sneak peek: jane cumberbatch


It was a pleasure to hear from photographer Keiko Oikawa when she told us about her friend Jane Cumberbatch’s wonderful home. The philosophy of Jane’s company, Pure Style, has evolved into a simple, practical, inexpensive and timeless way of living and decorating, which translates into her own home. Even though she and her husband, Alastair, along with their three children, a dog and a cat live in inner London, Jane’s work is inspired by the country and nature. White serves as the perfect canvas for her favorite cottons, linens and naturals, but she also loves to integrate colors she describes as “sludgy blues and greens,” making it the perfect photoshoot location for various brands that rent the space. Last June, Jane’s first cookbook, Pure Style: Recipes for Everyday Living, was released, and in addition to her blog, she’s already working on a new book project. Thanks so much, Jane and Keiko, for the photographs! — Anne

Image above: My bedroom — Simple Victorian cupboards are brilliant storage. All my laundry is brought upstairs in simple baskets, and there is another for logs by the fireplace, which I light on really cold days in winter.

Image above: The blue room — blue walls in Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball. Blue and mustard-coloured linen throws by Volga Linen on a pair of junk armchairs from a local charity shop.

Click HERE for more of Jane’s home!

Image above: My bedroom — I’ve had this cream metal bed from Feather and Black for a few years, and it looks great with simple white bed linen. Also on a neutral theme is the small sofa by David Seyfried, which has a pull-on loose white cover in cotto with a pretty frill. The blue and white blanket is from Melin Tregwynt.

Image above: Floor and stairs in the hallway. The hallway of our Victorian detached house is decorated with its original floor tiling in cream, brown and terracotta colours. I’ve painted the stairs in white floor paint, leaving a wooden stair runner effect.

Image above: The green room — I love this deep Citrine green from Little Greene for the walls and traditional Victorian dresser in what was the house’s original kitchen. The junk chairs are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pale Powder eggshell.

Image above: Dining Room — We eat around a long table from IKEA, which I painted white. I don’t know if they still stock it. The chairs are vintage Ercol in natural wood, which I buy from sources such as eBay or junk shops if I’m lucky to find them there. There are more natural-looking details with a sisal mat from IKEA and another of my favourite woven log baskets. The room is south facing, and the light is filtered through simple white roller blinds also from IKEA. I’ve had the button-back Chesterfield (in the background) for 20 years, and it’s upholstered in cream cotton/linen.

Image above: Kitchen — Earlier this year, I gave the kitchen a simple update with new units from Magnet in a lovely pale duck egg blue. The shelves are made from recycled floorboards and are painted white. They house plates and glasses and are at just the right height so that I can grab what I need whilst I am cooking. I store spoons, ladles and colanders on hooks suspended from a metal bar above the sink, and knives are kept on a magnetic rack. The wooden work surface is the original one and was re-sanded and oiled. It’s easy to wipe down. The utilitarian-looking pendant lights are from IKEA. More utility style is in the form of my favourite factory chair inherited from my mother-in-law.

Image above: Dining room — Simple details: blue glass candle sticks, blue and white striped cushions, tie-on loose chair covers made from linen tea towel, retro Welsh blanket.

Image above: Painted junk dining chair with tie-on loose cover made from one of my Pure Style Living linen tea towels.

Image above: Bedroom — Simple Swedish-style wooden bed painted in cream eggshell, made by Jim Howett (contact via The floral lampshades are from Grace & Favour in East Dulwich. Small folding outdoor tables that I painted white — possibly vintage Habitat.

Image above: In my office — Chairs and round table are by Ercol; the latter I picked up for a song in a local second-hand shop a few years ago. My pinboard is made from cork tiles, which I have painted in a pale blue. The shelving is in MDF and painted in white eggshell. There are simple white card filing boxes for ideas and papers.

Image above: Shower room — It has a fresh, country look with white walls, a peg rail for towels, a painted chair with woven seat and a Swedish-style pedestal table from IKEA. The flooring is in non-slip white mosaic tiling.

Image above: Office — My favourite spot in the office is working at the large second-hand painted oak desk by the window.

Image above: View of garden from my bedroom with the original Victorian garden shed now painted in a soft green, Kitchen Green, from Little Green Paint Co.

Image above: Garden — I like to spread a table with one of my blue and white linen cloths made from tea towels and eat in the shade of the apple tree. Chairs are from the Conran Shop, and the white metal bench is from IKEA.

Image above: Bea, our black and white cat, surveys her domain.

  1. Heather says:

    The light, the white –it’s awesome. Truly awesome.

  2. I adore the airy feeling in that home! I love light homes! WOW :)

  3. So pleased that you all like the house. It is a really wonderful space that we were lucky enough to find at the right time and in the right place. To Barbara, who wants to know whether the book is available in Paris, I think it’s best if you go to Amazon. To Penny, who wants to know about the white paint, it is Dulux Brilliant White emulsion and Johnstone’s Flortred for floors in white.

  4. Nancy Utaski says:

    I refer to Pure Style Living constantly for inspiration, wishing I could pare down more, from the old “furniture” and “decorator” look to unpretentious style. I want simple living , so please, Jane do another book.

  5. Helen Exley says:

    Love the simplicity and her use of vibrant colour it’s beautiful and you can feel the homeliness of the place straight away.

  6. Nancy Utaski says:

    My husband hates it when I try to remove pictures from the walls. But I love the feeling of space and light and openness when I do. Other objects take on more importance.


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