Urban Glamour #22

In this Victorian revamp, soft sorbet shades set a calm palette – then a host of brilliantly wayward finishing touches stir things up.


A Victorian house in east Kent. On the ground floor there is a living room, kitchen-diner, family room, TV den and study, plus a boot room and cloakroom. On the first floor is the master suite, a girls’ bedroom, a guest bedroom and the family bathroom. On the top floor is a boys’ bedroom, a further guest bedroom and a bathroom. 


Core colours – serene pastels and darker blues – provide the common thread for this home. Then, the randomness that always comes with vintage pieces injects the surprise elements. In this case, sticking to a set of colours doesn’t stifle creativity, it just keeps quirkiness on track.

Get the look: The walls are painted in Parma Gray estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The sofa is vintage Stouby. The rug is by Designers Guild. The cushions are made in Josef Frank’s Manhattan fabric. The photographs are by Nick Meek.

Many of the vintage items came from smaller European online auction sites rather than international antiques sites. Swedish designs such as the Hans-Agne Jakobsson table lamp and chandelier were also snapped up at auctions.

A collection of art and photography is displayed all around the house. Some paintings are heirlooms, while photography includes an atmospheric series by Nick Meek. The newest additions are paintings by Hastings-based artist Rachel Glittenberg.

Get the look: The mirror and wall lights are vintage finds. The table lamp is by Hans-Agne Jakobsson. The coffee table and Hungarian chair are from In House Junkie.

The calming shade of blue in the living room it softens the entire space. The colour-led design ethos means that pastels act as a cohesive backdrop and vintage finds then add surprise elements.


Pure pastel shades are used as a backdrop to vintage lighting and a dreamily intense artwork.

Get the look: The painting is by Rachel Glittenberg. The wall lights are Italian vintage and the vintage table lamp is from In House Junkie. The back wall is painted in Teresa’s Green estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The chair is from The French House. The sofa is by Sofas & Stuff. The side tables are by Zara Home. The ottoman is vintage. The rug is by Designers Guild.

The armchair’s ombré look was accidental. It had been cleaned and parts of the mint green velvet turned pink.

Get the look: The painting is by Rachel Glittenberg.


A gallery wall of vintage paintings works with the paint shade in the adjacent family room. It’s colour coding, but with the end result feeling fluid and flowing rather than too obvious.

Get the look: The dining table is by DT-69. The Ant dining chairs are by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen at Republic of Fritz Hansen. The glass pendant shades are vintage finds. The wall lights are by Terre d’Hautaniboul. The flooring is from Timbered.


There’s a TV den just off the kitchen, perfect for watching films at the weekend. The woodburner almost matches the deep blue paint shade on the walls.

Get the look: The walls are painted in Hague Blue estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The armoire is a vintage find. The woodburner is from Wingham Woodburning Stoves. The painting is a family piece. The wall lights are vintage Italian.


A key part of this home’s renovation was adding a full-width extension to the back of the house for a spacious kitchen-diner.

Believe it or not, the kitchen cabinets started out painted white, but the new darker shade really stand out and the colour is timeless. The vintage pendants subtly echo the aqua shades of the collectable ceramics. 

Get the look: The kitchen is by Woodwork Traditional Handmade Furniture, painted in Railings estate eggshell by Farrow & Ball.


The builders also reworked the steep garden, turning a long, rutted slope into a series of stepped levels. A total of 15 loads of soil were removed, which entailed plenty of mud and machinery.

Beyond the sliding doors, a terrace area is abundant with flowers. The perfect antidote to London life.


A framed scarf hangs over the bed – an easy and cheap way to bring Grayson Perry’s fabulous art into a home. The glass light is handmade in the UK.

Get the look: The bed is by The French Bedroom Company. The glass pendant is by Rothschild & Bickers. The scarf is by Grayson Perry for Tate. The table is by Zara Home. The blind is made in a Louise Body fabric. The bed cover is by Graham and Green.


This bedroom at the top of the house had previously been two smaller rooms, but the stud wall was removed to make a large space to last from childhood to teenage years.  

Get the look: The football table was bought in Italy – try Liberty Games for a similar design. The chandelier is vintage Hans-Agne Jakobsson. The wallpaper is by House of Hackney. The walls are painted in Ammonite and Hague Blue estate emulsions, both by Farrow & Ball.


Moroccan zellige and encaustic tiles were used in the master en suite, so to even out the budget cheaper – but still dazzling – porcelain patterns were used in the family bathroom.

Get the look: The floor and wall tiles are by Topps Tiles. The basin is by Fired Earth. The brassware is by Aston Matthews. The wall light is a vintage Belgian piece – find similar at In House Junkie. The paint is French Gray estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball.

For more info on the designer, check out swenglishhome.com

Photography ⁄ Anna Stathaki

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