ISSUE 13  |  Rite of Spring

Springtime in Sussex

March 26, 2012 8:30 AM

BY Alexa Hotz

In a Georgian rectory in West Sussex, the calm light and pale interiors act as a mild sedative.

The Albourne rectory, which dates back to the 17th century, is the home of Emma Waight, the daughter of an interior designer and a former antiques dealer, and her husband, Elliot. The couple moved from "a grotty street in North London" to the country in search of a more bucolic life; in the process, they trimmed their extensive antique collection to create a fresh and uncluttered space. "We wanted the house to be spacious and decorated predominantly in white with shades of gray," Emma says. The muted backdrop sets off to advantage the antique French, Belgian, and Swedish furniture, as well as a growing art collection.

Photography by Light Locations.

Above: The sofas in the main living area were made to order from Emma's favorite East Sussex haunt, I Gigi General Store.

Above: The Hungarian-point chevron parquetry is made from French oak, salvaged from an old chateau. Emma and Elliot found the wood by "pure luck" at a reclamation yard where it had been shipped over, stripped, and reconditioned. The floor "brings everything together—our style, love of things old and new, elegance and beauty," says Emma.

Above: An antique mirror adds a note of elegance in an otherwise unadorned room.

Above: The Albourne study is furnished with antique furniture and a collection of books covered in white paper.

Above: Antique X-Ray shade sconces from Hector Finch in London are dotted throughout the house.

Above: The tapers and tiny tin houses were sourced from I Gigi General Store.

Above: The kitchen is light and airy, with exposed original beams.

Above: Springtime daffodils add a dash of color to the kitchen.

Above: The white interiors are accented with French Gray Dark paint from The Little Greene Company in the UK. It's Emma's go-to souce for paint because of the selection, with "the added bonus of having four shades of the same color. It's great to be able to build on and create different tones around the house," she says.

Above: An antique chandelier hangs in one of the house's three bedrooms.

Above: A towel warmer warms the bath on colder days in the country.

Above: The Waights culled their collection of antiques when they made their move, only bringing their favorites.

Above: Artworks line an upstairs hallway.

Above: The cloakroom features a brick-paved floor.

Above: The patio's dining set is a "very old buy from Habitat," says Emma.

Above: The patio's old Yorkstone paving was sourced from a local reclamation yard.