Peek inside this personality-packed family home beside the sea

See how these colour-aficionados have restored their historic townhouse on the coast with a thoroughly modern twist
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  • This couple and their two teenage sons had been looking for a while to buy somewhere on the coast and eventually found a tired Grade ll-listed townhouse in Brighton. The family knew there would be limitations and challenges on what they could do, both internally and externally.

    ‘The house was split into two when we first viewed it and it had a self-contained flat in the basement, with three more floors above,’ explains the homeowner. ‘But we knew it could be transformed back to its original glory because there were so many beautiful original features just waiting to resurface.’

    With previous experience of a home renovation themselves, the couple also appointed trusted interior designer, Susan Venn Design, to oversee the project and manage any unusual issues relating to the real home’s history.

    ‘We weren’t allowed to change the layout or put new lights on the walls or remove the architrave and cornices. However, we knew we could create a modern and bright interior with a vibrant and energetic colour scheme.’


    patterned stair runner with dark painted stairway, skirting and doors, dramatic hallway

    Nick Smith

    A geometric stair runner demands attention, adding warmth and pattern whilst softening the hard wood stairs.

    Darkly painted woodwork creates a dramatic hallway colour scheme, beautifully contrasted in domino effect against the light walls and warm-grain flooring.

    Sitting room

    heritage meets contemporary sitting room with lime sofa and dark painted shutters, traditional panelling, contemporary accessories

    Image credit: Nick Smith

    A traditional wall panelling idea contrasts with contemporary furnishings and quirky features with neutral walls balancing the zing of the lime green from the sofa.

    This striking space proves just how wonderfully heritage and modern styles can work together in a design evolution that unites traditional elements with a forward-thinking attitude.

    Drawing room

    moody drawing room with dark statement wallpaper, lime accents and period fireplace

    Photography Nick Smith

    Lime green bursts of colour bring this snug room alive when set against the dark blue living room wallpaper idea.

    ‘We decided that this room would have a moody edge to make it cosy in the winter and despite the darker wallcovering, it still feels energising with the accents of green. I was also keen to have a single blind at the window as I don’t like heavy curtains but the interior designer suggested a more European look with unlined curtains in beautiful fabric and I’m delighted with the result.’

    TV room

    tv room with soft-edged pastel furniture and statement round mirror

    Photography Nick Smith

    Soft-shaped furniture creates a welcoming, cocooning feel, ‘mirrored’ with a round, uber tactile design above the mantelpiece for statement effect. A variety of luxe textures throughout the space adds sensory allure. ‘The pastel accessories complement the fresh, clean look,’ adds the homeowner.

    Dining room

    light and bright modern dining room with pastel dining chairs, oval dining table and statement dome ceiling pendant

    Photography Nick Smith

    An oval table creates an informal, yet elegant space for entertaining. Whilst teal and pink tonal accents are in-keeping with the brightness of the seaside.


    A sea green kitchen scheme with matching cabinetry and wall tiles

    Image credit: Nick Smith

    A very particular shade of coastal green a-washes fixtures, with matching tiles to add texture above the cooker. Speaking of the striking kitchen colour scheme ‘The bold cabinet colour is a striking feature,’says the owner.


    space-saving window nook study with rounded built-in desk and green window blind

    Photography: Nick Smith

    A cosy nook by the window has been transformed into a dedicated work station with a streamlined, curved handmade desk to maximise the space – a brilliant solution as a small home office idea.

    Fresh green accents give an invigorating edge, ideal for creating a calming yet motivational space in which to work.

    Main bedroom

    master bedroom with feature wallpaper and bright pink accessories

    Photography: Nick Smith

    An abstract panelled feature wall introduces an artful pattern palette without overwhelming the space. The multi-arm ceiling light makes a striking silhouette from above, in a scheme boasting interesting details at all levels. ‘The clashing colours of the accessories add vibrancy,’ she says.


    green bathroom scheme with patterned green floor tiles and green window blinds

    Photography: Nick Smith

    ‘The bespoke vanity cabinet is a beautiful piece of furniture. I love how you can see it from the hallway when the door’s open’ says the homeowner. ‘The hand-made tiles are also a beautiful feature in the bathroom and work well against the neutral backdrop.’

    Guest bedroom

    lime and teal guest bedroom with abstract wallpaper and sumptuous textures

    Photography: Nick Smith

    ‘I love patterned wallpaper and the idea that a feature wall can take a really bold pattern without overpowering the whole bedroom’ says the owner of the bedroom wallpaper idea.

    Zingy teal and chartreuse accents travel from the wall design onto the upholstered bed and soft furnishings – uniting this energising, hotel-chic scheme.

    Feature written by Karen Jensen-Jones.

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