Second-generation artist-craftsmen are not common in the 21st century, but mosaic artist, Oliver Budd is just such a rarity, and although he fulfils commissions as far away as Oman, his extraordinary creations are designed and made from a quiet village in East Sussex. 

The front parlour/dining room is painted a strong green-blue sometimes known as arsenic green. Simply furnished, the room features an oak and pine dresser and a corner cabinet that supports a collection of Turkish ceramics

The front parlour/dining room is painted a strong green-blue sometimes known as arsenic green. Simply furnished, the room features an oak and pine dresser and a corner cabinet that supports a collection of Turkish ceramics

A long mirror with an inlaid wooden frame hangs above the fireplace.

A long mirror with an inlaid wooden frame hangs above the fireplace

A long mirror with an inlaid wooden frame hangs above the fireplace. The mantelpiece is home to an Arts & Crafts Doulton jug, an olive green lidded pot brought back from a trip to France, a collection of painted wooden African animals and a pair of vibrant candlesticks

The mantelpiece is home to an Arts & Crafts Doulton jug, an olive green lidded pot brought back from a trip to France, a collection of painted wooden African animals and a pair of vibrant candlesticks

In the sitting room bookshelves are crammed with art and design books. The three sofas are draped with woven woollen throws and an assortment of cushions including some that are covered in a heavy cotton printed with a pomegranate motif, a fabric that Fiona found at Hoopers in Tunbridge Wells

In the sitting room bookshelves are crammed with art and design books. The three sofas are draped with woven woollen throws and an assortment of cushions including some that are covered in a heavy cotton printed with a pomegranate motif, a fabric that Fiona found at Hoopers in Tunbridge Wells

An accoustic guitar propped in one corner alludes to Oliver’s phenomenal music collection

An accoustic guitar propped in one corner alludes to Oliver’s phenomenal music collection

The focal pnt of the sitting room is a huge brick inglenook fireplace with a woodburning stove

The focal point of the sitting room is a huge brick inglenook fireplace with a woodburning stove

The study, home to Oliver’s floor-to-ceiling CD shelves, is painted a zingy lime green

The study, home to Oliver’s floor-to-ceiling CD shelves, is painted a zingy lime green

When the couple bought the property it needed a lot of work. They discovered that it had originally been two cottages: “One was literally a ‘one-up one-down’ without even a flight of stairs and just a ladder up to the bedroom,” says Oliver

When the couple bought the property it needed a lot of work. They discovered that it had originally been two cottages: “One was literally a ‘one-up one-down’ without even a flight of stairs and just a ladder up to the bedroom,” says Oliver

On the wall at the top of the wooden staircase, there is a striking painting of the couple’s son, by Stephen Rose

On the wall at the top of the wooden staircase, there is a striking painting of the couple’s son, by Stephen Rose

In the master bedroom, on a scrubbed pine chest, stands a raffia shopping basket with brightly coloured spots like giant Smarties arranged over it. “I bought that for Fiona,” says Oliver. “It’s never actually been used for shopping, but the colours are just irresistible.”

In the master bedroom, on a scrubbed pine chest, stands a raffia shopping basket with brightly coloured spots like giant Smarties arranged over it. “I bought that for Fiona,” says Oliver. “It’s never actually been used for shopping, but the colours are just irresistible.”

Fiona teaches textile design so she has a great eye for colour, pattern and texture but the couple differ when it comes to their colour preferences. “I really love cooler, watery greens and blues, whereas Oliver loves hot colours, so we argue a bit over those,” says Fiona

Fiona teaches textile design so she has a great eye for colour, pattern and texture but the couple differ when it comes to their colour preferences. “I really love cooler, watery greens and blues, whereas Oliver loves hot colours, so we argue a bit over those,” says Fiona

Oliver and Fiona’s teenage daughter’s room is astonishingly neat. “She’s very interested in Japanese ideas like Zen Buddhism and so everything has to be in its place,” explains Oliver. “It’s lucky that it happens to be a very tidy philosophy isn’t it?”

Oliver and Fiona’s teenage daughter’s room is astonishingly neat. “She’s very interested in Japanese ideas like Zen Buddhism and so everything has to be in its place,” explains Oliver. “It’s lucky that it happens to be a very tidy philosophy isn’t it?”

Light pours in through the window in the spare room, bringing its bright yellow walls to life

Light pours in through the window in the spare room, bringing its bright yellow walls to life

The couple’s son’s room already shows all the telltale signs of the architectural student. Every item of furniture is placed at right angles to the watermelon red walls (architects never seem to place anything on the diagonal) and there is a striped chair in front of the window where curtains have been rejected in favour of simple wooden Venetian blinds

The couple’s son’s room already shows all the telltale signs of the architectural student. Every item of furniture is placed at right angles to the watermelon red walls (architects never seem to place anything on the diagonal) and there is a striped chair in front of the window where curtains have been rejected in favour of simple wooden Venetian blinds

Oliver at work in his Bodiam-based studio. He is currently working on the restoration of the JF Kennedy memorial mosaic that was in Birmingham. Commissioned by the city’s Irish Catholic community some time after Kennedy’s assassination in ’63, is was originally unveiled by his father in 1969

Oliver at work in his Bodiam-based studio. He is currently working on the restoration of the JF Kennedy memorial mosaic that was in Birmingham

Commissioned by the city’s Irish Catholic community some time after Kennedy’s assassination in ’63, is was originally unveiled by his father in 1969

Commissioned by the city’s Irish Catholic community some time after Kennedy’s assassination in ’63, is was originally unveiled by his father in 1969

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

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