Monday Inspiration: Beautiful Rooms

Hello everyone and welcome to a new week. Herewith, as ever, a selection rooms that have caught my eye both online and, this week, in real life – with more to follow on Wednesday. No unifying theme this week apart from I loved them all and wanted to share them with you.

@meghan.eisenberg remodelled her grandfathers 1950’s Post and Beam house
@meghan.eisenberg remodelled her grandfathers 1950’s Post and Beam house

First up this lovely kitchen by Meghan Eisenberg who has remodelled her grandfather’s home. It’s great inspiration for anyone who doesn’t have a large kitchen and has no room for an island. I wrote a feature in praise of the galley kitchen for The Times (link here – might be a paywall or a free trial) and while they used to be regarded as a problem to be solved there are lots of things in their favour – not least that everything in within reach. And, as this shows perfectly, you don’t have to stick to pale colours in small rooms if you don’t want to. This has a window, you might have a door as well to bring in even more light.

So, as you can see, the cupboards are a rich dark olive; I’m calling it for this shade of green by the way – dark forests and pale sages have been popular for a while now and I sense olive is about to break through. It looks fabulous with rich cream and pale pink. This green looks great with the dramatic Arabesco marble splashback or try Arabetto from Caesarstone if you prefer a quartz. Yes you can go for a minimal white style but why not choose something fabulous that will bring you joy every time you look at it – and remind you that sometimes life needs a bold decision. The wooden cladding brings another layer of texture and echoes the stripes of the floorboards. The palette is minimal the effect maximal and, just in case you hadn’t noticed, the green lamp base (a traditional table lamp always looks great in a kitchen) and the dark blousey flowers pull the whole room together as they pick up on the cupboards and the rug. This is a masterclass of texture and pattern and one that you could emulate using your own colours.

paint and styling by @atelierellis shot by @horwoodphoto
paint and styling by @atelierellis shot by @horwoodphoto– window in sadhika

The room above belongs to Cassandra Ellis of Atelier Ellis whose paints are a joy of rich, understated elegance. I painted my sitting room in her fallen plum several years ago and I adore it still. Here the walls are one of her soft pinks (try Bell Pink, Faded Blossom or even Solstice) with a pale yellow (Sadhika or Pollen) and I have mentioned several here as pink changes dramatically depending in the the light available becoming darker, more peach and more intense in the more south-facing rooms so you will have to try your own combinations. The point, however, is the yellow window frame with the pale pink walls – a combination I’m dying to try but have yet to bring The Mad Husband on board with and yes he would notice and he would care and he does have opinions. Unfortunately.

vintage bench in the home of @goodboneslondom image by @madaboutthehouse
vintage bench in the home of @goodboneslondon image by @madaboutthehouse

Now for a little trip I made in real life last week to the home of Leanne, @goodboneslondon, who runs a consultancy and vintage shop as well (and she has more things arriving soon). Some of you may remember the room above, which I featured a few weeks ago as Leanne’s home is also used as a location shoot. Well it turns out she lives very close to me and I popped in to have a look at this gorgeous kitchen last week.

First up a shout out for the extension windows, which Leanne deliberately choose over bifolds or crittal as she wanted it to fit with the period of the house and it does, indeed, look like a Victorian orangery. I love this wall of paned glass rather than the more modern frameless or large panes. It is more in keeping and, as Leanne said to me: “I wanted it to look like it had always been there”.

kitchen in the home of @goodboneslondom image by @madaboutthehouse
kitchen of @goodboneslondon image by @madaboutthehouse

This is the main part of the room. Leanne designed the island herself (look out for a range of designs coming soon) and kept a simple row of cupboards all along one side. And I asked, because you may ask, about an extractor fan and, there is a fan in the gap between the ends of the cupboards and the outside wall, which was completely acceptable to building control (check in your own area though as councils and rules will vary). I have heard the same from Tom Pike (husband of my lovely podcasting co-host Sophie Robinson) who is a builder by trade. You don’t have to have a giant wall fitted chimney – a simple fan will do as long as it extracts a certain number of litres of air per second (you’ll need to check the exact numbers) and, I have to say, if I had known this before we fitted our giant cooker hood, I would have done this too.

kitchen in the home of @goodboneslondom image by @madaboutthehouse
kitchen in the home of @goodboneslondon image by @madaboutthehouse

And then it’s the pantry. And what a joy this is. It’s also a clever design, which I shall attempt to describe to you. Essentially it’s a box built in from the entrance hall on one side and an opening which leads to the back half of the sitting room on other other – for those of you in the classic Victorian terrace this would have been a French window leading to the side return. Here, the side return has been built over, the French door opened up to lead to the back half of the sitting room and the pantry sited between these two openings. And, of course, you can make it to fit the space you have. In Leanne’s case it was done to suit the doors she found on eBay. The walls are painted in Paint and Paper Library Muga which sets off the navy gingham check curtains perfectly. And look at all the storage you can have. You could also put a washing machine in here if you didn’t want to have it in the main part of the kitchen but don’t have space upstairs.

pantry in the home of @goodboneslondom image by @madaboutthehouse
pantry in the home of @goodboneslondon image by @madaboutthehouse

Swinging round to the other wall which has been clad in tongue and groove – you don’t need it on all four walls if you don’t want to – and this, like the rest of the room, has been painted in Farrow & Ball Schoolhouse White, it’s a lovely warm milk shade that isn’t too yellow but has some warmth to it. I saw it in both brilliant sunshine and then dark heavy rain – just as I was about to walk out of the front door – so I can vouch for it in different lights. The one other fabulous little style point I wanted to draw your attention to is the Shaker Pegs.

Regular readers will know I love a shaker peg – especially in a child’s room where you can use them for school bags, clothes, picture frames and storage baskets. Here Leanne has painted the pegs and their wooden mount to match the wall so if they are empty they disappear and if things are hanging they double up as decor as well as being practical.

So many ideas to take from this gorgeous kitchen and I hope you feel inspired.

he home of @goodboneslondom image by @madaboutthehouse
the home of @goodboneslondon image by @madaboutthehouse

We’ll finish with a couple of bedroom shots – time for a virtual lie down after all that inspiration – and first up let’s look at all this storage in the Berlin home of Theodora Malik. I appreciate most of you won’t have a French door leading to a balcony in your bedroom but these shelves would work just as well on either side of a window and, actually, if you made them a bit deeper, you could add a bench between the two shelves and create a fabulous window seat, which may be an even better use of space.

bedroom by Theodora Melnik
bedroom by Theodora Melnik 

Lastly, if there is anything to take away from current interiors trends it is this – a headboard is a decorating opportunity waiting to happen. If you paint a shape on the wall, create your own from MDF covered in foam or buy one, we are seeing feature headboards everywhere at the moment. How will you create yours?

Jessica Schuster’s (@jessieschuster ) hotel project The New York-based interior designer re-envisioned a pair of boutique hotels, the @esmehotel and Casa Matanza
Jessica Schuster’s (@jessieschuster ) hotel project The New York-based interior designer re-envisioned a pair of boutique hotels, the @esmehotel and Casa Matanza







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. About 10 years ago, my hubs & I purchased the front screen doors from an arts & crafts church that was being torn down. At 10 ft tall, they couldn’t go just anywhere so they sat in the corner of the dining room. When we moved, we didn’t know what to do with them but couldn’t give them up. Then we realized that we had room behind the bed! I found a lovely silk damask to put behind them and voila! — amazing headboard that wows everyone.

  2. I wish someone would put together a book of Cassandra Ellis interiors. They are always so simple & serene. The only books I can find are from her starting days as a quilter (& they are beautiful designs).

  3. I love the jute rug too, and was wondering the same thing! Never mind, I don’t care. I am inspired. A small one will be great in my galley kitchen. Cheers from Canada!

  4. So lovely to see big glass windows that aren’t bifolds! Nothing says ‘2015’ like a bifold. I love nature and my garden too but how many days are really warm & dry enough to want to have a whole wall missing? French windows are more flexible, more beautiful, are more harmonious with our older homes, and set off plants to perfection. Gorgeous.

  5. All beautiful! Never mind the extractor fan…Am I the only one wondering how that adorable scalloped jute rug will fare in the kitchen? Or does Leanne have something figured out for that, too? (Perhaps she is a tidier cook.)

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