This house renovation coincided with the arrival of twins, but that didn’t stop the owners creating a home that’s packed with personality and original ideas
A late-Victorian, five-storey terrace in northwest London. On the lower- ground floor is a kitchen/breakfast room, family room and conservatory. On the ground floor is a living/dining area and WC. The master bedroom suite spans the whole first floor. The second floor comprises two bedrooms and a bathroom, while on the top floor is another bedroom suite, a study and terrace.
Deciding they were too busy to take on the project themselves, the owners approached Graz Darken to do the interior design after seeing her work in Livingetc [Interior designer, Graz’s home was featured in the September 2015 issue]. They had initially bought this striking terrace in a desirable part of northwest London to give them more space after deciding to try for another child. Structurally, the building was pretty sorted – an interior designer had lived here for 15 years and taken on the major changes. But the décor looked well worn and the pair wanted to put their own stamp on things.
This is a family home that is used and enjoyed, but the owners were keen to not stick to the obvious. The lower- ground level is where they hang out with the children as a family to play, cook and eat, but the living room is the couple’s space to relax in after the children have gone to bed.
This room has a great combination of calmness and quirkiness. It is filled with art, heirlooms and other things that are special to the owners. From the cabinet with its stuffed owl and collection of vintage soda siphons to the trinkets scattered on various surfaces and the pick ’n’ mix of contemporary and aged furniture, it all somehow just works. Even the art choices are out-there.
A mix of accessories means there’s something eye-catching at every turn.
The neutral colours and natural materials make this room a peaceful space. Even though the owners knew what they liked, designer, Graz encouraged them to consider things they’d never have thought about, such as the 20th-century pendant.Antique Victorian portraits sit opposite vintage surveyor’s tools and ethnic art, while a specially commissioned painting by artist David Caines dominates the living area.
The interior designer, Graz, used pieces of furniture that the owners already had and completely remodelled them.
The kitchen sits at one end of the open-plan family area and serves as the gathering spot for all. Even though the kitchen is a practical area, the owners wanted it to look stylish – the colours, art and furnishings all help. It’s now become the hub of the house.
The wall is coated in blackboard paint, so the kids can get creative.
The upholstered headboard really packs a punch against the calm surroundings.
Behind the plush surface, the headboard conceals hidden shelving.
Elegant drapes frame the huge windows.
Much of the original bathroom was kept in tact. The owners added their personality with distinctive extras, such as art and accessories.
One of the smallest rooms in the house gets a major makeover courtesy of some funky wallpaper and boldly painted woodwork.
See more of Graz Darken’s interior design projects at sliceslondon.com
Photography ⁄ James Merrell