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The owners of this Victorian end-of-terrace house in south London live here with their four children. The impressive building is Grade II listed and, in a former life, was a public house called The City of Gloucester. It was a regular watering hole for the Chelsea Pensioners from the nearby Royal Hospital.
These days it is an impressive family home. The large rooms consist of an entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, study, library, utility room, cloakroom, play room, five bedrooms (one en-suite), two bathrooms, a dressing room as well as a studio. Although the house has been in the family since the 1950s the owners have put their own stamp on it by lovingly restoring the decoration to Victorian-esque glory.
Despite living in the heart of London, the family celebrates Christmas in a village-like atmosphere. 'We walk to our local church on Christmas Day because the children's school is connected to it, then we usually have our close family around for lunch. With up to 16 to cater for, the owners hire an extra-large table for the occasion. Perhaps it is its previous life as a pub that makes this house so well equipped for entertaining.
On the ground floor, the property features a window on the corner face of the exterior, bringing lots of light into this narrow hallway space. A smart radiator cover, umbrella stand and a grand run of cupboards keep everything neat and tiny, providing lots of handy storage.
The owners stripped out the existing 1970s laminate kitchen and transformed the room back into a Victorian-style parlour, complete with bespoke, solid wood cabinets painted in a glorious emerald green. The new kitchen lacks all the expected mod cons, such as soft-close drawers, pop-up electric sockets or boiling-water taps. All the elements together evoke the upstairs-downstairs appeal of the Victorian era.
The Belfast sink and large range cooker are in keeping with the building's period. The pale off-white walls temper the vivid green of the kitchen units and the utilitarian feel of the stainless-steel range and cooker hood, keeping the feel in the kitchen warm and homely. 'We also chose old-fashioned lino for the flooring,' say the owners. 'It is hardwearing and warm underfoot.'
The couple inherited the antique sofa in the living room, now upholstered in a vintage fabric. Above it hangs a French mirror and, each December, a host of Victorian paper angel decorations flutter around the frame, as they would have in a traditional Victorian home at Christmas. The family have set a magnificent tree near the window and decorated it with a selection of vintage and home-made decorations.
Similar antique mirror
Alexander & Pearl
0Similar antique sofa
Soothing blue walls and an eclectic collection of sofas and armchairs arranged around a roaring fire give the living room an inviting and relaxed vibe. Even with high ceilings and elaborate plasterwork, the space has a cosy feel. Elaborate green fringed curtains make a star of the window. 'We love the amazing views from the living room,' say the owners.
Similar wooden chairs
This elegant dining room is perfect for Christmas entertaining. A soft neutral paint shade keeps the walls and panelling subtle yet refined. Typically festive foliage of ivy and red berries has been artfully draped along a mantel shelf and gold picture frame.
The library is rich with crimson damask wallpaper, mahogany furniture and shelves filled with an impressive collection of antique books. The white fireplace and built-in book shelves provide a contrast that makes the red walls even bolder. An impressive portrait draws the eye to the mantel centrepiece. 'Passers-by who look through the window might well think this room is a Dickensian film set!'
Floor-to-ceiling curtains elegantly dress the window, while a pretty rose-head bedspread continues the feminine look and provides a modern update to the traditional mismatching furniture. The curved alcove is a stylish feature that makes a prime spot for the bed and bedside lights.
Tall ceilings provide plenty of room for fun wall art in the children's rooms. The crisp simplicity of the white painted bedroom furniture complements the patterned wallaper and prevents the decorating scheme from overwhelming the space.
A modern glass table fits snugly under a sloping wall in the craft studio. One of the owners of the property is a designer and she uses this room to make lampshades for her business. The walls are decorated with bright fabric swatches and photographs for inspiration. It's a light-filled space with double glazed doors (not shown) that open out on to a sunny terrace.
Where Did You Get That Light?
In the en-suite bathroom, an eye-catching wallpaper from a vintage archive makes a bold and beautiful statement around the top of the walls. Period-style wall lights illuminate a central mirror over the Victorian-style basin. A traditional radiator is also in keeping with the room's period style. The simple net cafe curtain makes a retro alternative to frosted glazing.
The Original Morris & Co