Island tour

Visit this British Victorian house in Jersey |

Built in 1880 for a wealthy Victorian merchant, this stunning home in Jersey – that’s British Jersey, just off the northern coast of France – was bought by Kate Brasher and her husband James, who works in finance, in 2019.

When they first entered what was to become their permanent residence, they discovered a view around which they wanted to build their lives. From its vantage point on the hill, the house overlooks a vast lawn, the Chateau de Mont Orgueil on the coast and France in the distance. Let’s take a tour of this wonderful example of British Victorian house style.

big white house

Wrought iron lattices and bay windows are an unusual feature very rarely seen in Jersey architecture. The house has been repainted and doors and windows replaced

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

“We had rented two other properties in Jersey, but when our landlord decided to sell we felt we couldn’t live with the uncertainty any longer,” says Katie. “James had just returned from a business trip to Australia and I had lined up a few houses to view. It was the last property we visited and even though it was jet lagged, James was excited about it and we both felt it was the one despite going over budget,” says Katie.

While the view was the deciding factor, the house also offered enough space for the couple’s three teenagers. Adding to its charms, the architecture had a decorative appeal. “There were bay windows, which is unusual for Jersey, and very rare beautiful elaborate ironwork above the door,” James describes.

Country style living room with sofa and coffee table and armchair and window behind

For formal living room ideas, look no further. Moving a door from left to right of this chimney brought a new sense of circulation along the front of the house. Caspar armchairs by Neptune (opens in a new tab). Twisted Leg Table by Richard Taylor Designs (opens in a new tab). Walls painted in Old White, Farrow & Ball (opens in a new tab). Bespoke curtains by Sims Hilditch in Ashok fabric by Penny Morrison (opens in a new tab). Artwork by Tom Hoar (opens in a new tab)

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

While the view was the deciding factor, the house also offered enough space for the couple’s three teenagers. Adding to its charms, the architecture had a decorative appeal. “There were bay windows, which is unusual for Jersey, and very rare beautiful elaborate ironwork above the door,” James describes.

View from the castle on the hill in Jersey

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

‘It is a quiet but comfortable and welcoming house. We use every room in the house and there is enough space for everyone to be somewhere ‘

Kate Brasher

“Our timing to buy it was not ideal as we had just rented our house in London for a year.” Luckily, nine months later the house was still on the market and we got it,” adds Katie. “I think what turned people off was the poor downstairs layout and if you fully invested in the house you would have to move for months,” James reveals.

kitchen with blue kitchen island in the center

The size of the kitchen island was dictated by the largest slab of Caesarstone available. The position of the hob allows an uninterrupted view during cooking. Cabinets near sink and oven painted in Lily, breakfast station painted in Mist and island painted in Moss, all by Neptune. Neptune bar stools reupholstered by Sims Hilditch in Chiltern linen by Fermoie. Pendant lights, antique

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

After living in the property for over a year, the family established their priority list for the renovation and decisively named Sims Hilditch (opens in a new tab) as their designers. “We didn’t take the tour as we had seen their brochure and liked everything. We knew they would be able to sensitively restore the original period detail,” says Katie.

Dining area with table and upholstered chairs

Dining room ideas abound. Woven chairs lend a casual, airy note while pendant lights create a warm, intimate glow for evening dining. Havana chairs, Neptune. Custom table in chalky Isoguard finish by Sims Hilditch. Cabinets, Neptune. Valencia fabric curtains from Colefax and Fowler.

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

With an initial plan to make minor improvements such as new bathrooms and new carpets, the scope of the project has increased significantly. The kitchen was flipped from the front to the back of the house, taking up the space of an underutilized dining room that had the best position for the view. “Now the only rooms that don’t face the garden are the cinema and a guest bedroom,” says Katie.

Dining room overlooking the bench

Intricate panels and cornices help balance the proportions of the room. Green and blue accents enliven the neutral palette. Manhattan coffee table, Neptune. Walls painted in Old White, Farrow & Ball. Padworth vase table lamp, Vaughan (opens in a new tab). Bespoke armchairs by Sims Hilditch covered in Raoul Tweed fabric by Turnell & Gigon (opens in a new tab). Curtains in Mulberry Walton fabric, GP&J Baker (opens in a new tab). Eva sofa, Neptune.

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

Different floors have been leveled and the ceilings raised with a shabby playroom turned into a mudroom and an attractive wine cellar with an office above. In their most ambitious project, Katie and James have transformed an old swimming pool into their “great room” where much of the family’s time is spent. “It’s a fun and pleasant room to live in. The Sims Hilditch have excelled in dividing the space into its different functions and it’s large but comfortable,” says James.

Mudroom in blue with seats and storage

Want wine cellar ideas? Think of a combined space. Here, a beautifully lit wine cellar and well-organized mudroom have taken up space in what was once a seedy playroom. Walls in Hardwick White, Farrow & Ball. York Stripe and Plain Linen cushions by Fermoie

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

By moving back to their upgraded home in January 2020, the family was able to use the lockdown to their advantage. “We started unpacking and nesting and once the restrictions were lifted we had non-stop guests all summer. The house offers very easy living even with two families. When we have kids, we don’t even notice them,” Katie says.

Entrance with two staircases and central pedestal table

A low cap has been lifted to enhance these landing ideas. A window seat makes good use of the bay window. Hardwicke dining table, India Jane (opens in a new tab). Pink chandelier with nickel finish, Brabin & Fitz (opens in a new tab). Walls in Joa’s White, Farrow & Ball.

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

A large wingback headboard forms a focal point of the bed in this well-balanced scheme. Custom made headboard by Sims Hilditch covered with a plain cotton fabric by Fermoie (opens in a new tab). Versailles chest of drawers, Julian Chichester (opens in a new tab). Bench, Chelsea Textiles (opens in a new tab) covered with Fermoie Hamble cotton fabric. Walls in Shaded White, Farrow & Ball. Cassius, Colefax and Fowler fabric curtains (opens in a new tab).

Bedroom with blue headboard

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

A striped bedspread and geometric throw pillows with green accents give this teenager’s room a strong but easily changeable identity. Broad Striped Throw, Melin Tregwynt (opens in a new tab). Custom bed, Sims Hilditch. Antique bedside drawers, Lorfords (opens in a new tab). Walls in Shadow White, Farrow & Ball. Burlington crystal ball chandelier, Neptune.

Bedroom with striped sheets and blue cushions

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

The period-style tub (below) complements the classic Victorian tone of the home. High gloss uneven subway tiles add texture and bounce light. Reclaimed Bathtub, Cast Iron Bath Company (opens in a new tab). Wall tiles, Marlborough Long brick in gelato ice, Mandarin Stone (opens in a new tab). Quantock Linen Blind, Fermoie.

Freestanding bath in bathroom with window behind

(Image credit: Brent Darby/Sims Hilditch)

The garden is next on the agenda for improvement. “We put a trampoline where there was an old pond. We are in the process of building a tennis court and also want to add a fire pit and sunken pool,” she adds. With impressive focus and commitment, the Brashers have created a beautiful island retreat where any family would be happy to be left behind.