Playing with striking artwork, witty ideas and a cool pastel palette makes this family home a treat for the senses.
A detached Victorian house in Kent. On the ground floor there’s an open-plan kitchen-diner, family room, larder, living room, study, utility room and WC. Upstairs are five bedrooms – two of which are en suite – and a shower room.
The gone-to-seed grandeur of this Victorian villa provided just the right opportunity for the designer, Lovisa, to work her magic. Visual delights are deftly worked into a cool family home that’s as relaxing as it is edgy, thanks to a serene Scandi backdrop that stems from Lovisa’s roots (Swedish born and raised, she then headed to Central Saint Martins before joining London advertising agencies in her twenties and now also co-runs interior design company, Swenglish Home).
Design classics by Arne Jacobsen, pale timber flooring and ice-cream shades all help to cast a calm mood through the rooms. Which means more strident European accents – Otl Aicher’s punchy Olympic art and Italian lighting fripperies – can blend in harmoniously.
This room sums up the couples’ aesthetic tastes. Simple Scandi outlines livened up by some contemporary art.
The owners are always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists and photographers, so an ever-changing display of artwork keeps this Victorian space creative rather than formal. The vintage Swan chair is one of a pair – the couple bought them in lieu of Tiffany wedding rings they’d originally been shopping for.
Lovisa and her husband embarked on a large-scale refresh, which included knocking through two internal walls and extending to create a big kitchen-diner, which flows around the corner into a more snug family room (shown above).
The kitchen cabinetry, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe and gleaming with marble and mirror, was a key piece. Rather than heading to the usual suspects, Lovisa went to a small local company, as the craftsmanship and the price were way better.
An oversized skylight over the island lets in maximum light.
Shades of aqua and milky verdigris deliver glacial cool in this open-plan space. Lovisa went for a Scandi-feel base, then added personality with art and vintage finds.
The couple inherited the Aga, while the tiles were a stroke of luck. Lovisa had chosen a different style, but the order went astray, so these were sent these as a replacement at no extra cost. To her delight, they were much nicer and more expensive.
Calamine Pink is a favourite shade. Lovisa uses it here to frame items in her ceramics collection, which is a mix of Scandinavian, East German and British.
The blackboard started out as a fun thing for the kids, but it’s turned out just as useful for the parents to scribble reminders on.
This space is kept clear and restful. The only clutter is printed on the wallpaper, so it never needs tidying up.
CHILD’S EN SUITE
The cute bathtub is from a restoration yard and the perfect fit for this bijou space.
Photography / James Merrell