Happy Friday. Fancy a coming for a quick tour of this rather lovely four bedroom terrace house in north London which is so typical of the Victorian terraces in this city and is on the market for £800,000 via Brickworks. It has such a clear, and lovely, red thread that I thought it would be the perfect place to visit and to understand how to create your own thread – for anyone who isn’t sure.
Anyone who lives in a house like this will be familiar with the concept of building out into the side return to create a wider kitchen. What I love here is how the kitchen cabinet colour has been used on the door frame as well so while the two spaces have some separation with the half wall, they are still joined together. This soft blue grey colour, which turns up again and again throughout this property, is a perfect foil for the wooden floorboards and farmhouse table too.
Now we see the same table and get a glimpse to the back of the room – the snug? I imagine everyone will have their own name for it but what I wanted you to look at was the dark colour. This is clearly the darkest part of the house. The rooflight over the table will help that to a degree but the owners have made the decision to embrace its darkness and paint it a strong colour which is also part of the red thread. But note how the woodwork here, links to the paler wall colour in the dining part.
I’ve said it before but for new readers: white paint needs natural light to reflect off itself and create a lighter space. Using white paint in a small, dark room usually just results in a small dark room painted white. You have two choices: either pick a pale colour that isn’t white and paint the walls, woodwork and ceiling in it to blur the edges and make it feel more spacious than it is or embrace the dark and go for something bold as they have done here.
Moving through to the sitting room at the front of the house and the same colour is found again. It’s impossible to say what it is as every computer and camera will render it differently but if you like it then have a look at Farrow & Ball’s Theresa’s Green, Pale Powder or Borrowed Light. A word about the latter – in a south-facing room it can be a breathtakingly beautiful colour. In a north one – it can be very blue and cold. Test it first.
Before we leave this room take a moment to look at how the bookshelves are painted the same shade as the walls which allows the books to be the focal point. Another idea would be to paint them, and the woodwork, in a darker shade of the same. And I might have painted the cupboard under the telly to match the walls too to make that disappear.
Upstairs now and the warm terracotta accent shades from downstairs have been replaced with yellow. But the walls are still the same colour (or a version thereof). As with the chartreuse cupboard from Monday’s post I probably wouldn’t have thought to use this colour here. But now that I see it I love it. A timely reminder to always try something new and never close your mind to colour combinations and pattern mixes.
The bathroom is the same shade, but there’s a deep yellow stool under the window to warm the grey tiles and stop the room being cold. There’s always a lot of white in bathrooms and wood – natural or painted – can warm them up a little. Particularly if you are choosing a blue for that room. The owners have opted for grey tiles but as we’ve established already; this blue goes with lots of colours and you could change the look by swapping them for a richer blue (like downstairs) or a contrasting terracotta shade like the reclaimed tiles from Sophie’s kitchen yesterday.
Back to yellow accents with this loft bedroom and here the blue has been phased out to grey but it’s a similar tone. So you can see how the colour palette, while different in each room, has given the house a cohesive scheme throughout and note also that this is another house with skirting boards that aren’t white…. I will win you round people I will win you round. And Erica, I’m talking to your mum here…
What do you think of this one or these colours? Join in the debate below. And before I go – yes Robert. I think he’s a brilliantly clever architect and his ideas are impressive (there have only been three episodes) but I’m not sure he’s designing so much for the brief as to show us his brilliance. I’m convinced by that ,just not by sleep pods. For those who don’t follow we’re talking about yesterday’s podcast review of Your Home Made Perfect.
Enjoy the long weekend, those who have one. I’ll be back on Monday with some more beautiful rooms for you to look at.