Explore this characterful Twenties home that combines simplicity with heritage

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Keen to respect the personality of this Twenties semi, the owners devised a style that blends contemporary minimalism with heritage elegance

    Although it was nearly Christmas when the owners received the keys to their house in Enfield, they had every wall painted white – even the ones they were going to be knocking down. ‘I couldn’t live with the deep red walls and purple bathroom. I wanted a blank canvas, so that we could start work as soon as Christmas was over.’ The start of the New Year encouraged the couple to get stuck into the biggest challenge: reconfiguring the space at the back of the house. ‘We toyed with the idea of making a huge open-plan area by pulling down all the walls. However, it was too costly and we were concerned that the resulting space would feel cold and unwelcoming.

    When it came to decorating, the owner enlisted a little help. ‘I hadn’t planned on using a designer, but when I came across Vickie Nickoll’s site (interiortherapy.co.uk) and saw that her services were reasonably priced, I knew I could do with her guidance. I’m guilty of loving too many styles and trying to put them all together.’


    ‘The couple decided to create an L-shaped space instead, by removing a wall between the kitchen and dining room.’ They then added an island unit, to give the space structure. ‘It’s a real hub where we all congregate.’ The island follows the lines of the different flooring – parquet in the kitchen and floorboards in the dining area – creating a visual divide between the two spaces. They wanted the period features to be the real heroes, so they chose pale-grey units that wouldn’t distract from the original stained-glass, parquet floor and fireplace. The subtle pattern and gorgeous, rich colour of the parquet flooring is perfect for creating a heritage or glam look.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Similar kitchen units, B&Q
    Buy now: Pendant light, Capiz orb pendant light, West Elm
    Buy now:
    Bar stools, Hee bar stools, Hay at Made In Design

    Living room

    Here they have chosen sofas with strong, square lines that echo the angular windows. They have created a picture gallery look by mixing and matching artwork of different styles and sizes all within the same colour palette. ‘The picture ledges make displaying artwork so easy. Everything is personal to our family – we like to change it when we want a new view.’

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    Sofa, Grey sofa, Dwell
    Buy now: Sofa, Tivoli sofa in Slate, Swoon Editions
    Buy now: Similar picture rail, Mosslanda picture ledge, Ikea

    This scheme has been carefully designed to let ‘hero’ pieces stand out: white walls help the monochrome art to really sing out, while soft grey paint on the chimney breast highlights the original fireplace and sunburst mirror above it.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Paint (on mirror), Off Black paint, Farrow & Ball at Homebase

    Open-plan kitchen/living area

    The use of natural wood throughout adds warmth to this space. A pine-block island worktop matches the warm wooden dining table, as well as the original flooring in the open-plan space.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Prints, Desenio.com
    Buy now: Frames, Mossebo frames, Ikea

    Home office

    The couple tucked a study space behind the door of the kitchen. The door is painted in the same soft blue-grey as the kitchen island and sliding door to the utility room, relieving the all-over whiteness of the big open-plan space.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Desk, Cuba writing desk, Wayfair

    Master bedroom

    A luxe look takes over the bedroom. The owner chose an inky blue paint that contrast beautifully with a blush-pink velvet headboard and silk bedspread, for a truly decadent feel in the main bedroom. Simple, white-painted furniture stops the scheme becoming too fussy.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Paint (on wall), Tempest matt emulsion, Fired Earth
    Buy now: Headboard, Elise bedhead, Living It Up
    Buy now: Quilt, Blush quilt, Cox & Cox
    Buy now: Curtains, Vilborg curtains, Ikea


    Tiles are a star ingredient that can make your bathroom extra special. The bathroom has been given a soothing vintage style with traditional roll-top bath and punchy patterned tiles.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Tiles, Atlas cement tiles, £160 per sq m, Cement
    Buy now: Paint (on bath), Conforth White Estate Eggshell, Farrow & Ball at B&Q
    Buy now: Similar bath, Falmouth bath, The Cast Iron Bath Company

    Children’s room

    This child’s room is a masterclass in how to mix colours, styles and patterns effectively. Here the owner has stuck to white for all the basic furniture, so she can simply change the accent colour with fabrics and accessories.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
     Rug, Blue Freddie rug, The Rug Seller
    Buy now: Wallpaper, Stars wallpaper, £70 per roll, Hibou Home

    Despite the modern additions and touches, they have stayed true to their love of heritage design and, where possible, they’ve let the original features shine through. The decor came together beautifully. Now, I feel bolder about using colour in the future.’

    This house tour originally appeared in Ideal Home, May 2017.

    Image credits: Olly Gordon

    All the latest from Ideal Home