Designer's Rustic English Cottage
It was a classic case of escaping to the country for designers Anna Phillips, the founder of knitwear brand Hambro and Miller and design consultancy Hambro Interiors and her husband Jeff. After a decade of busy London life, the couple decided that they wanted somewhere a little calmer for them to start a family. And so, they moved to a commutable little village near the seaside in West Sussex.
Perhaps it was their eagerness to create this family-friendly home that prompted them to decorate in the way they did. The interiors are quintessentially English, and like hygge on crack. It could easily be confused with a movie set home designed for a character like a cute old lady who all the children loved baking pies with.
Photography by Joanna MacLennan
Most of the furniture and objects throughout the house are vintage and for good reason: “You can’t be precious with furniture when you have young children,” says Anna.
Anna is the daughter of a Danish mother whose knitting not only wove the fabric of her childhood, but provided Anna with the skills and talent necessary for her to launch her own business.
Was it this cutesy when they first moved in? No. “The previous owners had ripped out all the original features and character”, says Anna, “despite the yellow paint in each room I knew we could make this house come alive.”
"We like to surround ourselves with objects that have a past and a story to tell. I am naturally attracted by the handmade, crafts and traditional objects. I like to feel the creative process and the work done on a piece of furniture or an object, like ceramics signed by Kaori Tatebayshi or the unique creations of the English artist Jamesplumb duo, whom I adore." says Anna.
Anna describes her approach as “ordered clutter”, and buys much of her furniture at antique markets in England and her visits to Scandinavia.
Below is one of Anna's woolly creations from her kids' range for Hambro & Miller. So cute!
The light-filled kitchen was an extension to the original house, but the raw timber cabinetry and hodgepodge open shelving add a sense of history to the space.
"I like culture, rhythm, people, landscapes, climate ... I like these countries where it is cold. This is what made me want to create a collection of clothes for children 0 to 4 years old, Hambro & Miller, entirely knit by hand in soft and natural materials such as baby alpaca or cashmere blend and merino wool.” Anna explains.
“I worked for many years as a designer and accumulated over the years a collection of objects from my various travels around the world. In the same way, I started a collection of vintage clothes that inspired the pieces of the Hambro & Miller collection. The objects around me inspire me in my daily life, with my husband and children, in my work, and remind me of my origins, my roots. "
On the wall is a little printing drawer from Anna’s mother – “as children we always had one in our rooms, full of secret little trinkets.”
Quotes from Anna originally appeared on Smallish Magazine.