Give a modern touch to an old lake house | Interiors


IIf there was ever a definition of a comfortable seat, this house would be it. A patterned seat, a colored seat… the interior is an alchemy of old and modern pieces that are as much about comfort and practicality as about aesthetics.

When Simon Rayner and her husband, Jeremy Langmead, moved into their 17th century farmhouse in late 2019, they both had ideas of what they wanted. Simon was looking for a house with a long driveway that couldn’t be seen from the road (it’s possible, but barely). When the garden doors open, it feels like entering a private world. Jeremy’s desire was to create a comfortable rural retreat. They previously lived in a large-roomed Georgian house in Suffolk and the couple wanted to adopt a more laid-back country cottage lifestyle – and this Grade II listed whitewashed property has it all.

“Are we remodeling? Do we move the kitchen to the furthest room? Simon says of the thought process when they first moved in. “Because of the lockdown, we knew we were never going to be able to do the construction work, so we decided to use furniture and furnishings to make the house feel like home.

Confidential kitchen: Simon Rayner sits at the table in the cozy kitchen on a fleece from the Living Rug Company. Photography: Claire Bingham

Simon, a public relations entrepreneur turned hotel entrepreneur, never thought he would return to his home county in the Lake District (where his family founded the Lakeland kitchenware business), but a pub changed his mind. Alongside his business partner Andrew Black, former editor at Wallpaper* magazine, Simon has renovated the Hare & Hounds Inn near Windermere, a 17th century pub with bedrooms. Here, the decorating style features the same confident use of pattern and paint that counterbalances the antique wooden furniture. The result is a welcoming and warm atmosphere that is both modern and relaxed.

Likewise at home, furniture may be vintage, but it’s far from twee. There is not a hint of French shabby chic. In its place is a Swedish touch – remember the painted Gustavian cabinets the couple have collected over the years. Add a touch of Tangier with the Moorish pouf in the living room (found on eBay) to the striped plaid fabrics that are used as door curtains or sofa throws throughout the home, and you have a decorating masterclass on the house. learning to overlay.

For example, take the cozy living room in the older part of the house. In this room, hand-dyed yellow linen blinds are paired with ikat silk shades, and a chair is upholstered in Pierre Frey’s red linen with blue piping. These are all by textile designer and interior decorator Susan Deliss, who has been involved in many textile endeavors. The pouf is by Robert Kime and the striped jute log basket is by Maison Bengal.

Apart from the small dining room, which is painted India Yellow by Farrow & Ball, the neutral walls are the basis. “If you’ve removed the patterns, rugs and paintings, the decor is plain underneath,” says Simon. “I think we’re moving away from brightly colored rooms where furniture is almost an afterthought.”

Objects are cleverly grouped. A stylish expression of themselves, a statement piece, like the green chest of drawers by antiques dealer Framlingham Dix-Sept in the kitchen was the starting point, with accessories in a multitude of prints and supporting colours, uniting the whole room in a lively atmosphere. to mix together.

Layers of Pattern: A Moorish table creates a focal point in the living room.
Layers of Pattern: A Moorish table creates a focal point in the living room. Photography: Claire Bingham

“We didn’t want the units all to be the same color,” says Simon of the introduction of red and blue to the palette, which took more than 40 tester jars to get right. “Red in the kitchen gives a warm feeling in winter, while blue adds coolness in summer.” Cream colored walls hold everything in place.

Step into the spacious, light-filled living room at the opposite end of the house and there’s a change of mood – a less cozy farmhouse, a more elegant country house. The patterns work in harmony, with jewel-toned pinks and blues, a recurring color combination, and the walls painted Sandy Brown – Chocolate by Edward Bulmer Natural Paint. The sofas have been covered with curtains reused from a previous house.

“We loved the set-up process,” Simon recalls. Jeremy, who was head of content at Mr Porter for the better part of a decade and is set to launch his own skincare brand, is renowned for his taste and is an expert in object placement. Two creative people working together… it’s a team of very stylish craftsmen.


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