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

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture & pho­tog­ra­phy TIM BEDDOW

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

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