A Colourful new Home in Tenterden

Modern country kitchen dinning room with dressed table
dining room and Green dining room table place settings
Dining room green dressed table theme
Green dining room table place settings

cheerful home

We love to shout about how much we believe homes are all about the people living in them expressing themselves and it was a joy to bring this bright and cheerful home to life for its equally bright and cheery owners. After downsizing from a big family home, this couple had built a house which fitted their needs perfectly. However, after a long and exhausting build they had simply lost the spark and joy necessary to put their stamp on the interiors. This is when we got the call!

Blue and Red Living room with red enamel fireplace
embroidered cushion on living room sofas
Red and blue living room interior and sofas
Red and blue living room interior and sofas

an opulent make over

Great design has to complement the building it sits in and the people who use it. With many elements already in place, Smartstyle worked to blend the new design with the existing finishes. We addressed the layout, lighting and all the decoration on the ground floor, from sumptuous curtains to bold soft furnishings and bespoke cabinet designs. Colour was the order of the day for the interior scheme, with pops of vibrant pinks and zingy greens against a light grey backdrop and with a warmer side to the living room enriched with warm reds and soft blues. Even the downstairs cloakroom was treated to an opulent make over.

Blue and red living room sofas
Watercolour coffee table
living room arm shari and teal floor lamp
Watercolour cushion on living room sofa
Living room sofa and water colour cushions

prized possessions

We worked hand in hand with the clients throughout the design process to understand what was just right for them and during implementation to ensure everything ran smoothly. We finished by styling throughout the ground floor to show off their prized possessions alongside a few hand-selected accessories that complemented their home.

Entrance hall interior design, pink, teal and oak
living room bright pink arm chair and geometric side table
bookcase display cabinet
Bathroom WC Japanese inspired wallpaper with swans
blank image

Stairway to heaven

This family loves to entertain, and they regularly have overseas guests staying with them. Because of this the upstairs and guestrooms are a really important part of the house, not just something to shut away. We wanted to create welcoming, stylish rooms with real character that make a stay feel special.

As you can see from the image above we used a deep blue colour on the walls of the stairs. It was important to carry this through into the hallway at the top of the stairs to maintain a flow between the two spaces.

We did this by putting framed panels in the walls, and filling them with the same blue. This creates a visual connection without flooding a space with floor to ceiling colour.

Halls can easily feel like soulless spaces, but not in this case where clever design touches make use of the space and hint at curiosities to be found behind the landing doors. The upholstered bench and patterned rug add playful colour, and the owners have framed a silk scarf to create a striking artwork.

The antique sideboard is a treasured family piece, but we added three decorative baskets which store toys and books for easy access by visiting children.

bespoke bookcase fitted under the stairs
colourful hallway with antique sideboard
colourful hallway with patterned rug

Art Deco Guest Bedroom

The showstopper in this room is the unforgettable mural behind the bed.  The owners have a love for all things art deco, so we ran with this and used it to set the tone for this glamorous bedroom.  The figures with their draping beads frame the bed creating the illusion of a bedhead.  The beaded ceiling chandelier is positioned to fall in the centre of the mural, and the blown-glass bedside pendants hang like 1920s tassels either side.

art deco mural behind bed
double bed with art deco mural behind bed
beside table with ornaments

Another great feature of this room is the bespoke wardrobe which was designed with simple diamond-shaped panelling and provides plenty of storage for guests’ clothes.  In addition, one of the cupboards is for storage of family linen which has been organised using the Smartstyle “bed in a bag” method.  This is where all the linen for each bed is packed away as a set in a bag, making it super-simple to extract when needed.

Overall the room strikes the perfect balance between glamorous and relaxed.  The muted grey colour palette is lifted with little dashes of colour in the bedspread and cushions, and the neutral curtains are given a lift with a subtle silver thread.  Organic cotton bedding couldn’t look more inviting.

The trinket box and tray by the bedside are details added as part of our styling service. It’s thoughtful touches like these that bring a room to life; here they add a twinkle and provide a neat place for guests to store a watch or jewellery overnight.

close up wardrobe handles
custom made wardrobe
curtain embroidery
colourful cushion on bed

A Cosy Retreat for Guests

We can imagine guests being torn between which room they’d prefer to stay in; the glamorous art deco bedroom or this wonderful cosy hideaway.

The starting point for this room is the sumptuous velvet headboard fabric which informed our whole colour palette; the moody greens, soft corals and smoky blues are perfect for a restful bedroom.  The calming green walls and cabinetry help slow the pace allowing guests to wind down and quickly feel at home.

double bed with head board
close up headboard velvet fabric
pale cabinet against dark green walls

There are a number of touches in this bedroom which add to the gentle tone.  The scalloped shape of the headboard against the dark wall, the curvaceous lamps, the leather wardrobe handles and the layers of linen bedding all add softness.  By contrast, the porcelain chandelier, the geometric mirror and the minimalist standard lamp all add little hits of white that lift the mood and keep it feeling modern.

A real feature in this room is the bespoke wardrobe with its intricate starburst design which adds light, shade and interest and breaks up the dark green colour.

dark walled bedroom with light cosy double bed
dark custom wardrobe next to dresser and mirror
close up of art deco starburst on wardrobe
geometric mirror with minimalist lamp and art deco dresser

Ensuite Bathroom

Working with the existing bathroom suite, the dark green walls are continued from the bedroom through into the ensuite bathroom to create an easy connection between the two spaces.   We added new light fittings, and a titillating photo wall of Victorian erotica to raise a smile.

ensuite with dark green walls
photo frames arranged on wall

Family Bathroom

As this house is only a few years old, the existing family bathroom just needed a few cosmetic tweaks.  The shower cubicle is tiled to half height with sage green, so we took this colour and ran it around the walls to create a more cohesive space.  It also helps to visually ground the sink unit against the wall.  Some new art deco wall lights, a gilt mirror and framed artwork completed the room.

family bathroom with gilt mirror and art deco fixtures
two tone wall and shower cubicle

what the client says

“Phoebe Oldrey is amazing! We were wary of engaging an interior designer but thank goodness we did. We had a sort of vague idea of what we wanted but found it hard to put into words. Phoebe was very good at teasing out of us what we liked and didn’t like and then coming up with innovative ideas. I enjoyed working with her. She has a great sense of colour and style and I learnt a lot. She not only helped us choose furniture and colour schemes, she also re-organised the layout in rooms so that they worked better, gave us advice on picture hanging and positioning and helped us change our perspective on what works and what doesn’t. Instead of the muddle and safe tatty blandness we lived in before we now have flow, vibrancy and colour.

Phoebe is very professional and organised, always confirms ideas and arrangements in writing on the day. She has access to shops and products we would never have known about. She never gave up searching for exactly the right thing. We had fun shopping for new furniture on her recommendations. I always looked forward to our regular meetings as I knew she would have something unexpected to wow us with that would also be just perfect.
We initially asked her to help us sort out one room on the basis we would do the rest ourselves but we were so excited by her approach and ideas and the way she ‘got us’ that we asked her to help with the rest of the rooms downstairs.
We love our new home and every time we walk through the front door our hearts lift.

Thank you, Phoebe, you are the best.”