After 11 years in Los Angeles, fashion journalist and TV host Louise Roe had the English countryside on her mind. She answered the call to return to her native Britain, where she and her husband fulfilled a long-held dream of living in one of the idyllic pastoral settings the country is known for.
“The estate agent joked that he wished he had a pound every time someone said they wanted a Georgian parsonage,” deer reminders – you may have seen her holding court on the red carpet for Go to Hollywood– of the house they finally found. “It was my Pride and Prejudice scenario. It was paradise. I cried when we found him.
She and her husband lovingly restored the property, adding fireplaces where they had previously been excised, repairing the original floors, and decorating in what Roe describes as her “traditionally English” aesthetic.
But as people began to flee big cities like London during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roe and her husband saw an opportunity to sell and seek an urban residence. “We realized the country was not for us,” Roe said. “We sold the presbytery very quickly off the market and immediately began our search.”
What they found sparked a love like that of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy: a Victorian townhouse in a quiet part of London. The house ticked all the boxes – size, location and natural light – and hadn’t been touched in 30 years, so it had no shortage of quirky period features that fit right in with Roe’s English-inspired style. .
“There’s nothing modern or minimal about the way I decorate,” says Roe. “Even though we left the countryside, I wanted to bring the look to the city.”
Here she explains how she translated her love for English country-inspired interiors into a metropolitan home, so you can try it too.
Borrow from family
Repurposing and repurposing heirlooms and decor is one of Roe’s top tips for achieving the English country aesthetic. “I always raid my parents’ house,” says Roe, who grabbed old black-and-white photos and candlesticks (with wax collected in their bases) that had been in the family for years for the new townhouse.