If Sevenoaks seems a typical English commuter town, not all its residents are quite so predictable. Candy is really Catharina, but her Dutch parents always called her Candy and it has stuck. Living in the Kent town with her Dutch husband Jan and children Julian and Lisa, she has embraced life in England with great enthusiasm but has not lost her curiosity about the world beyond. 

In the drawing room two mocha leather sofas surround the fireplace and a console table supports a collection of family photographs

In the drawing room two mocha leather sofas surround the fireplace and a console table supports a collection of family photographs

Above the mantelpiece and to one side of the fireplace hang paintings by Candy’s friend, Ima Montoya

Above the mantelpiece and to one side of the fireplace hang paintings by Candy’s friend, Ima Montoya

The neutral tones of the kitchen continue in the adjoining drawing and dining rooms. “Throughout my house, I prefer neutral colours and I find they give me a sense of peace,” says Candy

The neutral tones of the kitchen continue in the adjoining drawing and dining rooms. “Throughout my house, I prefer neutral colours and I find they give me a sense of peace,” says Candy

The drawing room has been extended and an enormous Murano glass chandelier from the Fendi Home Collection hangs from the ceiling at the far end of the room

The drawing room has been extended and an enormous Murano glass chandelier from the Fendi Home Collection hangs from the ceiling at the far end of the room

Through a wide arch is the dining room

Through a wide arch is the dining room

Constructed of brushed steel and walnut, the long dining table is surrounded by nude coloured leather chairs by Rolf Benz

Constructed of brushed steel and walnut, the long dining table is surrounded by nude coloured leather chairs by Rolf Benz

In the kitchen, glass-fronted cabinets house a huge collection of cream Wedgwood Queen’s Ware

In the kitchen, glass-fronted cabinets house a huge collection of cream Wedgwood Queen’s Ware

The children’s rooms are well-ordered because Candy believes that bedrooms should be a quiet, restful space

The children’s rooms are well-ordered because Candy believes that bedrooms should be a quiet, restful space

“I don’t allow televisions or computers in their bedrooms. The children can use their playroom for that, or their study.”

“I don’t allow televisions or computers in their bedrooms. The children can use their playroom for that, or their study.”

White phalaenopsis orchids are a feature in almost every room of the house (pictured here in the family bathroom) “I get all my flowers from Flower & Glory in Sevenoaks. I just take in the bowls and planters and Deborah fills them with really beautiful plants that she sources from Covent Garden flower market,” Candy says

White phalaenopsis orchids are a feature in almost every room of the house (pictured here in the family bathroom) “I get all my flowers from Flower & Glory in Sevenoaks. I just take in the bowls and planters and Deborah fills them with really beautiful plants that she sources from Covent Garden flower market,” Candy says

The master bedroom is spare and surprisingly masculine in tone

The master bedroom is spare and surprisingly masculine in tone

The shelves of Candy’s dressing room are home to an enviable collection of shoes

The shelves of Candy’s dressing room are home to an enviable collection of shoes

An enormous freestanding zinc bateau bath is the focal point of the master bathroom

An enormous freestanding zinc bateau bath is the focal point of the master bathroom

The room has been tiled both with large rectangular Fired Earth stone panels and tiny glass mosaics

The room has been tiled both with large rectangular Fired Earth stone panels and tiny glass mosaics

The house was newly built when Candy and Jan moved in and there were certain things that they wanted to change. They demolished the original garage and built an extension and created a great gym with en suite in the basement, as they were unable to get planning permission to build a second storey

The house was newly built when Candy and Jan moved in and there were certain things that they wanted to change. They demolished the original garage and built an extension and created a great gym with en suite in the basement, as they were unable to get planning permission to build a second storey

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

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