A double date with two timber framed Suffolk gems. Naomi Jones (https://www.naomijoneshomes.com/) and Rob Sanderson (https://robertsandersonphotographer.com/) and the very important Assistant stylist roamed the hill-less Suffolk countryside to track down these absolute beauties. This was a two day shoot of country home drooling (mainly me) and historical joy (mainly Rob “Where’s Rob?” …”Examining the markings on the beams in the hallway…again…”) and impeccable styling (Naomi “Is anyone going to do any work around here?”). We dragged Emma Perring (https://www.emmaperring.com/) along to help out with some art installation (ok – hanging some pictures – but installation sounds real fancy) and descended upon the gorgeous Rebbekah with cars filled with cushions “I used to have so many cushions that it made me husband despair so I edited and now I have none!!! Help!!!) and blankets and a panapoly of Autumn cosiness.
With the flick of a cushion and a snuggly blanket, Naomi succeeds in bringing a warmth and joyful cosy Autumn feel to the stunning hallway. We replaced the light reflecting mirror with one of Emma’s moody dark floral paintings which created a more intimate space, and a fantastic focal point to bring all the colours together. It was really rather inspiring to stand somewhere so old and know that Farmers and their families have walked these floors for centuries. The beams in this farmhouse are beautifully carved and very large which denotes an affluent family lived here originally. No expense was spared with the building of this house and time and great effort were put into impressing guests as they entered the building.
The beautiful chatelaine Rebbekah dragged me into her utility room and forced me to help create a floral display from her pickings from her local florist Lucy Jane Flowers . Feeling a little like the poor lass in Rumpelstiltskin I set to work…ok, I was totally in my element: a utility room? With a basin? And worktops? Vases and fresh flowers?? This is basically a flower studio. I lived the life of floral joy for actually a very long time – crikey these professionals make it look very easy! The finished Autumn vase of harvest colour looked better in real life – less gaps which I swear were filled but on camera just disappeared. After an interesting lesson in creating floral displays for camera, I stormed into the kitchen, plonked them at the very far end of the room and told Rob that it was a wide angle shot. Never ever go on holiday again @flowersandlifestylebymargot!!!!
A plethora of cushions, a linen tablecloth and gorgeous grainsack runner from the brilliant Country Abodes, a basket from Isary filled with harvest apples and the plonked autumnal flower arrangement bring gentle colours of Autumn to the this incredible oak framed extension. The room is absolutely stunning and simply decorated to allow the oak to sing, we just added a few notes of colour to draw the eye through the huge room.
Rebbekah has created the most glorious light filled kitchen, originally the kitchen was a very small dark room at the back of the house but Rebbekah and her husband have created a stunning oak extension “Watching the local Craftsmen on site putting the frame together and hammering the wooden pegs into place was very special”.
Just a few additions of colour to match the cookery books, some fresh flowers and apples for interest and some pretties rearranged on the cuphooks and shelves and the colours reverberate around the vignette. Note the dark blue cup that Naomi found and balanced with the dark plum of the fig, cleverly toned with the earthernware pot above. The eggs beautifully balance the ceramic whites and cream breadbin and toaster. Often appliances are removed from shots but when the appliance is a bit of a looker they are allowed their moment in the limelight!
Onto the jaw dropping master bedroom. This is in the oldest part of the home where the age of the building is tangible. One can feel the passing of the years and a sense of quiet and solemn age. There was very little to do in this incredible room, we simply added a Perring to a wall crying out for a painting which beautifully balanced the ceramic vase of hydrangeas and Rebbekah’s soft yellow blanket. Emma was transfixed with the play of colour in the painting and wall against the muted tones of the wreath and the beams. It is these tiny captures that create a beautiful image (well..and Rob’s incredible eye through the camera! We took photos that were very lovely but when he photographs something it seems so full of life!).
We removed the dark blue rugs that were either side of the bed and replaced with a lighter and more textured rug which tied the beautiful colour of the floorboards and the mustard yellow of the walls and blue of the bedding. We added a glorious vintage yellow floral cushion from Phillips and Cheers that complemented the floral prints above the bed and I foraged in the garden for some more autumnal colour to pick up the yellow, blue and russet tones in the design of the room. The beautiful little Autumnal floral cushion was made by Imogen Starre (daughter of the wonderful Louisa whose cottage features on here in “Their English Country Cottages” section https://www.myenglishcountrycottage.co.uk/starre-corner/ ).
The spare room was a wonderful blank canvas to work with. Another huge room with gorgeous rolling floorboards (!) and a beautiful iron bed in the middle. We added some more Perrings to create a country house bedroom feel.
I used the rug as the starting point in this room (isn’t it beautiful???) and pulled out these colours for the bedding and Perring paintings. Pale pinks complement the pale blues and greens whilst yet more cushions bring a sense of homeliness and comfort. The pale grey blue throw from Bedfolk adds more softness and again pulls all the colours in the room together. I added a few garden flowers for colour and freshness and played around with the objects on the chest of drawers. I was struggling with what to keep and what to edit on here when Naomi reminded me of “The rule of three” which is more pleasing to the eye, Naomi beautifully explained: “For some mysterious reason, objects always seem to look better when grouped in odd numbers, but try to vary height and shape to make it more interesting..and make sure you position them so that you can see what makes each piece special”.
Thanks to Rebbekah and her family for allowing us to invade their stunning home for the day. https://www.instagram.com/timber_framed_house_suffolk/
To the amazing Emma Perring for creating more joyful floral paintings and painstakingly hanging them on crazy walls and balancing brilliantly on beds!
To the most beautiful Rob Sanderson for being a total history geek, for carrying heavy boxes and being a ridculously interesting person – oh and for creating truly magical photographs.
To the angel Naomi Jones for not taking out a restraining order against me and allowing me to doggedly follow both her and Rob, cramming as much information into my tiny mind as I possible can whilst boggling at what they create…vocally..a lot…when they are trying to concentrate.
The super soft Natural Blanket Company – https://thenaturalblanket.co.uk/
for all their help with creating a magical Autumn magazine shoot.
Thank you for reading xxxx