From The Livingetc Archives: Tour Inside Kate Watson-Smyth’s Crouch End Home

Kate Watson-Smyth, blogger behind Mad About The House blog, used ‘a wow factor for every room’ as her decorating mantra – to resounding success as her personality packed family home demonstrates.

Get the look: The paint is Downpipe by Farrow & Ball. This is the harry sofa by Linea at House of Fraser. The cushions on the sofa are by Timorous Beasties and the dot cushion on the chair is by hay at Heal’s. Buy the Nyx floor lamp at habitat. Isamu Noguchi’s coffee table for Vitra is available at Heal’s. The chaise was from an auction, but the shout chaise at dfs is a good match. This is Stepevi’s harvest rug.


A townhouse in Crouch End, North London, built in 1860. There’s a living room-cum-library, open-plan kitchen and dining area, utility room and downstairs loo on the ground floor. The first floor has three bedrooms and a large shower room, and the second floor has the master bedroom, dressing room and en-suite bathroom. The house is home to journalist and blogger Kate Watson-Smyth and her journalist husband Adam Leigh, and their sons Isaac, 11, and Noah, nine.

See Also: 9 Chic DIY Tips From Interiors Expert Kate Watson-Smyth


‘I’m so bored of striped runners – this dotty carpet makes my heart lift each time I see it,’ says Kate. She painted the handrail a matching purple.

Get the look: The dotty runner is from Alternative flooring’s Quirky range, and the paint is Brinjal by Farrow & Ball.

Read Also: Chic Hallway Ideas That Make An Entrance


The living room (pictured top) was originally painted white, but Kate and Adam felt the room lacked personality and, after a few months, chose a dramatic grey for the walls.  ‘I love how it looks bold and cosy at the same time,’ says Kate. ‘Plus, it makes the artwork “pop” from the walls and turns watching TV into a really cinematic experience.’

A vintage-style rug layered over the white-painted floor adds laid-back luxury underfoot.

Get the look: Sofa ‘ ‘Harry’, three-seater by Linea at House of Fraser. Cushions, ‘roller’ and ‘bluebird’ by Timorous Beasties. ‘Nyx’ Floor lamp by Habitat. Cushion on chair, ‘Dot’ by Hay from Heals. ‘Harvest’ rug in fuchsia from Stepevi. Vitra coffee table by Isamu Noguchi from Heals. Walls, Farrow & Ball Downpipe. Chaise longue, from local auction room. ‘Bell moth’ cushion,Timorous Beasties.

Read Also: Moody Blue Living Room Ideas 

The deep-grey walls and dark fireplace make a perfect backdrop for a mini gallery of intriguing objects.

Get the look: The scotia insert at victorian fireplaces is a good match. The Knightsbridge clock at newgate is similar. Buy a solar Queen ornament at culture label.

Read Also:  Gorgeous Grey Living Room Ideas


Two steps lead down from the living room to the library, giving an appropriate feeling of calm and separateness to this end of the room. ‘Putting a dining room here would have been a waste of space,’ says book-lover Kate. She has kept the decor simple, with books ‘papering’ the walls and simple chairs for reading in. ‘I hate anything too “matchy”, so the contrasting legs on the armchairs are perfect,’ says Kate.

‘It sounds pretentious to call it a library,’ says Kate, ‘but I don’t know what else to say; it’s full of books.’

Get the look: Benedict chairs, from Punk and Disco cushions, part of a set from Pink and silver pouffes, from Graham and Green. Pink spindle lamp, from Habitat. Chaise longue, from local auction room, ‘bell moth’ cushion,Timorous Beasties, as before.

Read Also: Chic & Stylish bookshelf, bookcase and library ideas


The downstairs flat’s original poky kitchen and bathroom were combined, and the added space provided by the extension meant there was room for a separate dining area, with doors opening on to the garden.

New York tin ceiling tiles add glamour to the dining area. ‘There was a danger that the extension would look like a boring box. It doesn’t have the ceiling height for a row of amazing pendant lights above the table, so these are the perfect solution.’ Confining the tiles to the dining area stops them looking oppressive and helps to define the space. ‘I like the mix of new and old in this room,’ says Kate. ‘There’s a connection between the old sewing machine stools and the wood table, and the contemporary kitchen next to the new extension.’

Get the look: Tin ceiling tiles, from Table, from local junk shop. Chairs, Eames DSW. ‘Harvest’ rug in grey, Stepevi. Photographic lamp, Habitat.


Kate has cleverly set 60cm floor units beneath 90cm stainless-steel worktops, so that the under-sink pipes don’t take up storage space and she loses a minimum of surface to the open shelves. ‘I hate wall units, as they always seem to stick out too far so you bang your head and don’t have room to work. Open shelves are shallow and accessible, and keeping them away from the hob means they don’t get sticky,’ she says. Leather handles give an individual finish.

Read Also: Striking And Stylish White Kitchen Ideas

Get the look: Kitchen, from Ikea. Open shelves, built by carpenter. Leather cupboard handles, from Stainless steel worktops, from Hot water tap, from Quooker. Kitchen tap, Butler of London. Sewing machine stools, salvaged from Adam’s father’s textile factory.

Kitchen units are set forward below extra-wide counters, to give additional clutter-free workspace. ‘And don’t forget the rug, carefully chosen because it’s the same colour as spilled red wine!’ laughs Kate.

Read Also: Cool Kitchen Storage Ideas


Even a small space can feel dramatic, with enveloping matt paint and white details. spotlights – and a decadent disco ball – keep the feel clubby.

Get the look: find international blackboard paint at homebase. The Barmby basin at Best Bathrooms is like this. head to dwell for a small disco ball.

Read Also: Cloakroom And Powder Room Ideas


Noah’s bedroom is hidden behind a secret door, covered with Trompe l’Oeil wallpaper. ‘His room is small, so I wanted to make it feel special, like his own James Bond den,’ says Kate. The wall and door were papered in one go, with a dark architrave and a fake skirting board completing the illusion.

Get the look: young & Battaglia’s Bookshelf wallpaper is available from rockett st george.

Read Also: The Ultimate Man Cave Ideas


Kate and Adam have constructed a half wall, complete with skirting board and cornice, to create a dressing room behind the bed.

Get the look: Persian Tulip Wallaper by Zoffany. Crystal Bulb by Lee Broom (ceiling light). Pimlico wall light Bed, from Ikea. Bedside cabinet, Componibili by Kartell. Purple throw made from Glenville velvet in Grape by Designers Guild. Patterned ‘grass turf cushion, Timorous Beasties. Pink textured cushion, Designers Guild at Heals. Purple cushion, heals.

As the purple flock wallpaper makes such a statement, the rest of the room has been kept simple, with white walls, floor and bedding.

Read Also: Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas


The luxurious en-suite was converted from a top-floor bedroom and leads from the dressing room in Kate and Adam’s bedroom. As in the rest of the house, the couple have mixed contemporary and vintage pieces against a background of plain floorboards, for a fresh but eclectic look.

Get the look: Sanitaryware, from Bathstore. Metallic tiles, from Checkalow in Crouch End. Zinc butler’s tray (between the basins), from Cox and Cox. Mirror, from a friend who was throwing it away. Pouffe, Graham and Greene.

Read Also: 31 Chic And Stylish Paint Colours For Your Bathroom

Read Kate’s interiors blog at

Words: Kathryn Kelly

Photography: Richard Powers

Styling: Mary Weaver

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