PAST MASTERS

Kim and Joe Lynch are obsessed with interiors from the past. ‘We’re hooked on the lived-in look,’ says Kim. This explains why every room of their elegant Victorian villa near St Ives is decorated in period style, with layers of rich texture and ornate furniture lending a reassuring sense of history.

When the couple moved here from London in 2002, it took a huge leap of faith, as they had always seen themselves as die-hard city folk. Kim was an art director for a publishing house, and Joe headed up a city advertising agency. ‘I always thought Cornwall was a great place to visit,’ says Kim, ‘but I never imagined we would actually live here.’ Kim and Joe’s attitude changed when their daughter, Daisy, reached the age of two.

‘We realised we didn’t want to miss out on her upbringing while we chased work,’ Kim explains.

While holidaying with her parents, who also live in St Ives, Kim picked up the estate agent’s details for this house out of curiosity. ‘We went to Kim and Joe Lynch are obsessed with interiors from the past. ‘We’re hooked on the lived-in look,’ says Kim. This explains why every room of their elegant Victorian villa near St Ives is decorated in period style, with layers of rich texture and ornate furniture lending a reassuring sense of history.

When the couple moved here from London in 2002, it took a huge leap of faith, as they had always seen themselves as die-hard city folk. Kim was an art director for a publishing house, and Joe headed up a city advertising agency. ‘I always thought Cornwall was a great place to visit,’ says Kim, ‘but I never imagined we would actually live here.’ Kim and Joe’s attitude changed when their daughter, Daisy, reached the age of two.

‘We realised we didn’t want to miss out on her upbringing while we chased work,’ Kim explains.

While holidaying with her parents, who also live in St Ives, Kim picked up the estate agent’s details for this house out of curiosity. ‘We went to view it on a sunny September day and we knew it was for us,’ she says. ‘Two months later we’d moved.’

DESIGN ADVICE ‘If you have high ceilings, furniture and lighting need to be on a correspondingly grand scale’

Furnishing such vast rooms might have been a little daunting, but luckily the family’s previous home had similar proportions. ‘Our furniture fitted perfectly, so it was an effortless process to decorate our new home in period style, too,’ says Kim. They did, however, make some adjustments, including redesigning the kitchen. ‘There was no connection between the cooking and dining areas,’ explains Kim. Working to a tight budget, they designed a cabinet to visually link the two halves of the room. Made from inexpensive MDF, it has decorative mouldings to make it look like authentic Victorian furniture.

Kim and Joe scoured auction houses for finishing touches at bargain prices. ‘The existing lighting was all the wrong proportions,’ recalls Kim. ‘We needed something on a much larger scale.’ Lucky finds included chandeliers for the bedrooms and reclaimed coach lamps for the hall.

The Lynches now run a gallery and a furniture restoration company in St Ives, so their passion for heritage style serves them well both at home and work. ‘I do sometimes hanker after something more modern,’ says Kim, ‘but when you come back here in the wind and the rain, it feels incredibly cosy. I wouldn’t swap that for the world.’

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