As it has become custom, I have spent the better part of the New Year sorting through back issues of magazines and filing away select pages in my ever-growing library of binders. While flipping through the February 2008 issue of British Homes & Gardens, I was again charmed by the photos of antique dealer Peter Janes’ Kent home.
The cottage, located in Tunbridge Wells, dates back to 1680. King Edward VII officially recognized the popularity of Tunbridge Wells with royalty and aristocrats by granting the town with a "Royal" prefix. In 1909 the town became known, as it is to this day, as Royal Tunbridge Wells, one of only two towns in England.
Along with business partner Robert Pilbeam, Peter is proprietor of Phoenix Antiques, specializing in 18th and 19th Century French and English furniture. I love the way Peter fuses a neutral color palette with period pieces to create a calm and cozy room. His eye for antiques and his talent for mixing various styles are especially evident in the living room of his cottage.
In order to showcase his antiques, while keeping a contemporary feel and tone, Peter chose plantation shutters and sisal flooring. Each room is painted in Fired Earth’s Chalk White. In the breakfast room a small window was removed and replaced with French doors leading out to the garden.
Perhaps my favorite room of all is the dining room. I love the simplicity of the table and charm of the exposed beams, perfectly balanced by a spectacular crystal chandelier. Simply stunning!