Playfulness and practicality mingle in a London house by Lucy Hammond Giles

Decorative details have been cleverly combined with practical elements by interior designer Lucy Hammond Giles, of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, to transform a classic Victorian house in west London into a pleasingly distinctive but eminently comfortable family home
Playfulness and practicality mingle in a London house by Lucy Hammond Giles
Michael Sinclair

The main bedroom has a similarly light colour palette, with walls painted in creamy ‘Matchstick’ by Farrow & Ball. A custom-made four-poster bed with a slim wooden frame appears light as a feather yet more than holds its own against the two striking Aesthetic movement wardrobes, sourced from Rose Uniacke. They were actually marginally too big for the alcoves in which they now sit, so the chimneybreast was trimmed by a few inches on either side so they could be squeezed in.

Special mention must go to the couple’s en-suite bathroom and the family bathroom on the floor above, next to the children’s bedrooms. Both are decorated with a dynamic mélange of patterns and colours by way of tiles, wallpapers and paint. They are completely joyful spaces – in which Lucy challenged the owners’ idea of what they wanted. As the husband explains, ‘I was reluctant to do anything that felt too design-y or would call attention to itself and Lucy was really sensitive to this.’ He was not sure about her suggestion of Charles Voysey’s ‘Lioness & Palms’ wallpaper in the children’s bathroom. ‘But it feels fun and feels right,’ he admits.

When talking about their experience of collaborating with Lucy, the owners, who work in film, have their own analogy. ‘We realised the role of an interior designer is similar to that of a production designer on a movie,’ the husband says. ‘A great one will help you to not only understand what you can do within the budget, but also think more broadly about what it is you want to achieve. They can inspire you to expand your horizons to ultimately come up with something that is in keeping with what you had hoped for, but so much better than you could have imagined. And that is very much what we found with Lucy. I can’t believe we’re living in a house this beautiful. But it feels like home’. |