Paul Rees lives in a four-bedroom house in Stamford, Lincolnshire, with his wife and young baby
Our house is part of an old 19th-century coach house, developed in the Eighties. The building extends around a central square and we occupy the part that incorporates the archway entrance. The local stone is Collyweston slate, which is a beautiful, soft, sandy-coloured material used in most of the buildings in the area. The roof slates are so thick and strong that you could drop a bomb on them without doing any damage.
Stamford is one of the few remaining small market towns. It's very pretty, hilly and cobbled, and, with about 1,000 inhabitants, it's quite tiny and incredibly unchanged. Only about three people have moved in or out over the last 20 years and, weirdly, most people in the village seem to have lived in the coach house at one time or another.
We moved here in March 2004, buying from a couple who had obviously watched a thousand property programmes. There was little that we actually needed to do to the place, apart from redecorating in our own style and furnishing. Since moving in, our little boy has been born, so his room was important to sort out, with blackout blinds essential, and wooden furniture. He's got a little bean bag with his name on it and a vintage Tex Avery "Droopy" print on the wall - a bit of a self-indulgent present from me.
We also built a conservatory, and painted it in a soft pale green, called "country apple green", I think.
The ceilings are high throughout the house, and we have the original wooden floors downstairs, covered randomly with rugs. The sitting room backs on to the conservatory and has a lovely open fire.
The sofas are locally bought, like most of our stuff. On the wall, however, is a pair of portraits by an Ecuadorian artist named Oswaldo Guayasamin, who painted portraits of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Ours are of anonymous sitters, but bold and just as exciting.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which is a lovely long room with a terracotta floor and wooden cupboards with silver handles, all here when we moved in. We've changed the wall colour, though, and gone for "country apple green" again. We bought the monster fridge, a great big six-footer, and the Smeg oven, all chrome and shiny, which we have absolutely no idea how to use. The room is always warm and cosy and very inviting.
I have an office upstairs, because I work from home once a fortnight; the room is quite small, with a wooden desk and a red leather Art Deco chair, where I sit gazing out at the garden and the fields beyond.
I have a huge collection of music on CDs. In spite of having recently got rid of two-thirds of my collection, I still have more than 2,000 discs. I transfer lots of music on to my iPod and let it shuffle through at random. My day at the office is spent with music playing constantly from 8.30am till 6pm - all contemporary stuff, mainly.
My personal choices at home are a bit more vintage - Dylan, the Stones, Springsteen and The Clash, and recently a Benny Goodman compilation album that I love. There's a great website called All Music, which I find fascinating; it provides back catalogues of thousands of bands, and rates all their albums. I've just started on Frank Zappa lately, who was incredibly prolific, so there's a lot to listen to there.
Our bedroom is down a couple of steps from the landing, which gives it the feel of being sunken. It's got a dark hardwood floor, an open fireplace and a fantastic wrought iron chandelier. When we decided to buy the place, we asked the owners if they could leave it behind but they wanted to take it with them. When we moved in, we were delighted to find it still here; perhaps they couldn't get it off the ceiling.
The picture in here, of a band of South American musicians, was bought from a street market in Otavalo in Ecuador. Having spent 30 years in London, we wanted to move out to the country to start our family. Work allowed me to take three months off, which we spent travelling the world. As backpackers, we couldn't buy much during the journey, but Ecuador was our last stop and we went wild there.
Our bed comes from a groovy shop called Nook, which is in Lincoln. It's huge, almost swallowing up the room, with a great big wooden headboard and wooden frame.
The garden is being "done" at the moment. I never thought that I'd find myself hiring a gardener, but I have to admit that we don't have the time to keep up with it. I spent ages pulling out weeds from between the cobblestones, and they all popped back up two weeks later. I decided that this was a battle that I could do without and I don't have green fingers anyway - in fact, I could kill anything.Reuse content