Designed as a ‘home away from home’ for the whole family, this detached property has been luxuriously transformed into a welcoming abode with convivial open-plan spaces using innovative textures, contemporary patterns and soft tonal shades. The client, a professional couple with two young children under the age of 10, were looking to create a comfortable yet elevated residence that would double up as a UK base and a second home for the family throughout the year.
‘They were looking for a home that was as welcoming and comfortable as it was impressive,’ says Helen Bygraves, who established Hill House Interiors in South East England over 20 years ago with Jenny Weiss. ‘They also wanted a few pops of colour and a clear focus on maximising the space available, and creating a natural flow between the open-plan reception rooms.
‘A key area was the kitchen-cum-family space, being an area they knew they would spend the most amount of time in together, so we wanted to design a space that the whole family could enjoy.’ The house exudes high-class comfort for a well-heeled family, with layers of texture and pattern adding warmth and depth to each space, beautiful bespoke furnishings, and striking pops of character with accents of zebra print, statement bespoke lights and gorgeous gold details inspired by a sourcing trip to Morocco.
With family spaces and flow in mind, a large reception room off the entrance hall has been carefully zoned into two distinct areas and naturally gravitates towards an open-plan dining area.
A triptych of striking custom-made Zen-like panels is a simple yet inspiring way to divide the reception room, effortlessly defining two sophisticated seating areas on either side. While all the rooms exude this level of carefully curated design and refined elements, these lounge areas with the gorgeous trio of latticed screens are a true showpiece.
‘The panels help to create privacy, intimacy and intrigue, yet don’t fully break up the flow of the room, both zoning and manipulating the open-plan space to create the right atmosphere,’ explains Helen.
In one lounge, a sleek rounded "love seat" with chic mid-century-modern curves hugs a stunning custom coffee table asymmetrically designed with two half-circle tops layered jauntily over each other with a slice cut out, serving up an interesting tabletop design. The soft palette of silver and grey, two contemporary rugs and huge crystal chandeliers in each space tie the zones together harmoniously.
A widescreen TV and high-tech sound system are built into bespoke cabinetry in the larger lounge, beautifully finished with bronze inlay and a liquid metal detailing within the lit apertures, housing elegant ornaments. The lower cabinets are finished in soft faux leather in a croc-style pattern, which brings together the neutral shades across the space.
‘We recently completed a trip to Marrakesh, and found ourselves very inspired by the rich, warm, gold tones and accents seen in the spice markets and souks,’ says Helen. ‘We decided to bring these into one side of the formal reception room and they sit beautifully against the dark oak flooring.
‘These are tied together with hints of metallic in the apertures of the bespoke cabinetry – the texture of the liquid metal finish is highlighted with spotlights, while bronze inlay on the shelves and TV surrounds offer an Art Deco feel.’
‘We are big advocators of using a variety of both textures and patterns in all our projects – it helps to create interest, especially when tonal colours are used, as seen in this particular scheme,’ says Helen.
‘In the ever-evolving world of interior design, there are continually innovative and exciting new products for us to utilise, enabling us to create multiple layers of interesting textures and introducing tonal depth to our schemes.’
The open-plan dining room continues with this style and features tableware and serveware from Ralph Lauren and Michael Aram, quality brands with elegant lines and gold detailing that align with the rest of the design scheme. Hill House Interiors not only designed the interiors but also sourced the majority of the finishing touches, from the cutlery to the candles and coffee table books, which the client loved.
From here, the kitchen shares space with a cosy, elegant corner which serves as the perfect spot for family breakfasts and informal dinners. Helen’s team designed banquet seating in practical faux leather and a fluted back, positioned around a custom-made lacquer dining table with inset chrome inlay.
Hill House Interiors designed many pieces throughout, providing a unique aesthetic and a refined ambience tailored to the family. An artistic statement climbs the stairway in the entry hall, in the form of an artisanal, sculptural wall light from Art et Floritude, with ebony and gold leaves fluttering up the wall. "This sets the tone and drama for the rest of the north London home,’ says Helen.
In the entryway and on the landing, champagne-coloured console tables with a metallic patina from the company’s own range are joined by eye-catching zebra-print stools from Kravet and further accented by handmade wall lights with a stunning gold leaf finish; while Hill House Interiors was given free rein on the project, such striking accents appeal to the client’s penchant for pops of character.
‘We worked closely with the client to discover their individual styles and tastes, and presented them with a wide variety of imagery from some of our previous projects as inspiration,’ says Helen. ‘Working with an interior designer is an incredibly personal process – we are designing your home, after all – so it’s very important to the Hill House team to get to know a client and their family. This is how we can create a scheme that works for their routine and lifestyle.’
The children’s’ bedroom combines playful colour and pattern with trending home fashions. ‘They wanted their children – a boy and a girl – to have a shared bedroom, so we chose a fun terrazzo style pattern with splashes of zesty orange and blue for the window treatment, which set the base tones for the room,’ explains Helen. ‘The chevron patterned toy boxes are a bright addition, and ensure the space is kept tidy as well as stylish!’
Tone and texture are layered in the master and two spare bedrooms too, with each one designed with sumptuous quilted headboards with distinct designs, from decadent black upholstered geometric shapes with bronze inlays to tactile grey velvet with fluted design and nailhead detail.
From the front door to the top of the property there is beautiful consistency throughout. From the entrance, where we see Elitis wallpaper with a fusion of linen and metallic finishes, to the bedrooms papered with smooth concrete or beachy-wood pattern, textured wallpaper, each adds a level of interest and tactility to the walls in every space, and heightens the comfort and cosiness across the home.
‘They had never worked with an interior designer before, and they put their trust in us entirely,’ concludes Helen. ‘They were incredibly impressed with the process from start to finish and we’re already in talks about upcoming projects.
‘Our clients love that we are personally involved in every project, and we work together, inspiring each other to create exceptional interiors that surpass their expectations.’
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