The owner of this house is not a fully committed minimalist, but likes a neutral colour palette with Eastern influences inspired by her travels, monochrome fashion photography and lots of textures. After meeting her husband she was able to unleash her creative vision on their new home.
They chose Sunderland as it’s close to the sea and is located between their jobs in Teesside and Newcastle. ‘I’d made up my mind before we viewed it, as I’m quite impulsive. My childhood home was Victorian so I felt that connection straight away. I was blown away by the grandeur, so could see past the browny beige decor downstairs and lilac floral bedroom wallpaper.’
Finding a common interior style was no easy task. ‘My husband would paint the whole house yellow, pink and blue if he could. The study on the top floor is his domain so that’s where his 1970s brown corduroy sofa now lives. Although every decision has been made together, luckily he’s happy for me to take the lead!’
Having spent three years creating a cohesive look throughout the house, a bathroom makeover is next on the cards. ‘My ideas range from minimal to Art Deco so I’m excited to finalise my plans,’ she says. Despite its size, the house is unlikely to be their last. ‘We have the perfect location, the perfect house and the perfect neighbours. But we don’t have a garden so that’ll be the reason we eventually move.’
‘It took a year to get this room exactly how I wanted. The starting point was the coffee table for displaying my photography books. At first I hated the panelling as it was painted terracotta, but now it’s the same colour as the walls, I love it. The windows were a bit over-dressed before with huge curtain swags and pelmets, so we replaced them with simple black velvet. If you have a monochrome home, you need to add interest and depth through textures.’
After impulsively creating a library/ second sitting room that rarely got used, this is now a multi-functional space where the owner works in the daytime and the couple also eat, read and listen to music.
‘I wanted a table with a central pedestal so there are no legs to get in the way,’ she says. ‘The dark wood really grounds the scheme.’
While the show-stopping front sitting room is the owner's favourite space, the room that’s seen the biggest transformation is the black kitchen idea. ‘Before it had country cottage style units, beige travertine tiles and black granite worktops that sucked out all the light. We’d intended to wait five years, but replaced it after a year as we hated being in there.’
After removing the faux chimney breast and installing black aluminium windows, a new kitchen was created by Matthew McCrossan Furniture. The kitchen is all about minimal clean lines. The owner didn’t even want handles on the the two ovens, so they’re retractable.
‘I thought we couldn’t afford a bespoke kitchen but Matthew explained it’s just a series of boxes. I’d wanted simple dark kitchen units with marble worktops since I was 21, and he totally nailed my vision.’
‘Having a budget of £800 for this room really focused my mind. The centrepiece is the pine four-poster bed which I’ve painted black.’ The second hand cabinets were originally a red mahogany colour. The owner painted them black and used Rub ’n Buff to bring out the gold detailing.
‘Influenced by social media we originally painted this room black but it looked hideous' explains the owner of her now grey bedroom idea. Next we tried silk effect wallpaper but the decorator did a poor job. Now it’s a very simple, calm sanctuary, with sharp clean Art Deco lines that really appeals to me.'
'I love the Art Deco feel of the lamp. It’s a style that influenced the Victorians, so works well in the house.’
White, bright and simple, with just the greenery of the house plant ideas to bring a hint of colour. ‘We plan to renovate the bathroom so it links better to the rest of the house. Our first job will be adding a new centralised window.’
‘While most people would go for white wardrobes, I have a masculine edge to my style so wanted more of a dark cocooning gentlemen’s style dressing room.’ Creating a walk-in wardrobe idea to store clothes in style.
‘With a beige carpet alongside a mahogany bannister and spindles, the hallway felt too brown before. Painting the stairs black, against the advice of my decorator, adds a nice contrast to the pale walls' says the owner of this chic staircase idea.
See more of this house @number4onthepark on Instagram.
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