Waking up to yet another frigid January morning in Toronto, I find myself indulging in fantasies of hibernation and hermitry. I really don't mind the cold weather — as long as I don't have to leave the house. It's wonderfully comforting to be tucked away somewhere warm (preferably with a working fireplace and piles of plush blankets) while snow and ice and sleet wreak their wintery havoc outside. Sadly, real life tends to get in the way of my plans to become a recluse, but if I were somehow lucky enough to be able to hole myself up for a few months, napping and reading and baking my way through the frosty season, I'd want to do it here, at this fabulously cozy house in East Sussex:
Doesn't this look like the perfect place to hibernate all winter long, or even just for one perfect Sunday? The house belongs to Anna Richardson, a former stylist, and her partner Blair Mackichan, a singer/songwriter. They moved to Hastings, East Sussex, from London in 2003, and have settled quite happily into their quiet coastal home. It's easy to see that a creative couple lives here. I adore the minty green colour of the walls, the layered blankets and mismatched cushions on the couches, the gorgeous coral-red lamp in the left-hand corner (with a similar-coloured shade on the right-hand side for balance) and the pillar candles by the fireplace. Just add a pot of tea and a stack of magazines, and I'd be set for at least a week.
This is pretty much my dream kitchen. I love the pink walls, the fun, eclectic artwork hung haphazardly, the lived-in feel, the cute stove, and the complete lack of pretension. Can't you imagine spending a whole day in here, especially in the wintertime? It's the polar opposite of the cold, personality-free modern stainless steel-and-white kitchens that so many people seem to want right now. I'd take this quirky kitchen any day.
Sweet, romantic hallway vignette. Love the black/white/pink colour scheme.
Another view of the incredible living room, complete with grand piano. Swoon. The red-framed painting against the mint green wall adds a witty, unexpected touch, and the huge, ornate mirror gives the room even more glamour and drama. And the owners have named the velvet chairs Posh and Becks. How awesome is that? When it comes to decorating, a sense of humour makes all the difference in the world.
More red and green in a perfect little reading nook.
Anna and Brian clearly understand the power and versatility of bold colour. The deep purple in the top photo provides an elegant backdrop for Anna's jewellery collection and really makes the red pop in those two paintings, while the lavender walls in the bottom photo create a soothing, serene bathroom atmosphere. Don't be afraid of colour, my friends! Drop the brush, step away from the white paint and keep your hands where I can see them.
Apparently Anna and Brian's amazingly charming home is featured in the January issue of Living Etc. I say "apparently" because the damn thing STILL has not come out in Toronto. If, like me, you're still waiting for your copy, you can check out the scanned images here at Interior Divine.
Photos via the Daily Mail