Bright New World

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Leaving a fashion job in London for rural Cheshire gave Jan Constantine not just a colourful new home, but a fresh career, too. While visiting her sister on her farm near Crewe, Constantine and her husband, David Ralphs, saw a house and outbuildings for sale in a neighbouring village. They bought the property and went back to London to sell up and move. Constantine, who worked in the fashion industry at the time, commuted for a while until they had converted the buildings next to their new home, turning them into holiday cottages. The main house was once the doctor’s; he held surgery in what is today the dining room, with a damask-covered table and sparkling chandelier. Where the village bakery once dispensed warm loaves and spicy buns, there is now an office, and one of the store buildings was turned into the HQ of Constantine’s furnishings company. Writer

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