The designer’s room
Oak joinery and sleek contemporary furniture combine seamlessly in this West Sussex house transformed by the interior designer Rui Ribeiro
It was a desire to study interior design at London’s Guildhall University that brought Ribeiro to the UK from Portugal in 1982. After graduating, he began his professional career at an architectural firm designing spaces for corporate clients before jumping over to the residential side, first joining Jonathan Reed and, later, setting up his eponymous practice.
Although based in Notting Hill, he works on houses both in the UK and overseas, including a flat in the Albany, Piccadilly, an Arts-and-crafts house in Chelsea and a residence in Porto.
the clients at this house in West Sussex were particularly keen to bring a lighter and more eclectic feel to the 400-year-old, Grade Ii-listed building. Although the bones of the sitting room in this family house would remain grounded in the 16th century—with a studded oak door, exposed beams and open brickwork —the scheme successfully juxtaposes these period details with a more modern look through the use of contemporary furniture. the eye-catching redleather wing chair is by Howe and the custom-made corner sofa and ottoman were designed in-house by Rui’s team and upholstered in a mix of fabrics, including linen, mohair and velvet.
these new pieces are set alongside antique tables and table lamps picked up at various dealers and artworks from the clients’ own collection. On the floor is wall-to-wall sisal overlaid with rush mats, in keeping with the semiinformal look of the room. Light is provided by discreet bronze directional downlighters hidden in the heavy oak beams, artfully combining classic style with contemporary ease. Rui Ribeiro, 4B, Ledbury Mews North, London W11 2AF (020–7243 4209; www.ruiribeirointeriors.com)