A cramped and crumbling 1840s English cottage bursts back to life once it falls into the right hands.
AT ONE POINT IN TIME, THIS COTTAGE housed factory workers. At another, squatters staked a claim to the abandoned structure. When Justin Capp bought it in 1998, it was the home of a 102-year-old opera singer. Justin, a chef and leather artist, easily recounts the history of the house—he grew up next door to it in a Northamptonshire County village in the United Kingdom. “I’m a local lad so I knew the place all my life,” he says. “When it came up for sale, it was a low price because of its sorry condition, and I bought it.” Justin put his artisan skills to work—pulling in his father, mother, and brother—and together they replaced rotting floorboards, replastered the walls to a clean white, and reworked fireplaces. When he met eventual partner Angelos Bratis, an international fashion designer, the home took a modern turn. “It leaned more rustic and traditional English in style,” Angelos says. “I introduced color and modern design objects to the house.” Now the home has an international flair—much like the men themselves, who also have a home in Angelos’ native Greece. Here, clean-lined 1950s Italian upholstery and lighting mix easily with the English antiques Justin has rescued over the years. Pops of blue inspired by the Aegean Sea brighten rich, natural woods. Items discovered during travels, such as vintage Moroccan rugs, visually bridge the styles.
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