In our latest home tour, Pip Graham from @pipshome tells us all about her beautiful new home – a listed cottage nestled in woodland that dates back to the 1700s.
A NEW CHAPTER
Spring brings the promise of new beginnings with fresh flowers and bulbs appearing in the garden. The world feels like it is reawakening. I love it! Both James, my husband, and I have birthdays in spring and the evenings begin to lighten. Moving to a listed 1740 cottage with woodland at the end of our garden means we’re closer to nature than ever before. We even put up a nesting box to see if we can attract a young family of birds.
A FAMILY HOME
Although I always wanted to live in a cottage in the country and renovate my own place, it was sad to leave our old townhouse and its memories behind. It’s where we lived when our children Wren (three years old) and Kit (11 months) were born and it has been the cornerstone of our lives for such a long time. But the move taught me that home is not merely a building, it’s about who and what you fill it with. Home is the place where I can truly rest, relax and be me. Home is an extension of your personality, but you can take that everywhere with you.
Even as a child I had very strong opinions as to how my bedroom should be decorated. I was mesmerised by my great aunt’s house, stuffed with tasteful antiques and interesting vignettes. I love how interiors can show you a little more about someone and their interests and passions.
DRAWING ON NATURE
I’m inspired by nature and the natural colours we see around us. I am always drawn to green. With its grand period features, big windows and high ceilings, our old house could take a bold style and colour. Our country cottage, on the other hand, suits earthy shades to reflect the soft countryside that surrounds it. As we rip the house apart and put it back together again, our choices will continue to be timeless and considered (with a touch of my rustic foraged edge!)
A SEASONAL REFRESH
If you want to try colour for the first time or aren’t sure about the colour, start with a feature wall. It’s only paint so if you don’t like something it is easily painted over. I wouldn’t repaint
just according to season but a few little changes here and there can help to make a space feel season-ready. Adding cushions in lighter colours is an inexpensive way of freshening things up in spring, and I add more texture with throws and cosy lighting in the colder months. And I display foliage and nature finds to the match the season.
Since having my children I’ve found that the space and furniture in my home have to work much harder. There’s hidden storage all over my house: the coffee table in the living room is also a storage trunk. When it comes to storage, I think the most important point is to firstly look at what you store and ask yourself if you really need it. After that, I love baskets and multi-functional pieces of furniture. That said, children bring so much joy, I’m prepared to overlook the extra mess they create.
We try to live as slowly as possible. To counteract our busy lives it’s important that home is as tranquil as possible. Otherwise it‘s too easy for the days to fly by in a haze of work and chores and juggling children. I want my children to grow up seeing the beauty in the everyday and treasuring the moments of their home life and I encourage them to be as playful as possible. Make time for yourself too – even if it’s just something small like a cup of tea alone or a rejuvenating hot bath.
– get Pip’s look –
“I’m all for saving time and keeping
things organised where I can.
It helps the house run as smoothly
as possible. I like to plan the family’s
outfits for the week – and great
storage like Kit’s Pensham wardrobe
“The hallway is the first thing you
– and your visitors – see when you
come home so it‘s important it‘s
welcoming (and tidy). I use the walls
to display pictures and foraged finds.
A clever bench stores all our shoes.”
“Just to go for it and be brave, at the
end of the day it is only paint so what
can really go wrong? If you don’t like
something, just start over! Original
artwork is so accessible these days
– and collections of three can look really great together.”
Fancy a little more interiors inspiration? Catch up on our Home Tour Series here.