As a six-year-old child, I had just one ambition. Not to be a train driver or super-hero, not to slay dragons and rescue damsels in distress, not to ride into the western sunset with the Lone Ranger. My ambition was to own a sweet shop and there was an establishment in my grandparents’ village that I coveted more than any other, a magical place of row upon row of vast, gleaming glass jars brimming with joy beyond telling. Which is why my envy of Diana Segal knows no bounds. Diana Segal owns a sweet shop.

Both the kitchen units and island are from Neptune

Both the kitchen units and island are from Neptune

The kitchen’s central island is surrounded by Ikea bar stools that could, for all the world, be Conran. The floor is white-painted bare boards. “Very impractical at first,” says Diana, “but it looks better now that it’s been bashed about a bit.” Against one wall is an old metal folding French café table – from Diana’s shop Gardener & Cook – and scattered around, some lovely old signage and wooden boxes

The kitchen’s central island is surrounded by Ikea bar stools that could, for all the world, be Conran. The floor is white-painted bare boards. “Very impractical at first,” says Diana, “but it looks better now that it’s been bashed about a bit.” Against one wall is an old metal folding French café table – from Diana’s shop Gardener & Cook – and scattered around, some lovely old signage and wooden boxes

In the hallway is an 19th century bust of a beautiful woman that Diana found in London where she still sources many of her pieces, a Duncan Grant and a wartime ‘Shelter’ sign

In the hallway is an 19th century bust of a beautiful woman that Diana found in London where she still sources many of her pieces, a Duncan Grant and a wartime ‘Shelter’ sign

Over the chimney-piece in the sitting room is an enlarged and framed copy of the cover of the first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Hiding too modestly in a corner by the fireplace is an unusual and very pretty Lloyd Loom folding table on which stands one of a pair of elegant matching Gardener & Cook table lights

Over the chimney-piece in the sitting room is an enlarged and framed copy of the cover of the first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Hiding too modestly in a corner by the fireplace is an unusual and very pretty Lloyd Loom folding table on which stands one of a pair of elegant matching Gardener & Cook table lights

Mr Dogsby relaxes on one of the sofas

Mr Dogsby relaxes on one of the sofas

Diana has recently started a collection of ceramic dogs

Diana has recently started a collection of ceramic dogs

When it came to remodelling and decorating the house Diana had only one priority and that was to create a real, individual family home

When it came to remodelling and decorating the house Diana had only one priority and that was to create a real, individual family home

The master bedroom features a superb period chest of drawers in glowing oak that Diana picked up for £75 at Lots Road auction. Behind it in the window is a Victorian tailor’s dummy hung with a silk scarf and a blizzard of beads

The master bedroom features a superb period chest of drawers in glowing oak that Diana picked up for £75 at Lots Road auction. Behind it in the window is a Victorian tailor’s dummy hung with a silk scarf and a blizzard of beads

At the foot of the bed is a pine chest and an old steel deed box

At the foot of the bed is a pine chest and an old steel deed box

But the pièce de résistance has to be, next to two metal hat boxes, a wonderfully delicate period French iron and marble dressing table picked up in a London auction

The pièce de résistance has to be, next to two metal hat boxes, a wonderfully delicate period French iron and marble dressing table picked up in a London auction

The master bedroom is an eloquent testimonial to Diana’s talent as a ‘finder’. “I’m always bringing pieces home,” she says. “Some go back and some stay. The problem is that when the girls like something they give it a name and then it becomes part of the family.”

The master bedroom is an eloquent testimonial to Diana’s talent as a ‘finder’. “I’m always bringing pieces home,” she says. “Some go back and some stay. The problem is that when the girls like something they give it a name and then it becomes part of the family.”

The study was, says Diana, lots of fun to pull together. She chose Farrow & Ball ‘Downpipe’ for the walls. On the white trestle table, made by Diana herself, are a terrific old Remington typewriter, a deed box and a penguin, the latter having started life as a garden water-feature and was found in Lewes Antiques Centre

The study was, says Diana, lots of fun to pull together. She chose Farrow & Ball ‘Downpipe’ for the walls. On the white trestle table, made by Diana herself, are a terrific old Remington typewriter, a deed box and a penguin, the latter having started life as a garden water-feature and was found in Lewes Antiques Centre

The girls’ bedrooms are very much a reflection of their personalities. Hannah’s room in the eaves is a breath of fresh pink and white. Phoebe’s is an altogether more edgy affair with much evident homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A bowler hangs jauntily on the end of her bed and behind it, on her dressing table, is a skull in a fez...

The girls’ bedrooms are very much a reflection of their personalities. Hannah’s room in the eaves is a breath of fresh pink and white. Phoebe’s is an altogether more edgy affair with much evident homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A bowler hangs jauntily on the end of her bed and behind it, on her dressing table, is a skull in a fez...

Pride of place in Phoebe’s room is an old leather trunk topped with a classic 1960s Princess 300 portable typewriter made by Keller and Knappich that she specifically asked for as a Christmas present

Pride of place in Phoebe’s room is an old leather trunk topped with a classic 1960s Princess 300 portable typewriter made by Keller and Knappich that she specifically asked for as a Christmas present

Right up in the eaves of the house, daughter Hannah’s room is decorated in delicate pink and white with a wrought-iron Ikea day bed dressed with a pink floral cover. The elegant white dressing table, originally stripped pine, was given to Diana by her mother

Right up in the eaves of the house, daughter Hannah’s room is decorated in delicate pink and white with a wrought-iron Ikea day bed dressed with a pink floral cover. The elegant white dressing table, originally stripped pine, was given to Diana by her mother

The family bathroom is a crisp white space with accents of grey and pale blue

The family bathroom is a crisp white space with accents of grey and pale blue

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

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