The refurbishment of this imposing period property was a rather daunting project for the owners – a newscaster and her husband. ‘The scale was quite intimidating,’ she says. Original features, such as marble fireplaces, stone floors and ornate cornicing, were among the many details that appealed to the couple when they were house hunting.
They chose a neutral palette for the lower floors of the house to make the most of the light and to allow the historic embellishments to shine. In the basement, where the large kitchen and utility rooms were situated, the dark stone floor was restored to reveal welcoming brown and yellow tones that infuse the space with warmth.
Textural details and eye-catching accessories make this house so much more than a welcoming cream with white and chocolate colour scheme. ‘It’s a comfortable space that appears very subtle at first,’ says the owner, ‘but the deeper you delve, the more intriguing it becomes.’
The owner delights in weaving quirky embellishments into each room. They are conversation points that draw you in and make you want to linger and find out more. Royal memorabilia, such as cups in the bathroom, provide a subtle yet kitsch counterpoint to more traditional elements of the scheme. ‘I’m always on the lookout for pieces at antiques fairs and flea markets,’ says the owner. ‘Most of the things I buy have a meaning, whether they make me feel happy, or remind me of a family member or even a place we’ve visited.’
There is, says the owner, a story attached to most of the decorative decisions she has made and it is her collection of various portraits that hang on the walls throughout the property that intrigues the most, including the affectionately nicknamed ‘Edna’ who commands attention in the dressing room.
In the sitting room (pictured) cream and grey fabrics have been teamed with antique and vintage pieces in rich chocolate browns to create a pleasing sense of flow. The leather pouffe and wooden bowl were found on the owners’ travels to Marrakesh.
Antique gilt mirror
Monty’s of Clifton
A French-Moroccan chandelier adds a note of drama to this simply furnished space, which overlooks the garden at the back of the house. The portrait of a vicar from a local church presides over the room. ‘There are pictures of people I don’t know all over the house, which I
absolutely love,’ says the owner. ‘The pleasure comes from imagining the story
behind each one – embracing the unexpected and enjoying the mystery.’
In the smart sitting room, a cream sofa creates an elegant break between dining and living areas. An old trunk complete with travel stickers serves as a characterful coffee table.
The restored stone floor was a real find. ‘The walls down here in the basements are very thick,’ says the owner, ‘which makes it the perfect spot for parties and playing music.’ Tactile rugs, cushions and upholstery keep the space cosy.
Scrubbed floors and metro wall tiles create a practical utility space. A recycled Fortnum & Mason hamper has found new purpose as a laundry basket.
Maisons du Monde
An old pub seat takes centre stage, with antler heads the owners bought on Ebay helping to complete the club room look. The classic blue-green wall colour gives the room a very special feel. An old crate is put to good use for storing muddy wellingtons.
Pigeon by Farrow and Ball
Bold yellow walls in the couple’s bedroom were inspired by a visit to a local stately home. The beautiful wooden floor was discovered by chance when the couple peeled back a corner of the carpet soon after they moved in. ‘We sanded the boards and find the yellow tones really complement the wall colour.’
And So To Bed
Yellow Ground by Farrow and Ball
This pared-back space on the top floor has been kept purposefully simple, with no pictures on the walls, for quiet contemplation. The white ceiling and walls bring out the rich dark tones of the beautiful flooring.