Sun-drenched shades bring more than a touch of Southern California to this London townhouse.
A six-bedroom Grade II-listed Georgian house in central London. On the ground floor there is a drawing room and study. The lower-ground floor includes an open-plan living room, kitchen and dining room. The master suite is on the first floor, with further guest suites on the floors above.
Beyond the austere façade, the mood of this Georgian home is joyous and energetic – more Palm Springs than Bloomsbury. Designer, Rebekah Caudwell likes to break a few rules ‘because sometimes that’s how you have the most fun’. She wanted an element of surprise as you walk in, so her vision for this Grade II-listed townhouse kicks off in the flagstoned entrance hall, with a wall crosshatched with vivid bolts of magenta, turquoise and yellow offset with peachy chairs.
There’s nothing impetuous about this look – it’s a thoughtful, informed rewrite of a classicism that Rebekah is well versed in. An English degree, teaching history of art in Italy and early interior design jobs that were ‘steeped in antiques’ gave her a solid grounding in doing things by the book. After all, you have to know the rules before you can break them.
Rebekah’s skill lies in taking risks – mixing old with new, brights with neutrals – and creating something that’s both classic and fresh. So in a favourite corner of their living room, the poise of a Vermeer print is balanced by an Italian Fifties chair in citrus yellow.
Colour can be tricky to work into a scheme without it feeling shouty. Rebekah says the easiest ways to ease into it are with throws, cushions or rugs.
The lower-ground floor is awash with light, thanks to a large light well over the seating area and a sunken terrace next to the kitchen. This is where the owners hang out most evenings. And there’s plenty of space for friends to stay over.
Rebekah and her husband enjoy entertaining and it’s easy to see why guests linger long with those comfy chairs and plenty of decorative eye candy.
Rebekah’s family is from Staffordshire and her grandmother used to paint the pottery, so the antique Staffordshire ceramics are a tribute to her grandmother and her roots.
The impossibly tall windows are swathed in a Pierre Frey tropical fabric that could be straight out of a Slim Aarons print. Rebekah loves how the blues and greens sing against the sunshine yellow. It’s like a blast of Palm Springs, in WC1. The red cabinet acts as another décor wake-up call. Rebekah fell for its dynamic shade when she was visiting Los Angeles, so had the vintage piece shipped over.
There’s so much space in here – it’s a bathroom, dressing room and sitting room all in one.
In here, Rebekah used a softer palette to create a more peaceful space. The ceiling and mouldings were a real draw for the couple. The Tudor Rose wall plaques are a nod to the house’s classical plasterwork.
The rug adds an Oriental note, woven with silk for a luxurious sheen.
Rebekah bought the twin beds on eBay and joined them together to make a generous double. The wallpaper is from Cole & Son, one of her favourite sources.
Visit rebekahcaudwelldesign.com for more info.
Photography / Paul Raeside