For today’s Real Rooms analysis we are off to West London to this five bedroom house which wass on the market for a shade under £3m via Domus Nova (since I wrote this – yesterday – it is no longer available but this site is rammed with gorgeous luxury property so do visit if you want to see more). The owners have done lots of things right so, in the absence of three million quid burning a hole in our pockets, I thought we’d have a good old poke around and see what’s what.
First up this rather lovely large sitting room. If you’re reading the interiors magazines and keeping your eye on social media, you will know that everyone is banging on about green being the colour of the moment. And it is. At least it isn’t quite of this moment right now but it’s coming.
Which makes this room ahead of the curve and, dare I say this, a rather refreshing change from all that grey. I know – I can’t believe I said that. Anyway, this is lovely – both calm and refreshing, but those olive green chairs are vital to give this room its unexpected edge. Otherwise it might just be a monument to English country good taste which can be a little bit dull.
I’m going to say only two things – I would have stopped the green paint on the picture rail to bring the ceiling down over the edges and make it look larger. And a rug. This room needs a large rug with all the furniture sitting on it. Otherwise, everything is just a little disjointed. Oh and a bigger coffee table. That’s vital to a room of this size.
Mind you in this room they have laid the rug perfectly. All the furniture sits on it and it looks cohesive and comfortable. The leather chair in the corner then sits in its own space and is perfect for someone who perhaps doesn’t want to join the conversation but to read a book in their own space instead. So, I would add a floor lamp by that chair to finish off that little area as well as painting the radiator to match the walls so that it disappears. The chair currently looks as it it has been put there for the sole purpose of hiding it and it’s failing.
Note also the arrangement of pictures – is four a gallery? Either way, they are different sizes, different shapes and with different frames – you don’t need to obsess about getting everything the same. Got some pictures? Hang ’em up.
This home office is great with its vintage, slightly industrial, vibe. I might be tempted to hang all six pictures on the same wall, as this current arrangement is creating a sort of stripe that draws attention to the fact that there’s just blank wall below and that wide radiator would make it hard to add more furniture. So put a second row of pictures between radiator and top row and then you could have more storage on that long wall.
The wall mounted boxes are lovely but I think they are too high – which is also adding to the stripe effect. I would be tempted to bring them down so I could reach their contents from my desk chair. Then I might bring the shelving unit closer to the desk for the same reason, which would fill the space left by the pictures. Then plants. Perhaps some trailing ones sitting on top of the shelves to frame the window and its view. And something tall on the floor. I’m not a fan of spotlights but everyone likes their lighting just so in their workspace, so while I might add more task and table lamps I can see that might not be right for everyone.
More bold choices with the kitchen. I probably would have grey or even a dark green to echo the green used elsewhere in the house but the short point is – don’t just choose boring white. Bring in some personality. Something to spark a little joy when you come in. If you must have white then think about choosing a bold colour for the insides of the cupboards – yes it’s more work but wouldn’t it be lovely every time you opened them?
Now I wanted to show you this bedroom as it’s so restful and lovely. But also to suggest a walk-in wardrobe idea that I have written about before and which would work perfectly in this room. Given that this is a five bedroom house it’s possible that the owners have entire other places to store their gear, but if you have a big master bedroom and aren’t sure if the classic wardrobes in the alcove will work for you there are other options. There is, of course, the wardrobes all along one wall option too – which is great if you have them made well and painted to match the walls and then add cool handles etc.
But in this room you could build a false wall reaching two thirds of the way across between the small window and the bay and use it as a large walk through corridor hanging space. Then put the bed in front – there is plenty of room and you have hidden all the clothes away. If you’re not sure check my post from the link above, which includes measurements.
Finally the bathroom. This is a lesson in why every room needs a bit of wood. Without that vintage crate on the wall this bathroom might be bit soulless – a bit hotel. That crate gives it both character and warmth and brings in some personality. I think it might be slightly too high again – looks as if it’s perfect for banging your head every time you turn round but perhaps not. I might add a little wooden stool underneath for towel draping purposes etc.
That was quite a long tour so I hope that has given you some ideas for your own spaces and some tips on what you can do to improve awkward spaces. Do stick in any questions below. And while I have you here: I am pondering the idea of running a series of masterclasses. At The Mad House. Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Design tips, help with room layout, choosing paint colours and question time. Lunch included. What do you think? I reckon we could fit six people at a time in the loft/studio. Let me know what you think in the comments below and if it seems like a good idea then I’ll work up a proper schedule and price list. For those of you who don’t know – it would be in North London – easy access from Kings Cross and Euston stations.
I hope to hear from you. Have lovely weekends and I’ll see you back here on Monday.