Victorian Townhouse, London
This house is a period Victorian London home in Chiswick, West London. Alison and her husband Paul bought the house as a renovation project and but have carried out the works over time, as she really wanted to get a feel for how they use and live in the space. It’s home to Alison, an Interior Designer and her husband Paul, a Television and Film cameraman and their two Siberian tree cats.
The house was a strange mix of styles when they moved in. It had a lot of orange pine everywhere, and the tired kitchen and all the original floorboards were stained orange pine too. Each room also had a feature wall painted in a fluorescent primary colour, which wasn’t to their taste, but beyond the riot of colours they could see it had good proportions, tall ceilings and period features.
The renovation started with space planning and they knocked through the separate front and back living rooms to provide a large, lighter double reception space, we use one end for reading and relaxing and the other for watching TV, but it’s great to have both spaces within one room. They extended the kitchen to provide a dining area with direct access to the garden, a large master bedroom, and as they both work from home sometimes, a study / snug room that doubles up as a guest bedroom as well.
Alison wanted to retain as many of the original features as she could so they left all the fireplaces, and original floorboards but these were painted in chalky whites in most rooms that reflect the light . They’re not perfect but they do have character and Alison likes that and the simple laid back look they provide. We also added paneling throughout the hall and landings to give the bland walkways some interest.
The rooms are decorated in neutral colours ranging from soft white, mid greys to charcoal with black and white accents. I enjoy a restful style using natural materials wherever possible, but like to use combinations of texture to provide interest; for example simple materials like linen, some velvets, sisal rugs, metal, antique mirror glass and marble that all contrast well with each other.
For furnishing Alison used a mix of vintage and new pieces. They have some antique leather 1920s chairs and a deco style sofa that were inherited in the living room, which work well mixed with newer pieces, for example a charcoal grey modern style chesterfield sofa and antique mirror glass coffee table. In the kitchen there is a distressed zinc dining kitchen table, a retro copper topped office desk, and also a large collection of vintage mirrors. Alison really likes decorating with mirrors and uses them a lot throughout the house, particularly large floor to wall standing mirrors in dark corners that really help to move the light around the space.
They also have some original French antique mirrors that were sourced on ebay and Columbia Road Market. She mixed these with modern convex mirrors as she likes mixing styles. They also reupholstered a lot of old furniture pieces to give them a new lease of life instead of buying new. She also upholstered Ikea and other high street purchased to make them more special.
The neutral and grey wall colours provide a perfect back drop for our art. We’ve collected a lot of varied art and posters from travels over the years, these aren’t necessarily expensive but are great memories of various holidays and trips, and we particularly like quite monochromatic style pieces and photography, but mix these with old map prints as well Alison says. The office showcases these.
The Master Bedroom scheme was inspired by a trip to Stockholm where there was an exhibition of the work of Karl Bossfeldt at the Fotografiska Museet. Alison sourced some prints herself and she has covered the entire wall above the bed, as she loves the simple almost architectural structure of these photos.
The bathroom is quite simple and elegant, with a subtle monochromatic theme in the detailing of the blind and shower curtain. It has a retro feel complimented by the Calacatta retro marble tiles and vertical paneling detail.
The kitchen is the most used room in the house and most evenings are spent here. It’s a casual space complete with freestanding marble kitchen island, and perfect in the summer as the French limestone floor leads out onto the courtyard garden. The long wall behind the table provided a great space for the cutlery artwork by Tracey Kendall sourced from a Columbia Road gallery.
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