PORTRAIT - Jeska and Dean Hearne
Oh – what a wonderful day I had with Jeska and Dean. Pulling into their driveway was a rare experience of hand clapping joy. This beautiful and loved home set perfectly into an obviously deeply personal garden. What followed was a day of talking, gardening, more talking and learning - which perhaps we should all do more of.
I admire the two of them hugely. I have watched both of them evolve their careers with great authenticity and skill and what they do now is beautifully and properly done – that is to be admired, because it’s rare.
Their home is deeply rooted in creativity as well as flora and fauna – everything carefully and thoughtfully put together and mostly if not always, with their own hands. A thousand beautiful ideas in every room, but all of them theirs and composed as only the pair of them could.
They so obviously live how and where they would like to - and I came away inspired, educated and uplifted by understanding why how they choose to live, is right for both of them and what their home and way of living means.
Jeska tells us how childhoods of non-conformity and creativity have set them up for living their very best life.
Images by Kalina Krawczyk
I feel very lucky to have grown up in a creative household within a bohemian adult circle - musicians, artists, gardeners, teachers. My parents and their friends took my sister and I to lots of interesting places. We never went overseas as that was beyond our family budget but, we visited castles, National Trust properties, gardens and galleries and stayed with my aunt and uncle in Salisbury every summer.
Design was definitely a relevant topic, mainly relating to the arts and craft movement, William Morris, Liberty, weaving, spinning and dying and more fine art and contemporary influences from another favourite aunt. Dean was well travelled from an early age so saw how people lived all over the world - hence we have quite an eclectic home together.
I quickly discovered our house was not the same as other houses I visited as a child - things were rarely new at ours. Instead they were mostly mismatched antiques, reclaimed or found pieces – of course all the things I now love and how we enjoy living in our own home. It wasn’t something I appreciated as an early teenager when I was trying to pale into the background. I’d often return home to find my dad in a kaftan or poking about in peoples skips. But happily, I soon turned my back on trying to fit in and discovered skips turn up some amazing free treasures. It was a very good start.
As over used as they are, I learnt two quotes at an early age from William Morris — ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ and ‘The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.’ It has had a huge impact on how Dean and I live in our home.
We love to find, rescue and re-use things. I went to art college and found a mentor who took an interest in my creative imagination and taught me about all aspects of design and aesthetics beyond my Graphic Design studies. My life long obsession with interiors and homes started at about five years old in my play house at my grandma’s garden, filled with vintage treasures. It really got going at 17 when I spent what little money I had each month on Elle Decoration. Every now and then I managed to splash out on a copy of World of Interiors too.
Dean and my first adult home was a Victorian rental flat in Hastings. We did it up in a mix of old, found and new – just like my childhood homes. We decorated it thoughtfully in a shabby chic style (before I found out that was a thing) with Interiors books and magazines stacked up by the side of the sofa for inspiration and entertainment. My childhood way of life is almost certainly ingrained in our decorating style, in a happy way.
Now, we live in a fixer upper that we bought a few years ago. It’s a 1930’s bungalow in a quiet village on the coast not far from where we both grew up. The road getting here has not been too stressful. We went from living on one floor in an apartment to one floor in a house - so the change is familiar - except we now have quite a big outside garden space to wrangle and create with. I hope we don’t ever need to move as we love it here. The loft needs converting properly so we can one day have guests sleep over without camping in the living room and a photography studio in the garden would be great, but otherwise it’s all good.
Our home is also where we run our businesses from and somehow, we manage to get quite a lot done in a very small space - home is studio, office, warehouse and a living space all rolled up in one.
Our way of life and the things we choose to surround ourselves with has become more and more important over the years of our living together. It feeds into the shop and the shop crosses over into the home. I guess these two things are mutual. Our store thefuturekept sells and encourages a more sustainable and thoughtful way of living.
One day home and work will eventually need a bit more space to breathe, but for now it’s happy, beautiful chaos.
Dean and I want our home to be comfortable, calm and cosy with a dash of inspiration and magic. Sometimes this feels miles away when running a small business from home, but we always keep our bedroom quite sparse and tidy, so it is always a welcome escape to retire to bed. There is always some corner of this place that we can retreat to for a feeling of calm. It is always cosy and there are flashes of what I consider magic here and there.
We both collect a lot of botanical elements living and dead - in the form of quite a few house plants and then old twigs, seed heads, grasses and dried foliage. If you visited our home, botanica in any form would seem to be our leitmotif.
Like all homes and ways of being, it isn’t always perfect. I tend to pile up papers and books and ‘things I intend to deal with’ all over the surfaces of tables - I got that from my dad. I make most of the mess and Dean is an aspiring neat freak (the only thing standing in his way is me). I of course am always pleased to see inside the homes of well know creatives and discover they also have a home office in a similar or even higher stacked state than mine!
We love this house - it is modest and awkward at times and working from home is a mixture of equal parts chaos and bliss. We both feel very happy here - not always as calm as planned, as renovations and improvements are still in full swing indoors and out, but this little home is our happy place. Whenever we are travelling, coming home to here is always our favourite thing. It sometimes feels like we unwittingly bought our retirement home and skipped all the moves in between. We were looking for peace and quiet and we definitely found that.
Since moving from Hastings, we are so much more connected to the earth and nature out here. The love of nature was always there but now we are surrounded by the coast, beach, trees and green. Seasonality is key to how we make our way through each year and the seasons inspire us both heavily in how we choose to live and what we bring to our work. This location has given us so much more freedom to be outside and incorporate that in our working days aesthetically and visually.
I believe your surroundings can definitely affect your mood and inner balance. Good design can make life smoother and more inspired. I am not inspired by design as status symbols - I need things to be beautiful and functional only. But a beautifully balanced and soulfully designed interior is a happy thing.
I feel lucky that this home is my happy place, wherever Dean, the cats and I are is home and that place for the foreseeable is here. Home is us together under one roof wherever we decide to go.