Cassandra Ellis and Ed Prichard have only lived in this Victorian home in South East London for nine months, but it’s been nine months of hard work. Underneath years of grime and countless layers of paint were original fireplaces, floorboards, banisters and cornices, and Cassandra was determined to uncover it all. Wherever possible, she did most of the work herself so that she could devote her budget to restoring some of the original detailing that had been lost, such as the radiators, doors and hardware. In the midst of the renovation, Cassandra brought home a chocolate lab puppy, Mr. Darcy, and put the finishing touches on a book that highlights her work as a quilt maker and designer. Whew! In addition to the two dogs, there’s even more action on the weekends when Ed’s children, Frankie and Oscar, are in residence. Thanks Cassandra and Ed! — Amy A.
Image above: Frankie’s bedroom was the first room that I did, as I was a little worried Frankie might be disturbed by the original state of her bedroom. Five solid days of stripping wallpaper, but now it’s beautiful, and she sleeps like the dead in there, so it’s as relaxing as we wanted it to be. Her quilt is a mixture of kimono and Liberty print silk. The French wrought-iron bed was bought from eBay and still retains its original faux bois paint finish. The basket is handmade from the Philippines, and the bird painting is by a New Zealand artist. The doorknobs throughout the house were made by a special Victorian doorknob maker. They are just as they would have been originally, and it feels just fantastic to turn a proper doorknob. (Paint throughout the house is mostly from the Little Greene Paint Company, as they have the most beautiful neutrals, and their paints are full of pigment. In Frankie’s room, Bone China Blue Pale on the walls. All the woodwork in the house is Little Grey Slaked Lime, and any painted floor is French Grey mid.)
Image above: I bought this Belgium wardrobe from a dealer on the South Coast and painted it Off Black by Farrow and Ball. It’s big but not quite big enough! I had radiators made for all the rooms from old Victorian casts but left them with the black undercoat they came in. They are lovely and matte, although a little trickier to dust. (Walls in Little Greene — French Grey.)
The rest of Cassandra and Ed’s sneak peek continues after the jump . . .
Image above: Restoring the hallway seemed to be a never-ending job. It was yellow with filthy blue carpet. Layers and layers of paint had to be stripped before the walls could be repainted and because there was lead paint, it was all done by hand — my hands. I wanted the floorboards in the house to stay looking old, so I hand-sanded and waxed these as well. The chandelier was a gift from my mother and has great sentimental value to our whole family. (Walls in Little Greene — Pale French Grey.)
Image above: A collection of some of my favorite things on the library mantle. The painting is from New Zealand — the view is of the harbor where our family used to own a bach (beachhouse), and the jug is by New Zealand potter Bob Steiner.
Image above: The library is my favorite room in the house, as it’s just an incredibly calm room full of precious things. The Chesterfield sofa was an eBay find that I recovered in slate velvet. The 1930s chairs are $NZ10 bargains my mother found for me — she is the great chair hunter. She had them restored and recovered by a local artisan, and they traveled with me to London. The trunk is Ed’s boarding school trunk, and the NZ kite (basket) on the wall is made from copper. The cushions and lampshades are of my own making.
Image above: In the living room — another Chesterfield, with one of my quilts, also found on eBay. I had it restored and covered in artist’s linen.
Image above: Oscar’s room is at the back of the house and gets lots of lovely light. Both kids picked their room colors, and he very tastefully chose Skimming Stone from Farrow and Ball. The rug is very old and falling apart but has beautiful colours. The bed was found in a field and required a lot of elbow grease. It’s painted in Charleston Grey from Farrow and Ball. The quilt is very simple and made from an old Japanese sampling bolt. The house is on a very slight lean, so the doggie doorstop from Anthropologie ensures Oscar has a little control over his privacy.
Image above: There are 8 guitars and counting in the house. Both Ed and Oscar are great guitarists. The picture is from a children’s book Ed made for the kids when they were small.
Image above: Our dining area in the kitchen — we decided to turn what would have been the dining room into the library. The table was a £30 find from a hideous store in Brighton. Some of the chairs are Eames and some are very old and precious chairs that used to belong to my sister. We’ve painted all the doors in the house Farrow and Ball Off Black, which I just love — it makes them into punctuation points. Black is also my favourite colour — it must be my Kiwi roots. The walls are Little Greene Slaked Lime. In the distance is my lovely studio.
Image above: Our Lily, or Le Ping, as we like to call her. Happy, willful and hilarious — the perfect dog.
Image above: Furious planting when we arrived means we have a super garden. It’s a lucky thing to have in London, and we spend a lot of time outside. Picking my own salad and flowers makes me incredibly happy. I am also very fond of my 1978 Raleigh three speed.