Staying at North Farm, Rita Konig & Philip Eade’s Country Home in County Durham
Thursday May 23, 2024

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Often we don’t know where our curiosity will lead us, but where it tends to take us if we are brave enough to trust it is somewhere that makes our heart swell and our passions sing.

Such was the case when I had the opportunity to stay in North Farm.

I could not have known that when I signed up to take Create Academy’s inaugural online video course in June 2020, taught by British interior designer Rita Konig that it would lead me to being able to enjoy a week’s long stay in her and her husband’s country home, named North Farm.

Over the past four years, I have shared numerous times how Rita’s first course (she just released a second one with Create Academy – Advanced Interior Design this past April) helped guide me along my own journey in customizing my home Le Papillon.

As someone who gravitates toward the classic English country home decor with layering of fabrics, usage of prints in wallpaper as well as fabrics, welcoming antiques and vintage finds, yet also seeking functionality and a warm welcome and awareness of modern life, Rita Konig’s approach spoke to me immediately. As the daughter of renowned interior designer Nina Campbell, an eye for how to pull a room together well, seems to be in her bones, but each in their own right has a distinct style all their own. The design industry recently recognized Konig with the distinction of Interior Designer of the Year, as awarded by House & Garden magazine, and I have to say, it is more than well-deserved.

But back to the course and what I learned, a brief overview: From the fabrics to choose, even the sofa brands worth investing in (I will be detailed my sofa of choice in June’s living room reveal tour), how to situate furniture, lighting choices, wallpaper, and so much more (read my detailed post sharing all that I learned), I am so grateful for all that I learned and continue to learn as I look forward to taking her second course this summer as I begin to plan how to decorate my guest room.

It is throughout her first course that she is primarily situated in North Farm, a family home inherited on her husband’s side, Philip Eade, a well-known biographer and writer, and over the course of remodeling and redecorating this farm house located in County Durham, she documented the journey with Create Academy, teaching along the way the fundamentals for starting from scratch and creating a home that is welcoming, layered and as beautiful as it is livable.


Of course during the summer of 2020 nobody was thinking about traveling, but I held in the back of my mind, after learning that they rented out North Farm as a vacation rental, how special staying in such a place would be, to be able to see Konig’s work first-hand after learning from her in the course.

So I began to dream and paired it with planning and reached out in 2021 as I began to hope for plans to visit England in the fall of 2022. All would work well on their end, but then my life became busy with finishing up my own house, but I never forgot about North Farm. And so in the fall of 2022, I reached out to Philip again and secured my reservation for a week-long stay in October 2023. That was the first piece in my travel plans for my trip. Everything began from there, and I could not wait to have this opportunity to stay at North Farm.



What I would like to share with you today is a detailed tour in both photos (of both floors), and a video tour (of the main floor and exterior). Over the course of the summer, I will share with you a detailed post of all that I learned and savored while staying in North Farm, as to include that here would just make this post too long. However, most importantly, I want to show you around. The house abounds with inspiration and while being thoughtfully curated and decorated, it is extremely cozy for being a large house with 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.

Let’s first begin with the photo tour, and I will take you room by room:

The entrance to the home, reconfigured from the original is a grand place to walk into, and it has much to do with the thoughtfully chosen statement furniture pieces. From this regal console table and oversized lamp, the few, but large wall hangings, and when you watch the video, you will see the most lovely long bench upholstered with a beckoning single down filled pillow cushion. However, as you will notice throughout each room, while the décor is gorgeous, everything is functional and placed where you need it to be. A place for your umbrellas and walking sticks, a place for the keys, a place to sit down and pull your boots on and off. This room epitomizes all of the consistent fundamental components each of the rest of the rooms will incorporate as well.



I think I probably spent most of my time, while in the house, in this room. After all, it was October, the temperatures were chilly, and sometimes rainy, and as I made a fire in the fireplace nearly very evening, it was a cozy place to relax. From enjoying my afternoon tea, watching an episode of a favorite program, reading a book, even watching Gardeners’ World on Saturday morning, this room is super cozy and I think my favorite, but it is near an impossible choice.

If you watch November’s A Cuppa Moments, I had the opportunity to film it entirely in this room. You can watch it here upon becoming a TOP Tier Member.






Screenshot 2023 10 30 At 2.38.54 pm

The sitting room makes a statement and also beckons you to stay, relax, converse, sip something wonderful and just be still. Lighting a fire in the fireplace a couple of times, I wrote a few blog posts in this room, and found it cozy and wonderful with the morning natural light streaming through. I took note of all of the combinations of prints, bold colors and how it all works together brilliantly. I also adored the door curtain, having been inspired by British interiors when I chose to do the same thing in my kitchen.

And did you notice how books are included everywhere in all of the rooms thus far? This theme will continue throughout the entire house, in every room. A house decorated by bibliophiles which made me feel all the more at home. You cannot be alone if you have books in your house and I never felt along for a second.





Coming in as a very close second for which room I spent the most time in, the kitchen had my keen interest and adoration from the moment I stepped foot into it. Large and open, this space was entirely newly added to the farm house when Rita began the process of remodeling the house. The large table was custom for this room and brought in before all the doors and windows were installed. And of course, the Aga which in interviews, it was shared that Philip wanted an Aga, and indeed they made sure they had one. It just makes absolute sense and provides warmth for all those in the kitchen especially after being outside in the rain and cold (it is also a wonderful place to warm up your wet wellies!).

This was the first time I had cooked with an Aga, but I found it quite simple to figure out and from making my own dinner nearly every night, to of course tea throughout the day, and breakfast each morning, this was a special luxury to have on holiday.

Oodles of natural light streams through the windows on two sides, and especially in the evening as the three arched windows face primarily Northwest which adds to the beauty of the room that is both welcoming and cozy for being so large. And yet again, this is why I am drawn to Rita Konig, the kitchen is a room, a room with full curtains, upholstered chairs, add a radio and books, and you are invited to stay awhile, linger and savor being in this space whether sharing it with others or in your own company.

And, let me just say, everyone needs a scullery! 🙂

Just off of the main kitchen is a small room that has the third large white arched windows and this is where the dishes are cleaned – a deep farmhouse sink as well as dishwasher – and where many of the plates, cups and serving platters are stored. It keeps the kitchen tidy, and can be a cool place for some food storage as it held the welcome basket for my arrival gifted to guests complete with all sorts of local specialties.

One more detail Iw ant to point out is the choice of china. Buying in large quantities, Rita’s kitchen had her mother’s tea set (white and blue) shown in the second photo below with my breakfast and OJ, and she also has Gien’s Breakfast cups & saucers in filet taupe. I fell in love with these large cups. They are classic Gien – well-made, complete with the thumb rest and you can sip for hours on your favorite morning beverage. The monochromatic, yet varying sets of china made it feel luxurious but also eclectic and signature which reminded me to welcome what you love, invest well and you will have it for years to come, even if you break one or two along your life journey.










I had the opportunity with permission from North Farm, to film last year’s holiday cooking episode in their kitchen, and we made this Gluten Free Buche de Noël. Have a look at the episode here.

Upstairs is where all the bedrooms are found. Following a winding staircase that leads to this open platform that takes you either down the long hallway to the left or into the first primary suite, each room is uniquely decorated and all ensure you have the essentials for a good night’s rest and a welcome stay. It took me time to decide which room to call mine for the week, but with the beautiful writing desk overlooking the garden in the room to the right, it quickly became a simple decision.

I didn’t capture all of the rooms in photographs as there are seven, but I tried to share the images that shared a unique vignette or detail.
















Have a look at the video tour of North Farm. I chose not to add any background music and let you just take in all of the details without distraction. I do hope you enjoy.

The week at North Farm nourished me, inspired me and grounded me in ways both that I had hoped and not expected.

If you are looking for a holiday country home, and will be traveling up north near County Durham, I highly recommend staying at North Farm. It can accommodate comfortably 14 people, and Philip recently shared with me that they have a few spots available for this summer, so be sure to reach out to him to inquire about rates and dates.

Learn all about renting this sanctuary away from home here on their dedicated website – North Farm Durham. And please do share that you heard about them from The Simply Luxurious Life. 🙂

May 19 26 2024

20 thoughts on “Staying at North Farm, Rita Konig & Philip Eade’s Country Home in County Durham

  1. Shannon, I love what you have shared as the house looks like a family home. It’s as if they had just stepped out for a moment. I can imagine sitting by the fire enjoying a cuppa and losing myself in a book. Thank you for sharing. X

    1. Nicola,

      It really is a welcoming family home. And I am so tickled they both designed it without that in mind and are also willing to share with us all. So generous. If you ever have the chance to stay here, I know you would love it. Lots of space to ramble about with Hamish. 🙂

  2. Seeing these pictures and the video cements in my mind how much I love the North England countryside and the simple yet elegant farmhouse decorating style. It’s easy to understand why you (or anyone) would take some of thise elements home.

    1. Tara,

      That’s it, isn’t it? Simple and elegant, and Rita just nails it with subtle polish. I learned so much by looking at all of the details she chose throughout every room. I found myself peeking into them all multiple times just make sure I didn’t miss something and also why I took photos because even now I am seeing things I missed while there in person. The North is such a beautiful place, and as one antique dealer shared with me, it is a bit of an overlook by many Britons, but it is so special and worth visiting.

  3. Thank you for the video tour of North Farm. Although it’s a large home it looks so cozy and beckoning to just sit , relax and enjoy. My kind of place!

    1. You really hit the nail on the head, for being such a large home, with all of the rooms, and each decorated as Rita did, you feel as though you are in a cozy cottage. I felt so snugged in the entire time and it didn’t feel large, but you definitely have ample space for multiple people to enjoy the house. Thank you for stopping by and touring. 🙂

  4. I watched the Cuppa Moments filmed here, but am loving this even more detailed view of the property. So nice! Thank you for this Shannon!

  5. Thank you for sharing in such detail. This was a relaxing way to unwind when I got home from work.

  6. Shannon, what a lovely place to stay. It would be an excellent spot to host a family reunion or retreat.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you, again. I have so enjoyed all the scenes from this British Week. For me, this farm and home is the epitome of a layered and curated space that has all the earmarks of a home that has been inherited with each generation leaving a fingerprint of their style or way of life. I have attempted to do this in my own home. Since I built this home decades ago, and I am the only person (with my family) who has lived here, my decor has been punctuated with family antiques and other pieces that I have accumulated over time. The common threads with Rita’s style for me are books in every room, some on shelves, some on tables, some under lamps. My water kettle is always on the cooker, I collect dishes to the absolute distraction of my husband! Comfortable furniture is essential. Sit anywhere, anytime…you may have to scoot Lola in certain spaces. There are no velvet ropes here. My style tends to not have dark walls or pops of high-contrast color. I do not have large open spaces but I like to define each room with a shade of neutral that is compatible with the next space. That defines calm for me. I can identify certain elements of Rita’s style in your space but I see your space as more cohesive, perhaps a more updated or American translation of that style. Anyway, thanks again for the extended tour. As my grandmother used to say, you are a Peach!

  8. That Scullery, wow, is my favorite! The color, the windows, the light, all make an unavoidable task (doing dishes) simply artful.

  9. I enjoyed this post so much! I have loved Rita Konig’s interior design style for a long time. Thank you for sharing your photos & video of North Farm. And I loved the Cuppa Moments that you filmed here ☺️

  10. The first line of this post is inspiring…really the heart of travel, especially solo travel. What a magnificent place to be, whether for a week or like many of us, for the time here looking through your eyes. I can see why it resonates so deeply for you, what a beautiful world in its comforts, feeling of balance, and grounded style. All the small details that you’ve shared are beautiful, and I absolutely ::love:: that you made that Bûche de Noël! Thank you…

  11. Thank you so much for the tour of North Farm. What a beautiful home. I particularly love the exterior and the barn style door in duck egg blue. So pretty with the stone.
    What a beautiful place to stay.

  12. I am enchanted, transported, and thoroughly beguiled, thank you for this expanded tour, Shannon. I adored it the first go-round in the A Cuppa Moments and wowser, sooooo much more inspiration!! The elegance, the grace, the charm, the comfort. the cosy–the interior is like a beautiful hug you never want to leave. And this was your pied-a-terre for a few lovely days. How incredibly special and thank you very much for sharing with these splendid photos and your travelogue. xx

  13. Dreamy, Shannon! I am taking note for a possible English countryside abode for a future holiday.

  14. I could not love this more than I do. Everything is wonderful! I ama bit familiar with the NE of England, having traveled to the area several times, but the idea of staying on a farm in such a lovely home is a new concept for me. And one I find I’m drawn to. The only drawback is transport. I take the trains and taxis in the UK; I’m not inclined to attempt to drive myself. 🙂 I’m looking forward to more posts about North Farm this summer!

  15. Shannon, I truly TRULY enjoyed this post. I love learning all things decor and discovered Create Academy from your blog. I purchased a year unlimited & have truly been enjoying Rita Konig’s course on the platform as well as the course by her incredibly talented mother, Nina Campbell. As for you, I can’t imagine the utter delight of staying at their property and being able to video a cooking episode in their kitchen after so intimately learning & taking inspiration from Konig’s course for your own home le Papillon. I would think the only other thing to make your trip complete would have been if you could have Normal & Nelle join you there as well, they would have fit right in 🥰🥰 Thank you for sharing this with us.

  16. Thanks for the extended tour of the house, Shannon. It provides a lot of inspiration! And yes, one can dream of a little vacation there. 🙂

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