Nestled in a leafy part of Hampshire, this handsome Victorian house has been lovingly designed with its original features in mind. In 2005, when the owners moved in, they immediately installed central heating and added an additional upstairs bathroom. However, their plans to remodel the house were put on hold when the owner’s work took him to Ireland and they decided to relocate to Dublin. ‘In the interim, we employed an architect to draw up plans, which allowed us to go ahead with getting planning permission.’ The family, which now included a younger daughter, returned to Britain in July 2010 and the owners began work on the refurbishment at full speed. ‘In traditional Victorian style, the interior was a series of smallish rooms with high ceilings and had no relevance to the way we wanted to live,’ she says. ‘However, we wanted to keep the integrity of the house and to retain the original features. Our planning permission included an extension, which meant we could relocate the kitchen to the centre of the house so it could benefit from a garden view.’
The neutral living room is brought to life with jewel tones and subtle splashes of vibrant colour. The colour scheme was inspired by a beautiful Nepalese rug. 'I wanted to be surrounded by the same jewel-like shades.' A transparent coffee table visually blends into the scheme for a tailored, unfussy feel.
This cosy mid-century style living room features neutral tones and is brought to life with splashes of colour on the vibrant lampshade and beautiful statement chair. 'My first love is vintage style and I'm fascinated by mid-20th century design. To me it represents the highest quality and includes modern classics that will stand the test of time.' The fireplace with retro tiles adds to the warm and cosy feel.
By removing walls and doors and widening entrances, a new family room was created. It leads into the kitchen, which shares its bright and airy style and relaxed feel. Drawing on the owner's passion for vintage design, she included a few special pieces to individualise each space and contrast with the contemporary furniture. 'A strong identity is key to a successful interior, but I wanted a timeless style and it had to be elegantly comfortable,' she says. 'Above all, I wanted to incorporate an amusing surprise into each room, to inject a sense of fun. This is a family home, after all.' Vintage items, such as the trolley, contrast with modern furnishings.
This dual-function island unit not only provides extra food preparation space, but also a handy breakfast bar with space underneath to store stools. The veneered elm breakfast bar provides a relaxed eating area. The shimmering steel worktop creates a restaurant-worthy kitchen. A staple of professional kitchens, stainless steel is practical, non-porous and heatproof.
The neat home office opens into a colourful space for the children to use. The careful layering of styles from across the decades has resulted in a comfortable and entirely personal interior. 'Sometimes I go too far, then I have to pare it down, but it's always satisfying when the balance is achieved. I've given so much heart to the interior and I hope the house approves - it certainly feels happy.'
Create the perfect backdrop for your home office with an on-trend blue/grey paint shade. This contemporary office is kept simple with a desk made from a plain trestle table and a few carefully chosen vibrant accessories.
This girls' bedroom features neutral shades and a fireplace with personalised artwork, bright accessories and plenty of storage ideas. The palette of primary brights creates a feel-good factor that is unashamedly loud and proud. Bold colour can be scary over large expanses, but here it is combined with a crisp white backdrop to add definition.
The owner's distinctive style brings together an easy mix of relaxed comfort and contemporary good looks. Let your bed linen and throws be the sole arbiters of pattern so you can keep the scheme simple and controlled. Introduce a fun element such as these graphic printed cushions.
Even the smallest of bathrooms can be tranquil - use pale aqua and duck-egg tones to provide a restful backdrop. This relaxed bathroom has a calming colour scheme, while quirky touches, such as the blind made from a graphic-print towel, add some colour.