Inspired by the Charleston principle – to seek out only the most beautiful or interesting pieces to furnish their interior – Matthew Fox and his partner Chris have transformed a dilapidated antiques shop on Burwash High Street into an enviably unique destination, the ideal base from which to explore all that Kent & East Sussex has to offer.

On the far wall stand two elegant dining chairs upholstered in fabric by Svenskt Tenn, above which are two gold corbels topped by Edwardian silver candlesticks

On the far wall stand two elegant dining chairs upholstered in fabric by Svenskt Tenn, above which are two gold corbels topped by Edwardian silver candlesticks

In one corner, on a marble-topped Victorian butcher’s table, is an Edwardian dining table centrepiece

In one corner, on a marble-topped Victorian butcher’s table, is an Edwardian dining table centrepiece

A Venetian rococo mirror is mounted above the painted brickwork of the fireplace

A Venetian rococo mirror is mounted above the painted brickwork of the fireplace

A door from the entrance hall leads to the duo of bedrooms and dining room on the first floor

A door from the entrance hall leads to the duo of bedrooms and dining room on the first floor

On the ground floor, a timbered Gothic arch leads through to the sitting room, fitted with a contemporary shelving unit painted a vibrant Farrow & Ball Rectory Red. Between two Scandinavian armchairs is a highly polished milk churn on top of which has been placed a piece of circular glass to make an unusual and attractive side table

On the ground floor, a timbered Gothic arch leads through to the sitting room, fitted with a contemporary shelving unit painted a vibrant Farrow & Ball Rectory Red. Between two Scandinavian armchairs is a highly polished milk churn on top of which has been placed a piece of circular glass to make an unusual and attractive side table

The sitting room has a large inglenook fireplace

The sitting room has a large inglenook fireplace

Along a corridor from the sitting room, the Phoenix Room occupies a space which was once used as the café for the antiques arcade

Along a corridor from the sitting room, the Phoenix Room occupies a space which was once used as the café for the antiques arcade

The wood panelled en suite features a Georgian dresser which exactly fitted the space that Matthew had earmarked for a contemporary basin

The wood panelled en suite features a Georgian dresser which exactly fitted the space that Matthew had earmarked for a contemporary basin

An Elizabethan style mural designed by Hastings artist Melissa White and painted by Alice Mason greets guests en route to breakfast

An Elizabethan style mural designed by Hastings artist Melissa White and painted by Alice Mason greets guests en route to breakfast

Matthew sources fresh, local ingredients to serve visitors in the cosy dining room during winter and on the open air patio in the summer months

Matthew sources fresh, local ingredients to serve visitors in the cosy dining room during winter and on the open air patio in the summer months

In Bantam, Melissa and Alice were commissioned to create another lovely Elizabethan-style mural that runs the length of the wall above the bed

In Bantam, Melissa and Alice were commissioned to create another lovely Elizabethan-style mural that runs the length of the wall above the bed

A view from Bantam through to the en suite

A view from Bantam through to the en suite

Interconnecting doors lead through from Bantam to Labrador

Interconnecting doors lead through from Bantam to Labrador

Using his grandmother’s Herend pieces as a start, Matthew has gathered a superb collection of porcelain plates which now hang above the upholstered bedhead in Labrador

Using his grandmother’s Herend pieces as a start, Matthew has gathered a superb collection of porcelain plates which now hang above the upholstered bedhead in Labrador

The doorway leading from Bantam through to Labrador

The doorway leading from Bantam through to Labrador

Up a few stairs is Labrador’s own private sitting room, complete with Victorian teacups and a teapot made by Lewes potter Topsy Jewell

Up a few stairs is Labrador’s own private sitting room, complete with Victorian teacups and a teapot made by Lewes potter Topsy Jewell

Labrador's relaxing sitting room

Labrador's relaxing sitting room

Tucked away at the top of the house, Matthew and Chris’ room is a calm and serene space with neat built-in wardrobe echoing the nautical Farrow & Ball Pitch Blue used on the walls

Tucked away at the top of the house, Matthew and Chris’ room is a calm and serene space with neat built-in wardrobe echoing the nautical Farrow & Ball Pitch Blue used on the walls

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

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