Our clients, a family with two boys under 3, had recently found their “forever home” when they contacted us. Moving from a tiny terrace to a 5-bed Federation house, they weren’t sure how to make use of all the extra space. The main challenge was not having enough furniture to fill the rooms at the front part of the house, and the pieces they did have didn’t fit. They were also unsure as to the best function of the rooms, which felt lifeless.
The original sitting and dining rooms had been turned into one long, narrow space by previous owners, and the hallway was also uninviting and a little stark. The original ceiling details had also been previously covered to fit downlights and speakers, which left the house feeling a little void of character and warmth.
The couple’s tastes were also wildly different to one another, so we were presented with a fun challenge to honour both personalities and still create a cohesive aesthetic.
Our starting point for the design was the existing architecture. I wanted to bring character and warmth and also a little bit of formality and grandeur to the spaces, as was their original intention. I also wanted to balance the needs of a modern family and make sure the spaces were actually used.
The first thing I did to achieve this was to re-instate the decorative cornices and ceiling roses. We then went about figuring out how to separate the two spaces while still maintaining a connection, and the solution here was to create a partial wall lined with bookshelves. We also decided to switch the rooms around, so that the living room was at the front of the house, leading to the front garden, and the dining room was closer to the kitchen, and much wider.
Colour was used to define the feel of each area and create a journey from one room to the other. The colours are quite traditional, and paired with contemporary furniture and light fittings, we were able to achieve a balance.
The result was a complete transformation in the spaces, and the best part was that the the two spaces actually feel bigger than they did when it was just one long space. The spaces now provide an entertaining and dining space for guests, and another living area which is perfect for reading a book with a cup of tea in front of the fireplace.
The clients said: “It wasn’t until I sat in my now favourite room of the house with the fireplace on, my babies in bed and complete silence that I truly got to appreciate what a brilliant job Alex had done. To be able to perfectly balance my husband's and my taste; which are on different ends of the spectrum, and that we both love what Alex has created is a true credit to her.”
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