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You - 2021-06-06

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COOL AND COLLECTED

INTERIORS

PHOTOGRAPHS: ALUN CALLENDER

interiors company; providing the catalyst for my move into styling and journalism; becoming pregnant with our two children, and celebrating endless happy occasions. We have been here for nearly two decades – but things have never stood still. Located in the heart of a historic market town in Surrey, our home was built in 1750. We fell in love with the house for its symmetrical proportions and the period details: an original central staircase, fireplaces and shuttered sash windows. With four bedrooms over three storeys, there are lots of nooks and unexpected turns. The house seems to expand as you work your way up to the top floor, which is home to a lofty sitting room, an office and a fourth bedroom. The spaces feature a blend of natural materials: wide oak boards, marble and limestone. I wanted to choose materials that will age well as time passes. The knocked-back palette is both restful and calming – a chalky mix of whites, soft greys and deeper earthier tones, balanced with shades of tobacco, brown and black. I love the way simple monochrome schemes allow furniture, collections and art to stand out. I am a passionate collector, always in search of new makers, independent sellers, antique haunts, markets and galleries – the buzz of discovering something special never fades. For me, it is those unique finds that make rooms feel individual – they are part of our story and what makes it a home. This is an edited extract from Curate: Inspiration for an Individual Home by Ali Heath and Lynda Gardener, with photographs by Marnie Hawson, to be published by Mitchell Beazley on 10 June, priced £30*

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