08 May 2012

HELEN + GARSON'S HERTFORDSHIRE HOME







































Photography by Garson Byer and Helen Yuet Ling Pang

This beautiful Hertfordshire home belongs to Helen and Garson. I met the talented Helen Yuet Ling Pang through Instagram (@foodieguide). And I'm often scrolling and drooling over her delicious instagram photos around two in the morning before going to bed. When she posted a few photos of her home, my jaw dropped so I couldn't resist asking her to do a home tour for Old Brand New. I love everything about their refined aesthetic. I love the textured wallpaper. The huge windows are ridiculously gorgeous. And don't even get me started on all their covetable teak pieces. Everything in their home feels carefully chosen and cherished. Their home is serene and exudes good feng shui. All photos are by Garson and Helen, taken with a Leica M8.2. Their photos make me feel like I was actually there hopping around the house with them and their two darling cats, Molly and Benny.

Anyway, let's roll along to their delightful story. Take it away, Helen! —

We moved a few years ago from leafy Highgate in north London to this beautiful, unique house in a medieval market town outside London. We chose the house, rather than the town, because of the attached lake, secluded location and unusual architectural features. It's just one of a few houses built in 1974 around a small lake which used to be a fishing club, so there are still many giant carp lurking in the water. Hardly anyone in the town knows about these houses as we are on a small private road and delivery people are always confused because the only way to enter the front of the house is via the lake! The entrance is through our back garden, so it's a sort of 'back to front' house. There are quirky rules in the house deeds, such as using only one fishing rod per household at any one time, one rowing boat per household at any one time, and having to maintain a minimum of 22 ducks on the lake. Every spring, we hope for plenty of ducklings!

The living room has wooden ceiling beams and an exposed brick wall with a small fireplace, making it very cosy in the winter. There are still a few original features, including beautiful textured wallpaper in the living room, a little gas heater, wooden wall panelling and the staircase leading up to the main bedroom. We already had some Mid-Century Modern Danish teak furniture, which looked even better in this house. Since moving here, we have bought more pieces, including a vintage teak planter where we grow herbs. We've collected more bits and pieces on our travels, and I like to display a few things around the house, such as a ceramic carafe and tea cups set from Spin Ceramics, Beijing, a vintage clock from Panjiayuan Market, Beijing, a Japanese condiments set from J Period in Omotesando Hills, Tokyo and my favourite Gotland curly sheepskin from Gothenburg, Sweden.

We're lucky to have one home office each, and our styles are quite different. Garson is a collector and so he likes to display his jazz and Brazilian vinyl and CDs, whereas I like to organise my books in a certain way. Our cats Benny and Molly also enjoy living here (Benny was born two doors down and his family still live there!). There's plenty of space for them to play outside, and indoors they have their favourite sleeping spaces, rotating between all the rooms. It's a lovely home for entertaining, particularly in the summer time when we can eat outside in the garden and have a barbecue. It's probably the best home I've ever lived in and our neighbours must feel the same way as they have lived here ever since the houses were built!

I'm a film examiner at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) (which celebrates its centenary this year and is the equivalent of the MPAA). I love watching films, so it's ideal. I also wrote a food blog, World Foodie Guide, for a couple of years, but stopped when it became too time consuming, expensive and fattening! My husband does all the cooking at home but once in a while I'll try something out in the kitchen. As he's mostly vegetarian and eats fish only occasionally, I don't usually eat meat unless I go to a restaurant, but as a result, my diet is much healthier, and all I have to do is wash the dishes...

I always feel I'm on holiday when I'm at home and can spend days here without ever wanting to leave. 

●△△

Now that's my kind of vacation! A really sweet thank you to Helen and Garson for inviting all of us into their handsome home.

32 Comments so far

  1. Wow, their home is just stunning. So warm and intimate, yet so simple and uncluttered and just downright beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing this Dabito - would love to see more!
    Ronnie xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. It’s amazing! I love near ‘leafy Highgate’ and it’s lovely, but I can see why they got out of London and went for this beauty! dreamhome.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. sorry I ‘live’ near leafy Highgate!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous home-- it's so warm and welcoming!

    And I know what they mean about never wanting to leave because it feels like they're on holiday. It's such a great feeling to have a house you adore. I just wish mine had as much sun as theirs!

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks again Dabito for featuring our home, we're very flattered to be asked!

    And thank you all for such lovely compliments! It's not always this sunny and we had to chase the sun around the house a bit to get the shots we wanted. But it's a very special place with the lake at the front and ducks swimming about as we look out of the window...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow.... in LOVE. Really love that herb garden, would love to know more about it. It's so perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Shauna, there's Greek basil, Italian basil, chives and coriander. In a custom made vintage 60s teak planter that we bought online...

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so absolutely gorgeous! I love all the teak mid century furniture too and the great natural light!

    ReplyDelete
  9. um..since when did you shoot with a Leica M8.2?!?!?!?!?

    ReplyDelete
  10. CHUNGKING EXPRESSIONS — Haha. I wish! These photos were taken by the wonderful couple who lives in this spectacular home.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A very inspiring home full of mid-century love! Great pics!! Thanks for sharing, Dab!

    ReplyDelete
  12. ADORE VINTAGE
    Igor Josifovic

    Thank you very much for your kind comments. The Danish teak collection was built up over the last few years and we're always on the lookout for more to add to our home!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a completely gorgeous place to live... & I love that there's a Bass shoe box! Maine pride.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This house is perfection, the photos are gorgeous... and there's a lovely cat !!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mallory - thank you! And those shoes belong to Garson, who's a little obsessed with shoes and boots...

    Narumi - thank you very much! There are actually two cats, Molly in the bedroom and Benny who is casually in all the other shots...

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a gem! Lovely photos too....a feast for the eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a lovely house! It's got that wonderful quality of expansiveness and light. Wishing you many more years of happy living in this space.

    ReplyDelete
  18. gorgeous, delicious, delightful, inviting all rolled into one! your space here never seems to stop inspring me. love the home tour & interview! makes me want to go & do some interior decorating of our home now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. SATSUKI — Yes! I actually thought Helen's aesthetic is very in line with yours—minimal, delicate and focusing on craftsmanship. Glad you found her home inspiring. Hope to see you soon Satsuki-san! :D

    ReplyDelete
  20. The first picture is amazing

    ReplyDelete
  21. ModFruGal - thank you so much, you're very kind!

    Come - Con - Ella - thank you very much, it's a house that just gets better with age. Right now, I don't feel like moving anywhere else...

    Satsuki - thank you very much!

    Erla - thanks, I suggested taking the shot from that angle!

    ReplyDelete
  22. You were right, this house is Gah-mazing! You have most excellent taste in online friendships.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Such a beautiful house tour! Love the midcentury pieces all so lovingly put together!

    xo Mary Jo

    ReplyDelete
  24. Mary Jo - thank you very much! We'll hopefully be adding to our collection over the next few years...

    ReplyDelete
  25. dang, i wish i could fold shirts like that

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very tasteful house, fantastic pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  27. WECOULDGROWUP2GETHER — I know! I'll have to ask Helen what her secret is!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love the retro vibe here, there's so much character in these interiors. And that herb planter box is AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi dear, may I know where did you get your bag from? :) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Benlovesting - I am so sorry not to have replied to your question (I've only just seen it). The shop in Buenos Aires is called Humawaca and last year there were two branches.

    Helen

    ReplyDelete