The best things in life are old, loved and rescued
Just sharing my latest project with you, Eleanor and Simon's handsome Victorian home in London. As busy WFH parents looking after their two little kids, they needed help to align the rest of the house with their new contemporary kitchen extension and garden room. The idea was to visualise the remainder of the home with a similarly contemporary makeover. The couple wanted to see and agree decor decisions before making progress on the next stage of the project.
New kitchen extension and garden room
A new rear extension return and back elevation had just been completed with a great kitchen, dining area and garden room. But the rest of the house needed aligning with a similar makeover. So they contacted me to help visualise how the rest of their home could look with a contemporary makeover. The idea was to see and agree design decisions before progressing on to the next stage.
Open plan playroom and living area
The front two rooms were open plan with a playroom in the front bay window area and a new living area complete with built in bookcase. Eleanor and Simon were looking for cohesion between the two rooms, not easy with a playroom and living room which generally have different functions and colour schemes.
We started with the playroom deciding on a bright Mini Safari wallpaper and adding a 90 degree low level shelving unit for the children to potter around and play on the rug in the middle. The "parking garage" of large wheelie push around toys, is hidden behind the low shelf unit and the bay window. This wallpaper became the room inspiration with bright primaries, orange, blue and green. We added a Dutch Blue velvet cuddle chair which harmonised with the burst of burnt orange paint which linked the two areas together.
The existing Eames chair, footstool, and L-shaped grey sofa fitted well into this scheme, no need for new furniture in this open plan area, it all fitted beautifully. The living area also has a great bespoke floor to ceiling shelf and bookcase unit, which cleverly hides the TV in a sliding cabinet.
No doubt about it, Victorian hallways were meant to impress and this one with original tiles, high ceilings, inner hall door, covings and inset niches retains its sense of grandeur. We did debate for some time exactly how to highlight the space and bring it into the 21st century. Easiest thing was just to paint it all white, but we finally decided on Farrow & Ball Railings on the lower third of the dado, with F&B All White above. The contrast was fantastic, as Railings was gutsy enough to stand up to the terracotta tiles! Simon and Eleanor already had an fabulous sunburst mirror and an antique telephone table to add more character to the space.
Similar to the playroom and living room, Eleanor had furniture she wanted to keep. Her lovely walnut headboard bed and heirloom dressing table with drawers. I added a mid-century modern chest of drawers for extra storage and a low profile cupboard at the end of the bed as a modern contrast to the wood. The walnut contrasted well with F&B Studio Green/Duck Green giving it a heritage and contemporary feel at the same time. The wonderful expansive bay was a perfect place for a curved sofa and neutral curtains for Eleanor to retreat from the world or just relax in her bedroom.
Black and white Scandi style bedding and a black and white ethnic rug completes the contemporary look. Metal uplighters and a black wall light adds a modern twist to the vintage furniture. Eleanor and Simon love it!
Like any other little girl, Naomi loves unicorns and fairies. But her large bedroom had to incorporate a spare room element for potential guests as well as a large white storage wardrobe which had to remain in the room. This was quite tricky as the room had to be soft and magical enough for a little girl, but be appealing enough for overnight visitors. The final design was a soft beige/pink scheme with neutrals in taupe and elements of lime green for freshness. We added a little desk and cupboard in white, with a similar chest of drawers and large mirror to make it suitable for an adult guest. I'm glad I didn't give in to any temptations to create a Barbi-fest!
Ezra is 2, so no problem with a room decor for a little boy. The charming Paperboy wallpaper set the tone for the room and was complemented by Edward Bulmer's nursery range in George.
Eleanor wanted to convert the smallest bedroom into a small study/office. Currently the couple work in the kitchen, but this room would be converted into another WFH space, primarily for Eleanor who wanted a light, Scandi touch with minimal furniture and accessories. The best solution for this type of small room is to bespoke it with a kitchen worktop and shelving above. We finessed it with a waterfall feature at the counter end for extra space in a 90 degree angle. This worked perfectly placed next to the window with an attractive Zoom feature on the opposite wall for regular meetings with the office.
Lovely family, lovely project, I really enjoyed helping them and they are delighted with the result!
Need help to update your Victorian home with a contemporary look? I can provide you with style direction and clear project strategy to help you move forward. Contact me for a chat!