoire style chairs have been covered with Bennison’s Indian bird fabric.

the view into the dining room from the hallway

the view into the dining room from the hallway

The exquisite eau de nil and gilded square piano, one of many in Theodora’s collection of antique pianos, was bought from David Winston at the Period Piano Company

The exquisite eau de nil and gilded square piano, one of many in Theodora’s collection of antique pianos, was bought from David Winston at the Period Piano Company

The dining chairs are genuine Gustavian antiques that Theodora bought at Christie’s in London

The dining chairs are genuine Gustavian antiques that Theodora bought at Christie’s in London

In the dining room, the graceful Erard grand, constructed by French cabinetmaker Paul Sormani, occupies one corner

In the dining room, the graceful Erard grand, constructed by French cabinetmaker Paul Sormani, occupies one corner

the beautifully tiled hallway

the beautifully tiled hallway

grey-blue linen from Libeco in Belgium covers the walls. The tureen in the shape of a giant cabbage with a snail on one leaf is from Astier de Villatte

grey-blue linen from Libeco in Belgium covers the walls. The tureen in the shape of a giant cabbage with a snail on one leaf is from Astier de Villatte

interior designer Kate used the same linen for the curtains and the walls. The ribbon with the spot design is from Nina Campbell. It features on the curtains and is used to hang the china plates

interior designer Kate used the same linen for the curtains and the walls. The ribbon with the spot design is from Nina Campbell. It features on the curtains and is used to hang the china plates

the gloriously sinuous staircase

the gloriously sinuous staircase

a guest bedroom en suite

a guest bedroom en suite

Theodora’s office, complete with period paino

Theodora’s office, complete with period paino

Theodora’s teenage son’s bedroom is a homage to The Italian Job. A full size Mini Cooper has been converted into a desk and the curtains feature the Mini logo as the pelmet motif

Theodora’s teenage son’s bedroom is a homage to The Italian Job. A full size Mini Cooper has been converted into a desk and the curtains feature the Mini logo as the pelmet motif

Theodora’s generously proportioned dressing room has wonderful views over the garden and the stream that runs through the property’s grounds

Theodora’s generously proportioned dressing room has wonderful views over the garden and the stream that runs through the property’s grounds

the kitchen. The tiles behind the giant La Cornue range have been painted with “Fronti nulla fides” : “appearances can be deceptive”.

the kitchen. The tiles behind the giant La Cornue range have been painted with “Fronti nulla fides” : “appearances can be deceptive”.

the swimming pool, complete with murals by Guy Bedford. The idea was to disguise the workings, which it successfully does while at the same time continuing the theme of exotic fantasy. Guy has painted a golden temple in an Indian landscape, complete with tiger and all kinds of birds

the swimming pool, complete with murals by Guy Bedford. The idea was to disguise the workings, which it successfully does while at the same time continuing the theme of exotic fantasy. Guy has painted a golden temple in an Indian landscape, complete with tiger and all kinds of birds

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

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