Houzz Tour: Bold Redecoration Transforms a Tired Terrace
This family home was a throwback to decades gone by until design inspiration brought a new palette, furniture – and life
The project also involved tidying up the electrics, rusting pipework and the odd radiator that was hanging off the wall, but Kate’s job was chiefly to create the welcoming home the family wanted without reconfiguring the space.
Who lives here? A family with three children between the ages of eight and 16
Location South-west London
Property A Victorian mid-terrace
Size Four bedrooms and two bathrooms
Designer Kate Lovejoy of Kate Lovejoy Interiors
Photos by Fiona Walker-Arnott
Less cluttered and more welcoming was pretty much the brief from the owners. “The functionality of the space didn’t change much,” Kate says. “The seating arrangement was pretty fixed. The fireplace is also the same, and the fitted cupboards and shelves, too.”
She did, however, make a small but clever tweak to the alcove storage, by fitting a sensor to the cupboard beneath the TV, so the family can activate the Freeview box inside without opening the door.
Decoratively, the colours (more of which shortly) were the biggest change. Kate also swapped an out-of-proportion mirror over the fireplace for a round one and expanded this circle theme to the pendant light and the coffee table. “The uniformity of echoing shapes simplifies the design and makes things look less busy,” she explains.
Glass Orb chandelier, The White Company. Armchair; sofa, both Love Your Home. Coffee table, West Elm.
She knew this wasn’t the case, but had to measure next door to prove it. “The problem was that the room had a very blocky sofa and chairs that went down to the floor, which made it look cramped,” she explains.
To resolve this, Kate specifically sought out furniture with legs. “The more you can raise things up and see beneath them, the better the sense of space you get,” she says.
“It was the owner’s granny’s chair and she remembers being read to in it as a child,” she continues. “It was just shoved in a corner and I said, ‘If it’s of such sentimental value, let’s make it a big feature.’ I found a Linwood print fabric for it and we had it reupholstered.” Kate then picked out the colours in the pattern and used them around the room, taking the blue as the dominant shade.
Kate also rearranged the owners’ books – with their blessing. “The books are a lovely feature, but they were absolutely packed in and the owner could see they were adding to the cluttered look, so we colour-coded them to make them accessories as well as books.”
Walls and woodwork painted in Burlington Arcade, Mylands. Bespoke lamp, Wild Lampshade Designs. Sculptural palm leaf ornament, John Lewis & Partners.
Ball lamp, Rose & Grey. Throws, Zara and Next. Rug, Benuta. Cushions, a mix of the owners’ own, bespoke and John Lewis & Partners.
Other woodwork and the ceilings in both rooms are painted white. “That’s unusual these days,” Kate says, explaining that she tends to colourmatch woodwork and walls. “There were some nice details in the plasterwork, though, and I felt white would highlight them better.
“These houses have this lovely curved wall you can see here, and artwork felt quite ‘shoved on’,” she continues. “Sculpture felt better, and these beetles work well.”
Wall beetles, Rockett St George. Table lamp, Wayfair.
See surprising ways an interior designer could help you.
Desk; candlesticks; planter, all West Elm. Mirror Ball pendant light, Tom Dixon. Palm lamp, Rockett St George. Art print, Saatchi Art. Rug, Graham & Green.
Check out the Houzz Professionals Directory to browse the portfolios of interior designers in your area and find someone whose style you love.
“We kept the worktops, changed the cupboard handles for brass ones, and added an easily cleanable indoor/outdoor rug, as the floor was a bit of a bare expanse, and this filled it up,” Kate says.
Handles, Dowsing & Reynolds. Kitchen units painted in Hicks’ Blue, Little Greene.
Bespoke curtains made from Romo fabric. Side table, Wayfair. Pendant light, Etsy.
New Anaglypta wallpaper (behind the sofa) adds texture and further warms up the seating area against the flat surfaces of the kitchen.
Wall painted in Calamine, Farrow & Ball. Cushions, H&M, La Redoute and Zara.
Kate had the existing wooden headboard upholstered.
Bedside light, Rose & Grey. Bed linen, Made.com. Cushions made using Designers Guild fabric.