10 Beautiful Rooms

lokal hotel in philadelphia by jerseyicecreamco
lokal hotel in philadelphia interiors by jerseyicecreamco image by Heidis Bridge Photography

No particular theme this week, just a collection of 10 Beautiful Rooms to set you up for the day. The first two are from a new hotel in Philadelphia called the Lokal, which was decorated by my current favourites the Jersey Ie Cream Co, who have featured on these pages before.

stay lokal in philadelphia image by heidisbridge photography
stay lokal in philadelphia image by heidisbridge photography interiors by jersey ice cream co

I love this rich blue that they have used for the kitchen island and also the windows. I have been trying to persuade a client to paint the window frames and skirting boards dark and she wasn’t convinced. I think this picture should do the talking for me.

blue kitchen island via
blue kitchen island via

Talking of blue kitchen islands, this one belongs a house in San Francisco that recently sold via Sothebys. The blue, white and marble feels modern rather than cliched and I love the open cupboards on the island. One day, if I ever replace my Ikea island with one that is made from wood I might do this.

open plan kitchen via shootfactory
open plan kitchen via shootfactory

More dark window frames in this house from the locations agency The Shoot Factory. I love that the RSJ supporting beam has been left uncovered and painted dark as well. It helps to zone the space. This bathroom belongs to the same house. Not necessarily one we can copy as it’s huge but I love the vintage touches of ladder, furniture and old anatomy poster. You don’t have to have a massive room to make a cool space but thinking about the small details can make all the difference.

fleur via shootfactory
fleur via shootfactory

Similar colours for this kitchen below which is all white with wood and a few black accents. It’s classic and timeless and always works. Remember my failsafe mantra Something new, something old, something black and something gold. Admittedly I can’t see the metallic in this room but it’s a kitchen, there are bound to be some.


This kitchen below is also very plain, this time in black and white but the chopping boards bring a hint of warmth to it. I love the dark outside wall too which links the two spaces so well.

white marble kitchen via shoot factory
white marble kitchen via shoot factory

Moving from blue to green in this kitchen via JJLocations which is full of plants. The Mad Husband thinks we have reached peak house plant. I have mentioned before how he keeps giving the fiddle leaf fig the side eye and ever so slightly crossly brushing past it when he goes to the garden but, despite his best efforts, it seems to be flourishing although it’s not quite as impressive as this handsome beast.

the pump house available for shoots via jj locations
the pump house available for shoots via jj locations

Finally, Ellen de Generes is a brilliant interior designer who has gained a reputation for doing fabulous houses and selling them. She written a book on it too. This is one of her houses which is currently for sale via Sothebys – take the full tour via the link in the images.

via sothebys homes reception room
monochrome sitting room via sotheby’s international

It’s all rather muted and soft and lovely and I particularly love this mix of modern stainless steel with rustic wooden cupboards in the kitchen. Although I have a feeling this might be the guest kitchen, or the garden kitchen or, at any rate, not the main one which is bigger but, to my mind, less lovely.

ellen's kitchen via sothebyshomes
ellen de generes kitchen for sale via sothebyshomes

And, this week, a bonus – her verandah, deck, terrace, loggia  – call it what you will. It’s officially British Summer Time and I, for one, would spend a happy summer lounging here drinking, coffee and rosé depending on the time of day. Anyone want to come and sit with me?




Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Hello Kate!

    My fist comment but I come here everyday and sometimes during the weekend too! *facepalm* hahaha

    I really like the first white kitchen because yes it it white but it feels rich, not bland and I can see how different people could dress it up differently. On the things we can’t change often I tend to appreciate timeless looks, because everything else ends up annoying me eventually (hello and I’m sorry wallpaper).

    Just a note. Is Ellen really an interior designer? She hires one I assume and maybe an architect too. I know why you described her like that but I bet she doesn’t do any technical drawings or spends hours studying layouts and working around with budget constraints. She works on “the look”. I mention this because most people already think interior design is just picking pillows and furniture without realizing the amount of work it takes in order to have everything looking nice and functioning properly.

  2. Kate

    I’ll come out to play, with you and Carol, on that loggia- but only after we get some comfy sun-loungers and armchairs. It’s beautiful but, while I find the bench lovely to look at, I suspect that it’s probably not conducive to lingering…

    And don’t beat me – but I don’t warm to any of the rooms, except the bathroom. I seem to be going through a “pretty and cosy” stage at present and they all look so uninviting. Even Ellen’s smaller kitchen was ruined for me by all that stainless steel on the island: am I turning into Mary Berry?? I think it’s the Victorian vibe in my new flat…

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