The rooms of Bayham Corridor would initially have echoed to the music of society balls held by the third Marquess of Camden, who had the home constructed as his weekend retreat in 1870. An invite right here would have been coveted by any self-respecting Victorian DFL (Down From London), ideally mixed with a stroll across the genteel spa city of Tunbridge Wells, six miles away.
The Jacobean-style home loved a second heyday within the Twenties, when Edward, Prince of Wales was among the many backyard social gathering friends. The most recent house owners, Jaime and Justin Cooke, are more than pleased to hold on the home’s traditions. However, Jaime says, ‘As with the decor, we’ll be doing issues in our personal fashion.’
In between being employed out for events and personal occasions, this central portion of Bayham Corridor in Kent is house to Jaime and Justin and their youngsters. A aspect wing was transformed into flats after the property was offered within the late Seventies, however the household stay in essentially the most commanding central part, full with a pillar-studded entrance hall and a eating room that lacks solely the hovering determine of a modern-day Carson.
You may additionally like inside Shilstone House, a Georgian manor house in Devon
Nonetheless, whereas this home is redolent of historical past, Jaime says: ‘We didn’t need to really feel intimidated by its heritage. Our goal was to breathe new life into the constructing.’ From the off, this nation seat needed to work as a busy household house, with all of the craziness that comes with three younger youngsters, plus Herman, their Nice Dane pet. ‘The decor must go well with household life and it feels very ‘us’,’ she says.
When it got here to furniture, the problem was discovering items that didn’t look misplaced within the impressively sized rooms. ‘We’ve been getting up early to go to Ardingly Antiques & Collectors Honest ever since we purchased the home in 2003,’ says Jaime. ‘It’s the one place the place we handle to seek out items which might be fascinating and enormous sufficient to fill our rooms. All the pieces is on a unique scale right here.’
Whereas initially they crammed the home with painted vintage French furnishings, now Alberta’s mattress is the one piece that is still on this fashion. ‘We felt the home wanted a contact extra originality. Justin has extra of a watch for retro-kitsch items, whereas I’m extra drawn in direction of French and Italian antiques, so it’s now a bit extra of a mixture.’
Jaime’s favorite antique is the pair of French nook tables in the lounge. ‘They’ve a superbly distressed end and got here from a big home on the Champs-Élysées. I really like being surrounded by items that intrigue whereas trying lovely. Antiques can work alongside up to date items in the event that they echo the form, color or temper of one another,’ she says.
You may additionally like an 18th-century manor house renovation in Normandy
Jaime and Justin didn’t embark on a full-scale renovation of the home till extra just lately. Purchased from an aged couple who had lived there for a number of many years, the home was ‘freezing chilly and draughty. We ended up holed up in two rooms, hunched over heaters,’ says Jaime. Again then, the timing wasn’t proper for nation life and Justin’s mom held the fort whereas the couple moved again to London. Seven years on and with a toddler and a child, they returned to the Kentish countryside.
Main work included eradicating Seventies partition partitions that had chopped up the hallway and a number of the rooms. ‘As we opened up the home it was superb – you would see the house because it was meant to be,’ says Jaime. The couple admit that it’s not at all times the best home to stay in and examine it to the Forth Bridge. Every so often, Jaime says, she’s yearned for a extra easy house. ‘However by no means for lengthy. I can’t think about a extra spectacular place for the youngsters to develop up.’
Extra like this
Extra houses from Houses & Antiques
Signal as much as our weekly newsletter to take pleasure in extra H&A content material delivered to your inbox.