On a rainy winter’s day, a journey across Romney Marshes easily evokes images of Magwitch emerging from the mists to frighten poor Pip in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Patchily inhabited, and with its ancient churches and little new development, it somehow seems an appropriate place for a couple of antiques dealers to choose to reside. For some, the landscape of the marshes is an acquired taste.

The kitchen area is the only ‘modern’ part of the house, though it also spans several periods with its old-fashioned cat slide roof and wide, metal Crittall windows. The table is made of oak with barley twist gate-legs and is surrounded by scrubbed elm broad arm chairs

The kitchen area is the only ‘modern’ part of the house, though it also spans several periods with its old-fashioned cat slide roof and wide, metal Crittall windows. The table is made of oak with barley twist gate-legs and is surrounded by scrubbed elm broad arm chairs

The couple’s enthusiasm for collecting is evident in the collections of fascinating trinkets and objects displayed throughout the house. “Jackie’s the stylist,” interjects Brad, “she arranges things beautifully, but we only buy things that we like. There’s no point in trying to sell something that you don’t have an enthusiasm for, so what we do is try to pass on some of our passion for things with integrity

Up a narrow flight of bare pine steps is the landing, where the walls and ceiling have been painted with a rich ochre yellow wash. A rare, 19th century Qashquai rug hangs on the wall

Up a narrow flight of bare pine steps is the landing, where the walls and ceiling have been painted with a rich ochre yellow wash. A rare, 19th century Qashquai rug hangs on the wall

A sensuously curved bombé chest was bought by Brad from a house in Sandgate. “I like flamboyant pieces,” confirms Brad. “Chinese furniture has great charm too, there’s something exuberant and sort of cheerful about things like this.”

A sensuously curved bombé chest was bought by Brad from a house in Sandgate. “I like flamboyant pieces,” confirms Brad. “Chinese furniture has great charm too, there’s something exuberant and sort of cheerful about things like this.”

In the sea green painted bathroom a vintage rolltop bath seems fathoms deep and next to it stands a 19th century metal Arras chair, made in the town of the same name in northern France

In the sea green painted bathroom a vintage rolltop bath seems fathoms deep and next to it stands a 19th century metal Arras chair, made in the town of the same name in northern France

A little way along the corridor with the incongruous fireplace is the upstairs drawing room. A huge brick fireplace with an unusual demi-lune brass fender dominates the space. A yellow Chinese silk rug covers the broad old floorboards and a pair of Victorian sofas with yellow chintz covers add to the sense of comfort

A little way along the corridor with the incongruous fireplace is the upstairs drawing room. A huge brick fireplace with an unusual demi-lune brass fender dominates the space. A yellow Chinese silk rug covers the broad old floorboards and a pair of Victorian sofas with yellow chintz covers add to the sense of comfort

Jackie and I like to source idiosyncratic, decorative things, old mirrors, paintings and carved items.” “Yes,” agrees Jackie, “it’s more about selling a look. Things don’t have to be in pristine condition any more, in fact, signs of wear make them more intriguing.”

Jackie and I like to source idiosyncratic, decorative things, old mirrors, paintings and carved items.” “Yes,” agrees Jackie, “it’s more about selling a look. Things don’t have to be in pristine condition any more, in fact, signs of wear make them more intriguing.”

On closer inspection, the iron bedstead in the master bedroom, with its delicate lattice pattern, is not the usual Victorian black but is actually painted verdigris green with a garnet red Greek key pattern traced around the posts. “Most iron beds have been smothered in black paint,” explains Brad, “but originally, iron beds were painted in a variety of colours and featured little patterns or designs.”

On closer inspection, the iron bedstead in the master bedroom, with its delicate lattice pattern, is not the usual Victorian black but is actually painted verdigris green with a garnet red Greek key pattern traced around the posts. “Most iron beds have been smothered in black paint,” explains Brad, “but originally, iron beds were painted in a variety of colours and featured little patterns or designs.”

A small circular metal table stands to one side of the bed and an opaline glass lamp with gold palm leaves sprouting from the top adds a dash of French glamour...

A small circular metal table stands to one side of the bed and an opaline glass lamp with gold palm leaves sprouting from the top adds a dash of French glamour...

Brad and Jackie’s daughters share a room that is full of new and vintage toys. A dolls’ house stands by the window that is framed by curtains made from a Georgian style spriggy floral print. The girls’ desk already shows signs of an enthusiasm for collecting things too, with shells and found objects carefully arranged in groups

Brad and Jackie’s daughters share a room that is full of new and vintage toys. A dolls’ house stands by the window that is framed by curtains made from a Georgian style spriggy floral print. The girls’ desk already shows signs of an enthusiasm for collecting things too, with shells and found objects carefully arranged in groups

Through a low door is their son Martyn’s room. He has recently joined the business and has brought an enthusiasm for industrial, director-type furniture

Through a low door is their son Martyn’s room. He has recently joined the business and has brought an enthusiasm for industrial, director-type furniture

One wall in Martin’s room is panelled in oak and although it looks entirely in keeping with the house, Brad says that he installed it and that it was salvaged from the old Stock Exchange in London, an unwanted piece of history when the brokers moved premises

One wall in Martin’s room is panelled in oak and although it looks entirely in keeping with the house, Brad says that he installed it and that it was salvaged from the old Stock Exchange in London, an unwanted piece of history when the brokers moved premises

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

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