When the owners of this Victorian terrace in Twickenham moved in, their challenge was to create the right flow for their open-plan living areas downstairs. In particular, the couple wanted to create a relaxed living area to unwind and entertain in – one that felt as spacious as possible.
As the front door opened directly into this space, it was essential to them to get this right to create a welcoming space immediately. They painted the walls white to get a clearer idea of the space, and worked on their decorating scheme – with the help of an interior designer – from there.
'Our style has a Scandinavian influence - I love the simplicity of that look. I wanted the overall design to be contemporary while retaining period features, and using colours that flowed together to evoke a restful feel throughout the house,' says one of the owners.
The wall colour was important for creating the right atmosphere and this had previously been a real stumbling block for the owners. The interior designer suggested a lovely soft grey for the walls; she brought MDF boards with samples of a few different shades on them to the house and attached them to the walls to see how they looked in different lights. 'This was a brilliant idea - it gave us a good idea of how the colour was going to suit the space.'
The Chandelier & Mirror Company
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As the area is open plan, the owners wanted to keep it as clutter-free as possible, so they designed floor-to-ceiling cupboards and a built-in office area and got a team of carpenters in to fit it. Along with the designer, the owners looked at the layout of the whole ground floor in order to make the most of the available space. The next challenge was to find pieces that were a good fit. The low-level dual-layer coffee table and the light-coloured L-shaped sofa (which sits flush with the stairs) are great examples of smart furniture choices - they have opened up the space both visually and practically.
Once the ambience-enhancing wood burner was in place, the owners got to work choosing all the finishing touches. They went to an antiques market where they found a gilded picture frame for a large mirror, which now hangs over the mantelpiece to create a greater sense of space. This piece set the tone for the other accessories in this living space; since they bought this piece, the couple have been collecting more ornaments with a vintage feel to match the age of the house and complement the modern decor.
'It has been such a pleasure decorating for Christmas. With the new layout, we can put the tree in the bay, and the sparkling touches look particularly pretty in candlelight. I'm so pleased it was finished for Christmas, and now I'm looking forward to celebrating in style.'
Easy Florist Supplies
Prior to its makeover - and its Christmas spruce-up - the house felt dark and old-fashioned. The owners' careful consideration and clever planning has helped to achieve a cohesive look, opening the room up to become a cosy, bright space, which - at this time of year - is packed with festive cheer.