Pictures Rachael Smith
Words Dominic Bradbury
Having spent many years living in East London, where she and her husband were part of a vibrant community of contemporary artists, Clare Woods decamped to rural Herefordshire. There were a few years in a farmhouse, which proved too remote, before Woods, husband Des Hughes and their two children settled upon the happy medium of the city of Hereford.
The family bought a 1730s Georgian house near the cathedral, which was once home to the headmaster of the cathedral school and reminded Woods and Hughes of Bath, where both went to art college. The house was in good condition and had been partially renovated and updated, allowing Woods to focus on the interiors.
Original features were preserved and celebrated, while the family added a new kitchen and remodeled the back garden, which was a blank canvas. Woods led the choice of a vibrant tonal palette throughout the house, reflecting her confidence with colour born of her work as a painter. Woods wanted each room to have its own characterful colour choice, yet also wanted to establish a sense of connection between the spaces to create a degree of harmony, with moss green for the sitting room and ochre for the dining room. Bedrooms are bathrooms are also vibrant, with Woods opting for deeper colours for smaller, darker rooms. The house was then layered with a mixture of antiques, mid-century finds and artworks by Woods and Hughes’ contemporaries, including Peter Doig and Ed Kluz.