interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: jane cumberbatch

by anne

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 http://www.mariannakennedy.com/). 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.

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  • I love her books! I have yet to check out the cookbook, but I find her “Pure Style” and “Pure Style Living” books very refreshing. They have simple ideas for things link making easy slipcovers.

    This tour was just as lovely!

  • Love this–so calm and rereshing. Simple and sweet. Love the paint colors, especially the greens, and the white wood floor.

  • This is such a beautiful place! It’s simple and light – but not overwhelmingly so. Very nicely done! And I’m a little jealous of the cork tile pinboard. Someday I’ll be able to do something like that!

  • So serene and down to earth, I love it. I’m a bit envious of your office, from the huge inspiration board to all the storage to the lovely window view by the distressed desk. I never tire of a white home.

    I also love discovering new bloggers and writers, thank you for sharing a little piece of your life and style!

  • Pure Style was an early inspiration in my design career and has become an enduring classic I constantly go back to. Thanks for a glimpse into how Jane really lives, clearly practicing what she preaches.

  • i used to work at the publishers that produced pure style living, i spent ages gazing at the pages. Now 8 years later i still gaze – its just as fresh today as it was then!

  • Wow-I love everything about this lovely, light-filled home! I’m in the middle of repainting everything some shade of white and this is inspiring. It makes me wish that I could paint my floor.

  • This house is just wonderfully simple! I love white houses… we are working on our house turning it into a white house and everything looks brighter and more spacious… This post is completely inspiring for me! Thanks a lot

  • i love this place… so much light and space! and on top of that the beautiful yard… i’m really jealous of her workspace because she has so much storage and that beautiful furniture…

    on the other hand… i just missed the book signing in LA… i was there celebrating my B-Day and came back to Miami that same day… i wish i could have change my flight and make a blog post about it…

    Hope the tour would come to Miami!!!

    Have a great week!!!

  • Lovely to see such great style whilst still making a house a proper home. I love it.

  • I’ve loved Jane’s simple, honest style for quite some time now. Such a beautiful home..! The garden is a dream.

    Thanks for sharing here. It was a treat to see some photographs of her home I’d never seen before.


  • I have followed Jane for many years but had not seen or heard much lately so I was very excited to see this sneak peek! I LOVE her style and simplicity. Thank you for the update!

  • Besides her lovely lifestyle and sensible approach, Jane is also a lovely person. Let’s mention again that this is not her first book and her others are great and worth seeking out!

    Thanks Design Sponge for the tour.

  • I am so in love with the simplicity of this house. And the light! I guess because we are moving into fall I am obsessed with all the light in many of the recent Sneak Peeks. Beautiful!

  • The garden is lovely…I love ones that have a brick path criss-crossing in the middle. Beats stepping in dirt to pick veggies and herbs. And when I think I tire of all-white decorating schemes, I see this and fall in love again…I would love to see the texture of white yarn in here somewhere just to warm it up a tad. Otherwise, wonderful!

  • I would just love to have a friend with the same home where I could rest and “pop”in for a few minutes … I LOVE the garden shed and the beautiful handwriting …
    Can I find your book in Paris?

  • It kind of pains me to see when people paint over wood–especially that staircase. Otherwise, what a lovely place!

  • Oh such a quaint back yard! I loved the rustic tables with the fresh linens on them, and that great building in the corner of the yard. Your desk and office are very inspiring too! So bright and fresh looking with your white palette.

  • Oh, I will be a cat in this house, may I? Normally cats are very independent, but may be Bea needs a friend? You get to choose my future color and character :)))))))

  • Please sharevthe white paint used on the floor , trim, and walls. Beautiful home!

  • A genuine inspiration – thoughtful, beautiful, and unpretentious – I love it!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.