Welcome To My Home

Posted by Erdem Gorgun at

When Katharine and James Howard needed to upsize to accommodate their growing family, the architecture of this house blew them away. ‘It’s early Victorian, with sweeping steps up to the front door, which were a big draw.’ The house had been let to students, so the interior was another story. ‘It had brown, cigarette-burned carpets and scuffed magnolia walls, but my mind began racing with ideas to bring it to life,’ says Katharine. ‘The deep cornicing, the lovely tall windows, the marble fireplaces – it had it all,’ she says. ‘Although the house felt big compared to our flat, we knew there was scope to make it more family friendly.’ The first move was to stretch the footprint of the property by adding an extension that gave them an all-in-one family room and kitchen-diner, plus an office and capacious built-in storage – ‘to swallow up all the boots, sports kit and family clutter,’ says Katharine. On the top floor, the couple had the ‘Hobbit-height’ ceiling raised to create a bright bedroom and a bathroom for their daughters. Throughout the house, its orange pine floorboards were replaced with silver oak planks and the standard panel radiators swapped for Victorian-style designs, which Katharine painted blue to disappear into her blue-based colour schemes. ‘I like the way the blues feel dramatic but calm; and from a practical perspective, it makes the artwork stand out.’ As well as the varying shades of blue, Katharine has indulged her love of decorative detail, with button-back upholstery, swannecked lamps, fringed sofas and oversized patterns. ‘I’m glad that decorative design, richness and layering is making a comeback,’ she says. ‘I wish I could be more restrained, but it’s impossible!

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