The man responsible for decorating many a palace and chateau makes his presence felt all over the late-eighteenth-century country house. In the drawing room hangs one of his prized paintings, an eighteenth-century portrait of a family group, which the couple bought at auction; in the main bedroom is his four-poster bed; walls throughout the house are hung with the sort of deliciously faded fabric he helped make accessible. The whole rectory exudes a quintessentially country-house atmosphere, enlivened with modern twists here and there. We certainly havent slavishly restored it to its original condition, says Geoffrey.
Thats not our thing at all. Its a mixture. Its just our own style.
When the Newberrys bought the property six years ago, it had a very different ambience. The general feel of the house, pardy the result of many of the lights, was actually very Art Deco, explains Geoffrey. Yet their immediate reaction was not to rip out every alien feature immediately and start again, but to live in the house for a while and listen to what it had to say, as Gilly puts it.