When Louise Convert and her family bought their seaside home they’d already tackled the renovation of three local properties. The building they had settled on – a Burton, in a lovely secluded position – had been converted into three flats, and what stood between the couple and their ideal St Leonards home was another massive restoration project.

“Wherever possible we’ve tried to use local artists and craftsmen – there’s such a wealth of talent in this part of the world, ” says Louise

“Wherever possible we’ve tried to use local artists and craftsmen – there’s such a wealth of talent in this part of the world, ” says Louise

The kitchen off the hallway was once a bedroom. All the original cornicing has been lovingly restored to its former intricate glory

The kitchen off the hallway was once a bedroom. All the original cornicing has been lovingly restored to its former intricate glory

The hand-crafted lime washed units are from the Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling Project. From the ceiling over the central island hang some great and chunky old Czech factory lights

The hand-crafted lime washed units are from the Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling Project. From the ceiling over the central island hang some great and chunky old Czech factory lights

The drawing room is wonderfully bright with light gushing in through the generous panes. In the centre of the room is a coffee table made from an old factory trolley and around it are three velvet sofas, two blue from sofa.com and the other red by Nina Campbell. In the window is a steel sculpture of three manta rays, originally designed for a garden but now adapting to indoor life

The drawing room is wonderfully bright with light gushing in through the generous panes. In the centre of the room is a coffee table made from an old factory trolley and around it are three velvet sofas, two blue from sofa.com and the other red by Nina Campbell. In the window is a steel sculpture of three manta rays, originally designed for a garden but now adapting to indoor life

Lighting is a major feature of each room. The huge chandelier in the drawing room was a Bexhill find and the fun parrot wallpaper is by Louise Body

Lighting is a major feature of each room. The huge chandelier in the drawing room was a Bexhill find and the fun parrot wallpaper is by Louise Body

Louise fought to create an opening in the wall to allow access from the drawing to the dining room

Louise fought to create an opening in the wall to allow access from the drawing to the dining room

In the dining room, Louise has opted for a big oak runway of a refectory table surrounded by an eclectic collection of chapel chairs. Over the table is another impressive chandelier and over the white marble fireplace is set a large Louis Philippe mirror

In the dining room, Louise has opted for a big oak runway of a refectory table surrounded by an eclectic collection of chapel chairs. Over the table is another impressive chandelier and over the white marble fireplace is set a large Louis Philippe mirror

The high-ceilinged entrance hall is home to an eclectic collection of artwork

The high-ceilinged entrance hall is home to an eclectic collection of artwork

A full sized cut-out of a giraffe reaches virtually from the ground to first floor

A full sized cut-out of a giraffe reaches virtually from the ground to first floor

The family bathroom sports a great black steel-riveted bateau bath that Louise found on eBay and black and white mosaic tile flooring from Tile Design in St Leonards

The family bathroom sports a great black steel-riveted bateau bath that Louise found on eBay and black and white mosaic tile flooring from Tile Design in St Leonards

The fireplace in the couple’s master bedroom has been stripped of paint and returned to its former glory. The velvet button backed headboard and bed come from sofa.com and the Cameroonian tribal headdress from Sideshow Interiors in St Leonards.

The fireplace in the couple’s master bedroom has been stripped of paint and returned to its former glory. The velvet button backed headboard and bed come from sofa.com and the Cameroonian tribal headdress from Sideshow Interiors in St Leonards.

Mounted on the wall above her dressing table, antlers provide the perfect place for Louise to hang scarves and jewellery

Mounted on the wall above her dressing table, antlers provide the perfect place for Louise to hang scarves and jewellery

A glazed cabinet is home to her collection of shoes

A glazed cabinet is home to her collection of shoes

Centrepiece of the couple’s en suite bathroom is a glorious William Holland brass bath which is backed by a wall of pearlescent mosaic tiles

Centrepiece of the couple’s en suite bathroom is a glorious William Holland brass bath which is backed by a wall of pearlescent mosaic tiles

Behind a door opposite the family bathroom, a staircase leads to two guest bedrooms and a bathroom in the attic space

Behind a door opposite the family bathroom, a staircase leads to two guest bedrooms and a bathroom in the attic space

Louise has created a clever visual trick by choosing wood effect wallpaper to cover the built-in wardrobe

Louise has created a clever visual trick by choosing wood effect wallpaper to cover the built-in wardrobe

A small bathroom is tucked away next to the steps that descend to the basement level

A small bathroom is tucked away next to the steps that descend to the basement level

Giant neon ‘HOT’ lettering provides a pleasingly vibrant colour contrast to the monochrome zebra print ceramic tiles

Giant neon ‘HOT’ lettering provides a pleasingly vibrant colour contrast to the monochrome zebra print ceramic tiles

A further guestroom and spacious bathroom on the lowest level of the house

A further guestroom and spacious bathroom on the lowest level of the house

Centrepiece of the en suite bathroom is a glorious William Holland brass bath

Centrepiece of the en suite bathroom is a glorious William Holland brass bath

The unexpected extra space offered by the basement floor has been put to good use providing a comfortable family room and a fun games room

The unexpected extra space offered by the basement floor has been put to good use providing a comfortable family room and a fun games room

The boys’ blue playroom is dominated by a full-size pool table with a supporting cast of an original Space Invaders console

The boys’ blue playroom is dominated by a full-size pool table with a supporting cast of an original Space Invaders console

In the family room old oars lounge against one side of the fireplace and a huge terracotta fish which probably once graced a fish and chip shop stands on the other. The wallpaper is by local artist Louise Body

In the family room old oars lounge against one side of the fireplace and a huge terracotta fish which probably once graced a fish and chip shop stands on the other. The wallpaper is by local artist Louise Body

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

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