AMAZ­ING READER HOMES to in­spire you

Vic­to­rian ter­race, three-bed­room new build, coun­try cot­tage and more...


Com­bin­ing the sun­shine and open­ness of her na­tive Aus­tralia with English el­e­gance and re­serve in one home was the chal­lenge Syd­ney-born Som­mer Pyne set her­self when she moved into a four-storey Vic­to­rian house in south Lon­don. ‘I wanted some rooms to feel light and airy, like a Syd­ney home, and oth­ers to be dark and moody,’ ex­plains Som­mer, who lives with hus­band Will, a dig­i­tal me­dia worker, and their daugh­ter Lyla-Rose, three. ‘When I planned the kitchen with its sky­light and huge glass wall, Will said: “Re­mem­ber, we’re in Lon­don; it rains – a lot.” But I love that an­tipodean, in­side-out­side vibe and it felt right for this house.’

The six-bed­room prop­erty had al­ready been ex­tended but Som­mer’s vi­sion to give it dual na­tion­al­ity meant it needed another over­haul and, as it would be quite a lot of work, she sought the ex­per­tise of Ade Ar­chi­tec­ture. With their help, she de­signed a wider ex­ten­sion for the back as well as a basement to in­clude a guest room with en­suite, gym, cin­ema room and a bar that opens out onto the gar­den. ‘I didn’t want the basement to feel dingy, so the rooms have high ceil­ings and there’s a dou­ble-height space that brings in light from the ground floor. It meant six months of dig­ging,’ she says.

On the ground floor, there’s more of a light/dark con­trast, with a black-walled liv­ing room and a white fam­ily room. The master suite on the first floor is split level, with a grey-painted bed­room and steps lead­ing down to a spa-like bath­room. ‘It’s my es­cape when life gets too full-on,’ says Som­mer.

This house wasn’t just about rec­on­cil­ing Som­mer’s Aussie roots and English life­style – it was also about dis­cov­er­ing a new di­rec­tion for her­self. ‘When Lyla-Rose was born three months early, it turned our lives up­side down. At the same time, I wanted to leave the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try, where

I’d been work­ing, and unite my love for in­te­rior de­sign, crafts and cook­ery,’ she ex­plains. ‘I’d thought of opening a life­style boutique and then, dur­ing the renovation, the penny dropped – our home could be a busi­ness.’

She founded House Cu­ri­ous life­style work­shops and now runs ses­sions on ev­ery­thing from can­dle­mak­ing to cal­lig­ra­phy in her kitchen and liv­ing room, and has just ex­panded into an on­line boutique.

Does it feel odd to share her home with strangers? ‘Aussies tend to have an open-door pol­icy, so it’s prob­a­bly weirder for Will. But we’ve had fun dec­o­rat­ing the house to­gether,’ she says. ‘This prop­erty might house a busi­ness, but ul­ti­mately it’s a for­ever home for our fam­ily.’ HB For in­for­ma­tion on Som­mer’s work­shops, visit house­cu­ri­

BAR AREA ‘It felt like a crazy in­dul­gence but I knew it would be per­fect for host­ing my work­shops and events,’ says Som­mer of the stylish bar. The sign is a trib­ute to her grand­par­ents. ‘My nanna’s two loves were scotch and her hus­band Ted,’ she ex­plains


‘This is where I come to hide,’ says Som­mer of this fab­u­lous space that in­cludes a bed­room, bath­room and dress­ing room. She now stocks the bed­side ta­ble, brass hang­ing lights and metal chair in her on­line shop, House Cu­ri­ous. The print is Sky C from Holly’s House

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