Home truths: Ben & Danielle Treanor of Old English Co. on creating stylish and flexible spaces for their family at their extended Victorian house in Stamford.
There is a palpable energy in the home of Ben & Danielle Treanor. Part of it relates to their two young children Mia and Finn, but also to the creative couple who enjoy talking about their home, how they got there and what’s next. The walls are filled with Old English Co. designs, colour is used carefully and confidently and interest is in every corner.
The couple’s Stamford home is a busy hub as well as a calming refuge for the creative couple who have brought us the beautiful Old English Co. “We created the space to be open and full of natural light as well as adaptable, flexible and durable,” says Ben. His story started in a corporate retail environment as a designer, but his desire to run his own business and design his own products led him to set up Old English with his wife, who manages the marketing and PR of the company. The pair and their team create beautifully illustrated and hand-lettered products, with the aim to offer stylish, uncomplicated pieces with messages that resonate with people. “It all started at home and we have lots of Old English bits in here,” says Danielle. Old English is stocked in shops across the globe and has a thriving online store.
The need to create is a theme that runs through everything Ben and Danielle talk about – the couple bought the house because they wanted to move from London to be closer to family and friends in Stamford, as well as wanting to launch a new business and start their own family, “Stamford has an emotional pull for us because of family, but it also has a community brimming with creativity,” explains Danielle. “We fell in love with this house because of where it is and the opportunity to make it into a wonderful space.” They had been renting whilst looking for a place that was in the oldest part of the town and offered a special opportunity.
Their search ended when they walked past a row of terraced houses and noticed one was just up for sale. “We just stood and admired the setting – the house is on a really quiet street and it overlooks a beautiful garden,” explains Ben. “On a Sunday morning you can hear the church bells and you are so close to the centre as well as being able to access lots of rural walks.”
After several months of designing, planning applications and architect meetings, the couple started the re-modelling. “We wanted to create a really light open space downstairs,’ says Danielle, “As well as making space to work from home, which we have done in the basement.” They have managed to retain some of the home’s character whilst giving it a modern makeover.
Ben wanted to capture a view of the countryside and an industrial site on the horizon from the back of the house. “I loved the idea of this bucolic vision juxtaposed with concrete in the distance, it makes me think,” explains Ben. The kitchen has been created to see this view through the bifold doors when you stand at the kitchen counter. “I often stand here and look out to the open countryside and it makes me happy,” says Ben.
There is an Old English print sitting on top of a console table on the landing that reads “love”. It sums up this home for me. Ben and Danielle spent time looking for a house they loved in a town they loved, they then poured in their creative energy to develop a home that they loved and and that would be loved in the future. We loved talking to the force behind the home and feel inspired just being in their presence.
We would stay here forever because we love this house and it makes us feel comfortable and happy, but we can’t stay still and we always want to be creating something new.”
What are your top Stamford tips right now?
Danielle – Scandimania. I love everything Scandi and this little coffee shop makes me feel like I’m in Stockholm. The coffee and cake are divine and the interior is so cool. @scandimaniauk
Ben – Hoppi Dorri is a restaurant that does sushi and soul food, which is so delicious. I go for the food but also the interiors are amazing – it’s like being in a Tokyo back-street. @hoppidorri
Danielle – Iris & Violet is our go to place for homewares, they also stock Old English bits. @irisandvioletstamford
Where are you moving to?
Ben – We have a grand design project that is in the early stages. I’m working with my mum and Danielle on the designs. We basically want to create this one again just a few tweaks.
What’s happening next at Old English?
We chose Mr and Mrs Clarke to sell our home because they share our passion for the story and they are the only people who can communicate this to the next owner. We are proud of what we have created and the way the Mr and Mrs Clarke team style and present property showcases space and lifestyles in the best light.