Former Emmerdale actress and television presenter Julie Peasgood tells us how she utilised her artistry skills to create a English country-style interior
Don’t ever leave builders in your home to do their thing. If you’re really concerned about the look being what you want, you must absolutely monitor and track it,’ Julie Peasgood tells me. The actress, television presenter and writer may be making a serious point but she’s half laughing as she describes the experience of having her kitchen brick wall painted a few years ago. ‘We went away for a weekend and the builder painted it yellow, but we’d asked for him to repoint the bricks, not repaint them!’
Lesson learned, Julie set about creating a quintessential English country-style home that today looks chic and homely. Residing on Rosemont Road in Richmond, the 19th-century house is not only a reflection of Julie’s sunny character but also her professional life. In recent years, the actress has carved out a new path as a presenter on Crafty Beggars, a show dedicated to the world of crafts, and her expert touch is evident everywhere from the co-ordination of colours to the seamless blend of textures and fabrics. I say that she must have picked up some tips from the programme. ‘Definitely,’ she replies, ‘I’m always on the lookout and now we’re shooting Crafty Beggars In The House for the new Craft Channel (Sky 261), I’m constantly meeting amazing crafters. The only problem I would say is that I need more space to put things in.’
This need for greater space is behind Julie’s current decision to leave the house after 30 long happy years. She raised her daughter Kate here and for the last 20 years has lived there with her husband, actor Patrick Pearson, but she is now looking for a home with studio space. ‘I want to develop the production side to do with crafts,’ she explains. ‘That’s a life choice. But nonetheless, I feel a real wrench.’
The hub of the home for the family has always been the stunning kitchen, a sympathetic conversion to the rear. Julie explains that it was formerly a galley kitchen attached to a small dining room, so she and Patrick made the decision to extend it into one large kitchen/dining room. The result is a bright room from the conservatory-style roof to the striking green and white floor, supplied by Color 1 Design in Twickenham. ‘We only lost a tiny slice of the back courtyard garden but what we gained from the extension was a south-west facing terrace and it’s a real suntrap,’ Julie explains. ‘The little paved garden is so quiet and private you could even sunbathe starkers,’ she adds, leaving us giggling.
Julie says her favourite room is either the kitchen or the ‘garden room’ (the second reception room). The latter was originally a garage when Julie bought the house but, as the drive already had a parking space, she converted it into a room for more space. Located to the right-hand side, it can function independently from the rest of the home, and opens directly onto the garden so is a flexible space. Having previously been used as a treatment room by Patrick, who is also a hypnotherapist, Julie says it could work equally well as a spare bedroom or a playroom for children.
A calming ambience flows through every room. ‘Houses carry a certain karma, if you like, and we’ve been incredibly happy here,’ Julie says. Unlike so many homes in Richmond, the house escapes the dreaded Heathrow flight path. ‘We wake up every morning to birdsong,’ Julie says. This is because the house is situated next to the Vineyard School (rated as outstanding by Ofsted), which has an on-site conservation area where wildlife flourishes.
Julie’s huge master bedroom, one of four in total, overlooks a gorgeous south-west facing balcony. It’s also possible for the top-floor bedrooms to be expanded. ‘They’re comfortable but if you opened them out, utilising the eaves spaces, it would be a worthwhile investment,’ Julie says, ‘perfect for a growing family or for downsizers with grandchildren’. But any buyers will find it a tranquil place. ‘It’s a happy home,’ she beams.
For further information, contact Savills Richmond: 020 8614 9100; savills.com