It’s odd, perhaps, but the expression ‘living over the shop’ somehow now seems to conjure 1950s images of a middle-aged, Fair Isle-sweatered tobacconist and his aproned wife settling back, Horlicks in hand, while on the black and white television Percy Thrower does something wholesome with geraniums.

TEST The real glory of the kitchen-dining area is a long and honeyed farmhouse table

The real glory of the kitchen-dining area is a long and honeyed farmhouse table

TEST James has seamless combined an eclectic mix of old and new throughout the house

James has seamless combined an eclectic mix of old and new throughout the house

TEST

TEST A glossy white piano greets visitors on entering the house

A glossy white piano greets visitors on entering the house

TEST The light floods into the kitchen-dining area through French windows which lead out to the courtyard garden

The light floods into the kitchen-dining area through French windows which lead out to the courtyard garden

TEST At the other end of the dining area stands a small 18th century table: the first piece James bought when leaving college

At the other end of the dining area stands a small 18th century table: the first piece James bought when leaving college

TEST James’ house is filled with artworks, ornaments and curios, the most striking of which are a pair of toy wooden horses

James’ house is filled with artworks, ornaments and curios, the most striking of which are a pair of toy wooden horses

TEST

TEST

TEST A large distressed grey French cupboard stands at the other end of the dining area, its long-lost original glass panels replaced very effectively by humble chicken wire

A large distressed grey French cupboard stands at the other end of the dining area, its long-lost original glass panels replaced very effectively by humble chicken wire

TEST It’s James’ skill in spotting just the right pieces for each room that makes this house so special

It’s James’ skill in spotting just the right pieces for each room that makes this house so special

TEST The original sitting room, home to a French corner unit upon which nests a collection of antique shooting decoys

The original sitting room, home to a French corner unit upon which nests a collection of antique shooting decoys

TEST Old shop signs are another of James’ passions

Old shop signs are another of James’ passions

TEST The view into the bathroom, past a huge gilt mirror

The view into the bathroom, past a huge gilt mirror

TEST The master bedroom and en suite shower room. On the table in the corner stands a drawer unit from an old village shop

The master bedroom and en suite shower room. On the table in the corner stands a drawer unit from an old village shop

TEST

TEST Even the pretty bedroom of a visiting child is complete with perfectly-placed finishing touches, including a vintage Jackie magazine

Even the pretty bedroom of a visiting child is complete with perfectly-placed finishing touches, including a vintage Jackie magazine

TEST

TEST

TEST The walled, partially-decked courtyard garden is the perfect summer hideaway

The walled, partially-decked courtyard garden is the perfect summer hideaway

TEST

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

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