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Slightly Quirky: Picture Perfect Victorian House in Richmond

Slightly Quirky . A Picture Perfect House in Richmond

A Slightly Quirky Project: Picture Perfect

Lorraine and Andy live in a lovely Victorian house in Richmond and are keen art collectors and the lounge and reading room display some of their well-loved pieces. From the very start, it was clear that the scheme would have to incorporate – if not revolve around – this collection of bold and colourful pieces.

The initial aim was to refresh two levels of this superb four-floor house, including the top floor guest bedrooms, the lounge and the garden reading room.

Many existing fittings were of great quality, but sometimes the material or the colour were no longer in tune with the overall feel. The decision was made to retain the best pieces, which embodied the soul of the house. For instance, keeping the stately silk “swags and tails” curtains was an obvious choice; the fitted bookcases in the reading room were also in perfect condition but the dark wood finish were more reminiscent of a gentleman’s club than a relaxed reading room. A simple solution was to paint the bookcases in this bold dark blue and add a recessed LED strip, which adds drama and gives a more modern feel.

Slightly Quirky, A Victorian House in Richmond , thedecorcafe.com, bookshelves 675

The first step consisted of preparing a concept board with the owners. The aim was to explore the “direction of travel” – with  more daring ideas and colours – rather than thinking in terms of final finishes and textures at this early stage.

The existing colour scheme was consistent, but the narrow palette of yellows blended all the wall and furniture and some of the fittings were starting to look tired.

The suggestion was to steer clear of the yellow and to use an earthy putty colour, the rationale being that the bold artwork was the party piece and it brought enough colours in. We also thought that the furniture should have a life of its own without trying to disappear into the background. The new grey blue sofa is by Robert Langford.

SlightlyQuirky Picture Perfect House In Richmond Collage

The concept board hinged around mature colours and textures, with classic but streamlined fittings. The scheme was brought to life by injecting shots of bold heritage colours in keeping with the house. The carpet was also chosen for its earthy, neutral quality.

As the rooms were redecorated, it was also decided to retrofit the power hungry halogen down-lighter with warm LED ones sourced from John Cullen. The light diffusion angle of the down lighter had to be replicated to guarantee an homogeneous lighting of the artwork. The centre chandelier provides the ambient lighting and a great focal point.

Lorraine and Andy are now ready to embark on a revamp of the two other floors. This will be more involved structurally, but also in terms of designing bespoke pieces for their study.


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  1. Really like the bold dark blue book cases. What brand of paint is that?

    Comment by Sheila Treadaway — May 22, 2017 @ 10:05

  2. I like the mix of traditional with a modern, quirky twist.

    Comment by claire Luxa — May 22, 2017 @ 21:50

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