A Costume Designer’s Eclectic U.K. Home

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Costume designer Leonie Hartard, along with her three daughters (Orla, Edie and Elsie) and cat Hector, has called this house in St Leonards-on-Sea home for nearly two years. Leonie says she is drawn to mid-century design with a good strong pop of color and her overall goal with her space was to create something eclectic and full of character. Using a mix of found, collected or purchased pieces (primarily from vintage and thrift shops), Leonie has created a home that is comfortable and stylish, but also cozy and unpretentious. Thanks, Lenoie! Thanks to Daniela Exley for the lovely photographs. –Amy

Image above: The kitchen table came from salvage yard in Hastings Old Town. It was one of my very first purchases after coming down here from London. The chairs were a gift from a friend. I love typography and have many prints and posters throughout the house that reflect my interest, this one came from an exhibition I went to of Ed Ruscha’s work in Munich.

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Image above: This room is our “snug,” it’s immediately off the kitchen and we use it for eating, watching tv and hanging out. The sofa was a gift from a friend. The throw belonged to my father and was from Casa Pupo in the 1970s.

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Click through for the full home tour after the jump…

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Image above: The Anchor pegs in my shop are one of my favorite items in the house, bought from an antiques shop in Rye, the jewellery is made up of broken or missing bits that I cannot bear to part with.

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Image above: Some of the cushions are made by a Sussex designer called Tiny Tulips, and bought on a trip to nearby Charleston Manor, the rest are ones I have picked up in charity shops and markets along the way. I bought my first 2 Seltzer bottles in New York almost twenty years ago. The majority of my collection came from a salvage yard near Isle sur la Sorgue in France, a few years ago. It’s a relatively new passion of mine, and I have managed to find a few locally since. I am told that the yellow ones are quite valuable, but I have always simply loved colored glass of all kinds.

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Image above: The crochet bedspread was a wedding gift to my father and his second wife, which I have, luckily, inherited. I like to have things that have been handmade or have some history.

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Image above: The white fox stole in my bedroom was bought from a vintage shop called Xanadu a few doors down from my house in St Leonards-on-Sea. I wore it to my best friend’s wedding with a gold sequin Dior hat and have never since had an opportunity to wear it again. So, it is draped on a chair in my bedroom frightening my cat.  I have been collecting suitcases and trunks since I was a child. the large black wooden trunk in my bedroom was a 16th birthday present from my stepfather! And I bought several of the leather suitcases from a flea market in Munich (when I was working there on a film).

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Image above: Well, I would love the re-do this kitchen so that it would be a more practical space for cooking, because I do really enjoy cooking, but it’s a very quirky little space and it gets kind of hectic sometimes.

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Image above: The girls all share a room and it is full of all their toys and knick knacks. I have tried to let them have their own individual spaces within the room, and also have as much of their things on display and easily accessible to play with. I quite like the collections children’s toys make, they are usually colorful and sometimes quite kitsch or tacky when put together.

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Image above: My mannequin in the shop space, which I use as a workroom/office, was a gift from my mother, and has been in my family home since I was a child.

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Image above: There is a little yellow wicker chair at the foot of the stairs in the house. It is completely broken but I adore it. One of my favorite things in the house. It has such a pretty charm about it whilst also looking dirty and done in!

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Image above: I have been wearing hats for as long as I can remember. I have short hair and between the cold and bad hair days I often need a hat. So, I have all kinds, ones I wear regularly, occasional ones, costume ones, trilblys, panamas, caps and then there are the ones I have never worn but just fell in love with their shape, or color or sheer beauty.

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  1. What a great space filled with personality, colour and charm. Each corner and vignette tells a little story and I especially love the hat wall; why keep them hidden? Leonie shows how you can enjoy all the little things every day.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So charming. One of my favorites ever.

  3. SSK says:

    Really gorgeous! I love Leonie’s textiles and all the pieces with such a sense of history. Her daughters’ room is also absolutely beautiful! The hats made me smile, too :-)

  4. Annie says:

    very fun and real…..what’ the source of prints above bunk beds in children’s room?
    And what about the flag garland in window above couch….paper? Textile? Made
    by you?

  5. I love the hat wall! and the vintage suitcases! Really fun and interesting home.

  6. maree says:

    what is the wall color behind your favorite yellow wicker chair?

  7. JYT says:

    I think I love U.K. home better than Stateside homes sometimes. They look lovely, charming, gathered but not so… “done” like US homes tend to do. You know?

  8. jo says:

    love it all, especially the girls room and quirky kitchen. my kinda house!

  9. Leslie says:

    A home after my own heart. Wonderful!

  10. caryna says:

    I quite like the collections, especially in the kitchen..

  11. Alina says:

    I think the best homes are full of unique additions and this home truly is this and full of personality! :)

  12. Aslyn says:

    I love this home so much

  13. Ha! I like imagining a cat reacting to the fox stole. Your home is beautiful, quirky, warm, and welcoming.

  14. That sofa is fab-u-lous! A super interesting house tour.

  15. Love it all- especially the hat collection. Your kitchen looks cool, what would you change?


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