Everyone has a style of architecture that sits well with their heart. For some, it’s cosy cottages with low beams and inglenook fires. For others, ultra-contemporary spaces with dramatic angles and glass. I have one friend who cannot feel truly ‘at home’ unless there’s a view of the sea.
For me, Victorian buildings are my calling. I’ve just moved into a new home with all the things I love, a big marble fireplace, high ceilings and sash bay windows. Sadly, years of being a rental property have left me with swathes of magnolia and big decisions about how to re-inject the period character this building deserves, while incorporating the global accessories and textiles I love. With Victorian and ethnic styles being pretty far apart on the design spectrum, I’ll have to work hard to bring them together successfully.
This is why I was so inspired to discover this beautiful London house, recently completed by interior designer Cassandra Ellis. It’s a wonderful lesson in how a Victorian home can be styled with a mix of original antiques and global pieces to create a look that’s both eclectic and refined.
In the living room the main elements have been chosen to be sympathetic to the Victorian house, with heritage paint colours by Little Greene (French Grey Pale) and period-style furniture from Cassandra’s collection. But, look closely, and you’ll see global pieces layered onto this traditional canvas: a Moroccan leather pouffe, a vintage Persian rug and wooden bowls and a metal lamp with an Indian feel.
In the kitchen the delicate balance of Victorian and global continues. The room has traditional painted units, a Belfast sink and beautiful original tiled cooker, softened with a Persian carpet.
This corner of the kitchen is one of my favourite bits of this house. The elegant antique chairs and the chunky Indian wall cupboard might seem a clash of styles, but the age-battered finish unifies everything perfectly.
I think I’d feel so relaxed if I stayed in the lovely guest bedroom. The bed is a French antique, but the room is styled with understated Japanese touches, including a pretty folded quilt, painting and bowl. French and Japanese styles might seem far apart but, because the designer has such a light touch, the room is harmonious.
As a lover of both Victorian and global design, I get so much inspiration from this beautiful home, which proves that a considered approach can make different styles work comfortably together. It makes me feel excited to get started on decorating my new home!