With a sparkly New Year
celebration fast approaching, it seems fitting that the Moore family are relishing putting the finishing touches to their polished new home. ‘This is the fun bit,’ says Corrine with a smile. ‘We’ve been through the planning, the months of dust, the choice of this tap or that one… Now we can sit back and enjoy living here.’ There’s even a christening party on the horizon. Not for baby Annabel, but for their home – a festive housewarming for Corrine and Peter’s friends before the family head to Australia to visit her folks in Sydney. ‘It’s the first proper gathering we’ve had in this house and the open-plan layout is perfect for a party,’ she says. ‘Peter and I always wanted a home where everyone could hang out.’
As an Aussie married to a Brit, and as someone who’s lived in London for more than 12 years, it’s no surprise that Corrine’s home is a hybrid of English and Antipodean style. ‘The façade is traditional Victorian mews and we’ve chosen some classic features inside, but there are aspects of modern Australian design dotted around,’ she explains. ‘The rear extension, with its huge sliding doors, means the interior can flow freely outside. Australian houses are often built to make the most of nature and the light and we wanted to go for that here.’
Yet when the couple first bought the mews, it was a very drab and very poky affair. The previous owners had daubed every surface in their favourite yellow shade, while each floor was divided into compact, gloomy rooms. ‘We knew we wanted to start from scratch and gut the place,’ Corrine recalls, ‘but that was the extent of our plan. We began looking for experts to help us and because we’d previously worked so well with Alex and Mathew Orme at Space+matter, we got back in touch with them. From the start, it was a seamless collaboration. They gave us the whole package – the planning, the building, the ideas, the hours of sourcing. It’s quite a leap of faith to give the design of your home over to someone else, but they made it easy. They encouraged us to make choices we might never have considered and we didn’t have the hassle of trawling around interiors stores or fretting over what would work where.’
It was a nine-month process and everything but the stairwell ended up in a skip. Corrine and Peter waited in the wings – well, in a cramped maisonette nearby – and entrusted Mathew to oversee the architectural dilemmas, while Alex stepped in later with fabric and paint swatches.
‘They were so relaxed, it was infectious,’ says Corrine, laughing. ‘I can honestly say I enjoyed the process. Ha! Not many people going through a huge renovation could say that! But what I loved most was how Alex pushed us to think beyond our comfort zone. She’d turn up with three images: one she thought we’d like; one that was a possibility; and one wild card. Initially, we told her to go down a really traditional route, but she always kept well away from anything fusty and dusty and we soon realised we wanted to inject a bit more life and daring into the house.’
The result is a calm, relaxing and creative home – from its winter landscape colour palette of blues, greys and subdued greens right down to the clever touches that crank the design up a notch – such as the specially constructed roof terrace with its living wall of cascading blooms. And the upper landing with its bespoke panelling that conceals each doorway for a now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t finish. And the glazed ceiling at the end of the living area, which offers a front-row-seat view of the ever-changing drama of the night sky.
‘Being in our new home for the new year is the best Christmas present any of us could have,’ says Corrine. ‘The day we moved in, Annabel had just started to totter around. She walked from one side of the kitchen to the other – it must have felt as big as a stadium to her. She was covered in the remnants of builders’ dust, smiling from ear to ear, while Peter and I stood there watching her, laughing and laughing. I’ll always remember it…’
See more of Alex and Mathew’s portfolio at spaceandmatter.co.uk KITCHEN
‘This area is my favourite part of the house,’ says Corrine. ‘We eat here, watch TV or gravitate towards the garden – everything a family could want in one space.’
Get the look The cabinetry and worktops are from Roundhouse. These are Midas bar stools from Rockett St George. The Amp pendants by Simon Legald for Normann Copenhagen are from nest. co.uk. The oak herringbone flooring is from Siberian Floors. This is the Psychedelic Cactus coat stand by Paul Smith for Gufram.