Tag Archives | stairs

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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Social climber: stairs can be more than just a way to change floors

This post is part of a series of tips on interior design and working with an interior designer.

Sorry for the gap in posts – September for the interior design world brings not only London Design Festival, but the start of what’s known as ‘silly season’.  Not only does everyone comes back from their summer holidays with plans to change their home in time for Christmas, but everyone whose house purchase started in the spring has finally got their hands on the keys and, you guessed it, wants to completely gut it and redecorate before the turkey’s on the table.  Things are kind of busy, shall we say.  But I am not complaining, it’s a nice problem to have.  And I have learned that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a few posts lined up ready to go rather than writing them on the same day as they’re published…

Anyway.  Last time we were talking tips, we were discussing entrance halls.  Let’s continue on that theme and talk about stairs.  If you have more than one level in your home, they’re kind of essential.  So why not make a feature of them?

Living etc, Oct 12

Pantone risers, Living etc, Oct 12

Living etc, Feb 08

Bordered runner, Living etc, Feb 08

Rise up

If you don’t have carpet or a runner, and you do have risers (the vertical bits), how about treating them differently. You could paint them different shades, tile them or wallpaper them with offcuts. Protect wallpaper with some kind of varnish to make it easier to clean the scuffs.

Shut up

However, don’t forget that carpet and runners deaden sound – if you don’t want to hear people walking up and down the stairs, it’s best to soften those treads with a little wool.

Tidy up

How about integrated storage / bookshelves? You can do this under the stairs, or around, or a combination of both. Take a look at these images for ideas.

Living etc, Oct 12

Living etc, Oct 12

Living etc, May 07

Living etc, May 07

Light up

Stairs 1

The Lighting Bible, p182

If you’re building new or carrying out major structural work, can you get some natural light in there somewhere, even if it’s just a skylight or a sunpipe (have you seen these? Very clever!). It will make a great difference. For lighting, stair lights are both practical and easy on the eye in the middle of the night when you’re stumbling about in the dark. Or the not so dark if they’re properly lit, especially if they come on with a motion sensor.

Close up

Unfortunately, building regulations now preclude open treads with a gap greater than 100mm and open sides. But you can achieve similar looks with glass and narrow wires.

Grand Designs, Feb 09

Grand Designs, Feb 09

House & Garden, Jun 09

House & Garden, Jun 09


Was this useful?  Do you have any ideas to add?  Let me know in the comments!

Coming soon – specific tips for individual rooms, lighting, tips on how to use colour, choose floorings, wall coverings, paint…

If you have any questions you’d like me to answer in this series, leave a comment or send a message via the website – I’d be delighted to help!

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