Tour this elegant townhouse in London

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  • Bold colours and inspiring decorative displays have turned this townhouse from an unloved rental into an elegant and personal family home. “The house was a sea of magnolia with beige laminate flooring but as soon as I walked into it, I thought ‘this is amazing’. It just needed some personality,” says the owner, who had files full of pictures torn out of magazines to inspire her and her friend and interior designer, Henriette von Stockhausen of VSP Interiors.

    A sliding door leads from the reception room into the library at the back of the house, where a matching fire surround and a continuation of the Oak Landmark Saltram flooring by Solid Floor helps to improve the sense of communication between the two rooms.

    “We had great fun designing the study,” says the owner. “I’m mad about pattern and this Rosey Posey Trellis wallpaper in Pink Ginger by Anna Spiro for Porters Paints makes me smile as soon as I walk through the door.”

    “The owner wanted something classic and grown-up but with a touch of irreverence,” says Henriette, who has answered the brief with immaculately. In the guest bathroom, for example, the walls are lined with Cole & Son’s Hummingbirds wallpaper.

    “I’ve always secretly wanted a four-poster bed,” says owner of her choice of luxuriously heavy curtained bed, which is also dressed with a throw from Guinevere.

    The adjoining bathroom is another of her favourite rooms, for the textured wallpaper – Acacia grasscloth in Ballet Slipper, by Ralph Launen.

    Instead of painting her daughter’s bedroom walls all pink, the owner followed Henriette’s advice of restricting the dark pink paint to the walls inside the built-in bookshelves. “It’s such a clever way of injecting colour into an otherwise delicate decorating scheme,” she says.

    To give the guest room a smartly defined style, even on those rare occasions when it’s not in use, Henriette has used smartly tailored headboards and a classic blue and white colour scheme.

    Another friend, interior designer Annie Rice, helped with the reorganisation of the lower ground floor. Now, an open-plan kitchen with a sitting and dining area. “We recycled the existing handmade kitchen by repainting the cabinets, putting on new worktops and adding an island,” she says.

    The dated conservatory, on the other hand, has been replaced by an orangery with sliding glass doors that lead out into the garden beyond.

    Images: Homes & Gardens/Mark Bolton

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