Beautiful Rooms: Inspiration for the new House

We’ve been in the new house for nearly three weeks now. We’ve changed the locks, fitted an alarm, and gathered quotes for the kitchen, shower room and bathroom. We’ve (I say “we” I’m being inclusive!) designed all the wardrobes and storage and drawn it all out on graph paper to make sure it fits. I’ve gathered tile samples, flooring samples and paint samples. I have quotes for new windows (boo hiss – we had hoped to stave that off for a couple of years) and for new radiators throughout.

shoot factory blythe
shoot factory blythe

This has meant some plans have changed (bye bye parquet, hello sanded and stained floorboards I loved you all along really). We have costed it all out, bar one flooring condundrum and the exact dimensions of some kitchen shelving, and we are ready to start. The decorator/joiner should come soon (he is finishing off another job) and the downstairs work begins after Christmas.

hallway at Lucy Williams house
hallway at Lucy Williams house

I’m not going to share the exact details of what we are doing yet – we still have to tangle with the council to obtain the paperwork for changing two rotten windows into a set of French doors – but I have had a collection of saved photographs in my Instagram settings since last March. Today’s beautiful rooms give you a sense of where we are headed with this house.

room by @designandthat
room by @designandthat

That said, some of these pictures are there because of a colour or a finish. Some may be there because of a shape or a layout. Some for a shelf bracket or skirting board detail. This is very much an overview. And in the meantime I think I have nailed down a colour scheme – none of which you see here – but which is going to involve a particular shade of paint that I’m not entirely sure exists.

kitchen design by max rollit
made by @artichoke_ltd and designed by @max_rollitt

All in all it’s a bit of a tease. But I will show you room by room as we wrestle this house back from its shuttered, greyness to a place that is warm, rich in texture and colour, and has – she says plaintively regarding the unpacked boxes that litter every room – a place for everything and everything in its place.

house via inigo
house via inigo 

Stick with me the journey will soon begin.

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. Hooray! Amazing. You are such an inspiration (as are these images). I look forward to seeing each and every room in all its’ glorious detail.

  2. I could live with any of these rich, warm rooms. So if yours ends up anything similar to these, I heartily approve! Cheers from Canada!

  3. Keen to see the process as much as the results, having been in situ in my ‘new’ abode for two years without even a plan of action as yet. Fully expect to be super-inspired by your refurb adventure! Heading over to your IG account right now… 🙂

  4. Yes!! I can see it in my “Mind’s Eye” Kate. Really looking forward to this journey. Thanks for sharing.

  5. “The decorator/joiner should come soon (he is finishing off another job) and the downstairs work begins after Christmas.”

    But did he specify which Christmas? Love those fluted glass kitchen cabinets! Good luck.

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