Clapham Common | London W4

Interior design and decoration on an eclectic theme

Purple Design were recommended to the client for the redecoration of their family home, a Grade II listed five storey Georgian house set over five floors in South West London.

The scope of the project by Purple Design included the Interior design, redecoration throughout with new wall finishes, new flooring and new furniture, lighting and window treatments for several of the rooms. Bathrooms were updated and refreshed to meet the needs of a growing family and a new shower room was added.

The decorative finish applied to the hallway was designed to make an impression. Fibrous plaster cornicing, grand architraves, specialist wall and floor finishes, bespoke joinery, were added to the house, creating the backdrop for a more elegant suite of furnishings.

The kitchen and family room on the lower ground floor where the family relax was completely updated with contemporary poured resin flooring and new wall finishes, bespoke storage solutions were built-in to rationalise the clutter of a busy family life.

The master bedroom and guest bedrooms were redecorated and refurnished. New pieces of bespoke furniture were made for the house, while also incorporating vintage pieces that the owners had collected.

Period Interior Architecture in the Drawing Room

The clients wanted the interior design to introduce elegance to their family home, so the focus was on highlighting the period architectural features on the ground floor, bringing glamour into the main reception rooms.

The entrance hallway creates an impression from the moment you step into the house, with cornicing applied to the high ceilings, and a graceful bespoke console table placed over the radiator and vintage Venetian hall mirror by the front door reflecting light into the drawing room.

Two reception rooms knocked through on the ground floor form a double aspect drawing room with French doors at the rear overlooking the garden below.

Period architectural features in this drawing room were enhanced by ornamental plasterwork cornicing on the ceiling, with crystal chandeliers and a large gilded mirror, a family heirloom, over the mantelpiece to emphasise the sense of Georgian grandeur.

Carved plaster architraves sitting on tall plinth block around the openings between and into the rooms, raise the eye height and deep skirtings emphasise the architectural features of the period.

Doorways coming off the hallway were simplified to leave one entrance into the drawing room, replacing the two doorways that had led separately into each of the rooms. Inside the drawing room, these double doors are framed by a moulded fibrous plaster architrave standing as tall as the ceiling cornicing, to make a grand entrance into the room.

A pair of tall glass panelled double doors were designed bespoke for the new doorway, in a black lacquer finish with polished nickel detailing and opti-glass panels with bespoke reeded door knobs.

Closing off the original doorway to the adjoining reception room also created a clear stretch of wall space in the drawing room for placing furniture and artwork.

The existing fireplace was restored and niches on either side of the chimney breast were fitted with bespoke cabinets with the timeless glamour of high gloss lacquer and verre eglomisé mirrored doors, housing a drinks cabinet in one and a bookcase in the other. The mirror in the hallway reflects light through the new glass-paned doors into the drawing room, reflected in the mirror above the fireplace, to emphasise the light and airy room size and brighten the narrow hallway.

The walls were given a textured polished plaster finish in ‘elephant skin plaster’ and the existing timber floor was given a new lease of life by sanding and refinishing the timbers.

Furniture and Furnishings

The family had several favourite pieces of vintage and antique furniture, which they wanted to keep, such as an heirloom piano, and a pair of 1950s wingback armchairs with timber peg legs covered in button-back damson velvet typical of mid-century furniture. A second wingback armchair was made bespoke, to make a matching pair and both chairs were covered in a truffle silk velvet with contrast velvet piping details. An antique chaise sofa with ornate gilded arms was covered in silk from Fortuny.

These elegant chairs lend to the gracious air that the house was calling for, and they were complemented with new bespoke coffee tables, side tables and hand-blown glass wall lights from Purple Design’s Diva Collection. Elegant textured silk rugs from the Rug Company were retained as they fit into the timeless decor.

Contemporary Interior Architecture in the Kitchen-Family Room

In contrast to the emphasis on period detailing and furnishings in the reception rooms, the open plan kitchen and informal family room on lower ground floor was given a modern treatment. The smooth quartz kitchen island holds the focus on a contemporary refurbishment on this floor level.

A poured taupe resin floor was installed for a smooth contemporary finish, practical for family use, continuing the resin finish on the staircase between the ground and lower ground floors.

Decorating with all one colour on the walls, ceiling and floor of the kitchen and family room brings continuity to the open plan through-room and a sense of spaciousness which was important on the lower ground floor where ceilings are lower. Daylight pours into the living area from above through a light well.

A faux leather mock crocodile finish was applied to the walls of the family room, bringing a touch of 007 glamour into the mix. This unexpected wall surface is a canvas for the family’s eclectic taste in vintage furniture.

The dining chairs in the style of Mies van de Rohe classic Brno design in deep berry colour leather, sit around an opaque glass dining table that plays to the quartz worktop.

Storage was built-in to organise the overflow of belongings in a family home, with a mission to stow away the clutter behind cupboard doors while keeping this living room informal and comfortable but above all practical.

Decoration & Furnishing

Cornicing was added around the ceilings in the first & second floor bedrooms. A new period Statuaria marble fire-surround with the modern convenience of a remote-controlled gas fire was installed in the master bedroom with decorative polished steel andirons and in the main guest bedroom, restoring this as the main focal point on the chimney walls, as was originally intended in the history of a Georgian house.

The timber floors were renewed in the bedrooms and a bespoke pair of lacquered wardrobes with verre eglomise glass set into the fretwork panels, were made for the alcoves on either side of the chimney breast in the master bedroom.

The Ralph Lauren bed with its nickel & leather details was retained for the master bedroom, The antique art-deco armchairs were also kept and the chairs were re-covered in a soft pink velvet. New pieces of furniture were added, an occasional table in polished nickel and shagreen leather from Purple Design’s Diva Collection, and lighting on the bedside tables. The pair of tall windows looking out over the green beyond were treated to simple elegant cotton and silk curtains hung from Perspex poles with decorative polished nickel finials with herringbone linen roman blinds behind.

The master bedroom was decorated in muted mauves with a crackle eggshell finish on the walls. The main guest bedroom, where a welcoming sense of comfort and ease prevails, was papered with a striking large-scale paisley patterned blue wallpaper.

As well as the bathroom for the master bedroom and the childrens bathroom on the top floor, there was a tiny bathroom on the closet wing extension off the second-floor landing, which was rather too small for comfortable use as a guest bathroom. This was replaced with a new walk-in shower room, tiled with cool green crackle-glazed urban-subway elongated tiles on the walls and slabs of Pentaligon green and white marble on the floors.

A bespoke smooth corian vanity brings a clean modern feel to this new shower room. A large gloss lacquered wall mirror amplifies the perception of space flanked by a pair of contemporary nickel and silk wall lights from Purple Design’s Diva Collection.

The redecoration of this family home was completed in very a tight timescale, placing an emphasis on renovations of the period features of the house while updating the kitchen and bathrooms with a distinctly contemporary finish as a backdrop for key vintage pieces. The objective of creating a more elegant impression in the drawing room was achieved by re-covering antique pieces with fine furnishing fabrics and introducing new pieces of furniture from the Purple Design Diva collection. The house was refreshed while keeping the family’s much-loved familiar pieces of furniture and leaving an informal feel in the kitchen, family living room and bedrooms where home comforts prevail.