One of Gainsborough's most famous paintings is of the Andrews family whom he knew when he llived in Suffolk. It was one of their sons, a parson, who in the 18th century ‘modernised’ this house, most of which dates back to the reign of Elizabeth 1, by putting in huge sash windows and so forth. Its old timbers used to resonate to the sound of music (played by family or guests), of a past owner Peter Owen who was a maker of very fine clavichords and much of the interesting furniture could be seen in the rooms. A hexagonal table with a complex pattern of end-grain triangles was his; so was a throne-like chair of elm, its secured with wood pegs only; and also a dolls’ house — which is in fact a scale replica of Bulmer Tye House itself.
His wife is an authority on antiques, which she writes articles and books on (under the name of Noel Riley); so not surprisingly there are some unusual period pieces in the house. Instead of using furnishing fabrics with a traditional look, the Owens had contrasted the antiques with strong modern patterns — a Bauhaus design for curtains in one room, an Aztec-style pattern in another, in colours such as tangerine and blue. A Chinese sunshade, inverted, made an unusual ceiling lightshade. There was a large Bechstein in one of the sitting rooms and log fires in all three. In one bedroom, was a handsome bed, l9th-centuty Persian curtains and a Laura Ashley pattern co-exist happily.
The large garden is notable for its fine trees some are 200 years old which include copper beeches, walnuts, cedars and yews, as well as a number of unusual plants. The garden also has a grass tennis court.