Rich textures and strong hues fill this London period home
Looking at this property’s elegantly decorated interiors, it is hard to believe that it has been home to the Falconer family for just a year. In fact, it is the latest project for Camilla Falconer, owner of London Throw Company and director of Interior Facelift. ‘I love a house to look lived in and that’s very much my ethos with the homes I create for clients,’ explains Camilla, who shares this place with her husband Ian, their children, Oscar, 16, and Coco, 14, and Olive the dog.
After many years teaching, Camilla decided it was time to turn a passion for interior design into her vocation, taking various courses at Chelsea Harbour to hone her skills. She was first inspired while living in Rome for several years. ‘ We took the children to live there and experience a different culture,’ she explains. ‘Being surrounded by the sheer beauty of the city, I developed an interest in interior design, along with an appreciation of classical sculpture. If I could, I’d fill the whole house with it.’
Although born and bred in Suffolk, Camilla confesses to being more of a city lover. ‘However, I grew up in an old beamed house, full of period features, so I’m always drawn to buildings with history. The layout of this house immediately sold it to me and the sense of lateral living was very appealing after the previous terraced homes we’d lived in,’ she says. ‘I liked the slightly quirky layout, too.’
Camilla’s eye for creating inviting spaces involves an instinctive marriage of rustic French style with a modern edge. Despite its generous size, her home is made cosy with a blend of rich materials and textiles. ‘I really appreciate Kit Kemp’s eye for layering colour
and pattern; it’s very inspiring,’ she says. ‘I’m not keen on the show home look, where everything matches.’ Beading and panelling on the walls help to break up large areas and provide subtle frames for lights and artwork. Soft greys and bold blue-blacks have been used on walls throughout the house, creating an effective contrast.
Camilla’s talent for making social spaces is evident in the formal sitting room, where traditional sofas and chairs with pink cushions and wool throws form a welcoming scheme in front of the fireplace. In the dining area, an overscaled oak table and upholstered seating, with a backdrop of window frame mirrors, provides an enticing place to spend time with friends and family. ‘Social spaces are so important – it’s a design element that I really consider when putting a home together,’ says Camilla. ‘Friends have always said that every house we live in has the same feel.’
Each area of the house has been cleverly thought through in terms of the use of space, particularly Coco’s long attic bedroom. ‘Coco said she wanted a climb-in bed, so we created a bespoke design at one end,’ says Camilla. The other end of the room is where she hangs out with her friends, reads or watches TV.
There is one more job on Camilla’s list of improvements. ‘We’d like to revamp the terrace next,’ she says. ‘Once that’s done, I’m sure I’ll be itching for a new project, as I can never stay still for long.’