How did a self-confessed big city lover end up living without electricity, with well water and with sheep as neighbors? Jo Wood says she asked herself that question every day for her first six months here. But after living in cities around the world, the lure of the country proved too great to resist. Jo is the CEO of her own organic beauty line, and one of her dreams was to live off the grid, so when this house came along, she took the plunge.
Three years later, Jo has converted from the country and her old farmhouse – one of the the world’s best houses – and his garden are transformed.
This country home has an urban twist, giving it that cheeky humor, depth and sass that her friends say is so Jo. She took a completely blank canvas where all the walls were white and brought back the color and packed it full of personality. “I wanted to bring London to the country with a mix of old and new – Marie Antoinette and rock ‘n’ roll!” She says.
Jos Dining room ideas Favorite pieces of furniture from their previous houses were integrated into the newly designed eat-in kitchen. Garden views through the French windows make these vintage Tolix chairs the best seats in the house. The table and chairs are from Petersham Nurseries. The chandelier is an antique.
Jo prefers open shelving for an urban loft style, but says it’s difficult to keep these freestanding shelves tidy.
Jo sensibly escaped the kitchen-diner refit with a trip to India. However, before she packed her bags, she spoke through them kitchen ideas and layout with her carpenter, planning where everything should go. She designed the space and the shelves, which are connected with black-painted scaffolding posts. “I knew exactly how I wanted it,” she explains. “Open shelving had worked well for me in London and I found a Moroccan copper sink.”
When she came back from India, the new eat-in kitchen was ready, just as she had imagined.
A refreshing view of the garden connects indoor and outdoor spaces. Open shelves ensure that everything is within reach. The gray range cooker is from Lacanche. Pink metro tiles, Tile Giant.
Huge industrial-style lights are the perfect complement to Jo’s metropolitan spaces and come from a recycling store. The butcher block was an Ebay find. Jo’s son Tyrone gave it to her kitchen battery above. Cool fridge, John Lewis of Hungerford.
Living room – soft yellow
Jo was keen to add color to this room with its original inglenook fireplace living room ideas contain a sunny yellow. Jo loves to use it with her favorite black furniture for a sleek, metropolitan look. Walls painted Sudbury Yellow, Farrow & Ball. The paintings were bought at auction and the George Smith sofas were purchased in Los Angeles in 1978. Lamp, Vintage Shades. Leopard Stool, George Smith
Also purchased in LA in 1978, the chair has been reupholstered in black velvet for a rocking contrast to the old inglenook fireplace and weathered mantelpiece above.
A pink lustrous ceiling reflects the light in this small, boudoir-style living room. The throw and stool were eBay purchases. Extinctopia Slate Wallpaper, Divine Savages. Lamp, vintage tones. Yellow sofa, George Smith.
hall and stairwell
An earthy hue on the walls makes for a warm welcome and Jo’s hallway ideas Add a gallery wall with old paintings and mirrors that add interest to the previously all-white house. Jo updated the blank glass railing with strips of wallpaper for an unusual effect. Wall covering on stairs, Brooklyn Tin Tiles wallpaper, Rockett St George. Walls painted Faded Terracotta, Farrow & Ball.
who looks for bedroom ideas will be inspired by another of Jo’s imaginative brands. The ceiling beam in this bedroom is actually wood effect wall paneling that Jo used to add character to the high ceiling. She also designed the skull rug herself and handcrafted it in India. The round table is from an old furniture building and the Art Nouveau chandelier (just seen) is an Art Nouveau fairy chandelier. Bed from And So To Bed with a lace cover from London’s famous Portobello Road Market.
Luxury in the bathroom
This bathroom got a glamorous update. bathroom ideas started with the sleek copper bathroom by Catchpole & Rye, with a green pendant light and paintings of flea markets in Long Island and Miami.
The swimming pond
Jo’s transformation of the garden and lawn is just as dramatic as what she’s achieved indoors and she loves it out here. “I’ve grown organic vegetables for years,” she says, “but I wanted a pond to add another dimension. I had the natural swimming pond excavated and lined with organic blue earth.”
Then one day last summer, Jo, her daughter Leah and son Tyrone planted it with aquatic plants and seeded the wildflower meadow, which is now populated by birds and insects. Jo recently added 70 trees near the pond and it’s a hit with both her grandkids and wildlife. The jetty was built by Tyrone.
Marie Antoinette and rock ‘n’ roll
The pond is just one of the many features of the house that Jo appreciates after a trip to the city. “My friends and family all thought I was crazy about moving to the country,” she says, “but I love it here – it’s not too big, not too small and I feel very safe. I’ve always been such a London girl, but the best part about living here is the closeness to nature – it’s so magical.”
Jo’s special mix of city and country style with old and new furniture makes this house so special. She calls it “Marie Antoinette and Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and we see where she’s from!
Jo is pictured above in the kitchen diner with the fireplace surround she brought from her London home. The Marilyn painting is by Russell Young. wall covering,
Rockett St George.