This former farmhouse is now a folksy haven with retro furnishings

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Step inside the American farmhouse of interior designer Heide Hendricks and builder Rafe Churchill and their talent for creating comfortable and harmonious spaces is evident in every room.

The couple first fell in love with Ellsworth, a dilapidated 1871 homestead in rural Connecticut, while driving around with their baby daughter to lull her to sleep. They dreamed of the possibility of owning the classic farmhouse and barn, set within 33 acres of pasture, but never imagined it might one day be theirs. Fast forward to 2018 – by which time their daughter was 14 – and they had the means to buy it.

Their renovation involved peeling away work from the 1960s and 70s to reveal the craftsmanship beneath. It was important to the couple for their home to feel quintessentially American -gracious yet utilitarian.

Its subsequent restoration represents the most successful collaboration to date by the couple’s architecture and interior design firm hendrickschurchill.com. Today, the Hendricks Churchill family – including their children Hollis, 20, and Rufus, 17, plus wheaten terrier Daisy and cat Mr Biggie – call Ellsworth home.

Natural light and views across open fields make this room a favourite in winter. The decorative crown moulding around the windows and box beams was designed to complement the imposing ceiling. The 1970s chairs are covered with alpaca fleece, the table with Indian block-print cotton.

‘When we were finally ready to take on the attached barn space at Ellsworth, we couldn’t wait to create a sunroom,’ says Churchill. ‘The vibe is more modern than the rest of the house. In the sitting area, a 70s leather sofa is the perfect backdrop for a 30s etched-brass table.’

‘This room is really a dining hall, not a dining room,’ says Hendricks. ‘It has windows and doors on both of its longer sides. We knew we needed a long harvest table, so commissioned Chris Harter [chrisharter.com] to make a trestle version. The wallpaper, Harvest Hare by Mark Hearld [available from stjudesfabrics.co.uk], was chosen because it reflects the surrounding landscape.’

Mature horse chestnut and maple trees flank the house, with fruit trees and grape arbours at the back, then open meadows, woods and wetland beyond.

‘The living room has the only fireplace in the house, and it faces northwest,’ says Hendricks. ‘For these reasons, I knew we would want to spend a lot of time in this space in the winter months and that dark, moodier colours would look even better by firelight.’

This bedroom is one of the larger rooms in the house. The custom-made headboard is upholstered in Neisha Crosland x Schumacher’s Hedgehog fabric (neishacrosland.com). It works well with the Once Milano bedlinen (oncemilano.com) and antique rug.

Get the look

Rug (180cm x 120cm), £350, johnlewis.com; Chair, £169, cultfurniture.com

Coffee table, £495, nkuku.com

Cushion, £12, George Home, direct.asda.com; Lamp and shade, from £209, pooky.com

Our Way Home: Reimagining an American Farmhouse by Heide Hendricks and Rafe Churchill is published by Rizzoli, £50. To order a copy for £42.50 until 24 March, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free uk delivery on orders over £25.

Love loud, proud and punchy colours? Victoria Gray shows how to live with them and which rooms to brighten up

Colour and trend forecasters have tapped into the design zeitgeist and it’s official: bright and bold paintwork is set to stay.

For those whose walls arestill a safe grey, Farrow & Ball’s colour curator Joa Studholme and creative director Charlotte Cosby are here to help with their new book, which is full of shouty hues and standout colour combinations.

They also have plenty of intel on how crucial it is to consider light when choosing paint colours. Whether the room benefits from bright southern sunshine or indirect northern light, you need to look at how it changes throughout the day according to intensity – bluer in the morning, neutral at midday, warmer in the evening.

All will impact your potential palette. To better understand the effect a room’s light will have on colour, use the interior decorators’ tip of painting large swatches of your potential choices not on the wall but on paper.

You then put your swatches on the wall and move them around during the day to see how the light affects them.

This is a great example of where more really is more, and of how bold colours can work together seamlessly. The wall’s deep, dark Blue Maize (shades throughout by farrow-ball.com) makes the artwork, cabinets and velvet sofa pop

Adding a high border in a dark shade showcases architectural structure and adds interest. Here, contrasting shades of green – Whirlybird on the walls, with a top border of stronger Bancha – create a striking modern look

Don’t overlook the importance of ceiling colour – a statement shade sets the tone for the whole house, as here with vibrant green Raw Tomatillo

Our love affair with green is still going strong. This grounding shade, which connects us with nature, invokes a sense of calm, making it a great choice for a bedroom. To enjoy its full effect, paint it on every surface, as has been done here, with Calke Green setting the tone

For colour-blocking that is impactful yet harmonious look to shades that sit almost opposite each other on the colour wheel – such as the Yeabridge Green and lilac Calluna used here. A matt emulsion is ideal for low-traffic walls and will miminise any surface imperfections.

Yellow, once a mainstay of paint schemes, lost favour for a while, but is back with a nostalgic and optimistic vibe. This bathroom’s cheerful Babouche shade gives a sunshine feel, while the checkerboard floor and bath panel create a striking yet friendly effect.

Tips aside, the duo believe that, fundamentally, decorating your home should be joyous. Trends will come and go (for example, the feature wall has been replaced by a split colour, or tide line) so the most important thing is to use shades that you really love and feel comfortable with.

Finally, trust your instincts. There are no fixed rules.

Farrow & Ball: How to Redecorate by Joa Studholme and Charlotte Cosby, published by Mitchell Beazley, £35. To order a copy for £29.75 until 17 March go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25

Inside the world’s most luxurious clubhouse and country retreat – where dogs have their own bedroom

Finding yourself in the doghouse is not normally where you want to be. However, when the canine quarters in question have been dubbed the most luxurious in the world, exceptions must be made.

Set in the heart of the 11,000-acre Goodwood estate amid the West Sussex downlands, the golden brick and flint Kennels building was commissioned by the third Duke of Richmond in 1787 to house his beloved hounds.

The Duke enlisted neoclassical architect James Wyatt – the most fashionable designer of the era – for the job.

The building comprises a central house, originally home to the huntsman, and long, low wings on each side where the hounds were kept. Attached were small open-air courtyards, where 30 couples (hounds are matched and counted in pairs) could enjoy the sun on their backs.

A portrait of Tapster, the third Duke’s favourite hound, immortalised in 1733 by John Wootton, takes pride of place in the Kennels entrance hall

At the time, the kennels were cutting edge and famed for their central-heating system – lodges were lined on one side with large iron plates, heated from behind by fires, to keep the hounds warm.

It was more than a century before central heating was installed in the estate’s main house.

The Kennels building is now the clubhouse for Goodwood’s members

While the Kennels and the later Hound Lodge are no longer home to hounds, they remain dog-friendly spaces. The current custodian of the Goodwood estate – Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond and Gordon – invited interior designer Cindy Leveson (levesondesign.com) to upgrade the Kennels, now a clubhouse, and transform Hound Lodge into a ten-bedroom country retreat.

Dogs have their very own bedroom in the garden of Hound Lodge

‘Goodwood is a place that brings people together to enjoy and share their passions, sporting or otherwise,’ explains the Duke. ‘For us, a huge part of that story is dogs, which have remained a steadfast part of Goodwood, spanning back over three centuries to the first Duke’s arrival on the estate.

The impressive Georgian dining table at Hound Lodge seats 20. The reproduction Georgian carver chairs were bought from a hotel sale. ‘They were a terrifying red colour – fake mahogany,’ says interior designer Cindy Leveson. ‘I had them painted black with a little gilding, rubbed back to look old.’ The oak-leaf chandelier is from Richard Taylor Designs

With the beautiful Kennels and Hound Lodge we can continue the legacy of celebrating dogs in the style our visitors have grown accustomed to. Dogs often accompany our guests on stays.’

Leveson worked with Ptolemy Dean Architects to add two new wings to Hound Lodge and to create a large drawing room and a dining room. The former kennels have been converted into bedrooms, with newly restored dog enclosures.

Brick outbuildings, once used for puppy births, have been furnished, complete with mattresses, to offer canine guests their own bedrooms.

Leveson’s eye for detail is revealed in each room. Hound Lodge is packed with collections relevant to country life and to the Goodwood estate. Books reference the family history, hunting or dogs.

Beds come with eiderdowns, cashmere-covered hot water bottles, crisp sheets and soft blankets, while the mattresses are stuffed with wool from Goodwood estate sheep. The result is a unique space that encapsulates Goodwood’s spirit.

A Hound Lodge bedroom, with walls painted in Delft from M&L Paint & Paper (mandlpaints.com). The antique chair is covered in a Vaughan fabric (vaughan designs.com)

Lily the labrador finds a soft spot to sit in the Kennels. The sofa is upholstered in a Linwood fabric and cushions are from Oka

The current Duke has further showcased the family’s love for man’s best friend with Goodwoof, an annual two-day celebration of all things canine, hosted at the Kennels each May.

‘Dogs are more than just companions and it was only right to devise an event to honour them and the joy they bring to our families,’ he says. ‘Goodwoof does exactly that and is the latest iteration of how Goodwood celebrates dogs.

This year’s event will be an extraordinary day out for the entire family, but most of all, for your dog.’