There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and mumbling down to breakfast to be greeted by Radio Four at 90 decibels. The dog, in one corner, is chewing thoughtfully through a 240-volt cable while in another your three-year-old is delightedly exploring the potential of a nail gun. The nanny has long since quit and your partner is locked into her laptop having wildly hammered in ‘www.getalifeanylife.com’. Such are the joys of incorporating building work into your home and life.

Canary yellow cupboards add a vibrant touch to the kitchen

Canary yellow cupboards add a vibrant touch to the kitchen

A selection of Karen’s smaller works line one wall of the kitchen, painted a deep charcoal grey

A selection of Karen’s smaller works line one wall of the kitchen, painted a deep charcoal grey

Next door to the drawing room is a wood-panelled snug that was once the kitchen. Dressed with colourful plump cushions and strong red accents, it makes an enticingly cosy retreat

Next door to the drawing room is a wood-panelled snug that was once the kitchen. Dressed with colourful plump cushions and strong red accents, it makes an enticingly cosy retreat

In the drawing room/dining room, the white walls are warmed by a lovely collection of abstract gardenscapes. An unusual distressed French cupboard stands next to the dining table

In the drawing room/dining room, the white walls are warmed by a lovely collection of abstract gardenscapes. An unusual distressed French cupboard stands next to the dining table

At the other end of the room the focal point is a woodburner and a great former photographer’s studio lamp from Wishbarn Antiques in Rye

At the other end of the room the focal point is a woodburner and a great former photographer’s studio lamp from Wishbarn Antiques in Rye

The open plan sitting room and dining area is an eclectic mix of styles that somehow work perfectly

The open plan sitting room and dining area is an eclectic mix of styles that somehow work perfectly

a wonderful 60s Dutch Rippen upright piano

The wonderful 60s Dutch Rippen upright piano

Upstairs the star of the show in the crisp, white master bedroom is a lovely period art nouveau wrought-iron bed

Upstairs the star of the show in the crisp, white master bedroom is a lovely period art nouveau wrought-iron bed

In son Dominic’s room a whole wall above his desk is devoted to a spectacular mural

In son Dominic’s room a whole wall above his desk is devoted to a spectacular mural

Gabrielle’s Laura Ashley bed belonged to Karen’s mother and was given to Gabrielle as a present. Above the bed is a banner from St Vincent where Karen and David were married

Gabrielle’s Laura Ashley bed belonged to Karen’s mother and was given to Gabrielle as a present. Above the bed is a banner from St Vincent where Karen and David were married

The full-height tongue and groove panelled walls of the family bathroom are painted a fresh apple green. Shelves around the room are lined with groups of apothecary bottles, found objects and shells

The full-height tongue and groove panelled walls of the family bathroom are painted a fresh apple green. Shelves around the room are lined with groups of apothecary bottles, found objects and shells

Daughter Gabrielle’s room is just as colourful as her sibling Dominic’s and features a bold floral mural on one wall

Daughter Gabrielle’s room is just as colourful as her sibling Dominic’s and features a bold floral mural on one wall

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

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