For twenty-six years Debbie Rix and her husband Tony have been evolving their generously proportioned Victorian home to suit the various stages of family life. Peaceful and calm, the beautiful gardens which surround the house now provide Debbie with the perfect spot in which to develop her plans for her latest novel.

The sitting room is painted and decorated in shades of pale apricot with splashes of a heavenly soft pale green

The sitting room is painted and decorated in shades of pale apricot with splashes of a heavenly soft pale green

The room is filled with interesting artefacts, mainly picked up at Ardingly Antiques Fairs where Debbie is a regular visitor

The room is filled with interesting artefacts, mainly picked up at Ardingly Antiques Fairs where Debbie is a regular visitor

The almost translucent Fired Earth mosaic marble tiles behind the range look clean and contemporary and sit well with the Carrara marble worktops. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Clunch and the units in Little Greene Pearl...

The almost translucent Fired Earth mosaic marble tiles behind the range look clean and contemporary and sit well with the Carrara marble worktops. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Clunch and the units in Little Greene Pearl

Neatly arranged on two dressers is an extensive collection of blue and white pottery, a passion which Debbie has been indulging since she was eighteen

Neatly arranged on two dressers is an extensive collection of blue and white pottery, a passion which Debbie has been indulging since she was eighteen

The breakfast room walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Shaded White, the plain wooden floors softened with rugs and kilims. The pretty pine fireplace was found in The Pantiles and the large Swedish chest opposite was one of the first pieces of furniture Tony and Debbie ever bought.

The breakfast room walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Shaded White, the plain wooden floors softened with rugs and kilims. The pretty pine fireplace was found in The Pantiles and the large Swedish chest opposite was one of the first pieces of furniture Tony and Debbie ever bought

The dining room is painted in a rich Tuscan Red, the perfect backdrop for candle-lit dinner parties. A selection of mainly black and white prints are hung around the room; both of Debbie’s parents were architects and there are some of their drawings, plus some woodcuts given as a wedding present and several Italian prints that Tony bought when he lived in Florence studying Italian

The dining room is painted in a rich Tuscan Red, the perfect backdrop for candle-lit dinner parties

A selection of mainly black and white prints are hung around the room; both of Debbie’s parents were architects and there are some of their drawings, plus some woodcuts given as a wedding present and several Italian prints that Tony bought when he lived in Florence studying Italian

A selection of mainly black and white prints are hung around the room; both of Debbie’s parents were architects and there are some of their drawings, plus some woodcuts given as a wedding present and several Italian prints that Tony bought when he lived in Florence studying Italian

Further along the landing from the master bedroom you pass through what was once the children’s playroom – which has unsurprisingly morphed into something a little more sophisticated – and on to their bedrooms

Further along the landing from the master bedroom you pass through what was once the children’s playroom – which has unsurprisingly morphed into something a little more sophisticated – and on to their bedrooms

The cat relaxes in the former play room

The cat relaxes in the former play room

The master bedroom features lovely paisley throws and washed out kilims

The master bedroom features lovely paisley throws and washed out kilims

A faded old dressmaker’s mannequin was previously used by Debbie and a friend when they ran a children’s dressing-up business

A faded old dressmaker’s mannequin was previously used by Debbie and a friend when they ran a children’s dressing-up business

The walls are painted in a restful shade of yellow – Roman Ochre from Fired Earth – with quite heavy tones of grey. It’s the ideal colour to set off the beautiful quilt that was sent over from America by Debbie’s sister

The walls are painted in a restful shade of yellow – Roman Ochre from Fired Earth – with quite heavy tones of grey. It’s the ideal colour to set off the beautiful quilt that was sent over from America by Debbie’s sister

The master bedroom en suite

The master bedroom en suite

In order to write, Debbie escapes to the summerhouse tucked away in a corner of the garden. Previously rather neglected, it is now a smart tongue and groove clad sanctuary painted in a very restful pale blue, the perfect place to write a novel

In order to write, Debbie escapes to the summerhouse tucked away in a corner of the garden. Previously rather neglected, it is now a smart tongue and groove clad sanctuary painted in a very restful pale blue, the perfect place to write a novel

The delightful potting shed

The delightful potting shed

Debbie’s love of structure and shape is very evident in the design of the garden. Originally this was just a large expanse of lawn with shrubs around the edge but over the years it has been transformed into a series of inspiring and original garden rooms

Debbie’s love of structure and shape is very evident in the design of the garden. Originally this was just a large expanse of lawn with shrubs around the edge but over the years it has been transformed into a series of inspiring and original garden rooms

A bee enjoying the gorgeous garden

A bee enjoying the gorgeous garden

Euphorbia and box edge the vegetable garden

Euphorbia and box edge the vegetable garden

In the recently revamped vegetable garden raised beds are divided by smart gravel paths

In the recently revamped vegetable garden raised beds are divided by smart gravel paths

A neatly trimmed hedge conceals the immaculately presented grass tennis court

A neatly trimmed hedge conceals the immaculately presented grass tennis court

Formal and informal garden spaces blend seamlessly

Formal and informal garden spaces blend seamlessly

The perfect place to relax

The perfect place to relax

Throughout the garden blousy borders appear to blend seamlessly into glorious open countryside

Throughout the garden blousy borders appear to blend seamlessly into glorious open countryside

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

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