Nomadic interior designer Kate Hollingsworth finally feels settled after creating her ideal home – after two years of hard graft.
For Kate, there is no greater thrill than finding a beautiful but unloved home, restoring it back to its former glory – and then immediately getting started on another project.
‘I’ve renovated at least eight houses, and then have always sold up and moved on, as I get bored,’ says Kate. ‘This time, though, I’m just not feeling the itch again. There is so much scope at my present home, it is like a great big gorgeous doll’s house.
‘And I haven’t even got cracking on the garden yet.’
Kate, 43, bought her detached Victorian five-bedroom home – which she shares with her two teenage sons and two cats – in a conservation area of the ancient cathedral city of Hereford in the winter of 2017.
‘I had my eye on the house for quite a while, but its last owners just hadn’t been ready to sell it,’ says Kate. ‘It had been reconfigured into seven separate bedsits, so they did a great job converting it back into one large family home.
‘It was pretty old-fashioned, though, stuffed full of furniture, and the whole house smelt of dogs. But the large-scale rooms were so impressive and they’ve been perfect as not just a space for me and the boys, but for shoots and product launches.’
If you suspect Kate’s home looks like a campaign for a luxurious homewares store, well, that’s because it partly is.
In 2016, with her two sisters, Michelle and Sarah, Kate founded central Hereford homewares boutique and online store Camperdown Lane, showcasing products from both small independent designers and big manufacturers.
Named after the location of their favourite childhood home, also in Hereford – where their interiors-mad mum let them design their own bedrooms – the shop has become a local byword for comfort and luxury.
The store sells everything from plush, hand-made British furniture, carved Indian cabinetry, soft wool throws and candles to lamps, baskets and tablecloths.
Against a backdrop of pale grey and hot pink Farrow & Ball wall shades, chalky painted floorboards and sparkling chandeliers, some of Kate’s carefully curated pieces – pink velvet-upholstered chairs, indulgent sheepskins, cushions and delicate vintage-style glass vases – are on display. So far, so unashamedly feminine.
But eclectic items such as wooden carts and artfully rusted benches, along with upcycled mahogany furniture, wait in the wings to find their perfect spots in the house and grounds.