Northamptonshire Dower House


To create a new home for a couple of keen naive and folk art collectors to downsize into, curating and re-housing as much of their collection as possible. To “undress” the charming period Dower House of later additions and architectural anomalies, and incorporate as much natural, historic reclaim material as possible, in order to create a home that looked like it had developed organically and had not been “decorated”, to house their collections and make a comfortable family home with space for family, friends and grandchildren to be entertained, play and stay.

The Client

A successful and charismatic entrepreneur and philanthropist, with North Country roots and his wife, a keen gardener, who started life as a nurse. Passionate and pioneering collectors of naive, primitive and folk art, country and vernacular furniture. Driven by instinct and eye, they also collected fine works of Modern British Art and some American pieces alongside their European Folk Art Collection. Downsizing was not easy and was a curatorial distillation. Delightfully enthusiastic and positive they made what could have been a complicated project into a rewarding and enjoyable journey. This was the third project we worked on with them.

The House

Predominantly an early C17th stone-built Dower House, on the edge of a charming rural Northamptonshire village, close to the church. A house that had been through many changes and renovations during its history. It was our role to get back to the honourable bones of the structure and retain as many original period features as possible and use much period material during the restoration and renovation process, as possible. Replacing old floors with antique boards, stone flags and tiles, as necessary, and developing a palette based on earth colours and bound with distempers and limewash. We designed, organised and decorated the spaces within the house and converted outbuildings into a home office, a flower room and a plant room. 

Photography by Michael Sinclair