Dreamy and calming interiors here today, Oldtown and new town, moody and light, peek inside two beautiful homes that double up as holiday accommodation in Hastings and St Leonards. Nicola Helgesen and German-born Photographer Andreas Bleckmann are the creators of Oldtownhaus – an online store and guest accommodation housed in a late Georgian building in Hastings Old Town and now a newly renovated apartment with amazing views across to the sea in St Leonards.
Both properties have been restored and designed with great care in Nicola’s calming but rustic style, using traditional materials in natural tones. The homes are tranquil backdrops that make for a peaceful time working or resting. Each living space is filled with an inspirational collection of carefully considered homeware, art, photography and books. I had the great pleasure of having the old town property as a backdrop for a photo shoot with Angela Maynard earlier this year for her new book out now. So was keen to meet up with Nicola and Andreas again to capture a few more images of their beautiful spaces to share with you here.
The first property is a charming townhouse, arranged over three floors and located in the heart of historic Hastings old town. Close to the beach and fishing harbour with its iconic black net huts, winding streets of wonderful independent shops, galleries, cafes and some amazing pubs. The rooms are decorated with a base palette of cloudy plastered walls or paint in warm greys, with layers of tactile textiles, natural linen, antique furniture, and collected botanical treasures. Plants bask in sunny spots and dried stems adorn shelves and corners. You might glimpse a sweet little cat whilst you visit and the views across the Old Town rooftops are just magical.
The second space is an apartment with amazing views across Warrior Square Gardens and out to sea towards the pier and beyond. Painted throughout in Atelier Ellis Triple Warm White (my favourite paint brand), this airy and just renovated two-bedroom apartment has elegant bones and is also in another great location. Just a few steps in one direction and you are on the beach with waves crashing – then pop around the corner to find yourself in the heart of St Leonards. Such a great seaside base for exploring, popping out for food, grabbing a coffee or something stronger, (so many great bars nearby). Venture out in the day and you’ll discover more streets full of great coffee shops, galleries, an amazing organic micro-bakery and so much more. In the evening, stay home and soak up some of the calm created by Nicola and Andreas’s peacefully designed interior, you definitely won’t want to leave.