Take a tour of this smart Surrey townhouse, all dressed for Christmas

The four-bed Victorian house is filled with character, sophisticated style and clever colour choices

christmas tree with decoration and white wall
(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Moving deeper into Surrey from Richmond five years ago, gave the Harper family much more space for their money, as well as a larger garden for their two children to enjoy. ‘With its period features and high ceilings, this double-fronted Victorian house ticked all the boxes on our wish list and we loved its peaceful location,’ says owner Leoma Harper.

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‘We were very lucky to inherit a nice kitchen and bathrooms that only needed a lick of paint, but the house was very grey and bland when we moved in. Period features had been removed and some rooms had been updated for sale while others hadn’t been touched at all.

'We spent the first four months putting back period features and revealing fireplaces that had been bricked up, as well as laying wooden flooring and fitting new radiators. Putting wall panelling in the hallway and living room helped put the character back, too.

‘My style is inspired by rustic French and Scandinavian design, but since starting my interiors business (styletheclutter.com), I’ve become bolder with colour. 
It started with the blue front room when we moved in, followed by the green-blue en suite, our pink bedroom and then the pink living room. I also love injecting unexpected colour, such as on the inside 
of doors and whenever I upcycle furniture.'


hallway with staircase and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Wall panelling gives the big, airy hallway character. ‘I painted the balustrade dark 
to make a statement as I didn’t want anything too bright. It works well with the gallery wall of monochrome prints in black frames. Subtle hints of colour have been added, too, with the rug and brass lighting.’

Get the look
Buy now: Balustrade in Black Blue estate eggshell, £62 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball Chandelier, £698, Anthropologie

dining room

christmas tree with dining table and wishbone chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

‘The windows were white 
and looked very traditional, but I wanted to mimic the Crittall look so painted them black. We put the branch up two Christmases ago and I dress it up for special occasions.’

‘As this room has very high ceilings, we always get a tall Christmas tree. I love to decorate the house with foliage from the garden, too. In previous years I’ve used decorations in copper, gold and green, but I’m going a bit more colourful this year.’

Sheepskins provide softness and texture in a tiled space; the vintage French cabinet cost £800 at Sunbury Antiques Market

Get the look
Buy now: Christmas tree, from £60.95, Pines 
and Needles
Buy now: Woodcroft oak dining table in Colonial Grey, £2,695, One.World
Buy now: Hans Wegner replica wishbone chairs, £220 each, Swivel


kitchen with cabinet and shelves

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

‘As the existing units and island were in good condition, we just gave them a fresh coat of paint. 
I also replaced the black oven and fridge with white and silver models, added a new splashback and put up some shelves.’

'We might extend in future to square off the kitchen with the orangery. We’d rotate the island for a more open-plan feel.'

Get the look
Buy now: Kitchen units in Slate II oil eggshell, £55 for 2.5L, Paint & Paper Library

Living room

living room with sofa and fireplace

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

‘I wanted this room to feel more formal and grown-up so we added the panelling and picture rail. It took a lot of tester pots to find the perfect shade of pink for the walls, as many were too feminine for our tastes, but this subtle grey-toned one worked best with our sofas.’

Get the look
Buy now: Walls painted in Chateau acrylic eggshell, £66 for 2.5L, Zoffany

Family room

family room with wooden flooring and armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Let's decorate! Christmas living room decorating ideas to get you in the festive spirit

‘Both reception rooms are south-facing, so get the afternoon light, but as this is our family chill-out room for watching TV in the evenings, 
I wanted a dark colour to make it really cosy and snug.’

Get the look
Buy now: Walls painted in Stiffkey Blue estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball.
Buy now: Large Poppy Field rug in Navy, £155, French Connection Home

Main bedroom

bedroom with white wall and chandelier

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

I love pink – it’s such a warm, inviting colour and works so well with either light or dark colours. 
My husband took a bit of persuasion, but he loves the wall colour now!’

Walls in 
Pink Ground estate emulsion, £46.50 
for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Antoinette 
bed, from £1,145, Loaf, has this look. 
Finley velvet armchair in Midnight Blue, £890, Rowen & Wren. Sonia curtains, 
from £78 each, Anthropologie

“I often move things around – the bedroom chandelier began in the hall”

En-suite bathroom

bathroom with lantern and plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

‘Everything was beige in the bathroom, 
so I went for a green-blue on the walls and painted the existing roll-top bath to match the colour of the vanity unit countertop.’

Get the look
Buy now: 
Bath in Black Blue estate eggshell, £62 for 2.5L; walls in Oval Room Blue estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, both Farrow & Ball. Ellington brass lantern, £27, Laura Ashley

Child's room

childs room with white wall and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

‘We made the desk from a length 
of Ikea worktop and two basic storage units. The small wall 
shelves are Ikea spice racks I 
painted with leftover tester pots.’

room with shelves and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

 Another home dressed for the season: Tour an Oxfordshire barn conversion          combining old, new, and a hint of Scandi elegance

Get the look
Buy now: Walls painted in French Gray estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Little Greene
Buy now: Casadeco Balloon wallpaper, £29.84 a roll, House Decor Interiors

‘Although I create plans, mood boards and layouts 
for my clients, when it comes to our home I’m more spontaneous. I love mixing pieces from my favourite high-street stores with items picked up at local antiques shops or markets. I’m a big upcycler and like nothing more than making something we’ve already got fit into a newly decorated space. The house comes into its own at Christmas – and this year I’ll be using lots of colour!’

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.