New Elegance #1

A painterly palette of hues – ranging from sapphire to cerulean – layered with vivacious prints and patterns sets the tone for this fabulous family home


An early Victorian four-storey townhouse in south London. There’s a dual-aspect sitting room on the ground floor, while the lower-ground floor houses a study, living room, cloakroom and kitchen, which leads to a dining / family room. On the first floor is the master bedroom, guest bedroom and a bathroom. The girls’ bedroom, plus another guest bedroom and a bathroom, are on the top floor.

The home is filled with plump, button-backed blue chairs, swan-necked lamps and fringe-clad sofas. Cobalt ebbs into azure, ultramarine fades into forget-me-not: it’s a palette that, in less confident hands, might feel overwhelming. But here, the effect is bold, glamorous – and as enticing as a deep lagoon on a hot day.

The look sits very well with the architecture of the house. The house is early Victorian, on the cusp of Georgian, and the architecture is stunning throughout.

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The living room is a bold blue hue, feeling simultaneously dramatic and calm. Like elsewhere, an easy mix of designer objects and antiques brings the space to life.

The velvet sofa is fringed as thickly as a flamenco dancer’s skirt. Reflecting her love of clean lines, the abstract painting by Jane Goodwin is echoed in toe-cosseting rugs by another client, Christopher Farr.

Get the look: The sofa is by George Smith, trimmed with a linen fringe by Nicky Haslam. This is the Pigeon print by Hugo Guinness at John Derian. The Baobab table lamp is by Porta Romana. The curtains are made in Raoul for George Smith’s Madras in Delft.

Blue makes the art stand out, and despite being a dramatic colour, it feels surprisingly calm.

Get the look: The vintage armchair is upholstered in Raoul for George Smith’s Zoe fabric. This is Madeline Weinrib’s Daphne ikat cushion in Blue. The abstract painting is by Jane Goodwin. Katherine found the lamp in a flea market in the South of France.


Whisper-blue walls set the tone for the kitchen, where bespoke joinery is offset by brass handles and a Victorian-esque tap.

Get the look: Find similar cabinetry at Harvey Jones. The walls are painted in Dimpse estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. These are Conroy wall lights by Jamb.

The bespoke kitchen includes deeper-than-average work surfaces, with tops made from Carrara marble.


In the adjoining family space, succulent plants draw the garden inside through wide windows. The hothouse-feel is echoed in an over-scaled palm print by the late, charismatic textile designer Michael Szell, which is lavished on a sofa, lamp shades and curtains.

Get the look: The sofa and ottoman are covered in Michael Szell’s Palma in Indigo from Christopher Farr Cloth – as are the lamp shades and curtains. Find a similar side table at Graham and Green.


The dining room is lovely, light and inviting.


The low headboard is designed to not to detract from the carefully arranged accessories. This brings definition to the space, with its restful mix of designer and vintage pieces.


The twin bedroom looks smart with identical beds, table lamps and wall sconces in complementing pastel shades.

Get the look: The beds are from Ikea. The cushions are made in Ananas by Raoul Textiles, as is the re-covered armchair. The wall sconces are by Porta Romana.

Colourful pompoms add a a sense of fun to the otherwise calm room.


In this slim, but practical, office, a bespoke marble-top desk echoes the design of the adjoining kitchen.

See more of Katharine’s interior design work at

Photography ⁄ James Merrell

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