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Project story – Colourful family home in New Malden

Sitting room in New Malden

Sitting room in New Malden

This beautiful period house in New Malden required complete refurbishment when it was bought by my clients, a young family.  They also elected to extend into the garden, which allowed for a large kitchen / diner / family room at the back of the house.

The brief was to create a colourful family home, which had to be practical as well as stylish.

The client has a keen eye for style and sourced some great finds, many from eBay.  In addition, much of the furniture was coming from their previous home.  My job was to provide guidance on colours, walls, floors, layout and window treatments, and pulling it all together.

Thank you to Anna Stathaki for the great photography.

The entrance hall is calm, but the patterned tiles on the floor add interest, with the colours echoed in the stair runner with its dark border.

Calm entrance hall with patterned tiles and stair runner with border

The formal sitting room at the front of the house (also see main picture in this post) is also calm and collected, with splashes of blue and green to bring out the colours in the vintage rug, passed down from parents.


Moving through to the back of the house, the bright extension offers plenty of space for family life.


The family room retains the original fireplace, adding in contemporary furniture in clean lines to contrast.


Upstairs now, the master bedroom is a restful space, despite the pops of colour.


The guest bedroom on the top floor.


Check out my portfolio and my Houzz profile for additional images, including the children’s bedrooms.

All in all, this home is a great example of how to create a colourful family home, against a backdrop of pale neutrals.  If the family ever get bored of the colour, they could just change or recover the furniture to something more neutral and it would look completely different.  No need to redecorate.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into the story behind a project in my portfolio.  Do get in touch if you’d like me to help you too.

Photography credits throughout: Anna Stathaki

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Free interior design from an independent designer?

how to get free interior designFree interior design… from an independent?  How can that be possible?  I’m sure you all know that you can walk into places like Heals, John Lewis, West Elm etc and have your home designed for free, or nearly free.  But you’ll pay full retail price for everything they recommend, are usually limited to items they stock and you’ll still need to manage the buying, deliveries, tradesmen etc.  What if there was a way to get free interior design, including project co-ordination, from an independent professional?  Step this way…

Did you know that because of the generous trade discounts that I’m entitled to as a professional, you could get your home the way you want it, with me doing all the legwork for you, without paying a penny more?  In projects I have done to date, the total price for the whole project, including my fee, has come to about the same as if the customer had paid full retail price for everything and done it all themselves.  So my clients have essentially got free interior design, sourcing and project co-ordination, and saved a ton of time and stress.

Interested?  Let me tell you about it.

I tend to offer two different types of service.

Design consultations, where I provide generous advice and expertise, and you manage the project yourself.

And the traditional interior design service, which can include designs, sourcing and/or installation oversight.

However we work together, if you purchase anything through me at trade discount, you will save money, and if you purchase everything we work on together through me, it is very likely that you will end up getting the design for free.  Note that I pass on 100% of all discounts and my fees are entirely transparent and stated up front.

Design Consultations

If you’re fairly confident in what needs to be done but you’re just a bit stuck or short on time, I can help you plan, give you inspiration and ideas, make suggestions, cast a critical eye over your plans, all for a small fee.  Then you’d continue on your own, with renewed enthusiasm, focus and ideas.  We can look at layout, furniture, curtains, blinds, lighting, flooring, walls, whatever you like.

If you are not near North London / Herts, we can do a Skype consultation for a reduced cost.

This is how it all works

Welcome pack

You get a welcome pack to send back to me with lots of information about you and your home, your likes and dislikes, photos of the space(s), plans of the space if you have them, images you like (and dislike), that kind of thing.  This is so that I can prepare well before we meet, and we can make the most of the time we have.


Then I’ll come to your home for a few hours (or we’ll Skype/Facetime) and I’ll answer all your questions, suggest solutions, brands that you may like, specific items perhaps, if that’s what you want.  If you’re worried you won’t remember everything, you can have a summary of what we’ve discussed afterwards.


As I’m sure more questions will occur to you after our meeting, you can also have a Skype or telephone follow-up a week or so later.  You will be full of enthusiasm and ideas and ready to get your home the way you want it.

Trade price purchases

You can purchase items through me at trade price after the consultation.  There will be no fee for the first £500 of purchases, and my standard sourcing fee after this.

Hit reply to this email to enquire about my availability and start getting your home the way you want it.

In addition to the consultations, I also offer a full interior design service, if you need more help.  In fact, if you have a consultation and then decide that you want more help, I will offset the cost of the consultation against the cost of the extra work. For example, you might decide that you want someone to manage the work after all, or you want help with extra rooms.  Either way, I’ll make sure you don’t pay twice!

Traditional interior design services

If you’re quite daunted, too busy, or only interested in the end result, you’re going to want more help.  I can do any or all of the following:
– prepare designs
– write specifications for you to get quotes from tradesmen
– source items and materials for you at trade price (place orders, chase, pay on your behalf, receive delivery, deal with damaged or wrong supplies etc)
– manage builders, tradesmen, decorators etc on your behalf.

At one extreme, once we’ve agreed the design, you could hand me your keys and come back a week / a month / 6 months later to a finished home (yes I have done this for someone – they just wanted it DONE!).

Or I could just order you a sofa for trade price plus a sourcing fee.

As mentioned above, these options tend to work out the same as if you’d chosen and organised everything yourself and paid full price.

More details here.

Other things you may not know about Space Interior Design

I am particularly interested in more ecofriendly design (but not if it looks too rustic/crafty), so if you are too, that’s even better!

Based just north of London, I tend to favour work in north London and Hertfordshire, but I’m open to projects further afield too.  And obviously if you want an online consultation you can be anywhere in the world.

Finally, in case you’re wondering, Space Interior Design is a Limited Company, registered for VAT, with Public Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.  It also has segregated client bank accounts so that the money you give me to buy items on your behalf remains yours until it’s passed over to the supplier – you’re not going to lose your money if anything happens to my company (let’s hope not!).

Book a consultation online here, or call 020 8133 9132 to discuss how I can help you get your home the way you want it.

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Project story – Riverside Apartment

This riverside apartment was a 1990s build which had not been decorated since the developers left. The client uses it during the week, spending the weekends with his family. He was happy with the layout, kitchen and bathrooms, and he also wanted to keep much of his existing furniture, for the time being. So, the brief was to warm it up a little, improve the lighting, improve the acoustics, and source some higher quality window treatments, some furniture and new flooring.

The client has a clean and unfussy style, and ruled out wallpaper, carpet, new rugs and pattern. How to warm up a space without these?

We went for neutrals with a warm undertone, and plain accent colours. Also, the fabrics that we used for the curtains and upholstered headboard were on the heavy, textured side, for maximum warmth and sound absorption.

Here’s the before and after for you.

Master bedroom

Master bedroom - before

Master bedroom – before

Master bedroom - after

Master bedroom – after

The master bedroom was warmed up using an off-white paint with a warm, almost pink, undertone (used throughout), and deep purple velvet curtains and silk lampshades.  The blackout-lined curtains with simple pelmet give complete darkness for sleeping and significantly improve the acoustics, as does the upholstered headboard.  The bedside tables and a bespoke tallboy are in greyed oak, and the new floor is simple oak with a matt varnish (used throughout).

Second bedroom

The second bedroom is used occasionally.  We chose a deep red for the accent colour here, with the same paint and flooring as the master bedroom.  The bed from the master bedroom is being reused here for the time being.  Similar curtains, heavy velvet with a simple pelmet, again provide blackout and absorb sound.

Second bedroom - before

Second bedroom – before

Second bedroom - after

Second bedroom – after

Surprisingly, the original developer had left this awkward alcove rather than providing a fitted wardrobe. We filled the space with a triple wardrobe with plenty of shelves and hanging room, finished in the same paint colour as the walls, to help it disappear.

Wardrobe alcove - before

Wardrobe alcove – before

Wardrobe alcove - after

Wardrobe alcove – after


Living / dining area

This was painted and the floor replaced.  The old pelmets and vertical blinds were removed. The new curtains are made from a textured cream heavyweight fabric, with pinch pleat headings on an invisible track mounted to the ceiling.

Living area - before

Living area – before

Living area - after

Living area – after

The wall lights in the dining area were updated.  The client’s existing furniture remains in this area for the time being.

Dining area - before

Dining area – before

Dining area - after

Dining area – after

What do you think about this updated riverside apartment? Do you want to know where I sourced any of the items? Let me know in the comments.

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Project story – Period House – Part 2

As we saw last week, this interior design project was a real blank canvas, and the clients enjoy pattern and colour, so let’s take a look where we ended up.

Master bedroom

Master bedroom - before

Master bedroom – before


Master bed - after

Master bedroom – after







The starting point for the master bedroom was the Coco bed from Loaf, an excellent value quality bed.  The clients have spent some time in Paris, and developed a love for the curvaceous lines of simple French furniture.

We then searched for a wallpaper to complement the greyed oak and calico linen of the bed, and eventually decided on the beautiful Tamaki wallpaper from Romo in French Grey.  This elegant pattern has a muted palette of grey, silver and gold, and we papered two walls.

Fitted wardrobes in white provide a huge amount of hidden storage, neatly placed in line with the bay so as to make the most of the space without intruding into the room.  Fitted wardrobes on a shared wall also insulate against noise from neighbours.

Whilst I tend to prefer curtains or Roman blinds in a bedroom, to absorb sound and better block out light, the clients wanted shutters for their clean lines and to give them privacy from the street without needing sheers.  They also like to wake up with the light in the morning.  The shutters were chosen to match the weathered oak of the bed, rather than the more frequently chosen white, to be a feature in their own right and further warm up the room, complementing the wallpaper on the opposite wall.

The picture rail, height carefully chosen so as to link the windows with the wardrobes, finishes the wallpaper walls neatly as the original mouldings were long gone.

Kitchen / diner

Unusually perhaps, when there is a rear extension across the full width of a period property, it was decided that the kitchen would be in the middle reception room.  This was because the bay window at the front faces south, and thus there would be more light in the front of the property.  With a young family, the clients expected to spend much of their time in the kitchen / diner, rather than the living room, and so of course they wanted to be in the bright part of the house.

Middle reception room before - to become kitchen with doorway through to living room extension beyond

Middle reception room before – to become kitchen with doorway through to living room extension beyond

Kitchen - after, looking through the doorway into the new living room extension

Kitchen – after, looking through the doorway into the new living room extension








The dining / play area is in the front with the bay window, and the kitchen, with island unit, in the middle.  We opened up the kitchen to the new extension through the existing window space, creating wide steps down to the new room and the garden beyond.

Living room extension

This was a challenging room and it’s still not finished.  Several steps down from the rest of the house, with a lower ceiling, facing north, I thought we needed to go for cosy rather than light and bright.  Bookcases around the doorway house the clients’ large selection of books, giving colour and texture and absorbing some sound.  The shelves wrap around to the stairs up to the kitchen.  I originally wanted the shelving to actually be incorporated into the stairs but for budgetary reasons they ended up separate.  Low level lighting on the stairs is both a feature and good for safety.

Eventually, the other walls in the living room will be papered with handprinted wallpaper from Wallpaper with a Story in green, furniture and window treatments will be added to warm the room even more, but for now, this is how things are looking:

Living room extension, looking upstairs towards kitchen diner

Living room extension, looking upstairs towards kitchen diner

Bumblebee inspired Wallpaper with a Story in green

Bumblebee-inspired Wallpaper with a Story in green









Entrance hall

Light and bright, grounded with a dark recycled encaustic tile patterned floor, the new entrance hall is worlds apart from the sorry sight that originally greeted my clients!

Entrance hall - before

Entrance hall – before

Entrance hall - after

Entrance hall – after










What do you think?  Do you like the transformation?  Do you want to know where I sourced any of the items?  Let me know in the comments.


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Project story – Period House – Part 1

This interior design project was a fantastic experience.  My clients, a couple with two young children, had purchased a terraced period house which had had all its period features removed when it was decorated in the 1970s.  As far as we could tell, it hadn’t been updated since, so it was a real blank canvas!

The brief was to extend the living space on the lower ground floor and provide 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs.  My clients loved pattern and colour so it was exciting to help them realise their dream.

The architects designed the new expanded living space, which I was able to tweak a little to help the clients get the interior flow they wanted.

Here are some pics when the strip out had just begun, so you get an idea of what we were dealing with!

Middle reception room before - to become kitchen with doorway through to living room extension beyond

Middle reception room before – to become kitchen with doorway through to living room extension beyond

Entrance hall

Entrance hall

Master bedroom - before

Master bedroom


Come back next week to see the end result!

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