I’m excited to show you round this house belonging to fashion stylist Siouxsie Dickens, and also to have discovered a new estate agent with lovely houses to browse. Coming in?
It’s on the market with the Unique Property Company for £1,750,000 and has five bedrooms, five reception rooms and two bathrooms. And having that many rooms means you can totally afford to paint one in this fabulous sugar pink because you won’t ever get tired of it because you can just go and sit in a different one. Also, as I wrote in my first book Mad About The House, which includes a chapter on colour psychology, pink has been proven to calm heightened emotions following a trial in a Swedish prison and we could all do with a bit of that at the moment.
It is really vibrant colour but it’s knocked back by the vintage French style furniture and artfully dilapidated cupboard in the corner. Also that curved and fringed sofa is bang on trend at the moment but it really does look comfortable.
Note the details of the plant pots and the back of the chair which all work with the sofa and the aforementioned cupboard.
Now if you fancy a change, you can always come and sit in the library which is altogether darker and moodier. Siouxsie and I have used the same trick to balance the dark walls which is to have a white ceiling and floor which throws the light around but also ties the two together and makes the dark and light less of of a stark contrast.
Another lovely styling trick if you don’t have to have your telly in an alcove to the side of the fireplace (as I do) is to hang a set of pictures floor to ceiling. Again, they bounce light back in from the window but there’s also something incredibly luxurious about being able to use an area just for decoration with no need to put furniture in it as so many of us have to.
Come to the kitchen at the back of the house now and you can see how the dark frames draw the eye to the view beyond and also look more modern than traditional white would.
You can also see how she has mixed the worktops which is something often talked about but less often seen. It’s a good idea to have wood on an island where you sit as it’s warmer and, obviously, more like a table where as the stone is harder wearing if you are splashing water and cooking oil about.
And just in case you fancied a closer look…. I have been reading up on virtual viewings for an instagram collaboration, I am doing next week so you might as well have a closer look in case you are pondering putting in an offer. It’s in Streatham by the way.
And this is what you might want to call the dining nook. Now I’m obsessed with sofas in kitchens – mostly because I can’t have one (and let’s be honest if you had five reception rooms you wouldn’t need one – but when you’re planning a room design/layout don’t just assume that you want the biggest kitchen area you can put into a room. Sometimes a smaller kitchen – galleys are efficient because everything is at hand – can work really well.
Or, in a large space like this consider an island on wheels so you can move it out of the way and add a really long table that extends out of the nook. The cooking area of my kitchen is tight (I modelled it on a restaurant kitchen) but it sits within a large room. I knew someone who installed a really long island (probably six units long) but ended up with the fridge at one end and the cooker and sink at the other; she spent all day walking from one end to the other.
Upstairs to what is called the Flooded Chateau bedroom, and you can see why. Paint effects are back! Who wants a straightforward ceiling stripe (me please in the 17yo’s room) when you can make something like this. Which I might not show to him as that maybe what he will want and I don’t know how to do it.
And you can see here how it marries with a wall of storage.
Now I’ve slightly lost track of which bathroom goes where, but this is a lovely take on the classic black and white. As I said the other day when we were looking at Marianne Cotterill’s house, sometimes you can swap things around for greater impact and in this case Siouxsie has kept the walls very classic and plain and brought the pattern to the floor.
But wait… bathrooms – you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Ta Da! Whaddyafink of this then? I mean I’ve got a green bathroom but not like this. And I have been pondering painted floorboards recently. We often see them in black and white, and occasionally chocolate – to mimic wood I assume – but hardly ever in a colour (as it were). So these are green to match the walls. Which really makes the bath stand out.
I love all the plants too. I’d love to hang a whole lot of plants from the ceiling but I sense The Mad Husband might have thoughts. Perhaps I’ll hang some from the ceiling of the new office…
So who’s up for moving to south London then? And can I visit when you do?