lifestyle

NEW ENGLAND-STYLE HOME TOUR

In my past life as an Interior Designer I got to design lots of incredible spaces for corporate clients, juggling budgets of hundreds of thousands, and even millions of pounds.  But the most fun design projects I’ve ever got to work on have been my own homes!  I was lucky to be able to get my foot on the property ladder in my early-twenties, and moved to my current home in South West London in 2012 and it’s my favourite so far! It’s not just my home, but B.LOVED HQ and a studio space too!  Sadly I’m about to make my next move, but before I do I thought I’d share some of the things I love most about my home.  I hope they provide you with some inspiration – I’ll certainly be recreating some of the design details wherever I move to next!

Location: SW London

Style: New England town-house

Tell us about your home, what drew you to the area and this house in particular?

I live in a beautiful powder blue clapboard town-house in South West London.  The accommodation is spread over three floors, with the main open plan living space on the middle floor which works really well for entertaining!  The office is on the ground floor, along with a spare room, and the rest of the bedrooms are on the top floor – so it’s great for separating work and home life.

When I moved here three years ago, I immediately fell in love with the peace and tranquillity of the area.  Although it’s located in a typical London suburb just 20 minutes by train from Central London, the estate was built in a typical New England style, with pastel coloured houses and even a central ‘clock tower’ community hall.  It’s surrounded by beautifully maintained parkland, ponds and landscaped gardens making it a real oasis in the middle of a bustling and busy town.

What’s your home décor style?

My background in interior design and styling means making my home a beautiful space to be in for me and my guests is really important.  While trends have influenced my style over the years, I love clean, classic and contemporary design, muted palettes and carefully selected trinkets.

The New England-style of my home has massively influenced the interior design, with plenty of whitewashed walls, soft greys and hints of sea blues throughout.  I brought in natural textures like burlap and timber, as well as subtle stripes and nautical details to reinforce the Hamptons feel.  There’s also an industrial influence, from enamelled light fittings to zinc finishes, all things which make the space feel a bit different and not too contrived.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I religiously read Living etc and Elle Decor!  Living etc. is full of affordable and achievable ideas, while Elle is great for designer brands and more aspirational style.

I find most of my inspiration while travelling though; hotels, bars and restaurants can be great sources of inspiration – whether it’s a colour palette, furniture layout or creative displays.  I also love to visit home stores in the UK and further afield, great for visualising new layouts of different combinations which you might not otherwise consider!

What are your favourite homeware brands and stores?

My home is full of items from all over the place; I tend to mix and match high street, designer and boutique pieces with items bought on my travels to create a totally personal and unique home.

I’ve mentioned my love of H&M Home many times, it’s my go-to for basics like jars and bottles (great for kitchen and bathroom storage), candle holders and votives (for prettying up dull corners) and it’s amazing for cheap cushion covers (so I can update my look every few months!).

I also love John Lewis for practical items like kitchenware, linens and bigger furniture items.  They never disappoint on quality and pretty much everything in their range of designer pieces is on my wish-list!  The oak dining table was a John Lewis investment piece, while it’s pristine now my vision is for it to become a much-loved family piece so I’m not too precious about it!

For frames, crockery and storage furniture I love Ikea; they get that balance of style and economy just right!  I’m a particularly big fan of the Hemnes bedroom range, and have a few key pieces from the collection throughout my home.  The plan is one day to have a bedroom and dressing room big enough to house it all!

For décor items and one-off pieces I have a few go-to shops. Oliver Bonas is great for on-trend pieces, like the H.O.M.E hooks in the hallway and jewellery box in my bedroom.  Cox and Cox do great industrial-chic pieces that manage to combine rough and luxe perfectly, like the zinc tray table I use to display toiletries in the guest bathroom.

Do you have a favourite item in your home?

The Eames DSW chairs around the dining table are my most-loved possessions.  I’d been coveting this design classic for many, many years without hope of ever being able to afford them until my old employer gifted them to me as a thank you for 5 years service.  AS well as looking beautiful and timeless, they are super comfortable too!  They are the one thing that will move with me wherever I go!

What do you love most about your home?

One of the things that drew me to this house in particular was the amazing natural light.  Being an end-terrace means there’s windows on three sides and most rooms are dual-aspect with the sun flooding in all day long.

It’s also a really calm and cosy space.  Whether I’m working in the office, curled up on the sofa watching TV or entertaining friends in the dining room I feel so at peace.

What’s your favourite room or space?

Undoubtedly the lounge.  It’s where I spend most of my time!  While I try and be disciplined and work in the office or at the dining table, I’ll often end up on the sofa with the laptop until the early hours.  In the summer I’ll fill my favourite Dartington Crystal vases with fresh blooms from the garden, and in the winter light lots of candles for a warm glow.  I rarely put the TV on, and might have some music in the background, but I love the peace and quiet and playful sound of families passing by on the street below heading to the park or ponds!

What do you have planned next?

Sadly I’ve just sold my house and will be moving before the summer.  While I’m sad to be leaving the home I love, there’s plenty of exciting things on the horizon and I can’t wait to get started on this new chapter!  Of course, my favourite pieces will be coming with me, and I’m sure my Hamptons home will inspire the décor of many homes to come!

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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