Bohemian Bayou


Timber cladding, painted floors and corrugated steel, softened by patterns, texture and patina – this is the laid-back New Orleans look!

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New Orleans is one of those cities where the beauty and character lies in the patina, and antiquated architecture, which, when pieced together works seamlessly. This Bohemian New Orleans style plays with pattern, texture, patina and colour, which can bring a vibrant, eclectic, quirkiness of character to any home. But mixing so much pattern and texture from vintage finds can be tricky, which is why you only bring together items that you truly love and can’t live without!

You also don’t have to cross the pond to create this feel in your home – as seen here, in the wonderful Chandlers Reach. From the outside, the striking painted black cladding conjures up the American bayou, and you just know you’re in for a treat once inside. With a comfortable mix of antiques, travel finds and Mid-century Modern pieces, this look can help bring a unique and quirky warmth to any home.

Inside, a bold palette and a interesting mix of furniture and collectables delight the senses. The main house is arranged over two levels, with painted-timber floors and internal cladding of timber and corrugated steel, all of which contribute to the wonderful tapestry of materials, resulting in a playful and uplifting aesthetic throughout.

The kitchen has concrete worktops and American-oak cabinets, and a separate utility area with external access. From here, a doorway leads to the rear of the house, into an expansive living and dining room, where the cladding contrasts with boldly coloured walls and painted wooden floors... where old school chairs, cowhide rugs and an Eames lounge chair share space with 70s space age tables and anglepoise lamps.

The character of the owners really shines through in this house; the shelves are laden with books demonstrating their love of travel, the natural world, modern design and art. Exotic treasures such as a bongo drum, an Indian woodcarving and a 1950s Beswick zebra fruit bowl, mix beautifully with cased fish, West German pottery and bold artwork to create an oh-so-eclectic look.

The first floor moves toward the serene with a muted palette, where the bedrooms are arranged around a wide landing with soaring cathedral ceilings. The master bedroom has bespoke wardrobes, decorated simply with a wooden chair, gold- framed piece of art and a vintage quilt, and a balcony over- looking the garden; another has a more industrial feel with metal banks of drawers, pallet style cladding on the walls, and skateboards.

The wood theme extends outside to a pergola and vine- shaded terrace, which brings the inside out to create another living space softened by plump Jurassic plants and a platform that juts out to the river.

Spanning the considerable length of the property are three outbuildings. Two of these have been converted into self-contained studios, one earning income through holiday rental and the third is used as a creative studio and office. The eclectic feel from the house also extends to the studios, with their clad and corrugated steel interiors, decorated with Eames dining chairs, tulip tables, rustic leather sofas, graffiti style artwork and animal pelts.

Chandlers Reach is situated north of the historic town of Rye, seconds from the highly regarded Rye Lawn Tennis Club and the popular Globe Inn Marsh Rye. The popular towns of Hastings and Tenterden are easily accessible, whilst the beaches at Winchelsea and Pett are a short drive away, and even closer is the wide sandy beach and dunes of Camber Sands.

If having read this piece, you’ve decided that Chandlers Reach is the house for you – then contact for further details, or to arrange a viewing. Price: £1,845,000 Freehold

Woo Gilchrist