A Smartstyle Design Journey: An Arts & Crafts House Renovation in Sevenoaks

Posted by Phoebe Oldrey in Smartstyle Design Journeys

sevenoaks kitchen dinning room bright teal

The Introduction

The thing about being an Interior Designer is that you can fall in love with a house, it gets under your skin and “Bam!” it has you. When I first stepped into this stunning Arts and Crafts property in Sevenoaks, despite it being a building site at the time, I was completely smitten.

Even when the house was stripped back, as it was that day, the period features dazzled and I wanted to be part of the journey of making this site into a beautiful home for my clients Gemma & Tom.



The Design

Gemma & Tom had come across this house, which was in much need of love, about a year before I meet them.  They had worked with an architect to extend the property to add a dream family kitchen with bi-folding doors onto the garden. The builders had been working away to strip back the house and completely renovate it to be a modern family home. A lot of the beautiful period windows had substantial damage and needed to be replaced and the less said about the original wiring the better.

I joined the project at the point the main renovation work was complete and the builders where crying out for paint colours. My brief was to create a stunning family space (not a magnolia box) and to get everything ready to roll when they moved from London with their two daughters.

I wanted to compliment the stunning building but knew I was building a home for a modern family. I worked with a blend of greys and neutral with small pops of colour to bring it to life. I layered textures to bring depth to the rooms and to be honest I just had a whole heap of fun.

The family room proved to be a tricky space to create, so many doors and windows along with a fireplace and a radiator, In fact, there wasn’t one single free wall to put anything against! I had to work hard to get the layout right, providing a space the children can play in and the family can relax and watch television. I designed bespoke maple floating units that had a marquetry swallow on the door fronts to house DVD players etc. It’s these kind of details I love as it lifts a piece of furniture from being quite ordinary to something extraordinary.

For the girl’s rooms I wanted to add colour but gave it a timeless feel.  Doing this and keeping the space quite flexible, the rooms can easily grow with the girls. (Although, I couldn’t help but have a little fun by altering the handles on the wardrobes.)

Ceramic Fox Handles Bring Fun to this Wardrobe

The fireplaces with their original Delft tiles that give you an idea of the history of the house. In the guest room, the tiles depict children playing various Victoria games, showing that this room was most likely the original nursery.

The Results

Gemma & Tom moved in and have slowly put the remaining touches to the house as they settle to their new life in Sevenoaks. The Classic Contemporary blend works to create a harmonious space for family life. With all the history that this building has it’s great to see it get the next chapter in its story.

The building still gets under my skin but I think I got under its skin too by giving it a little bit of Smartstyle magic.


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