People who grow up near the coast often say they have the sea in their blood – wherever they live, they can always hear the waves calling them home. I grew up amongst hills on the edge of Exmoor and I feel the same way about rolling landscapes… the longer I spend in London, the stronger my yearning for the countryside gets. Perhaps that explains why knitwear designer Kathleen Holland, who was born in mountainous Peru, chose dramatic Snowdonia for her weekend retreat.
Kathleen’s passionate about her Peruvian roots and the colours of the country’s spectacular landscape are evident in her alpaca clothing designs. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of months of my gap year in Peru and Kathleen’s colour palette inspired by purple-flowering desert cacti, the golden grasses of the altiplano and cloudless Andean skies brings back a flood of wonderful memories for me too.
Kathleen’s decorating choices for the farmhouse interior are equally inspired by the Snowdonian landscape. The beamed ceilings and slate flagstone floors act as a rustic backdrop for traditional wood furniture, including the much-loved Welsh dresser and heavy dark stained grain chest, which Kathleen inherited from her in-laws who previously owned the house. On top of it, handfuls of foxgloves and daisies spill out of an old milk churn.
The bedrooms are decorated with just the right blend of simplicity and beauty. The wrought iron bedstead in the master was made by a local blacksmith and Kathleen has draped it with linen from reclaimed grain sacks to make a relaxed headboard.
Oh, how I would love to be snuggling down in one of the antique beds under a heap of Welsh wool blankets and vintage eiderdowns this weekend!