Setting the scene has been Emma Clarke’s professional role for many years. So, when the opportunity arose to create her own, domestic show-stopper, she was more than qualified – as her magnificent home demonstrates.

Emma’s B&B guests can relax in her pretty drawing room which overlooks the gravel driveway and raised vegetable beds in the front garden. Pale decor and reflective, glittering treasures make the most of the light, which floods in from the kitchen though half-glazed sliding doors.

Emma’s B&B guests can relax in her pretty drawing room which overlooks the gravel driveway and raised vegetable beds in the front garden. Pale decor and reflective, glittering treasures make the most of the light, which floods in from the kitchen though half-glazed sliding doors

Emma brought several pieces of oversized furniture back from the States, including this huge armchair-cum-chaise longue – which is perfectly positioned for enjoying the drop-down cinema screen

Emma brought several pieces of oversized furniture back from the States, including this huge armchair-chaise longue – which is perfectly positioned for enjoying the drop-down cinema screen

House plants and flowers bring life and colour to every room

House plants and flowers bring life and colour to every room

A drop-down cinema screen is hidden between the huge oak beams of the drawing room. Emma sometimes holds ‘Dinnerma’ evenings, where guests enjoy select films and home-cooked food

A drop-down cinema screen is hidden between the huge oak beams of the drawing room. Emma sometimes holds ‘Dinnerma’ evenings, where guests enjoy select films and home-cooked food

One of Emma’s cats poses underneath Sidney, an old photographic prop found in a junk shop and used by Emma’s father who was a photographer. Her father’s work, including many pictures of Emma, is displayed around the house

One of Emma’s cats poses underneath Sidney, an old photographic prop found in a junk shop and used by Emma’s father who was a photographer. Her father’s work, including many pictures of Emma, is displayed around the house

The large open-plan kitchen is a mix of French and Scandinavian style as well as being eminently practical; recycling bins are hidden under the kitchen counter and a double butler sink occupies the central island

The large open-plan kitchen is a mix of French and Scandinavian style as well as being eminently practical; recycling bins are hidden under the kitchen counter and a double butler sink occupies the central island

Each room includes plenty of space for books – including the kitchen. Here, recipe books sit alongside horticultural manuals and foreign dictionaries

Each room includes plenty of space for books – including the kitchen. Here, recipe books sit alongside horticultural manuals and foreign dictionaries

The ‘working end’ of the kitchen is a cook’s dream, with utensils and ingredients close to hand and an island unit – with half-oak-half-Carrara marble surface – allowing Emma to talk to guests while preparing food. The warm yellow of the painted shelving units is a nod to Emma’s Norwegian heritage

The ‘working end’ of the kitchen is a cook’s dream, with utensils and ingredients close to hand and an island unit – with half-oak-half-Carrara marble surface – allowing Emma to talk to guests while preparing food. The warm yellow of the painted shelving units is a nod to Emma’s Norwegian heritage

There are bare floorboards throughout the house – in many cases stripped back and painted – then decorated with colourful rugs from around the world

There are bare floorboards throughout the house – in many cases stripped back and painted – then decorated with colourful rugs from around the world

Steps leading from the upstairs landing into Emma’s bedroom suite – which was once the hayloft above the carriage house

Steps leading from the upstairs landing into Emma’s bedroom suite – which was once the hayloft above the carriage house

Emma’s own bedroom one might expect to be something special and, of course, it is. It started life as the hayloft above what is now the drawing room

Emma’s own bedroom one might expect to be something special and, of course, it is. It started life as the hayloft above what is now the drawing room

“I’m afraid I’m a magpie – if it’s shiny I’m just drawn to it,” she says

“I’m afraid I’m a magpie – if it’s shiny I’m just drawn to it,” she says

The bathroom has been formed by enclosing a section of the original room by means of a wooden partition which is solid to waist height and, above, a series of glass panes. In the sliding doors the glass is normal two-way glass but, to provide a little privacy, the other panes are double-sided mirrors and the effect is stunning

The bathroom has been formed by enclosing a section of the original room by means of a wooden partition which is solid to waist height and, above, a series of glass panes. In the sliding doors the glass is normal two-way glass but, to provide a little privacy, the other panes are double-sided mirrors and the effect is stunning

One of the bedrooms is nicknamed ‘the Flower Room’ because it is the more feminine of the two guest rooms and features various floral motifs. The delicate blind is a piece of vintage Sanderson fabric Emma found online.

One of the bedrooms is nicknamed ‘the Flower Room’ because it is the more feminine of the two guest rooms and features various floral motifs. The delicate blind is a piece of vintage Sanderson fabric Emma found online

Vases of flowers in soft pastel shades complement the classic white Laura Ashley bed frame and freshly painted green chest of drawers

Vases of flowers in soft pastel shades complement the classic white Laura Ashley bed frame and freshly painted green chest of drawers

The second guest bedroom is ‘a nod to Jane Eyre’. “The first thing I did was paint the floor red. My friends thought I’d finally lost it,” says Emma.

The second guest bedroom is ‘a nod to Jane Eyre’. “The first thing I did was paint the floor red. My friends thought I’d finally lost it,” says Emma

A fireplace at the foot of the bed, a gilt-framed mirror and natural wood furniture work with the warm tones of the soft furnishings

A fireplace at the foot of the bed, a gilt-framed mirror and natural wood furniture work with the warm tones of the soft furnishings

The main bathroom was not designed as a bathroom, as such, but was simply another room to which Emma could introduce beauty and interest, though it does include a luxurious roll-top bath and space-age walk-in shower

The main bathroom was not designed as a bathroom, as such, but was simply another room to which Emma could introduce beauty and interest, though it does include a luxurious roll-top bath and space-age walk-in shower

Clues to Emma’s career in film and television, as well her father’s role as a photographer are evident wherever you look. Here a classic Man Ray image contrasts with more traditional touches

Clues to Emma’s career in film and television, as well her father’s role as a photographer are evident wherever you look. Here a classic Man Ray image contrasts with more traditional touches

Family photographs follow the line of the stairs

Family photographs follow the line of the stairs

Vintage mirrors, carefully placed, are key to this light and bright home

Vintage mirrors, carefully placed, are key to this light and bright home

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Jennifer Stuart-Smith

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