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Ros Byam Shaw

Upon leaving Oxford, Ros Byam Shaw worked for an antiques dealer in St James's -'a terrifying woman who regularly made me cry'. This was followed by The World of Interiors, where she rose through the ranks to become features editor. She is now a freelance writer and cites 'the fantastic taste' of her grandmother an actress best known for her role as Mrs Bridges in the original Upstairs, Downstairs - as one of her most important influences. She has written a series of books on English design, including Perfect English Townhouse and Perfect English Farmhouse, and has collaborated with Farrow & Ball on their decorating books.

What it's really like to restore a 16th-century house

Ros Byam Shaw, owner of a 16th-century house in Devon, speaks to her fellow restorers about the process of bringing these history-filled houses into the modern world