An American catching sight of a friend’s particularly fine painting, sculpture or piece of furniture would have no hesitation in paying the appropriate compliment and casually adding ‘Waddyagiveforit?’ We Brits are considerably more reticent when it comes to discussing money. We may be dying to know how much a piece cost but would rather die than ask.

TEST Minnie’s home begins underground with a stunning basement conversion that provides a dining room, kitchen and the children’s computer games room

Minnie’s home begins underground with a stunning basement conversion that provides a dining room, kitchen and the children’s computer games room

TEST The walls are the original glowing brick and white lime mortar and the floor throughout oak boarding

The walls are the original glowing brick and white lime mortar and the floor throughout oak boarding

TEST The kitchen section is divided invisibly down the middle – the business side all black granite and steel and the other a far warmer world of soft shades, shadows and antique wood

The kitchen section is divided invisibly down the middle – the business side all black granite and steel and the other a far warmer world of soft shades, shadows and antique wood

TEST The dining room gathers round a bespoke bleached oak table and an eclectic collection of white-painted and old bare wood chairs

The dining room gathers round a bespoke bleached oak table and an eclectic collection of white-painted and old bare wood chairs

TEST Nearby hides a small white painted butcher’s block trimmed with a pretty cotton curtain

Nearby hides a small white painted butcher’s block trimmed with a pretty cotton curtain

TEST On the way up to the ground floor visitors pass a wooden case of old soda siphon bottles and a pretty drawered shelf on which stands a collection of soda siphons and some fat green bottles

On the way up to the ground floor visitors pass a wooden case of old soda siphon bottles and a pretty drawered shelf on which stands a collection of soda siphons and some fat green bottles

TEST Antique mirrors are a prominent feature of Minnie’s home

Antique mirrors are a prominent feature of Minnie’s home

TEST Bloch ballet shoes and a vintage christening robe hang on wire hooks by the front door

Bloch ballet shoes and a vintage christening robe hang on wire hooks by the front door

TEST “I love antiques not just for their beauty but their history,” says Minnie. “I love the stories each tell and I love thinking about where they’ve been and what they’ve seen.”

“I love antiques not just for their beauty but their history,” says Minnie. “I love the stories each tell and I love thinking about where they’ve been and what they’ve seen.”

TEST In the more casual area of the drawing room a big cream Danish horseshoe sofa faces the television on the wall opposite and light pours in from a wall of glass doors which open out onto a large timber balcony overlooking the garden

In the more casual area of the drawing room a big cream Danish horseshoe sofa faces the television on the wall opposite and light pours in from a wall of glass doors which open out onto a large timber balcony overlooking the garden

TEST Minnie’s collection of cloches house a variety of items from a pair of vintage wedding shoes to a statue of the Virgin Mary

Minnie’s collection of cloches house a variety of items from a pair of vintage wedding shoes to a statue of the Virgin Mary

TEST Between the two drawing room doors stands an old Chinese chest, once belonging to Minnie’s father, that has been professionally repainted to give it a new lease of contemporary life. On it stand two ornate and increasingly rare French church candelabras. Propped above, on the wall between the two sections of the room, is a sweetheart cushion once sent to a convalescing soldier of the Great War

Between the two drawing room doors stands an old Chinese chest, once belonging to Minnie’s father, that has been professionally repainted to give it a new lease of contemporary life. On it stand two ornate and increasingly rare French church candelabras. Propped above, on the wall between the two sections of the room, is a sweetheart cushion once sent to a convalescing soldier of the Great War

TEST

TEST Every corner of Minnie’s light and bright home is filled with fascinating finds, including these old Belgian post mail bags re-purposed as cushions

Every corner of Minnie’s light and bright home is filled with fascinating finds, including these old Belgian post mail bags re-purposed as cushions

TEST

TEST The master bedroom bathroom

The master bedroom bathroom

TEST

TEST Centre-piece of the master bedroom is a large and elegant French corbeille bed over which hangs a 1950s sunburst mirror

Centre-piece of the master bedroom is a large and elegant French corbeille bed over which hangs a 1950s sunburst mirror

TEST The staircase leading to the second floor

The staircase leading to the second floor

TEST Daughter Beth’s room is graced by a brass and iron bedstead and glass chandelier

Daughter Beth’s room is graced by a brass and iron bedstead and glass chandelier

TEST In the eaves is younger daughter Harriet’s room which features pink bunting, an antique white iron bedstead with a Susie Watson coverlet and a Victorian pine dressing table

In the eaves is younger daughter Harriet’s room which features pink bunting, an antique white iron bedstead with a Susie Watson coverlet and a Victorian pine dressing table

TEST Son James’s immaculate room features a French distressed dressing table, French antique bedside tables and a Union Jack bedspread and rug

Son James’s immaculate room features a French distressed dressing table, French antique bedside tables and a Union Jack bedspread and rug

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

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