After 11 years in Los Angeles, fashion journalist and broadcaster Louise Roe had the English countryside on her mind. She heeded the call to return to her native Britain, where she and her husband fulfilled a longtime dream of living in one of the idyllic pastoral settings the country is known for.
“The real estate agent joked that he wished he had a pound for every time someone said they wanted a Georgian rectory,” Roe recalls—you may have seen her holding court on the red carpet for Access Hollywood—of the home they eventually found. “It was my Pride and Prejudice scenario. It was heaven. I cried when we found it.”
She and her husband lovingly restored the property, adding fireplaces where they’d previously been excised, repairing the original floorboards, and decorating in what Roe describes as her “traditionally English” aesthetic.
But as people began to flee major cities like London during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roe and her husband saw an opportunity to sell and look for an urban abode. “We realized the country wasn’t for us,” says Roe. “We sold the rectory very quickly off market and immediately began our search.”
What they found sparked a love just like that of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy: a Victorian-era townhome in a quiet neighborhood of London. The house ticked every box—size, location, and natural light—and hadn’t been touched for 30 years, so it had no shortage of original period features that fit seamlessly into Roe’s English-inspired style.
“There’s nothing modern or minimal about how I decorate,” explains Roe. “Even though we left the countryside, I wanted to bring the look to the city.”
Here, she explains how she translated her love for English countryside-inspired interiors to a metropolitan home, so you can try it too.
Reusing and repurposing family heirlooms and decor is one of Roe’s top tips for achieving the English countryside aesthetic. “I’m always raiding my parents’ house,” says Roe, who nabbed old black-and-white photos and candlesticks (complete with wax collected in their bases) that had been in the family for years for the new townhome.