Step inside this festive Victorian home in west London

Take a tour of this Christmas-ready Victorian home, chosen by Homes & Gardens magazine. For more inspiring ideas, visit

1/10 Exterior


(Image credit: Future PLC/ Emma Lewis)

Christmas is a distinctly international affair in this Victorian home set in a leafy area of west London. She is French, he is half Argentinian and, not surprisingly, their beautiful, evocative home is filled with fabrics, furniture and objets brought back from far-flung corners of the world. ‘The agent sent us details of this four-bedroom house by mistake, but we thought it was really charming and, when we viewed it, were immediately smitten by the green views from every window. It felt as if the house was set in its own little bit of countryside in the middle of London.’

2/10 Red and white living room

living room with red sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Emma Lewis)

The building was in a reasonable state of repair, but the interior decoration needed to be refreshed and the couple also wanted to excavate the basement so they could add a kitchen extension. The work took longer than expected but, eventually, the dust settled and the task of redecorating began. The generous dimensions of the rooms are tailor-made for the host of warm, exotic colours: a bold shade of red in the Moroccan rug and in the sofa’s upholstery set the colour theme for the ground-floor family living room. The owner bought the small antique sofa when she realised that it was a perfect fit for the bay window.

Blinds and upholstery

Robert Kime
Coffee table
Indigo Antiques

3/10 Inviting living room

Inviting living room with eclectic patterns

(Image credit: Future PLC / Emma Lewis)

A part-wall separates the family living room and dining room, and a short flight of steps leads down into the new kitchen at the back of the house. The owners have indulged in their love of joyful colour and pattern to decorate all three spaces. 'We love being surrounded by colour and feel uplifted by it.'

Striped fabric

Robert Kime

4/10 Elegant dining room

Traditional dining room with leopard print curtain

(Image credit: Future PLC /Emma Lewis)

A generously swagged leopard-print velvet curtain lends an exotic touch to the dining room, which the owner describes as 'a cosy, luxurious space'. A set of antique painted chairs were bought at Bonhams to sit with the antique table, which came from her husband's bachelor home. 'We usually open our presents on Christmas Eve in true French style and end the day with a big family meal, with a box of macaroons from Ladurée to give everyone a little taste of home at the end of the evening.'


Colefax and Fowler

5/10 Pale blue kitchen

Pale blue kitchen with star pendants

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Emma Lewis)

During the work to create the new kitchen, 'the space had no roof and there was rubble everywhere. It felt as if we were living in a war zone,' recalls the owner. Today, a number of Moroccan-inspired, star-shaped lanterns illuminate the newly finished extension. 'I’d seen these lights used individually,' says the owner, 'but thought they would look stunning grouped together. Everyone who comes to the house says how much they love the effect they create.'

Star lanterns
Bespoke kitchen cabinetry
Tim Higham

6/10 Kitchen and dining room steps

Kitchen corner with American style fridge

(Image credit: Future PLC / Emma Lewis)

It takes just a sprinkling of traditional Christmas decorations - a sprig of ivy here, a lavish arrangement of fruit and seedheads there - to make the house feel festive. The kitchen, with its ceiling already decorated with the numerous star-shaped lanterns, is the perfect setting for the couple's annual cocktail party, with guests encouraged to move between the adjoining rooms throughout the evening.

Belgrave Place
Wall paint
Skimming Stone, Farrow & Ball

7/10 Festive landing

Festive landing with Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future PLC /Emma Lewis)

With an eye on decorative effects at all times, the owner likes to place the Christmas tree so that it can be enjoyed from all angles. As you wander through the house, your eye catches one decorative delight after another from countries as far afield as Morocco and Burma. 'I like to combine different influences and to use them in a way that makes a room look anything but predictable.'

Similar runner
Roger Oates
Indigo Antiques

8/10 Green living room

Green living room with large-scale wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC / Emma Lewis)

The owner's aunt and an interior designer friend both encouraged her to use bold areas of pattern and it has helped to transform the house, she says. Their recommendation of a large-scale wallpaper in a subtle mint shade, for instance, was the basis for the colour scheme in the first-floor living room and, naturally, it chimes with the owner's choice of white tree decorations at Christmas.


Robert Kime

9/10 Green living room fireplace

Festive living room with marble fireplace

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Emma Lewis)

'The bespoke upholstered stool turned out to be rather larger than we intended,' says the owner, 'but it's a happy accident as it has turned into a very sociable form of seating.' At this time of year, a richly decorated swag of greenery, fir cones and lotus pods decorates the antique marble fire surround, which was installed to give the room a handsome focus.

Bespoke upholstered stool

Howe London
Vintage sari cushions
Guinevere Antiques
Simon Lycett

10/10 Main bedroom

Bright bedroom with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Emma Lewis)

The colourful floral fabric used on the walls of the main bedroom was another suggestion by the owner's aunt and interior designer friend. 'Our bedroom is perhaps the grandest room in the house,' she says of its generous dimensions and good light levels. The fabric-covered walls subsequently inspired the owner to use aqua paint shades for the woodwork and terracotta highlights for the upholstery of the Oriental bench.

Wall fabric

Similar upholstered headboard
The Headboard Workshop

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.