Philippa and Stephen’s new house in East Sussex re-ignites – should it need any re-ignition – the important debate surrounding the question of how and what should we in the Weald be building for the future. Houses are not ephemera. They are here, many of them, for hundreds of years, defining a landscape and the lives of those that live within it. Bad houses are not bad hats. Get it wrong and generations live with the consequences.

Visitors pass through the hallway into a spacious kitchen/dining room where Philippa’s enviable flair for pulling-off imaginative colour combinations is evident in the contrasting shades of faded teal and mustard yellow that she has chosen to paint the units and walls

Visitors pass through the hallway into a spacious kitchen/dining room where Philippa’s enviable flair for pulling-off imaginative colour combinations is evident in the contrasting shades of faded teal and mustard yellow that she has chosen to paint the units and walls

In the dining room, eight doors open outward onto a wonderful rustic covered terrace

In the dining room, eight doors open outward onto a wonderful rustic covered terrace

Throughout the house, the couple have seamlessly combined an interesting and eclectic mix of antique and contemporary finds; aptly-named Solo the Dachshund relaxes on a sofa in one corner of the kitchen

Throughout the house, the couple have seamlessly combined an interesting and eclectic mix of antique and contemporary finds; aptly-named Solo the Dachshund relaxes on a sofa in one corner of the kitchen

The dining room benefits from a stunning view. “Even when it’s raining we can sit or dine here and enjoy the view,” says Philippa

The dining room benefits from a stunning view. “Even when it’s raining we can sit or dine here and enjoy the view,” says Philippa

In the master bedroom, with its own balcony, the elegant bed is surrounded by a glowing mahogany chest of drawers and an elegant cherry gentleman’s wardrobe

In the master bedroom, with its own balcony, the elegant bed is surrounded by a glowing mahogany chest of drawers and an elegant cherry gentleman’s wardrobe

Doors lead off the spacious gallery/hallway into a guest bedroom, the master bedroom and a generously proportioned bathroom

Doors lead off the spacious gallery/hallway into a guest bedroom, the master bedroom and a generously proportioned bathroom

The bathroom is a gentle mushroom with cool white woodwork. The basin sits on an antique lead-topped table backed by a ceiling height panel made from reclaimed floorboards

The bathroom is a gentle mushroom with cool white woodwork. The basin sits on an antique lead-topped table backed by a ceiling height panel made from reclaimed floorboards

In the drawing room a set of former French room dividers, that cleverly conceal the television, sport a fetching pair of golden antlers

In the drawing room a set of former French room dividers, that cleverly conceal the television, sport a fetching pair of golden antlers

Because the couple’s new design had to stay within the footprint of the original house, a large basement was included to accommodate bedrooms for their teenage daughters and also a guestroom

Because the couple’s new design had to stay within the footprint of the original house, a large basement was included to accommodate bedrooms for their teenage daughters and also a guestroom

Daughters Francesca and Elspeth have their own sitting room in the ‘basement’ which defies the word’s preconception of a dark, airless space as light pours in through doors which lead out into the garden

Daughters Francesca and Elspeth have their own sitting room in the ‘basement’ which defies the word’s preconception of a dark, airless space as light pours in through doors which lead out into the garden

The basement guestroom features a Victorian style brass bedstead and distressed bedside units from Foxhole Antiques

The basement guestroom features a Victorian style brass bedstead and distressed bedside units from Foxhole Antiques

The entrance hall

The entrance hall

Philippa and Stephen’s eye for detail continues out into the garden

Philippa and Stephen’s eye for detail continues out into the garden

Jackadoodle Ruby enjoys the sunshine

Jackadoodle Ruby enjoys the sunshine

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

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