Hannah Gee’s house is set back from the road, much further back than all the others, hanging back, in case anyone notices that it doesn’t look like the rest, that it isn’t a period house. Hannah was curious to know what sort of property was hiding behind the substantial front garden. “When I walked past I’d see the dirt track, and the house all hidden and always wonder what was up there,” she says. “We were living in an Edwardian flat nearby and when I saw this house was for sale one day, I said to my husband ‘can we go and see it?’

A selection of well-preserved vintage sweet and tea tins, a Donald Duck money box and Babycham glasses from the shop are grouped together on the kitchen counter

A selection of well-preserved vintage sweet and tea tins, a Donald Duck money box and Babycham glasses from the shop are grouped together on the kitchen counter

The open-plan kitchen and dining room features a wonderful mobile of branches, birds, butterflies and mice crafted from paper by Hannah’s cousin, Elizabeth Jardine, which is suspended over the dining table

The open-plan kitchen and dining room features a wonderful mobile of branches, birds, butterflies and mice crafted from paper by Hannah’s cousin, Elizabeth Jardine, which is suspended over the dining table

The shop features floor-to-ceiling custom-built shelves for displaying Hannah’s stock

The shop features floor-to-ceiling custom-built shelves for displaying Hannah’s stock

The ‘Oh Happy Day’ framed print was a present first given by Hannah to her husband and is now available to buy from Love Inc

The ‘Oh Happy Day’ framed print was a present first given by Hannah to her husband and is now available to buy from Love Inc

Doors from the kitchen lead straight out into the garden

Doors from the kitchen lead straight out into the garden

The spacious family den is accessed through the kitchen making it a wonderfully private retreat for when the family aren’t entertaining

The spacious family den is accessed through the kitchen making it a wonderfully private retreat for when the family aren’t entertaining

Hordes of photographs mounted along the walls that lead to the family den chart the family’s lives

Hordes of photographs mounted along the walls that lead to the family den chart the family’s lives

The family den formerly served as a garage and is now a wonderful space for entertaining children and adults

The family den formerly served as a garage and is now a wonderful space for entertaining children and adults

“It’s great in the summertime,” says Hannah. “I call it our ‘inside outside’ house, because we can open up all the doors and really feel as if we’re living outside.”

“It’s great in the summertime,” says Hannah. “I call it our ‘inside outside’ house, because we can open up all the doors and really feel as if we’re living outside.”

Contrasting mirrors take centre stage both on the landing and in the master bedroom, creating bright, natural light-filled spaces

Contrasting mirrors take centre stage both on the landing and in the master bedroom, creating bright, natural light-filled spaces

The master bedroom is a spacious haven, with lots of the couple’s humorous touches

The master bedroom is a spacious haven, with lots of the couple’s humorous touches

The children’s rooms feature an eclectic mix of vintage toys and bold, contemporary accessories

The children’s rooms feature an eclectic mix of vintage toys and bold, contemporary accessories

Like the downstairs loo, the rear wall of the family bathroom is tiled with mirrored mosaics

Like the downstairs loo, the rear wall of the family bathroom is tiled with mirrored mosaics

Hannah has re-purposed an old chest of draws and painted it bright blue “I don’t like old brown wood so I’ve painted quite a few pieces of furniture. (The chest of drawers) was a bit of a fiddle at first. But now it’s easy – these can be made to order if people want them.”

Hannah has re-purposed an old chest of draws and painted it bright blue “I don’t like old brown wood so I’ve painted quite a few pieces of furniture. (The chest of drawers) was a bit of a fiddle at first. But now it’s easy – these can be made to order if people want them.”

The blue theme continues on one wall of the garden

The blue theme continues on one wall of the garden

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

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