Nigel Anderson was commissioned to design and manage the alterations and replacement extension work to this Georgian House in Hampshire. The interior and exterior work for this has been featured in the October 2021 issue of House & Garden. Among other alterations, the main works included the removal and replacement of unsympathetic extensions done in the 1980's-90's, to be replaced by a new kitchen/breakfast room on the ground floor together with new ensuite bathrooms on the first floor.
With a large family and frequent guests, the owner of this house in Hampshire tasked Henriette von Stockhausen with creating elegant and versatile interiors that help to tie together the original Georgian rooms and a recent extension.
In a village? On the outskirts? Or total isolation? How near are the schools? How far from London? This litany of questions must be familiar to many Londoners looking for a home in the country. It took three years for the owner of this Georgian house in a peaceful part of Hampshire to find her ideal place. Built on the side of a gentle hill, it looks down over meadows to its sister hill opposite, which is crowned with a wood.
When it came to finding the ideal interior designer, however, the owner did not need to search far. Henriette von Stockhausen, of VSP Interiors, has helped her with houses in London and Switzerland over the past 18 years - they work well together. The house, as the owner found it, was in need of some updating, and there had been various additions tacked on over the years. ADAM Architecture was first called in to replace these with a handsome extension to match the rest of the house. The ground floor of this huge new space is taken up by a breakfast room and kitchen, the design of which was a collaborative effort involving Henriette, the owner and bespoke specialists Artichoke, who made it.
At one end of the room, there is a professional stove with induction hobs, set into an arched alcove, and a pair of hefty wooden preparation tables. At the other end, a long dining table stands in front of the french windows. These two areas are divided by a marble-topped counter, reminiscent of the waiter's station at a traditional French brasserie. The owner, who is herself the soul of tidiness and organisation, likes all the children to sit down together for breakfast (she has four, aged from 10 to late teens, and they often have cousins staying), without everyone tripping over each other. 'Before COVID, we'd sometimes have 20 people in here,' she explains. 'It's all designed for scale.' Breakfast is laid out on the counter, with china stored in cupboards underneath.
On the opposite side of the room, a broad passage connects the kitchen to the main hall, with two glass-walled rooms opening off it: a larder, with provisions in neatly labelled glass containers; and a butler's pantry with two dishwashers. This area had previously been a series of dark storerooms. Across the passage from these glass rooms is a wall of storage, which includes a Corian-lined chill room. 'I've always run out of storage space in the kitchen, so I was determined that wouldn't happen here,' says the owner. There is a different feel once you reach the imposing double-height main hall, with its lovely Heriz carpet, Georgian portraits, and silk damask chairs. The walls are hung with Robert Kime's tiny-repeat 'Basilica' wallpaper. 'It's so subtle - it is almost something nothing, but it is,' says Henriette of the soft pink aura this paper creates. In the dining room nearby, a pair of magnificent tent and waterfall chandeliers bring a sparkle to the walls lined with blue silk and a mahogany table that seats 22. 'It's hard to find a pair of chandeliers in an interesting shape - I hunted for these for a long time,' explains Henriette.
Off the hall, there is an enfilade of three reception rooms. For the first two, Henriette has followed the owner's injunction that they should feel Georgian in character. The gentle tones of the citron and cream drawing room, with a handsome 17th-century Aubusson verdure tapestry and an ottoman covered in a pale antique suzani, lead on to the bolder look of the book-lined study. Here, the blues of the modern Sultanabad rug in the Ziegler style - from Farnham Antique Carpets, which supplied most of the carpets in the house - are reflected in Robert Kime's 'Tokai' wallpaper and Soane's chic indigo 'Celestial Square' fabric, on a pair of 18th-century Gainsborough chairs. Emma Stewart Interiors created the curtains from a pair of antique suzanis.
'We use these rooms all the time,' says the owner. 'None of them is just for show.' However, the last one - the children's sitting room - most often finds the whole family gathered round to play games, chat or watch Netflix. At first, and even at second glance, the walls here appear to be lined in a pale blue chevron-weave wool, but, as Henrietta reveals, it is a Ralph Lauren paper in practical vinyl from Designers Guild. In this room, everything - cushions, curtains, Susan Deliss lampshades, Zoffany embroidery on the ottoman - was inspired by Pippa Ridley's painting A Day at the Beach, which hangs on one side of the fireplace. On its other side is a door that leads back to the kitchen. The circuit is complete.
Upstairs, in the main bedroom, Henriette has designed an extra-wide four-poster bed that is extra tall, too, to keep it in proportion. The owner's preference for calm colours prevails here, with another Ziegler Sultanabad carpet, a sofa with a back lowered to the height of the bed behind it and the leafy arabesques of a pair of antique mirrors, against Lewis & Wood's 'Indienne' wallpaper.
The bathroom walls next door continue the dusty blue theme, sparked by Nicholas Walton Design silvery mirrors. Elsewhere, a pair of four-posters, made extra slim this time, are found in the daughters' bedroom, where the silken curtains are trimmed with a Samuel & Sons braid that looks just like raindrops on roses. 'Henriette has an incredible eye and she doesn't get too fussed if I say I don't like something,' the owner explains. 'But if I'm on the fence, I always defer to her - she really knows how to make schemes work.' We couldn't agree more.
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