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Sustainability, heritage and family-focused design: Studio Caché's Tadmarton Grange project

The interiors inspo you need. Combine sustainability and child-proofing – with elegance.

oxfordshire cottage grade 2
Grade II Tadmarton Grange project by Studio Caché
Sustainability, heritage and family-focused design: Studio Caché's Tadmarton Grange project
Clara Carlino de Paz
July 24, 2023

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Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the Oxfordshire countryside stands the breathtaking Tadmarton Grange, a magnificent eight-bedroom house that has undergone a meticulous transformation. Studio Caché, a London-based design studio known for their attention to detail and bespoke approach, took on the challenge of reimagining this Grade II listed property into an enchanting family retreat for their clients.

To learn more about this incredible project, we talked to Polina Wade, Practice Director at Studio Caché, and got deep insight into the intricacies of Tadmarton Grange and the studio’s design philosophy.

Studio Caché is a London-based design studio founded by Tatiana Fokina. They are a small, all-female team, specialised in mid-large scale residential and international hospitality projects across the world. 

“Attention to detail forms the core of our design ethos and each project is a collaborative journey with our clients.” Polina said, introducing the studio’s philosophy. “We encourage the client to participate across all stages of the creative process, thus creating unique, highly personal design outcomes. We believe that design should be beautiful, functional and timeless.”

yellow wallpaper living room
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

Those last three words are fundamental to understand the essence of Studio Caché. They strive to exist outside of fleeting trends, focusing on the everlasting – a topic we’re deeply invested in. On this subject, Polina expands… “There is a definite emphasis on luxury natural materials. We pride ourselves on our very detail-led and bespoke approach, where the little details are given just as much importance as hero pieces or broader concepts.” 

Their commitment to their design philosophy is staunchly integrated into every space they design. “In the past, we have had potential clients approach us to work on residential projects that required a very quick turnaround with little scope of custom commissions. There was no opportunity for the playful creative elements that we enjoy so much, so these projects didn’t happen.”

rustic english kitchen
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

Thankfully, this was not the case for the stunning Tadmarton Grange project. Built in 1842, Tadmarton Grange boasts an impressive 693 square metres, surrounded by the picturesque landscaped gardens of Oxfordshire. The clients, fond of their international backgrounds and love for colour, wanted an interior that would not only pay homage to the building's rich heritage but also reflect their unique preferences for materials and finishes.

english cottage
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

Arriving at the perfect individual approach was not an accident, in fact, it was meticulously driven by the Studio Caché team. “Prior to beginning any design work”, Polina notes, “we give our clients a custom questionnaire and also have a detailed discussion on their preferences and ideas. From this we put together a suitable concept and develop this. Each project is a creative journey with the client, so we look for feedback along each step of the way.” 

On Tadmarton Grange, the team wanted to reflect cultural heritage in a way that would work in harmony with the architecture of the listed house; in Polina’s words, “we didn’t want a pastiche”. Polina continues: “We love the heritage colour palettes that Farrow & Ball offer, and this seemed like the perfect fit for the property. The idea was to make each room in the house unique in its atmosphere, but retaining a coherent overall style.”

blue traditional guest room
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

This approach led to a layered and sophisticated heritage-inspired colour palette. Rich dark greens, soothing soft blues, peachy pinks, and subtle greys were carefully woven throughout the property, offering an atmosphere that is calm yet bold.

dark green living room
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

The interior design is a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, featuring a curated mix of unique antique furniture, contemporary statement pieces, and understated classics. Because the property is listed, certain existing elements of the interior dictated some of the design outcomes.

“For example, the listed main staircase set the tone for other wooden furniture in the house and shaped the style of antique pieces that we chose. Like us, the clients were very sensitive to the character and locality of the property and did not seek to mask this in any way or impose a completely different style. So the materials and finishes we chose worked with, not against the architecture. However, we did want to add some bold, unexpected elements such as a striking patchwork marble dining table by James Patmore’s Momento Studio. It’s a very modern piece but actually worked really well in the room.” 

Standout pieces include a custom patchwork Carrara marble dining table by Momento, the iconic Canteen Scrapwood Table by Piet Hein Eek, a Folio bookcase by Roche Bobois, an original Gustavian Rococo sofa, and several impressive antique French Louis XV mirrors.

dark green living room
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

To add contrast and visual interest, statement wallpapers from Zoffany and Schumacher were used in the bathrooms and living areas, complemented by Van Gogh prints adorning the living room and master bedroom.

green wallpaper
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

The redesign project went beyond the main house, as Studio Caché completely transformed a rundown annex into an elevated guest wing. The wing features a living area with a custom kitchenette by DeVol and three uniquely atmospheric bedrooms. Additionally, the design team created two playrooms, each designed to spark the imagination and delight of both children and adults.

On the topic of children and adults, this project is a wonderful exhibit for the potential of intergenerational living. That is, the ability for multiple generations to live in one home, for years to come, without having to re-do everything year on year. This focus has become more important in recent years, given a new appreciation for what sustainability can mean from a functional point of view. 

yellow nursery
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

To achieve this, Polina says, the aesthetic of the house had to remain elevated yet grounded, not overly restricted by accommodating the younger members of the family. Rather, the beautiful sophisticated design was simply adapted to the children’s needs of today. “We place a huge amount of importance on functionality – and in this case each room had to be suitable not only for the adults but also for highly active kids. We understand that while a Memphis Milano Carlton Bookcase might look great, it’s also the perfect climbing frame, so those sorts of items were definitely out of the question!” 

grey nursery
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

While the focus may have been on ensuring the house works now, Studio Caché’s team did have an eye out for the future needs of the household. “We understand that kids grow up and their tastes change, so the bedrooms and playrooms we design act as a sort of ‘growing, creative environment’ that can adapt with the shifting requirements. For example, there might be a large blackboard wall that can be used for drawing and doodling, and later for pinning posters and writing to-do lists. We never impose overbearing design elements that might in some way restrict a room’s longevity.” 

For example, one of the playrooms, located in the attic, serves as a captivating retreat with its hammock and dramatic red velvet theatre curtains by Westcot House, evoking a sense of playfulness and wonder.

fun child bedroom
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

Sustainability is a core value for Studio Caché, and the team took great care to reuse and recycle numerous existing elements of furniture and fittings in the project. This approach not only reduced the environmental impact of the renovation but also added character and authenticity to the design. “As with all our projects, we try to reduce the environmental impact of our work as much as possible by reusing or repurposing existing features. Tadmarton Grange had plenty of characterful elements that we wanted to keep, such as the beautiful flagstone floor in the hallway. Existing wooden flooring in a couple of the rooms was of good quality and quite neutral, so it seemed unnecessary to rip it out. Instead we chose a matching floor and extended this across the whole house.” Even soft furnishings were updated by an upholsterer who rejuvenated the pieces with “an exciting, personalised aspect”. 

bathroom wallpaper
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

Studio Caché's work at Tadmarton Grange stands as a testament to their design philosophy: beautiful, functional, and timeless. The reimagined village house now provides the perfect haven for a London-based family, where tradition and modernity harmoniously coexist in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside.

traditional bookshelf
Photography by Brett Charles (@brettcharlesphoto)

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