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Feature Gill Rothwell
Sallyann, who runs a theatre arts school, knows that moving to the country gave her the opportunity to bring up her family in a lovely setting

Having spent years enjoying the hustle and bustle of life in London, actress Sallyann Webster never imagined herself living in a period cottage in a sleepy country village. But once she was married and her husband started work in the Midlands, they decided to relocate from their Notting Hill flat so he could avoid a long commute. ‘We started our search close to where he grew up,’ remembers Sallyann. ‘Before long we found this traditional stone house set back from the road. It didn’t look like a twee little cottage from the outside, but inside it had all the period features you could want and a deceptive amount of space, as a two-storey extension had been added at the rear.’

As well as having the lovely garden they’d hoped for, the couple were attracted to the property by the original timber beams and stone mullion windows, a cavernous cellar and the two inglenook fireplaces in the main reception rooms. ‘The fireplace in what was then the kitchen even has the original bread oven, but its appearance was spoilt by an ugly white boiler which refused to light,’ Sallyann explains. ‘The new boiler was relocated in the cellar and we added a wood-burning stove, which is much more in keeping.’ Some years later, when it was time to replace the outdated kitchen, she came up with the idea of moving it into the rear extension, which was then a barely-used dining room. ‘Swapping the rooms round made so much sense as we now have a kitchen that’s light and bright and overlooks the garden.’ In fact, when it came to redecorating, rather than choose more obvious cream or white, she plumped for a bold and warming shade of red to enhance the beamed ceiling and exposed stonework.

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About Your Home Magazine

I know that November isn’t everyone’s favourite month, but I think there’s something rather cosy about coming home on a cold, dark night and curling up on the sofa in front of the fire. If you’re thinking of investing in a wood-burner to warm up your home this winter then turn to page 115, where we’ve got the low-down on the latest models and what you need to consider before you buy. Talking of making your home warm and toasty, do take a look at George Clarke’s column this month, where he shares his expert advice on insulating your home (p.111). Of course nothing beats, a tasty comforting supper on those chilly November nights – so do try our delicious recipe suggestions on page 100, packed with warming spices! I know many of you are keen to be braver when it comes to using pattern in your home, so on page 36 we show how to make it work for you, from balancing scale to creating the illusion of space and, of course, our pick of the latest designs for wallpapers and fabrics to inspire you. Many of us dream of living in a period property with gorgeous plasterwork and beautiful fireplaces, but in reality many of them have had their original features removed or damaged over the years. In this month’s home improvement feature, we take a look at what steps you need to take to restore your period home to its former glory and where to look for affordable, original materials (p.106). Happy decorating!

Other Articles in this Issue

Editor’s Letter
I know that November isn’t everyone’s favourite month, but I
November at home
Keep your home clean and tidy this autumn with our top tips and buys
Getting home-made jams, jellies or marmalades into jars can be
Stay on top of the latest issues and hot topics with our monthly round-up of news
Be safe and secure when shopping, banking or browsing online with our handy guide
Discover how to perk up your home with pattern
Give your home a fresh take on a traditional style
If ditching those safe plains for the latest patterns and prints seems a little daunting, then check out our handy guide to getting it right!
Fancy giving your rooms a new look? Check out Topps Tiles for a fantastic range to suit all tastes and budgets
Combining a tired compact shower room and adjoining WC, allowed Kirsty Crabtree to create a generous family bathroom
By changing the layout and adding lush green shades, Kate Hatherell gave her bathroom a relaxing, spa-like feel
A change of layout and pretty tiles have transformed Claire and Ian’s bathroom into a luxurious retreat
Kitchens & bathrooms
Get a cosy autumn feel in your kitchen
Fancy turning your bathroom from drab to fab? Turn the page for our best buys to help you recreate this luxurious hotel look…
Keep your space clutter-free with these great buys
Knocking two rooms into one, opening up the ceiling and adding new windows has totally transformed Laura and Andy Sheppard’s kitchen
Today’s kitchens are about much more than just cooking – follow our top tips to create a space that meets all your needs
Reader homes
Mel and Francis have reimagined their 1920s home adding a bright extension for contemporary living
Smart buys and clever ideas helped Gemma and James Feist transform their home, and their lives
Vicky Walker’s clever space-saving ideas have created a clutter-free home that’s full of character
Donna Caira has created a dramatic backdrop for her Fife coastal home
Food & Entertaining
Stay warm while it’s chilly outside with our spicy recipes…
Comforting recipes filled with warming spices to keep you toasty this autumn
Home Improvement
Whenever you’re tackling DIY tasks around the home, it’s always
Add character and charm by restoring or replacing period details in your property
‘We love the quirky features that give this house its charm’
This month property developer, architect and presenter of Channel 4’s The Restoration Man, George Clarke, takes a look at insulation and discusses the latest innovations
Thinking of investing in a wood-burning stove? We have all you need to know plus some of our favourite buys
Don’t miss out!
Make the most of November with the best things to do, see and buy this month
We love to hear what you’ve been up to, so
Discover this month’s green buys and advice
Make it easy!
We’re getting ready for the festive season this month with
Add a twinkle to your home with these illuminating projects
Get ready for the festive party season with this DIY drinks cabinet
Get ready for the festive season with this biscuit-filled Advent tree
Plus, check out...
This month we show you how to fit a letterbox to keep out winter draughts
We answer your DIY and maintenance questions with a little help from the experts
Discover seasonal tasks for your home and garden