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.
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.
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.
The armchair’s ombré look was accidental. It had been cleaned and parts of the mint green velvet turned pink.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more info on the designer, check out swenglishhome.com
Photography ⁄ Anna Stathaki