TIME FOR A CHANGE
Country Homes & Interiors|February 2022
Extending a country cottage into a graceful family home sparked a new career as an interior designer for Claire Orders
JANET MCMEEKIN

Orangery An antique Chesterfield sofa, upholstered in a striking floral fabric, brings the outside in. Sofa, upholstered in Persian Pomegranate, GP&J Baker. Yellow throw, Tom Lane.Bagsie sofa, Loaf

Staircase

‘I wanted to get every detail right, from the oak handrail to the elegant cast-iron balusters,’ says Claire. Handrail and balusters, Bespoke Handrails & Staircases

AT HOME WITH

Owners Claire Orders, an interior designer who runs Claire Orders Interiors, and her husband David, a derivative strategist. They live here with their children Oliver, seven, and Joshua, five.

House An extended and renovated five-bedroom house, formerly a two-up, two-down cottage, built in 1895.

Moving from London to Essex was already a significant life change for Claire Orders and her family, but factor in a major house renovation and, ultimately, a new career in interior design, and it’s clear that the classic town-tocountry shift delivered more than she and husband David could ever have dreamed of.

It all began in 2015, soon after the birth of their first child, when Claire was becoming increasingly disenchanted with living in London and began hankering after her roots in Essex.

Dining area A large, contemporary pendant light makes a statement above the dining table. Diner 125 pendant light in weathered brass, Original BTC. Suffolk sideboard in Charcoal, Neptune. Vintage Album Vilmorin prints, eBay

‘Although we were really pleased with the Victorian semi-detached house we’d renovated in Greenwich, when Oliver came along our lives changed significantly,’ explains Claire. ‘We needed a bigger garden and more space. I also felt a strong pull to be closer to my family.’

Unfortunately, trying to buy a house near Chelmsford wasn’t as straightforward as Claire and David had envisaged, and they were pipped to the post twice, missing out on two family-sized period properties. They were determined to find another Victorian home to make their own, so when a dated two-up, two-down 19th-century cottage came on to the market, Claire knew she could reimagine and extend the property sympathetically to create a beautiful, bespoke home. ‘Although the original cottage was definitely too small for us, it was attractive and had good bones, as well as a generous plot offering tremendous scope,’ Claire explains.

Driving through the countryside on a sunny day in June 2015, with Oliver snoozing in his car seat, Claire was intrigued when she reached her destination. ‘The cottage was charming and in a tranquil location, just off a leafy lane and surrounded by fields,’ she says.

Her renovation instincts went into overdrive as she could see there was vast potential to extend at both the back and side of the property. Stepping inside, she was enchanted by its charm and period features, and couldn’t wait to share her thoughts with David.

Kitchen A Roman blind in a vintage-inspired floral fabric is a pretty touch. Roman blind in Josephine linen in Charcoal, Olive & Daisy

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORSView All

WARM WELCOME

Creating social spaces to entertain family and friends was key to the design of Emma Shaw's inviting country home

5 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

Relight YOUR FIRE

CREATE AN OUTDOOR ROOM WITH A FIREPIT AT ITS HEART AND BRING A COSY FOCAL POINT TO ALFRESCO LIVING

3 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

Take ONE JAR

THESE SIMPLE MAKES TURN THE HUMBLE GLASS JAR INTO CREATIVE GIFTS AND HOME ACCESSORIES

4 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

NIGHT LIGHTS FOR GARDENS

MAKE MORE OF YOUR GARDEN AFTER DARK WITH THESE ILLUMINATING IDEAS

3 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

My garden apothecary

Sustainable farmer Becky Cole celebrates wild plants, and shares how she uses them in wonderful recipes and remedies

2 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

MAKE A WISH

This couple gave up the day job to follow their dream of renovating a farmhouse - and it's created new opportunities they never expected

5 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

IN THE COUNTRY WITH Clodagh McKenna

GETTING A WRIGGLE ON WITH A WORMERY!

2 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

EMMA SIMS HILDITCH The secret to timeless style

YOU CAN FOLLOW FASHION AND STILL CREATE A LOOK WITH STAYING POWER. HERE, THE INTERIOR DESIGNER SHOWS HOW IT'S DONE

2 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

BRIGHT OUTLOOK

Francesca Reed's imaginative refurbishment of this listed farmhouse has created a colourful and welcoming retreat with an uplifting take on Victorian style

5 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022

GARDEN JUBILEE

Summer entertaining just got colourful! Celebrate occasions large and small with a garden party styled for good times

4 mins read
Country Homes & Interiors
June 2022
RELATED STORIES

BIZARRE THANDIWE'S MOVIE MELTDOWN

Thandiwe’s team wants her in rehab for mental health support, an insider says

1 min read
National Enquirer
May 09, 2022

JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS ALISON

IN THE NEW HULU SERIES CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS, ALISON OLIVER AND HER COSTAR JOE ALWYN SPARK AN ONSCREEN CHEMISTRY TOO INTENSE TO IGNORE.

9 mins read
ELLE
May 2022

Revolution on the Ridge

Claire and Jamie brace themselves for war while new settlers bring more conflict to the Frasers' North Carolina home

3 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
FEB. 28–MARCH 13, 2022

The Big Picture

Has the ultimate driving machine run out of road?

3 mins read
Motor Trend
March 2022

OUTLANDER'S FRENCH KISS

Ooh la la! Claire and Jamie head to the City of Lights for Season 2 of Starz's sizzling drama

6 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

CLAIRE & JAMIE'S AMERICAN DREAM

The Frasers build a new life full of danger and family turmoil in 1700s North Carolina-but there's still plenty of steamy romance

6 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

CLASH OF THE TARTANS

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, Outlander finally comes to TV. Join us on the Scottish set of the time-jumping, bodice-ripping epic romance!

4 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS

Will Outlander's Claire and Jamie be separated forever? Inside the shocking cliffhanger fans won't see coming

3 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

SOMEWHERE IN TIME

The Droughtlander is over! After 20 years apart, Claire and Jamie finally reunite on Season 3 of Starz's sizzling hit

5 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

Sky's the Limit

"The list of industries in which aviation drones are crucial tools is ever expanding. Drones are the now, and the future, and the ability to operate one is key. We spoke to drone pilot Oliver Lane from Darkwing Aerials, to gain an insider’s perspective of this burgeoning occupation."

6 mins read
Popular Mechanics South Africa
January/February 2022