A col­lec­tion of vin­tage Ja­panese obis was the start­ing point for this glam­orous home, re­splen­dent in a pal­ette of in­tense hues

Homes & Gardens - - CONTENTS - Words Rachel leed­ham Photographs Nick Smith

Ja­panese art and de­sign was the start­ing point for ex­quis­ite interiors re­splen­dent in ex­u­ber­ant, in­tense hues.

When creating the schemes for a new home, it is some­times help­ful to con­sider what one re­ally does not like and for Swiss-amer­i­can Cé­line Beaulieu, the an­swer was sim­ple: “I’m re­ally not a fan of white,” she con­fides. “For me, colour is so im­por­tant and I like quite in­tense shades. I’m not afraid to be bold.” It was with this mantra that she ap­proached the ren­o­va­tion of her home, a 1930s prop­erty in cen­tral Lon­don. CREATING A SOCIABLE SPACE As a young pro­fes­sional with a wide net­work of friends and fam­ily, Cé­line was keen to adapt the lay­out of her home to suit her love of in­for­mal en­ter­tain­ing and to help her re­model the spaces, she con­tacted a de­sign and build firm. On the ground floor, the kitchen was moved from the front to the back of the house and a tiny court­yard was in­cor­po­rated into the foot­print to pro­vide an ad­join­ing din­ing area. On the first floor, the sit­ting room was re­duced in size to cre­ate a sec­ond bedroom, en­abling the top floor to be de­voted to Cé­line’s bedroom and bathroom. The Crit­tall win­dows were re­placed with new black-framed ones, and their de­sign is echoed in glazed in­te­rior doors that al­low light to flow through­out the en­tire ground floor. NOD TO THE EAST Be­fore mov­ing to Lon­don, Cé­line had spent sev­eral years liv­ing in Ja­pan and when she first met with in­te­rior de­signer Han­nah Brown, of Wild­ing & Wolfe, she came

I’m not re­ally a fan of white. For me, colour is so im­por­tant and I like quite in­tense shades. I’m not afraid to be bold.”

armed with ten vin­tage obis. “The fab­rics are in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful and I hoped to in­cor­po­rate at least some of them into the schemes,” she re­calls. “I had also come across some ex­quis­ite Chiyo­gami (hand screen-printed pa­per) in an art sup­ply shop and I wanted to in­ves­ti­gate the idea of us­ing it on some of the walls.”


Han­nah took the obis as a start­ing point for the colour schemes, draw­ing on Cé­line’s love of rich au­tum­nal hues to de­velop a pal­ette that spans an­tique golds and burnt oranges to in­tense shades of turquoise and teal. As a con­trast to the more tra­di­tional tex­tiles, Han­nah sug­gested bold geo­met­ric pat­terns on rugs and en­caus­tic ce­ment tiles. “I re­ally wasn’t con­vinced that th­ese would be for me,” says Cé­line, “but I fell in love with them and I now see them as a re­ally cru­cial part of the de­sign.” Touches of brass and bronze run through the rooms, lend­ing sub­tle glam­our, while the Chiyo­gami, which was sup­plied in wrap­ping-pa­per size sheets, was painstak­ingly ap­plied to the walls of the study and cloakroom.


Cé­line owns a con­sid­er­able col­lec­tion of art, al­though it was only af­ter the house was dec­o­rated that she hired a con­sul­tant to help de­cide where the pieces would hang. “I think it’s a myth that you need white walls to dis­play art well,” she says. “It’s sur­pris­ing how di≠er­ent back­drops can bring out the colours in a pho­to­graph or paint­ing.” With its bold, jewel-like tones, her home tes­ti­fies to this, and re­flects the warmth and en­ergy of its owner.

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