Coming back ‘home’ to the Weald has been good. It righted a lot of the wrongs,” Louise Dean tells me after just a few minutes’ acquaintance. She has a disarming, if not slightly unnerving, frankness of manner that perhaps comes from the habit of writing about people and analysing the consequences of their actions or inaction.

The drawing room. Lamps with coloured crystals were bought from Liberty in London.

The drawing room. Lamps with coloured crystals were bought from Liberty in London.

The windows are framed by curtains made from vivid red and green crewelwork linen twill from Bell House Fabrics in Cranbrook.

The windows are framed by curtains made from vivid red and green crewelwork linen twill from Bell House Fabrics in Cranbrook.

A wooden bench from an old ocean liner serves one side of the kitchen table, while delicately carved oak chairs, bought from the late lamented antiques shop in Sissinghurst, populate the remaining three sides

A wooden bench from an old ocean liner serves one side of the kitchen table, while delicately carved oak chairs, bought from the late lamented antiques shop in Sissinghurst, populate the remaining three sides

The Fired Earth ‘Bastide’ kitchen was installed by Martins of Hawkhurst shortly after Louise moved in

The Fired Earth ‘Bastide’ kitchen was installed by Martins of Hawkhurst shortly after Louise moved in

Louise sourced the Edwardian tiles above the cooker from eBay

Louise sourced the Edwardian tiles above the cooker from eBay

The minstrel’s gallery. “This part of the house was an extension made in the 18th century. The main bit dates from the 15th century, I think, and you can still see the ‘external’ timbers. There’s so much wood here that the whole house creaks like a ship on the high seas.” Tucked under the stairs, a small door leads into Louise’s office

The minstrel’s gallery. “This part of the house was an extension made in the 18th century. The main bit dates from the 15th century, I think, and you can still see the ‘external’ timbers. There’s so much wood here that the whole house creaks like a ship on the high seas.” Tucked under the stairs, a small door leads into Louise’s office

The master bedroom. An enormous mirror with an Empire style black frame has been propped up underneath a black wall sconce with finely taut ‘string’ shades A spriggy flower print covers the tailor’s mannequin that displays a collection of vintage and African beads that Louise collected on her travels

The master bedroom. An enormous mirror with an Empire style black frame has been propped up underneath a black wall sconce with finely taut ‘string’ shades A spriggy flower print covers the tailor’s mannequin that displays a collection of vintage and African beads that Louise collected on her travels

Louise’s daughter’s room features a handsome mahogany sleigh bed covered with another patchwork quilt made by her grandmother

Louise’s daughter’s room features a handsome mahogany sleigh bed covered with another patchwork quilt made by her grandmother

The children’s rooms are colourful and jolly

The children’s rooms are colourful and jolly

The downstairs bathroom

The downstairs bathroom

Light floods into the conservatory

Light floods into the conservatory

The family’s new kittens are fascinated by papier-mâché red apples and pears dangling from the Christmas tree

The family’s new kittens are fascinated by papier-mâché red apples and pears dangling from the Christmas tree

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

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