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Interiorssneak peeks

In London, An Old Edwardian Home with A Fresh, New Spirit

by Kelli Kehler

They say good things come to those who wait, and for Louise, owner of a PR consulting business, and Ryan, a graphic designer, that sentiment couldn’t be more true. Louise and Ryan had such a clear, and specific list of dream-house wishes that it took them 13 years to finally land the North West London home they’d always wanted. Their list was pretty simple but narrow: they were looking for a south-facing Edwardian home that was in need of a renovation, located in a particular area that included just five streets. After a year of calls to real estate agents, letters written, and watching the market like hawks, Louise, Ryan, and their children Arthur and Ivy bought this home five years ago before it even went on the market. “The local estate agents knew us and what we were looking for and I was the first to view the property and made an asking price offer on the spot, even before Ryan had a chance to view it,” Louise recalls.

“It was the nicest, most central neighborhood that we could afford and it was as close as we could get to the area in which we were [brought] up and to where many of our friends and family lived,” Louise shares. “Our first flat was just around the corner from the house we live in now (we can actually see it from our garden) and even then, as cash-strapped first-time buyers, we always said that one day we would love to own one of these Edwardian houses and we feel very lucky that we do now. It’s a lovely community, a mixture of young families and people who have been here for decades. We have a beautiful park on our doorstep and a parade of independent shops and we’re less than five minutes from the subway station.”

Once the family had this 1,619-square-foot Dollis Hill home to themselves — nearing 130 years old — they devised a reno and design plan. “When we bought the property it hadn’t been renovated for more than 40 years,” Louise says. “This was a blessing and a curse — lots of original features, great floorboards hiding under really nasty carpets and no central heating. The vast majority of our budget was spent on (re)building and repair and behind the walls before any interior design was considered. We really had to go back to basics first, make good and then started to make it look pretty.”

They brought in Lisa Mettis of Born & Bred Studio to add a fresh, new spirit to the old home while keeping with the structure’s original ethos. Lisa both energized the home’s rooms with unexpected pops of color while maintaining the Edwardian personality with a mix of traditional and modern pieces. The result is a refined and playful mix — one that the family is thankful to have in their long sought-after home. And after 13 years of chasing their dream, Louise has a design tip for others weary from the pursuit: “Get someone else to do it, there is no harm in calling in the professionals.” —Kelli

Photography by Anna Stathaki / @annastathkiphoto

Image above: “A friend of mine says that our kitchen does funny things to people,” Louise shares. “You know, you come for lunch and stay for dinner, but that’s where all the best parties happen, right?”

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Louise shares, “The process of decorating taught me to call in the professionals. I learned that I love living in a nice home and I know what I like but I can’t always articulate it specifically or have the skills to make ‘the look’ happen. I’ve learned that I’m comfortable with someone else taking the lead, the caveat being that the designer needs to be on the same page and aligned with my taste, the needs of my family and my budget.”

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The kitchen is located just off of the dining area and has a view of the garden outside.

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Fun, colorful details put a quirky spin on the crisp white subway tiles and open shelves in the kitchen.

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In the living room, a vintage desk and chair create a sweet moment in this nook next to the fireplace.

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“We’re incredibly grateful to own such a house in London…we are a nation obsessed with homeownership,” Louise says. “But it’s [gotten] a little [out of control] here in the UK so we will never take it for granted.”

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“I love the house for its proportions and period features, some of which we’ve been able to retain and restore like the original tiled entrance hall and the floorboards; and others that we’ve been able to replicate like the stained glass panel in the front door where we found a specialist who took a trace from a neighbor’s door,” Louise says.

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This first-floor bathroom is a clean and simply designed space where all of the tile work does the talking.

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In the main bedroom, Lisa layered decadent jewel tones on top of one another to create a cozy and beautiful retreat.

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Texture and tone are key here in designer Lisa’s expert layering of both the bed and materials used in the space as a whole.

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The main bedroom, which occupies a loft space on the uppermost level of the terraced home, has a stunning ensuite bathroom.

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The recently completed bathroom in the main bedroom loft space features a walk-in glass enclosed shower with herringbone tile work.

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Arthur, who is six and devoted to Legos, has a vibrant room to match his spirit. Aimée Wilder wallpaper creates a standout focal piece on the fireplace wall.

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The house has great potential and it is a house that has the ability to grow with us.

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This bed from Cuckooland adds a whimsical touch to Arthur’s room.

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In the guest bedroom, a design plan where the goal is to simply let the Edwardian ethos shine through.

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Four-year-old Ivy’s room. Louise describes her as “little Miss Feminist!”

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Louise relays a treasured memory in this home, “I also have great memories of Christmas. Our kids are four and six, so still believers, and they know if Father Christmas has been because he leaves a trail of chocolate coins from their bedroom doors, all the way down the stairs leading to the Christmas tree and their stockings (shhhh).”

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“What I love about our home [is] the noise, mess, hugs, kisses & wine.” –Louise

SOURCE LIST

Entryway

Tiles – original
Wall of mirrors – vintage
Door color – Farrow & Ball “Downpipe”

Living Room

Artwork – Anthony Burill
Desk & chair – vintage

Kitchen

Mostly vintage/customized

Bathrooms

Burlington Fittings

Arthur’s room

Wallpaper – Aimee Wilder
Lockers – IKEA
Light – Urban Outfitters
Bed – Cukooland
Rug – IKEA

Ivy’s Room

Wardrobe/dresser – White Company
Pink shelves – Molly Meg
Artwork – Molly Meg

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