Our living room is a double reception room which is open plan into the kitchen. Pocket doors separate the TV area and the library (quiet area). We love to read and watch TV in equal measure so it seems only fair that both rooms get equal importance! Also we can retreat to a safe distance when the children are watching the same Peppa Pig episode for the umpteenth time. They think it gets funnier every time. Newsflash: no, it really doesn’t.
The whole colour scheme for the house was set by the Designers Guild Portier wallpaper. We all loved it – a floral pattern in shades of grey and lime for me and purple flowers for my daughter. Technically, Mr. N and my son voicing no objection counted as a yes vote. I tried to carry these colours throughout the house and garden.
Both ceilings were painstaking restored to their original cornice detailing. Both fireplaces, too, were the original Victorian ones which were stripped of paint, sandblasted to an inch of their lives and then lacquered to prevent future rusting.
The built-in bookshelves for the library were custom-built based on similar ones used in many Manhattan apartments. Behind them, they also provided pocket space for sliding doors which are neatly tucked away most of the time. My builder didn’t think we would fill our bookshelves – but we have! Although I do like the convenience of a Kindle, nothing beats the feel and smell of books.
I did back out of decorating the downstairs loo (a.k.a powder room) lime green though. Lime green is an unflattering background for pretty much anyone who checks out their looks in the mirror. I went with Brinjal, a lovely aubergine colour from Farrow and ball, and direct overhead light for minimal shadows. I completely forgot, however, that little children would have a hard time turning the large glass door knob on the loo door. Although more than one child has gotten stuck in the loo, I am of the opinion that style trumps a little childhood trauma.
Living room and library details: chandeliers by Gino Sarfatti, wall lights are Artemide Mesmeri, paint colour is Farrow and Ball Cornforth White, Designers Guild Portier wallpaper, London fireplace guard by Lettera G, fireplace tiles are Fired Earth National Trust range.
Library specific details: original loft ladder painted Farrow and Ball Off Black, library bookshelves painted in Farrow and Ball Off Black on the frame and Brassica on the inside.
Loo details: paint is Farrow and Ball Brinjal; mother of pearl tiles from Surface Tiles; modern chandelier from the Chandelier and Mirror Company
What changes would I like to make? I’d like to extend the Cornforth White colour up through the ceilings. I also need to add a sliding ladder to the built-in bookcase but still deciding on the design. Once the kids grow up a bit, and stop jumping on the sofas, I’d like to change them out for a deep, comfy sectional.