A Home Away from Home

When we moved to Barnes, I felt I had come home. I left Sweden 20 years ago to get away from the small village I grew up in, yet always felt slightly homesick and proud when I thought about my beloved Lyckorna. In Barnes, I found a village, in London, a home away from home. I know we’ve been here just for 6 months, but it feels like longer. It’s like when you meet The One; like you’ve been together for ages and it’s meant to be.

A Very Big House in the Country

Beaverbrook Hotel is the stunning country residence of the press magnate Lord Beaverbrook. This boutique hotel has all the trademarks of classic British interiors (plenty of chintz, cozy armchairs, grand entrances), but without feeling dusty or stuffy. Interior Designer Susie Atkinson (Soho House) has captured the glamorous era of the  1930s with plenty of florals, lavish textiles and lots of beautiful detail. I am in love with the African appliqué pouffe in the library – it is such an interesting way to break up a very traditional interior and giving it a modern twist.

Setting The Scene

 

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I love setting the table, and am a firm believer that you eat with your eyes as well as with your stomach. As always, I like to create a look by combining items I think look pretty together. Last year I combined a  cheap Zara table cloth with Oka napkins (bought in sale for £5), glassware from Orrefors (The Nobel Dinner range), crockery from IItala and vintage cutlery that I bought in Portobello Market. The tulips came from Borough Market and the rosemary from the garden.

 

Our Tree

File_001 (3)When we moved into our new house, I decided to invest in new Christmas decorations. Over the last few months I’ve hunted down the perfect baubles which come from The Conran Shop, Liberty of London, National Trust, TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer. The Swedish Yule goat underneath the tree from IKEA (old). The tree is finished off with bunches of Baby’s Breath – a more natural and elegant alternative to tinsel.

 

File_001 (1)I also invested in a mini tinsel tree from Petersham Nurseries. I used to have one of these when I was a little girl and couldn’t resist getting one for my son! The lanterns also come from Petersham Nurseries and the silver bowl is a 1960s vintage piece from Orrefors of Sweden.

 

First impressions last

 

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This year I’m matching our new front door in Farrow & Ball Black Blue with a simple green wreath, made from holly, ivy, rosemary and eucalyptus branches.  It is an homage to the original owners of the house, who made their living from a smallholding, selling fruit and herbs to wealthy Chelsea residents across the river. And it also matches the modern, shiny chrome door furniture.

 

 

Making a wreath is simple – all you need is a few twigs and branches, garden wire and a bit of patience.