To Kew Gardens
This home was a personal project of mine. The house had very dated finishes, tiles and a distinct note of ordinariness to it. We replaced floors, retiled, added colour, textured curtains, stunning designs and weaves, Persian carpets, wood panelling to create a contemporary classic colonial home. Preferring the feel of wood, we included wooden floors, striking pieces of solid wood furniture, mostly original artwork and African artefacts to give the home a much desired personality. We included small details to lift areas, transforming candle holders into hold backs for the silk curtains, quirky finishes to make the whole house an expression of the occupants.
The clients were unable to visualise the use of accent wall colours by using a graphic software programme enabled me to adjust wall colours on any photograph to show them exactly how it would transform the space. We used a Merlot Rouge to visually alter the dimensions of an otherwise long room and to give the room a focal point. I pulled the colour through to the inter-leading kitchen creating a natural and cohesive flow through the house and common areas.
The client did not want to purchase ready made chairs so I sourced a style we both agreed upon and had them custom made by a top furniture manufacturer who specialises in carpentry the old fashioned way – solid, fine wood frames that are built to last generation after generation.
The large living area was a single room which I divided into a dining area and lounge with a French door visually partitioning them in the centre. As I wanted to avoid using high backed chairs which would have blocked the view I placed two large, soft, adjacent ottomans in the middle of the room in a gentle Jacobean floral; around which the entire colour scheme revolved bringing cohesion and unity to the room and design.
I could not find a coffee table that suited the classical contemporary style of the room, so I designed a coffee table and had it custom made by a leading furniture maker in solid mahogany. Once again providing my clients with furniture which would continue to timelessly add value to any room.
Personal touches that transform a house into a home are of prime importance to me.
I prefer interiors to truly reflect and contain the characters of the occupants so when I discovered a childhood copy painting by the client I had it framed and then I painted, in the same style, two portraits of the clients’ parents which now hang on opposite sides of the room drawing the eye around the space.
My client presented me with a wrought iron black lizard candle holder and asked where in the home it might be displayed. I removed the candle holder part of the design, painted it gold and then used it as a tieback for the gold silk curtain in the entrance hall.
The entire common area of the house was originally tiled in dated small cream tiles which did not suit the home or the direction the client wanted to move to. They wanted a wooden floor but as a suspended floor was not an option, I sourced a mill and a flooring expert who installed a wooden floor – as one would install laminated flooring. The effect was immediate adding ‘age’, warmth and a colonial finish to the space.