Kathleen and Scott Simpson, London-based attorneys with three grown children, had been renting second home properties throughout England before deciding to purchase one of their own. When they found a deteriorating 1930s property near Portsmouth, they knew they had found the one. “We did not want a modern, soulless home. We liked the Arts and Crafts elements; the combination of natural light and materials,” said Kathleen. “It’s a very relaxed and comfortable environment.” The home is also close to the sea, allowing the family to enjoy beach walks with their dogs and surfing for Scott.
However, the property needed work. Kathleen and Scott moved in and lived with the imperfections for six months while they outlined their game plan which entailed taking the house back to a shell while retaining its original room layout and Arts and Crafts appeal. The first thing the Simpsons did was employ a local builder to renovate a detached annexe. This is where they lived while the main house was being renovated, allowing them to oversee the main project which took more than 10 months. (The annexe was then turned to a boathouse/guesthouse with television for younger members of the family.)
Kathleen then turned to London-based interior designer Louise Jones (who had designed the couple’s home in London) for help with the décor and furnishings. Louise incorporated family heirlooms and treasures along with richly patterned wallpapers and fabrics. Beautiful antiques mingle with modern sofas and timeless accessories, creating an overall look that is relaxed and comfortable. “The success is in the detail,” said Kathleen. “Louise is excellent at sourcing the slightly unusual and bespoke. It’s the kind of house that lends itself to a more eclectic interiors style.”
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