Bohemian, romantic and whimsical, this Edwardian country house is steeped in ethereal charm (and more than a little rock 'n' roll glamour)
An Edwardian house in south Somerset that once belonged to newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook. It has a reception room, living room, morning room, kitchen, studio, dining room and WC on the ground floor. The first floor houses four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a library, study and attic. There are also another four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the floor above.
This is a handsome, Edwardian mansion with sash windows, stone portico on generously proportioned columns and a pair of glittering dancefloor orbs outside the front door.
Glamorous and bohemian, it’s a prelude to this ‘wedding cake’ of a home filled with icing-sugar colours, decorative paint finishes and hand-worked textiles dashed over antique furniture. It’s Somerset-meets-Studio-54.
This property has a fantastical ‘inverted wedding cake’ architecture, and every room is painted in a different colour, with antiques and artwork gathered from markets in both Paris and London. Frederick Wimsett was commissioned to paint this 18th-century- style mural in the dining room.
Throughout the house, the distinctive plasterwork and unusually tall windows of the Edwardian property are the setting for an enviable collection of antiques as well as contemporary pieces.
Each room is different, from powder pink in the bedroom to cosy aubergine in the sitting room. Next came a bohemian touch: a mix of chandeliers, mirrors and disco balls galore.
Large windows flood the space with light, making it feel almost Italianate at times. The windows are huge, so the light is exceptional – it feels more like a palazzo than a Somerset house.
Disco balls are used throughout the property as decoration – they throw wonderful sparkling beams across the rooms, a fun alternative to conventional lighting.
The deep aubergine colour creates a sooting atmosphere in the living room.
The relaxed, layered feel of the living room is down to the eclectic mix of vintage pieces, fabrics and antiques.
The owner avoided a built-in look by using a mix of cabinetry, including a vintage shop display cabinet for glassware.
In the kitchen, a vintage haberdashery cabinet does its duty as a storage space and the tablecloth is an off-cut from a dress fabric.
The dresser is filled with pieces deigned or gifted by friends. The original of the image in the corner appeared in Vogue.
The eye-teasing MC Escher-like vistas of the house , complete with scalloped niches and coffered ceilings capture the imagination.
Unusual artwork, such as the African heart sailcloth painting, draw the eye further into the home.
This studio opens on to the garden and is the perfect perfect for getting the creative juices flowing.
The top floor of the house, with its unique lozenge-like lantern, doubles as an informal art gallery, for displaying work by friends and family.
During the Second World War, the house was home to newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook, who held secret meetings and played host to Winston Churchill in the panelled library. There are traces of an older past too: a Tudor bear pit and thick turreted stone walls, a legacy from the castle that once stood on the site.
The bath is decorated in a mirrored mosaic and installed on a custom made plinth that’s been customised with the Union Jack pattern.
Furniture and textiles came from markets in London and Paris. The quilt is hand-stitched.
Check out the designer’s work at temperleylondon.com. Her Somerset range of clothing is available at johnlewis.com
Photography/ Paul Raeside