Design house: A hard-working and elegant Victorian family home
Two households combined to live in this newly renovated Victorian property, demonstrating perfectly how a finely tuned family home can be both hard-working and elegant
An unexpected proposal dramatically changed the owners life, prompting a move to a larger property with her new husband, and their collective offspring. Their Victorian house in Barnes needed extensive renovation, and the owner was both project manager and designer.
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'I’d spent four years planning and building my last home, and had only lived in it for a short time. Nevertheless, I was excited about creating a new home with my husband. I’d gathered masses of experience over the years which paved the way for my business, Mason Designs (masondesigns.co.uk). I also brought in my trusted builders, Voytex Construction and was helped with the lighting scheme by John Cullen Lighting,' she says.
'Because I am half Norwegian, my work has a definite Scandinavian influence. I’m drawn to neutral, calming colours and natural textures so you’ll see my love of linen, wood, natural stone with some rattan and bamboo thrown in too. My style is fresh and modern, but I’m not afraid of mixing old and new,' the owner explains.
'For me, functionality and design always have to work together. I like to respect the style of the house and adapt it to fit a family’s lifestyle. I believe the whole house should flow and connect rather than approaching just one room at a time. You can see this in the paint I’ve chosen. I’ve taken the colour scheme up through the house and wanted to ensure that it all blends. I also like every room to be as fully used or as visible as possible. Even when our more formal sitting room is not being used, it can be admired through the interior windows from the hall,' she gushes.
One of the biggest challenges they faced was merging two large households and family histories, so the couple carefully selected pieces of furniture they both loved that would blend and connect their lives.
This area off the entrance hall is so called because it connects the sitting room and the kitchen. It has been fitted with elegant floor-to-ceiling built-in storage cupboards.
‘I love to have big, statement lampshades,’ says the owner. ‘This ceiling light is one of my favourites. When lit, the light filters through the bamboo creating tiny shadows around the room.’
Her builders made bespoke fitted furniture out of the same wood as used for the flooring on the ground level and first floor.
A long work desk was made from a piece of walnut reclaimed from her previous home in Battersea. The ceiling beams were exposed and sanded down for a rustic, warming look. A large corner sofa maximises the space for relaxation.
‘I love this grey-green paint which has been especially chosen to reflect the greenery of the garden,’ she explains.
‘I wanted to avoided shiny surfaces so I had the front of the kitchen storage cupboards fitted with chicken wire instead of glass,’ says the owner.
Crittal-style windows add a timeless elegance that is softened by the use of rattan and natural fabrics.
‘Our bedroom combines my love of earthy textures, as found in the rattan rug, combined with a Scandinavian mid-century feel,’ she explains.
A statement light fitting and deep stone bath are the star features in this functional and unfussy bathroom. Floor-to-ceiling cupboards in her favourite green-grey shade offer built-in shelves and rattan baskets underneath the basin store towels.
Photography ⁄Richard Powers
Builders ⁄Voytex Construction
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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