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How Kate Middleton turned Anmer Hall into the perfect family home

30 April 2015
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Just in time for thebirth of their second child, Prince William and Kate Middleton have finallycompleted nearly two years of renovations on their new country home, Anmer Hall.

Located on Queen Elizabeth’s 20,000-acre Sandringham estate on the East Coast of England, the10-bedroom residence is now the perfect place for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to bring up Prince George and his new little brother or sister. Notlong after the royal baby is born, the young royals are expected to head to theNorfolk mansion, which has all the comfort and privacy they need to adjust tobecoming a family of four.

An estimated $2.3 million has been spent to upgrade Anmer Hall to the home of Kate's dreams Photo: Getty Images

With her eye forinteriors, Kate has overseen the estimated £1.5 million, approximately $2.3million, refurbishment, along with the help of experts, making sure to respectthe building's late Georgian architecture and surrounding landscape. ArchitectCharles Morris, who has worked with Prince Charles, designed a new garden roomand re-routed the driveway to create a larger parking area.

The inside wasdecorated with help from in-demand designer Ben Pentreath, who has previously workedfor Kate’s father in-law Prince Charles, as well as actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler.

Ben has a love for classiccountry houses, but isn't afraid to bring them up to date with a splash of colorand some bright wallpaper. The 43-year-old designer is known for mixing antiquefurniture with modern accessories, and has reportedly encouraged Kate to stepout of her comfort zone.

Kate has opted for bold, modern interiors as well as adding a new kitchen and garden room Photo: Getty Images

While parts of thehouse, including George's nursery and the drawing room, are traditional andclassic, the other areas reflect this bold new approach. For instance, Kate hadthe dining room painted jewel green. She also had a new, child-friendly kitcheninstalled.

Designer Anne Allenhas also been involved in the project and has been spotted discreetly shoppingfor pieces with Kate in the nearby towns of Fakenham and Holt. Residents havebecome used to watching the young mother pop in and out of local stores.

The royal couple is oftenseen around their tiny village, which is so small that it doesn't even have apub. Left largely to themselves by the locals, the Duke cycles along countrylanes and the couple dines together in pubs around the area.

Peace and quiet, outof the public eye, and together with their family is vital to William and Kate.

Luckily they already have a small circle of friends in the area, including PrinceGeorge's godfather William van Cutsem and his wife Rosie.

Friends such as William van Cutsem and his wife Rosie live nearby Photo: Getty Images

Anmer Hall is also well-locatedfor William’s job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service, which operatesout of two airports, both within 50 miles of the house. William is expected toreturn to his job on June 1, after taking off for six weeks through a mixtureof paternity leave and unpaid leave. When he finishes his training,the pilot prince will begin operational shifts, attending emergencies acrossthe region.

Although caring for asmall baby, while your husband has such a demanding job is not ideal, Kate'slife is organized enough for her to cope with the challenge. She will have thehelp of the family's Spanish super-nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. Hermother, Carole Middleton, with whom Kate is very close, will also lend a handwhen needed.

Kate at an East Anglia Children's Hospice event in Norfolk near Anmer Hall Photo: Getty Images

To help with thehousework, the royals are in the process of hiring a new housekeeper. Theiradvert for a new member of staff appeared in the magazine The Lady, stating: "discretionand loyalty is paramount." Duties were listed as "the preparation ofmeals, assisting with childcare and caring for the dogs," giving aninsight into the inner workings of their busy home.

At Anmer Hall, theDuke and Duchess are no doubt hoping to give Prince George and his new siblingan outdoorsy childhood, with plenty of space to run around with the family’scocker spaniel Lupo, and where they can bring them up as happy, groundedindividuals.

Read the full story in this week's HELLO! magazine, available via digital download or on Friday at all Barnes & Noble stores and selected newsstands.

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