MOTHER OF REINVENTION
After a major makeover, Lauren Kilgour’s home has a romantic feel—and a closet all will covet.
The sweeping, romantic style of this home has us swooning.
“It’s wonderful how you can take things out of their original context to reinvent them.”
WHEN LAUREN KILGOUR FIRST BOUGHT HER HOME,
she loved its central location, but was not initially enamored with the 1970s design. So she saved hard for a complete makeover, living in her home for two years before embarking on a large renovation. For example, concrete floors were swapped out for softer, painted wood surfaces. “Hardwearing gray floor paint on the floors will look even lovelier as it gradually wears away with use and age,” explains Lauren. The bathrooms were completely redone. Then there’s our favorite change: a large walk-through closet that was made by integrating a small fourth bedroom. “Space is so precious,” Lauren says. “I guess that’s why we are all so fascinated by it. Why stash clothes and shoes into the nooks and crannies of other bedrooms? It should be a priority whenever possible,” she says. She chose this glorious closet over having additional guest room space, noting that overnight guests are actually quite rare. When working on her home’s new
design, Lauren says she thought hard “about each room’s function ... otherwise it might end up being a sadly neglected space.” Lauren is especially proud of the expanded upstairs landing, courtesy of moving a bedroom wall. “Now the magnificent original spiral staircase really stands in its own right and is one of the iconic features of the house.” The staircase is the central heart of this home. Despite the staircase’s delicate façade, the family has managed to get heavy pieces of furniture both up and down the stairs. It is multifunctional, too, serving as the perfect perch for Lauren’s two cats. The home features Lauren’s vast collection of vintage and reclaimed décor and fittings. Most of her belongings are, by her own admission, “a hodgepodge of unrelated items” collected over the years, from far and wide, including antiques markets and charity
thrift shops. “I can’t remember the last time I bought a new piece of furniture,” she says. “It used to be dangerous for anyone sitting in the back of my car; they’d inevitably end up edged between four huge shutters, a concrete bust of a Greek god and a butcher’s block.” About that Greek god: The bust of Hercules on the fireplace was rescued from a salvage yard’s parking lot. His nose had been damaged by a car backing up, so the bust was heavily discounted. “He adds hugely to the atmosphere of the room,” says Lauren. She says she finds inspiration everywhere. “It isn’t necessarily about spending lots of money either. A broken teapot and a chipped piece of floral china can look so lovely. It’s wonderful how you can take things out of their original context to reinvent them.” As a mother of reinvention, Lauren is always moving things around in her home. She recently got a new throw rug, for example, and says, “It’s amazing how the acquisition of one piece can change everything.” She is even considering creating another walk-in closet for more storage space. “It’s always exciting to make improvements and move things around.” We couldn’t agree more.
opposite: THE RANGE HOOD was made for Lauren’s old house: “A year after we’d moved, I noticed it in the front garden, ready for dumping. I asked the owners if I could reclaim it.”
OPEN SHELVES display Lauren’s collections of vintage crockery and glassware.
LAUREN’S ENVIABLE CLOSET is not just a walk-in; it’s a walkthrough that connects two rooms.