One of our favorite remodeling projects from the last year or so is London art director Sandy Suffield’s Engine House: see A Romantic Rescue in the English Countryside (Available for Getaways). When we toured it last summer, Sandy mentioned that her mother and sisters are shopkeepers with their own inventive quarters.
This past spring, while London was going into lockdown, Sandy went to stay with her elder sister, Victoria, and family in Winchester. And for a period there was unexpected time for cooking together, gardening, evening walks in water meadows—and photo sessions: Sandy with some help from her niece, Mercy, captured these images of Victoria and her husband Phil Webb’s much-loved 1930’s brick house known at Barton Edge, and shared them with us as a pandemic pick-me-up. Victoria, like her mother and sisters, has an eye for display and for objects that gladden the heart: “junk shopping is my retail therapy.” Cue the Masterpiece Theatre music and join us for a look around.
Photography by Sandy Suffield, unless noted.
Above: Victoria and Phil and their three children moved to Barton Edge almost 10 years ago. Built in the Arts and Crafts style, it’s near the center of town and Victoria’s shop, The Hambledon, voted the best independently owned department stores in the UK in 2018 and featured on The Shopkeeper’s Top 10 Lifestyle Stores list (its Home floor has an inspired selection ranging from petite engraved Crystal Vases to classic American Braided Rugs in an English palette).
As mentioned, retail runs in the family—for 52 years Victoria’s mother, Wendy, ran the original Hambledon Gallery, a lifestyle shop in Dorset that sells “everything but fruit and veg,” now managed by the youngest Suffield sister.
Above: The family had previously lived in a skinny Victorian down the road and were in need of more space. Explains Victoria: “Phil found the house. It was hidden behind a flint wall and from the road looked a bit spooky. On our first visit, the drains were blocked, a ceiling had caved in upstairs, and the shed was the most well-appointed part of the property. But as soon as we walked through the front door it had a really lovely feel: generous rooms flow off a central corridor and there are lots of windows (original Crittall). It could accommodate our then-teenaged family in separate spaces (if required), but we could all be together comfortably, too.”
Above: Victoria’s version of a pajaki, a traditional Polish straw chandelier, hangs on the door to the sitting room. “I made this at a workshop Sandy and I took in South London taught by Karolina Merska.”
Above: Jackson, a Jack Russell/Border Terrier mix, mans the family’s Habitat sofa, dog-proofed with a blanket bought on a vacation in Lisbon at A Vida Portuguesa.
Above: A pillow made from an antique silk log-cabin quilt rests on a vintage bench that came out of a doctor’s office. The art is a collection of mostly wedding presents, including a painting by Victoria’s godfather, Ed Day.
Above: Victoria and Phil in the sitting room, captured by their daughter, Mercy. The three children are now “mostly grown” and are all living in London. Phil is a marketing consultant specializing in architecture, design, and music—and is currently at work on a documentary about Nick Lowe.
The modernist Swedish lamp is by Hans-Agne Jakobsson, “a great eBay spot by Sandy.”
Above: The previous owners installed the room’s Victorian marble mantel: “it’s obviously a lot older than the house but fits right in.” The antique pitcher and glove form are from Victoria’s ceramics collection.
Above: Victoria uses the sitting room shelves as an opportunity for display. Chinese joss paper shoes rest next to a 19th-century British army regiment embroidery. May Be is by illustrator Fiona Woodcock.
Above: The brick fireplace in the hall was once used to warm guests on arrival.
Above: The house’s original parquet floor was patched and preserved: “I found reclaimed wood that came from a dance hall in Southampton,” says Victoria. “Unbelievably, it was a perfect match.”
The vintage Cherner chair was a 40th birthday present from Phil to Victoria.
Above: Phil formerly managed a contract furniture business, “so we have the required Eames and Robin Day chairs and some amazing lights,” notes Victoria, including brass Semi Pendants by Gubi.
Above: The house required a lot of initial shoring up—”we reroofed, rewired, and replumbed”—plus a new kitchen created by taking down the walls of a neglected two-room scullery. The cabinets are from Ikea with a GEC Anderson steel countertop. Note the wall paneling and high shelf designed to work with the existing “oddly low” windows.
Above: A pair of Caravaggio lights by Cecilie Manz hang in front of the original china cabinet: “I very nearly removed the dresser to gain some extra light and give us a view onto the main garden,” Victoria tells us. “My mum was absolutely horrified and called me wicked. I’m so grateful for her strong opinion—we ended up just painting it gray and now I love it.”
Above: Staffordshire figures of Darby and Joan—the names are synonymous in the UK for a devoted old couple.
Above: The house’s stair is original, as is the circular window next to the front door.
Above: A landscape painting by Victoria’s artist father, Mike Suffield, hangs in the stairwell. He made the horse trio last year as a Christmas present for her—they’re modeled after a Victorian set she’s always loved, depicted here “in more modern racing colors”
Above: The children’s rooms are on the second floor. Theo’s, shown here, has a Robin Day chair, and his mother’s “attempt at crochet.”
Above: Victoria and Phil converted the attic into their bedroom suite. This mother-of-pearl-inlaid chair is in their dressing room.
Above: The attic bath has a view of the sky.
- Here are three more projects artfully furnished with a mix of modern classics and vintage finds:
- Farmhouse Refresh: An Antiques Dealer’s Clean and Simply Family Retreat on Shelter Island
- A Little Bit of This A Little Bit of That: A Celebration of Art and Design at The Residence in Copenhagen
- Calm and Collected: At Home with the Duo Behind Aesthetic Movement