In a week where Britain sweltered in a heatwave, we saw one very nice house…. to paraphrase Gogglebox. I started off thinking we should head to the seaside, but then I popped in here on my virtual way to the coast and my heart was lost. It’s a Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in the best Grade I listed Georgian square in the country and it’s arranged over five storeys totalling more than 4,000sq ft.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that that’s why it costs £2,750,000 (with Inigo) and given that that means that most of us (!) can’t afford to actually buy then this is the only way we’re going to get in for a look around. But oh does it have some wonderful rooms and colour lessons for us.
There are also many more pictures than I can show you here so do have a look around the rest – I have tried to pull out the ones that might teach us something or give us inspiration but sometimes you just want to look around without speaking – especially in this heat.
The first thing to note is that there are two colour threads in this house – one is orange and the other green and they appear sometimes together and sometimes apart throughout the property. Orange is a bold choice but, as you will see, it has been used in all formats from muddy and burnt to neon and it works with more colours that you might think.
Above the neon lamp positively pings (unfortunate word?) against the navy blue walls while the coffee table links to it and the artwork draws your eye round so you can’t help but look at the whole room which is also the point of adding strong accents – usually colour – but the very eagle-eyed (or those reading on a phone with a zoom facility) will see there is a drop more orange in the curtain ties. But even though the colour is zinging it hasn’t been overused and the impression is more of a dark cosy room than one that assaults the senses.
Orange makes another appearance here in the patterned sofa and I am a big fan of a patterned sofa. If you fall in love with a fabric then you fall and there’s no reason not to have it on a sofa rather than the more traditional cushions and curtains. Not to mention that pattern will hide stains so it’s actually quite a practical choice. The other point to make is that you can amp up a pattern or knock it back down to suit either your taste or the room. Here against the navy wall it appears almost like a subtle burst of pattern. But against pink or green walls the effect would be more, well for my eyes, hallucinogenic but it’s all down to personal taste and function ultimately.
This is another corner of the top room with its orange and pink sofas but you can see how the rug picks up the colour scheme in a more muted fashion – the orange has been toned down to a warm brown – let’s call it a more appetising caramel. Here it is again below – for those who don’t want to keep scrolling.
This also allows me to introduce the other colour – this sort of sludgy green that appears throughout this house. This is another great base colour as it likes some of the brights but is equally happy with more muddy pinks and blues. Personally I’m still hunting for the perfect clay (from Monday’s – which inadvertently turned into Tuesday’s – post. Should have saved before I put it down but there you go it was hot and I forgot).
Here it is in the kitchen with lots of white, vintage wood and natural brass (not for getting the black AGA for the perfect representation of my something new, something old, something black and something gold mantra). This is a completely timeless combination that you could keep for years and it would never look out of date. At the same time if you wanted to jazz it up a bit you could paint the walls in a soft pink or drench them in the same green for a more modern look.
The dining room has this drenched look, albeit in a slightly different shade of green) but again the palette remains tight to stop if feeling busy. Check out the matching door too. This room would be ruined (strong word but I’m feeling it) if the woodwork and door were painted white.
And talking of architectural features this is the other end of the kitchen. It’s a bold use of paint but I think it works. Yes you could have painted the whole wall out in the green but here the paint has been used to great effect. All of which goes to show that you can use paint HOW YOU WANT – just make sure that it links to the rest of the room (which is, all together now why the random feature wall doesn’t work). The green door matches the cupboard doors and the other door virtually disappears when open. If you have a room full of awkward angles and different surfaces then make a statement of them with paint rather than trying to pretend they aren’t there.
Nipping up to the bathroom and the green reappears here – again with the white metro tiles and wooden floor it’s a very classic look but you could paint the bath to update the room and wouldn’t have to change any fixtures and fittings so it’s a room that could change with your mind/fashions.
Wandering back downstairs – always remember to consider the views when you are decorating – not necessarily the ones through the windows but those that will catch your eye as you wander past different rooms – and while you wander round the rest of this gorgeous house I will wait for you here. A comfy chair, a dark wall and a lot of books. See you next week – am now very tempted to paint my own library area all dark and not just the shelves. Which means this week alone I have virtually redecorated the library, the loft and the bathroom and possibly the bedroom when I find he right clay colour…