As Abeer came round to liking the apartment, Ahmed recalls, she had lots of ideas – more practical and more specific than mine. Abeer says she relished the decisionmaking process. So much so that, now this house is complete, she is thinking about the next move. The more I see of Charless work, the more I like it. I cut things out of magazines and discuss ideas with him. You know, she says, shaking her head in disbelief, I had no idea I could be so daring with colours – I will definitely be more adventurous in our next house. Most of the furniture in the apartment was designed by Rutherfoord and commissioned by Abeer. We would crawl around the floors with tracing-paper and pieces of fabric, choosing the sizes and fabrics together, says Rutherfoord. FINE DINING RECIPES BOOK But crawling to create his designs doesnt sound right. Theres no hesitation in his finished work. The lines are drawn surely, with an easy grace. His inspiration lies in the English eighteenth century, when furniture and houses were simple, pared down, but full of wonderful detail. Elegance is what I strive for, he says, adding – with just a hint of horror – but not in the old-fashioned sense Mention the name Broughton Castle, and you are likely to provoke one of several reactions. Someone will remember the Fine Lady of Banbury Cross, which is thought to be a pun on the name – Fiennes of the family which has lived there since the fifteenth century; another may dwell on the Puritan Lord Saye and Sele, who raised four companies for Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War, and saw his castle overrun by Royalists for his pains; someone else will mention Celia Fiennes, the seventeenth-century traveller who was born there.



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