urban glamour #54

This fabulous family home pitches amazing art and glamorous lighting against a cool white backdrop oozing with organic installations of growing greenery..

Get the look The encaustic tiles are by Bert & May.

The properTy

A four-storey 19th-century house in south London. The ground floor has a kitchen, living and dining room, sunroom and WC. On the first floor is the master bedroom, guest bedroom, study, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom. The children’s bedroom, family bathroom and studio are on the top floor. In the basement are two bedrooms, a home cinema, shower and garden room.


Liza Giles is an artist and stylist with ‘an addiction to colour’ and rummaging through market stalls for vintage finds. Her husband Matt is an architect ‘into straight lines and modernity’. The result of this aesthetic collision? Not domestic strife, but a family home, where white-walled spaces sing with vibrant artwork and lean-lined furniture rubs shoulders with slubby linens and antique finds in an adroit marriage of compromise.

Partition walls were removed from the hallway (shown above) to create a seamless view through the house from front to back.

living room

It was the lofty proportions of the house that drew the couple. Double-fronted but unloved, the house had done duty as a social club, then a family home. The period details had been ripped out and there was plasterboard everywhere, but the pair could see it had incredible potential.

Now, you’re struck by how light and seamless the house feels. Instead of traditional openings, soaring, 3m-wide double doors open from the hallway to the living space: a sweeping line designed to draw your eye to the back, where new, full-height windows open on to the garden. At the same time, lost details, such as fireplaces, were reinstated.

Get the look for a similar chandelier, try Norfolk Decorative Antiques. This is an Eero Saarinen for Knoll coffee table. For similar grain sacking cushions, try Anton & K. This is the low pad chair by Jasper Morrison for Cappellini. The artwork, top, far left, is by Ray Marsh – find his work at artforsale.co.uk. The other paintings in the room are by Liza Giles.

dining room

Drawing on her skills, Liza has humanised the scale of the house so it feels less imposing. Low-slung shelves link the front and back of the living areas; antique chandeliers glitter at eye level and paintings, many by Liza, hover above chair height, so that when you’re sitting down, the rooms feel intimate.

With her stylist’s eye for contrast and composition Liza has created painterly displays of art and objects throughout the house.

Get the look The mirror is from Maison Artefact. for a similar antique light, try O’Keeffe Antiques. The Vitra Eames DSR chairs are from John Lewis. The large painting and the artwork on the lower right are by Liza Giles. The others are by Ray Marsh

sun room

An old, narrow kitchen was removed and the space opened up to create this sunroom

Get the look Try Habitat for similar basket chairs. For pendant lights like these, try Heal’s.


Everywhere there are flourishes of green – instead of overhead units, the focal point of the bespoke kitchen is the row of Indian glass paintings and the antique chandelier, hung deliberately low to relax the lofty proportions of the interior. Liza may be a stylist, but it’s a lived-in house.

Get the look The bar stools are by hay. Find a similar chandelier at Norfolk Decorative Antiques. For pendant lights like these, try Heal’s. The kitchen is by Daulby and Tickle.


Liza has created intriguing displays throughout the house, mixing high-street finds with props used on shoots.

Get the look The shelving was made to order at The Handmade House.


Low-level furniture honours the soaring proportions of the interior, which served as a social club in the seventies.

Get the look for a similar grain sack bolster, try Anton & K. Find a throw like this at Designers Guild. Find a similar Berber rug at Moroccan White.


Upstairs, partition walls were removed to create this light-filled dressing area, where over-laid rugs soften the clean lines of the architecture.

Get the look for a similar chaise, try Kiki Design. The Eero Saarinen for Knoll coffee table is from Skandium. The large painting is by Liza Giles

family bathroom

Tucked under the eaves of the top floor, the oval bath is a welcome sanctuary at the end of the day.

Get the look The bath and tap are from CP Hart.

shower room

A burst of sunshine in the shower room makes mornings feel like spring all year round. The otherwise white-with-a-splash-of-green foliage colour scheme echoes the rest of the house.

Get the look The chartreuse-coloured glass is bespoke from TD Glass. The shower tray is bespoke Corian from CP Hart.

To see more of Liza’s work, visit lizagiles.com

Check out Matt’s architectural practice at gilespike.com

Photography / James Merrell

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