This modern house arranged over three main floors and two half floors incorporating the bathrooms belongs to Andy French, a financial service worker, and her two daughters of ten and eight years. The basement kitchen-dining room leads out to the small garden, while the storage under the stairs has bespoke cat doors. The ground floor is an open-plan room divided into a formal living room, TV coziness and home office, while four bedrooms and two bathrooms are spread over the upper floors.
The first thing Andy French did when she moved into her Victorian terrace in west London, even before she decorated, was to have her much-loved art collection hung by professional art installers. Rash move? Not for Andy. She wanted to create an instantly friendly and familiar home for her and her two daughters after a recent separation, as well as getting the art off the floor.
‘Surrounding ourselves with familiar pieces meant the girls and I had an instant happy getaway that felt like ours, not to mention more space to move around,’ says Andy, who tasked 01 Art Services with finding the right places for everything. She knew, however, that the house’s bland gray palette would not sustain the lively and optimistic melody of her art for long. “Even though I had found the right places for my art, I knew they could look even better with the right background,” says Andy.
Luckily for the time-poor professional and busy mother, her friend at the school gates was interior designer and color connoisseur, Brooke Copp-Barton, whose love of combining period-typical details with a modern palette was just the ticket. “I knew Brooke when she started her new career as an interior designer, and admired her confidence in combining color, pattern and materials,” says Andy. “So when it came to seeking advice on interesting color combinations that would complement my art, I knew she would make it.”
Formal living room
With no structural changes required, Andy’s short for Brooke was a dream; to work with the existing work of art and bring joy to the house through vibrant shades and playful patterns. ‘Working with Andy was a wonderful collaboration process. She had strong ideas about how she wanted the spaces, so my role was to bring her visions to life, ”Brooke recalls. “Her keen eye for beautifully crafted craft furniture also provided a clear style to combine old with new, as well as pick up other unique pieces to add to her existing collection.”
Brooke is an expert at making traditional patterns feel modern. The round Sumal rug from A Rum Fellow was specially colored to work with the scheme and matches a rectangular one at the other end of the room.
The pulsating rooster painting brings a dynamic touch to the formal living area, which already had the carpentry work built into the alcoves.
One of the biggest challenges for Brooke was to separate the open-plan ground floor into three clearly defined spaces – a living room, a TV room and an office – while maintaining a sense of flow and connection throughout the space. The answer was to add a low, custom-made corner sofa in the middle to create a comfortable kickback spot for the girls without breaking the lines of sight through the room. Explore the latest sofa trends if you’re looking for a new place to sit.
“The eerie green wall color also encloses the space, adding to the coziness and separation of the office and formal living space,” says Andy. ‘It’s a happy, social haven for me and my girls.’
“We chose a warmer green for this center zone to make it feel more enveloping and also raise the gallery wall behind the sofa,” Brooke says. If you want to know how to make a gallery wall, it’s easy with our latest tips, tricks and advice.
The vivid photo montage by Yves Krief, depicting a stunning urban landscape, complements the rich tones of the mid-century desk. Interested in art at an affordable price? It’s a great way to add color, personality and character to a room.
Kitchen dining room
In the basement dining room, the enticing Greenwich Park canvas by Emma Haworth introduces a relaxed, airy feel to the social space that Brooke has interpreted with a rich, sky-blue accent. “To soften the cool, shiny surfaces of the crisp white modern kitchen, we brought the warm blue through to the kitchen’s backsplash tiles and added a ribbed surface to the island for a layer of interest and texture,” says Brooke.
‘Originally, this room was gray and it felt cold and uninviting with crisp white units. We have injected color, pattern and joy with graphic tiles, colored pendants and a ribbed panel under the island for extra interest and depth, ”says Brooke.
A chest of drawers – one of Andy’s many Vinterior finds – brings vintage charm to the shiny surfaces and provides a smart bar area.
The walls are painted in a cool sky blue, which connects with the bijou city garden, which is then heated by the rich wooden furniture and the elegant faded carpet.
In addition to providing much-needed storage under stairs, Brookes’ carpentry incorporated smart cat doors to provide a great pet home and a secluded area away from the dog, “who likes to steal their food given half a chance.”
With the artwork in place, Brooke was able to take the lead from each piece and play with color palettes that would make the paintings sing. At the top of the house, the sunny, beautiful bedroom features soft, feminine artwork, so Brooke chose sugary shades and delicate floral motifs to reflect the sanguine mood. As the floors fall, Brooke introduced richer and more earthy tones to the walls and furniture, reflecting the lowering natural light levels.
On the mezzanine floor, for example, a foil of soothing, misty shades of gray and green balances the high energy of Andy’s favorite work by Philip Sutton over the fireplace, while also reflecting the stormy sky in the landscape compositions on the opposite wall.
A padded headboard, tailored to Brooke’s design, frames the bed and the antique bedside cabinets, giving the serene surroundings an uber-luxury touch. “I just love the relaxing tones in here,” Andy says.
Like all the rooms in the house, both girls’ bedroom ideas are a master class in confident color combinations. “The blue-green and yellow pattern in my oldest daughter’s room is a versatile pair that will adapt as she grows,” says Andy. “So will the modern mustard and pink palette in my other daughter’s room.”
Grease Bougainvillea wallpaper pepper up in the utility room and storage room downstairs. “This is a place where you can be brave with pattern and color without worrying if you get tired of it,” Brooke says.
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