Name: Charlotte Starling, her husband Boris, their children Florence and Linus and rescue greyhounds, Velvet and Dash.
Location: Dorset, United Kingdom
Size: 4,000 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years
Driving into the pretty Dorset village of Frampton, I feel as if I have unwittingly gate crashed the set of a Richard Curtis movie. It is so quintessentially English, it’s almost unreal – thatched cottages sit against a backdrop of green rolling hills, there’s a cozy village pub, an ancient stone church and even an old-fashioned red phone box on the corner. Charlotte, a television producer turned interior designer, her husband Boris and their two children, Florence and Linus, moved here five years ago, swapping their London home for a rambling Georgian rectory a stone’s throw from the church.
When they moved in, there was no central heating, minimal plumbing, only one bathroom and no proper kitchen. “It was very neglected, very basic, but I fell in love with the high ceilings, the sense of space and the light, and Boris loved its position right by the church.” With a lot of hard work and a keen eye for mixing traditional English furnishings with unusual and beautiful objects, Charlotte has transformed this unloved building into a beautiful family home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I like to mix classic, elegant pieces with more contemporary objects. I start with a pared back, fairly neutral backdrop and add interest with accessories. Because we live in the countryside, the house has to withstand the dogs and the mud!
Inspiration: There is so much creativity in Dorset. I work with lots of inspiring craftspeople, artists and designers. I love being able to use locally made glassware, ceramics and wallpaper in my house.
Favorite Element: The high ceilings and all the natural light sold this house to us. Old houses in this area generally have small windows and can feel quite dark. The position right by the church is so quintessentially English, we love it!
Biggest Challenge: We had to make our London furniture work in a very different and much larger space.
What Friends Say: "What a lovely family home!"
Biggest Embarrassment: Trying to keep the place tidy. It is never easy with two small children and two dogs underfoot.
Proudest DIY: The dresser in the dining room belonged to my father and I had always admired it. It was slightly too large for the alcove, so I cut out the back corner to make it fit. I also painted it. He was quite unhappy about that as he'd stripped the wood for us.
Biggest Indulgence: The limestone floors. All the downstairs rooms were covered with asbestos floor tiles. We laid limestone throughout which ate up most of our budget.
Best Advice: Don't follow trends, choose things you genuinely love.
Dream Sources: I would love some hand blown glass from Emsie Sharp.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- Kitchen: Oak Apple, Fired Earth
- En Suite: Rose Mallow, Fired Earth
- Wallpaper: The Lotus Papers, Farrow & Ball
- Suitcases: Tin trunks that belonged to Charlotte's grandfather and a Louis Vuitton Trunk belonging to Boris' grandmother
- Stone pears: the local garden centre
- Portrait: Boris' father as a boy painted by his mother
- Marble side table: Half moon antique table given to Charlotte by her parents
- Armchair: made by Boris' grandmother during the war. It is hand stitched.
- Sofa: Victorian Chesterfield in a green check wool and stripe sofa in de le Cuona Desert fabric
- Ottoman: OKA covered in a de le Cuona fabric.
- Horse painting: Florence, Italy
- Sofa: covered in Romo Linara fabric
- Grey throw with birds: Klippan
- Glass eggs: Velvet & Dash Interiors
- Clock: Junk shop in Dorchester. It doesn't work so the hands are set at 10 to 3 in a nod to the Rupert Brooke poem, The Old Vicarage, Grantchester. "Stands the church clock at 10 to 3, and is there honey still for tea?"
- Dining room table: Boris' old writing desk
- Dining room chairs: Pauchard chairs by Tolix
- Dresser: antique Welsh dresser from Charlotte’s father
- Glass and China collection: Velvet & Dash Interiors
- Large chest: Victoria housekeeper's cupboard from The Old Cinema in west London.
- Wooden rabbit: Velvet & Dash Interiors. Traditionally Hennow Hares were kept in country homes to ward off evil spirits and bestow blessings on the household.
- Kitchen units: made by builder, DJ Chutter
- Boucherie sign: Velvet & Dash
- Ceiling lights: reclaimed prismatic glass lights from a factory in France
- Clock: Graham and Green
- Wallpaper: Brunschwig et Fils Potager in Banana
- Wallpaper: Caravane in Menthe, Neisha Crosland
- Bed: And So to Bed
- Black chest of drawers: Graham and Green
- Wardrobe: Local antiques shop
EN SUITE BATHROOM
- Bathroom suite: a mixture of pieces from Heritage and Albion Bathrooms
- Glass tiles: Fired Earth
- Mirrors: Graham and Green
- Armchair: Antique
- Polish Opera poster: flea market find
- Wallpaper: Mediterraneo, Cole and Son
- Roll top bath: Victoria Plumb
- Vintage stove: from Charlotte's childhood nursery
- Wallpaper: Fan Tree, Cole and Son
- Bed: Habitat
- Bedspread: Melin Tregwynt Welsh Blanket
Thanks, Charlotte & Boris!
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.
Updated daily with fresh tours full of photos for you to pin & enjoy!