charnwoodstoves

The Isle of Wight has been home to Charnwood Stoves since 1972. It was also the original home to England’s most creative, colourful and award winning music festival, Bestival. We caught up with the Bestival’s co-founders (and Charnwood stove owners) Josie & Rob da Bank.

Q: WHAT MADE YOU MOVE DOWN TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT?

A: Josie: Bringing three boys (Arlo, eight; Merlin, six and Miller, four) up in London is not really appropriate; we have got a much bigger garden; we prefer it and the festival’s here. Rob: It’s the freedom. The weekends in London you’re left panicking about what you are going to do next and what to do with the kids whereas here, it’s a much more relaxing place to bring the kids up. I love being out in the fresh air, sailing and being in Yarmouth.

Q: CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE AND THE ARCHITECTURAL STYLE?

A: Rob: The house was built in 1750; it was an outhouse to the farm which is next door. I have seen a photo of it in the 1800’s when it was a bee keeper’s cottage so it has been through loads of iterations into the current house! It’s a really old property with a lot of stone, but Josie has designed new bits so it’s a marriage of old and new that suits our style which is a mixture vintage, brand new and shabby chic.

Q: WHAT FORMS YOUR DECORATIVE STYLE AND WHERE HAVE YOU SOURCED FURNITURE FROM?

A: Josie: I don’t think we have a style, we buy things that we like and it all just gels together. A lot of the furnishings and carpets have come from our travels to India and Morocco. There is quite a lot of animal reference in the house; I think that’s because of the children love animals! I’ve commissioned a few animal heads; Emily Warren has made the ones which sit over the fireplace. We have a few mosaics which were made by another good friend, who is a Mosaist. There are a lot of textiles; I really love fabrics by Josef Frank and Liberty London. Rob: and we have some nice stoves from Charnwood!

Q: COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT EACH OF YOUR STOVES AND HOW THEY FIT INTO THE STYLE AND FUNCTION OF THE ROOM?

A: Rob: We bought the Cove 1 first, four years ago when we built the extension. This is an old house, in the summer it’s lovely but during the winter it can get really cold. We have underfloor heating but we wanted a centrepiece as much as a stove so in the winter it serves a dual purpose: it looks great and it’s heating the room! All year round, it’s a great centre piece for the room, especially when you’ve got the fire going and the sun is setting out the window, it’s quite peaceful.

The other stove we have is the Tor Pico, I love the 360˚view of the fire and how it can heat half the house in a very short amount of time. I think that sometimes we are definitely style over content but we love the way the stoves look just as much as using them and they are a great addition to the house.

Q: WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL WINTER’S DAY AT HOME?

A: Josie: Our dream day at home would involve having all the children nice, calm and relaxed. Then a few board games, a dip in the hot tub outside and then a cosy dinner around the fire.  Rob: We are surrounded by great places like Bouldnor Forest, Newtown creek and the river Yar so we’ll quite often go for a walk or a bike ride then pile back inside and get the fire stocked up.  The boys like making the fire, there’s something about the crackling and building of the fire, especially for the boy’s- maybe it’s a primal urge! It’s a lovely thing that takes them away from the iPad and television. I love the whole process of chopping up the kindling and preparing the fire and it involves the boys as well.

Q: FINALLY, WHAT YOUR SOUNDTRACK BE TO LAZING IN FRONT OF THE FIRE?

Rob: Where I work with music, to have no music is quite a luxury. Josie: Especially here, we have so much wildlife to listen to!  Rob: We have a lot of different species living in the garden like owls, woodpeckers, Indian runner ducks, chickens and geese. After three years here the novelty of the wildlife still hasn’t worn off and I don’t think it ever will. We’ve got the crackling of the fire, the whistling of the wind and the nature sounds. Just to sit and listen to that is music really.

Sourcebook

www.bestival.net

www.thestealthyrabbit.com

www.libertylondon.com

www.artontiles.co.uk

charnwoodstoves

Nestled in amongst the rolling hills of Gloucestershire’s Cotswolds lies Jess and Rob’s countryside retreat. Within the calm, comfortable interior of their home the couple have imaginatively incorporated four Charnwood stoves. Here Jess talks us through her decorative style room by room.

Our house is situated in Hampen, a small hamlet that lies roughly 5 miles outside of Cheltenham. We are central to the most beautiful area: we have the cosmopolitan hub of Cheltenham so close, yet we are in spitting distance of the gorgeous market towns of Stow, Bourton and Northleach.

The house is constructed of Cotswold stone and lies within 5 acres of grounds.
The central part of the property dates back to the 16th century, but has been added to and remodelled several times. The previous owner extended it to the home it is today. It was always a beautiful house, however we wanted to put our stamp on it so before moving in we undertook the two month renovation to bring it up to what it is now.

The interior is I suppose my little bit of the Hamptons in the Cotswolds. I love vintage French chic, eclectic furnishings and Scandinavian antiquities. I wanted a serene interior, with unusual antiques and pieces of interest. It is predominantly a family home though so needed to be practical. I adore a muted palate, but also want my house to feel warm and welcoming with a sense of ease. I found most furniture from The Old Cinema in Chiswick, various antiques stores in Tetbury, a good old boot market rummage and imported several pieces from my favourite holiday destination – Mykonos.  I also tried to use ethical, up cycled items where possible and used clay paint from earthborn throughout to give the walls a rendered feel.  My inspiration for the house lies Zoe Ellison and Alex legendre and their design philosophy, check out their store in Brighton I Gigi.

The kitchen is the heart of my home, as is most peoples. It is where I cook, bake, feed my family, read with my dogs and drink wine! It has to be cosy. My dogs stretched out in front of a dying fire, means I don’t feel guilty tucking them up at night.

My bedroom burner was the ultimate luxury. On a bitter day there is nothing better than lighting it, getting a cracking family movie and snuggling down as a family. It is also cracking when your full of a cold and feeling sorry for yourself.

The snug is my little haven. Somewhere I go for peace and quiet. I wanted somewhere I could read or study that had no television and no distractions. It is also where our Christmas tree goes, and where we hang the stockings. A wood burner was essential here and is a real luxury.

The sitting room is our adult only room, it is where myself and my partner relax and have very rare time to ourselves. We love to watch a movie and chill out with a cheeseboard. We find our fire is perfect to warm up the cheese and keep a hot toddy warm. It is lit every evening we can, and the dogs all stretch out on the sheepskin. No room on the sofa’s for four!

Our Perfect Day

Breakfast in bed with the wood burner blazing. Smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and a Buck’s Fizz if I may!

Wrapping up and taking the kids out for the day, we love fishing, visiting the local farm park, taking our dogs for a walk or playing on the tractors in the garden.

Coming back and Rob cooking his legendary roast in the kitchen, I can curl up with a book in my big chair by the fire, draped in all the dogs. The kids will bomb around the house!

Eating our roast in the kitchen, then we will ultimately give in to the kids and put a fire on in the main sitting room and watch a movie all together. Preferably, with a hot chocolate and a massive bowl of popcorn. Just heaven.

Sourcebook

www.theoldcinema.co.uk

www.igigigeneralstore.com

www.earthbornpaints.co.uk