Home is Where the Heart is

As a couple that travels extensively for work, Guy and Julia Hands have more than a little insight into the importance of home comforts.

We spoke to them about their love of entertaining and the great outdoors and why a decent shower is the best way to start the day.

What turns a house into a home for you both?

Guy: The kitchen.

Julia: It’s always been the most important room in the house, wherever we are in the world. Regardless of how comfortable the rest of the house is, the kitchen is always the place where people gather.

What can you not do without in the home, whether that’s a good coffee maker in the kitchen, a plump pillow in the bedroom, or a decent mirror in the bathroom?

Guy: For me, it’s a great power shower.

Julia: It is the perfect way to start the day and is always a priority in our house.

What’s your most treasured possession, and can you take it with you when you travel?

Julia: Our photographs of family and friends are incredibly important to us, and we take them with us wherever we go.

Guy: Our iPhones make this so much easier than previously.

What is your favourite place in the home?

Guy: The terrace leading out from the living room.

Julia: It’s the perfect place to relax, as it has the most beautiful sunset sea views.

What makes a harmonious home for you both? For example, some couples have their own spaces where they can relax and unwind.

Guy: For us, it is having a separate study each.

Julia: We certainly appreciate having our own spaces. They keep work, paperwork, and business telephone calls separate from our personal lives together, which helps to keep our relationship healthy.

Is there anything you do in the home that annoys the other one?

Guy: Julia watches football until very late into the evening.

Julia: Guy takes forever to get to bed as he always has ‘just one more email’ to deal with.

Do you like to entertain at home? If so, what is the biggest party you have hosted and how did you make it a success?

Julia: Yes, we love entertaining friends and family at home, particularly as we are both away so much. We once hosted 200 guests, which was a wonderful experience. For me, the key ingredients for a successful party are informality, good music, and a diverse mix of guests.

Guy: Absolutely – and lots of good wine accompanied by simple yet tasty food.

Do you have any advice on designing a home to give it that warm and personal touch?

Guy: For me, it’s taking advantage of multi-use furniture, such as comfortable padded benches.

Julia: An added advantage is that clever, functional seating can also be used to store mess out of the way.

How would you describe your style? For example, do you like a contemporary home with gadgets, tech, and all the latest mod-cons, or do you prefer antiques and a more classical style?

Julia: Our style is very much art deco with classical highlights.

What about your garden, how does this contribute to a sense of home for you both?

Guy: We love our garden and very much consider it as an extension of the house.

Julia: We really enjoy being outdoors, particularly in Guernsey, and we firmly believe in inside-outside living. We take advantage of having nature on our doorstep as much as possible.