A childhood love of horses led Jenny and her husband Dave to look for a home near to where they stabled their horse in the Sussex High Weald. After much searching, they finally found the perfect project – transforming a semi-detached Victorian cottage into an effortlessly stylish abode.

There is nothing twee about this stylish home which is filled with decorative items and mementos from around the world as well as practical touches such as a professional range cooker. This orderly sink area is across the room from the main food prep area, which has its own ‘island’ and boat-galley sink

There is nothing twee about this stylish home which is filled with decorative items and mementos from around the world as well as practical touches such as a professional range cooker. This orderly sink area is across the room from the main food prep area, which has its own ‘island’ and boat-galley sink

The back of the house has been knocked through to create a huge bright, open-plan kitchen and living area

The back of the house has been knocked through to create a huge bright, open-plan kitchen and living area

The ‘new’ room has a distinctly 70s feel, with McIntosh sideboard and lamps and Robin Day sofas

The ‘new’ room has a distinctly 70s feel, with McIntosh sideboard and lamps and Robin Day sofas

A mosaic made from fragments of crockery, called simply ‘Amy’ takes pride of place in the kitchen /living area

A mosaic made from fragments of crockery, called simply ‘Amy’ takes pride of place in the kitchen /living area

Retro lamps contrast with a vase of pretty cottage garden flowers and an elegant heron sculpture

Retro lamps contrast with a vase of pretty cottage garden flowers and an elegant heron sculpture

At the opposite end of the open plan living area, the 70s theme is continued with a McIntosh extending dining table with Robin Day armchairs at either end. The lamp above the table is an Italian classic which fits in perfectly with the pared-back modern look of the room

At the opposite end of the open plan living area, the 70s theme is continued with a McIntosh extending dining table with Robin Day armchairs at either end. The lamp above the table is an Italian classic which fits in perfectly with the pared-back modern look of the room

Open shelving is practical – as well as displaying the couple’s collection of kitchenware, cookbooks and artwork

Open shelving is practical – as well as displaying the couple’s collection of kitchenware, cookbooks and artwork

Being a caterer, Jen had very firm ideas of how she wanted the kitchen area to look and function so she designed the layout and then used Hastings craftsman Mark Tomlinson to make the units using Iroko wood sourced from school science labs

Being a caterer, Jen had very firm ideas of how she wanted the kitchen area to look and function so she designed the layout and then used Hastings craftsman Mark Tomlinson to make the units using Iroko wood sourced from school science labs

The cosy ‘snug’, with open fire, which is just off the front hallway

The cosy snug, with open fire, which is just off the front hallway

Shades of white and grey in the snug and stairwell reflect natural light

Shades of white and grey in the snug and stairwell reflect natural light

Up the stairs – painted very simply in white Annie Sloan furniture paint – you come to a wonderfully light and airy landing with raised and vaulted ceilings and home to another stunning mega light fitting – this one from Ikea

Up the stairs – painted very simply in white Annie Sloan furniture paint – you come to a wonderfully light and airy landing with raised and vaulted ceilings and home to another stunning mega light fitting – this one from Ikea

The primrose yellow guest bedroom at the front of the house

The primrose yellow guest bedroom at the front of the house

A pretty basin area in a compact washroom just off the landing

A pretty basin area in a compact washroom just off the landing

The main bedroom at the back of the cottage has wonderful views out over the garden to the fields beyond

The main bedroom at the back of the cottage has wonderful views out over the garden to the fields beyond

The bedrom is decorated in very simple and restful tones – pale walls and floorboards, curtains made from linen tablecloths found at a Portuguese street market

The bedroom is decorated in very simple and restful tones – pale walls and floorboards, curtains made from linen tablecloths found at a Portuguese street market

The view into the pretty en suite

The view into the pretty en suite

A spacious spare room is decorated in a relaxing combination of white and green, with a Victorian style metal bedstead as the focal point

A spacious spare room is decorated in a relaxing combination of white and green, with a Victorian style metal bedstead as the focal point

Jen fell in love with Fired Earth’s wallpaper ‘After Eight’ which she has used on the feature wall and chimney breast at the foot of the bed

Jen fell in love with Fired Earth’s wallpaper ‘After Eight’ which she has used on the feature wall and chimney breast at the foot of the bed

The cloakroom, just off the hall, is painted in Little Greene’s ‘Delicate Blue’. The tiles above are Victorian, while the murals painted around them are by Lucinda Bothwell, a local artist

The cloakroom, just off the hall, is painted in Little Greene’s ‘Delicate Blue’. The tiles above are Victorian, while the murals painted around them are by Lucinda Bothwell, a local artist

Murphy’s Navajo saddlery hangs in the hallway alongside a framed photograph of John Lennon

Murphy’s Navajo saddlery hangs in the hallway alongside a framed photograph of John Lennon

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Jane Howard

17th Century Sandstone Farmhouse

Stella Hayes initially fell in love with the property's glorious garden. She has gone on to create a beautiful home.

60s Themed Seaside Holiday Home

I’m sure we’ve all thought about buying a house by the sea – perhaps after an idyllic holiday, or a bracing walk, even just a drive along the coast. On the morning we visit James Rourke’s house, as the sullen...

A Butterfly Unfurled

When Sally Harrington opens the huge front door of her Kentish weatherboard home I assume that the 1950s bungalow that once stood here was demolished to make way for the new house. “No,” she says, “it’s still in here somewhere,...