In the second of our series meeting Aerende customers at home (click here for the first one), we travel to the northeast and the 1980s home of Jane Day. Jane shows that you don't need a big, old house to embrace a more natural, rustic style and we think you'll agree these beautiful pictures demonstrate just why we find her style and ethos so inspiring. Read on to find out more.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you doI’m Jane, lover of a simpler life, married to the most patient man in the world and mum to Ruby who is one of my greatest achievements in life. For work, I write about interiors and beautiful sustainable lifestyle products, which is such a joy as interiors are my passion. My business is named Tea with Ruby after my daughter and I feel so lucky to be able to write and take photographs of lovely things for a living.
Tell us a bit about where you liveI live in Billingham, a small town in the North East of England which is not so pretty or glamorous but it’s home. I moved here when Robert and I got married 17 years ago as we both worked in the same office at the time and it was five minutes down the road so made sense. Although it was never the plan to stay so long there's lots to like about living here – we're close to many wonderful places – Newcastle, York, Leeds, a couple of hours drive to the Lake District one way, the North Yorkshire moors the other and of course the sea too. We go exploring all the time.
How would you describe your home?From the outside it's just a normal 1980s three-bedroom detached house on a leafy estate at the edge of town. It's rather small but charming - we don’t have the luxury of sweeping views of countryside, so I've tried to create a warm and unique home inside instead. We don’t have en-suites or utility rooms and some of the rooms are multifunctional (such as the kitchen/living room, below) which means we have to be clever when it comes to storage. But generally a small home works for us as there are only three of us and we love spending time together.
What Aerende products do you own and how do you use them?I have some beautiful rustic ceramic side plates that get used daily, and my linen pouch is a godsend for keeping all those bits and bobs together in one stylish place, it goes everywhere with me. I’m also really looking forward to curling up under the grey striped linen duvet cover – linen is the most perfect fabric for sleeping and the stripes give my bedroom a lovely Spring refresh, too.
What's your favourite places to shop for interiors and why?I am very restrained these days. I want things to have a purpose, so I research and muse for quite a while before buying anything. Although there's always a lovely frisson of adding something new to the house when things wear out and need replacing. My go-to stores luckily all sell online but I have visited many of them in real life too – such as Baileys Home and Garden, Freight, and Flint in Lewes; The Future Kept and Toast are also favourites. I also love buying hand made pieces when I’m on holiday from small independents, it makes my home unique and each piece holds a very special memory.
What would you never have in your home? Nasty vertical blinds or a tumble drier.
What’s your favourite thing about where you live?It may not be the coolest place in the world but we have a super leisure centre that has a swimming pool, ice rink, theatre and gym facilities. It’s in the heart of the town and I spend a lot of time there in the pool. I swim first thing in the morning and have made some fabulous friends that I wouldn’t have met if not for swimming. We laugh a lot alongside getting the lengths in and going for a swim always brightens my day.
Who/what is inspiring you at the moment?All the strong wonderful women running businesses that I have met through what I do, from sustainable interiors to organic skincare. It’s quite something having this community where we are all there supporting each other as well as trying to make our lives better lived for the future. It is quite remarkable.
Do you have a favourite design style or era? Do you know I don’t think I do, I tell you what I really love doing though is spending a happy half hour looking at all the beautiful homes on The Modern House pretending I’m in the market for buying one. Each house is so different I like so many different designs and eras I couldn’t just choose one.
What’s your most treasured possession and why?I have many beautiful pieces in my home but my most treasured possessions are Robert and Ruby. All the things in the world would pale into insignificance if I didn’t have them.
Any interior dreams?Robert and I talk about self building all the time. Where and when I have no idea but it will be a very modern, open-plan box with large windows, concrete and wood surrounded by countryside or something along those lines. You never know we may end up on Grand Designs!