Pair of pugs sleeping on a green blanket Birdie Fortescue creates modern, text book country houses using a soft palette, touches of French influence and subtle sublime colour schemes influenced by coastal colour. Her own family holiday home in Norfolk, close to the seaside, is a classic late Georgian red brick house set in extensive newly landscaped gardens with stables yard designed with help from George Carter. The farmhouse interiors had earlier been comprehensively refurbished by architect Anthony Hudson (Norfolk and London) so apart from some small changes to improve proportions Birdie concentrated on decoration and furnishing the 7 bed/bath house. Walls feature a series of oil studies by Norwich-born Paul Darley and large pencil drawings of animals by Suffolk artist Jason Gathorne Hardy. The major living space was created from a former dairy, the open yard glazed over and the space used for the kitchen and dining off which attached former garages have been made into a large games room with doors to the garden. Riding, grass court tennis, nature reserves and vast beaches mean there is plenty to do all year-round so the house is equipped for summer and winter.