When its current owners, Alice and James, first saw Ash Cottage it wasn’t love at first sight, rather a growing understanding of its potential and what it could one day be to the couple and their growing children. “I used to come here for piano lessons and knew the house well,” says Alice. “Then, one day, the owners mentioned that they planned to sell and I started to see the house in a new light. I began to imagine what it might be like if it was empty of furniture and possessions and stripped back to basics – a blank canvas.”

The kitchen has undergone a complete make-over, stripped to the bone and refitted. The floor is dramatic – Dalsouple deep purple rubber – and the units and iroko surfaces are the Glendevon range by Howdens

The kitchen has undergone a complete make-over, stripped to the bone and refitted. The floor is dramatic – Dalsouple deep purple rubber – and the units and iroko surfaces are the Glendevon range by Howdens

Centrepiece of the dining room is a wonderful heavy oak, contemporary dining table from Heals flanked by benches rather than chairs. The service hatch runs through the wall diagonally from the kitchen to the dining room to ensure it remained centred in the walls in both rooms...

Centrepiece of the dining room is a wonderful heavy oak, contemporary dining table from Heals flanked by benches rather than chairs

The service hatch runs through the wall diagonally from the kitchen to the dining room to ensure it remained centred in the walls in both rooms

The service hatch runs through the wall diagonally from the kitchen to the dining room to ensure it remained centred in the walls in both rooms

A beautiful painting by Julian Vilarrubi of the Tuscan town of Certaldo, where Alice and James spent their honeymoon, takes centre stage in the drawing room. Another key piece is a breathtaking circular gesso mirror from Ochre in London

A beautiful painting by Julian Vilarrubi of the Tuscan town of Certaldo, where Alice and James spent their honeymoon, takes centre stage in the drawing room. Another key piece is a breathtaking circular gesso mirror from Ochre in London

The sizeable hallway serves as a useful space. The walls are painted in Marston & Langinger ‘Umber’

The sizeable hallway serves as a useful space. The walls are painted in Marston & Langinger ‘Umber’

A chest of drawers in Alice’s dressing room is home to some of her jewellery. “Most of my pieces are simple, tactile, elegant and really wearable,” she says. “I hope that my style is distinct and individual enough that people might now recognise an Alice Robson piece.”

A chest of drawers in Alice’s dressing room is home to some of her jewellery

Upstairs in the guest bedroom, the star is another Vilarrubi of Hampstead Heath

Upstairs in the guest bedroom, the star is another Vilarrubi of Hampstead Heath

In the master bedroom the pride of place over the bed is given to a lovely sketch of Venice by artist and former Conservative MP Brian Batsford which Alice bought at auction for £25

In the master bedroom the pride of place over the bed is given to a lovely sketch of Venice by artist and former Conservative MP Brian Batsford which Alice bought at auction for £25

The couple’s daughter’s room is the perfect nine-year-old girl’s room with a pretty wrought-iron bed and a stripped pine double old school desk

The couple’s daughter’s room is the perfect nine-year-old girl’s room with a pretty wrought-iron bed and a stripped pine double old school desk

modular storage unit provides an attractive display whilst at the same time keeping the floor free of clutter

Modular storage unit provides an attractive display whilst at the same time keeping the floor free of clutter

Up a tiny staircase in the vaulted eaves is her son’s room, all Airfix and Boys Own stuff

Up a tiny staircase in the vaulted eaves is her son’s room, all Airfix and Boys Own stuff

Outside is Alice’s pride and joy. With a jewellery degree from Central Saint Martins, she has now returned to jewellery-making after spending much of her working life in marketing. Her studio in the garden, designed by James, is based on an old shepherd’s hut...

Outside is Alice’s pride and joy. With a jewellery degree from Central Saint Martins, she has now returned to jewellery-making after spending much of her working life in marketing

Her studio in the garden, designed by James, is based on an old shepherd’s hut

Her studio in the garden, designed by James, is based on an old shepherd’s hut

Alice’s garden studio

Alice’s garden studio

“Most of my pieces are simple, tactile, elegant and really wearable,” she says.

“Most of my pieces are simple, tactile, elegant and really wearable,” she says

A convertible Morris Minor, inherited by Alice when a friend moved abroad, is parked proudly outside the house

A convertible Morris Minor, inherited by Alice when a friend moved abroad, is parked proudly outside the house

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

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