Saturday, 17 May 2014

House Beautiful Magazine June 2014

'Fabulously Chic'

 Old Rectory Renovation

   Built around 1650 Kate Macey’s home was originally a rectory associated with the 14th century village church. It continued to be a church property until 2006 when it was sold to a local family, before Kate bought it in 2013. Built from a mix of brick, Blue Lias and Hamstone, the house is Grade 2 listed. Entranced by the beautifully preserved open fireplaces, the original gothic and sash windows, paneled doors and elm floorboards, Kate put aside her concerns about its neglected condition determined to restore it and add modern comfort. ‘The period details; the walled courtyard, sloping garden and apple orchard drew me in’, recalls Kate. ‘I hoped that by adding a new heating system together with wood burners, new kitchen and bathrooms that these modern conveniences would blend perfectly with the old bones of the house’.

Kate is enjoying spending as much time as possible in her new kitchen
    She sold her Bristol city flat moving to the village where she’d grown up, and where her family still lived, just ten minutes drive from her business. ‘As the tea shop got busier it didn’t make sense living far away,’ says Kate. ‘And I was able to move in with my parents for the five month upheaval of the restoration work.’

        Kate project managed the build, dividing her time between running the tea shop and overseeing the renovation, a juggling act that proved challenging from the outset. Her surveyor had advised that he suspected a problem with the timber floors upstairs but as he wasn’t allowed to take up the boards during his inspection he couldn’t be certain of the damage. Immediately after buying the property, Kate hired a carpenter to inspect the joists and floorboards. ‘He asked if I wanted the good or bad news!’ recalls Kate. ‘There was woodworm everywhere but it could be treated. He then advised that most of the joists would need replacing.’ She was forced to delay work on the house for six weeks while the woodworm was treated and new joists were made and fitted. ‘I spent many nights worrying. It added quite a few thousand pounds to the budget but in the long run it’s reassuring to know I have a woodworm free house,’ says Kate.

Woodburning Stove from Sandpits Heating Centre in Curry Rivel
    Despite managing up to twelve tradesmen on site at the same time everything ran surprisingly smoothly. ‘They all worked alongside each other to a tight timescale because I wanted to move in as quickly as possible’, says Kate. Aside from rewiring, replumbing and replastering the entire house, the interiors needed updating. Kate’s vision included staining the original parquet flooring in the hallway black. ‘I’m so pleased with its dramatic effect,’ says Kate. Conversely, upstairs the original elm floorboards were simply sanded back and left untreated.

  The staircase was strengthened and all the spindles were replaced and repainted. Two new wood-burning stoves and nineteen new traditional-style radiators were fitted, the roof was insulated and all the windows and broken panes repaired. Throughout the house Kate has created a classic English country look with a hint of French chic. In the open-plan kitchen/dining room, a new gas Aga and Kate’s collection of vintage china, displayed on open shelves around the room, contrast with an elaborate glass chandelier. Among all the hard work and upheaval, the renovations yielded a welcome surprise when a Victorian fireplace was uncovered in one of the bedrooms and Kate renewed it with new tiles. ‘After a good clean and a repaint it looked great’, she recalls.

     Having lived in the house for almost year Kate finds she loves it even more in summer when the lavender (in the garden?) is in full bloom. ‘The scent fills the air and I get a lovely view from the windows (lavender all around the house?), it’s just one of the many reasons I’m so glad I made the move from the city to the country.’

Chandelier from Living Pretty and Fabric from Emily Bond
      Kate has successfully created a dramatic entrance hall by staining the parquet flooring black. The curtain and lampshade fabric is from the Labrador Fabric Collection at Emily Bond A glorious rustic Elm dining table is centre stage in the dining area of Kate’s spacious kitchen. Her vast collection of vintage china is available to hire at Living Pretty.

Stunning collection of Vintage China to hire from Living Pretty

    Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Skimming Stone and the woodwork in Elephants Breath Comfy seating makes the living room a great place to relax after a hard day in the Tea Shop. Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White. The Clearview Stove is from Sandpits Heating Centre.

    The cushion fabric is from Ian Mankin and the tablelamps from Laura Ashley. Kate enjoys views across the Somerset levels from her bedroom. Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Shaded White and the woodwork in Hard Wick White. The bed is from Living Pretty and the Laundry Basket with Rope Handle from Garden Trading. Using pale, glossy natural marble makes the narrow bathroom appear more spacious.

House Beautiful Magazine


Walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White. 
Walls in the guest bedroom are painted in Cornflower White from Dulux. Living Pretty 01458 253357 
Emily Bond 01173 763 067 
Garden Trading 0845 6084448 
Farrow & Ball 01202 876141 
Mandarin Stone 01600 715 444 
Sandpits Heating Centre 01458 251476 
Wells reclamation Yard 01749 677087 
Laura Ashley 0871 983 5999 
Ian Mankin : 020 7722 0997

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Splendid Country House for Sale in Bath, Somerset

Monkton House

Monkton House, Bath, Somerset

Stunning Sitting Room with a beautiful views over the garden

Large family kitchen 
One of five Bedrooms

Entrance hallway
Upstairs landing
For details contact James at Hooper Rees

Friday, 7 February 2014

Interior Designer

The House Clinic

Sarah Pritchard - The House Clinic

Working with Sarah Pritchard from Hertfordshire interior designers, The House Clinic for the day was such fun! We worked together on some shots for her website which is now live. Sarah is a very talented young designer with a great eye for detail and I think we got some great shots. We tried using a mirror to reflect these designer magazines which resulted in an interesting look.

Rolling up and getting creative with blueprints !

Gathering together interesting fixtures and fittings such as frame samples and fabrics to start building a design mood board.

Folding these beautiful fabrics and using only available light  and reflectors to replicate the true rich colour and texture was key.

Distracted by our little helper!

Capturing the threads in this exquisite Designer hand woven silk wallpaper proved a particular challenge.

Love the light here!

Again trying to pick up the threads on this exquisite handwoven silk wallpaper was tricky because of reflection.

Umm. Not sure about this shot?

Sarah designed this stunning bathroom and what a triumph!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Sami Attia

Property Vision

(as seen in 25 Beautiful Homes Magazine)

Sami Attia is proud of this successful renovation in Bath

Sami Attia, has realised his dream of renovating and restoring this formerly run down property in Bath, Somerset into a stunning family home which now exude its original classic Georgian charm.

Sami Attia, Bath

'My inspiration for property developing definitely evolved from being brought up in a period Country House Hotel in Somerset. My late mother had an amazing eye for quality and detail and slowly successfully transformed our unique home into a beautiful Hotel and successful family run business. Being fortunate enough to have been brought up in such a wonderful place taught me a great deal about the importance of presentation and detail', says Sami, ' and to this present day, I have an admiration and affection for period property. Old houses are  like trees as they have stood the test of time and have experienced much. I particularly love Georgian property and architecture due to their proportions, detailing and sense of grandeur. I have focussed on the city of Bath in the last four years to develop property there.'

Sitting Room before the renovation
My overall aim has always been to create the highest possible finish to a renovation/refurbishment simply because I am quite obsessed in getting the detailing correct and to the highest possible standard, to bring the best out of the character of the building. 

Sitting room after renovation

The dated kitchen on the 4th floor was far from ideal, so Sami set about building a new one in the basement, which had formerly been used as a workshop. This proved to be quite a challenge, as initially tons of rubble had to be excavated and disposed of and on the day of delivering his brand new range cooker, a window had to be removed in order to get it through with the help of a crane’, recalls Sami.  ‘I still can’t believe it took 2 six ton trucks to get rid of all that rubble but it was definitely worth the extra push, as I now have a magnificent spacious kitchen with a breakfast and utility room’

A new staircase was fitted and Sami restored this old door. Duncan Copeman, a local skilled craftsman designed and built all the cupboards and wardrobes in this renovation.

The cabinets were painted in Elephant’s Breath eggshell, £50.00 for 2.5 litres, Farrow and Ball

‘Fitting a new and more elegant fireplace has given this room a strong focal point’, says Sami

Before and after Images of Master Bedroom

Before the renovation this bathroom used to be the kitchen on the 4th floor.
Before image of kitchen on the 4th Floor

Wall and floor marble tiles supplied by Mandarin Stone, ‘St Adrien Polished’, £89.94 per Sq Metre. Bette Classic, steel bath ( 170cm x 75cm) £639.60, Doble Bathrooms. 
Now a Luxury Bathroom

When it comes to the decor it is really useful to enlist the help of an interior design company, Intarya is a favourite of mine.  In this renovation, Sami chose Julie from JI Design to help him with the interior and all the furnishings. Together they worked on creating a neutral colour scheme throughout the house. For example he opted for Farrow and Ball’s Wimborne White in the master bedroom to help create a calm and relaxing atmosphere and Skimming Stone on the kitchen walls to compliment the colour of the cabinets. Fortunately, Sami’s cousin has a soft furnishing company who designed and made all the Roman blinds.

This bedroom used to be the previous owners sitting room.

          Feature wall covered in Momentum Luxe Wallpaper, £50 per roll, Harlequin 

Duncan Copeman designed and built all the fitted wardrobes

Although this renovation and restoration has taken over two years, Sami is proud of what he has achieved. Realising this property’s true potential has been a huge challenge but the end result is simply a stylish home that combines classic Georgian features and details, but is sympathetic to modern living. ‘I feel privileged to have played a part in the history of such a beautiful house and to have been able to transform it back into a comfortable and stylish family home once again’, says Sami.