When the couple who own this Jersey home, one of the finest in the world, first stepped inside, they discovered a view they wanted to build their lives around. From its hilltop vantage point, the house looks out across an expansive lawn to Mont Orgueil Castle on the coast and France in the distance.
“We had rented two other properties in Jersey but when our landlord decided to sell them we felt like we couldn’t live with the uncertainty anymore,” says the owner. “My husband had just returned from a business trip to Australia and I had a few houses lined up for us to view. This was the last property we visited and although jet lagged he loved it and we both felt it fit the bill despite being over budget,” says the owner.
The view was the highlight, but the house also offered enough space for the couple’s three teenage children. In addition to its charm, the architecture had a decorative appeal.
“Built in 1880, it was the home of a wealthy Victorian merchant. It had bay windows, unusual for Jersey, and beautiful and very rare to find ornate ironwork above the front door,” says the owner. “However, our timing for the purchase wasn’t great as we had just rented our house in London for a year. Fortunately nine months later the house was still on the market and we got it.’
After living at the property for over a year, the family determined their list of priorities for the renovation and appointed Sims Hilditch as designer.
With an initial plan to make minor improvements like new bathrooms and carpeting, the scope of the project increased dramatically.
The kitchen was flipped from the front to the back of the house, taking the place of a little used dining room which had the best view of the castle as the family wanted this to be the heart of the house. Kitchen ideas included positioning the hob so you can see the lock while cooking.
The neutral palette is punctuated by color on the island and armchair.
In their most ambitious move, the owners turned a former swimming pool into their “great room,” a living space and dining area where the family spends much of their time.
Dining room ideas include using oversized glass pendants above the dining table to zone the area. Paneling and built-in wardrobes convey a sense of authenticity.
“It’s a fun and beautiful space to hang out in. Sims Hilditch has done an excellent job of dividing the space into its various functions, and it’s large yet cozy,” explains the owner.
Living room ideas include an injection of green accents to liven up the neutral palette and create a connection to the garden outside.
Raising the low ceiling was one of the hallway ideas to enhance the space, while a built-in window seat makes good use of the bay.
Creating a sense of luxury was key in the master bedroom. A high winged headboard is one of the bedroom ideas to add a luxurious touch. It acts as the focal point in this beautifully balanced scheme.
A bold striped bedspread and geometric throw pillows give this teenage bedroom a strong yet easily changeable identity.
One of the bathroom ideas to emphasize the elegant aesthetics of the house is a period-style bathtub.
When the family returned to their improved home in January 2020, they were able to use the lockdown to their advantage. “We started unpacking and nesting and once the restrictions were lifted we had non-stop guests all summer long.” Next on the agenda is the garden. “We put a trampoline where there was an old pond. We are in the process of building a tennis court and would also like to add a sunken fire pit and pool area,” says the owner. With impressive focus and dedication, a stunning island retreat where any family would have happily stranded has been created.
Interior Design / Sims Hilditch
Photographs/ Brent Darby
Text/ Julia Benning