de­sign for life

Emma Em­mer­son used her cre­ative skills to reimag­ine the in­te­rior of her home, fill­ing it with a host of un­usual touches

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture SARAH MABER | Pho­tog­ra­phy JAMES FRENCH

A Vic­to­rian villa in Hove is the per­fect fit for a young fam­ily

Graphic de­signer and il­lus­tra­tor Emma Em­mer­son fell in love with her spa­cious Vic­to­rian villa in Hove as soon as she viewed it, but there was one ob­sta­cle – her hus­band, James. ‘I could see the po­ten­tial of the space straight away,’ she says. ‘The back doors and fire­places were boarded up, and the in­te­rior was re­ally dark, but the orig­i­nal fea­tures and stained-glass win­dows were stun­ning.’

James, how­ever, needed con­vinc­ing. ‘He loved our old flat, which was right by the sea, and he thought this house looked dingy by com­par­i­son,’ says Emma. ‘But we needed a big­ger prop­erty – we were run­ning a busi­ness and had to have an of­fice at home – plus, we wanted an­other baby.’ So they de­cided to take the plunge.

De­ter­mined not to spend too much money, the cou­ple be­gan their ren­o­va­tion project. ‘There wasn’t much to be done struc­turally, but the in­te­rior needed a com­plete over­haul,’ says Emma. ‘ We took down the board­ing that con­cealed the fire­places and sanded all the floors. There was so much work to do that we wouldn’t have taken it on if my dad, who’s a builder and car­pen­ter, hadn’t helped us.’

The cou­ple and daugh­ter, Bo Lily, now 9, stayed with Emma’s mother while the ini­tial work was com­pleted. ‘The kitchen door was

moved from the mid­dle of the wall to the side, and we got rid of the ex­ist­ing cloak­room,’ says Emma. ‘We re­moved some walls, put in a new kitchen, cloak­room and bath­rooms and painted through­out.’

Emma searched Pin­ter­est and mag­a­zines for de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, avoid­ing trends and opt­ing for a clas­sic style that feels mod­ern and yet blends per­fectly with the pe­riod fea­tures. The fin­ished look is a tes­ta­ment to her cre­ative skills. ‘I made all the cur­tains in the house and also a few pieces of wooden fur­ni­ture,’ she says.

The in­te­rior lay­out has evolved grad­u­ally around the fam­ily’s needs – the en suite next to the mas­ter bed­room was a tiny box room when they moved in, then a bed­room for their new baby, Her­bie, now 6. The base­ment has served as a home of­fice for the cou­ple’s greet­ings card and sta­tionery busi­ness, 1973, then a play­room and den, and is cur­rently be­ing used as a work­shop for Emma’s wood­work. The house is im­pres­sively clut­ter-free, which she puts down to her in­nate love of clean, or­gan­ised spa­ces and the chil­dren be­ing ‘very well-trained’.

On the ground floor, the mod­ern kitchen is white with splashes of colour pro­vided by art­work and Turk­ish wall tiles. The knocked-through sit­ting room is bright and spa­cious with fold­ing

doors cre­at­ing two sep­a­rate spa­ces when needed. Stained glass win­dows fill the en­trance hall and stair­well with colour and light, and up­stairs, the three bed­rooms all have orig­i­nal fire­places. An­other flight of stairs leads up to the sec­ond floor, which used to con­tain three bed­rooms. ‘We knocked down a wall, and put in some stor­age in­stead,’ says Emma. ‘Even­tu­ally, we’ll build a guest en suite, but right now I mostly use it to store my clothes.’

Art by il­lus­tra­tors who work with the cou­ple hang on the walls and trea­sures brought back from trips abroad and gifts from friends lend a per­sonal feel. The cou­ple found the sheep­skin cush­ion cov­ers in the kitchen on a ski­ing hol­i­day in Swe­den, and the floor tiles in the en suite are from Sicily. Two huge prints in the sit­ting room were a wed­ding present from pho­tog­ra­pher friend Ewen Spencer, and a wooden hippo in front of the fire­place was given to them by James’ cousin af­ter a visit to Africa.

‘ We’ve cre­ated our dream house,’ says Emma. ‘It was quite chal­leng­ing be­cause I kept chang­ing my mind about what I wanted, but the re­sult is that every­thing we have in the house, I love.’

dec­o­rat­ing ad­vice‘ Don’ t fol­low trends be­cause they eas­ily date, in­stead keep your de­sign ideas clas­sic and time­less for long-last­ing ap­peal’

KITCHEN Colour­ful Turk­ish wall tiles bring pat­tern and in­ter­est to this con­tem­po­rary white space. yurt­bay Seramiks Nikea tiles are a good al­ter­na­tive, £31.75sq m, Tiles-direct. Retro-style chairs, £125 each, Amara. The Mu­uto E27 socket sus­pen­sion...

HALL The cou­ple were drawn to orig­i­nal fea­tures such as the beau­ti­ful glass win­dows. Ra­di­a­tor, £100, Brighton Ar­chi­tec­tural Sal­vage

SIT­TING ROOM Mid-cen­tury pieces, sim­ple win­dow treat­ments and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als evoke clas­sic Scandi style. Sofa, £ 4,000, Zan­otta. Cush­ions, £ 45 each, Ferm liv­ing. Aspen arm­chair, £1,379, Con­tent by Ter­ence Con­ran. Charles 20° sofa (right), £ 4,500,...

MAS­TER BED­ROOM ‘The vin­tage hab­er­dash­ery cup­board is a bit im­prac­ti­cal, but looks fan­tas­tic,’ says Emma. the 1920s oak hab­er­dash­ery shirt cabi­net, £1,680, sell­ing an­tiques, is near-iden­ti­cal. see Hanaskog crys­tal chan­de­lier, £197, Way­fair

EN SUITE ‘We ran out of floor tiles so we added a wooden bor­der,’ says Emma. free­stand­ing bath, £1,000, sot­tini. stool, £ 45, three an­gels

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.