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Inside this Suffolk home filled with festive traditions

Author: Alice Roberton

Tamsyn Morgans

Read time:

1st December 2023

Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn Morgans

A Christmas home that blends British, American and African traditions

This welcoming home, dating back to the 1650s with elements of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian periods, is a resounding celebration of all things heritage. Previously owned by East London’s Truman Brewery as the malt master’s house, it later became a family home.

In need of some love, it was bought in 2017 by American art and antiques dealer Ambrice Miller and her husband Ben Joyce. Looking to make the move out of London to somewhere with space for Ambrice to indulge in her love of collecting and Ben to flex his DIY muscles, it ticked all the right boxes.

Cherished customs

High ceilings, original beams, an inglenook fireplace and a stunning entrance hall create a splendid backdrop for simple, traditional Christmas decor, from greenery and soft candlelight to a freshly cut spruce adorned with colourful hand-tied bows and vintage baubles. As their first Christmas as a family, there is much to celebrate and new traditions to establish.

‘I come from a big family with its own traditions, however I can’t wait to create new ones for our son to grow up with,’ says Ambrice. ‘We love celebrating Christmas on both sides of the pond and are fairly fanatical about the festive season. We’ve been known to keep our decorations up way beyond twelfth night!’

Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn Morgans

A warm welcome

Making home feel cosy and inviting is as pivotal to Ambrice’s interior style as her aesthetic – her main aim is to create a space which people find inviting and interesting. ‘I want visitors to sit and stay for a while to take it all in,’ she says. To create a cosy feeling she uses a rich mix of textiles, floor coverings, comfortable well-worn furniture, and pops of gold.

‘I find that old Persian rugs and antique textiles add depth and interest to a space. By their very nature they also make it feel cosier. They help to warm up rooms painted in cooler colours such as the blues, whites and greys we’ve chosen. Of course, candlelight is always a winner too.’

Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn Morgans

The no-rule rule

‘When it comes to interiors, I don’t believe in rules, and I’ve learnt that sometimes the most contrarian colours and pieces work the best together. I feel it’s important to make sure one’s interior reflects one’s personal aesthetic, not something social media has told you to like.’

Describing her home as ‘classic with a bit of a twist’ the no-rule rule has clearly served Ambrice well as her home feels exceptionally unique – a true reflection of both her and Ben’s tastes.

A mix of treasures

The juxtaposition between old and new, British, American and African traditions is striking, something which can be seen in everything Ambrice collects. Some portraits will never be sold, but others are enjoyed for a while before finding their way into the Relic Interiors catalogue. Scouring auctions, house clearances, antiques fairs and flea markets, Ambrice is forever treasure hunting.

‘I don’t think I’ve ever travelled somewhere without researching and visiting the local antiques shops, brocantes and markets,’ she says.

 

Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn Morgans

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