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Features > Spring > Period Homes > Quintessentially English
RS123: Quintessentially English
Photos: Robert Sanderson / Narratives
Text & Styling: Maggie Colvin / Narratives

Riv Ahearne and her husband Marc, a city business man and their youngest son Theo live in a Victorian farmhouse near Cowdray in West Sussex, which has was two cottages knocked into one. Mature oak trees dating back to the 17th century suggest the site was once an older farm dwelling which was rebuilt in Victorian times. Being a self confessed passionate homemaker, Riv has amassed a lot of experience in doing up houses so it took her seconds to spot what needed changing. “Two hundred years ago the house was two cottages and in two centuries of alterations, the snug next to the front door got cut off from the rest of the ground floor.” So as soon as her builder was free, he took down the wall which separated the snug and the dining room and the benefits were immediate. Light infiltrated into the ground floor from all sides. “We now enjoy morning and evening sun and the whole space feels larger, although it is the same square footage,” Riv explains; “Marc and I love entertaining and we stage lots of parties for all ages, so a big open space is really important to us.” The door to the main sitting room was retained so that Riv’s youngest son Theo can do his homework without being disturbed. “Every house needs a calm room to escape to,” says Riv. “When Theo is not there, it is my sanctuary for reading and relaxing, and taking some precious time to be alone."

Colour, Colourful, Country Homes, Farmhouse, Pastels, Period Homes, Victorian, Rural, Spring, Traditional, Victorian, Antiques, Sussex
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