It’s safe to say Jane Ashton isn’t afraid to be bold. Colour and pattern, the rustic and refined, the old and new – all combine inside the Grade II-listed farmhouse that she calls home. ‘I like the period of a property to shine through, but I don’t want to live in a museum.’ she says of her eclectic style.

Working from top to bottom, Jane and husband Richard redecorated each room in the house. The original kitchen was far too small in proportion to the other rooms, so the pair decided to put in planning for a single-storey extension. ‘The house felt disconnected from the garden, so we decided to incorporate bi-fold doors to bring the outside in – they’ve transformed the space.’

Project notes

Owners:  Design mentor Jane Ashton ( lives here with her husband Richard, CEO of a financial company
Property:  A five-bedroom Grade II-listed farmhouse dating back to the 17th century with later additions, set in a North Hertfordshire village
What they did:  The property was extended to create an open-plan kitchen-diner and the entire house was redecorated. Upstairs, dormer windows were installed in an attic bedroom while another bedroom was converted into a bathroom to create a guest suite

eclectic extended farmhouse kitchen

A traditional-style kitchen was installed by Armstrong Jordan to Jane’s design with cabinetry painted in the greyish green of Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball

Kitchen diner extension with eclectic interiors

To create a seamless transition from the old space to the new, Jane took on the time-consuming task of sourcing quarry tiles to match those in the old kitchen, then relaid the entire floor, mixing in her salvaged finds with the originals

bright listed farmhouse kitchen/diner extension

In the kitchen-diner, black chairs give a farmhouse table a contemporary edge, above which hangs a statement, feather print lampshade from Antiques by Design

dramatic dining room painted in farrow & Ball Hague Blue

Jane embraced a dramatic scheme by covering sand-coloured walls and a white ceiling with Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue

Dramatic luxe dining room with velvet curtains and drinks trolley

Crushed velvet curtains and gold accessories give the dining room a luxurious and decadent feel, perfect for special occasions

Elegant oriental inspired sitting room in silt by little greene

For the living room, Jane developed an eastern-inspired theme based on fabric her son brought back from Asia (covering the sofa) and a rug picked up in Morocco. The walls are painted in Silt by Little Greene, and peachy chandeliers and pampas grasses are elegant finishing touches

Sitting room in Farrow & Ball Green Smoke with leather armchair

Jane chose Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball for the study and fitted a Charnwood stove.  A ‘Grandfather Olaf’ canvas from Mineheart gives a quirky touch

Colourful sitting room decorated in Little Greene Great Ormond street wallpaper

The snug linked to the kitchen-diner is decorated with Little Greene’s Great Ormond Street wallpaper while orange furniture and a Charnwood stove with an extended flue make striking features

Bedroom with reclaimed timber statement headboard

To make the room warm and inviting, Jane painted it in Stone Dark Warm by Little Greene and introduced texture with a statement headboard made from reclaimed floorboards

Gentleman's club bedroom with traditional panelling

Jane’s son wanted a room with a gentleman’s club feel, so the fitted wardrobes were ripped out and replaced with bespoke panelling finished in Light Bronze Green by Little Greene

Bathroom with floral wallpaper and orange roll top bath

Jane had the attic bathroom papered in a vintage floral design sourced from Germany, which is complemented by an Aston Matthews roll-top bath

Bathroom with tongue and groove panelling

Tongue-and-groove panelling was installed in the bathroom and painted in Mylands’ Piccadilly shade. The floor needed to be reinforced to support the Aston Matthews cast-iron bath and was relaid with ceramic tiles, which continue into the shower for a wet room look

Period statement bathroom with rolltop bath and eclectic artwork

A ‘Madame Blush’ canvas by Mineheart takes pride of place above a roll-top bath from Aston Matthews in the family bathroom

Grade II listed old farmhouse

Jane and Richard were drawn to the property’s handsome proportions and period features, such
as the original sash windows