A Birdham home reborn

Entrance hall Pictures: Richard Gooding
Entrance hall Pictures: Richard Gooding

Oving interior designer Clare Pascoe talks Charlotte Harding through her latest project in Birdham, near Chichester.

A home should have a soul but having previously been designed as a second home Locks Lane lacked a heart with its bland, unlived in interior.

Pictures: Richard Gooding

Pictures: Richard Gooding

Kate and David Adams bought the property as a UK family base for themselves, their three children and Kate’s mother Anne.

Having spotted Pascoe Interiors LTD on the Telegraph’s top 20 Best British Interior Designers the couple got in touch.

From the start the pair were open about not wanting Clare’s signature mid-century contemporary style but they felt confident she could deliver a more traditional style for their home, which Kate summarised as a ‘British New Hamptons style’ reflecting the property’s enviable coastal location.

“The home had been extensively renovated by the previous owners, so the initial plan was for a more decorative project based around furnishing and decoration,” explains Clare.

“This was to include a new kitchen and amendments to the lighting to reduce the vast number of 240v spotlights and replace them with subtly placed low voltage spotlights.”

However, it did not take long for Clare to ascertain that the current smart home system was overly complex, badly installed and complicated by an incompatible mix of US and UK fittings.

Realising that the original installation was poor and bordering on unsafe in places, Pascoe Interiors sourced local firm Newland Solutions to replace the lighting and upgrade the smart home system to one that was fully UK compatible and remotely interactive.

This resulted in a full re-wire of all of the lighting, AV system, security and smart home system to make it safe, sustainable and can be remotely managed with ease.

Alongside the electrical works, Clare explains how she designed the interior around ‘a pared-back neutral palette to create a backdrop for the textures, colours and finishes that would then follow’.

New items of furniture needed to be sourced to work alongside the couples existing furniture; with Clare designing key bespoke pieces that were beautifully hand made locally in Sussex where required.

The first floor bedrooms are within the eaves of the house and feature sloped ceilings that, at times, posed challenging spaces to accommodate large storage items.

“The most spacious is the master suite, which is in the newly extended end of the house. Gold grass wallpaper adds instant drama, while the pheasant curtain fabric gives a nod to the rural South Downs, which is just a stone’s throw away,” explains Clare.

“In fact the day Kate and David were selecting the curtain fabric, a pair of pheasants were strolling through the drive.

“The bed comprises a British, handmade headboard and mattress accented with cushions in bold mustard wool and rich orange velvet. Brass bedside tables and lamps offset with green velvet shades complete the scheme.”

The boys both wanted very different schemes in their rooms.

The eldest desired a monochromatic scheme, with a ‘sofa-bed’ within the window alcove in which he could lounge and recline to watch films that he intended to project on the blank wall opposite.

Clare designed the sofa bed to fit the space adding a full headboard, sideboard and half footboard with oversized cushions to facilitate lounging.

For their daughter’s bedroom, an ice theme was desired. A bold silver, crushed velvet bed takes centre stage against ‘crystal’ embellished wallpaper.

Clare says that Kate and David were thrilled at how welcoming and comfortable Locks Lane now is.

“It is a far cry from the rather sadly bland house they first walked into,” she adds.

“One of the most important aspects of the brief was to create a UK home base for the internationally spread out family and Locks Lane now provides a home where each member of the family feels comfortable and welcome, as all their individual needs and characters have been accommodated.”

For more information about Pascoe Interiors, visit www.pascoeinteriors.com

Pictures: Richard Gooding

The full feature with more pictures of the project can be found in the February edition of etc Magazine.