The English countryside is an incredibly quaint and charming environment with the most adorable houses! With gorgeous cottage feels and centuries-old architecture, I was so excited when friend and Casa Botelho collaborator, Justin Tew and his wife, Sadie, asked me to redecorate their cottage in Milton Bryan, Bedfordshire.
The 3000-square metre cottage has all of its original features with a chic and quaint interior aesthetic and half an acre of gorgeous native surroundings including a pond, ducks and native birds. With a few modern additions that Justin and Sadie have added over the years – including a large extension that houses the new open-plan kitchen, dining and living space – this cottage needed a revamp that maintained the originality of the architecture while also bringing the home into the current century.
While we already know that Justin is an incredible artist – collaborating with Casa Botelho for our ‘Connecting the Dots’ exhibitions – his wife, Sadie is the President Director to Consumer for Ralph Lauren EMEA, and previously worked with the likes of Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Coach – so between them, they know what good design is! While they love their charming cottage, the Justin and Sadie desired a more luxurious style of living for themselves, their son and three hounds. A glamorous, mouth-watering interior was the brief and they specifically chose Casa Botelho to make this happen – what an honour!
The goal – transform this four-bedroom countryside cottage into a Bedfordshire Bombshell. But how I hear you ask – Casa Botleho’s signature masculine-glamour style and ‘symmetrical’ design, of course! Largely inspired by the Art Deco period, symmetrical design creates proportion and harmony within a space. Casa Botelho has adopted this design principle to create its iconic look and feel – masculine glamour.
The Master Bedroom was the grandest project of this home transformation with bedroom, ensuite and adjoining study to be refinished. In the bedroom, we chose shades of ivory, blue and trench. Casa Botelho’s Cupid bedframe and headboard was complimented by His and Hers Cupid wardrobe, four Eros antique mirrors, X-Leg Ottomans, Eros console with drawers, Cronos II chair and ottoman set, as well as an Eros radiator cover. The marble used across the furniture range was kept consistent – Forest Green marble from Brazil with a dark bronze metal finish. These luxurious finishes contrasted beautifully with the bedrooms high ceilings and exposed wood beams. The master ensuite is an ultra-modern, open wet room in all-natural stone.
Directly linked to the master bedroom is a study where Sadie works. Black American Walnut furniture was currently in this space, therefore João introduced soft furnishing with character and texture, including Belo fabric paired with Dedar Milano bouclé and shearling in shades of Ivory and blue. Ambient lighting from Porta Romana adds luxurious dimension to the space, together with the elegance of a Jennifer Manners rug.
In the cottage’s original quarters, the Snug was redesigned to create a romantic space for Sadie and Justin to relax and enjoy each other’s company with two Cupid, His and Her corner chairs in front of the burning fire. And in the large family room, I was inspired by cushions that the family had purchased on a holiday in Africa and ran with the animal theme. With pillowy sofas and ottoman, and Casa Botelho complementary furniture and accessories, the family home is warm and welcoming – topped off with Justin’s very own artwork of course!
The open-plan kitchen, living and dining space is a large L-shaped room which leads to the large garden, swimming pool and Justin’s studio where he paints. While this space was part of newest addition to the home done approximately five years ago, the space was begging for some personality. We gave the kitchen a face lift with four Diana bar stools with backrest in suede and three gorgeous pendants from Lindsey Adelman. In the dining room, an elegant Elio Console with blackened steel legs and white Arabescato marble added an elegant feature, while the sitting room got a soft furnishing overhaul with scattered Diana poufs in Rio Fabric and Novasuede, Rio Cushions and throw, Cowhide cushions in mustard, a large Eros Mirror, and Vulcano accessories throughout. Artwork by Justin was once again hung in pride on the walls, complemented by Rugs by Riviere Rugs that is all brightened and highlighted by the large sliding doors that lead to the tranquil garden and pool.
This project was an eye-opener even for me – seeing how when cleverly executed, luxurious, modern textures and jeweled tones can come together, and even complement centuries-old, English architecture – it was truly inspiring.
Until next time…
Photo Credit: Benedicte Drummond
Great text by a top notch interior designer!