to­tally trop­i­cal

Time spent trav­el­ling in­spired th­ese home­own­ers to give their Lon­don prop­erty an ex­otic twist

25 Beautiful Homes - - NEWS - Fea­ture Naomi JONES | pho­tog­ra­phy robert SAN­DER­SON

Bring­ing the trop­ics to lon­don was Va­lerie leipheimer’s mis­sion when she and her hus­band, Peter allen, bought their Vic­to­rian ter­race seven years ago. ‘Pete and i spent a lot of time trav­el­ling be­fore we had our sons, lo­gan, 8, and Jensen, 6,’ says Va­lerie, ‘so i wanted to re­flect our ex­otic ad­ven­tures in our new home.

‘i was born in cal­i­for­nia, and have lived and worked in new york and italy, too,’ she con­tin­ues. ‘So i have a love of con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign that i thought would fuse well with an older prop­erty.’ the couple de­cided to em­ploy ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign com­pany Zachary Pul­man De­sign Stu­dio to take on the ren­o­va­tion work. ‘Pete and i have been in­spired by the ho­tels and restau­rants that we’ve vis­ited over the years,’ ex­plains Va­lerie, ‘so i liked the fact that Zach works on a lot of com­mer­cial projects as well as homes.’

the couple, both lawyers, wanted to rid the old prop­erty of its gloomy in­te­rior. ‘the house was a series of dark rooms, par­tic­u­larly the ground floor,’ she re­calls. ‘there was a for­mal din­ing room, an iso­lated kitchen and the fam­ily room had no win­dows. We wanted to elim­i­nate all the in­ter­nal walls to cre­ate a fully open-plan space. it works re­ally well – we can keep an eye on the boys, even if we’re at op­po­site ends of the space. it’s fan­tas­tic when we have friends and fam­ily over, too.’

an­other ma­jor part of the ground floor over­haul was link­ing the in­te­rior to the gar­den, as Va­lerie ex­plains: ‘the court­yard might not be huge, but hav­ing even a lit­tle bit of out­door space is a real bonus in lon­don. When we bought the house, it wasn’t be­ing utilised to full ef­fect, so we de­signed a glass ex­ten­sion that brings the out­doors in. We’ve

de­sign tip‘ Liv­ing in a space be­fore or dur­ing ren­o­va­tion work def­i­nitely has some ad­van­tages – many fea­tures may look great on pa­per, but just don’t work in real life’

planted the gar­den up with some large leafy spec­i­mens, so it’s easy to for­get we’re in one of the busiest ar­eas of the city.’

Up­stairs, the lux­u­ri­ous makeover con­tin­ued. ‘Pete and I de­cided to take over the whole first floor. I wanted a spa-like sanc­tu­ary bath­room and, like down­stairs, I wanted to con­nect the room with the out­doors. We swapped the win­dows for French doors to give us ac­cess to a lit­tle bal­cony that looks down onto our gar­den.’

to echo the colours of ex­otic plants, Va­lerie in­cluded lus­cious wall­pa­pers, vi­brant rugs and car­pets, and eye-catch­ing soft fur­nish­ings in ev­ery room of the house. ‘I knew the look I wanted,’ she says, ‘and Zach helped me source all the el­e­ments to fin­ish the house off as I en­vi­sioned it.

‘this place is much big­ger,’ Va­lerie con­tin­ues. ‘We’ve had to com­mis­sion some new fur­ni­ture to suit the scale of the rooms. our bed, for in­stance, was spe­cially de­signed by a tal­ented maker that Zach knows. We love the house now. It re­ally does feel like an ex­ten­sion of us and our per­son­al­i­ties. We are re­ally happy watch­ing our boys grow up here, in our very own trop­i­cal cor­ner of Lon­don.’

kitchen & court­yard Lime green notes echo the lush plant­ing in the court­yard. be­spoke kitchen, £55,000, Zachary Pul­man De­sign Stu­dio 2



1 2 Bed­room Art Deco style blends with con­tem­po­rary de­signs and colour­ful bed­ding to cre­ate a vi­brant scheme. Colonnade blotch wall­pa­per in teal on Pearl, £240 per roll; bell Moth cush­ions, £138 each, all tim­o­rous beast­ies. Mis­sprint Fox­glove du­vet...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.