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Country Eclectic

30 April 2021

For interior designer and project coordinator Jo Miller of The House Edit (@thehouse.edit), having a client give her full creative rein is a dream job. Jo’s design studio is based in an outhouse in the garden of her Oxfordshire cottage home and her work covers the Cotswolds, Oxford, The Thames Valley and Home Counties.

Originally trained as an upholsterer, Jo found that over time she was regularly advising clients on their colour schemes and interior décor, and so she made the decision to attend the prestigious KLC School of Design, gaining a Certificate in Interior Design in 2019. This latest project is her biggest achievement to date and so we asked Jo to tell us all about it…

What did the space look like before and what did you want to achieve
with the new design?

country style living room with large doors to garden

The space was originally a small kitchen and a kind of living room with a varnished slate floor. The client wanted to move the kitchen into the living space, which was quite straightforward. The challenge was the original kitchen that you had to walk through to gain access.

We decided to remove the original kitchen window and put in Crittall-style doors, which really lightened the area and gives amazing views over the garden. We then created a seating area in this section and Buscot Limestone in tumbled finish from Artisans of Devizes was laid throughout, both in here and in the kitchen and utility space. This created the base and with the addition of the roof lantern, really allowed the light to bounce around and create a gorgeous backdrop.

open planned kitchen diner design with island

We added the AGA next, which is invaluable when creating that whole country house scene. The island and dresser are from Neptune, the remainder of the furnishings are an eclectic mix of Oka, Nkuku, and several brands from Etsy.

What were your reasons for choosing Artisans’ Buscot Limestone?

natural limestone flooring

We chose the stone because it’s quite simply beautiful, and really adds to the country house feel. I specifically went for the larger slabs, as the area is quite big and I didn’t really want a French or Spanish pattern as I felt it detracted from the design, especially when there is so much going on.

Artisans of Devizes is always my go-to, as I have family in Wiltshire and also spend a great deal of time in the Design Centre. I absolutely love their decorative range too. In fact I have a large project in Clapham coming up and I’m hoping to use many of its designs in the bathrooms. The Buscot Limestone is easy to keep clean and as we laid it in a brick pattern, it was quite straightforward to install.

What does the stone flooring bring to the scheme?

The addition of this flooring has really made the separate spaces cohesive. It adds a layer of authenticity to the design and enhances my design immeasurably. We didn’t need underfloor heating, as there are radiators and the AGA keeps the kitchen warm.

Tell us about the utility room design

Jo Miller utility room

Strangely enough, the utility was an afterthought. We chose to lay the Buscot Limestone in there as well, as it is a continuation of the other space and the varnished slate just had to go. The floor to ceiling storage cupboards were already there; I just got the carpenter to alter the sink end as it was very unappealing and just needed a little lift. He added the tongue and groove, brought the undermounted butler sink forward and we then just replaced the worktop and tap.

The stone flooring complements the whole design, adding warmth and texture but still being practical and hardwearing.

How would you describe your interior style?

I would describe my interior style as a mixture of French and English country style, with maybe a nod to the contemporary mixed with traditional. It’s often described as Country Eclectic. I love to use texture and light and try to make any standalone items speak for themselves. I often use antique pieces, which is handy as my father is an antique dealer, also based in Devizes!