Sam Hood's Country House

In many ways transforming our country home was the inspiration behind Amara and the beginning of our journey. Andrew and I wanted to create the perfect house to entertain friends and family every weekend. The project was ambitious to say the least; we increased the size of the property by over 50%, we built an indoor leisure area which consists of a swimming pool, sunken spa bath, steam room and gym, we designed and built a fantastic kitchen and dining area and we created an extremely comfortable guest suite. Plans were drawn up and submitted without the input of an architect and for 18 months I was the foreman.

The kitchen resembles a classic Clive Christian design. I selected a combination of marble and granite work surfaces to compliment the handmade units; they are not only beautiful to look at, they are practical too.

There are three reception rooms downstairs. The first is incredibly traditional and formal; it’s the perfect room for a gin and tonic before dinner. To create the desired effect we made some really dramatic swags and tails, two large knoll sofas stand in front of the fireplace and a baby grand piano sits elegantly in one corner. All fabrics were selected from Mulberry with wallpaper from Zoffany. The second living room is a great family room. Totally different from the formal room it is a great place to crash out and watch TV or read a book. To get the more contemporary feel we chose a wallpaper from Neisha Crosland, curtain fabric from Zimmer and Rohde and lights from Porta Romana. We had the sofas made with fabric from Andrew Martin and Sanderson and I commissioned the upholsterers to make a foot stool which measures 1.5 metres square. The third reception room is now our cinema room. Three of the walls are covered in a stunning black paper from Elitis called “Big Croc”, whilst the forth wall is papered in the same style paper, only in turquoise. With a black ceiling and heavy black curtains the room comes to life with blinds and cushions made with fabric from Missoni Home. This is as big a contrast to the formal drawing room as you can get, but it does prove it is possible to mix and match completely different styles with a high level of success.

I chose our six foot six square sleigh bed from And So To Bed and had a stunning canopy made to surround one end. I decided on a toile pattern from Lewis and Wood for the fabric and followed this through using matching wallpaper and bed throw.

Andrew channelled all of his creative input into his beloved wine cellar; it is fair to say that it is one of the most frequently visited rooms in the house and unsurprisingly the room that seems to be the favourite with all of Andrew’s friends.

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