Building new houses in traditional Wealden villages has always been a problem and one with which architects are still grappling today. Just how do you design a home that satisfies the varied needs of a modern family while ensuring it complements neighbouring properties designed for the rather less demanding villagers of the 16th century?

In the kitchen sieves and colanders hang from an old wooden orchard ladder suspended horizontally from the ceiling above the stripped pine dining table

In the kitchen sieves and colanders hang from an old wooden orchard ladder suspended horizontally from the ceiling above the stripped pine dining table

In one corner of the kitchen Liz keeps all her shining pots and pans in an old wire parcel rack that must have once graced a GPO depot

In one corner of the kitchen Liz keeps all her shining pots and pans in an old wire parcel rack that must have once graced a GPO depot

Stacks of pristine plates and fresh eggs from Liz’s chickens are easily accessible from this painted green shelving unit

Stacks of pristine plates and fresh eggs from Liz’s chickens are easily accessible from this painted green shelving unit

A spacious utility room with a soaring ceiling was created in part of the new extension that the couple built

A spacious utility room with a soaring ceiling was created in part of the new extension that the couple built

A spacious utility room with a soaring ceiling was created in part of the new extension that the couple built

A spacious utility room with a soaring ceiling was created in part of the new extension that the couple built

A spacious utility room with a soaring ceiling was created in part of the new extension that the couple built

A spacious utility room with a soaring ceiling was created in part of the new extension that the couple built

If there is one unifying theme that runs through Liz’s home it’s that whereas we might hide away the apparently uninteresting paraphernalia of day-to-day living, Liz puts it on show and somehow it ceases to be dull and commonplace and becomes interesting and even beautiful..

If there is one unifying theme that runs through Liz’s home it’s that whereas we might hide away the apparently uninteresting paraphernalia of day-to-day living, Liz puts it on show and somehow it ceases to be dull and commonplace and becomes interesting and even beautiful

Etched glass doors lead off from the kitchen into the dining room and utility room

Etched glass doors lead off from the kitchen into the dining room and utility room

The bright dining room is filled with an eclectic mix of books rescued from the tip

The bright dining room is filled with an eclectic mix of books rescued from the tip

A tiny door in the dining room opens into the hallway. An unusually small pale green Lloyd Loom chair stands at the foot of the stairs in front of an antique pine desk. To the left stands an old travelling trunk topped by a wire garden basket upside down over a vase

A tiny door in the dining room opens into the hallway. An unusually small pale green Lloyd Loom chair stands at the foot of the stairs in front of an antique pine desk. To the left stands an old travelling trunk topped by a wire garden basket upside down over a vase

An old trunk serves as a coffee table in the beamed drawing room

An old trunk serves as a coffee table in the beamed drawing room

Framed exhibition posters are on display above a church pew from Hastings Old Town scattered with gold and silver thread cushions

Framed exhibition posters are on display above a church pew from Hastings Old Town scattered with gold and silver thread cushions

Enlarged black and white family photographs are mounted along the ascent to the first floor gallery

Enlarged black and white family photographs are mounted along the ascent to the first floor gallery

Centrepiece of the master bedroom is a pretty white Laura Ashley wrought-iron bed and beside it stands an old divided drawer tipped up on its end and now home to a selection of woollen sweaters. Beside the attractive pine wardrobe from Hastings Old Town is an old wooden step ladder which serves as a shoe rack. Lovely delicate and distressed double doors from Symonds Salvage in Bethersden lead through into an elegant mini-Tardis of an en suite...

Centrepiece of the master bedroom is a pretty white Laura Ashley wrought-iron bed and beside it stands an old divided drawer tipped up on its end and now home to a selection of woollen sweaters. Beside the attractive pine wardrobe from Hastings Old Town is an old wooden step ladder which serves as a shoe rack. Lovely delicate and distressed double doors from Symonds Salvage in Bethersden lead through into an elegant mini-Tardis of an en suite

Delicate and distressed double doors from Symonds Salvage in Bethersden lead through into an elegant en suite, where Liz has thoughtfully arranged a collection of old medicine bottles with mint-green towels and a group of lipstick red toothbrushes in a glass jar add a splash of colour

Delicate and distressed double doors from Symonds Salvage in Bethersden lead through into an elegant en suite, where Liz has thoughtfully arranged a collection of old medicine bottles with mint-green towels and a group of lipstick red toothbrushes in a glass jar add a splash of colour

Upstairs, past black and white family photos – just a few of many of the generations past and present on walls upstairs and down – is yet another example of the effective display of possessions that most of us might keep shut away...

Upstairs, past black and white family photos – just a few of many of the generations past and present on walls upstairs and down – is yet another example of the effective display of possessions that most of us might keep shut away

Linden Cottage is a masterclass in how to create an original interior brimming with charm and interest

Linden Cottage is a masterclass in how to create an original interior brimming with charm and interest

The bed in Liz’s daughter’s room is dressed with pretty pink flowered linen from Fenwick and a lovely quilt which was Liz’s grandmother’s. Piled by the bed are some more wonderful old suitcases – yet more useful storage

The bed in Liz’s daughter’s room is dressed with pretty pink flowered linen from Fenwick and a lovely quilt which was Liz’s grandmother’s. Piled by the bed are some more wonderful old suitcases – yet more useful storage

The family bathroom

The family bathroom

The pretty cottage garden, strung with reams of fabric bunting, has burst into life with an explosion of greens, pinks, reds and yellows

The pretty cottage garden, strung with reams of fabric bunting, has burst into life with an explosion of greens, pinks, reds and yellows

Spring has sprung in the garden

Spring has sprung in the garden

A terraced arbor and a paved path, flanked by daffodils, hydrangeas and tulips, lead down to a summerhouse and chicken coop – home to

A terraced arbor and a paved path, flanked by daffodils, hydrangeas and tulips, lead down to a summerhouse and chicken coop

The summerhouse at the end of the garden path

The summerhouse at the end of the garden path

A terraced arbor and a paved path, flanked by daffodils, hydrangeas and tulips, lead down to a summerhouse and chicken coop – home to Roger the cockerel

Roger the cockerel

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

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