house of the New World seems to have sprung up in the Old. Along a meandering Kent lane, a white picket fence is not so unusual, but the huge white weatherboarded house with its wide verandah and shiny corrugated zinc roof that can be seen across the wildflower studded grass looks as if it belongs in the American prairie or an Antipodean settlement. In the driveway, there is a wooden bridge to cross and as the rear of the house is revealed it rather feels as if one has crossed over into a different hemisphere.

The kitchen is equipped with an assortment of tables and trolleys with under-sink and work surface spaces covered with curtains of cheerful, printed fabrics

The kitchen is equipped with an assortment of tables and trolleys with under-sink and work surface spaces covered with curtains of cheerful, printed fabrics

The entrance hall has been painted in layers of rich blues, ending in a midnight blue that seems to have taken on an almost velvety texture

The entrance hall has been painted in layers of rich blues, ending in a midnight blue that seems to have taken on an almost velvety texture

In the dining room, a false chimneybreast has been created and a reclaimed and painted fireplace and mantelpiece glows with soft blossom pink fairy lights and baubles

In the dining room, a false chimney-breast has been created and a reclaimed and painted fireplace and mantelpiece glows with soft blossom pink fairy lights and baubles

The downstairs playroom features classic schoolroom chalkboards and world maps

The downstairs playroom features classic schoolroom chalkboards and world maps

A corner of Susan’s workroom

A corner of Susan’s workroom

Leading off the rear hallway, the sitting room strikes a change of tone with its plaster pink walls and tobacco brown leather and cane sofas

Leading off the rear hallway, the sitting room strikes a change of tone with its plaster pink walls and tobacco brown leather and cane sofas

Susan’s delicately painted trompe l’oeil wall panels are a striking feature throughout the house

Susan’s delicately painted trompe l’oeil wall panels are a striking feature throughout the house

n the downstairs bathroom a pair of narrow glass panelled doors are hung with tightly gathered muslin curtains for privacy

In the downstairs bathroom a pair of narrow glass panelled doors are hung with tightly gathered muslin curtains for privacy

The children’s playroom and ballet studio is accessed through a small anteroom.

The children’s playroom and ballet studio is accessed through a small anteroom

The doorway is draped with theatrical swagged red velvet curtains. Inside, a painted wooden café kiosk and kitchen, a general store and a post office have been carefully crafted and painted by the couple for their three children to play with

The doorway is draped with theatrical swagged red velvet curtains. Inside, a painted wooden café kiosk and kitchen, a general store and a post office have been carefully crafted and painted by the couple for their three children to play with

A huge bed in the principal bedroom looks out across the meadow and woods through the window at its foot

A huge bed in the principal bedroom looks out across the meadow and woods through the window at its foot

Cookie’s well-ordered bedroom is a serene sanctuary of light grey and shell pink

Cookie’s well-ordered bedroom is a serene sanctuary of light grey and shell pink

Her bed has been built into the wall in the Russian or Scandinavian style, with a cupboard to one side and drawers underneath

Her bed has been built into the wall in the Russian or Scandinavian style, with a cupboard to one side and drawers underneath

Bibby’s room is a delightful mix of buttermilk yellow and shell pink

Bibby’s room is a delightful mix of buttermilk yellow and shell pink

The bespoke children’s decoration continues in their bathroom where the walls have been painted in layers of green-blue

The bespoke children’s decoration continues in their bathroom where the walls have been painted in layers of green-blue

A door off the landing leads into a tiny bathroom

A door off the landing leads into a tiny bathroom

Son Cody’s bedroom, at the centre of the house, occupies a prime position overlooking the garden and meadow beyond. Its apple green walls are lined with 1950s transport posters, Dinky Toys and vintage alphabet cards

Son Cody’s bedroom, at the centre of the house, occupies a prime position overlooking the garden and meadow beyond. Its apple green walls are lined with 1950s transport posters, Dinky Toys and vintage alphabet cards

Stepping from the terrace into the garden and across a little bridge you come to the children’s ‘settler’s cottage’

Stepping from the terrace into the garden and across a little bridge you come to the children’s ‘settler’s cottage’

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

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