A traditional cottage with a room whose transformation was the ‘key to unlocking the house’

Tom Cox has transformed the layout of this Oxfordshire house to create one light-filled living and dining space.

Family-run Hám Interiors is a Henley-based interior-design and build practice (hám is old English for ‘house’). It has garnered a reputation for infusing projects with its eclectic and pared-back aesthetic that marries antique pieces with a subtle use of colour and pattern.

Formerly a workman’s cottage, the rear of this house had evolved over the years. ‘It was a lovely looking house, but it suffered at the back from a lack of connectivity,’ says Hám’s co-founder Tom Cox. ‘Fixing this room was key to unlocking the house.’

The structural changes included raising the ceiling to create a gabled roof and the removal of walls to form a large single room. Using different flooring — a practical, hard-wearing blue stone in the kitchen dining area and a warm, wide-plank engineered oak in the sitting room — helped to subtly change the atmosphere within the space.

Much of the interest in the room is derived from its lack of uniformity. ‘We chose furniture and objects made from a variety of natural materials and styles to bring character,’ says Tom, who used Farrow & Ball’s Manor House Gray to act as a contemporary backdrop to furniture with a distinctly rustic feel.

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Some items, such as the zinc-topped table, were made specifically for the project. Others, including the dresser, dining chairs, bronze-covered bar and planters were from Studio Hám, a collection of new designs, as well as one-off antiques and ephemera sourced by the team from markets and reclamation yards across the UK and Europe.

Elegant globe pendants by Jamb suspended along the length of the room supplement table lamps and picture lights.

Hám Interiors — www.haminteriors.com

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