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Interiors expert Beth Dadswell has combined colour, texture and one-off vintage finds to add a contemporary twist to her West Dulwich home Wo r d s E M M A J PAG E P h o t o g r a p h y L E A N N E D I XO N


ormerly a fashion stylist and now an interiors specialist, Beth Dadswell knows a thing or two about combining aesthetics with good design, and it’s a formula that she and her Art Director partner Andrew Wilbourne have put to excellent use over the years. The couple have moved a number of times within the borders of Dulwich, renovating properties from apartments to 1960s townhouses, but it was this Victorian semi that stole their hearts. ‘We knew we could make something of it,’ says Beth, who was undeterred by its dated schemes and lack of light. She and Andrew took a singular approach to decorating the property, improving where possible, while preserving several period features – and all on a limited budget. ‘There is a lot of crossover between fashion and interiors,’ reflects Beth. ‘For me, it’s all about colour, form and setting a mood. I always prepare with lots of tear sheets and a moodboard, with the aim of telling a story.’


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Before that story could be told however, there was plenty of work to be done. The house had good bones, but Beth and Andrew knew that its full potential was yet to be realised. So, with their son Louis, now 8, the pair moved in and set about making the essential tweaks that would turn it into a light-filled home, suitable for modern living. Downstairs, they knocked through two receptions rooms to create one cohesive space and removed a wall separating the kitchen and dining room, adding bi-fold doors at the rear and generous floor-to-ceiling French windows along the side return. ‘There’s a bit of a trend to fill in side returns, but we didn’t want to do that,’ explains Beth. ‘They allow valuable light into the rear living space, but more importantly, when it’s warm, we can open up two sides of the kitchen and look onto the garden, which is lovely.’ Not ones to sacrifice period detail, Beth and Andrew preserved as well as improved. They sanded and filled the original floorboards throughout, painting them in a contemporary grey, and restored the staircase and much

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