There are some period houses that seem, over the centuries, to have drawn the short straw. Time and again, caring, loving, well-meaning owners have extended and modernised, re-decorated and re-furnished with such breathtaking insensitivity that immediately one steps through the front door one can feel the poor properties cringing to their very foundations with embarrassment. 

Centre and heart of the house is the glorious 25-foot drawing room with its huge inglenook and pleasingly imperfect, centuries-old oak floorboards over which are scattered a collection of equally pleasingly imperfect eastern rugs

Centre and heart of the house is the glorious 25-foot drawing room with its huge inglenook and pleasingly imperfect, centuries-old oak floorboards over which are scattered a collection of equally pleasingly imperfect eastern rugs

In the drawing room, between two lovely and small chaises longues, stands the perfect traditional rocking horse, its saddle, bridle, mane and tail all gently restored by a local saddler

In the drawing room, between two lovely and small chaises longues, stands the perfect traditional rocking horse, its saddle, bridle, mane and tail all gently restored by a local saddler

The ultimate TV room, once Baillie Scott’s added study. The fireplace with its pretty Arts and Crafts tiling is another gentle reminder that Baillie-Scott-was-here.

The ultimate TV room, once Baillie Scott’s added study. The fireplace with its pretty Arts and Crafts tiling is another gentle reminder that Baillie-Scott-was-here.

A window in the corner of the drawing room overlooks the garden

A window in the corner of the drawing room overlooks the garden

Off the drawing room is the panelled dining room, centrepiece of which is a wonderful 1720 oak dining table. Louisa can be so certain of the date because it was originally commissioned for New Romney Town Hall as a Judge’s Table when the area was granted permission to try – and execute – smugglers

Off the drawing room is the panelled dining room, centrepiece of which is a wonderful 1720 oak dining table. Louisa can be so certain of the date because it was originally commissioned for New Romney Town Hall as a Judge’s Table when the area was granted permission to try – and execute – smugglers

The family kitchen. complete with Aga, a butcher’s block Louisa found in Wye and a healthy, shiny crop of pots and pans hanging from a Victorian clothes dryer. All are gathered about a French 19th century cherry table over which hangs a fun Habitat chandelier comprised of upside-down magnifying glasses

The family kitchen. complete with Aga, a butcher’s block Louisa found in Wye and a healthy, shiny crop of pots and pans hanging from a Victorian clothes dryer. All are gathered about a French 19th century cherry table over which hangs a fun Habitat chandelier comprised of upside-down magnifying glasses

The former attic is where the couple have added their own new rooms to Camden Hall – four in all, including Louisa’s make-up room and a stunning main bedroom and en suite bathroom

The former attic is where the couple have added their own new rooms to Camden Hall – four in all, including Louisa’s make-up room and a stunning main bedroom and en suite bathroom

In the master bedroom, the original dark beams have been sanded back to a honey glow and a simple, modern, white four-poster adds serious romance. A lovely little sybaritic touch is an elegant pile of Jo Malone black-ribboned boxes before the Delft-tiled fireplace

In the master bedroom, the original dark beams have been sanded back to a honey glow and a simple, modern, white four-poster adds serious romance. A lovely little sybaritic touch is an elegant pile of Jo Malone black-ribboned boxes before the Delft-tiled fireplace

As a top Conran designer, Louisa’s experience and flair for interiors is evident in every single room of the house

As a top Conran designer, Louisa’s experience and flair for interiors is evident in every single room of the house

In the mid 18th century, the house adjoined the village schoolroom and this now forms part of Camden Hall and has become Norman’s office, through which one can access the guest studio

In the mid 18th century, the house adjoined the village schoolroom and this now forms part of Camden Hall and has become Norman’s office, through which one can access the guest studio

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

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