Anna & Ed's Modern & Historic Home

Anna & Ed's Modern & Historic Home

Rebecca Proctor
Apr 10, 2013

Name: Anna  & Ed Chipperfield 
Location: Oxford, England
Size: 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years; owned

This beautiful townhouse in Oxford, England is home and workplace to Anna and Ed Chipperfield. Over the last few years, they have lovingly restored the house, maintaining its period details while adding contemporary elements like the spiral staircase and a modern kitchen. This melding of old and new is also reflected in a lively mix of antique and modern furniture. The Verner Panton chair sitting at a vintage writing desks sums the look up perfectly.

The home is also filled with lots of quirky details — little birds perch on mounted antlers while a mobile of the solar system orbits the dining table, its colourful planets echoing the crimson knobs of the kitchen cupboards. In addition to the house with all its quirks, there is also a converted barn at the bottom of the garden. This space is decorated in a more raw and experimental style, with a floor to ceiling plywood interior and exposed copper pipework. The combination of the two spaces makes for a varied, unique and very special home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Relaxed, and very much our own. We're not great consumers, and have slowly added bits and pieces over the years. I have to really love something to buy it. I'm a big fan of original finishes in period houses and mid century Danish furniture.

Inspiration: Our friends, our families (especially my Aunty Margaret's house). Period industrial buildings – old barns, sheds, boathouses, stables.

Blogs: The Brickhouse, Apartment Therapy, My Friend's House, Le dans la, Remodelista and of course, Futurustic!

Richard Neutra, especially in his use of plywood, Mark and Sally Bailey, Emily Chalmers, World of Interiors.

Favorite Element: We love the barn at the bottom of our garden – William Morris of Morris Motors originally began building bikes there. It's also been a carpenter's workshop, an acupuncturist's, a store room for the Oxford Playhouse and a 1970s squat. Now my husband uses it for his copywriting business, and I work as a freelancer on various design projects. When you sit on the balcony on a summer's evening, you can listen to choir practice and recitals drifting over the wall from St Stephen's college. Very Oxford!

Biggest Challenge:  The whole house was a bit of a wrestle to begin with. All of the sash windows needed restoration. The fireplaces were boarded up. It was a bit of a dump. But it always had a lovely feel to it. And Ed's very handy too, which helps.

What Friends Say: They all say very nice things.

Biggest Embarrassment: As a family, we're incapable of embarrassment. 

Proudest DIY: Ed rebuilt the staircase on the outside of the barn entirely from reclaimed timber. There's an amazing recycled timber yard just outside Oxford. 

Biggest Indulgence: Our beautiful buttery soft leather sofa from Heals is now 6 years old and just gets more and more comfy. And whenever I have a birthday or Christmas present looming, I ask for a piece of lighting or a screen-print I've had my eye on. They're the kind of items I know I'll keep forever. At the moment, I'm hoping someone will buy me one of Adam Gale's fabulous beetle prints. Hint hint.

Best Advice: Don't rush on a period house if you don't have to. Sometimes details grow on you where you may have replastered or replaced at the beginning. These are often the elements that provide the real quirks. 

Dream Sources: SCP, Bailey's Home and Garden, Print Club London, Tom Dixon, Davey.

Resources of Note:


• Farrow and Ball Pavilion Grey

• Farrow and Ball Strong White

• Farrow and Ball Pigeon

• Farrow and Ball Railings (exterior woodwork)


• Mirror – Ikea

• Pendant light - Davey

• Print – Adam Gale


• Print – Lucy McLauchlan

• Painting – Cheetah the Chimp (the real chimp from the original Tarzan films)

• Sofa - Heals

• Both armchairs – vintage Danish from Home & Colonial in Berkhamsted

• Carpet – Alternative Flooring Company

• Chests – various junk shops and army surplus

• Pendant light – Tom Dixon

• Table lamp - Anglepoise

• Desk - Home & Colonial in Berkhamsted

• Chair - Panton

• Sideboard – my Papa's. It looks Danish but is actually Scottish -McIntosh of    Kirkcaldy

• Print – Ben Eine

• Painting – Marco Bieri, an artist friend.

• Antlers – Camden Passage, Islington.

• Globe- Camden Passage


•  Units were already here, but we painted them Strong White and gave them 

new knobs.

• Space Mobile – a kit from the Science Museum, painted by Ed.

• Chairs  - Eames

• Table – vintage Ercol from Ebay.


• Bed - Ikea

• Chest of drawers – vintage Danish.

• Bedside tables - Habitat

• Vintage theatre lamp from antique shop in Crouch End

• Orange anglepoise – ebay

• Chair –Eames rocker


• Armchair - Habitat

• Blackboard – Reclaimation yard

• Cot - Ikea

•  Storage - Ikea


•  Mirror above sink – car boot sale

• Mirror above fireplace - Habitat

• Clock  - Heals

• Hamper basket - Ikea


•  Bookshelves – Reclaimed scaffolding

• Kitchen area - Ikea

• NUD lamps - SCP

Thanks, Anna and Ed!

(Images: Anna Minto Chipperfield)

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