Visiting Kettles Yard House

An hour-long stationary traffic queue and then “closed for renovations” meant I abandoned earlier trips. After 30 years, I finally made it to @kettlesyard in Cambridge.

I found it quite an emotional visit. Until recently, I’ve kept my love of Art entirely separate from my job as an interior designer. Since working with some clients that are keen collectors, I began to relish the overlaps between the two fields. It opened the door for me to think about interiors in a much more fluid, yet cohesive way.

I previously viewed my role as an interior designer to be a combination of technical problem-solver and aesthetic stylist. Given the opportunity to bring history, context and surprising juxtapositions into the mix, and suddenly a house has the potential to be more than just a beautiful, functional space. It can also be a thought-provoking journey.

Cotswold Interior Design
Cotswold Interior Design

Kettles Yard House is precisely that. It’s the former home of Jim and Helen Ede. The couple shared a love of Art, fostering friendships with contemporary artists like Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and “primitive” artists like Alfred Wallis.

Jim enlisted in the First World War, and it’s believed that the experience was pivotal in the masterminding of this unique, curated domestic space. They wanted to share Art with everyone in a relaxing, home rather than the hushed, hallowed environs of a public art gallery.

Seedheads and stone collections have equal status alongside a Ben Nicholson painting that is casually hanging on the wall just above skirting height.

Cotswold Interior Design
Interior Designer
Cotswold Interior Designer

A stunning Gaudier-Brzeska sculpture sits on a magnificent tree stump skirted by pebbles rather than the gallery standard white painted plinth. Every single square inch of space is composed so that Art, natural objects and beautiful design sit effortlessly next to one another. Even the light switch is viewed as a miniature work of Art.

Kettles Yard House
Kettles Yard House

Isn’t it strange how thoughts and life sometimes intersect? Before our trip to Cambridge, I’d been thinking about an interior design course that will enable people to identify their unique, interiors style. Everyone has a history, with interests, likes and dislikes that set them apart. The most compelling homes reveal their owners’ stories and passions. Creating interiors that are emotionally relevant have longevity and make trends trivial.

The personalities of Jim and Helen Ede speak quietly to you as you walk through Kettles Yard. But their interests and passion are there at every turn. Kettles Yard was first conceived as a living gallery space in 1956. More than 60 years later it still has vibrancy and lots to teach us. As I walked around their space I felt like a greedy child in a sweet shop. All the time thinking “This is it – this is the perfect embodiment of a home and its’ owners.”

If you haven’t been, it’s really worth the trip.

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WANT TO EXPLORE OUR COTSWOLD INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS?

If you are ready to start your Cotswold interior design journey then why not get in touch for an informal chat.

We offer an Interior Design Service that can take care of every aspect of your interiors project. If you’re considering a new build or home renovation and think we could help, we would love to hear from you!

Call us on 01386 258007 or email us at info@helenbainbridge.co.uk to discuss your project.