Tinsmith’s House is owned by Paul and Paul. It is the latest previously industrial building that we have made into our home, but it is our first and only B&B. We are still relative rookies, but we have been wanting to do this for a while, so had a clear vision of what kind of establishment we wanted to run and we learn fast.
We have had successful careers working in commercial design and contemporary art and having reached a certain age found that our design work was not as interesting as it had been when younger. We were looking for a distinct change when we moved from Islington in central London to Aylsham, North Norfolk in 2012. We knew that we wanted to run a bed and breakfast, or some kind of guest house. It seemed like a natural progression for us to live and work in the same place. With its flexible layout from its industrial heritage, Tinsmith’s seemed to offer the best kind of accommodation in an idiosyncratic, hand-built package.
Paul Vater’s background was in directing promotional campaigns for international NGOs like the United Nations Association, before he established his own design agency, Sugarfree Design, in 1990. Paul Barratt worked for a succession of leading contemporary art galleries in London and New York, before shifting his focus to design and branding, working alongside Paul Vater and his talented team of designers.
Tinsmith’s is just big enough for us to house a small design studio and have our collections of objects and contemporary art installed throughout the house. We are constantly renewing our interests in our chosen field of design and this is reflected in the furnishings and furniture at Tinsmith’s House. These bespoke pieces have found a new coherence around the house and it is this combination of old and new, designer baubles along side low-grade junk, mixed with antiques that sits so well within Tinsmith’s hand-crafted feel.
Our dogs: Dusty and Cleo
Seven years ago we found Dusty, a white blonde Labradoodle bitch raised in North Yorkshire. Two years ago she had a litter of three puppies, from which we kept one, the black, crinkly coated Cleo. Both dogs are extremely friendly and have become a big part of our lives. They are not allowed into guest bedrooms or even upstairs, so while we are doggy people we cannot take in guests dogs, it is their territory. We do recognise that dogs are not for everyone and if you let us know we will endeavor to keep them in the background, wherever possible. However, they do all the things that dogs do. They beg, bark and occasionally become fast friends (especially if you have unfinished bacon on your plate), so they will be a feature of your stay with us.