Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stella McCartney's Country Retreat

While I claim to decidedly a city person, I often find myself craving the solace and tranquility of spending a little time in the country (it's just the suburbs I'm afraid of!). Something about the quiet and space and being closer to nature just seems to clear my mind, I can feel the tension melting away and my body starting to feel looser, lighter. For me, the ideal situation would be to have a bit of both, a home conveniently in the city to 'be a part of it all' and a country retreat to flee to and regain a little sanity at the end of a long week.

Stella McCartney country retreat is a veritable haven. “I grew up in the country, and I like being isolated,” says Stella. “So when I see a building on the horizon, I want to plant a tree in front of it. That’s my natural instinct.” Their handsome red brick Georgian home is encompassed by a "a garden within a garden within a garden" - beautiful mix of more formal, manicured gardens with edged pathways and sculpted hedges and the more relaxed and haphazard style of a traditional English country garden, all surrounded by green rolling hills.






As in her fashion designs, Stella does not care for red or yellow and is drawn instead to the dusty pastels she loves—in fact, she even gave her gardener Tyler fabric swatches when they were planning the plantings. “You don’t always get what you want,” she says, laughing. “We had tulips that were supposed to be white, and they opened yellow. I couldn’t look at them. I was literally like the Queen from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: ‘Paint them white!’







For their wedding in 2003, Stella and husband Alasdhair Willis asked their guests to give trees in lieu of gifts. Gwyneth Paltrow gave copper beeches. American relatives gave redwoods. Valentino and Tom Ford each grandly sent allées of linden trees from Germany. They used these to create a heart shaped copse.










10 comments:

Victoria said...

The gardens are fabulous aren't they. I'm not a gardener myself, but just loved how they'd made such a wonderful environment with traditional style gardens. Romantic too.

Anjela said...

talk about a 'humble' country home!
Stunning; not surprisingly keeping in mind the owner ;)

escapade said...

They are so very romantic I think Victoria, definitely makes me want to be a better gardener!
Anjela - yes, unsurpising that Stella has such an amazing place.

The French Mouse said...

Oh those walled gardens are so effortlessly beautiful! Of course they demand much upkeep, but they have a lovely unfussiness to them that I love. I also love her story about the yellow tulips. I bought some flowers this spring that were supposed to look like a delicious piece of pink and yellow candy, and turned out reddish orange instead...I was heartbroken!

Cheers!
Hope Ava

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

It looks like a very Stella kind of place--chic, but you can totally kick back in your Wellies.

Dancing Branflake said...

Gorgeous! As a city girl, I would still move here in a heartbeat. Such a wonderful way to live.

escapade said...

Connie - I think you're spot on, still sophisticated and chic, but very relaxed...

Down and Out Chic said...

wow, i'd say that gorgeous is an understatement in this case.

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

Isn't this place amazing? Apparently, her husband also gave her one of the walled in gardens for her birthday. I'd like a garden for my birthday!

{so nice to meet you saturday - we should do it again soon.}

ALL ABOUT CHOCOLATE CREATIVE... said...

Very British indeed, she is very lucky to have such a cosy retreat in the countryside, to escape form madness in London.

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