Every house has a story – but it’s very rare to find one that feels like a story in itself. With this dwelling, in the south east corner of Kent, even before you turn into the gravel drive that slopes gently up to the elegant porticoed entrance, there is a sense of a scene being set.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room is painted in Thai Sapphire by Little Greene. The cast iron dining chairs are from Oka. The botanical photograph is by Isabel Bannerman

The dining room is painted in Thai Sapphire by Little Greene. The cast iron dining chairs are from Oka. The botanical photograph is by Isabel Bannerman

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

The dining room viewed from the other end, showing the second Isabel Bannerman photograph over 12 figures of Chinese astrology signs from Clignancourt fleamarket in Paris. The metal console tables were commissioned from Tom Faulkner, furniture designer. The red velvet curtain fabric is by Timorous Beasties. The collections of glass on the trolley and objects on the mantelpiece are arranged by Jane.

Jane’s love of peacock feathers is in strong evidence in the kitchen. The wallpaper is by Matthew Williamson. The chandelier is by Lee Broom

Jane’s love of peacock feathers is in strong evidence in the kitchen. The wallpaper is by Matthew Williamson. The chandelier is by Lee Broom

Looking through to the back kitchen

Looking through to the back kitchen

The family call this display in a passage at the rear of the house ‘Jane’s Table of Curiosities’. It started as one shelf and grew into three tables as people gave her presents for it.

The family call this display in a passage at the rear of the house ‘Jane’s Table of Curiosities’. It started as one shelf and grew into three tables as people gave her presents for it.

The walls in the ‘blackboard loo’ have been enthusiastically graffitied by the whole family Above: The loo window is filled with coloured Duralex tumblers, reflected in the mirror on the window sill

The walls in the ‘blackboard loo’ have been enthusiastically graffitied by the whole family Above: The loo window is filled with coloured Duralex tumblers, reflected in the mirror on the window sill

The walls in the ‘blackboard loo’ have been enthusiastically graffitied by the whole family Above: The loo window is filled with coloured Duralex tumblers, reflected in the mirror on the window sill

The walls in the ‘blackboard loo’ have been enthusiastically graffitied by the whole family Above: The loo window is filled with coloured Duralex tumblers, reflected in the mirror on the window sill

The wonderful pea green paint in John’s study also by Little Greene. The curtain fabric is by Lacroix. John’s computer is cleverly hidden behind doors in the bookshelves. The Chinese porcelain Foo Dogs – or ‘guardian lions’ – on the mantelpiece are another of Jane’s favourite things to collect

The wonderful pea green paint in John’s study also by Little Greene. The curtain fabric is by Lacroix. John’s computer is cleverly hidden behind doors in the bookshelves. The Chinese porcelain Foo Dogs – or ‘guardian lions’ – on the mantelpiece are another of Jane’s favourite things to collect

The wonderful pea green paint in John’s study also by Little Greene. The curtain fabric is by Lacroix. John’s computer is cleverly hidden behind doors in the bookshelves. The Chinese porcelain Foo Dogs – or ‘guardian lions’ – on the mantelpiece are another of Jane’s favourite things to collect

The wonderful pea green paint in John’s study also by Little Greene. The curtain fabric is by Lacroix. John’s computer is cleverly hidden behind doors in the bookshelves. The Chinese porcelain Foo Dogs – or ‘guardian lions’ – on the mantelpiece are another of Jane’s favourite things to collect

The wonderful pea green paint in John’s study also by Little Greene. The curtain fabric is by Lacroix. John’s computer is cleverly hidden behind doors in the bookshelves. The Chinese porcelain Foo Dogs – or ‘guardian lions’ – on the mantelpiece are another of Jane’s favourite things to collect

The wonderful pea green paint in John’s study also by Little Greene. The curtain fabric is by Lacroix. John’s computer is cleverly hidden behind doors in the bookshelves. The Chinese porcelain Foo Dogs – or ‘guardian lions’ – on the mantelpiece are another of Jane’s favourite things to collect

The first glimpse of Jane’s extensive collection of Murano glass in the main hall. The ebony console table is by Gareth Neal

The first glimpse of Jane’s extensive collection of Murano glass in the main hall. The ebony console table is by Gareth Neal

The first glimpse of Jane’s extensive collection of Murano glass in the main hall. The ebony console table is by Gareth Neal

The first glimpse of Jane’s extensive collection of Murano glass in the main hall. The ebony console table is by Gareth Neal

Behind a sofa in the sitting room, a collection of ceramics by Tanya Gomez

Behind a sofa in the sitting room, a collection of ceramics by Tanya Gomez

More peacock feathers on a decorative screen. The late 19th century bronze figure is from Christopher Buck Antiques

More peacock feathers on a decorative screen. The late 19th century bronze figure is from Christopher Buck Antiques

Another book cover artwork by the Connor Brothers from Lilford Galleries in one of the bedrooms

Another book cover artwork by the Connor Brothers from Lilford Galleries in one of the bedrooms

Another book cover artwork by the Connor Brothers from Lilford Galleries in one of the bedrooms

Another book cover artwork by the Connor Brothers from Lilford Galleries in one of the bedrooms

A mounted unicorn head from Rockett St George

A mounted unicorn head from Rockett St George

The ‘Library Loo’ featuring a table made of books, book cover art by the Connor Brothers, from Lilford Galleries in Canterbury, hanging books, book wallpaper – and a book that is really a shelf

The ‘Library Loo’ featuring a table made of books, book cover art by the Connor Brothers, from Lilford Galleries in Canterbury, hanging books, book wallpaper – and a book that is really a shelf

The ‘Library Loo’ featuring a table made of books, book cover art by the Connor Brothers, from Lilford Galleries in Canterbury, hanging books, book wallpaper – and a book that is really a shelf

The ‘Library Loo’ featuring a table made of books, book cover art by the Connor Brothers, from Lilford Galleries in Canterbury, hanging books, book wallpaper – and a book that is really a shelf

The ‘Library Loo’ featuring a table made of books, book cover art by the Connor Brothers, from Lilford Galleries in Canterbury, hanging books, book wallpaper – and a book that is really a shelf

The ‘Library Loo’ featuring a table made of books, book cover art by the Connor Brothers, from Lilford Galleries in Canterbury, hanging books, book wallpaper – and a book that is really a shelf

The first room we visit upstairs is Jane’s library, lined with books, many of them first editions

The first room we visit upstairs is Jane’s library, lined with books, many of them first editions

The mantelpiece in Jane’s library with more chinoiserie and a detail of her very personal collection of books

The mantelpiece in Jane’s library with more chinoiserie and a detail of her very personal collection of books

a collection of crystals

a collection of crystals

The mantelpiece in Jane’s library with more chinoiserie and a detail of her very personal collection of books

The mantelpiece in Jane’s library with more chinoiserie and a detail of her very personal collection of books

The Venice bedroom features Venetian mirrors and curtains featuring Venetian scenes from Zoffany

The Venice bedroom features Venetian mirrors and curtains featuring Venetian scenes from Zoffany

The Venice bedroom features Venetian mirrors and curtains featuring Venetian scenes from Zoffany

The Venice bedroom features Venetian mirrors and curtains featuring Venetian scenes from Zoffany

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether

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