mma in the dining area. She used to live in Arizona, and she bought the table there – it used to be a barn door. The chairs are from a shop called Willow, also in Arizona. The lamps over the table are from Andy Thornton. Photo: Tony Gavin
We all have our Proustian moments; when a sight, a taste, a smell, a touch, or a sound will send us off on a journey of nostalgia; a trip down memory lane.
For the narrator in Marcel Proust’s famous series of novels called A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, this evocation of times past happened when he tasted a madeleine cake dipped in tea. For Emma Lynch, interiors entrepreneur and co-owner of Lamb Design, it’s the heady scent of her grandmother’s garden in summer which can evoke days of her youth; days spent happily splashing at the seaside in Brittas Bay and making castles on the beach; days of family gatherings and picnics and birthday parties. Happy days.
It was a scent which Emma never thought she’d fully experience again once she’d grown up – her grandparents had sold their house many years earlier, and Emma and her family stopped going to Brittas. Then, one fateful day three years ago, she got a call out of the blue from her father. “You’ll never guess where I am?” he said, down the phone to her at her then home in London.
That phone call led to Emma getting the opportunity to relive the days of her youth and give her own children a similarly carefree upbringing. It also led to the creation of her thriving new business.
The renovation, which took two months, involved tearing the house apart internally, leaving only a shell and a roof. “The house dates from the 1950s. There were always four bedrooms, but all the rooms were tiny. The kitchen, dining room and the living room were all separate rooms; now I’ve opened them all up,” Emma says. “But I would be sensitive to people’s feelings, and I’ve kept the front of the house exactly as it was, and all the shrubs and rose bushes.”