For Jane Clark and her husband Mark Copping, the chance to bring the historic stone walls of this beautiful Rutland home back to life was an opportunity they couldn’t resist. The house (built in 1880, originally as three workers’ houses) stands on a scenic lake surrounded by mature woodland. In the 1970s it became a family home and the location of a recording studio, frequented by The Who, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.
“We fell in love with both the setting and the building, and it was important to us to respect its integrity,” Jane says of the six-month renovation. “The house is connected to its natural environment, and we wanted the interior to have a greater connection with the landscape and the wonderful light.” Gothic windows are uncurtained, while glass doors have replaced sections of interior walls to bring in more light.
The living room sofa, repurposed by antiques dealer Claire Langley, has been split in two and given a new center section to create its oversized length. The soothing walls, painted in Paint & Paper Library’s Slate II (paintandpaperlibrary.com), serve as the backdrop for an impressive Shona carving from Zimbabwe, where owner Jane Clark lived. For a similar sofa, try willowandhall.co.uk. Heals.com sells a good selection of mirrors
In the central corridor, the original flagstone floors and the wide stone staircase have been preserved and carefully matched with new natural materials: marble for the worktops, vanity units and showers; porcelain stoneware for the floors in the kitchen and bathroom and aged gray oak for the floors in the dining room, living room and office. The floor was laid in horizontal strips, complementing the lines of the newly exposed ceiling joists and increasing the feeling of space throughout.
Jane Clark and her husband Mark Copping have renovated three 1880 cottages. The house, in rural Rutland, has stunning lake views
From the welcoming entrance, a double-sided wood-burning stove connects to a comfortable and relaxed office, dressed in furniture and artwork chosen over many years. At the center of the house, a classic clean-lined kitchen, designed by Jane and manufactured by British Standard, offsets the decorative arched windows, while a wood-framed bench seat creates a cozy nook, covered in sheepskin, cushions moroccans and striped sheets. .
The dining room offers a breathtaking view of the lake. The wooden table from matthewcox.com is surrounded by chairs found on Ebay and a pair of Jane’s great-aunt heirloom chairs, which Mark has re-upholstered. Branches cut from the garden complete the rustic decoration of the table. For a similar dining table try maisondumonde.com, and for dining chairs try pamono.co.uk
The adjacent – more formal – dining room leads into the elegant living room, revealing a mix of antique chairs, including pieces from Claire Langley Antiques and Paris’ Clignancourt flea market. “Our motto is: recycle, reuse, renovate. I like to buy timeless, quality pieces, but when things don’t fit anymore or need to be changed, I’m happy to sell them or give them away,” says Jane.
Kitchen cabinets are offset by many different textured surfaces. An island bench, a find repurposed by a friend, is matched with utilitarian antique wood and metal stools, while a jute rug from thewhitecompany.com adds a rustic touch. For a similar table, try ikea.com; for stools go to grahamandgreen.co.uk
Antique Eastern European linen, supplied by Jane, was used for upholstery, cushions and headboards. This mixes with new fabrics from De Le Cuona, jute from the Cloth House and mohair velvet on the bespoke living room sofa. ‘Mark has done a lot of mirrors, side tables and living room floor lamps. If we can’t find what we want, he designs his own,” says Jane. Equally creative, she handcrafts luxurious cashmere throws and sweaters from recycled yarns in her home studio.
In the guest bedroom, a salvaged door was used as a headboard. The gallery wall acts as a visual reminder of homes, people and places; for similar artwork try kingandmcgaw.com
During the lockdowns, Jane made the decision to shut down her headhunting business. “The pandemic has taught us that there is never a good time to change – if you want to make a difference, you just have to go for it.” Next, they plan to buy a “small Grade II listed derelict cottage as an investment project while simultaneously starting longer term sustainable construction for ourselves on shared farm land in Portugal,” she says. . “In a world that is becoming more and more restrictive, we have the opportunity to create something personal and meaningful, which is extremely liberating.
- This is an edited excerpt from The Art of Living With White: A Year of Inspiration by Chrissie Rucker, out September 15 (Octopus, £35*)
SHOP THE LOOK
Work Jane’s laid-back luxury with these timeless pieces
Table lamp, £145, thewhitecompany.com
Vase, £34.99, hm.com
Cushion cover, £14.99, kavehome.com
Armchair, £875, pain.com
Jute pouf, £80, johnlewis.com
Coffee table, £64.99, manomano.co.uk