Re­laxed liv­ing

While they both work in the fash­ion in­dus­try, Lisa Va­len­cia and John Row­ley have es­chewed a slick look at home. In­stead, glam­orous in­di­ca­tors of their pro­fes­sions are teamed with vin­tage cen­tre­pieces and in­trigu­ing an­tique col­lec­tions for a laid­back vibe

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - CONTENTS - FEA­TURE JO LEEVERS PHO­TO­GRAPHS RACHAEL SMITH

For­go­ing a ‘per­fect’ house in favour of com­fort, Lisa Va­len­cia and John Row­ley pick up vin­tage cen­tre­pieces and an­tique ob­jects from wher­ever their ca­reers in fash­ion take them

Ial­ways pre­fer ob­jects that come with in­trigue and in­ter­est, rather than buy­ing sleek and new,’ says Lisa Va­len­cia. That ethos is the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the home that she’s cre­ated with her hus­band, John Row­ley. The re­sult is a house that works as a down-to- earth fam­ily base, while show­cas­ing a mix of arte­facts and vin­tage gems. ‘ We wanted this home to feel lived in and real, rather than im­pos­si­bly pris­tine, and an­tiques and vin­tage pieces are part of that look,’ says Lisa.

Lisa works as a make-up artist and has cre­ated looks for ev­ery­one from Rosie Hunt­ing­ton-White­ley to Tamara Ec­cle­stone. ‘My style is all about mak­ing a woman look like the best ver­sion of her­self – let­ting her nat­u­ral beauty shine through,’ she says. How­ever, when it came to trans­form­ing this run-down house, there wasn’t much beauty to re­veal. ‘The bath­room was a 1970s av­o­cado suite, the kitchen was a dark and

We wanted this home to feel lived in and real, rather than im­pos­si­bly pris­tine, and an­tiques and vin­tage pieces are part of that look

skinny gal­ley and all the rooms felt very shut o from one an­other,’ re­mem­bers Lisa.

The cou­ple com­pletely rethought the ground floor, ex­tend­ing the back of the house to cre­ate a char­ac­ter­ful kitchen with a gen­er­ous din­ing space. But for their kitchen cen­tre­piece, they veered away from any­thing pre­dictable. The hefty kitchen is­land, for ex­am­ple, was once a work­bench in a Spit­fire plane fac­tory: ‘I rubbed it back a bit and gave it a wash of white to suit the scheme,’ says Lisa. She also added a tough­ened glass top over its pit­ted sur­face to make it prac­ti­cal for food prepa­ra­tion, all adding up to a stylish kitchen that the cou­ple hire out for photo shoots. The pair of doors that con­nect the cosy snug and more for­mal liv­ing room are also in­trigu­ing: a pair of re­claimed Vic­to­rian pub doors bought at Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket.

Lisa en­deav­ours to seek out un­usual items to bring back from each work trip over­seas. Pieces from South Africa – such as the beaded chan­de­lier in the snug – are es­pe­cially preva­lent through­out the home. ‘John is from South Africa and we’ve both worked there a lot,’ says Lisa. ‘I love to buy an­tique taxi­dermy there from small shops and, for hand­made pieces, I go to lo­cal women’s

co­op­er­a­tives – it’s nice to buy crafts first-hand,’ Lisa con­tin­ues.

She takes a sim­i­lar ap­proach to shop­ping at home, too. ‘It’s much more re­ward­ing to spot some­thing in­ter­est­ing in an an­tiques mar­ket or on eBay, than to buy brand new and have the same as ev­ery­one else,’ she says. Favourite eBay finds in­clude the vin­tage hab­er­dash­ery unit in the liv­ing room, science lab stools in the kitchen and drinks trol­ley in the snug (see page 81). ‘Our trol­ley has be­come a place to dis­play vin­tage glasses and cock­tail shak­ers. I found some sweet Baby­cham glasses on eBay and my sis­ter also looks out for them for me; she ac­tu­ally gave me the dainty vin­tage sherry glasses. Char­ity shops are a great place to find beau­ti­ful glasses – I look out for ex­am­ples from all eras, with in­ter­est­ing dec­o­ra­tive touches or in un­usual shapes.’

The black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy that punc­tu­ates the walls and sur­faces is a re­minder of Lisa and John’s glam­orous day jobs – but this is pre­cisely why they like their home full of char­ac­ter and per­sonal pieces. ‘ We’re both lucky enough to visit amaz­ing, sleek lo­ca­tion houses around the world,’ says Lisa. ‘But a ‘per­fect’ house isn’t what I as­pire to. This place is all about re­lax­ing and know­ing that you’ve ar­rived home.’

THIS PAGE FROM ABOVE John took the pho­to­graph of their son Jonah. The wed­ding photo is of Lisa’s par­ents. The ice bucket is from Brasspineap­ples.com. Kartell’s ‘Bourgie’ table lamp is from Heal’s. The cab­i­net was from eBay, as was the trol­ley lled with vin­tage glass­ware (pic­tured left) FAC­ING PAGE Vin­tage French shutters, found at Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket, con­ceal the util­ity room. John made the shelves from cop­per pip­ing and scaf­fold­ing planks

THIS PAGE FROM ABOVE The re­claimed mar­ble basin came com­plete with Hol­ly­wood- style gold taps. The mir­ror is from John Lewis and the nau­ti­cal lights ei­ther side were an eBay !nd. The tiles are from Topps Tiles; the house’s Thir­ties- style land­ing is up­dated with skirt­ings painted in ‘Down Pipe’ by Far­row & Ball, a mir­ror from Laura Ash­ley and an in­dus­trial light from Skin "int De­sign. The vin­tage "ag was a "ea mar­ket !nd FAC­ING PAGE The bath­room wall cab­i­net is from Af­ter Noah and the bath is from Wil­liam Hol­land. The wall dec­o­ra­tion has been cre­ated us­ing pol­ished plas­ter

ABOVE The juju hat on the wall was found in Africa, while the bed is French vin­tage, bought at Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket. The chest of draw­ers is Dan­ish mid- cen­tury LEFT The house is dot­ted with fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy and por­traits: ‘John took this one of model Emily By­ron,’ says Lisa. The gilt-framed 19th- cen­tury pic­ture was a lo­cal junk shop nd. The vin­tage oar was bought on hol­i­day – Goose Home and Gar­den sells sim­i­lar ex­am­ples

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