Furniture designer and artist Sasha Sykes of Farm21 and journalist husband Tom have created a timber-frame, family-friendly structure that charmingly blends old-style farmhouse comfort with a modern, urban feel. Though it looks expensive, it was done on a tight budget, which involved, as Sasha recounts, “some pretty mad decisions”, like schlepping the windows all the way from France. In a horsebox.
The Nordic-style layout is traditional and bright, enhanced by high ceilings and large windows, perfectly positioned to capture the natural light and heat throughout the day. The simple airy design is given unique character by an ingenious and playful use of colours and textures, and provides a showcase for the couple’s art and design collection. The stairways and bedrooms are painted in rich nature tones with a lot of personality – moss greens, Prussian blues, dark fuchsias –, whereas the all-white kitchen is “a place of colour-calm, which really works.” The mix of colours and patterns of the sitting room encapsulates the couple’s eclectic taste: the old, slightly-battered piano sits across from a cast-lichen resin table designed by Sasha herself and against a striking marine-and-gold hexagonal motif wallpaper. “Being in here feels like escaping to a bijoux box of cosiness or a crazy New York club depending on your mood,” Sasha enthuses.
Sasha and Tom’s desire to build a “lovely, welcoming, authentic family home” but retaining a style that reflects their former city life and love of travelling is apparent in the choice of decorations, an intriguing mix of contemporary and antique pieces. Like a traditional farmhouse however, the house remains an informal, warm and happy space where the couple’s two children can run and rummage around. Summed up by Sasha herself, it is all about “inspiring, fun colours, warm floors and plenty of space for all of our art, furniture and things.”
Photography by James Fennell.