By Pip McCormac
Long before the pandemic could ever have been imagined, the Livingetc team sat around a table, putting mood boards together. We were imagining what our takie on modern interior design would be, and what houses would look like if we decorated them from scratch, what designers we’d turn to, what colours we’d use, how they would feel to be lived in. Developers FABRICA had asked us to implement the interior design at three show homes at Amber Parkside, its then unbuilt new set of two-, three-, four- and five-bed properties in Cranleigh, Surrey. It was the realisation of a dream we’d long had, to add design to the set of services we can do.
We knew the homes would be architecturally interesting – large vaulting roofs providing arched ceilings and big windows – and the perfect backdrop to our take on contemporary style. In our House Tours Open Door webinars, in features meetings or with clients, I’ll often talk about how a home is ‘very Livingetc’ , and the places we feature have a certain distinction that is hard to quantify. We like a mix – of styles, or textures or eras – with nothing too matched or one note. Here at Amber Parkside we’ve been able to blend designers such as Sebastian Cox, Pinch and Julian Chichester with brands such as Neptune, Jane Churchill and Heal’s, and the look started to feel layered, interesting and smart, covered in paint from Little Greene.
As the build was finished and our style team moved in, I’ve been delighted as the design has fallen into place. Turning to our close friends and collaborators, we’ve been able to create a fleet of richly enticing schemes. The two-bed show home we’ve called ‘Modern Decorative’ features some graphic pattern against soft marble finishes. In the three-bed, our take on ‘Refined Industrial’ is full of warm metals, painted wood and hand-worn accessories. And in the four-bed house, we’ve focused on our love of natural materials, craftsmanship and the personality they create. I think FABRICA’s properties could become the dream home of any Livingetc reader, whose decor would flow in just as beautifully as ours has.
Take a visual tour of the properties below. Viewings can be booked by appointment only with the Marketing Suite on 020 8825 2327 or at amberparkside.com
The 4 bed house
The 4 bedroom show home we designed focuses on natural materials and soft textures and colours.
In the dining area, above, the solid oak Albert dining table by Vincent Sheppard helps to soften the dynamic, modern shape of the room. The Titus dining chairs are also from Vincent Sheppard, with art from Formwork. The walls are painted in Slaked Lime Deep 150 absolute matt emulsion by Little Greene.
The Beata cluster pendant light by Pinch makes for a sculptural centrepiece in this vaulted space with its in-built woodburner. The rug is from Heal’s, the standard lamp is from Pooky, the coffee table is from Swoon and the sofas are both from Sofa.com.
The Editions Barker side table by Sebastian Cox seems to glow in the soft light that filters through the sheer by Hillarys. As ever, we’ve always enjoyed the mix of high-end design with clever, wise buys, and think the Zara Home lamp is a smart and chic addition.
Every room has to work hard these days, and bedroom corners can stylishly be turned into work spaces. The HAY Soft Edge chair is from Holloways of Ludlow. The Arco desk is also from Holloways of Ludlow.
Covering the armchair from Roger Lewis in Lennox Pewter fabric from Jane Churchill provides a soft and sophisticated corner to read in. The cushion is by Niki Jones and the footstool is also by Roger Lewis. The art is from Formworks. The walls are painted in French Grey Mid 162 intelligent matt emulsion by Little Greene.
Naturalmat has a Queen’s Award for its sustainable practices, and its organic beds are not only made from renewable materials but are ultra-comfortable, too. Here, the Exmouth bed is flanked by two Penn lights from Lights & Lamps sat on Ferm Living side tables. The walls are painted in Slaked Lime Mid 149 absolute matt by Little Greene.
The 3 bed house
In the three-bed, our take on ‘Refined Industrial’ is full of dark surfaces, painted wood and hand-worn accessories, the rounded edges of the Ferm Living sofa softening the bolder colours in the room. The walls are painted in French Grey Mid 162 absolute matt emulsion by Little Greene.
The chair is from Robert Langford, the coffee table is from Andrew Martin, with curtains from Hillarys.
The clever dining chairs are from Tom Faulkner. The walls are painted in intelligent matt emulsion North Brink Grey 29 by Little Greene with the skirting painted to match.
In the bedroom, we were able to use the Hepworth bed we designed as part of the Livingetc collection for Love Your Home. The walls are painted in intelligent matt emulsion French Grey Dark 163 by Little Greene.
The 2 bed house
Featuring graphic pattern and soft, marble finishes, we've coined this look as ‘Modern Decorative.’ Above, the Cross Leg chair is from The Conran Shop, with a side board from Design Vintage. The walls are painted in Ulla 290 by Little Greene.
The marketing suite
The Livingetc Design Studio even decorated the marketing suite, ensuring visitors are greeted in style. The planters are from Design Vintage. The walls are painted in Slaked Lime 105 absolute matt by Little Greene.
Need to know
FABRICA by A2Dominion has built 54 incredibly proportioned homes in Cranleigh, Surrey, fulfilling the desire for people to live and work in aesthetically pleasing spaces.
With double-height windows that frame parkland views, high-spec kitchens and bathrooms and larger-than-average landscaped gardens, the properties include two-bed, three-bed and
Viewings can be booked by appointment only with the Marketing Suite on 020 8825 2327 or at amberparkside.com
The editor of Livingetc, Pip McCormac is a lifestyle journalist of almost 20 years experience working for some of the UK's biggest titles. As well as holding staff positions at Sunday Times Style, Red and Grazia he has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and ES Magazine. The host of Livingetc's podcast Home Truths, Pip has also published two books, with a third underway. He has recently moved out of London - and a home that ELLE Decoration called one of the ten best small spaces in the world - to start a new renovation project in Somerset.
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