After years of rural living, seasoned property renovators Catherine and Rupert decided to move their growing family to a spacious Victorian townhouse in the heart of Sevenoaks. After extensive modernisation, in a very short timeframe, they have succeeded in creating the ideal space to accommodate the needs of their family including the bespoke kitchen Catherine has always dreamed of.

The downstairs is virtually a single open plan space encompassing a kitchen, elegant living room with log burner, dining area and an ambitious glass and oak sitting room overlooking the garden

The downstairs is virtually a single open plan space encompassing a kitchen, elegant living room with log burner, dining area and an ambitious glass and oak sitting room overlooking the garden

Designed by Sue together with Roy, a talented steel fabricator, the staircase is crafted from steel and encased in green oak with glass balustrading

Designed by Sue together with Roy, a talented steel fabricator, the staircase is crafted from steel and encased in green oak with glass balustrading

Centrepiece of the snug is an elegant contemporary Austroflamm woodburner backed by a bank of logs. Keeping it company are a Conran four-seater black leather Chesterfield and an Eames recliner. On the wall among the couple’s framed classic vinyls is one of Sue’s own charcoals.

Centrepiece of the snug is an elegant contemporary Austroflamm woodburner backed by a bank of logs. Keeping it company are a Conran four-seater black leather Chesterfield and an Eames recliner. On the wall among the couple’s framed classic vinyls is one of Sue’s own charcoals.

The mulit-purpose living space

The mulit-purpose living space

The elegant glass and oak trestle dining table was designed by Sue to seat twelve and is surrounded by a collection of black director’s chairs and white Eames chairs

The elegant glass and oak trestle dining table was designed by Sue to seat twelve and is surrounded by a collection of black director’s chairs and white Eames chairs

The most dramatic area of the downstairs living area is without doubt the vaulted glass and oak sitting room

The most dramatic area of the downstairs living area is without doubt the vaulted glass and oak sitting room

It may have been pure luck that drew Sue and Roger to this beautiful spot but luck did not create this spectacular home

A glass banistered gallery looks down over the living space and through a glass wall that extends from the floor to the apex of the roofA glass banistered gallery looks down over the living space and through a glass wall that extends from the floor to the apex of the roof

A glass banistered gallery looks down over the living space and through a glass wall that extends from the floor to the apex of the roof

The couple have carefully considered every inch of space – a secluded area for relaxation nestles snugly in the eaves at the top of the house

The couple have carefully considered every inch of space – a secluded area for relaxation nestles snugly in the eaves at the top of the house

In the library a glass-topped Habitat table is flanked by Roger’s collection of cookery and African books on one side and Sue’s art and design tomes on the other

In the library a glass-topped Habitat table is flanked by Roger’s collection of cookery and African books on one side and Sue’s art and design tomes on the other

The glass-topped Habitat table

The glass-topped Habitat table

The couple’s passion for Africa is apparent throughout the house

The couple’s passion for Africa is apparent throughout the house

On the wall opposite the chic master bed is a magnificent pair of silver-leafed kudu horns and an oil and charcoal on paper by one of Sue’s favourite artists, and her teacher, East Sussex-based Nicola King

On the wall opposite the chic master bed is a magnificent pair of silver-leafed kudu horns and an oil and charcoal on paper by one of Sue’s favourite artists, and her teacher, East Sussex-based Nicola King

Throughout the house Sue has adhered to a crisp palette of whites accented with blacks, golds and pops of colour

Throughout the house Sue has adhered to a crisp palette of whites accented with blacks, golds and pops of colour

The view from master bedroom to en-suite

The view from master bedroom to en-suite

In one corner of the master bedroom a contemporary free-standing bath has been set in a double-aspect alcove overlooking the garden while at the other end is a spacious wet room

In one corner of the master bedroom a contemporary free-standing bath has been set in a double-aspect alcove overlooking the garden while at the other end is a spacious wet room

The large window overlooking the treetops is also the headboard for the double bed in one of the guest bedrooms. Sue has cleverly mirrored the view on the opposite wall so one can lie in bed still looking out over the surrounding greenery

The large window overlooking the treetops is also the headboard for the double bed in one of the guest bedrooms. Sue has cleverly mirrored the view on the opposite wall so one can lie in bed still looking out over the surrounding greenery

Wood panel effect wallpaper creates a trompe l’oeil on one wall of another guest room

Wood panel effect wallpaper creates a trompe l’oeil on one wall of another guest room

In the principal, vaulted guest room the soaring ceiling timbers have been treated with a lye and soap wash

In the principal, vaulted guest room the soaring ceiling timbers have been treated with a lye and soap wash

The room’s inviting en suite bathroom

The room’s inviting en suite bathroom

Light pours into another guest bathroom

Light pours into another guest bathroom

The house sits comfortably amid the gorgeous grounds

The house sits comfortably amid the gorgeous grounds

Giant gunnera add to the leafiness of the gardens

Giant gunnera add to the leafiness of the gardens

The garden would be a major project of its own and with much of the rear of the house glass, becoming not merely an exterior feature but an integral part of the interior living spaces

With much of the rear of the house glass, the garden was not merely an exterior feature but an integral part of the interior living spaces

The garden would be a major project of its own

The garden would be a major project of its own

“Nothing had been done to the garden for years, the wood was a complete wilderness and the undergrowth was so dense that at first we had no real idea of the size of it,” says Sue

“Nothing had been done to the garden for years, the wood was a complete wilderness and the undergrowth was so dense that at first we had no real idea of the size of it,” says Sue

A path meanders through the garden

A path meanders through the garden

Completing the garden and house together has taken Sue and Roger the best part of ten years

Completing the garden and house together has taken Sue and Roger the best part of ten years

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

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