A sleepy corner of North Yorkshire has been given a cool Scandinavian make-over. MAXINE GORDON finds out more • Pictures: Frank Dwyer
A DOUBLE set of back doors lead out to whitewashed decking, with green lawn behind.
Inside, the oak floors and grey-painted woodwork of this airy and spacious house create a Nordic mood. Everything is in its place. Everything has a function. And everything is effortlessly beautiful. You almost expect to step outside and pick some loganberries, or find a lake at the end of the garden.
Instead, there is a trampoline, and swing, and some apples, pears and rhubarb growing in the raised beds of this very English family home at Appleton Roebuck, just a short drive south of York.
There’s evidence of an accomplished artistic hand at every turn. From the wooden star framed with fairy lights hanging on the outside wall to the miniature wooden crate filled with pink flowers and church candles that sits on the kitchen worktop, this is the home of someone who likes to make pretty things.
And that’s certainly a fine description for Lindsey Green, whose business, Green & Co, does just that. You may well have seen some of her products in smart gift shops on your travels. She produces tea-towels, framed prints, china mugs, coasters and gift cards in a palette of easy-on-the-eye colours, spouting witty, thoughtful or amusing phrases including the best-seller: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy wine”.
Creativity is in Lindsey’s DNA; she studied fashion and textiles and worked as a visual merchandiser before opening a top-end florists in Harrogate and was the in-house florist for Ripley Castle.
She sold the business when she became a mum, to Mimi, now seven, and Will, nine. She set up Green & Co four years ago, getting off to flying start when a fledgling product, a metal noticeboard blazing Forget Me Not in oversized type, was named new home product of the show at a top London trade fair.
Besides the business, much of Lindsey’s creative energies have been ploughed into her home.
She and husband Damian bought the house eight years ago and have remodelled it beyond all recognition, turning what was once a rather uninspiring 1960s detached into a stylish home packed with plenty of wow factor.
“When we got sick of taking walls out we took the ceiling out,” says Lindsey, pointing to the mezzanine landing which leads to four bedrooms on the second floor.
By moving the staircase from the centre of the building to the far wall, they created more space and height, and allowed for a log-burning stove to be installed in the middle of the downstairs, which is not only an appealing feature, but warms the entire floor.
It’s hard to choose the star attraction of the ground floor interior: the kitchen is perhaps best described as “urban rustic”, mixing as it does the best of both styles. The solid oak floor and range cooker lend a traditional air, which is contrasted with the free-standing units that Lindsey has hand-painted in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.
Next door is the dining room, with a table fit for entertaining. Again, it is made of timber, and painted, this time, an off-white.
“It’s rustic, but clean and fresh,” says Lindsey. “I love the big refectory table with the mixed stools; it’s for more relaxed, bistro sort of eating. The house has always been good for parties and social occasions.”
The latest addition to the house is a lounge, off the dining room, built in the former garage.
Here, Lindsey has used carpet and soft furnishings such as throws and cushions, to create a cosier feel, perfect for family get togethers in front of the TV.
But the whole house flows perfectly, thanks to the use of a singular wall colour – Farrow & Ball’s Strong White. Woodwork and furniture is painted in an array of complementary tones, and accessories never stray too far from the favoured colour mix of stone, grey and white.
“I love greys and neutral colours,” says Lindsey who is dressed all in white, with a pewter grey vest just showing under her white top.
Any design tips? “Don’t be afraid to mix quality pieces with items of a lower price; the eye always gets drawn to the nice stuff.”
Someone should put that on a tea-towel.
Find out more at greenandcohome.co.uk