Allegra and Ashley Hicks

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Fashion designer Ashley Hicks and her interior designer husband Ashley’s home, in the grounds of Ashley’s family estate in Oxfordshire, is perfectly unfashiony. But then, it’s terribly typical of an upper-class country home (he is after all, a grandson of Earl Mountbatten): classy, understated and terribly homely. The three-bedroom house, though, is the couple’s escape from the stress of London life, surrounded by a vast estate, horses, dogs and the beautiful gardens designed by Ashley’s designer father, David. What’s special about it is the eclectic way the couple have mixed colours, textures and periods. Walls are vibrant or textured, pictures vary from children’s drawings to modern masters, fabrics range from worn David Hicks originals to Allegra’s own Tree of Life curtains and Javanese block prints. And collectibles range from little red books on the Queen to cutting edge fashion. The house is full of their own creations, from Ashely’s own striped carpet, to Allegra’s “Pebble” carpets, just launched by London’s fashionably Rug Company and her new “Dandelion” crockery from her Allegra Hicks shop in Chelsea. As Allegra says: “It’s bits of both of us, and both of our families, from Italy and England. It’s home.” Writer Lisa Grainger. lisa-g@freeuk.com

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