Max Rollitt is an antiques dealer, furniture-maker and interior designer whose unique sensibility is grounded in his knowledge of historic architecture and design. He has a joyful approach that layers history, texture, colour and comfort. All three strands of his business are housed under one roof at Yavington Barn, a converted grain store in the Hampshire countryside.
Were you brought up in the country?
I grew up in Winchester, which is classified as a city, but feels more like a market town. The countryside was easily accessible by bicycle – I often took off to explore with some sandwiches, a flask of instant coffee and my camera. It wasn’t until 2009, though, that my wife, Jane, and I moved our family from the centre of town to a farmhouse five miles northeast in the Itchen Valley. I can’t count the number of times I must have cycled past it unknowingly.
Can you describe your home?
It’s a typical English country house in that it’s a story of evolution. There are telltale signs of it having undergone multiple rounds of remodelling, each one reflecting the wealth and fashion of the time. It was built in the 1780s using elements from a 13th-century priory dissolved by Henry VIII.
The outer walls are a patchwork of Caen and Purbeck stone and local flint. Inside, there’s a provincial figure of a saint embedded into a corner of the kitchen. The remnants of 18th-century skirting, dado rails and cornicing upstairs feel very grand, too.