Creative charm

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge.

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge. - Credit: Archant

Emma and Paul Carrett have used their artistic talent and love for design to create a stylish family home

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge.

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge. - Credit: Archant

When Emma and Paul Carrett were given the opportunity to move into the home Emma had been born in and where she had spent most of her childhood, she was especially delighted. As they were planning their wedding and future together, the prospect of living close to Emma’s parents in the glorious Somerset countryside was an ideal opportunity for them both.

Five years on Emma and Paul now have two beautiful girls, Lily, two , Willow, one, Paul’s son Lewis, 15 and their family dog, Max.

“I feel that we made the right decision to move here. This peaceful setting is so familiar to me and it is such a wonderful place to bring up our girls” says Emma.

The property is a single level, Grade 11 listed lodge and over time the property has been extended, which has resulted in a rather interesting shape.

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge.

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge. - Credit: Archant

It has a wrap around garden plus a separate secret garden through a wooden gate, which adds another quirky aspect to the property. Emma always felt the lodge had a French style about it, which is where she feels she has drawn much of her inspiration from.

After they moved in, the first project was to repaint the shutters and porch, transforming the original bright green colour to sage green, emulating the French feel that Emma aspired to. “Once this was done I couldn’t wait to get started on the decorating the interior and putting my own stamp on our new home” says Emma.

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Having studied art and fashion at university, Emma’s love for art and design shines throughout her beautifully-decorated and furnished home, which echoes both simplicity and elegance.

“I am a ‘decorating fanatic’ and love creating simple and practical pieces from either salvaging unwanted and disused furniture or from raw materials, like the driftwood towel rail I made for the bathroom. Making things yourself is a great money saver” says Emma, who runs Ivagray Interiors from her home. “It is so rewarding when I finish making something and it is not only beautiful but useful around the home.”

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge.

Interior of the Detached Grade 11 listed lodge. - Credit: Archant

All these interesting and creative pieces are complemented by the home’s muted palette of soft grey tones, which emanates a sense of space, calmness and light.

Throughout the house there are more examples of Emma’s artistic and imaginative handy work, such as the lovingly-restored dining table and chairs.

“The set came secondhand from a junk shop” says Emma, “it was all in an uninviting dark wood finish, so after sanding it all down and treating it with a finishing oil, I decided to partly paint in Pebble Grey and leave the rest in natural wood.”

“I believe that the finishing touches make the difference to a piece of furniture, like adding new and interesting fixtures and fittings, like the vintage glass draw knobs I used to complete a chest of drawers I up-cycled.”

Transformed mirrors, shelves and picture frames embellished with bits of dried driftwood, collected from a nearby beach adorn the walls. In the master bedroom, two bedside tables made simply from carved natural log wood are an economical, ecofriendly and unique alternative to high street furniture.

The well- proportioned and interesting shaped sitting room with its practical oak floor has a particularly comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.

Emma loves collecting cushions. “Cushions make such a difference to my home. I am often asked how I sit on my sofa with all those cushions but with the duck filling and natural linen, I just mould myself into them’ she says. “They are all from Biggie Best, which I buy from Living Pretty in Curry Rival.”

The kitchen, with its light-filled breakfast room through an archway, creates a natural sociable space for family and friends to enjoy. “The kitchen is such an important part of a home and having this extra room just completes it” adds Emma.

Adorning her home with flowers, enjoying its sun blushed shades and costal tones alongside all her handmade driftwood accessories, Emma hopes to inspire others.

This country lodge is full of creative charm and individuality. A simply stylish home yet practical for a growing family.

Home truths

THE PROPERTY: Detached Grade 11 listed lodge.

LOCATION: Broomfield in Somerset.

ROOMS: Sitting room, kitchen, breakfast room, utility room, dining room, three bedrooms (one en- suite), two bathrooms.


PREVIOUS PROPERTY: ‘We lived in a 1930s semi detached house on a main road on the outskirts of town’, says Emma.