sneak peek: diane stafford


d*s reader diane stafford sent over her adorable victorian home in south london. this creative/copy writer for the UK civil service (COI)  has lived in this home for 10 years (five of which were spent renovating). today we’re happy to help immortalize it as a sneak peek (check out additional, full-sized images here), as she and her daughters prepare to move to a smaller 1920s home that needs a lot of love and care. thanks so much, diane! best of luck with the new place! –anne

[above and below: This is a lovely light room and contains some of my favourite things: my Miffy alarm clock, pebbles from the beach at St Ives in Cornwall and a wooden blanket box that belonged to my grandparents.]


CLICK HERE for the rest of diane’s sneak peek (including all the images on one page) after the jump!

The triptych above the chest is a selection of beautiful papers from Shepherds Book Binders in an Ikea frame.


The Utensilo was my 40th birthday present to myself – people either really get it or just conclude that I am a tragic neat freak (‘m not).


Sitting room : All the furniture here is secondhand – a mix of ebay finds and local vintage (I particularly like Designs of Modernity in Crystal Palace, which is where the small chest of drawers came from).   The small collage on the back wall is by the late Terry Frost and the large yellow print is by Matthew Gavin from Nelly Duff.



The entryway is less than a metre wide so it’s a squeeze even hanging up a winter coat.


We had these built in soon after we moved to house the growing tide of house books, CDs and  childrens’ games that was threatening to engulf us. I lived in Japan for a couple of years in my twenties, hence the doll.


  1. Scott Seiter says:

    Like the small knick knacks, they really complete the style. Wonder where they got all the cool accessories?

  2. Pecancatcher says:

    So lovely& fresh!

  3. Jude says:

    Beautiful. I’m sure I recognise the green chairs. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the new abode once you’ve worked your magic.

  4. Dennice says:

    What an enchanting, happy, light-filled home. I love the colors and the light streaming in from the windows. And I very much admire her 40th birthday present to herself.

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Mallory says:

    pale blue & red – one of the best of the best color combinations…. in my personal opinion.

  6. Danielle says:

    I love the colour combination in the bedroom. It looks so fresh and clean.

  7. I love the wall paper. That color combo is so fresh.
    I couldn’t help but thinking, “five years renovating!?” I hope the majority of those years including minor renovations!

  8. Mouse says:

    Ohhhh mod-tastic!

  9. Love the shelving and the natural light.

  10. RayB says:

    Love the bedroom! – I want to know where they are from in South London – in my head it is totally Brockley (where I live).

  11. Jen says:

    that dresser is beautiful. fantastic wood grain!

  12. Katherine says:

    Beautiful! I lived in Putney for five formative years. This takes me right back to primary school!

  13. Laura says:

    Love the colours in the bedroom! If that was my house I wouldn’t want to move!

  14. cynthia says:

    Cute home! Especially love the happy wallpaper and the little chest of drawers.

  15. Erin Marchak says:

    The colour palette is fantastic. I had no idea that I would love that combination so much.
    What an amazing home!

  16. Jessica says:

    I covet the tiles in the entrance. What a fun space.

  17. Arya says:

    Love this home.

  18. Teresa says:

    I adore the wallpaper! It has my favorite color combo!

  19. Robin says:

    Where is that dresser from?

  20. Shanon says:

    Eep! I just love that front door! I’d love to see more front doors in the sneak peeks. It’s nice to see what the world sees from the outside as well.

  21. Julie says:

    Gorgeous! I have to know- where did that adorable white bunny clock come from?? I have to have it!

  22. Rebecca says:

    Red, white and light….great combination. I usually avoid red, but this is an inspiration!

  23. Amber says:

    Color combo reminds me of twitter. Still cute though!

  24. Rachel says:

    Where did you get the wallpaper? I think it’s lovely.

  25. Sally says:

    What a beautiful house! Where did you get the cushions? I live in London and would love to get some like too.

  26. Holly says:

    Fab space! Love the use of retro colour and natural shades together. Makes the place seem tranquill but still funky.

  27. Alain says:

    Great house! Did you get the cupboards specially made, or is there a brand/designer I should know about? My partner and I simply cannot agree on cupboard solutions, so I’m hoping this might be a winner.

  28. India says:

    Scrumpalicious house, luvvit! But how did you manage to finance such a fab house as a single mum?

  29. auburn says:

    please, please, please source the wallpaper. Love it. What a cheerful, comfy home.

  30. Shush Mary says:

    That Miffy alarm clock is making me swoon!

  31. Emily says:

    I lOVE the wallpaper… we have been looking for the right paper for our space and this I think is it… where is it from??

  32. jasmine says:

    what color is that blue paint from the 1st photo? i love it

  33. Diane says:

    The wallpaper is Bloomsbury by Villa Nova – it’s easily available in the UK but not sure about the US. The paint colour was mixed to match using Dulux colour sampling system but I’ll check whether there’s an ID number on the tin.
    The origins of the Miffy alarm clock is lost in the mists of time I’m afraid, but plenty of Miffy stuff is available online.

  34. jjj says:

    The wallpaper from Villa Nova is awesome. It is available in the US under Villa Romo. They have loads of really nice wallpapers, and fabrics check out I am a big fan!

  35. fotogrrl says:

    I love your sense of style! Where (and when) did you get the two Orla Kiely bags/purses hanging in the entryway? I especially love the dark brown(?) leather one with the sliver ring in the front.

  36. Sally says:

    It looks fabulous Diane! I’m going to take a trip to that shop in Crystal Palace definitely!

  37. Brittney says:

    Another US source for the Villa Nova (Bloomsbury/Scarlet #W219/01) wallpaper is Takes approx 4 days to get it to you.

  38. melarchy says:

    This home is right up my alley. I really like the playfulness of i!

  39. Emma says:

    Lovely house but I am sure the new one will soon be as lovely! You should consider an alternative career in interior design.

  40. Spin Spin says:

    Too lovely, *sigh* and *swoon*.

  41. Louise says:

    Beautiful – elegant, but relaxed and never overdone. I’m putting a Utensilo on my Christmas list NOW.

  42. Jenny says:

    I just LOVE the craft storage space! It’s great for the kids, but i’m gonna rush out and get one of those organisers for my office area.

  43. Amazing says:

    I like it. I like it a lot.


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