Craving a dramatic change from the stresses of London life, David Page and his partner, David Baker, chose to set up home – and shop – in Hastings Old Town. And they couldn’t be happier that they did. 

TEST The bedroom has a decidedly forest feel with wood panelled fireplace and mossy green walls – the perfect backdrop for more of the couple’s collection of houseplants

The bedroom has a decidedly forest feel with wood panelled fireplace and mossy green walls – the perfect backdrop for more of the couple’s collection of houseplants

TEST One of the shelves made with a scalloped edge, sits above a rail of clothes

One of the shelves made with a scalloped edge, sits above a rail of clothes

TEST Although most of the black was eradicated from the interior, the staircase has remained dark

Although most of the black was eradicated from the interior, the staircase has remained dark

TEST When we go up or downstairs, it’s like opening a diary.

"When we go up or downstairs, it’s like opening a diary."

TEST “I need greenery and we don’t really have a garden, so I have brought it inside. A lot of the plants are from Mao Bramall at Shimizu, the florist’s further along the high street.

“I need greenery and we don’t really have a garden, so I have brought it inside. A lot of the plants are from Mao Bramall at Shimizu, the florist’s further along the high street."

TEST The staircase has become a striking feature in itself, rising just behind the shop, going up through the centre of the building

The staircase has become a striking feature in itself, rising just behind the shop, going up through the centre of the building

TEST Exposed brickwork cocoons the staircase which rises just behind the shop, going up through the centre of the building. It provides a great backdrop for David and David’s paintings and photographs

Exposed brickwork cocoons the staircase which rises just behind the shop, going up through the centre of the building. It provides a great backdrop for David and David’s paintings and photographs

TEST The wonderful light boxes are made from magic lantern slides, bought from Robert’s Rummage shop across the road for £1 each

The wonderful light boxes are made from magic lantern slides, bought from Robert’s Rummage shop across the road for £1 each

TEST The impressive fireplace in the sitting room was an Ebay find, the surround wallpapered instead of tiled using paper from Vintage Bird

The impressive fireplace in the sitting room was an Ebay find, the surround wallpapered instead of tiled using paper from Vintage Bird

TEST Everything in the house has memory and meaning and David is also careful about what he buys for the shop

Everything in the house has memory and meaning and David is also careful about what he buys for the shop

TEST The living room was the first room David and David decorated. The laths on the wall opposite the window are exposed, all the insides and plaster removed. This pared back, skeleton wall works beautifully, opening up the whole space, the effect enhanced by the stained glass window in the door

The living room was the first room David and David decorated. The laths on the wall opposite the window are exposed, all the insides and plaster removed. This pared back, skeleton wall works beautifully, opening up the whole space, the effect enhanced by the stained glass window in the door

TEST Almost knocking out the wall adds another dimension to both the living room and the staircase and makes the house feel bigger and lighter

Almost knocking out the wall adds another dimension to both the living room and the staircase and makes the house feel bigger and lighter

TEST Nestled below a windowsill of tropical greenery the roll top bath offers the perfect place to unwind after a busy day in the shop

Nestled below a windowsill of tropical greenery the roll top bath offers the perfect place to unwind after a busy day in the shop

TEST Decorative apothecary bottles line the shelves surrounding the bathroom mirror

Decorative apothecary bottles line the shelves surrounding the bathroom mirror

TEST Pictures of cats can be found throughout the house

Pictures of cats can be found throughout the house

TEST Decorative apothecary bottles line the shelves surrounding the bathroom mirror

“When we moved we had to have a separate removal van just for the plants.”

TEST Strategically placed mirrors illuminate the potentially light-starved staircase that leads down to the stockroom in the basement

Strategically placed mirrors illuminate the potentially light-starved staircase that leads down to the stockroom in the basement

TEST “I will always have lots of pictures on the walls,” says David

“I will always have lots of pictures on the walls,” says David

TEST “All kitchens should be yellow,” declares David)

“All kitchens should be yellow,” declares David

TEST I admire the collection of blue and white china and the way that items originally from the shop mingle happily with their other possessions

I admire the collection of blue and white china and the way that items originally from the shop mingle happily with their other possessions

TEST Shop House had to have a homely feel – “as if you are going through someone’s house,” David explains

Shop House had to have a homely feel – “as if you are going through someone’s house,” David explains

TEST I wanted all the shelves to have scalloped edges to them – so we had to make them. First we cut each one in half and then we painted them all by hand – it took ages.”

"I wanted all the shelves to have scalloped edges to them – so we had to make them. First we cut each one in half and then we painted them all by hand – it took ages.”

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Helen Barton

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