The Househunter: Room by Room

10th November 2017

And it’s nearly the weekend again already. Let’s start of this week’s house tour with this riot of Georgian colour below.

It’s a Grade II listed Georgian house in Clerkenwell which is on the market with Marsh & Parsons for £2.15m. This house may be familiar to some of you as the home of Paul Brewster and Shaun Clarkson, owners of the fabulous Pitfield London.

The house, a former milk dairy, appeared in Living etc some years ago and I also interviewed Paul for a feature on Georgian architecture that I wrote for the Financial Times back in 2013 as part of a series on London.

The couple had to restore the home from the offices it had been converted into and worked closely with The Georgian Society to create the home you see today.  “We tracked down original Georgian doors and had them altered to fit, we found floorboards and opened up fireplaces. When we found a little stretch of panelling, we had it copied and used it up the stairs. We have tried to remain completely within the spirit of the Georgian home,” Paul told me for the piece.

They painted the walls in the basement, where the kitchen is located, dark grey and took it two-and-a-half shades lighter with each floor. This is the perfect foil to the bright contemporary furniture they have installed. “Georgian colours were really bright, it’s just that they have faded so we don’t think of them that way,” said Paul, who also found vintage Georgian chairs and covered them with a geometric black-and-white fabric by Verner Panton. They have referenced the original dairy in the kitchen, which has freestanding Georgian shop fittings as cupboards, and a mix of marble and stainless steel.

I have never forgotten that tactic of choosing a colour for the ground floor and taking it gradually lighter as you go up and have suggested it to many clients over the years.

I adore the exuberance of the decor and while this bathroom is a little too much for me, I admire the creativity of it. Shaun Clarkson is an interior designer and you can see more of his work here. In addition to that the bedroom and downstairs rooms are much calmer – essentially soft greys or black and white with blue accents in various shades.

There is much to be inspired by here but if all that colour is a little too much do you want to just pop into this four bedroom house in Wandsworth, which is on with Savills for £1,750,000 and, after the colour above, seems a little restrained suddenly.

Although I suspect in real life that that gorgeous grey flowered sofa is anything but restrained and is, indeed, quite a bold choice. I don’t think we choose enough patterned furniture, opting, instead, more often to buy more sensible colours and jazz it up with cushions. But perhaps it should be the other way round. This sofa has both orange and green in it both of which would bring a little exuberance in the form of cushions but you could also take it back down with ivory and grey plain ones. So it turns out to be a more versatile choice than you might, at first, imagine.

The key to this grey kitchen is the wooden floor and doors which offsets the metal bar stools and shiny island. This brings warmth and character to what could otherwise be a little cold and industrial.

And it’s good to see wallpaper used as the designer intended – wrapping round all four walls. I love this lotus paper by Farrow & Ball but you know what would give this room a little more definition? Dark windows and door frame and/or a dark grey bed. That would bring a little punch to the space and really make that design pop. You could then add green or pink or more grey as the mood took you. If you didn’t fancy painting the windows – and I get that – then dark bedside lamps might be the solution.

I’m always banging on about it but something new, something old, something black and something gold – by which I mean metallic so this room scores on that. It just needs the black – which could be charcoal to finish it off – because I’m going to assume that the bedside table is old/vintage.

So there you have this week’s selection. Shades of Grey or Riots of Colour? Which one would you buy?

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  • ekco bathrooms 13th November 2017 at 8:52 am

    Its great article… i like it

  • DD 10th November 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Just KNOW that Messrs Brewster & Clarkson would be brilliant fun at a party, but I couldn’t live with that level of pattern and colour. It’s making my eyes bleed. And yet I find it preferable to the house below. How does that work??!

  • Taste of France 10th November 2017 at 11:56 am

    You are spot-on about the bedroom. It’s nice and calm and zen, but nearly washed out. A little black would do wonders.

  • Nicola Powell 10th November 2017 at 8:14 am

    While I would usually love the second home, after seeing Paul Brewster and Shaun Clarkson’s home it does seem VERY restrained! Thanks for sharing this with us.

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