Over a relatively short period of time, Sandra Dowse has grown her idea of creating personalised homewares and accessories into an incredibly successful online business with orders coming from all over the world. John Graham-Hart finds out how she and her husband Richard juggle working from home alongside raising their young family.

The sitting room is spacious enough to house a huge, leather L-shaped sofa. In one corner, next to a lamp with a shade that echoes the wallpaper opposite it, stands a distressed French armoire with chicken wire front

The sitting room is spacious enough to house a huge, leather L-shaped sofa. In one corner, next to a lamp with a shade that echoes the wallpaper opposite it, stands a distressed French armoire with chicken wire front

The sititng room features a reclaimed brick fireplace with oak bressumer – both the bricks and wood were sourced from Symonds Salvage in Bethersden

The sititng room features a reclaimed brick fireplace with oak bressumer – both the bricks and wood were sourced from Symonds Salvage in Bethersden

Next to the kitchen, the drawing room occupies a large proportion of the ground floor

Next to the kitchen, the drawing room occupies a large proportion of the ground floor

The walls are papered in Cole & Son’s ‘Wood’ range that nicely welcomes in the garden beyond

The walls are papered in Cole & Son’s ‘Wood’ range that nicely welcomes in the garden beyond

What was the sitting room and dining room has now been knocked into one glorious double aspect kitchen/breakfast room, with units from Howdens, which sweeps from the front of the house through to French windows leading out into the garden

What was the sitting room and dining room has now been knocked into one glorious double aspect kitchen/breakfast room, with units from Howdens, which sweeps from the front of the house through to French windows leading out into the garden

Over the dining table from the Simply Oak range from House of Oak are glass-shaded lights from John Lewis that look uniform but take on individual characteristics when lit

Over the dining table from the Simply Oak range from House of Oak are glass-shaded lights from John Lewis that look uniform but take on individual characteristics when lit

Shelves in the hallway are filled with family photographs and large framed prints, whilst underneath shoes are kept neatly ordered in a row of wooden crates and baskets

Shelves in the hallway are filled with family photographs and large framed prints, whilst underneath shoes are kept neatly ordered in a row of wooden crates and baskets

On the wall of the master bedroom Sandra has displayed three pieces of fabric by Alison Hullyer in gilt frames. She found the standard lamp at the Hospice in the Weald in Cranbrook, which she gilded before adding a bright pink and purple bobble trim to its shade

On the wall of the master bedroom Sandra has displayed three pieces of fabric by Alison Hullyer in gilt frames. She found the standard lamp at the Hospice in the Weald in Cranbrook, which she gilded before adding a bright pink and purple bobble trim to its shade

Sandra’s dressing table in the guest bedroom

Sandra’s dressing table in the guest bedroom

Newborn Max’s room is yet to be occupied. The muted greys of the walls and furniture contrast with pops of vibrant orange from the roller blind in ‘Mr Fox’ fabric by Scion

Newborn Max’s room is yet to be occupied. The muted greys of the walls and furniture contrast with pops of vibrant orange from the roller blind in ‘Mr Fox’ fabric by Scion

Son William’s room features a wall that’s papered in old maps, sourced by Sandra from antiques shops and fairs

Son William’s room features a wall that’s papered in old maps, sourced by Sandra from antiques shops and fairs

Pickle Pie Gifts creates personalised homewares and accessories

Pickle Pie Gifts creates personalised homewares and accessories

Pickle Pie Gifts HQ is set within a neatly converted garage

Pickle Pie Gifts HQ is set within a neatly converted garage

Richard also works from home. What was once the old kitchen is now his office, complete with a seriously huge and cool glass desk and a superb Herman Miller swivel Aeron chair

Richard also works from home. What was once the old kitchen is now his office, complete with a seriously huge and cool glass desk and a superb Herman Miller swivel Aeron chair

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

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