Take a tour of this redesigned Victorian terrace in south London

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  • Treasured artworks and carefully chosen accessories in sophisticated hues add decorative panache to this cleverly redesigned London home

    After many years living abroad, the owner and her family decided to return to the UK. The children were then aged 11 and four, so the priority was to find somewhere to live close to their schools. When the owner and her husband saw this Victorian terraced house on a pretty street in south London, they were able to make a quick decision. ‘Architecturally, it was quite ordinary, but there are two large parks nearby and good transport links, and my son’s school was just round the corner,’ she explains.

    The couple were also confident in understanding what would be needed to make the house work for them as a family. ‘Our plan was to open up the ground floor. However, the idea of one big and potentially noisy space was unappealing,’ says the owner. ‘The house was designed as a series of rooms and, to some extent, we felt we should respect that. Also, we wanted a cosy room that could be closed off.’

    Double reception room

    Snug HG May 17 p86 Peters

    The couple enlisted the help of an architect, whose solution was to keep the original double reception room, but to divide it from the rest of the ground floor with a set of glazed doors. In this part of the room, the timeless design of the monochrome rug is a perfect foil for the flashes of green on the furnishings and vibrant artworks.

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    Buy now: vintage Berber Beni Quarain rug, Larusi
    Interior design: in collaboration with Tor Vivian

    Living room

    Living room HG May 17 p86 Peters

    ‘I have a few pieces by mid-century French artists, including a work by Othello Radou,’ says the owner, who has always been a big lover of art. ‘On the ground floor, I kept the walls white, as I like to introduce colour with paintings and accessories.’

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    Buy now:
    Artwork by Othello Radou, John Adams Fine Art

    Ground floor layout

    Library HG May 17 p86 Peters

    Glazed doors at the far end separate the double reception room from the dining area in the subtlest way possible. A blend of traditional and modern pieces acts as a bridge between the old and new parts of the house. ‘Environment is very important to me,’ says the owner. ‘I’d rather have nothing than things I don’t like. Luckily, my husband feels the same.’

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    Buy now: Paris chair, from £2,881, plus 7m of fabric, George Smith

    Dining room

    Dining room redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    This space is part of a newly configured L-shaped room that also incorporates the kitchen. ‘The cabinetry is quite spare and I was worried the effect might be clinical.’ says the owner, ‘hence the exposed brick wall.’

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    Architecture: Andrew Dobson


    Kitchen redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    ‘My husband and I love to cook, so our priority was a sizeable kitchen with a big, practical cooking area,’ says the owner. ‘We had an extensive wish list that included an extra-long island, a double fridge and plenty of storage for our collection of ceramics.’

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    Buy now: B3 kitchen in Kaolin, from £50,000, Bulthaup at Kitchen Architecture

    Kitchen from other side

    Kitchen island redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    ‘My husband has long admired Bulthaup kitchens and I love Dinesen floors, so that was our starting point,’ says the owner. In fact, the same flooring has been used throughout the ground floor, enhancing the cohesive feel and flow.

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    Buy now: Atto 5000 pendant lamps, from £613 each, Secto at Skandium
    Buy now: Grand Oak floorboards finished in Junkers Natural Oil, from £100 per sq m, Dinesen


    Hallway HG May 17 p86 Peters

    As you enter, a vivid shock of green on the stair runner sits in harmony with the view to the verdant garden beyond. ‘I love green,’ says the owner. ‘When we lived in New York, I painted the walls of our apartment in an acid shade. I could tell my American friends were thinking, “Uh-oh, eccentric English woman”, but I thought they looked great.’

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    Buy now: New Hadley Lime flatweave wool stair runner, £127 per m, Roger Oates


    Cloakroom redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    Neatly tucked beneath the stairs, the loo has been turned into a design feature with a bold wallpaper.

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    Buy now: Kandy in Brit Pop, £199.80 per roll, Élitis at Abbot + Boyd

    Main bedroom

    Main bedroom redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    Upstairs, the mood is more cosseting, not least in this room, where floral wallpaper sets the tone. The restful palette of taupes and greys is lifted by a shot of rich red from the pendant light.

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    Buy now: Magnolia Tree wallpaper in Ecru, £59 per roll, Designers Guild

    En suite

    En suite redesigned victorian terraceHG May 17 p86 Peters

    A faux-bamboo chair from Hilary Batstone Antiques, one of the couple’s favourite shops, is a subtle decorative touch.

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    Buy now: Bosphorous Travertine floor tiles, around £29.95 per sq m, and Battersea basin and pedestal, £500, all Fired Earth

    Daughter’s room

    Children's room Study area redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    The children’s bedrooms are in the converted loft. ‘We changed the roof line at the back of the house so my daughter’s room no longer has a sloped ceiling,’ says the owner.

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    Buy now: Enchanted Wood wallpaper in Duck Egg Blue/White, £59.95 per roll, Hibou Home
    Buy now: Eames DSW side chair, from £345, Twentytwentyone

    Son’s room

    Attic bedroom redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    The sloped ceilings remain in the room at the front because the house is in a conservation area.

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    Buy now: Woods wallpaper in White/Black, £76 per roll, Cole & Son at John Lewis

    Children’s bathroom

    Bathroom redesigned victorian terrace HG May 17 p86 Peters

    Terracotta-hued tiles bring gentle warmth to this crisp scheme.

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    Buy now: Talis three-hole basin mixer, £384, Hansgrohe

    This house originally appeared in Homes & Gardens, May 2017.

    Image credits: Davide Lovatti

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