THE COMEBACK Happy to return to their beloved Notting Hill, this pair took on a house in need of major work
After many years away from her beloved Notting Hill, Francesca Griffiths returned to make it her home once more
London’s notting Hill has always had an irresistible appeal for italian-born Francesca griffiths and her husband Dominic. She lived in this cosmopolitan neighbourhood as a law student and stayed in the area when she got married. When the couple returned to the UK after a two-year stint in milan, they had a young daughter and needed more space at an affordable price. Although they opted for a house in Fulham, Francesca never saw it as permanent move and always missed life in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
on a Saturday morning visit to Portobello Road market with their children, millie 15, giacomo 11, and Annie 8, in late 2015, the pair spotted a house that had just gone on the market. ‘it had been occupied by the same family for more than 40 years and needed a major overhaul,’ says Francesca, ‘ but we knew it was perfect for us and made an offer straight away.’
the griffiths recruited their friend Elisabetta Pincherle, an architect and interior designer, to work with them on the renovation. ‘it was very much a collaborative project,’ says Francesca. ‘our aim was to create a great space for entertaining, while keeping the feel of a traditional family house and, at the same time, showing off our love of modern and classical designs.’
Elisabetta realised that the raised ground floor was quite dark, so she added larger windows at the back, and had new
best buy ‘ The glamorous grey velvet sofa fits our sitting room perfectly and looks like something from a grand New York apartment of the Art Deco era’
internal double doors installed with glass panels to allow light to flood in. She is proud that, throughout the 10-month project, not one original wall was removed. ‘Although the house is very different from when we began, we’re all delighted that its character has been retained,’ she says.
to give the children direct access to the outdoors, their bedrooms and bathrooms are on the lower ground floor. on the level above, the sitting room enjoys views over a west-facing, generously-sized communal garden. this large space is divided by classical columns and the decor is different in each of the two areas. the rear section is a relaxed, intimate space, with smoky dark blue walls, a duck-egg ceiling and white woodwork. At the front is a more formal area, which is decorated in neutral colours, and has vintage and contemporary furniture, with elegant gilded Art Deco-style accessories.
mirror-fronted cupboards in the tomato-red dining room help to increase the sense of light, while the kitchen next door is every minimalist’s dream and makes best use of its limited size with ceiling-high units. Upstairs, sage and turquoise are cleverly blended in the master bedroom and en suite, where Francesca has added a quirky touch with dragonfly wallpaper.
‘ We love the beauty and laid-back style of our home, Francesca. ‘there’s a great feeling of harmony and, of course, it’s certainly great to be back in our old neighbourhood.’
Sitting Room Elegant antique furnishings create a chic gentleman’s club feel. Lampert sofa, £3,595, Jonathan adler
BREAKFAST Room This Arts & Crafts wallpaper, first produced in 1864, adds vintage colour. william Morris Fruit, Limestone/artichoke wallpaper, £72 per roll, Jane Clayton
TERRACE A tiled floor gives the illusion of a carpet. berkeley slate blue tiles £67.56sq m, topps tiles
GUEST bedroom Golden accents add warmth and sparkle. bumble bee wallpaper, £86 per roll, Farrow & ball. blind in Casamance Mellifere fabric from the Iberis collection, £84m, Jane Clayton
Dining Room Perspex chairs bring a modern touch. Louis ghost chairs, £ 480 each; La Marie chairs, £378 each, all Kartell
MASTER bedroom Francesca has created a luxurious, boutique hotel-style space. sweetpea & willow has a similar French-style bed, £882
En SUITE The wallcovering’s metallic tone complements the bath’s silver coating. Dragonfly Dance blue wallpaper, £70 per roll; blind fabric, £74m, both Jane Clayton