Retail brand consultant James, stylist David and their Boston Terrier, Cooper, moved into their Victorian property in the heart of Hastings Old Town just one year ago. In that time they have completely transformed the interior with their bold use of colour and an eclectic and fascinating mix of furniture and art – a continually evolving work in progress.

David and James used local carpenter Sam White to rebuild the kitchen. Stewart Walton, a craftsman who creates things out of Hastings Old Pier wood was commissioned to make the mantelpiece and shelving. David found the fox painting over the fireplace in a junk shop in Prague

David and James used local carpenter Sam White to rebuild the kitchen. Stewart Walton, a craftsman who creates things out of Hastings Old Pier wood was commissioned to make the mantelpiece and shelving. David found the fox painting over the fireplace in a junk shop in Prague

Cooper stands guard in the living room, with floorboards painted in Chocolate by Little Greene. The leather chair is one of a pair from France, found by a lady in St Leonards who has a shop called Sideshow Interiors. Artworks by Russell Loughlan have been carefully placed on the wall

Cooper stands guard in the living room, with floorboards painted in Chocolate by Little Greene. The leather chair is one of a pair from France, found by a lady in St Leonards who has a shop called Sideshow Interiors. Artworks by Russell Loughlan have been carefully placed on the wall

Above the fireplace in the living room hangs a UK map made out of foxes by artist Patrick Thomas. The ceramics on the mantelpiece are from The Clay Den in Hastings

Above the fireplace in the living room hangs a UK map made out of foxes by artist Patrick Thomas. The ceramics on the mantelpiece are from The Clay Den in Hastings

Fabrics and textures enhance the space

Fabrics and textures enhance the space

The studio features a wall of artwork that James and David have collected over the years, as James explains: “It’s very much something we wanted to do in this room and I think it harks back to my graphic design days, when I was studying, and I wanted just to have a mix of great pieces. The wall is work in progress and it always will be. We buy more pieces and we move them around. It’s everything we love.”

The studio features a wall of artwork that James and David have collected over the years, as James explains: “It’s very much something we wanted to do in this room and I think it harks back to my graphic design days, when I was studying, and I wanted just to have a mix of great pieces. The wall is a work in progress and it always will be. We buy more pieces and we move them around. It’s everything we love.”

The bookcase and glass-topped desk

The bookcase and glass-topped desk

A collection of design-related goodies

A collection of design-related goodies

The sideboard in the studio is 1950s Danish by Hans Moebler, bought from designsofmodernity.com. The ‘fishing rod’ style lamp was a gift from two of the couple’s closest friends, Andrew and Pip, who own Le Chien et Moi in Nottingham

The sideboard in the studio is 1950s Danish by Hans Moebler, bought from designsofmodernity.com. The ‘fishing rod’ style lamp was a gift from two of the couple’s closest friends, Andrew and Pip, who own Le Chien et Moi in Nottingham

The staircase that winds up through the house is used to display more of the couple’s finds

The staircase that winds up through the house is used to display more of the couple’s finds

Don't miss the bus

Don't miss the bus

The bathroom features a bright yellow macrame planter, one of a pair made by James and David. “We did a course last year. I think the one in the bathroom is probably stronger in terms of the look – that one’s David’s. I cut the ends too short on mine!” says James, modestly.

The bathroom features a bright yellow macrame planter, one of a pair made by James and David. “We did a course last year. I think the one in the bathroom is probably stronger in terms of the look – that one’s David’s. I cut the ends too short on mine!” says James, modestly.

In the sparkling, 1930s-feel bathroom the floorboards are painted in the magnificent Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball.

In the sparkling, 1930s-feel bathroom the floorboards are painted in the magnificent Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball.

Despite the dark woodwork and clean lines, the room is made ‘softer’ and more personal with pretty toiletries, ceramics and lush houseplants

Despite the dark woodwork and clean lines, the bathroom is made ‘softer’ and more personal with pretty toiletries, ceramics and lush houseplants

The master bedroom. James found the original Chinese scrolls on parchment on a business trip to Hong Kong and framed them in Hastings

The master bedroom. James found the original Chinese scrolls on parchment on a business trip to Hong Kong and framed them in Hastings

Classic novels sit on a the mantelpiece in the bedroom

Classic novels sit on a the mantelpiece in the bedroom

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Helen Barton

17th Century Sandstone Farmhouse

Stella Hayes initially fell in love with the property's glorious garden. She has gone on to create a beautiful home.

60s Themed Seaside Holiday Home

I’m sure we’ve all thought about buying a house by the sea – perhaps after an idyllic holiday, or a bracing walk, even just a drive along the coast. On the morning we visit James Rourke’s house, as the sullen...

A Butterfly Unfurled

When Sally Harrington opens the huge front door of her Kentish weatherboard home I assume that the 1950s bungalow that once stood here was demolished to make way for the new house. “No,” she says, “it’s still in here somewhere,...