Arriving at Alli Williams’s home on the Kent-Sussex border, it’s almost impossible to remember that you’ve come to write about a house and not merely draw up a garden chair, pour yourself a glass of something crisp and white and settle down for a gentle hour or two to enjoy a view that makes utter rubbish of Genesis. No one, absolutely no one, could have created this in just a single day.

There was an Aga but it simply did not have the power and flexibility that Alli needed, so it has been replaced with a French Lacanche range

There was an Aga but it simply did not have the power and flexibility that Alli needed, so it has been replaced with a French Lacanche range

Alli found the large antique pine dining table at Bentley’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Cranbrook

Alli found the large antique pine dining table at Bentley’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Cranbrook

The garden end of the kitchen adjoins a large south-facing conservatory, home to pieces of furniture that Alli has expertly restored and modernised

The garden end of the kitchen adjoins a large south-facing conservatory, home to pieces of furniture that Alli has expertly restored and modernised

Alli and Andy have already undertaken some remodelling in the hallway: moving the original door to the drawing room to its current position opposite the door to the kitchen, providing a view through the three spaces literally the length of the house

Alli and Andy have already undertaken some remodelling in the hallway: moving the original door to the drawing room to its current position opposite the door to the kitchen, providing a view through the three spaces literally the length of the house

The drawing room is elegant, high and bright with walls in Dulux Chiltern White and a superb limestone fireplace put in by Alli and Andy and sourced from Kristel Fireplaces in Hawkhurst

The drawing room is elegant, high and bright with walls in Dulux Chiltern White and a superb limestone fireplace put in by Alli and Andy and sourced from Kristel Fireplaces in Hawkhurst

They also put in a woodburner because, despite central heating and an open fire, the room always seemed cold

They also put in a woodburner because, despite central heating and an open fire, the room always seemed cold

The guest room is a real indulgence, Alli’s “homage to Biba”

The guest room is a real indulgence, Alli’s “homage to Biba”

Alli’s 23-year-old stepdaughter Hannah has been responsible for the décor in her own room which reflects her love of ethnic fabrics, art and curios

Alli’s 23-year-old stepdaughter Hannah has been responsible for the décor in her own room which reflects her love of ethnic fabrics, art and curios

Alli offers bridal make-up and one-on-one make-up lessons in her make-up room. The dressing table is an elegant old French desk from ’Tasha Interiors, the walls are Little Greene Joanna 130 and the woodwork is Little Greene Linen Wash 33

Alli offers bridal make-up and one-on-one make-up lessons in her make-up room. The dressing table is an elegant old French desk from ’Tasha Interiors, the walls are Little Greene Joanna 130 and the woodwork is Little Greene Linen Wash 33

Upstairs Alli and Andy have knocked the bathroom through to the double-aspect master bedroom to create a spacious suite. The bathroom has been completely remodelled, complete with roll-top bath strategically placed by the new, larger south-facing window: “A loo with a view,” quips Alli

Upstairs Alli and Andy have knocked the bathroom through to the double-aspect master bedroom to create a spacious suite

The bathroom has been completely remodelled, complete with roll-top bath strategically placed by the new, larger south-facing window: “A loo with a view,” quips Alli

The bathroom has been completely remodelled, complete with roll-top bath strategically placed by the new, larger south-facing window: “A loo with a view,” quips Alli

The couple have removed the ceiling in the bedroom and created a new and dramatic vaulted space, the perfect setting for the grand French bed from ’Tasha Interiors

The couple have removed the ceiling in the bedroom and created a new and dramatic vaulted space, the perfect setting for the grand French bed from ’Tasha Interiors

A walkway from the house joins the upstairs level of Alli and Andy’s sizeable barn

A walkway from the house joins the upstairs level of Alli and Andy’s sizeable barn

Complete with a cosy woodburner, the building makes the perfect space for entertaining and parties

Complete with a cosy woodburner, the building makes the perfect space for entertaining and parties

The pink peppercorn and hydrangea wreath greeting visitors to Alli’s home was created by Sophie Hill from Flowers at the Stables

The pink peppercorn and hydrangea wreath greeting visitors to Alli’s home was created by Sophie Hill from Flowers at the Stables

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

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