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October 2016

BEFORE +AFTER pages of



DECORATING SPECIAL Transform your rooms with the latest dark and moody shades

amazing homes






What building regs should I know about before extending? How can I use colour creatively? Smart meters – what are the benefits? 15/08/2016 11:41

The view might change, but some things stay the same.

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Walls and floors

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LETTER Welcome to your October issue, packed with all the inspiration, expert advice and ideas you need for your own home transformation. Working from home, either for part of the week or full time, has become the norm for many of us, so if balancing your laptop on the sofa is getting tedious, turn to page 120 for everything you need to consider before planning the best home office space. If you’re researching the latest colours for a new room scheme, why not consider one of the dark shades that are so on-trend right now? I chose Magnet’s Somerton Fern (a lovely dark green/grey colour) for my kitchen and love it; I’d never go neutral again. Taking on a renovation project? Read all about Serena Hunt’s challenge to transform a run-down property in West Sussex on page 20 – the results are simply amazing. Remember, if you’ve transformed your home recently, we’d love to hear from you! Upload your before and after pictures at Caron Bronson, Editor @RealHomesEd

Right If your home office needs an update, you’ll find expert advice and the latest buys, like this gorgeous desk, on page 120

Left Bring this season’s rich, dark colours into your home with our AW16 decorating guide, starting on page 127

Below I love how Serena Hunt has used eclectic pieces to add flair to her renovated Edwardian house. Turn to page 20 now


Visit the Real Homes website every day for essential advice, stunning home transformations and design inspiration – and get involved by uploading your own ideas and projects MAY 2016

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20 Amazing homes 101 Light-filled home 120 Home office updates 127 Dark and moody trend 149 Expert answers




CASE STUDIES 20 Edwardian house redesign

74 Industrial-style kitchen

101 Create a light-filled home

32 Apartment renovation

80 Dramatic kitchen remodel

120 Plan the perfect home office

42 Classic property, transformed

88 Spacious loft conversion

By tackling much of the renovation work herself, Serena Hunt has completely transformed a once rundown property into a family home

Take a look around Ken van der Schee’s modern open-plan space created by knocking multiple rooms into one living area

Jemma Kennedy renovated this Arts and Crafts house to create a vibrant family home filled with colour

Owners Hayley and Keith Williams chose a colour scheme inspired by nature to bring the outdoors into their large kitchen-diner

By redesigning their attic space, Kate and Matthew Williams have added a new master suite, complete with an additional living area

54 Multipurpose renovation

96 New-look family home

64 Family-friendly extension

98 Radical makeover

Flure Gossart maximised every inch of her London home to create a stylish living-working space

By building a two-storey addition to the side of their property, the owners have improved the way the whole family use the space


With on-trend metallic accents and unique design touches, Elisabeth Lowry’s kitchen-diner is now a modern family space

In need of more space, this 1960s house has been remodelled inside and out to combine modern living with a traditional-style exterior

A 1980s bunglaow in Bath is unrecognisable from its original façade thanks to statement zinc cladding and energy-saving features

Discover the latest innovations for doors, windows and glazing to update your home design and make your rooms feel light and airy

What to consider before you plan a work space to ensure the result is perfect for your needs. Plus, the latest smart updates, from clever heating to computer storage ideas

127 New looks with dark and moody shades

Introduce one of autumn/winter’s key colours into your room schemes with these stylish ideas for deep and rich blues, greens, purples, greys and blacks

EVERY MONTH 10 Hotlist

Keep up to date with the newest home-transformation ideas, trends and designers to watch


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Expert advice for your home transformation dilemmas 155


149 Do you crave more space in your home? Consumer editor Lindsay Blair reveals the latest news, including the benefits of smart meters

153 How can I make the most of tried-and-tested design ideas? Architectural designer Greg Toon discusses the home trends that will stand the test of time

See page 131 141 Reader offer

Save 20 per cent on luxury bedding at The Fine Cotton Company

143 WIN!

155 How can I use colour creatively in my room shemes? Creative director of Dulux, Marianne Shillingford demonstrates the latest paint techniques to try

157 How can I make panelled windows work in my home? Architectural design and property development expert Chris Jenkins discusses the design options

A stylish new bathroom worth £3,500 from Twyford

147 Sneak preview

Your first look at what’s to come in November’s Real Homes

159 Where should I start when planning a new utility room? Founder of Clear Architects Melanie Clear offers advice on adding this practical space to your home

135 Stockists

Where to find all the products and services mentioned in this issue

178 Face to face with… Leatrice Eiseman

On a life immersed in colour and forecasting trends for Pantone

£30 A YEAR plus a free gift when you subscribe to Real Homes this month – see page 138


What should I consider when replacing a staircase? Self builder and interior designer says you should think about safety, comfort and style first

163 What building regs should I know before extending? Experienced renovator Michael Holmes on the key legislation to know before proceeding with a build OCTOBER 2016

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Editorial Brand Editor Content Editor Chief Content Sub Editor / Content Producer Consumer Editor Home Content Editor

Caron Bronson Laura Crombie Alison Jones Lindsay Blair Anna Morley

Art Head of Art Senior Art Editor Designer Art Editor With thanks to


HOMES More Space. More Light. More Wow!


Billy Peel Emily Smith Karen Lawson Michelle Cookson Sarah Overs

Marketing and subscriptions Head of Marketing Group Marketing Manager Direct Marketing Manager Senior Marketing Executive Marketing Executive Marketing Executive Subscriptions Manager Customer Services

Melanie Graham 01527 834452 Eve Mulvaney 01527 834445 Anjuman Tariq 01527 834493 Helen Troth 01527 834483 Vicki Lees 01527 834409 Alicia Maragh 01527 834402 Alex Worthington 01527 834435 Jayne Everton 01527 834484

Advertising and exhibitions sales Jackie Sanders 01527 834426 Print & Digital Sales Manager Rebecca Vincze 01527 834415 Key Account Manager Debra Greer 01527 834424 Key Account Manager Lucinda Clarke 01527 834404 Key Account Manager Helen Fox 01527 834491 Account Manager Elena Gill 01527 834494 Account Manager Kelly James 01527 834471 Business Development Manager Keri O’Connor 01527 834472 Exhibitions Sales Director Hellen Roche 01527 834418 Print & Digital Sales Director

Magazine and digital production Head of Production Digital Manager Email Production Manager Print & Digital Production Executive Digital Production Executive Production Assistant

Bill Griffiths Tom Burbridge David Lloyd Alice Sullivan Nicholas Robertson Aimee Bradley-Davies

Thinking of extending? Find out if you’ll need planning permission by using the FREE, interactive tool at Simply select your house type and the kind of extension you’d like, and it will instantly reveal whether you need to apply for planning permission or not. SOCIAL MEDIA Head of Digital Gill Dawson Email Delivery Manager Alison Nash Web Operations Manager Laura Sturgess Senior Web Editor Lindsey Davis Web Editor Jacob Ingram Video Producer Matt Gibbs Social Media Editor Sarah Handley

Publishing and exhibitions management


Managing Director Deputy Managing Director Director of Content & Product Development Editorial Director Executive Assistant

If you’ve completed your own home transformation, search ‘Real Homes’ on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest to share your photos with the Real Homes team. While you’re there, follow @RealHomes for the latest news, advice and inspiration.



Follow the team on Twitter

Steve Newbold Nick Noble Michael Holmes Jason Orme Zoe Beeston 01527 834477

Editor Caron Bronson @RealHomesEd

Real Homes is published by Centaur Home Interest Media, a division of Centaur Media Plc. 2 Sugar Brook Court, Aston Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 3EX Tel: 01527 834400 Fax: 01527 834497 Email: Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material published in Real Homes, the publishers can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors, manufacturers or advertisers. Readers are welcome to send in information about their projects, but no guarantee can be made of the safe return of unsolicited text or photographs. Copyright for all materials published in Real Homes remains with the publishers. Designed using Macintosh computers. Printed by William Gibbons & Sons. Distributed by Marketforce. Real Homes © 2016 published monthly. ISSN 1464 - 4061

Consumer Editor Lindsay Blair @Lindsays_home

Content Editor Laura Crombie @Laura_Crombie

Senior Art Editor Emily Smith @EmilyS_Home


29 September MARCH 2015

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Real Homes

HOTLIST Keep up to date with the latest home transformation ideas and decorating trends



Add a touch of boutique hotel-style luxury to your living room or master bedroom with this elegant Ava side table from Marks & Spencer. Combining a beautiful white and grey marble top with a gold-effect angular frame, it measures H58.5x W71xD38cm, and costs £175. TREND ALERT New luxe

2 Geometric dip-dyed lampshade, £300, Janie Knitted Textiles


The late Dame Zaha Hadid left her mark on architecture across the world, but now a bathroom collaboration with Porcelanosa means you can invite her design mastery into your home. Vitae features sleek, handcrafted ceramic and brassware pieces that merge practicality with cutting-edge design. Already the winner of an i-NOVO Design Award from ArchiExpo, Vitae’s distinctive, sculptural lines are sure to make it an enduring design classic. Prices will start from around £3,000 for taps.



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3 Save the date

Handmade at Kew: The International Contemporary Craft Event, Royal Botanic Gardens, Surrey, TW9 3AB, 6-9 October 2016 This four-day spectacular has international artists, makers and craftspeople showcasing cutting-edge glassware, ceramics, fabulous furniture, tactile textiles and dramatic metalwork. Learn about the ideas and processes that shape their work, then buy or commission direct. Tickets are £16 in advance or £18 on the door,

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Art of the home

Norfolk-based sofa manufacturer Multiyork is teaming up with makers and artisans in the county as part of a new initiative to champion local design talent. The first release from The Norfolk Collective is a range of cushions from artist and pattern designer Amelia Bowman. Available online and in more than 50 local stores, the cushions feature graphic prints of famous Norfolk landscapes. Pictured from left; Lighthouse cushion, £59; Fishing Boat cushion (reverse), £55; The Pier cushion, £59; Windmill cushion, £55. ➤


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RUG Mosaiikki rug in black, L200x W140cm, £209, Vallila


Strokes Blackout 41 paint, £42 for 2.5ltrs marble matt emulsion, Mylands

TREND ALERT Monochrome

SCREEN Regency Black Mahogany threepanel screen, H115 xW180xD45cm, £1,125, Libra


WHO… Anna-Lisa Smith (pictured right) HOT NEW a contemporary DESIGNER textile designer NEED TO KNOW… There’s a distinctly European feel to Anna-Lisa’s designs, thanks to her years living in Italy and Paris before settling in Yorkshire. After studying for an MA in textile design, specialising in weave, at the University of Derby, she launched her self-titled textile business in 2014. Anna-Lisa’s products are designed and hand-finished in her studio, with the fabric woven in local mills using lambswool. Her work is currently sold by large retailers as well as in independent design shops. INSPIRATION… ‘My Iro collection, which means colour in Japanese, was initially inspired by the woven textiles

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Classic black and white was in the AW16 lookbooks from almost every major interiors company. For a modern take on monochome, either keep your whole scheme within the palette and use a grey backdrop to soften the look, or contrast your black and white pieces with pops of jewel-inspired colours such as teal, amber and fuschia.

of Bauhaus weaver Gunta Stolzi. She often used lines in her textiles and I’ve always been drawn to her work. From this point, I spent time trying various combinations of lines in different sizes and strengths until I was happy with the balance of the design. I was looking for a striking simplicity that would work well with colour to create a clean, elegant look. Iro is inspired by the great textile designers of the past but it is also a contemporary collection for modern homes.’ LOOK OUT FOR… Anna-Lisa’s Iro collection is going on sale at Liberty London this autumn, after her designs were selected from thousands to be part of their AW16 collection. She is also going to be exhibiting at design-junction 2016. Find out more at ➤

CHAIR Gabrielle Solitaire Noir armchair with Taormina Black scatter cushion, H91xW98xD99cm, £1,568, Duresta

TRAY TABLE Svärtan foldable tray table in powdercoated steel, H30x Dia.73cm, £40, Ikea

Anna-Lisa with examples of her work, including Iro cushion (far left) in Citrus/Ecru, £95, and Iro throw (far right), in Goldfish, £189 OCTOBER 2016


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Over 100 designs | Expert advice | 20,000m2 of stock | Fast delivery SHOWROOM

20 Smugglers Way Wandsworth London SW18 1EG 020 8871 9771 RH_Oct_4-68.indd 14

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House of Fraser’s Fable Folk collection references the Arts and Crafts movement, and is inspired by myriad cultures with a hint of fairytale magic. It draws on floral and animal motifs in a palette of berry reds, rich indigo and woodland neutrals. Fable Folk bedlinen (canopy), Grettle embroidery bedlinen and Anastasia embroidery bedlinen, all £80; Fable Folk b bedspread, edspread, £150; cushions from £20; grey sheepskin rug, £55.


Furniture designer Thomas Whittingham seamlessly blends complementary timbers in handcrafted furniture with smooth, sinuous lines inspired by the flowing shapes of the British countryside. Kingswear chair in American cherry and rippled ash, H110xW50xD45cm, £1,450. TREND ALERT Craft



New season colours

Pantone’s AW16 colour report predicts that it’s time to embrace blue as a key colour in your home this season. Airy Blue, evoking post-downpour skies, sits alongside pops of pink and red, and the autumnal Spicy Mustard and Potter’s Clay. Taking precedence is Riverside, an inky blue shade that perfectly partners the grey in the palette – Sharkskin. ➤

Spicy Mustard

Dusty Cedar

Lush Meadow

Airy Blue

Sharkskin OCTOBER 2016

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WHAT DO YOU SEE? POCKET DOORS SPACE SAVING AND SPACE CHANGING Don’t let traditional hinged doors dictate where you place your furniture. Create more usable space by freeing up those dead areas created by the swing of a hinged door. Give yourself a blank canvas to work with. Sliding Pocket Doors: Single | Double | Telescopic | Curved tel. 0845 4811977

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Statement tiles Offering a modern twist on Scandi style, these HD Rustic Wood tiles bring a fresh look to walls when laid in this on-trend chevron pattern. Available in light grey, beige and dark grey, each tile measures W14.8xL49.8cm. They are priced at £36 per square metre, House of British Ceramic Tiles.

11 TREND ALERT Tropical


Create your own Indian summer with furniture in on-trend tropical prints or fruit-shaped accessories. Pineapple Lamp in moulded vinyl, H32xDia.15cm, £72.50, Maiden.

Save the date

The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show, Royal Highland Centre (RHC), Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8NB, 15-16 October 2016 Whether you’re a self-builder or starting a renovation project, The Scottish Homebuildng & Renovating Show is full of dream home ideas, hundreds of plots and renovation opportunities, and the latest products and services from more than 100 exhibitors. There will also be face-toface consultations with experts, as well as seminars packed with advice. ➤

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Wall design hub

Bringing together three of the UK’s best-loved wallpaper brands, Crown, Coloroll and Vymura, Inspired Wallpaper is more than a click-tobuy website. Designed to help you find your ideal wallpaper, it includes a mood board function, how-to guides, and a tool that lets you search by colour, style, room or brand. To mark the launch, Inspired Wallpaper has released three exclusive trends for the season ahead: Craft Revival, Retro Geo and the Statement. This Zebra Platinum Grey Glitter paper by Vymura is from the Statement collection and costs £19.99 per roll.



Search Real Homes on YouTube for the latest advice and inspiration videos

A celebration of flora and fauna, Lorna Syson’s British Garden collection features chrysanthemum, buds, butterflies, pansies and wren on cushions, lampshades, plant pots and fabric. Prices start from £52 for a cushion, available at John Lewis.

Capsule collection

Fancy sinking into a Floppy Jo, Crumble or Doodler? Laid-back furnishing brand Loaf has collaborated with John Lewis to produce these comfy-sounding pieces. The range includes three sofa and two footstool designs in a choice of 22 fabrics, from a spill-resistant Clever Velvet to softbrushed cotton. They are for sale online and in 10 John Lewis stores.


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Loaf Crumble three-seater sofa in Clever Velvet Dusty Rose, H86xW206xD105cm, £1,949 OCTOBER 2016


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CHARACTER KITCHEN Serena describes her taste as ‘eclectic and kitsch’ with every piece in her home telling a story, including a kitchen bench that was once used in a slaughterhouse. Walls painted in Farrow & Ball Railings. Wall-hung storage rack, Ikea. The island unit was once a carpenter’s bench



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EDWARDIAN HOUSE RENOVATION By tackling the project herself, Serena Hunt has applied her unique style to a once-run-down property



hen coming across a property that hadn’t been touched for more than 50 years, that had no central heating, crumbling walls, leaking ceilings, damp and many other problems inside and out, some would be put off by the work required to bring it up to date. But when Serena Hunt found this detached Edwardian house in Steyning, West Sussex, not only was the location perfect, but she could see its potential to become a family home as well as her next renovation project. ‘Gareth and I had been looking to buy in the area for a while, so when the house came on the market, I made sure I was the first to view it,’ she says. ‘I could see straight away that it would make a fantastic home, but there was a lot of work to do, so it was a year before I arranged a second viewing and finally decided to buy, as I wanted to be sure we could tackle the work within our budget of around £90,000. Waiting meant we managed to secure the sale at £110,000 under the asking price.’ Moving from a 1950s semi-detached home in Brighton with limited space, the family relocated one week before Christmas 2013, and lived in only two rooms while work was carried out to significantly remodel the property’s layout. ‘Luckily, we agreed with the previous owners that we could have access before formally completing the sale, so we ➤

THE OWNERS Serena Hunt (pictured left), a stay-at-home mum, lives here with partner Gareth Ballard, a sales director, and their two sons Teddy, nine, and Herbie, four, and their greyhound, Percy THE PROPERTY A six-bedroom, detached Edwardian property built

BEFORE ORIGINAL LAYOUT Above The house was in a state of disrepair, with a poor layout, separate rooms and a lack of flow between each of the spaces

RECLAIMED CABINETRY Below Freestanding units sourced from a haberdashery shop that closed down provide plenty of kitchen storage, while open shelving is used for display. Pendant light, Ardingly Antiques Fair


in 1908, in Steyning, West Sussex SERENA LOVES Holidaying in France Shopping at flea markets Game of Thrones The colour green Designer Jonathan Adler Mid-century style TOTAL PROJECT COST £94,700 OCTOBER 2016

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‘The house faces west and is dark, so I decided to embrace this by using dark paint throughout. I loved having a blank canvas to stamp my personality onto’



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COLOURFUL ACCENTS Wooden flooring from Karndean Designflooring is used throughout the kitchen-living-diner and provides a neutral base to add colour, such as with chairs by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, bought at Tooveys Auction House. The dining table was purchased from previous owners while the bookcase is antique OCTOBER 2016

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HALLWAY AND PLAYROOM Featuring original doors that have been painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball, the hallway is papered in a Cole & Son design from Wallpaper Direct and contrasted with red framed prints by Eelus. Ceiling light, Ebay. Radiator, Wickes. This space is used as both an entrance and playroom



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had central heating installed ready for moving in,’ explains Serena. ‘I used the time to plan exactly how I wanted the space to look, using the estate agent floorplans to reconfigure the layout, so I’d be ready to start the renovation straight away. In January 2014, less than a month after moving, the builders began work on site.’ Serena had planned for three structural walls to be removed downstairs to create an open-plan kitchenliving-diner to the rear of the house, complete with freestanding cabinets, an island unit, wooden dining table and colourful chairs, leaving a separate living room to the front. She instructed the builder to rebuild an exterior side wall that had bowed and was not structurally sound, replace all of the windows, remove a crumbling chimney breast which leaked water, raise the floors and replace worn joists, install new electrics, and improve drainage and ventilation systems to rectify a damp problem. Although extensive, luckily the work did not require planning permission. ‘I’ve project managed previous home renovations for myself, so was keen to be involved,’ she says. ‘If the builder ➤

‘The beauty of taking on an old house like this is it has amazing features that stand the test of time’

STUDY SPACE Right A first-floor bedroom is used as a home office, complete with a reclaimed Mid-century desk and vintage chair brought from Serena’s previous home. Filing cabinet, Lewes Flea Market. Bench, Ardingly Antiques Fair

LIGHT-FILLED ROOM Below Creating a link to the garden, new patio doors from Rehau are sited where a chimney breast once was. Sofa, Habitat. Floor lamp, Ardingly Antiques Fair. Rug, Ebay OCTOBER 2016

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Log burner and fitting



Electrical work

Purchase cost in 2013

Kitchen, including appliances

Estimated value


Potential profit

£10,800 £9,000 £8,000 £7,900


Shower room construction and Velux windows


Bathroom and shower room fittings



Wallpaper and paint



ECLECTIC MIX Above Sideboards and film posters from Ebay sit either side of an original mantle which houses a new woodburning stove from Ebay.

£94,700 £640,000


£240,300 French doors and windows Rehau 01989 762600 Flooring Karndean Designflooring, Crucial Trading Paint Farrow & Ball

STATEMENT DESIGNS Right Wallpaper by Scion from Wallpaper Direct provides a backdrop to classic styles, including a G Plan Blofield chair bought on Gumtree and sideboard and artwork from Ebay. Light, Seletti


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For more inspiration, follow us on instagram @real_homes

LIVING ROOM Above New windows are from Rehau and the surrounding woodwork is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Railings. Sofa, Ligne Roset, G Plan Blofield armchair, Gumtree, G Plan coffee table, Oxfam. The carpet used throughout the house is from Crucial Trading

CHILDREN’S BEDROOM Right Walls painted in Strong White by Farrow & Ball act as a neutral backdrop for colourful accents, including an antique bed that has been reupholstered in fabric from Ikea and a Pierra Paulin sofa from Ligne Roset

told me something wasn’t possible, I found a way around it. I hired two separate structural engineers to check my design’s feasibility before seeking building regulations approval.’ Although there was a lot of work to do to bring the building up to date, Serena also really wanted to retain the original character, so designed the new scheme with the cornicing, high ceilings, wooden doors and fireplaces in mind. To the rear of the house, the new open-plan space links with the garden, which Serena landscaped herself, with new patio doors that are located where there was once a chimney breast. ‘It was a shame to lose this, but it was in a state of disrepair and leaking water into the rooms. However, the new doors are a great addition,’ explains Serena. ‘The new area is a great family space, but my favourite room is the living room, which is still separate and has a cosy feel.’ An old larder, store and downstairs WC were also combined to create a utility room just off the kitchen area, while the floor throughout the space was levelled and laid with screed before wooden flooring was fitted. Upstairs, the first floor, which includes the master bedroom for Serena and Gareth, study, guest bedroom, ➤ OCTOBER 2016

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SPACIOUS BEDROOM Walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s Railings are co-ordinated with grey carpet from Crucial Trading. Bed, Harveys. It has been reupholstered in Alexander Henry fabric sourced on Ebay. Pendant light, antlers, mirror and artwork, all vintage. Rug, Achica

dressing room and family bathroom, has also benefitted from a complete redecoration. ‘The toilet and bathroom were separate, so these were knocked through to create one suite,’ Serena explains. ‘On the second floor, extra bedrooms have been created by converting two large cupboards: one into a single room for our youngest son, Herbie, and the other into a shower room, both with Velux rooflights.’ With a clear plan from the start, the structural work was completed without any unexpected problems. The whole house was then plastered, except in the kitchen and bathroom, where exposed brick walls are a feature. ‘They were painstakingly stripped and repointed, but the result is worth it,’ says Serena. The same flooring was laid throughout, with the remaining rooms carpeted in one style to create a sense of flow and to keep costs down. Similarly, Farrow & Ball’s Railings has been used on walls, doors, woodwork and cornicing all over. ‘I became tired of neutral shades and wanted to be bold with colour,’ she says. ‘The house faces west and is dark, so I decided to embrace this. I did all the decorating work myself during days when Gareth was at work, and we did more together at evenings. I loved having a blank canvas to stamp my personality onto.’ Taking the property back to a shell has allowed Serena’s design flair to shine. Describing her style as ‘eclectic and kitsch’, she is proud that every piece in her home tells a story, including a kitchen bench that was once used in a slaughterhouse. With the project complete within six months, the house is unrecognisable from when the family took it on, but look closely and you can still see hints of its history. ‘The beauty of taking on an old house like this is that it has amazing features that stand the test of time, offering so much potential to make a space your own,’ says Serena. ‘People ask me if I would do it again, and I would in a heartbeat. I’m already dying to get my hands on a new project.’











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MAJOR CHANGES Three structural walls were removed downstairs to combine the dining room, kitchen and breakfast room. On the first floor, a separate WC and bathroom are now one room. The secondfloor attic rooms are now an extra bedroom and shower room


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MASTER BATHROOM By knocking a separate WC and bathroom into one master suite, there’s room for a bath and shower. Bath, Victoria Plum. Mirror, Lewes Flea Market OCTOBER 2016

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WALLPAPER Scion Tree Circles 110251 wallpaper, £37 per roll, John Lewis


Dalmeny bevelled glass and coiled metal sunburst mirror, Dia.80cm, £156, The Chandelier & Mirror Company

PAINT Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, £18.95 per ltr, Rigby & Mac


Nomadic rug, W120xL170cm, pure wool, £225, The Rug Seller




CHEST OF DRAWERS Ando Mid-century style rosewood drawers, H82xW88xD45cm, £399, Swoon Editions

Mix styles, colours and textures like Serena Hunt has to create an eclectic look in your home



Resin lurcher dog sculpture, H54cm, £45.50, Abigail Ahern

SOFA Stockholm stainless steel and fabric two-seater sofa

in Dark Grey, H75xW170xD89cm, £599, Pash Living



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STYLISH APARTMENT REDESIGN Ken van der Schee opened up the rooms in his home to create a sleek, modern space that’s full of light ➤


THE OWNER Ken van der Schee, a Canadian-born energy market analyst, lives here THE PROPERTY An open-plan, two-bedroom apartment in a former print factory dating from the 1930s, in Shoreditch, east London KEN LIKES His terrace overlooking Regent’s Canal Homeware store Heal’s Modern architecture magazines for inspiration Travelling in Italy Flintock Martinis Japanese food Hanya Yanagihara’s book, A Little Life TOTAL PROJECT COST £100,000



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URBAN LIVING By keeping to a simple colour palette of greys, plus two shades of stain on the joinery, Ken has created a unified scheme throughout his apartment. The bar stools are by Lapalma at John Lewis. The kitchen and ceilingheight bookshelves were both designed and made by Koldo&Co. For similar sofas, try the Carlito Contemporary, from Go Modern OCTOBER 2016

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he brief for my property search was so broad that it was never going to be easy,’ admits Ken. ‘I wanted high ceilings, outside space and strong contemporary features, all in the heart of London. But even I didn’t think it would take quite as long as it did.’ Born in Alberta, Canada, Ken’s career as an energy market analyst brought him to London in 2004, but it wasn’t until eight years later, having lived in a succession of rented flats around the capital, that he finally found one he was prepared to invest in. Ken had lived in Marylebone, Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Pimlico, Highbury and Islington before buying. ‘They were all rentals and gave me a chance to discover the city for myself and decide where I wanted to actually put down roots,’ he recalls. ‘But because the lay-out of the property was as important to me as the location, it made the search for somewhere to buy difficult. I didn’t really want to renovate,’ he says. ‘However, after years of fruitless househunting with prices going ever upwards and with such set ideas of what I was looking for, I realised that re-working an existing apartment into the unique space I wanted, and to the high quality I was after, was my only option.’ All the areas Ken lived in had something unique to offer in terms of their characteristics, but the time he spent in Shoreditch stood out. ‘There are great restaurants and pubs, and a lively arts scene, but it was the canal that really made it unique,’ he says. He viewed this property, in an old Art Deco period print shop that had been converted into flats in the Nineties, and his views on renovation projects changed. The flat overlooked Regent’s Canal, had beautiful views across the water, and there no traffic noise. When Ken bought the property in September 2012, ➤



CLEVER LINK Above The original mezzanine level was more like a pod than an actual bedroom, and the kitchen beneath was closed off from the rest of the living space. Left The ceilingheight library unites upstairs and down. It was designed by Koldo&Co

Search Real Homes on YouTube for the latest advice and inspiration videos

BESPOKE SPACE Right The kitchen units, designed by Koldo&Co, are in a mix of mocha gloss and stained mid-oak finishes. The flooring that runs throughout the downstairs of the apartment is industrial concrete in graphite


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OUTDOOR TERRACE Above The terrace is a favourite spot for Ken as it overlooks Regent’s Canal. The living wall by Treebox provides privacy, while the Arc en Ciel bistro set, from John Lewis, is perfect for morning coffee

LIVING AREA Left and right Outside space off the main living area was a must for Ken and the sunny terrace fits the bill perfectly. The oak coffee table was crafted by a friend of Ken’s; for similar, try Incite Interiors. Red ceiling light, Big Bang from Foscarini. Anglepoise lamp, John Lewis. Adum rug, Ikea. The media wall unit is bespoke, designed by Koldo&Co

he knew the bones of the home he wanted were all in place. Because it was originally an industrial building, the ceiling was high – so high in fact that the ‘upstairs’ was set into a mezzanine over the double-height downstairs. ‘I was really impressed with the sense of light which came through the terrace doors running virtually the width of the reception area,’ says Ken. ‘But the available space on that level was compromised by the fact that the kitchen was boxed off at the back so was actually very dark. The bedroom on the mezzanine level was also more like an enclosed platform or pod than a room, with little windows punched into the wall overlooking the living area.’ The brief, then, was to create a contemporary home with open-plan living quarters on the lower level and a master suite and study-cum-guest bedroom above. It was also important to Ken to create enough storage and wardrobe space without compromising the quality of the main living areas. He worked with designer Koldo Gil, of 36

Koldo&Co, who had been recommended by a friend. ‘He was very receptive to what I wanted as well as contributing solutions I wouldn’t have thought of,’ says Ken whose only ‘must have’ was a library area in the double-height space. In order to achieve Koldo’s design scheme, the builders – again recommended by friends – had to demolish every internal wall, except for the lower-level bathroom. By doing this they created a really open-plan kitchen/ dining/living area and also closed off the space under the stairs to create a new utility and store, making the most of this lost space and closing it off from view. The stair risers were clad with mirror, while upstairs a new layout was created so that the en suite of the master bedroom leads to a walk-in wardrobe. Also designed by Koldo & Co, this features lighter tones and a statement Carrara marble wall slab, which is visible from the master bedroom. The spacious walk-in wet roomis finished off with a very urban medium-grey polished finish floor tiles. ➤


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‘ I was impressed by the sense of light coming in through the terrace doors that run the width of the living space’ OCTOBER 2016

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MEZZANINE LEVEL Ken uses the bespoke library bookcase to unite upstairs with down. The windows over the living area make this a bright space. The bespoke bedroom was designed by Koldo&Co



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IMPROVED LAYOUT Below All of the internal walls on the lower level were removed, except for the bathroom, in order to create an open-plan livingdining-cooking space. Upstairs, the mezzanine layout was altered to create a master suite with wet room and dressing area

















Cost in 2012


Estimated current value

£35,000 £25,000 £18,000 Bathrooms

£9,000 Furnishing

£8,000 Concrete flooring


£100,000 £710,000 £1.1million Potential profit


Designer Koldo Gil, Wooden flooring Parkwood, Living Wall Treebox,


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MASTER SUITE Above The bedroom features a headboard with a grey-stained oak frame and velvet inset by Andrew Martin. The Moem oak flooring is from Parkwood. Koldo&Co designed and made the oak wardrobes, staining them in Middle Oak. Lamp, Tom Dixon

The master bedroom is cleverly linked to the adjacent study with a continuous, bespoke desk that works for both spaces. The study can also be closed off using a bespoke sliding panel, making it the perfect guest bedroom. Probably the biggest challenge was how to link the floor-to-ceiling library to the kitchen units and the main living space. Koldo designed and manufactured a bespoke library that rests on the kitchen worktop and links to the upper level by becoming the desk between the master bedroom and study-cum-guest bedroom. Before work began, the interior designer provided Ken with a design concept and detailed drawings to help him choose finishes that would work to link the whole space. He wanted something contemporary, functional and timeless. ‘I chose a dark grey stain for the oak of the library, which was also used on the new mezzanine-level frontage to the living space, creating a flow between the two areas,’ says Ken. ‘And using just two stains throughout the bespoke joinery in all of the rooms helped bring it the scheme together.’ The work went relatively smoothly, except for one minor incident when one of the old top-level windows fell inward during a storm. ‘It was a bit nerve-wracking and reminded us how secure we needed the construction to be,’ says Ken, who was finally able to move into his apartment in June 2013 after living with friends for 11 months. Because the bespoke joinery was such an important element of the scheme, Ken kept furnishings to a minimum, using a grey colour scheme and the two wood stains to pull everything together. ‘The day my Sonos sound system was installed was when it really felt like home,’ he explains. ‘It has four zones so I can listen to playlists throughout the flat and out on the terrace. It’s been a great move – it’s hard to beat sitting on the terrace overlooking the canal, with music, a book, and a nice cup of tea on a balmy evening. I’m in the heart of London yet I it feels like the countryside – and that’s pretty special.’ OCTOBER 2016


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Real Homes


PENDANT Lexi ceiling light, £115, Living by Christiane Lemiux, at House of Fraser

SIDEBOARD Belgrave sideboard with dark-stained oak veneer in a parquet pattern, H82xW120xD47cm, £549,

STOOL Team7 Ark bar stool in walnut with leather seat, H67cm, £820, Wharfside



Choose rich walnut and luxe accents, like Ken van der Schee TREND ALERT Shark grey

BED Harold bed in Finch with winged headboard, £699, for a double measuring H170xW159xL203cm, Stay In Bed

PLANT Dieffenbachia plant, £6.99, Dobbies

SIDE TABLE Maisie tall side table in antique brass and raw mango wood, H56xDia.41cm, £139, West Elm TREND ALERT Mixed materials



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TILE Palazzo large-format marble-look porcelain tile, H120xW120cm, from £100 per m2, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse


SHELVING Malo tall walnut shelving unit, H190xW109xD32cm, £495, Habitat


27/07/2016 16:58


STYLISH, SPACIOUS AND STRONG... ...the Ultra range is the perfect garden office or retreat, all year round. Crafted and installed by the UK’s leading garden office manufacturer, four beautiful ranges, available in seven sizes and personalised to your requirements.

FOR OUR CATALOGUE CONTACT US ON 0800 242 5559 OR VISIT RH_Oct_4-68.indd 41

11/08/2016 14:40

THE OWNER Jemma Kennedy, a freelance PR, lives here with children Stevie, nine, and Clement, eight, and their lurchers, Queenie, Wolfie and Trip THE PROPERTY A detached four-bedroom Arts and Crafts house, built in 1929, in a village near Guildford JEMMA LOVES The Bricks That Built The Houses by Kate Tempest Travelling in the Greek Islands Bloody Marys Shopping at Sluiz in Ibiza Her 1960s swivel chair in the living room Art Republic in Brighton Miu Miu The colour blue PROJECT COST £26,500



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ARTS & CRAFTS PROPERTY TRANSFORMED Jemma Kennedy renovated an abandoned house to create a vibrant family home that is full of colour and character ➤


CREATIVE KITCHEN The garage was too small to fit a modern car in, so has been put to better use as a family kitchen. The oak units are from Ikea and the solid wood worktops are from Howdens. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball‘s Pitch Black. Wall tiles, Fired Earth. Floor tiles, Walls & Floors OCTOBER 2016

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DRAMATIC CHANGE Left and right The dining area has replaced the old kitchen, and the fireplace, which housed the oven, has been opened up. The diningtable is from Heal’s while the chairs are mostly vintage finds; the two plastic swivel tulip chairs were bought for just £40 at a car boot sale. The art is from Art Republic with prints by Pure Evil, Shuby and Shepard Fairey. Jemma bought the bench in Marrakech and had it shipped back


hen Jemma was looking to move out of east London and into a bigger property with her two young children, everyone thought she was mad to buy a rundown house that had stood empty and neglected for seven years. While the history of the house is vague, the previous owners had obviously left it in a hurry, as there were clothes in the wardrobes and a pile of washing up in the sink. ‘I still remember the look on my mum’s face when she first saw it,’ says Jemma. ‘Her jaw dropped and she said, “What have you done?”.’ However, it was on a charming private road, and while other potential buyers were put off by its run down condition and the task of clearing out the interior, the bare bones were sound and most of the work that needed doing was cosmetic. There might have been maggots in the carpets and decaying food in the cupboards, but Jemma could see that once the contents had been stripped out and the house was given a thorough clean, it was in good condition structurally. She also loved its Arts and Crafts design. ‘For some people, it would have been a nightmare, but I was prepared to knuckle down and get my hands dirty if it meant I could have a good-sized family home in a lovely location,’ she says. ‘To the neighbours’ horror, we moved straight in and lived in one room downstairs for five months. While they were glad to see someone had bought it after so long, they couldn’t believe we were prepared to live in it as it was. The kids just saw it as a great adventure.’ Once the clean up had taken place, Jemma decided they should live in the house to get a feel for it before she made any major changes. She also had a tight budget to stick to, which dictated the pace that she was able to do the work. The first task was to have all of the fake MDF beams that had been put up around the house removed, and the walls and ceilings replastered, creating a blank canvas. She called in local company Casmin Construction to do the work. ‘It was a messy job but made the house feel clean and fresh,’ she explains. ‘With the carpets gone, I actually loved the look of the floorboards and didn’t want to sand them for a more uniform look. Their worn, marked and overall ➤



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LIVING ROOM One of two living areas, this space is known in the house as the music room, and purposely doesn’t have a TV in it. The G Plan storage unit was passed down from Jemma’s stepfather’s family. The 1960s swivel chair and 1970s coffee table were Ebay finds. Sofa, Heal’s ➤



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DRAMATIC ENTRANCE Right Positioned in the centre of the house, the staircase, floor and door in the spacious hallway have been painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue for a real burst of colour

JEMMA’S BEDROOM Far right The bedroom shows Jemma’s eclectic taste with a white iron bed from Marks & Spencer, and pretty vintage bedlinen teamed with Mid-century furniture from Orange & Brown

shabby-chic look goes well with my collection of retro and vintage furniture.’ The previous owners had already started work on a garage conversion and had completed the internal work, using it as a dining room leading off from the kitchen. But with only a side window, it was very dark, so Jemma reorganised the whole ground-floor layout, moving the kitchen from the back of the house into the garage and turning the old kitchen into a open-plan dining area. At the rear of the house, a narrow extension had been added at some point to create a storage-cum-boot room with WC. The builder knocked the wall out to increase the length of the dining space and fitted French windows to the garden. ‘The original windows in the house were in good condition so when the doors to the garden were installed, I had the old windows fitted into the kitchen at the front,’ Jemma adds. ‘The room was also insulated and the floor raised, so it felt like one continuous space.’ Knowing that she had the whole house to renovate, Jemma didn’t want to blow all of her budget on an expensive kitchen, but she also didn’t want to end up with a low-cost 48

design that looked cheap. She chose oak kitchen cabinetry and appliances from Ikea but teamed them with chunky solid wood worktops from Howdens. ‘Quality work surfaces are a good way of giving inexpensive units a bespoke feel,’ she says. ‘I spent more money on fittings that are noticeable, such as the patterned tiles, and saved money where I could on things like the kitchen carcasses.’ Painting the walls black gives the units a contemporary feel, but Jemma also had designs on a copper basin and tap to create a little interest. ‘This is a look that’s very much on trend now, yet four years ago I couldn’t find anything suitable. I ended up ordering a basin from Morocco and a tap from America,’ she explains. ‘I wasn’t sure the basin would turn up but it did, so I was glad I took the risk.’ While sourcing most of the products in the house herself has saved money, there were a few hiccups along the way. When the tap finally arrived, Jemma discovered the thread wasn’t deep enough to go through the worktop. She found a local blacksmith who was able to make a new thread for £30, which meant she was able to have the design she wanted. ‘With everything else going ➤


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‘My style is very eclectic and erratic. It’s a mixture of modern, vintage, country and industrial’ OCTOBER 2016

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on we lived without a fitted sink and tap downstairs for nine months and had to keep filling up three-litre bottles of water in the bathroom,’ Jemma admits. This first stage of the work took around five months, but meant the majority of the downstairs of the house was then habitable. The next major job was the bathroom. Jemma found that most companies she approached wanted to design and project manage the job, as well as supplying the products, but this was taking the costs above what she wanted to spend. She decided to source products herself and then employed local trades to do the work to save some cash. Most of the fixtures and fittings were bought online as end-of-line or sale items. ‘The Edwardian towel rail was another risky purchase,’ she reveals. ‘I bought it very cheaply on Ebay as the seller didn’t know if it was in working order. Fortunately, it was and I bagged myself a bargain.’ The rest of the house is a quirky combination of clever buys and lucky finds, and the transformation was down to a combination of local independent traders, help from family and friends, and a lot of hard work by Jemma. ‘My style is very eclectic and erratic,’ she says. ‘It’s a mixture of modern, vintage, country and industrial; you really couldn’t predict what I might choose, as half the time I have no idea myself. And while it is unrecognisable from the house the family moved in to, it is by no means complete. ‘I am constantly moving things around,’ says Jemma. ‘Next on the agenda is the exterior and I’m looking for ideas to transform the front and back gardens.’ 50


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STEVIE’S BEDROOM Left A feature wall of geometric wallpaper contrasts with the stripped floorboards; for similar paper see Delano by Cole & Son. Jemma painted the furniture in a bold shade of blue. Bed, Ikea. Rug and cushions, Next

BATHROOM Below Patterned floor tiles and brick-shaped wall tiles from Topps Tiles add muted tones to this period-style scheme. Most of the fixtures and fittings were discounted buys that Jemma sourced online from websites such as Victoria Plumb, Amazon and Ebay. Walls, painted in Dulux Polished Pebble

NEW LAYOUT Below The kitchen was originally located at the rear of the house, with a part-completed garage conversion at the front. Walls were removed between the bootroom and kitchen, and the garage. Jemma finished the conversion and moved the kitchen into the new space, leading through to an open-plan dining room with doors out to the garden






Building work LIVING ROOM

£7,000 Bathroom

£4,500 Plastering KITCHEN

£3,000 Decoration

£1,000 TOTAL

£26,500 AFTER


Purchase cost in 2012


Estimated current value

£700,000 Potential profit BEDROOM






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Construction Casmin Construction, 01739 261652, Kitchen Ikea Worksurfaces Howden Bathroom Victoria Plumb, Amazon and Ebay OCTOBER 2016


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RUG Ligne Pure Colours Love Rug, W140x L195cm, £460, The Rug Seller


BAR STOOL MARK Product Net metal kitchen stool in Orange, H77xW51x D55cm, £372, from A Splash of Colour

COFFEE TABLE Acier steel and glass coffee table, H45xW130xD70cm, £284, Sweetpea & Willow TREND ALERT Mixed materials

TABLE LAMP Star by Julien Macdonald Flecks glass lamp, H59xDia.31cm, £80, Debenhams



THROW Kantha vintage sari quilt, W200x L200cm, £175, from Decorator’s Notebook

Copy Jemma Kennedy’s bold style by combining modern, country and industrial-style pieces

CUSHION Folk embroidered round cushion, Dia.45cm, £19,



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SOFA Isla three-seater sofa in Sandstone washed linen, H93xW212xD100cm, £1,680,




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LIVING ROOM Without a separate hallway, the careful arrangement of sofas in the sitting rooms creates both a natural passage from the front door and an inviting seating zone. The Amanta modular sofas are by Mario Bellini; for similar, try the Hendricks sofa in Teal from Habitat. This is a Fontana Arte-style glass table from the 1970s; for similar, try the Kartell Invisible Table from Houseology



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THE OWNERS Flure Grossart, a design specialist and 20th-century furniture dealer (pictured right), lives here with partner Benjamin Pearce, a property developer THE PROPERTY A three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in Hillgate Village, west London FLURE LOVES Pinterest and Instagram for interiors inspiration The novel The Secret History by Donna Tartt Homeware designer HAY Paris and New York The bath in her home Natural frozen yoghurt TOTAL PROJECT COST £45,000



Flure Grossart maximised every inch of her home to create a stylish living-working space WORDS ANDRÉA CHILDS PHOTOGRAPHS DAVID WOOLLEY


fter renting in London for quite some time, I was ready to be based somewhere more permanent,’ says Flure. ‘I was starting up my own business dealing 20th-century furniture and I was looking for a house that would suit both my work and home life; somewhere that would offer me a creative space and a place to grow into.’ Flure found what she was looking for in Hillgate Village. This corner of Kensington and Chelsea is a compact Conservation Area packed with character. ‘I love the history and look of it, with its multicoloured houses, which were originally built for local coal miners,’ she says. ‘It’s a diverse neighbourhood with a great community feel, which is something I cherish in a large city.’ Her house sits on a corner plot, which means it’s filled with light and, although small, its layout meant she could dedicate the ground floor to displaying the furniture she sells. ‘As soon as I viewed the property, I could see it had the potential to become a wonderful live-work space but ➤

HOME OFFICE Above and right Tucked into a corner of the ground floor, the office is the epitome of Mid-century style, with a desk by Pierre Paulin for Thonet and a 1950s Modernist desk lamp. The white tulip chair by Pierre Paulin for Artifort and Clifton swivel armchair from Heal’s are also available from Flure. For a similar lamp, try the Ogilvy task lamp from OCTOBER 2016

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SITTING ROOM The ground-floor sitting room is also the showroom for furniture dealer Flure’s collection of 20th-century design classics, like this 1950s button-back and armchairs. For a similar sofa, try the Richard sofa from Out & Out Original. Shutters, De Winter



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DATED DESIGN Left Flure felt the old décor made the house seem claustrophobic

ART DISPLAY Below A Talbert McLean painting is displayed with a 1950s lamp and an Adrian Pearsall chair. Wooden floor, Havwoods


there was a job to be done to achieve the uplifting, light and calm look I wanted,’ she explains. ‘Although the property was structurally sound and didn’t need any renovation work, it had been decorated in a very masculine way and the bathroom needed a complete overhaul. There were also heavily varnished wood floors, oppressive brown-polished cement walls in the study, and the staircase was painted a deep red. With the house being as compact as it is, all these elements made it seem very claustrophobic.’ Flure gave herself six months to live in the property and get a true sense of the house. Then, at the beginning of 2013, work began. ‘We lived on site the whole time, so we planned the work floor by floor to give us room to escape the dust and debris,’ she says. ‘Fortunately, the project only took six months in total. It overran by a month and, in hindsight, that’s probably because I didn’t pin the builders and decorators down to a firm schedule from the outset.’ The front door opens directly into the open-plan ground floor living room, which doubles as a showroom. On the lower ground floor, Flure transformed the existing kitchen into a multifunctional space for cooking, eating and relaxing. The existing units were repainted to give them a fresh look. ‘The main space is used for entertaining lots of people but also as an extra, less formal sitting room,’ she explains. ‘And although it’s in a basement, the three big windows mean it’s always flooded with light.’ ➤

Search Real Homes on YouTube for the latest advice and inspiration videos









NEW LOOK Flure left the layout as it was, redecorating throughout. She turned the living room on the ground floor into a multifunctional living-working space OCTOBER 2016

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MODERN COUNTRY KITCHEN Flagstone flooring from Topps Tiles helps to give the kitchen a contemporary country feel. The reclaimed kitchen units are from Howdens, painted in Slacked Lime, by Little Greene. The butler’s sink was found in a salvage yard. For similar, try the Astracast Belfast 1 Bowl Ceramic Sink from B&Q



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‘I dream of a minimalist interior but struggle because of my passion for collecting, design and art’ Upstairs, the gloomy bedrooms were transformed with cream paint and simple styling, while the oppressive bathroom was given a complete makeover. ‘The bathroom was originally a very cluttered space decorated in black and granite,’ recalls Flure. ‘I wanted to open it up into a pleasant place to be in, but I had to alter the new layout at the last minute when we came across a pipe that couldn’t be moved. I’m drawn to the idea of both masculine lines and feminine curves in interiors, and I had this in mind when I designed the bathroom.’ Flure replaced the existing dark concrete and granite fittings with an Ovale bath, from StoneKAST, and installed colourful floor tiles. ‘I’m really pleased with the result, which has a nod to Moroccan baths,’ she says. ‘The floor tiles are from Mosaic del Sur. They have an amazing website and I whiled away enjoyable hours trying out different custom tile patterns and colours.’ In fact, flooring was crucial to the transformation of the whole property. In the basement, large flagstones give a functional feel reminiscent of a farmhouse kitchen, while on the first floor, wide wooden planks bring a Mid-century vibe that suits the furniture on display. ‘Benjamin and I decided ➤

DINING AREA The 19th-century Swedish dining table is Flure’s favourite piece in the house. For similar, try the Aix en Provence rustic dining table from Not A Box. Flure sells the Hans Wegner CH24 Wishbone dining chairs. Striped bench, Oka. The floor-to-ceiling storage was made bespoke by a joiner. Yellow sofa and ottoman, both Loaf. Rug, West Elm

THE COSTS AND CONTACTS Kitchen, including appliances and flooring


Bathroom, including appliances and flooring


Interior decoration


Flooring (apart from kitchen and bathroom)


Exterior decoration


Roof terrace



£45,000 Purchase cost in 2012


Estimated current value

£3,418,000 Potential profit

£1,123,000 Kitchen Howdens, Furniture Flure Grossart 20th Century Design & Interiors, Flooring John Moutter, 07957 355336 Cupboards Graham March 07739 644539 OCTOBER 2016

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TRANSFORMED BATHROOM The curved Ovale bath is from StoneKAST and the Moroccan-inspired floor tiles from Mosaic del Sur. The walls are surfaced in polished Venetian plaster from Marco Polo Decor. Tap, Eauzone at CP Hart. Quadrato towel rail, Bisque



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ROOF TERRACE Above From the first floor, stairs continue up to this small roof terrace, which is a real sun trap. For a similar rattan lounger, try the Grasecamp from

MASTER BEDROOM Above Mid-century styling gives way to a more eclectic look in the master bedroom, where an upholstered bed from Loaf sits alongside antiquestyle lamps from Jeffreys Interiors and a vintage metal trunk; for similar, try the Aerospace silver metal chest of drawers from Furnish

to sand the original flooring ourselves to save money but after years of heavy staining, it was easier said than done,’ says Flure. ‘Many dusty hours later, and after the layer of limewash we applied turned yellow, instead of pale grey we had envisioned, common sense prevailed and we called in the professionals to lay a new floor.’ Upstairs was less problematic – a simple taupe carpet was chosen. ‘Working from home and using part of the house as a showroom has, to some extent, dictated the decoration,’ Flure explains. ‘I wanted to create a neutral backdrop to let the objects speak for themselves.’ In practice, that means ecru walls, plantation shutters and built-in storage, with bold hits of colour provided by furniture and artworks. ‘I think Mid-century designs lend themselves well to today’s interiors, and I love trying to reuse objects and combine old and new.’ As well as her ever-changing parade of furniture, that means combining modern lighting with ceramic collectables, and graphic textiles with colour-block sofas. ‘I’ll always be torn between the order of minimalism and the love of being surrounded by beautiful things!’ she adds.


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RELAXING SPOT Below The vintage Eames chair and Moroccan pouffe stand out against the monochrome curtains from John Lewis. Try Graham & Green for a similar pouffe OCTOBER 2016


04/08/2016 14:21


THROW Linea Artisan throw with tassels, L170x W130cm, £60, House of Fraser


TILE Lisbon Sapphire porcelain wall tile, H20xW20cm, £45 per m2, Piazza Tiles

COFFEE TABLE Luxe diamond table in marble, glass and iron, H36xL109xW50cm, £355, Oliver Bonas

LAMP Wrong London Cloche table lamp in polished brass, H43xW13xD46cm, £189, Amara PAINT Circle Line No.45, £22 for 2ltrs marble matt emulsion, Mylands Paints



Copy Flure Grossart and combine both Mid-century and Scandinavian influences in your home SOFA Luciene threeseater sofa in Genova Peacock, H80xD95xL247cm, My Furniture

CHAIR Chic dining chair in ash veneer back with yellow detail, H80xW44xD47cm, £39, Cult Living

RADIATOR Babble radiator in chrome finish, H72x W64.2xD23.5cm, £388, Arcade


BATH Formoso stone bath, H80xW80 xL150cm, £1,995, The Pure Bathroom Collection from Smiths Briten

TREND ALERT Spicy mustard



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29/07/2016 11:53

Real Homes ADVERTORIAL Tenbury multi-fuel stove, £799

Neo1F multi-fuel stove, £1,289

CHOOSE THE BEST STOVE FOR YOUR HOME The experts at ACR Stoves provide all the answers you need to know before investing


What are the main types of stove? ACR Stoves sells multi-fuel designs, which can burn both logs and smokeless fuels, as well as woodburners, which only burn logs. In terms of appearance, there are both traditional and contemporary styles.

Oakdale multifuel stove, £1,215

Neo1P multi-fuel stove, £1,395


Can a stove be fitted in any home? More than likely, but every home should be assessed to make sure the flue is safe or, if there is no existing flue, that it is possible to install one. You should also check that any clearances required around your chosen stove are achievable, and that the required hearth can be fitted. Always check the suitability with a HEATAS-approved installer before deciding on which stove to buy.


How do I know what heat output I need? The general rule is that for every 14 cubic metres, you will need 1Kw to heat the space to 21⁰C when it is 0⁰C outside. Factors such as the number of doors and windows there are in the room and the level of insulation will affect the output required. Your ACR stockist will be able to help calculate this for you.


What do prices at ACR start at and range to? Stoves start at £795 and go up to £1,895, depending on output, size, finish and style (including VAT).


Is it possible to install a stove myself? In a word, no. A registered installer, such as a HETASappointed installer, must fit all stoves. If you have a stove installed by a non-registered installer, you must get it signed off by Building Control.


What kind of maintenance do stoves need? It’s recommend that your stove is serviced annually by a HETASapproved installer who will check it operates safely and efficiently. The flue should be swept at least once a year, which is best done in summer. Contact ACR Stoves on 0121 706 8266 or visit OCTOBER 2016

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THE OWNERS Susan Warner (pictured left), co-director of a fine art print company, and Jay Todd, MD of a design and print business, live here with their three children, Tamzin, 12, Romey, nine, and Stanley, five THE PROPERTY A detached, five-bedroom 1960s villa in Fife SUSAN LOVES Our new kitchen-dining room Anthropology The colour navy blue TV show The House That £100k Built Our Cassandra Yap True Romance print Muuto Design Non-conformist stye TOTAL PROJECT COST £150,500 (including a two-storey extension)


FAMILYFRIENDLY EXTENSION Susan Warner and Jay Todd transformed their home with an open-plan kitchen-dining space WORDS ALISON GIBB PHOTOGRAPHS DOUGLAS GIBB


ur old kitchen was located at the front of the house and I felt hemmed in when I was using it as it was so tiny,’ says Susan of her Fife home. ‘Also, I always had to go out to check on the children if they were playing in the back garden.’ Susan and partner Jay bought the house in 2001 and lived there for seven years before deciding to extend and create the open-plan kitchen-diner of their dreams. Although they were busy with their printing business and three young children, they bit the bullet in 2008 and asked a local architect, Richard Morris (now retired), to help them draw up the plans. After waiting so long to extend, the couple, who had always felt the house had great potential, knew exactly what they wanted. Susan brought all her creativity to the project, giving it plenty of thought. ‘I think it is part of ➤



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NEW KITCHEN Susan wanted a modern intergrated kitchen and chose Tiko cabinetry from Magnet, with white Corian worktops to provide contrast. All of the appliances are from Electrolux. Arctic White laminate flooring, Quick Step OCTOBER 2016

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SPACE TO EXTEND Above A garage was demolished to make way for the new kitchendiner extension, which also took up some of the garden. Susan and Jay built a new garage to the front of the house OUTDOOR LINK Right The bi-fold doors have been fitted with integrated blinds from Blind Davy The large, round, chunky wooden table is great for al fresco dining. Susan brings out dining chairs from inside when she needs them

‘ I believe that form follows function; the results had to be practical rather than purely decorative’ the artistic process to come up with ideas and then discard them until you get it right’ she says. ‘Basically, I wanted the new space to work. I am an adherent to the modernist principle that form follows function; it meant the results had to be practical, rather than purely decorative.’ The project was a collaboration between Susan, Jay and the architect initially, and subsequently, with their builder, Douglas Bissett. ‘He was recommended to us by the architect and we really cannot speak highly enough of him,’ says Susan. ‘He was a perfectionist, leaving nothing to chance and always coming up with solutions to every problem that arose.’ Together, they came up with plans for

a two-storey extension at the side of the property, stretching from front to back. This would create space for a new kitchen-diner, and the existing kitchen at the front of the house would instead become a utility. On the first floor, the extension would create space for a further family room, which in the end became their eldest daughter’s bedroom when the girls grew out of sharing. The whole project took five months. The family lived in the house most of the time, but did move out to Susan’s parents for six weeks during the very worst of the mess. They also managed to stick to their budget. ‘I think we had done our homework by the time we got started, ➤ OCTOBER 2016

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For more inspiration, follow us on instagram @real_homes

DOUBLE-HEIGHT DINING Susan bought the dining table from Sterling Furniture in a sale. The Mono chairs are from Atlantide Collection. The wallpaper is North Easterly Sunrise by Bold & Noble. Susan’s father painstakingly papered the back of the cabinet, a family heirloom that she inherited from her grandmother, to match the pattern behind ➤ OCTOBER 2016

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so we knew what to expect, which meant there were no nasty surprises,’ adds Susan. The co-director of a fine art print company, she favours a bold but minimalist style in the kitchen. She carefully devised the space so that the design is very integrated. Nothing protrudes unnecessarily and there are no ‘tops’ to the units; they have all been built right up to the ceiling, adding to the seamless effect. ‘I spent a year deciding on the kitchen,’ she explains. ‘I saw this in the Magnet brochure and I really liked the option of the frosted glass on the fronts of some of the units, it is a lovely finishing touch.’ Susan also wanted an island to act as room divider without splitting the space completely. In the dining area, the pitched roof creates extra drama, while large rooflights flood the space with light. ‘I’m pleased that the room isn’t too wow – it is first and foremost a family home,’ says Susan, who has added further interest to the kitchen-diner with her colour choices. Dark-toned cabinetry and soft-grey walls contrast with patterned wallpaper in burnt orange and, of course, her print collection, which is the scheme’s final decorative flourish. ‘I find I cook more now,’ reveals Susan, who picked Electrolux appliances for the kitchen as they combine value

and quality. ‘I’ve heard that you eat 10 per cent more when you open up your kitchen, which I really hope isn’t true! I would like to think we’re all eating more healthily now I can spend more time on preparing our meals without having to worry what the children are up to.’ In the new layout, the rooms flow seamlessly into one another and, on a sunny day, the family can throw open the patio doors and let the sunshine in. ‘No one is cut off now; in fact my youngest, Stanley, uses the space as a racing circuit,’ laughs Susan. ‘The extension has transformed the way we live. We love spending time in here together as a family, as well as for entertaining.’

‘The extension has transformed the way we live. No one is cut off now. We love spending time here as a family, as well as for entertaining’ FAMILY SPACE The positioning of the units creates a breakfast bar for informal dining. Blackboard paint on the panel beside the windows makes it ideal for notes

EXTENDED LAYOUT Susan and Jay demolished a garage to make way for their two-storey kitchen-diner extension, with its double-height dining area








£125,000 DINING ROOM

£14,000 £4,000 Appliances

£3,000 Folding sliding doors

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£1,000 £150,500 Builder Douglas Bissett, 01334 840 648 Flooring Quick Step Kitchen Magnet Appliances Electrolux


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BOLD PRINTS The eclectic prints displayed around the cooker hood are by We Are Amused, One Must Dash and Cassandra Yapp, an artist Susan found on Instagram. Bosse bar stools, Ikea OCTOBER 2016

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WALLPAPER Tropical floral wallpaper, £12 per roll, B&Q

TABLE Parker Mid-century expandable dining table in natural oak, H76xW81xL147cm, £499, West Elm



Be inspired by Susan Warner’s choice of bold prints and simple furniture

STORAGE Iron four-shelf storage unit in Duck Egg, H70.5xW50xD35cm, £150, Oliver Bonas


CHAIR White Eames-style dining armchair with solid beech legs, H81xW47xD53cm, £49, Danetti PENDANT Vincent pendant light, steel with matt black finish, H25xDia.20cm, £32.99, My Furniture

VASE Obe vase, Living by Christiane Lemieux, £75, House of Fraser

WALL ART Kasbah hammered bronze-finish metal wall art, Dia.60cm, £202, Artisanti


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PAINT New Mauve No.144, £40 for 2.5ltrs perfect matt emulsion, Designers Guild


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INDUSTRIAL DESIGN FOR KITCHEN-DINER Elisabeth Lowry knocked a warren of rooms into one large, sociable space that incorporates some unusual touches



hen Elisabeth moved into her Victorian flat, she knew the whole place would have to be completely gutted. Bought under probate, nothing had been done to it for years, but it was an amazing space and had the potential to be a beautiful home. ‘We lived like students for a year but I wanted to get a feel for the place before making any big decisions,’ says Elisabeth. Ultimately, her plans included turning a fourth bedroom into a big family bathroom, and the existing bathroom into a smaller shower room, with the remaining space at the back becoming a storage room accessed through the kitchen. ‘The kitchen was in a pretty bad shape with cupboards hanging off the walls and a leaking tap,’ she recalls. ‘There was a doorway leading to a separate dining room and a cloakroom unsuitably positioned in one corner. I wanted to remove these internal walls to create a large kitchen-diner and take the toilet out altogether.’ Bursting with ideas but unsure where to begin, Elisabeth got in touch with interior designer Juliette Sherwood, from Sherwood Street, whom she had met when she arranged to stay in Juliette’s home through a ➤ BEFORE


Right The new-look room has units with doors made from salvaged floorboards. Sink and tap, Franke. Cadogen trio pendant light, Graham & Green. Cream Classic Deluxe 100 dualfuel range, Rangemaster CRAMPED KITCHEN Bottom Left The

old layout had appliances stacked on top of each other, unstable units, and a WC in a small room next to the dining area

THE OWNER Elisabeth Lowry, a teacher, lives here with her daughters Phoebe, 18, and Agnès, nine THE PROPERTY A three-bedroom Victorian mansion flat in west London ELISABETH LOVES Anything copper Boho chic Old brick tiles Graham & Green Urban landscapes Statement furniture PROJECT COST £35,300



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‘I just love this room; it’s stylish but quirky, and a great family space’ OCTOBER 2016

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Above Elisabeth opted for open shelving either side of the Rangemaster Classic chimney hood. Worktop, Corian Sagebrush from Pinnacle Worksurfaces. Apavisa Firestorm floor tiles, Solus Ceramics

THE COSTS AND CONTACTS Cabinetry and installation


Building work


Appliances, sink and tap


Floor tiles and underfloor heating


Work surfaces

£2,500 Decoration

£2,500 76


£1,500 Wall tiles

£300 TOTAL

£35,300 Interior designer Sherwood Street, 07736 942490, Kitchen and installation Carsons Shop Fitting, 07941 309951 Paint sprayer (cabinetry) Joinex Joinery Express, Salvaged floorboards Reclaimed World,

house-swap website. ‘I loved her house and her style,’ Elisabeth recalls. ‘When I bought this apartment, I asked for her help with my project. I thought that it would be expensive, but with Juliette’s contacts I was able to buy a lot of things at trade cost rather than normal retail prices.’ Before any of the interior decoration could begin, the whole flat was stripped out and rewired, replumbed and replastered. As the flat is leasehold, Elisabeth had to apply for a licence from her landlord to alter the layout. She admits it became very stressful when the builders discovered old gas pipes buried in the walls from the original gaslights. Elisabeth and the girls moved into a nearby rented flat for four months while the major building work was being done. ‘I wish we could have stayed there for another couple of months until the whole project was complete,’ she says. ‘I never knew that doing the whole place at once would be such a mammoth undertaking.’ When it came to the kitchen design, Elisabeth showed Juliette pictures of the styles she liked; including distressed cabinetry, a Belfast sink and a range cooker, and said that she wanted the same tiled flooring that she saw in Juliette’s house. ‘The look we were aiming for was relaxed but smart and we came up with a design with lots of texture, such as rough woods and rust with greys and shots of bright turquoise,’ explains Juliette. ‘I did consider polished concrete work surfaces but felt they would look too urban in a mansion flat, and suggested Corian in a muted shade to create a similar feel.’ With the internal walls removed, it was time to plan the layout. The largest window looks out over the urban landscape, so Elisabeth wanted to be able to sit at the dining table and enjoy the view. Cabinetry was arranged in a classic L-shape on the other side of the space, with extra units next to the chimney breast. The old WC was transformed into a small utility room. ‘A lot of Elisabeth’s budget was swallowed up in getting the actual renovation work done,’ says Juliette. ‘The kitchen had to feel bespoke but to keep the costs down I used off-the-shelf kitchen carcasses and had the door and drawer fronts made.’ Juliette discovered some oak floorboards that had been salvaged from the old Affleck’s Palace building in Manchester at a reclamation yard in Cheshire. She suggested Elisabeth use them for the kitchen doors as rough sawn doors can get dirty easily and be hard to clean, but the floorboards had been worn smooth. ‘We thought having all the doors in this style would be overpowering, so we mixed in painted cabinetry and ribbed glazed doors to break up the look,’ says Elisabeth. The worktop and sink were positioned across the bottom section of one of the windows. Juliette’s carpenter neatened the space behind with a hidden shelf and finished it off with a raised sill. The window frames were painted in a dark grey to replicate the effect of Crittall windows. The main focal point of the kitchen is the unusual table. Made from reclaimed Indonesian boat wood, Juliette spotted it in a garden centre in the Cotswolds. ‘They often have them in shades of red, orange and bottle green. When I saw this one in the perfect colours for the kitchen, I knew Elisabeth would love it,’ she says. Despite the mess and upheaval, the renovation was worth it and the kitchen is a real talking point with Elisabeth’s friends. ‘I just love this room; it’s a great family space, especially when Tess, my older daughter, visits,’ she says. ‘It’s stylish but quirky, and my favourite spot is sitting at the dining table looking out over the rooftops.’


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Elisabeth and Juliette teamed mismatched chairs with the reclaimed Indonesian boat wood table, bench and stool from Burford Garden Company. Heart-back chair and galvanised cafe chair; Mearle copper pendant; all Graham & Green. Tongue and groove panels painted in Clunch, Farrow & Ball

OPEN-PLAN LAYOUT Right Removing walls has created one large sociable space for Elisabeth and her daughters. An old wc that had been placed just off the dining area is now a compact utility room with shallow cabinetry built into the front





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Yoko metal copper pendant light, H136x D30cm, £94.80, Där Lighting COOK HOOD Belling Black DB 90 flat cooker hood, H64.8-122.8x W90xD50cm, £320, Cookers & Ovens


CLOCK Donald Clock, Dia.92cm, £125, Sweetpea & Willow TREND ALERT Folk

LANTERN Teal cut-out metal lantern, Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson, H40x W16xD16cm, £25, Debenhams


CHAIR Tram metal and wood chair, H77x W45xD51cm, £69, Cult Furniture


Bronze Armour ceramic floor tile, W45xL45cm, £26.95 per m2, Walls and Floors


Copy Elisabeth Lowry and mix industrial influences with character finds in your home

TABLE Henry natural teak dining table, H75x W150xD100cm £775, Puji

TREND ALERT Shark grey

PAINT Crace No.16 Wood & Metal Eggshell Paint, £26 per ltr, Mylands



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TREND ALERT Mixed materials


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08/08/2016 09:37



Hayley and Keith Williams chose green walls and units to bring the garden into their new kitchen WORDS LAURA CROMBIE PHOTOGRAPHS DEVOL KITCHENS BOLD DESIGN Left Hayley had the walls and Devol units painted in Carriage Green, from Farrow & Ball (now discontinued); for a similar shade, try the brand’s Green Smoke. Keith bought the antique mahogany dresser after seeing it in Lassco on his way to work. He also turned cloches found in the garden into lampshades

THE OWNERS Hayley Williams, a photographer, lives here with husband Keith (both pictured above), who works in commercial property, and children Oliver, 19, Jemima, 16, Harper, six, and Bear, four

detached house in Peckham, London

THE PROPERTY A five-bedroom Victorian



HAYLEY LOVES Retrouvius Architectural Reclamation & Design Petersham Nurseries Design blogs Cooking

hen Hayley and husband Keith viewed this elegant detached house, built in 1846, in south London, they knew instantly that it was the family home they’d been searching for. ‘It had this beautiful double frontage with a large driveway off Peckham Rye, and a 175-foot garden,’ recalls Hayley. ‘I’d never seen another house that looked quite like it in London, and it also had five good-sized bedrooms.’ In fact, the only thing letting the property down was its kitchen. For a house of its size, the space felt cramped and ➤ OCTOBER 2016



03/08/2016 15:16

‘I thought the rich green colour on the units and walls would almost make it feel like we’re out in the garden’ enclosed thanks to low ceilings. ‘There was a long, narrow galley kitchen with an archway leading through to a dining room, and both spaces were too small,’ says Hayley. ‘We knew creating a kitchen we actually wanted to spend time in was going to take some time and investment.’ The family moved into the house in March 2012, and lived with the existing kitchen while they considered how to improve it. Hayley and Keith thought about extending, but this would have meant demolishing a conservatory that houses a 30-year-old wisteria plant. Instead, they called on the help of an architect friend of theirs, Stephen Bonnington, to draw up plans to their designs. Keith came up with the concept of knocking through between the kitchen and dining room to create one large, open-plan space, as well as demolishing a WC that sat above the kitchen on the first floor. The beams in the kitchen ceiling would then be taken out and its height raised. ‘We decided we may as well go the full Monty,’ says Hayley. ‘We could have left the toilet upstairs and just knocked through between the two rooms but that wouldn’t have created the sense of height and space we were looking for.’ Hayley interviewed several builders for the job before selecting Peter Willis. ‘He turned up with a file containing all the information I’d given him and the quotes he’d pulled together, and I knew he was the one for us,’ says Hayley. ‘Keith laughs that I chose a builder because of his filing system, but Peter was definitely the best man for the job.’ When work began last October, the first step was to relocate the boiler, which was on the wall dividing the kitchen and dining room, down into the basement. The washing machine and tumble dryer were also moved, this time to one of the five bathrooms upstairs, creating a separate laundry room. With the kitchen cleared, the dividing wall and first-floor WC could be demolished, ready for the ceiling to be raised. ‘We actually had to get planning permission to demolish the toilet as it affected the exterior façade of the property, but it went through quickly,’ says



NEW LAYOUT Below Knocking walls through and raising the ceiling created a space that was at once dramatic and family-friendly

Hayley. Indeed, most of the construction phase ran smoothly, thanks in no small part to Peter’s organisation. When it came to the kitchen itself, Hayley, who loves trawling interiors websites for inspiration, had a clear idea of what she was looking for. ‘Because we hadn’t been able to extend, I wanted to bring the outdoors inside in a different way,’ she says. ‘I thought a rich, green colour on the units and walls would make it almost feel like we were out in the garden, rather than in our kitchen.’ Hayley had seen Devol’s designs before and knew the company would create the bespoke kitchen she craved. ‘I went to them with quite a list of demands and they met each and every one of them,’ she recalls. Brass was to play a key role in the design and Devol used door handles and taps in the material, with Hayley finding a similar brass handle for the fridge on Ebay. She also sourced the Arabescato marble for the worktops, splashbacks and display shelf through her builder. ‘I knew we would need something to brighten the space up because the shade of green I’d picked was quite dark,’ she explains. ‘The marble has this gold veining that complements the brass perfectly.’ Hayley, who grew up in Texas, where her mum was an antiques dealer, was keen for the finished space to provide somewhere to display a small part of her collection of oil paintings and vintage crockery. An antique table – which Keith bought because it’s big enough to dance on – is the meeting point for everything from family meals to dinner parties with friends. With the kitchen-diner completed in April, Hayley and Keith have since sourced bespoke lighting and vintage furniture to complete the room. ‘It’s so wonderful feeling like there’s space in here for the whole family,’ says Hayley. ‘I love sitting looking out at the garden while the kids have their dinner at the table. Before, we never wanted to spend any time in the kitchen and now we never want to leave it. There isn’t a single thing I would change; it’s better than I ever envisioned it would be.’

THE COSTS AND CONTACTS Building work (incl windows)

Ceiling cladding

Kitchen cabinets






£9,000 Appliances

£8,800 Flooring (for ground floor)

£8,000 82




Architect Stephen Bonnington, 07834 77873, Builder Peter Willis, 07929 344285 Kitchen Devol, devol Appliances Miele, Wolf


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DATED SPACE Left The kitchen was the only area of the house that needed updating when the family moved in. The dark, narrow galley kitchen had an archway through to an equally dark dining room

MAGNIFICENT MARBLE Left Arabescato marble was chosen for the worktops, splashback and display shelf. For a similar brass tap, try Perrin & Rowe

SMART LIGHTING Left The antique wall lights are from Retrouvius and illuminate some of Hayley’s collection of oil paintings

PERIOD LOOK Above Hand-aged Antique Tudor engineered oak flooring, from Bert & May, runs through to the entrance hall OCTOBER 2016



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LIGHT Wire pendant lamp in Black, H31xDia.21cm, £95, Out There Interiors

TREND ALERT Meadow green

SOFA Moose Antler crushed velvet 2.5-seater sofa, H80xW179x D96.5cm, £1,249, The Lounge Co

PORTRAIT Lord Montague canvas print, H81xW66cm, £183, Lime Lace

PAINT Brompton Road No.205 marble matt emulsion, £22 per ltr, Mylands Paints

BRASS TAP Cooke & Lewis Newport monobloc tap, H32xW16.8cm, £45, B&Q



Use green as the backdrop for brass accessories and antique-style furniture, like Hayley and Keith Williams

TABLE Stevenage wooden table, H79.5xW219.5x D95cm, £1,258, Sweetpea & Willow

HANDLES Croft cup door handles in matt nickel, brass and blackened bronze H5xW9.5cm, £14, Rowen & Wren

TREND ALERT Monochrome



MARBLE WORKTOP Arabescato polished marble, suitable for walls, floors and wet areas, from £259 per m2, Lapicida



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Transform every room in your house with the latest design and decorating ideas, plus practical solutions for every budget

Head to

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Add space . . . Add value . . . Use your loft  10 year guarantee.  Free no obligation estimate.  Nationwide company with local services.  Free government endorsed insurance.

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SPACIOUS LOFT CONVERSION Kate and Matthew Ashwell transformed the attic of their Victorian house to create a contemporary, light-filled master suite ➤


For advice on planning and costing a loft conversion, see



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UNIQUE DESIGNS The bespoke bed and furniture were hand-built by Leaves of London; the tall boy features a handy laundry store. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Grey. French doors, from Value Conservatories. Glass balcony and balustrade, both Total Glass Solutions. Grey curtains, Landers Interiors OCTOBER 2016

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NEW STOREY Kate and Matthew converted what was once a dark, unused attic space (right) to create a spacious master bedroom suite with living area and large en suite




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THE OWNERS Kate Ashwell (pictured left) and her husband, Matthew, live here with their daughter Amber, who is one THE PROPERTY A four-bedroom semi-detached Victorian house in Tunbridge Wells


he great location and classic period features weren’t the only things that appealed to Kate and Matthew when they first went to see this Victorian house; it was the loft space and pitch of the roof that really caught their eye. ‘We were on the lookout for an old property with scope for a loft conversion,’ says Kate. ‘While other potential buyers might have been focusing on the size of the kitchen or condition of the bathroom suite, we were mentally measuring the roof height.’ This, coupled with the fact that the house still had the original windows (a must for Kate) and off-street parking, convinced them to buy it as a renovation project and future family home. The couple were living in the area already but were looking for more space. When they first moved in, back in 2009, they decided to concentrate on updating the bathroom and the overall decoration. They then opened up the kitchen and dining room into one space. The loft project was constantly at the

ADDING LIGHT Left The four Velux windows fill the room with light. Sofa and cushions, both Landers Interiors

KATE LOVES Kauai, Hawaii Being curled up on the sofa in the new loft Kir Royale drinks The colour blue Home accessories store Landers Interiors Hidden storage TOTAL PROJECT COST £114,500

BESPOKE PIECES Above Bespoke TV unit and eaves cupboards, from Leaves of London. Engineered wood floor, Havwoods

back of their minds, though, and Matthew did extensive research online to look at the possibilities. The previous owners had already applied for planning permission for a loft conversion and, although it had expired, Kate and Matthew were confident their application would be approved, especially as the owners of other houses in the street had completed similar projects. ‘We decided to invite eight companies to come up with a design and tender for the job, but we found many had limited vision and just didn’t appreciate the high-specification design that we wanted to achieve,’ Kate explains. The project, which took three months to complete, finally started in the summer of 2014. The couple asked Steve Mills, founder of A1 Lofts & Extensions, to keep the pitch of the roof as high as possible, create lots of light and a contemporary feel. ‘We knew we wanted one large, open space incorporating our bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe and a luxurious wet room’ says Kate. ‘As the design progressed we could see there was space for a living area, too.’ ➤ OCTOBER 2016

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The layout dictated that the staircase came up in to the middle of the room, naturally dividing it into sleeping and living spaces. ‘It wasn’t viable to have the bed under the windows in the sloping roof at the front of the house,’ says Kate. ‘There wouldn’t have been enough headroom and we wanted to use the eaves space for storage.’ Instead, the bed was placed in the middle of the room, with French doors and a glass balcony overlooking the garden. The aluminium doors were colour matched to blend in with the slate roof. The long, narrow part of the L-shaped space at the rear of the house was turned into a walk-in wardrobe, leading on to a wet room. Built-in wardrobes either side provide plenty of hanging and shelf space, with a roof light above to keep it feeling bright and spacious. ‘Originally, we wanted the whole of the loft to be open plan but Steve at the loft company suggested fitting concealed sliding doors at the entrances to the walk-in wardrobe and wet room,’ Kate 92

explains. ‘These work really well as the space can be opened up if we want it to be, but we can shut the doors at night to block out the light from the roof lights or if one of us wants to shower or get dressed without disturbing the other.’ With a family bathroom on the first floor, Kate and Matthew didn’t feel the need to include a bath in their loft scheme, opting for a stylish wet room with a double-ended walk-in shower, double basins and two heated towels rails; one at either end. Matthew had always wanted a wet room and, as it’s a space that is only going to ever be used by the couple, they felt that they could pull out the stops with high-end fixtures and fittings. ‘It was a heart-stopping moment watching the glass screen for the shower being craned in over the roof, as it was too big to get through the house and up both of the staircases,’ says Kate. ‘The best piece of advice I can give to anybody considering a similar project is to get the building


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WET ROOM Left The room is big enough for double basins as well as a walk-in shower. High-end fixtures and tiles from Villeroy & Boch and Hansgrohe give the space a luxurious feel

THE COSTS AND CONTACTS Construction and glazing




Wet room

£20,000 Decorating

£11,500 Lighting

£3,500 Flooring

£3,000 Furniture


Design and build A1 Lofts and Extensions, 0800 019 2678, Glazing Value Conservatories, 01932 354821, value Glass balcony and balustrade Total Glass Solutions, 01689 862903, Flooring Havwoods, 01524 737000,


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DRESSING SPACE Above Nestled between the bedroom and wet room, the dressing room features bespoke wardrobes by Leaves of London, with pale doors to reflect light

work done before you do any improvements to your drive or gardens. You’ll have to have scaffolding up for some time and, depending on the size of your job, a constant supply of skips coming and going, which could undo any work you’d had done on the outside of your house.’ When it came to the colour scheme, Kate knew she wanted a cool palette of grey, white and blue. The wall shade came first; Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Grey, which then influenced the other elements, from the bespoke walnut furniture to the textured, engineered wood flooring. The couple also invested in an Occhio lighting system, a contemporary, modular design with programmable dimmer switches. ‘We chose a combination of spotlights, bedside lights and a pendant trio over the stairwell,’ Kate explains. ‘We also bought a 3D TV as it’s a great space to relax and watch a good film. The time we spent in getting the design just right has really paid off.’ OCTOBER 2016


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PENDANT Sofie Refer Mega Bulb hand-blown gold glass light, H18.5xDia.23cm, £159, Design My World

RUG Riflesso rug, W170xL240cm, from £770, Natuzzi

DRAWERS Esme tall ash chest in white, H136xW60x D40cm, £379,

BASIN Royo Grandeur wallhung unit and luxury ceramic basin, H53.8x W79.4xD48cm, £725, Frontline Bathrooms



Combine simple lines with luxe pieces, like Kate and Matthew Ashwell ARMCHAIR Flump occasional chair in Brighton Blue plush velvet, H90xW70xD82cm, £845, Loaf

BED Mid-century double bed in natural oak, H118xW145xL202cm, £799, West Elm




TREND ALERT Riverside blue

PAINT Lulworth Blue No.89, £39.50 for 2.5ltrs interior wall and ceiling estate emulsion, Farrow & Ball


CUSHION Velvet ombre navy cushion, £27, Oliver Bonas


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THE ALL-NEW AND IMPROVED HOMES APP. DOWNLOAD IT TODAY Download and subscribe to our digital edition to gain access to fully searchable and downloadable back issues, supplements, videos and more Search Centaur Media on your app store to view the latest tablet editions


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ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Above This four-bedroom 1960s house was too small for the family who bought it. They wanted it redesigned to combine modern living with a traditional-looking exterior

New-look family home Architect Richard Witcher transformed this Hampshire house inside and out PHOTOGRAPHS WITCHER CRAWFORD ARCHITECTS


he owners of this detached house wanted a traditionalstyle, modern family home that was an asset to the small Hampshire village it is located in. Before the transformation began, there was a garage on the lower ground floor, a dining room, kitchen, study and cloakroom above, and four bedrooms, one with en suite, plus a family bathroom, on the first floor. A large two-storey extension was added to the side of the property, with a contemporary, single-storey addition


built at the rear to allow for an open-plan kitchen and dining room. This has become a light-filled social hub for the whole family and links to the garden through bi-fold doors. The addition of a utility room, also used for the family’s dogs, means the kitchen remains clutter free. The internal layout has been reconfigured throughout to create better-proportioned rooms. It created space for a new drawing room, family room and wine store on the ground floor. The lower ground

floor now houses a garage and games room overlooking the outside space and a new garden room. On the first floor, the space was reconfigured to create a master suite with en suite and dressing room, as well as adding an en suite to the second bedroom. A loft conversion has been created for a fifth bedroom and bathroom. Architects: Witcher Crawford Architects, 01962 813344, Number of bedrooms: Five Build cost: ÂŁ450,000


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IMPOSING LOOK Above Richard planned to render the existing part of the house, but once the side extension was built, the owners liked the brickwork so much that they had the existing building clad with brick slips. The blend roof tiles are from Michelmersh Right The modern extension at the rear has bi-fold doors; for similar, try I-D Systems SEPTEMBER 2016

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MODEST DESIGN Above The original bungalow was on a sloping site overlooking Bath but failed to make the most of its views 98

Radical makeover

A 1980s bungalow in Bath was remodelled to create a contemporary, energy-efficient home PHOTOGRAPHS JEREMY PHILLIPS


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BOLD CLADDING To make the contemporary statement the owners were after, the house and new office-cum-studio (shown in the foreground) have been covered in cladding from VM Zinc, with external insulation from Dow Building Products beneath. Replacement windows are from Velfac


wner Nigel Mitchell and his family lived in this bungalow for the best part of 15 years before they decided what to do with it. The property was on a large, sloping site but failed to make the most of its location, with low-set windows, which meant they had to duck down to appreciate the views over the valley below. To get the most innovative redesign possible, Nigel held a competition between three local architects’ practices, asking them to come up with a scheme that was low-energy and contemporary.

The winners, Dow Jones Architects, stripped the house back completely, and repositioned and changed the height of the windows to take full advantage of the views. Inside, the whole layout was reconfigured so that the spaces flow more smoothly. An integral garage became the new kitchen, which now opens up on to the patio at the rear and features an impressive lightwell, thanks to a change in the roof shape. A new garage-cum-studio was then built for Nigel. To increase the property’s energy efficiency, bonded insulation

board was added to the exterior, topped with dark-brown zinc cladding. The bold design went down surprisingly well with the planners — the planning committee unanimously approved the scheme. ‘There’s definitely a greater sense of volume now, and the big windows frame the views of the city splendidly,’ says Nigel. ‘It was well worth waiting 15 years for.’ Architects: Dow Jones Architects, 020 8675 2544, dowjonesarchitects. Number of bedrooms: Four Build cost: £800,000 OCTOBER 2016

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IDS HBR FmSp Ad 290x213 2016 LHP 22/04/2016 23:45 Page 1


For more information and to download our brochure find us at

Make space for the things that matter At IDSystems, we believe in breaking down the boundaries set by traditional building methods. With a complete range of folding sliding doors, windows, moveable walls, glass roofs and balustrades to choose from, we’ll help you add another dimension to your home and get maximum enjoyment from your surroundings.


t 01603 408804 | e | a B2 Rhombus Park, Diamond Road, Norwich NR6 6NN |

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For more glazing ideas, go to realhomes

ADD MORE LIGHT INTO YOUR HOME Bring in the light with these innovative new products and ideas for windows, glazed doors, rooflights and sun tunnels FEATURE ALISON JONES


Adding glazed roof panels to the end of a room, coupled with sliding or bi-fold doors, can maximize the sense of openness. These glazed roof sections and doors by The Caulfield Company offer the highest possible strength and thermal values, ensuring the room is comfortable in the cooler months while making the most of the winter sun. COST: These glazed roof panels together with the bi-folds cost £2,400 per m2, including VAT, from The Caulfield Company. ➤ ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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10 years of bespoke glazing solutions in timber, aluminium & composite

Thank you to our customers, staff, suppliers and associates, here’s to the next 10 years! Visit our showrooms in London, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire, see website for details

telephone: 01487 740044

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BI-FOLD DOORS HOME TRANSFORMATION Kevin Brown and his wife, Jo, wanted to make the most of the location of their character property in Purley, Berkshire, which overlooks the River Thames. One of the changes they were determined to make was to replace the original chunky wooden sliding doors, as they were draughty and flooded

around the seals. Instead they chose bespoke aluminium bi-folding doors from Origin. Two three-door sets on the ground floor create a seamless link between the living room and front garden, drawing the eye to the riverside. Upstairs, two more sets of bi-folds open up the kitchen and dining area to a balcony.

The doors, which can be opened with just a gentle push, were powder-coated in Anthracite Grey to complement the house’s dark wood beams. COST: The installation of four sets of Origin aluminum bi-fold doors costs £1,000 to £1,200 per door leaf. The doors are bespoke so sizing varies from customer to customer. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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Stairs and More

Stunning Stairs and Balustrades

Contemporary stairs , glass & stainless steel balustrades ,both internal and external

Ph 01845 577200

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Glass doors can bring adjoining spaces together and brighten up a dark room without it all being open plan. Jeld-Wen’s Shaker 1 light clear glazed doors come in American white oak veneer and also a double primed timber option. An obscure glazed version is perfect for offering more privacy. COST: A set of Jeld-Wen Shaker oak 1 light clear glazed doors, H198xW123cm, with pair maker system, starts from £439, including VAT but excluding fitting.


Mostly found on period properties, fanlights are an elegant way to bring extra light into the hallway – and add character to an entrance – without compromising privacy, Usually semi-circular or semielliptical in shape, their glazing bars see them likened to an open fan, though they are also occasionally known as sunburst lights. COST: A Scotts of Thrapston standalone fanlight window would start from £1,500 (depending on specification, materials, fenestration pattern and opening requirements). A fanlight above a door can add between 20 to 50 per cent to the total price. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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Make the most of every inch of a wall with windows that follow the lines of the ceiling. Marvin Architectural’s Special Shape windows go beyond the typical rectangle and come in unique geometric shapes, adding some visual drama to a room design. They work particularly well in areas where walls are less uniform, such as stairwells or loft conversions. COST: Marvin Architectural Special Shape Windows start from £4,000 for a six-piece design.

CHOOSING BI-FOLDING DOORS Martijn Venema, managing sales

director at Solarlux, advises on what to look for when buying bi-folding doors for your home: The quality and finish of bi-folding doors can vary enormously, as can the mechanism and ease of use. Some products have cheaper parts which are likely to result in a far shorter lifespan and demand more

upkeep. For example, nylon runners are far less effective or long-lasting when compared to their stainless steel counterparts. WEATHER RESISTANCE Secure systems shouldn’t rattle in the wind and should keep out the noise of traffic and inclement weather, while allowing daylight to flood in on sunnier days. BE SECURITY AWARE The doors must comply with PAS 24, the British standard performance requirements for the security of doors and windows.

BUILDING REGULATIONS These are constantly updated, so be sure the doors you choose will pass the current regulations. Keep the certificates provided for when you sell your home. THERMAL PERFORMANCE Any additional expanse of glass can result in increased heat loss,so energy performance is an important factor to consider. Solarlux’s SL 97 wood and aluminium folding glass door has an additional insulation layer and triple-gl;azing for improved thermal efficiency. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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GLASS ROOM DIVIDER SOLUTION Jayne and Dan Sullivan looked to Vufold when the reality of an open-plan living space failed to match up to their dreams. The couple, who live with their two children in a 1930s semi in Macclesfield, had decided to eliminate their small, dark downstairs rooms by knocking through the kitchen, dining room and one of the lounges. But, after taking down two internal walls, they realised they’d made a mistake. ‘Having the whole space open made talking with friends almost impossible if the TV and dishwasher were on in the kitchen, or if the kids were playing in the other half of the room,’ reveals Jayne. ‘And we could never get it all warm enough.’ They started to look at

dividing the space, calling Vufold, which had fitted external doors for them in the kitchen.‘We had already knocked the walls out, which is not the way to do it really as it left us with an odd space to fill,’ says Dan. ‘Fortunately Vufold offer a made-to-measure service.’ Vufold manufactured and fitted an oversized set of six glass-panelled doors from its Finesse range for the couple. ‘In the end we got the best of both worlds as the doors give us a variety of practical living spaces,’ says Jayne. ‘The dividers are also great for parties as we can throw them open.’ COST: Vufold’s Finesse four-door set (10ft or 3m) of single-glazed aluminium internal bi-fold doors in white start from £1,399.

ROOF UPGRADE Replacing your traditional polycarbonate conservatory roof with glass can instantly let in more light. Polycarbonate roofs can be hard to clean, and as grime and mildew build up, they start to look cloudy and yellow, impacting on the light filtering through. Refresh Glass Roofs makes panels for conservatories that include a hydrophillic coating, which means it utilises daylight and rain to clean itself. The sun’s rays break down the dirt while the coating causes raindrops to flatten and spread over the surface of the roof, washing the grime away. Plastic roofs also absorb heat from the sun, which can make it unbearable in summer, whereas the Refresh glass has a microscopic coating that reduces the heat and glare from the sun, reflecting the infrared rays away from it. In winter, the better insulated glass can keep in the warmth. COST: Refresh Glass conservatory roofs start from £3,000, including supply and fitting.


‘Homeowners want open and light spaces for entertaining, where the indoors blends seamlessly with outdoors,’ says Jill McLintock, product manager at Everest. ‘Our bespoke glass extensions offer sleek bi-folding doors and a verandah roof which help create an open and airy living space. Traditional  glasshouses or conservatories  can often be too hot in the summer and far too cold in winter. With new innovations in double glazing and insulation, our designs are the perfect temperature all year round.’ COST: An Aluminium Glass Extension from Everest costs from £25,000  ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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BEAUTIFULLY BUILT FOR YOUR SECURITY AND WARMTH Aluminium sheets for added security

Our new range of external INSULUX timber doorsets give you outstanding thermal performance and security, with the beauty of real wood. These luxury doorsets give you great kerb appeal owing to the traditional timber designs on the outside of the doors, whilst keeping you safe and warm on the inside because of their modern construction and engineering – with U values as low as 1.2 W/m2K. Choose from a range of designs for the front and back door, in a colour to suit you including dual colour options to complement JELD-WEN timber windows and patio doorsets.

RH_Oct_73-114.indd 110 JWD2371 Ext Doorsets Ad_Selfbuild_290x213.indd 1

Real wood exterior Foam core for improved insulation

To view our full range, or find your local JELD-WEN retailer visit

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CLEAR WELCOME A contemporary door that mixes both timber and glazing, coupled with glazed panels around the entrance and even above the door, flood the entrance hall of this property with light, and create a real sense of space. Kloeber’s FunkyFront doors come in styles which include glazed cut outs. The glazing’s high thermal properties means that it has a low U-value of 1.3W(m2K), while argonfilled glass cavities keep homes fully insulated. COST: Kloeber’s timber FunkyFront door (style Kiel 14) and panels as shown start from £3,743, plus VAT, excluding fitting and delivery.

VERSATILE OPTION A roof lantern can be the ideal solution for taking back some of the natural light usually obscured by roof tiles or felt. Their many different forms – from pyramid lanterns to octagons to large rectangular hipped roof lanterns – mean there is something to suit rooms of different sizes and designs, from contemporary to traditional. They can be positioned to define an area, such as an island or dining table, in an open-plan room. They can also make an unusual feature over a stairwell. COST: Just Roof Lanterns in engineered hardwood and aluminium start from £2,000, plus VAT.


Vufold has added an extra square metre of glass to its Ultra range by removing a door and widening the others, with no impact on door stability or security. This means the 10 foot set now has three doors instead of four, and the largest set, at 16 feet, has five doors instead of six While the exterior is clad in weather-resistant aluminium, the doors are oak on the inside, more easily matching floors, doors or furnishings. COST: Prices range from £2,699 for a 6ft set, up to £5,599 for a 16ft set. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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Sun tunnels can funnel natural light into corridors, stairwells, bathrooms and cupboards, where it might not be possible to install a conventional window. Velux offers two versions – a flexi or rigid tunnel. They incorporate a flat glass rooflight where the light enters, a tunnel that it is channelled down, and a white-trimmed double-glazed acrylic ceiling diffuser through which the light enters the room or space to be illuminated. COST: A Velux sun tunnel starts from £265, plus VAT, not including fitting.


Narrow frames on glass windows and doors offer up more of the view and less obstruction of light. The Panoramah! System available at FX Specialist Glazing can be fitted with panes up to six metres by three metres, but the only visible frame is the two centimetre meeting stile, with the outer frame sunk into the finishes. In traditional windows systems, the glass is the filler while the frame offers the structural support. In Panoramah! the intrinsic characteristics of glass have been used to make it self-supporting. In spite of the size of these walls of glass, they glide open easily, with minimal effort. They can also be operated electronically. COST: A two-track system would be approximately £1,250 per m2 installed.



STEEL AND GLASS DOORS TRANSFORM A PERIOD HOME When remodelling their Victorian terraced home in Hammersmith, west London, Tom and Polly Sykes took a more design-led approach to the new décor. Out went wooden bi-fold doors and in came in four sets of steel double doors from Steel Window Service and Supplies. Two sets replaced the old and leaking bi-folds in the top-floor master bedroom, that opened onto a balcony. They were within the mansard roof so

were powder-coated black to look in keeping with the slate. In the ground-floor living room, two sets of double doors were added either side of a purpose-built brick pier. T-wash (a modified zinc phosphate solution) was applied to give the galvanised finish a distressed look. COST: A set of two W20 steelframed doors from Steel Window Service and Supplies cost from £4,000 plus VAT. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



09/08/2016 10:16


Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority


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As well as offering protection on a gallery landing or on the open side (or sides) of a staircase, glass balustrades can also allow more light into an otherwise dark stairwell. In an open-plan space, the stairs can become a statement feature, rather than a functional link between levels. COST: A frameless glass balustrade (without handrail) from Stairs & More costs from around £210 per metre, excluding VAT and installation.


Originally built to protect fruit trees during the winter, orangeries are now an excellent way to add a light-filled room that can be used all year round. This Livin Room orangery from SafeChoice has all the benefits of a conservatory in terms of the amount of glazing, including French doors, roof lanterns and casement windows, with the solidity of an extension. COST: This Livin Room orangery was £35,000, including supply and installation. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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UK Dealers



















BIFOLD DOORS ADD THE WOW FACTOR Luxury bifolding doors in aluminium, hardwood and upvc at very affordable prices. Add the WOW factor to your home extension with a bifold door complete with 1.0 U-value solar control double glazing as standard.

01621 834123

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CLEVER SOLUTION There are some spaces where you need to get creative when it comes to introducing light – in a room below ground, for example. The Caulfield Company has overcome this problem with an artificial window which can be set into walls or the ceiling. Called CoeLux, it uses virtual reality light technology to mimic a blue sky on a bright, sunny day, transforming even the dingiest room into usable living space. A sophisticated optical system creates the sensation of distance between the sun and the sky. COST: Prices start from £20,000 for the CoeLux ‘window’.

Vertical sliding sash windows are the perfect choice for a period home. They are traditionally operated by a weights and pulleys system, but the modern alternative is a more inexpensive spring-balance mechanism. In Conservation Areas, however, this may not be considered visually authentic. Mumford & Wood has designed a simple box cover to conceal it, making the new sash window look more in keeping with its surroundings COST: Prices start from around £1,812, plus VAT, for a sash window with spring balance mechanism from Mumford & Wood.


A light shaft can bring natural light, ventilation and even external views to a previously windowless room. Suitable for new-build houses or retro-fits, they can be used up to three storeys deep. They can even be configured to provide an exit route. Light shafts feature secure glazed top covers at surface level, with the light bounced down the shaft – which is covered in a reflective surface – and through a specially created window. COST: This project in Wimbledon featured four basement light shafts of differing sizes from Limitless, costing £4,500 each, excluding VAT but including delivery and installation. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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Glass panels in the floor/ceiling can be a striking and unusual way to let light flow between levels. When positioned above each other, it is possible to let daylight permeate through several storeys or down into a basement. Because the floor panels must be strong enough to walk on, structural calculations must be done prior to installation to make sure they will be sound. Then it is just a question of design; bespoke panels can be simple or ornate, framed with steel or timber, and made in any shape. The glass can be standard or low iron (with a reduced green tint), textured, sandblasted or etched. COST: Price varies according to size and style, but a 1.5m wide panel in a steel and oak frame, designed, manufactured and installed by Bisca, would cost £6,000.




Neil Ginger, CEO of Origin, offers tips to help you choose the right windows for your property. WHAT TYPE OF WINDOW? Decide what its main function is – to let in more light, provide a view, add ventilation or enhance the space within a room. This will help you decide between gable, bay or casement windows, perhaps a roof-light, or even a French door as an entrance. WHAT TYPE OF FRAME? Frame strength and durability are the important factors n uPVC – usually the cheaper option but has thicker sightlines than aluminium as it isn’t as strong, meaning less glass and subsequently less light. n Timber – looks great and offers a warm feel, but tends to have wide sightlines, and it requires regular maintenance to keep it in peak condition, especially in direct sunlight. n Aluminium – a good combination of strength and weight, allowing for narrower frames. Low maintenance and resilient to flexing, expanding or contracting. CONSIDER THERMAL EFFICIENCY U-values show the amount of heat lost in watts (W) per square metre of material. The lower the number, the better the thermal efficiency. In the UK, U-values must be 1.6 W/(m2K) for replacements, and up to 2.0 W/ (m2K) for new builds and extensions. Enquire about additional upgrades to increase thermal performance. STAY SECURE n The system must conform to PAS 24 security standards. n The window should be installed with Yale’s dependable Encloser Lock with bi-directional locking technology. n Hinge guards should be installed to protect hinges and block intruders. n Frames should be mechanically crimped for the most secure system.


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STATEMENT DESIGN Manually operated blackout blinds in Pink 4565, from £72


COLOUR POP Above Blackout energy blinds in Yellow 1160, from £91.20

Whether you already own a Velux roof window, or you’re thinking of investing, complement your space with a stylish design


ith great functionality and beautiful styling, Velux blinds are designed to control light and heat in a room, as well as look fantastic. From the operation of the blind itself to the choice of fabrics and materials, you will be spoilt for choice for your window treatment. Here are some of the options available:  Blackout blinds With a reflective back coating, these blinds integrate into any Velux roof window for a tight, lightproof seal that will ensure a good night’s sleep or peaceful daytime nap.  Duo blackout blinds A blackout blind and pleated blind in one, the duo option provides total blackout as well as softly diffused daylight.  Blackout energy blinds These pleated blinds offer total blackout and have the added bonus of insulation properties of up to 26 per cent.  Roman blinds Explore the infinite potential of beautiful fabrics and be inspired by the soft styling effects that make this collection truly refined.  Roller blinds These blinds are ideal for rooms where you want privacy, such as a bathroom, and have the ability to diffuse natural light.  Flying pleated blinds Create original, colourful light effects in a



room to complement your roof scheme with this flexible blind design.  Awning blinds These are external blinds best suited to offering heat protection from the sun’s rays before they hit your windowpane.  Roller shutters Offering additional sound insulation against rain and hail, these external shutters keep out light, prevent overheating and provide extra security for your windows.  Children’s blinds The new Star Wars and Velux Galactic Night collection is available in four designs, and the Disney and Velux Dream collection comes in 12 designs, from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Planes and Winnie the Pooh. Each is easy to install, made without harmful chemicals and designed to create optimal sleeping conditions thanks to its blackout design. Velux offers free delivery on all blinds, as well as a three-year guarantee. To view the full range, order online, or discover which blinds can be manually, electronically or solar powered, visit

ELEGANT STYLE Above Blackout energy blinds in Black 1047, from £91.20

CALM SHADE Below Duo blackout blinds in Grey/White 0705, from £98.40 OCTOBER 2016


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Create the perfect HOME OFFICE

Here’s how to turn any space into a comfortable, stylish work area FEATURE JULES BARTON-BRECK JULESSAYSSO.COM

CHOOSE A FREESTANDING DESIGN THAT WILL WORK IN ANY ROOM If you don’t want to dedicate a whole room to an office or study area, you can be clever with stylish furniture and modular storage, incorporating everything you need into a space that works for the way you live. It could be in the lounge, dining room, kitchen or even on the landing. Set up behind a sofa, in an alcove or along a blank wall. The key to making the space work and ensuring the area doesn’t dominate is to choose products that match with the rest of the room’s décor. This living room is kept to a neutral colour palette with the desk, units and accessories matching the soft furnishings and furniture. Lillåsen desk in bamboo, H74xW102xD49cm, £115; Vågsberg/Sporren swivel chair in white, H42-54xW74xD74cm, £40; Stockholm three-seater sofa in Sandbacka Black, H80xW211x D88cm, £1,000; PS 2014 storage combination with top in bamboo and light green, H60xW35xD30cm, £27, all available from Ikea. ➤ 120

CABLE MANAGEMENT If your desk is in the middle of the room, you need to plan the safest way to run cables to a power point – flexible plastic trunking is the best option. Buy a power pack for charging your tech, which can be positioned under the desk. Top up your smartphone with a dualpurpose Ikea desk lamp that allows wireless charging.

For more inspiration, follow us on instagram @real_homes


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SMART STORAGE Office paraphernalia isn’t always stylish – invest in leather storage boxes or files, which will fit neatly into modular units. As storage is likely to be at a premium, buy plenty of organiser trays and desk tidies that can be put away in drawers when not in use. The Tom Dixon Cog range of accessories is beautiful enough to be left on show all the time, from Amara and Houseology.

TASK LIGHTING A desk lamp gives controllable lighting. It can reduce glare on reflective surfaces, eliminate shadows, lessen eye strain and aid focus.

SEATING Match your chair to the rest of the room’s furniture, rather than using a more typical ‘office’ chair. But make sure it’s supportive and comfortable if you’re going to be sitting for hours. Opt for a swivel so you can adjust it to the right height.

FLOORING If your work area is in the lounge, you can still have a carpet or rug on the floor, but choose a short-pile option so chair legs or wheels won’t leave too many runner marks or indentations. OCTOBER 2016

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CLEVER LIGHTING You should have focused overhead lighting in the form of a row of ceiling pendants or recessed spotlights. Add in decorative floor and table lamps to soften the mood.

TECHY STUFF With bespoke units, you can specify how many power points you want and where cables need to go, so ensure you factor in lighting, computers, printer, TV, music system and charging points. You may also want a mini fridge and tea/coffee making facilities, too.

SEATING Go for the most comfortable and stylish swivel chair you can. Choose one that’s ergonomically designed to allow you to adjust height and alter the seat and back rests to fit your body so you avoid any back pain.

FLOORING Laminate is the most practical option in a home office as it is hard-wearing and won’t show up chair marks or indentations. For a more relaxed look in the rest of the room, lay down fluffy rugs in co-ordinating colours. 122


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GO FOR A BESPOKE, BUILT-IN MULTI-FUNCTIONAL ROOM Choosing a built-in option means you can customise every square centimetre to design your office space, whether it’s in a loft conversion or spare bedroom. Think carefully about the décor and furnishings – this needs to be a place where you can relax and be creative, as well as work, so avoid typical office furniture and filing cabinets. You could add a sofa bed so the space doubles as a guest room, or a large screen for a cinema-cum-games room. This airy loft, designed by Neville Johnson, has made the most of the eaves space with lots of hidden storage. The company’s Skyloft Concept range comes in a variety of wood veneers and painted finishes. Fitted furniture starts from £3,000 at Neville Johnson. ➤

WINDOW TREATMENT A combination of blinds and curtains is the best option for controlling the amount of natural light you let in, depending on the time of day or task in hand. Try the Duette range which blocks glare and reduces outside noise.

VARIED STORAGE When you plan your fitted cupboards and units, make sure you allow enough room for displaying items that aren’t work-related. Shelving for treasured books and objets d’art will all help create a space you want to be in, rather than have to be in. OCTOBER 2016

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SMART UPDATES Make your home office practical and stylish with the latest tech solutions and investment buys

ADJUSTABLE SEATING Make sure you’re sitting comfortably with the new Leadchair from Walter Knoll, which is designed to promote perfect posture. It can be easily adjusted to suit every family member, and is simple to manoeuvre thanks to a wheeled base. In polished aluminium with a leather seat, it measures H105-113x W78xD78cm, and costs from £2,918 at Aram.

For 12 home office design ideas, go to

Online storage An external hard drive was once the best way to keep your digital photos and documents safe, but that’s all changed. Instead, cloud storage allows you to store anything you like online. Try OneDrive, which is linked with Microsoft and offers 5GB of free storage, or GoogleDrive, which links to Google


For the ultimate in home computing, choose the MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop with Retina display. With up to nine hours of battery life, 1TB of flash storage, and a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor as standard, it will meet the needs of all the family. It costs £1,599, Apple.

Control light

Clever heating Wall space is at a premium in an office, so avoid radiators and instead try ThermaSkirt. It’s a combined skirting board and heat source that connects onto either an existing radiator heating system or, in the new electric version, onto a suitable electric circuit. From £50 per metre at Discrete Heat.

Laptop upgrade

To prevent glare and make sure you have optimum working conditions all day, choose a window treatment that’s easy to adjust. Caféstyle Craftwood shutters, from £345 per m2, Hillarys

Docs and offers 15GB for free. Once registered, you can upload documents, photos and videos, and reach them from any smartphone, tablet or computer. Prices for additional storage start at £1.99 per month for 50GB on OneDrive, and $1.99 per month for 100GB on GoogleDrive (the fee is currently only payable in dollars, so take any bank charges for currency conversion into account).



10/08/2016 17:35

SMART UPDATES Make your home office practical and stylish with the latest tech solutions and investment buys

ADJUSTABLE SEATING Make sure you’re sitting comfortably with the new Leadchair from Walter Knoll, which is designed to promote perfect posture. It can be easily adjusted to suit every family member, and is simple to manoeuvre thanks to a wheeled base. In polished aluminium with a leather seat, it measures H105-113x W78xD78cm, and costs from £2,918 at Aram.

For 12 home office design ideas, go to

Online storage An external hard drive was once the best way to keep your digital photos and documents safe, but that’s all changed. Instead, cloud storage allows you to store anything you like online. Try OneDrive, which is linked with Microsoft and offers 5GB of free storage, or GoogleDrive, which links to Google


For the ultimate in home computing, choose the MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop with Retina display. With up to nine hours of battery life, 1TB of flash storage, and a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor as standard, it will meet the needs of all the family. It costs £1,599, Apple.

Control light

Clever heating Wall space is at a premium in an office, so avoid radiators and instead try ThermaSkirt. It’s a combined skirting board and heat source that connects onto either an existing radiator heating system or, in the new electric version, onto a suitable electric circuit. From £50 per meter at Discrete Heat.

Laptop upgrade

To prevent glare and make sure you have optimum working conditions all day, choose a window treatment that’s easy to adjust. Caféstyle Craftwood shutters, from £345 per m2, Hillarys

Docs and offers 15GB for free. Once registered, you can upload documents, photos and videos, and reach them from any smartphone, tablet or computer. Prices for additional storage start at £1.99 per month for 50GB on OneDrive, and $1.99 per month for 100GB on GoogleDrive (the fee is currently only payable in dollars, so take any bank charges for currency conversion into account).



26/07/2016 09:13


For more inspiration, follow us on instagram @real_homes

It’s the key element of your home office, so choose a desk that offers plenty of space to work, as well as ample storage. The Industrial Modular collection by West Elm is made of solid mango wood with a blackened steel frame. The desk, with fixed shelf, concealed cupboard and two drawers, measures H213xW124xD24cm, and costs £999, while the open and closed storage, measuring H213xW43xD43cm, costs £599.

Spotlight on metallics Pick any style of desk lamp, as long as it’s in an on-trend metallic finish. Choose brass, copper or nickel and add accents of the same finish elsewhere in the room.


HARDWEARING FLOORING Luxury vinyl floor tiles are a great option for a home office as they are hardwearing and warm underfoot. Try Ink Wash Wood, shown here in a parquet laying pattern, which costs around £70 per square metre, Amtico Signature Collection.



Beat table light in brass, steel and sand-cast iron, H60xW40cm, £420, Tom Dixon Pooky Plato desk lamp in copper and chrome, H70xDia.15cm, £165, Pooky OCTOBER 2016


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Add character to your home with the trend for deep and rich blues, greens, purples, greys and blacks FEATURE JULES BARTON-BRECK JULESSAYSSO.COM

‘Moody floral designs are especially popular this season, and if used on all four walls, the effect is dramatic,’ says Martin Holland of MartinMark Design, last year’s winner of BBC Two’s Great Interior Design Challenge. For a feature wall that works in either a contemporary or traditional scheme, try the elegant mix of black and green. This wallpaper from Cembra by Albany Into the Woods costs £29 per roll, available from Wallpaperdirect. ➤


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Green tones saturated with black create an intimate ambience, and are ideal for walls in a period home. You can maximise the impact by painting woodwork and skirtings in the same colour as the walls. ‘To make it feel cosy but not claustrophobic, treat the ceiling as a separate entity,’ says Kasia Wiktorowicz, from Valspar Paints. ‘Choose a tinted white for the ceiling to soften the look. To extend the room, try painting the two smallest walls in a lighter tone of your dominant colour.’ Little Greene’s Sage Green 80 in Absolute matt emulsion, £38 for 2.5 litres.




02/08/2016 14:18

EARTHY GREEN Choose from a lush palette that ranges from sage through to olive ▲

‘Dark décor can give a bathroom a luxurious feel, especially when matched with metallic accessories,’ says Malcolm Walker, director of buying for Furniture Village. ‘People often gravitate towards light-reflecting whites or pastels for bathrooms, but as these rooms generally don’t receive much natural light, they are a great place to experiment with dark tones.’ Shade variations and small imperfections add interest to these Teal Hexagon tiles, from Domus. They are £220.80 per square metre.

Don’t be afraid to try an unusual colour in the kitchen, whatever its size. The Wild Olive paint shade in this space is used on the plaster walls and then continued onto the grained oak cabinets. This is a clever way to highlight different textures of the same colour, and to create an integrated and seamless, theme. Contrasting accessories, such as the distressed brass splashback and the brass taps, brighten the look. The Ladbroke kitchen is priced from £15,000, available from Naked Kitchens. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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DRAMATIC BLACK AND GREY Embrace the darkness for a bold look in the kitchen, bathroom or living room

Search Real Homes on YouTube for the latest advice and inspiration videos

‘Black can be a tricky look to get right – so if you’re not sure how to use it, copy Coco Chanel and embrace monochrome,’ says Martin Holland, of MartinMark Design. ‘To avoid it feeling too stark, throw in some creamy whites and silvery greys, and add some metallics.’ Brighton Pavilion Palm by Architects Paper, £68 per roll, available from Wallpaperdirect. ➤


10/08/2016 17:41

‘Using a dark colour on all four walls won’t necessarily make a room feel smaller, especially if it has good light,’ says Susie Rumbold, president of the British Institute of Interior Design. Here, the bathroom walls have been painted in Architects’ matt Perse Grey 141 and the ceiling in Architects’ matt Clean White 101, both £50 for 2.5 litres, Paint & Paper Library.

‘The trend for using dramatic black comes from the increased demand for show-stopping kitchens in open-plan spaces,’ says Doug Haswell, furniture manager for Caple. ‘Anthracite and plum are also perfect for making a strong statement.’ Here, silver units contrast with black drawers. Crown Imperial’s Rialto High Gloss Kitchen furniture collection starts from £10,000.

▲ 132

▲‘A patterned carpet in

deep colours will contrast beautifully against dark walls,’ says Emma Hopkins, marketing manager at Crucial Trading. ‘Use these colours in the dining room to create an opulent feel. Finish the look with coloured vases, Art Deco mirrors and velvet cushions for a timeless feel.’ Sisool Plaid Rich Black sisal-mix carpet, £100 per square metre, Crucial Trading. ➤



10/08/2016 17:34

You do the shade. We’ll do the shutters. Handcrafted from the finest materials. Custom made in our own dedicated manufacturing facility. Finished in any colour you can think of and fitted only by our skilled carpenters. With our beautiful hardwood shutters, the one thing that shines through is quality. Call us today on 0800 9 700 800 to see how we can add a touch of va va voom to your room.

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‘Peacock blue, dark navy, ink, teal and charcoal tones offer a moody scheme, lifted by light colours for a classic feel, or paired with vivid accents for a modern note,’ says Dominic Myland, of Mylands Paints. Here, patterned furnishings in dark blues soften the dramatic wall colour and contrasting sofa. Sintra wallpaper in Lapis, £23 per roll; Secto Victo ceiling pendant in Finnish birch, £585; Tokyo corner sofa unit, £4,399; cushions, from £40; Maharani Orrisa wood coffee table, £375; Content by Conran Fusion iron side table, £249; Diamond shadow pouffe in Indian Blue, £120; Kalkan rug (on wall), £160; Cadiz rug, from £160; Sintra rug, from £275, all John Lewis.


‘Blues remain deep this year, but with a touch of grey which adds a mysterious quality,’ says Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux 134

JUNE 2016


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‘With regards to interior trends for this autumn/winter, dark tones such as deep navy blue are polished, glamorous and undeniably stylish.’ says Nancy Straughan, interior designer for luxury bathroom company Hugo Oliver. ‘If you’re worried about the room looking too oppressive, keep the ceiling a pale shade to open up the space.’ The tiles are in Montblanc Blue from Original Style’s Tileworks range, they cost £27.95 per metre.

▲ ▲ Dark colours can actually add depth to a small room, says Malcolm

Walker, Furniture Village’s director of buying. ‘Dark walls absorb the light. They draw the eye and alter the depth perception, giving no sense of the size,’ he explains. Use accent stripes to break up block colours. Britannia Windsor Dark Navy, Dunoon Dark Navy and Blazer Stripe Dark Navy, from £29.50 per metre, all Ian Mankin.

‘Use colour in a restrained way by adding subtle bursts, or experiment with multiple patterns and silhouettes,’ says Lisa Miller, from Crown Design Studio. Here blue shades have been blended with pops of chartreuse and a mix of stripes and florals. Get the look at home with a bold feature wall, plain sofa and a variety of cushions. The stunning Harmonia Stripe 111387 wallpaper is from the new Callista by Clarissa Hulse collection, and costs £57 per roll; cushions are from a selection by Callista Fabrics; sofa covered in Folia Velvets, Onyx 130419, £57 per metre, all from Harlequin. ➤ OCTOBER 2016



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RICH PURPLE This regal colour will add glamour and a touch of luxury to any room ‘Often a dark colour can make the walls appear as if they are receding, making the room look larger, as opposed to the common concern that they will bring the walls in,’ says interior designer Kelly Hoppen. You can add depth and intrigue to the colour scheme with jewel colours on your curtains and accessories. Curtains in Angeliki 131888, £96 per metre; sofa in Boutique Velvets Mink 130032, £67 per metre; chair in Folia Velvets Magenta 130398, £57 per metre; cushions in a range of Callista Fabrics, all Callista by Clarissa Hulse for Harlequin.

‘If you’re taking on a colour like purple, include lots of layers and textures,’ says Kasia Wiktorowicz, from Valspar Paints. ‘Woods and soft furnishings with similar dark tones help to break up the space.’ Naomi bed, £649; Darcey side table, £329; Lauren Print and Embroidery bedlinen, £69; Vintage print rug, £59; Velvet Pinch throw, £120; Babbington chair in Scala Velvet Plum, £799; Midnight Butterfly print curtains, £99, all Marks & Spencer.




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If you fancy giving your all-white kitchen an intense makeover then adding varying tones of purple is an on-trend choice that looks modern and also spacious. Use a lesser amount of texture within the scheme to maintain an open feel. Don’t be afraid to mix dark shades as this can be done to great effect, but stick to either a cool or warm palette. Try Dulux Veiled Violet on one or two walls and contrast with its Sapphire Springs 1 on units. The side wall is painted in Galactic Sky. All available in Endurance+ matt, £29.99 for 2.5 litres.

For an elegant bathroom or dressing area, try combining deep purple with black, accessorised with silver or chrome. Painting the walls in gloss will help reflect all available light. Miami blue violet Art Decoinspired console, £3,840; Swindon under-countertop basin, £270; Amelie mirror with handcarved wood frame, £1,440; Sofas Club 1 chair, £1,650, all Devon & Devon.

For more inspiration, follow us on instagram @real_homes OCTOBER 2016



02/08/2016 14:19

Get More Space. More Light. More Wow!




before and after home transformations


pages of expert advice in the new Q&A section


If you’re planning a home transformation, you can’t afford to miss a thing. Subscribe to Real Homes now** and you’ll soon be confident with colour, up to date with the latest decorating schemes, know the best way to create light in your extension, plus much more!



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Right Genoa 320 thread count Eqyptian cotton percale double duvet cover, £90

Real Homes OFFER

SAVE 20% AT Take advantage of this exclusive offer to update your home with stylish linens


his month, Real Homes has teamed up with bedding and accessories specialist, The Fine Cotton Company, to offer you an exclusive 20 per cent off its stunning collections. If you’re planning to update your master suite or transform a guest bedroom, you’ll find a style to suit your space, whether you like crisp white designs or something with a statement colour or pattern. Made from the finest, responsibly-sourced, natural and organic fabrics, the large collection includes bedlinen, towels, bathrobes and home accessories that can be personalised with embroidery – great if you’re looking for a unique gift idea. Plus, there’s a range of linens and accessories for children, too. From deep-pile towels to sumptuous, high-thread-count cotton bedlinen,

is full of inspiration to help you put the finishing touches to a room, offering ideas on how to create hotel and yacht style at home. To see the full range of linens, duvet covers, throws, towels, robes and home accessories, visit or call 0345 602 9050, and use your discount code (below) to save.

Above Foxy Latte & Rust and Latte & Ivory knitted hot water bottles, £38 Below London cotton percale single duvet cover, £55; London pillowcase, £20

HOW TO CLAIM To use your exclusive 20 per cent discount, visit thefinecottoncompany. com and enter the code REALHOMES at the checkout. Alternatively, call 0345 602 9050 quoting REALHOMES. This offer is valid until 7 October 2016, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. See page 143 for full terms and conditions. OCTOBER 2016

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Double washbasin W120xD48cm, £734; Tall furniture unit, H180xW36xD29.5cm, £432; Wall-mounted WC, £189, all from the e500 collection




Enter today for a chance to update your master bathroom with a stylish, contemporary design


his month, Real Homes has teamed up with luxury bathroom manufacturer Twyford to offer you the chance to transform your suite with the latest styles, worth up to £3,500. New to Twyford’s contemporary bathroom collection, the e500 range is the ideal solution for a hard-working space for the family. Combining style with functionality, the suite is cleverly designed to maximise storage capacity. It features vanity units with spacious drawers, wall-hung cabinets with plenty of shelving, rounded and

CONGRATULATIONS… To these lucky winners of previous competitions. Go to realhomes. to enter this month’s prize draws for your chance to win a range of fantastic prizes.

square basins, and a WC that can be adapted to be both wall-hung and floorstanding. Plus, complete the look with your choice of taps and accessories in a range of styles and colours. Helping to keep the bathroom clean, the WCs feature Twyford’s Rimfree technology, which leaves nowhere for germs to hide, as well as the Flushwise system, which helps to reduce the amount of water used per flush. For further information on the collections, visit, or call 01926 516800.  May 2016: Heather James, Haverfordwest; Shani Edwards, Cenbighshire and Ingrid Delamarre, Hampshire won a Grohe luxury shower.  June 2016: Loraine Barker, Chesterfield; Rebecca Meeuwissenm Reading; Gary Pickering, Barnsley; Michelle O’Neill, Buckinghamshire; Angela McDonald, Dudley; Pam Young,

PRIZE DETAILS One winner will receive a voucher worth £3,500 to spend on Twyford’s full range of bathroom designs. The prize includes delivery, but excludes installation.

HOW TO ENTER Text RHMAG TWYFORD, followed by your name, house number and postcode to 64343. Texts cost £1, plus network extras. Service provider: Digital Select Ltd, 0330 103 9999. You can also enter online at realhomes. See below for terms and conditions. The closing date is 7 October 2016. Good luck! Grimsby; Jason May, Wellington; Michelle Edwards, Doncaster; Matthew Popplewell, Hampshire; Dianne Keep, Nottingham won How to Plant a Garden, by Matt James (£25, Mitchell Beazley). John MacLauren, Brechfa; Tracy Mellor, Essex; Jennifer Thorpe, Coventry; Jacqui Kellner, York won a Franke 4-in-1 Omni tap.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS The free prize draws and offers featured in the October issue of Real Homes are: page 141 A 20 per cent discount on The Fine Cotton Company’s bedding and accessories. The discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Offer ends 7 October 2016; page 143 £3,500 to spend on Twyford’s bathroom collections, choosing from the latest 2016 catalogue. The prize includes delivery, but excludes installation. The closing date is 7 October 2016. Visit for the full terms and conditions. OCTOBER 2016

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We understand that every home is dierent and therefore, we have an individual approach to each project. Our experts work closely with our customers, providing each and every single one with tailored approach in order to meet all the expectations. We strive at all times to provide seamless, top quality building and renovating services at competitive price. PHS Construction | Unit 709 Wigham House | 16-30 Wakering Road | IG11 8QN London | T: 02074766648 | E:

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Established in 1993 A.D. Calvert Architectural Stone Supplies Ltd are based in the heart of Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. The company comprises a large, modern and well maintained sandstone, granite & limestone processing plant, with a showroom demonstrating the skill of the master craftsmen and the complexities of the work undertaken.

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Real Homes

QA &

LINDSAY BLAIR is consumer editor of Real Homes. With a passion for finding the best deal and keeping you in the know about your shopping rights, she shares her insights into the latest initiatives, campaigns and best buys. Stay up to date with her blog or get in touch via Twitter. consumer @Lindsays_home

Keep up to date with the latest consumer news, plus read on to find answers to your home transformation dilemmas


Would you rather have a new kitchen or designer bathroom? Or would you rather have more space? According to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), more people would prefer extra room in their existing property over a luxury kitchen or bathroom suite. The trade association found lack of space is the key challenge for UK homeowners and an increasing number of small and mediumsized construction firms are being tasked with transforming properties to increase the size of the living spaces, with 61 per cent citing this as the most important consideration for homeowners. The findings suggest that more people are choosing to improve rather than move, as house prices continue to rise. The average UK house price is now close to £300,000, according to the Office of National Statistics, while the cost of moving to a new home is likely to be around five per cent of the value of the property. Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, says, ‘The need for more space has become increasingly important and is now the most significant reason for calling in a builder.’ Home glazing specialists Velux also found that 47 per cent of UK homeowners are planning to carry out work to their property in the next six months, with most common reasons for renovating including creating more family space and modernising the design.

Property demand rose three per cent in the second quarter of 2016, now reaching 40 per cent, new figures from have revealed. Homes in Bexley, London (71 per cent), Bristol (69 per cent), Bedford (67 per cent) and Aylesbury (64 per cent) are most in demand.

APP OF THE MONTH If you’re looking for quick advice on a small home maintenance job, try DAD for instant help via a video call. Available from your app store, DAD is a free app to help solve those DIY dilemmas, reducing the need for expensive callout fees and helping you to

Search Real Homes on YouTube to watch architectural designer Charlie Luxton’s tips on bringing more light into your home

complete the repair with expert guidance. Each call is charged at £10 and no cap is placed on the duration, so you can be safe in the knowledge you’ll be helped through each step the next time you have a leaking tap or a radiator that needs bleeding.

£50,000 TO SPEND? How much profit do you think you could make? Home-improvement marketplace asked consumers what value they thought £50,000 worth of renovations could yield. They found that: ■ 35 per cent would expect to make a profit ■ 1/10 homeowners in Bristol and London would see up to £100,000 added to the value of their property ■ 50 per cent of London buyers would only improve to make a return on investment ➤

Got a question or want to share your experiences with Real Homes readers? Tweet @RealHomes using #AskRealHomes




05/08/2016 14:17

Real Homes

Smart meters: could they CASE STUDY

help control your energy bills?

Thinking of upgrading your heating system with the latest monitoring device? Consumer editor Lindsay Blair takes a closer look at the benefits HOW SMART METERS WORK around for the best deal is wise. by different gadgets,’ Nick Lomax, The new, innovative devices send ‘Consumer confidence depends smart technology manager at the automatic meter readings to your on being able to understand and feel Energy Saving Trust explains. ‘Suppliers energy supplier, keeping your account in control of the energy we use,’ Ann will also be able to use the data up to date with near real-time readings, Robinson, director of consumer policy collected to help better understand so there’s no need for estimated bills at says. ‘Despite Ofgem’s household energy consumption.’ and usage, which should help control reforms last April to simplify statements, your spending on gas and electricity. GET ONE FOR YOUR HOME bills remain complex, so we welcome Most smart meters use wireless or Every household in England, Scotland moves to better help consumers mobile phone-type signals and are and Wales will be offered a smart meter understand their bills.’ Currently, available in handheld form, so free of charge by 2020, while a smart meter doesn’t affect you can see how much power fitted by your energy your choice of supplier when switching, Homeowners is being used in kWh and m3, supplier. You’ll be offered bear in mind that not all providers have with a smart meter and in pounds and pence. a free demo to interpret the operational smart meter services yet, saved around ‘Each comes with an in-home readings to ensure you get so ensure a new firm can link to your display, allowing you to see the most from it. The aim is meter before committing to a contract, usage by week or month,’ for around 53 million meters or be prepared to wait for the company Claire Osborne, energy to be installed, but when to roll out their smart meter connection for electricity and expert at you get yours will depend to use yours. explains. ‘The display will on your supplier’s roll-out show a comparison of plans. Ask your current KNOW YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS real-time usage to the provider to find out when The data collected by a smart meter for gas on their last week, month or year.’ you can upgrade and to belongs to you, not to the energy annual bills* arrange a fitting, or switch supplier, meaning they are not allowed REAP THE BENEFITS to a company already to share your information with third ‘Smart meters are transforming an offering smart meters. It’s a good idea parties or for use in marketing out-dated energy system into one to register your interest in a smart campaigns without your prior consent. that works with modern lives in the meter with your supplier. The Government has recently published digital age,’ Claire Maugham, director guidelines to protect homeowners’ or policy and communications at Smart SWITCHING SUPPLIERS privacy, which includes offering you Energy GB, says. ‘This means we finally Competition in the energy marketplace the ability to choose how often your have access to the information we is high and now smaller, independent supplier accesses your readings, such need to manage household budgets, suppliers are competing with the Big as half-hourly usage. However, when make energy-saving changes, and Six to offer the cheapest tariffs. data is required for regulation purposes save money on utility bills. Plus, Research from found and when bills are being produced, in future, there will be further that the cheapest rates fell by 17 per the company can gain access to view advancements around how payments cent in the past year, but popular the figures. What’s more, smart meters are made, such as through a smart standard variable plans offered by the are covered by UK and EU product pay-as-you-go system.’ As well as largest suppliers dropped by two per safety legislation, which ensure that monitoring how much energy you’re cent in the same period, so shopping they are safe to have in the home. using and what that means in terms of an accurate cost, a smart meter will also allow you to see your consumption and emission levels during the day, making it easier to pinpoint when most energy is used. This improved visibility will help you make energy-saving changes in the home, or choose to keep the heating on when needed, safe in the knowledge that your bill won’t exceed your budget. Plus, the accurate readings will ensure you’re only paying ARE YOU A PREPAYMENT CUSTOMER? for the energy you use – not an A smart meter could be set up to top up automatically when credit is low estimated level set by your energy and you’ll be able to keep a regular check on your balance through the insupplier. ‘You can use your smart meter home display. Plus, your supplier may be able to offer smart ways to add to spot when energy consumption credit to your account from home, rather than at an in-store top-up point. is higher than usual, identify when Contact your supplier to find out what they can offer you. an appliance has been left on and to understand how much energy is needed


2.3% 1.5%


‘Smart meters are empowering people to gain control of gas and electricity usage. Eight in ten people with a smart meter have taken at least one step to reduce energy their consumption.’ Claire Maugham, Smart Energy GB



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is the founder of architectural design business Potential etc… He specialises in providing affordable concept designs to help homeowners and buyers visualise the potential of their properties, and writes a regular column for The Sunday Times Home supplement on designing solutions for readers’ problem houses. / @potentialetc /

Real Homes

QA &

How can I make the most of tried-and-tested design ideas? Designs that have been used for decades, if not centuries, are often the best ways to create a living space that will look great for years, says Greg Thankfully, unlike the fashion industry, trends in home design are slow to gain momentum and tend to stick around before starting to look dated. In fact, some design concepts have taken decades to gain traction before taking off in a big way. When remodelling your home, it pays to get the look right first time with a style that will last for years, as it can be a seriously expensive

lofts and kept ceiling heights low to reduce building costs. Today, however, there’s an increasing interest in the vaulted ceiling as a way to increase the feeling of space and light – both sought-after design elements in project briefs. Introduce a vaulted ceiling on an upper floor by opening up the loft space, or create a doubleheight downstairs.

‘The best advice I can give is to do what is best for the property and not always follow what’s in fashion. If it suits the house and aids its functionality, the design isn’t likely to date’ business to keep up with the latest trends each year. The best advice I can give is to do what is best for the property and not always follow what’s in fashion. If it suits the house and aids its functionality as a home, the design is unlikely to date. Do not apply a trend to your house as some kind of tick-box exercise and think very carefully about the features you’d like to include and why they would benefit the way you live. A safe rule is that previously tested design ideas that keep on coming back into favour are dependable options – if they’re robust enough to deserve a comeback, they are sure to stand the test of time for many years to come...

CREATE A VAULTED CEILING High, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams hark back to an era before the technology of insulating ceilings was widely used, but many homes built from the Georgian period through to modern day, often have flat ceilings and lack the beauty of a large expanse of head height. What’s more, throughout the 1980s, property developers insulated FOR STOCKIST INFORMATION SEE PAGE 165


ADD A WINDOW SEAT Popular through the ages, especially in the Arts and Crafts period, window seats are seeing a comeback as the want for an indoor/outdoor connection grows. Utilise a bay window to create a small bench, or ask your designer to include a built-in solution in a kitchen, hallway or corner where there’s space in the design to create a relaxing place to sit and enjoy outside views.

CONSIDER UPSIDEDOWN LIVING A more recent design concept dating back to the 1950s, Mid-Century architects pioneered houses with living rooms on the upper level and bedrooms below. This idea is becoming more popular as houses are designed to make the most of a link to the outside and maximise natural light. Done properly, especially on a site that slopes, it makes design sense, and often improves the way a house both looks and functions. If you live in a property where views are better seen from upper floors, consider redesigning the layout to make the most of links to the outdoors.

COMBINE OPEN AND CLOSED PLAN Open-plan living is a constantly fluctuating trend and years of adoption are often followed by a rebellion against it, and I now have many clients asking for better segregation between living areas. While fully open-plan living is a bold design statement with certain drawbacks in terms of privacy, closed-plan living, as seen in more traditional terraced houses, is often not ideal for modern family life. The truth is, neither fully open- nor closed-plan are ideal, and hybrid solutions that offer a blend of both concepts are gaining in popularity. Without a doubt, ill-considered, huge, echoey, open-plan rooms are on the wane, so think about breaking the space into areas and use clever tricks, such as sliding internal doors, glazing and large shelving to break up vast spaces and also keep some rooms separate.

STICK WITH SIMPLE DESIGNS While the extreme minimalism trend of the 1990s has dated, a moderate version of pared-back simplicity is always very ‘date-resistant’. Try to restrict more risky trends to a small area of your home so that it is easy to update in future and keep the rest of your scheme simpler so that it stays fresher for longer. However, don’t play it too safe: if you’re too worried about what might date, you may be tempted to create an ‘all-beige’ house, which was popular among many developers in the Noughties when limestone-clad bathrooms were the norm. I’d argue that this has dated quickly, so don’t be too drawn in with what you think will be a good ‘re-sale’ choice. Go with what you like instead. OCTOBER 2016


02/08/2016 11:59

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Real Homes



creative director of Dulux and design director of Dulux Design Service. Having run her own business for more than 20 years, she has a wealth of experience in interior design, colour and product development. She is known for her fun approach to decorating and passion for helping people to make their homes more beautiful. / / @m_shillingford.


How can I be creative with colour to add a new look to my rooms? Be inspired by Marianne’s ideas to create stylish features in your home




It’s not diamonds that are a girl’s best friend…it’s masking tape. You don’t have to paint a whole wall one colour, introduce two or three shades instead, creating bands of the different colours. Choose harmonious hues that are similar in tone but with a slightly different feel, such as cool and warm pinks or greens. Before starting, buy a low-tack decorators tape and paint the wall in the main colour you’ve chosen. When it’s dry, use a spirit level and chalk to mark a dividing line. Cover it with masking tape and paint over the edge of the tape with the first colour. Allow this to dry before applying the second. This sounds odd but it will help to create a seal and stop paint creeping underneath for a neat finish.

Big in 2015, the trend for ombre is still going strong, simply because it’s so versatile, looks great and is easy to do. The effect can be done by one person, but it’s much easier with two. Start by marking the wall with chalk where you want your chosen two colours to blend, paint both colours up to the line. Allow to dry. Give your friend a paint roller with one of the colours while you take a brush loaded with the other shade. Work together along the connecting line, rolling with one colour and using the brush to blend together with criss-cross strokes. Be bold with your colour choices: on-trend jewel tones, such as teal, dark purple and bronze, are sure to create a dramatic effect.

One of my favourite paint techniques involves using masking tape to create lines and grids. Paint your walls in the colour that you want the lines to be once finished and dry. Then, apply masking tape in bands, a grid pattern or diagonals – or any pattern you like. When you’re happy with your design, paint over the tape with the line colour to seal the edges. Then, once this is dry, paint over the whole wall with your top-coat shade and leave to dry again. The next step is when it gets exciting: gently remove the tape and admire your work.


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Finishing touches that make people look twice are part of the fun of decorating. A two-tone effect can integrate a piece of furniture into the decorating scheme, and add lots of individuality and fun to a space. Paint a wall in two colours with a simple divide and follow the line onto a piece of furniture, but ensure you use the right paint type for each surface. Clean and lightly sand the furniture’s surface, remove any dust and apply a coat of quick-drying primer or undercoat. Lightly sand and remove dust again before applying two coats of your paint in the lightest of the two colours. Measure and mark the point at which the darker colour will follow from the wall. Apply low-tack tape then two coats of the deeper colour to complete.

Search Real Homes on YouTube to watch Marianne’s step-bystep guide to the latest painting techniques OCTOBER 2016


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is an expert in architectural design and property development, with a hands-on approach to transforming living spaces. Having won awards for his designs, including Best UK Interior at the International Property Awards, he appears on Channel 4 as an expert designer, hosts a weekend radio show and develops retail space interiors for some of the world’s best-known brands, including Selfridges and Harrods. @ChrisnJenkins /

Real Homes

QA &

How can I make panelled windows work in my home design?

TREND ALERT Industriallook glazing

Increase natural light and add industrial style to your room schemes with this glazing choice The beauty of light has never been more utilised in our homes and in architecture. We strive and crave for the slimmest frames on windows, doors and glazed details in order to celebrate the joy of natural light. The vanguard to this worship is, of course, Crittall windows. First invented in the 1880s and synonymous with international modernist architecture and quality, the glazing style is seeing a revival and now more homeowners are asking to include the style in their home redesigns. Here are some ideas of how to successfully use the style in your design schemes…

Right Two bespoke 1.1m wide steel double doors by Steel Window Services and Supplies add a design statement to this room, plus improve links to the outside. Price on request

FRAME A VIEW Remaining true to their heritage, Crittall continues to lead with a strong COMPLEMENT OR CONTRAST? utilitarian look, which is just as trendy Before thinking about investing in today as in the 1930s and 1950s. The metal-frame glazing, consider your style offers much more than only property’s style and whether this exterior glazing solutions, but also material will complement it. Take a look architectural options by using glass around at similar houses in your area: both internally and externally, how many homes have been updated complementing the style of with dated-looking uPVC windows and construction. Panelled glazing’s blocky, doors or mismatched dark hardwood metal frames are ideal for use in a windows that have suffered wear and contemporary extension with an tear? For me, metal frames are an industrial-style. Try swapping bi-fold elegant option that will look doors featuring large expanses great for years. When of uninterrupted glass with their integration is Crittall’s designs to frame well thought out the view outside. The For design success, and executed, slim lines of steel they can create create a ‘picture keep choices simple: buy once, a sleek exterior frame’ to a garden but buy well and don’t mix that works or urban view, styles – keep all your design well alongside with each pane classic brick revealing a new decisions consistent. Expect or modern perspective. I like to pay from £2,640-£3,120 per grey or white to think of this metre for glazed panelled rendered walls. design as similar to If your house creating a Mondrian doors to fit a standard features dated painting with your door height. uPVC or wood view to the outside glazing, consider world, which introduces updating to a modern, interest, texture and colour hardwearing design. to your home’s interior.


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TAKE IT INSIDE Glazing is not only for exterior walls, there is a growing trend for interior screens within indoor spaces, too. Try dividing a large living space with glazed doors that can be left open and closed when required, creating a clever blend of open and separate spaces. The panelled style strikes a nice balance between creating privacy, but also offering a link between rooms and letting light filter through. For a cohesive and well-designed interior, think about using glazing to strategically echo the architecture and room layout, such as the lines of kitchen cabinets or running parrallel with doorways. IMPROVE LIGHT If you are feeling bold, use panelled glazing to slice sections out of a building to allow light to flood the entire space. As well as offering additional ways for natural light to enter a room, the introduction of slim sections of the glazing mixed with larger expanses elsewhere will look great. You could even create glazed corners that let you see through your home and beyond – always think outside the box to push your home’s design to it’s full potential. OCTOBER 2016


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1 N E W S PA P E R T I T L E

MONTH 2014

Section header

Icynene – saving you money


The Icynene Insulation System is a soft, flexible,

breathable, foam insulation and air barrier. Sprayed as a liquid Icynene expands up to 100 times its initial volume in seconds, filling every nook and cranny in walls, floors and ceilings. Icynene’s unique formulation sets it apart from other insulation products offering many advantages over traditional insulation materials and more modern alternatives. While all materials of equal thermal resistance perform identically under laboratory conditions the same is not true in real life; the effectiveness of some insulations materials diminishes over time. Installing Icynene ensures no loss of performance. Icynene is 100% water blown, containing no toxic

The Icynene Insulation System is a soft, flexible, breathable, foam insulation and air barrier. Sprayed as a liquid, Icynene expands up to 100 times its initial volume in seconds, filling every nook and cranny in walls, floors and ceilings. Icynene’s unique formulation sets it apart from other insulation products, offering many advantages over traditional insulation materials and more modern alternatives. While all materials of equal thermal resistance perform identically under laboratory conditions, the same is not true in real life; the effectiveness of some insulations materials diminishes over time. Installing Icynene ensures no loss of performance. Icynene is 100% water blown and contains no toxic chemicals like HFCs, CFCs or HCFCs. Remaining soft and flexible, Icynene accommodates any normal expansion, contraction or movement within a building. So whether you plan to build, renovate or extend, the Icynene Insulation System will deliver the performance you can count on for a lifetime of savings and comfort.

chemicals like HFC’s, CFC’s or HCFC’s. Remaining soft and flexible Icynene accommodates any normal expansion, contraction or movement within a building. So whether you plan to build, renovate or extend the Icynene Insulation System will deliver the performance you can count on for a lifetime of savings and comfort.

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T: 0333 66 66 E: 456 T: 01229 716039 E:

11/08/2016 14:43

MELANIE CLEAR is the founder and

director of Clear Architects. With experience in both commercial and residential architecture, she believes great design takes careful thought, vision and a deep understanding of a building’s structure. She is a keen believer that architecture and interior design go hand in hand, and enjoys creating amazing homes that are beautiful both inside and out. / @ClearArchitects

Real Homes

QA &

Where should I start when planning a new utility room? Follow Melanie’s design advice to create a practical space that will provide extra storage and keep noisy appliances out of the kitchen FIND THE SPACE A utility room is now a standard requirement in a modern home, similar to an en suite bathroom or cloakroom. I’m increasingly asked to create designs for open-plan kitchendiners, including a separate area as a utility, so much so that it is now unusual if one is not part of a kitchen redesign. Working out the location of a new utility area really depends on the layout of your rooms. If your existing kitchen is big enough, it may be possible to create a utility room within it. Otherwise, you could consider losing part of another room. If space is very limited, consider dedicating a large cupboard to stack a washer and dryer, but make sure there’s sufficient access to the mains for electricity, water and drainage. If you’re redesigning the layout of your kitchen, knocking through or building an extension, include a separate area for the utility in your plans. Ideally, the space should have access to the outside, so you can easily hang out washing, plus it can double as a boot room for muddy shoes.


ENSURE MAINS CONNECTION Drainage points are essential for a washing machine and sink, which are often the main components within a utility room. For design flexibility and to ensure you can add electricals in future, include plenty of socket points in the design and ensure the water and drainage mains can be routed to supply the new space. This will need to be assessed in the initial project planning stages as it could be costly. Also, make sure to include a window for ventilation, or a vent to the outside, especially if you frequently use a tumble dryer.



WORK OUT THE COST If you have room in your existing space, creating a new utility



area will cost from £2,000 for a basic design where no structural changes are required. However, this will cost considerably more if structural changes or the construction of a new room are needed, if new drainage points need to be installed, or if it is part of a wider home redesign, which would then be part of the entire project cost. Speak to a designer or architect to assess your requirements and to work out what is needed to create a fully functioning utility if structural changes are needed. CONSIDER STORAGE NEEDS The layout of a utility room will often be led by where the mains supplies can go. Once this has been finalised, plan in areas for cupboards, drawers and larder units around the washing machine, tumble dryer, sink and any other appliances included. It is common to factor in storage space for a boiler, which will need to be mains connected, too, plus a large cupboard for an ironing board, mops and brooms. If space permits, think about including a bench to sit at while putting on and taking off boots, a shoe store and coat rack, plus pet beds if needed.


THINK ABOUT CONVENIENCE It’s important that a utility provides a practical and efficient function and flows well with the rest of the house. Ideally, the room should be sited near to the kitchen with outside access and good ventilation, but if it is to be used predominantly as a washroom, you may prefer to locate it on an upper floor near bedrooms to make laundry easier, or perhaps in an unused cellar space, so no floor area needs to be sacrificed at groundfloor level. The location will be decided on how the room will be used, as well as where there is sufficient space to make sure it’s a worthwhile addition to your home.


TOP TIPS FOR DESIGN SUCCESS GOOD DRAINAGE Ensure there’s sufficient links to the mains and speak to a plumber to assess the cost of relocating pipes. NATURAL LIGHT Locate the room where there’s access to the outside and a window for ventilation. Consider glazed doors or rooflights, too. A PRACTICAL LAYOUT Think about the items you wish to store in the utility and ensure cupboards are large enough to accommodate. Try integrating appliances behind doors for a streamlined look. A ROBUST WORKTOP AND FLOOR Invest in hardwearing flooring to withstand wear and tear and heavy duty worktops, especially if the space is to be used for food preparation, as well as household tasks.

With modern, high-gloss Tomba handleless units by Second Nature, this design costs from £300 for a 600mm base cabinet AUGUST 2016


22/07/2016 15:41


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11/08/2016 14:43

Real Homes

SIAN ASTLEY is a self-builder, interior


designer, landlord and blogger at With 20 years’ experience working in property, she’s passionate about DIY, crafts and renovating. She also regularly takes on clients’ projects to transform their homes into beautiful living spaces.

& / @Moregeous / MoregeousDesignStudio

What should I consider when replacing my stairs?

For all you need to know about building regs, see page 163

Think about style, comfort and safety for design success, but also what’s practical for you and your family, says Sian When renovating a property, the location of the staircase is often fixed, or moving it seems too costly. However, if you’re building a new addition to your home, such as a loft or cellar conversion, an extension, or have taken a property back to a shell for a complete makeover, a new staircase may be required, or perhaps you might need to relocate an existing design. There are three main things to consider: safety, comfort and design. Follow my advice before beginning any structural alterations... SAFETY AND COMFORT The issues of safety and comfort are dictated by building control regulations. If you’re updating or replacing a staircase, you’ll need to seek building control approval to ensure the stairs are designed well, safe to climb and easy to navigate. The most important measurement is the total rise – the vertical distance from floor to floor. This dictates the number of ‘rises’ or verticals, and ‘goings’, also known as flat steps or treads. The rises must all be the same height, between 19cm and a maximum of 22cm and all goings must be a minimum of 22cm. For example, say your total rise is 260cm (a fairly standard total), this divides into 13 steps at 20cm high. The maximum

Left and above ‘Look to magazines for design ideas, ask your architect, or be led by the era of your house.’

allowed pitch of a staircase is 42 degrees, with a minimum head height of two metres at all points on and off the staircase (a little less for loft conversions), and landings provided at the top and bottom,which are usually wider than the staircase width. Another key requirement is a handrail, which needs to be on one side for stairs less than one metre wide, and balustrading for anything more than two risers. There is no minimum width for domestic staircases, though most are 86cm, while very narrow secondary staircases can


Find a designer or installer You’ve seen an amazing staircase, now what? First, check your budget. Stunning staircases are often designed by an architect, which comes at a price. An expert staircase company who’ll complete the design and build is an excellent mid-range option, while a local joiner, builders’ merchant, or off-the-shelf design are often more affordable solutions. Always make sure FOR STOCKIST INFORMATION SEE PAGE 165

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you measure accurately and double check measurements before investing. Some companies offer designs that you can then personalise with glass panels and railings to result in a bespoke style. Specialist balustrading can make the simplest of stairs look amazing, while a plain pine staircase can look great painted grey or white and with a modern runner.

be allowed, they must be approved by building control, so always seek advice. YOUR DESIGN Once you’ve researched what’s allowed, you can think about a design that will be practical and add a wow factor. If your existing staircase blocks the central core of your home, moving it could be the best option to opening up a ground-floor space. Think about the next floor up, too; you don’t want to open up downstairs, but dramatically reduce bedrooms upstairs. Location decided, consider the age, style and design of your home. Is it classic or contemporary? Timber, glass, metal or concrete are great options, but won’t all suit your property. Look to magazines for inspiration, ask your architect, or be led by the era of your house. Think practicality, too: a spiral staircase may look beautiful, but will it suit family life? Consider noise levels on bare metal or hollow timber stairs, as sound echoes around quiet houses at night, and also think about incorporating LED lighting into the risers for illumination. OCTOBER 2016


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is the director of content and product development for Real Homes, Period Living and Homebuilding & Renovating magazines. With 25 years’ experience of working in the home design industry, renovating and building homes for himself and private clients, he is also the chair of the National Custom & Self Build Association. @HolmesMike

Real Homes

QA &

What building regs should I know before planning a new extension?


Discover your responsibilities and ensure any building work carried out on your property is both safe and legal with this essential advice BUILDING REGULATIONS ARE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS that apply to almost all new building work, including alterations to existing houses. There to control health, hygiene, safety, welfare, convenience, energy-efficiency and sustainability, they are a legal obligation when carrying out building work, and failure to meet them is a criminal offence. Ensuring construction complies with the regulations is essential from the outset to ensure costly mistakes don’t occur further down the line, plus, if you do undertake work without getting it approved, it is likely to make selling the property difficult. Whether you’re extending, converting or knocking down walls, the regulations cover all aspects of construction, including foundations and underpinning, the stability of the building, damp-proofing, insulation, ventilation, heating, fire protection and means of escape. Repairs are not generally covered, provided they are minor or if you’re replacing like for like, so if you’re updating small areas of brickwork, re-pointing, plastering or rendering, or replacing less than half of a roof, you can proceed without approval. However, where repairs involve removing some or all of a load-bearing element; rewiring; extending or altering drainage or a heating system; replacing windows; work to any combustion appliances or substantial removal of roof covering or large expanses of wall finishes, then regulations will apply. Few projects are exempt, but if you’re adding a porch, carport, small garden outbuilding or small conservatory, approval is unlikely to be required. The next step is to decide the type of application you need. There are two options: a Full Plans application or a Building Notice application. The latter tends to be intended for minor works, while Full Plans is for substantial


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redesigns. Both need to be submitted to your local authority or building control body before you start work, and you’ll need to pay the appropriate fee, ranging from £80 for replacement windows up to several thousand pounds for major extensions or conversions. You’re likely to need a structural engineer, too, to provide calculations for foundations, roof design and any structural alterations, and use an architect to produce detailed drawings, at a cost of between £2,000 and £5,000 plus VAT for a typical, straightforward extension. An experienced designer will be familiar with the regulations and should know how to achieve what you want with

be done as a minor adjustment, but always confirm with the building regulations inspector before proceeding. Importantly, there will be certain key stages during construction that require inspection, including during excavations for foundations, dampproof course installation, drainage testing and construction of floor joists and roof timbers, plus more (see You can request an inspection by phone, email or in writing, but you must give sufficient notice to allow a visit to be scheduled. Once the build is completed, a final inspection will take place and you’ll receive an approval certificate or letter confirming compliance.

‘Ensuring work complies with regulations is essential from the outset to avoid costly errors’ minimum compromise in terms of layout and aesthetics. When the design is ready, get in touch with a certified building control body, which include approved inspectors in the private sector, as well as your local authority’s office. After you’ve submitted your application, including a written submission of your intention to start work, you can legally begin construction after two working days. If you have made a Full Plans submission, bear in mind that the local authority will not yet have had opportunity to review drawings or advise on them, but you can expect a response within two weeks to confirm receipt, so if possible, wait for the verdict to be sure that no serious changes are required. Approval confirmed, it will remain valid for three years after the date of submission and, once work has started, there is no time limit for completion. If you decide to make slight alterations to the design once work has started, this can usually

WHAT TO SUBMIT For all applications: Completed Building Notice form; a plan to a scale of 1:1250 minimum showing location, boundaries, drainage and sewers; the appropriate fee. For a Full Plans application: Completed application form; estimate of costs; the appropriate fee; two copies of detailed drawings at a scale of 1:100 minimum; two copies of a site plan showing the proposal, site boundaries and sewer positions; two copies of any plans and specification to accompany drawings including structural design and calculations; four copies of plans for buildings covered by fire safety legislation, showing fire resistance, fire detection, alarms, emergency lighting, means of escape and signage.* OCTOBER 2016


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Oak Furniture Land 0800 440 2254 Ofgem 020 7901 7295 Oliver Bonas 020 8974 0110 One Must Dash 07919 861967 Orange & Brown 0117 9147973 Origin 0808 168 5816 Original Style 01392 473004 Out There Interiors 020 8099 7443 Oxfam


Paint & Paper Library 0845 880 5844 Pantone Paragon Parkwood 020 8878 6377 Pash 01509 767374 166

Peter Willis Building Services 07929 344285 Piazza Tiles 0845 257 0227 Pinnacle Worksurfaces 01527 873183 020 3397 9645 Pooky 020 7351 3003 Porcelanosa 01923 815200 Puji 020 8886 3000 Pure Bathroom Collection 0845 634 4321 www.


The Radiator Centre 01727 840344 Rangemaster 0800 804 6261 Reclaimed World 01829 760288 Refresh Glass 0370 8002309 Rehau 01989 762600 Retrouvius 020 8960 6060 Rigby and Mac 020 8761 4526 Rockett St George 01444 253 391 Rowen and Wren 01276 451077 The Rug Seller 0161 876 4566


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U V 0800 051 5493

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Wallpaperdirect 01323 430886 www. Walls and Floors 01536 314730 Walter Knoll We Are Amused 07798 773829 West Elm 0800 404 9780 Wharfside White Mint 01442 872543 Wickes 0330 123 4123 Witcher Crawford Architects 01962 813344 www. Wolf 0845 250 0010


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吀甀爀渀 礀漀甀爀 䈀漀砀 刀漀漀洀 漀爀 匀瀀愀爀攀 刀漀漀洀  椀渀琀漀 愀 䈀攀搀爀漀漀洀 䄀一䐀 愀 匀琀甀搀礀 ⸀ ⸀ ⸀

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or email

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A combination of double glazed timber Conservation™ casement windows and doors, with and without glazing bars, by Mumford & Wood feature in a 1930’s Arts and Craft refurb in Buckinghamshire. The new dual finish facility allows the frames to be stained in black externally to compliment the original vertical black beam detail, and white internally.


Daunted by the idea of brandishing a drill? Or looking for something you can simply fit and forget? Croydex offers the ultimate quick-fix solution when it comes to installing bathroom accessories. The Flexi-Fix range features a unique ‘X’ plate which can either be fitted using existing holes or screwed to new ones. Alternatively, the patented bracket can be glued to most surfaces, meaning no screws, no tools and certainly no drills! This unique range includes everything from toilet roll holders and towel rings to cosmetic baskets and glass shelves.



The frameless Spectra SP425 walk-in is a contemporary wetroom style showering solution from British manufacturer Aqata. Providing ample space for showering, it features slim adjustable wall profiles and beautiful polished chrome fittings. Teamed with a uniquely shaped shower tray which is designed to follow the line of the screen, overspray is kept is a minimum. For complete peace of mind, every luxury Aqata shower enclosure and screen comes with a life time guarantee. www.aqata


Agadon launch their latest product – the Panio Designer Flat-panel Radiator. With contemporary Italian styling, a choice of eleven sizes, three colours, and fitting only 74mm from the wall, these space-saving designs will appeal to the most discerning of buyer. Prices from £110.49 with Agadon’s 10 year no-quibble guarantee as standard.


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Ventilation manufacturer EnviroVent has recently passed a rigorous assessment to become a recognised ‘Which? Trusted Trader. This means that householders can have even greater reassurance when choosing EnviroVent for their ventilation systems. In order to become a Which? Trusted trader, EnviroVent successfully passed the endorsement process and rigorous company checks.



Maximise the space in your bathroom with Unishower Hinged Wet Room Screens. They can fold back to the wall when not being used and also swing outwards to provide easy access in and out of the showering area. Prices start from £196 inc vat.


The latest Hansgrohe Crometta range includes overhead showers, hand showers, shower sets and showerpipes. Specially created for the entry-level segment, Crometta combines water efficiency, sustainable technologies and premium design at an attractive price. The range is WRAS certified and the energy-saving EcoSmart models have a reduced water flow of six or nine litres per minute, depending on the model.




First launched over 23 years ago, demista™ heated mirror pads have been sold to hotels, specifiers, architects, house builders, and supplied through electrical wholesalers and bathroom retailers.

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Use of your personal information: AXA Wealth Ltd and AXA Wealth Services Ltd will use the information you provide to respond to your enquiry. For information about how AXA Wealth Ltd and AXA Wealth Services Ltd use and share your personal information you can find a copy of SunLife’s Privacy Policy at If you don’t have internet access call us and we’ll post you a copy. By returning this coupon you consent to this use of your personal data. From time to time, we’d like to send you details of special offers and information about products and services of ours and other companies within the AXA Group by post, phone, email or text. If you do not want us to contact you for marketing purposes, either call us on free phone 0800 904 7652 or write to PO BOX 7054, Willenhall WV1 9ZH. Ref: 1797537 RealHomes25Aug16

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Real Homes


I have the marvellous opportunity to travel in my role, and I get to talk to lots of people from different cultures, discovering what colour means to them

Below Animators are a great source of inspiration. I really enjoyed Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, £6.99, Amazon


Leatrice Eiseman The executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute on trends and life immersed in colour

How do you decide on the Colour of the Year? It starts with a kernel of an idea after discussions with forecasting experts from around the world. Quite often, once a colour is identified, I’ll start to see it more frequently in my every day life. In 2016, for the first time, the Colour of the Year is made up of two colours: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The two shades together offer ideas of tranquillity and harmony, and answer the need for mindfulness and peace in today’s busy world. I’m seeing more pastels than I’ve seen in a long time in home and fashion, but for a modern twist, try pairing them with darker tones, such as grey. What do you love about colour? Not everyone wants to decorate in the same way, and I feel it’s important to express personality through your colour choices. Today, home style is such an individual thing, and the trend for eclectic interiors is here to stay. Each new season, Pantone produces nine palettes to suit different tastes and levels of colour confidence. This autumn/ winter, it’s all about combining I was asked to do a talk at the Guggenheim Bilbao and learned so much more about artist Andy Warhol. His use of colour in the Shadows exhibition is fascinating

Above My house is very traditional in style, so is decorated accordingly. I have used a shade of yellow in many areas to bring a sense of warmth inside 178

shades to create an individual look, so warm, traditional colours, such as Pantone’s Mars Red, Apricot Brandy, Fired Brick and Champagne Beige, are mixed with more contemporary, refreshing options. Where do you find inspiration? I love research and learning. Recent projects have led me to discover great works of art, including the Agnes Martin exhibition at the Tate Modern and Andy Warhol’s Shadows, which I learned more about after being asked to do a talk at the Guggenheim Bilbao. The use of colour in this body of work is amazing and totally different to his better-known pop art. I’m also fascinated by animators – who are always on the pulse of colour innovations. My recent favourite animated film is Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. Describe your home. My husband, Herb, and I live in a ‘barn red’ house on Bainbridge Island, Seattle. The style is very traditional and I’m sure I was drawn to it because it has a colour in its name. Seattle has lots of grey days, so I wanted to bring sunshine inside. I’ve used a gentle shade of yellow throughout the main living areas and all of the other rooms are different colours: the bedroom is periwinkle, my dining room is decorated in a warm red, which is an appetite stimulant and my home office is neutral, so I have a plain base from which to work. As I travel so much, home has to be warm and welcoming, it’s the place where I get my creative juices flowing.


What’s keeping you busy right now? There’s never a dull moment. I visit many trade shows in London, Paris, Milan and Asia to research emerging trends and prepare for Pantone’s Colour of the Year project. I always look ahead at the moods and themes not only in the design world, but in a wider context to try and capture a point in time through a colour, which is the most fascinating part of my job. I love how a colour can capture the mood of a moment. I’m currently working on the launch of the 2017 Colour of the Year, which is top secret, and on a twice-yearly fashion colour report.


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To bring the outside in, you have to think inside out. At Solarlux it’s what we’ve been doing for over 30 years. Working to deliver truly bespoke solutions which match your exacting requirements precisely. It’s our relentless dedication to excellence that brings you precision German engineering and world-class technology in the design and manufacture of the wintergarden and bi-folding doors that offer unparalleled performance. Quality standards that are incomparable, and the peace of mind of being Secured by Design. Brighter thinking, for lighter living.

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Real Homes (UK) October 2016  

Real Homes (UK) October 2016 | More Space, More Light, More Wow!

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