I’m often asked about my inspiration, especially when it comes to designing for country homes. To me, inspiration is an ongoing process of absorbing one’s surroundings and letting the sensations steep in the sub-conscious. I love travelling have a long list of places that I find inspiring, however, in the interests of space I thought I’d limit myself to sharing two of my Cotswold favourites.
Ever since I first came across the Daylesford Organic Farm Shop and the adjoining Bamford Hay Barn spa, I felt a resonance with their philosophy to celebrate all things natural. Both the farm shop and the spa are situated on a working Cotswold farm within immensely beautiful surroundings. The brainchild of Lady Carole Bamford, they inhabit original farm buildings which have been cleverly and sympathetically converted.
Heading away from Daylesford, the road winds its way through rolling fields towards Kingham – latterly home to the Wild Rabbit, a beautifully restored traditional English inn. It's not one of our projects (although I would have loved to design the interior) but I think it's a fine example of a scheme which has been carefully put together to celebrate the building’s heritage, with exposed stone and wooden beams given centre stage. Personally, I have a great affinity for understated schemes and savour the Wild Rabbit as a masterclass in the skilful use of texture and tone.
The key to a successful transformation of this sort is the adaptation of the buildings to allow for more light. At Daylesford, the clever addition of floor-to-ceiling glass windows opens up the space while the white, cream and beige colour scheme refracts the light. I am a fan of maintaining the original ceiling height, as it lends an almost cathedral-like quality to the interior. The trick is to balance this by creating intimate areas through the positioning of furniture and ambient lighting.
If you’re looking for more countryside inspired interior design, our Wiltshire Barn Conversion project embodies a pared-back aesthetic to create a restful yet homely atmosphere.