With a sparkly New Year

Living Etc - - HOMES / ETC -

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.

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