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When a well-meaning friend remarked that their home looked ‘lived-in’, the owners of this four-storey Victorian house decided it was time for a change. Their four children were growing up, so it might have been an appropriate opportunity to downsize. Instead, they went for a rip-to-the-rafters rebuild. The once poky entrance hall is now a bright vestibule where creamy limestone flooring stretches as far as the eye can see.
With the help of interior designer Harriet Forde, the owners 'reinvented the house for the 21st century', swapping the worn gentility of a much-loved family home for a more polished, grown-up interior. Old furniture was jettisoned in favour of bold new pieces that reflect the confident feel of the redecorated house.
Bespoke coffee table
Adam Williams Design
'We had done bits over the 19 years we'd lived here, but the house had so many flaws,' the owners explain. 'The extension was dark, there were awkward steps and uneven floors and the basement was a rabbit warren.' Architect Simon Baker originally proposed rebuilding the wonky 1960s extension at the back of the house but, as discussions deepened, the family opted for a more radical overhaul that would totally reconfigure the space, introducing light, volume and a more 'logical circulation' into the once higgledy-piggledy Victorian interior.
With the floors newly levelled, bespoke furniture, carefully selected artworks and soft, powdery hues now combine to create a restful, composed air throughout the house.
Mindful that children are more likely to stay at home for longer in these challenging economic times, the owners wanted the redesign to suit an older family. The layout of the basement space was streamlined and the windows enlarged to lighten what is now a live-work space for parents and grown children alike.
Next door to the main bedroom, a guest bedroom was transformed into a dressing room lined with buttery pale cupboards.
The dense greenery and stony textures in the new garden echo the quiet tones of sage green, bronze and putty in silks and seagrasses found within, helping to create a seamless link between house and garden.
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