Grand, imposing and seemingly a Georgian rectory, this family home in the heart of the High Weald is not what it seems. For, behind the rambling roses and historic facade lies a thoroughly modern house – built only 10 years ago by a family inspired by the popular series, Grand Designs.

The formal dining room, to the front of the house, is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Hay’ which, paired with blood red damask curtains, makes a wonderfully atmospheric space in which to entertain. The magnificent fireplace is one of many sourced from Chesneys in London

The formal dining room, to the front of the house, is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Hay’ which, paired with blood red damask curtains, makes a wonderfully atmospheric space in which to entertain. The magnificent fireplace is one of many sourced from Chesneys in London

The study is painted in Farrow & Ball Chinese Red, a striking colour that really works and is the perfect backdrop for the oak bookcases

The study is painted in Farrow & Ball Chinese Red, a striking colour that really works and is the perfect backdrop for the oak bookcases

Two fabulous wrought-iron chandeliers, sourced from Illuminations in Tunbridge Wells, are a striking feature in the vast kitchen

Two fabulous wrought-iron chandeliers, sourced from Illuminations in Tunbridge Wells, are a striking feature in the vast kitchen

A curved wooden door, to match the curve of the wall, was made in the traditional way by Westgate Joinery, who shaped the door over a barrel

A curved wooden door, to match the curve of the wall, was made in the traditional way by Westgate Joinery, who shaped the door over a barrel

The Carson family decided to move away from a traditional Georgian style for the family room, opting for a more contemporary look, complemented by this striking Corbusier chaise longue and ‘birds’ nest’ light fitting. The fitted cupboards also hide a fridge – for the ultimate luxury of chilled drinks on hand

The Carson family decided to move away from a traditional Georgian style for the family room, opting for a more contemporary look, complemented by this striking Corbusier chaise longue and ‘birds’ nest’ light fitting. The fitted cupboards also hide a fridge – for the ultimate luxury of chilled drinks on hand

At the heart of this modern rectory-style home is a dramatic entrance hall, flooded with light and filled with furniture that befits the Georgian era

At the heart of this modern rectory-style home is a dramatic entrance hall, flooded with light and filled with furniture that befits the Georgian era

It is almost impossible to stand in the hall and not be tempted to look up three floors to the sky overhead. The effect is magnetising

It is almost impossible to stand in the hall and not be tempted to look up three floors to the sky overhead. The effect is magnetising

The master bedroom suite, with comfy seating area at one end, has magnificent views from every window. An adjoining door leads to the ultimate en suite – or rather, to a staircase up to a huge, top-floor bathroom

The master bedroom suite, with comfy seating area at one end, has magnificent views from every window. An adjoining door leads to the ultimate en suite – or rather, to a staircase up to a huge, top-floor bathroom

Classic, complementary decor in the en suite wet room

Classic, complementary decor in the en suite wet room

Across the landing are the girls’ rooms – identical mirror images of each other and interconnected by a shared bathroom with pretty pearly pink and purple Fired Earth tiles

Across the landing are the girls’ rooms – identical mirror images of each other and interconnected by a shared bathroom with pretty pearly pink and purple Fired Earth tiles

Helena and Julian wanted to be able to lie in the bath and gaze up at the stars, so positioned the double-ended bath under a central skylight window. Underfloor heating and a large heated towel rail keep this generous bathroom warm, even in the depths of winter

Helena and Julian wanted to be able to lie in the bath and gaze up at the stars, so positioned the double-ended bath under a central skylight window. Underfloor heating and a large heated towel rail keep this generous bathroom warm, even in the depths of winter

Tucked away down a discreet staircase at the back of the house, there is every wine-lover’s dream; a vast, cool cellar built from brick and stone, where Julian keeps a prized collection of wine. A rustic table is the perfect spot for Julian and fellow wine-lovers to sample favourite wines

Tucked away down a discreet staircase at the back of the house, there is every wine-lover’s dream; a vast, cool cellar built from brick and stone, where Julian keeps a prized collection of wine. A rustic table is the perfect spot for Julian and fellow wine-lovers to sample favourite wines

The family has built a wonderful, traditional walled garden, including brick paths, flower and vegetable beds, and a large, modern greenhouse

The family has built a wonderful, traditional walled garden, including brick paths, flower and vegetable beds, and a large, modern greenhouse

Benches inside the greenhouse are laden with all manner of seedlings, ready to be planted out once the risk of frosts has passed

Benches inside the greenhouse are laden with all manner of seedlings, ready to be planted out once the risk of frosts has passed

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

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