Mem­o­ries of France in­flu­enced the bold in­te­rior style of this Lon­don home

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture Ife­oluwa ad­edeji | pho­tog­ra­phy COLIN POOLE

Ni­cola and Andy Hicks were not overly im­pressed when they first viewed the Vic­to­rian semi they now live in. ‘The in­te­rior was very out­dated,’ says Ni­cola, ‘plus it’s on a hill, so to get out to the gar­den you had to go down to the base­ment. I think that must have put a lot of peo­ple off.’

But the house had four floors, and Ni­cola could see that de­spite the po­ten­tial prob­lems, the prop­erty would af­ford am­ple space for her to live with Andy and their chil­dren, Hebe, now 24, Dar­cie, 22, and Os­car, 20 – and there would be room for her to have an of­fice. There was a lot to do on the house, but Ni­cola, who is an in­te­rior de­signer, loved the pe­riod features. This, she felt, was a house worth tak­ing trou­ble over.

The cou­ple de­cided to buy the prop­erty, in­tend­ing to stay there while the ren­o­va­tion work was car­ried out. When this proved im­prac­ti­cal, they found some­where to stay in the lo­cal area. ‘I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the work,’ says Ni­cola.

The first job was to move the kitchen to base­ment level and po­si­tion it at the rear, so that there would be di­rect ac­cess to the gar­den. A re­cently added con­ser­va­tory that Ni­cola did not like at all had been built on to the base­ment at the back of the house – it was dark and unin­spir­ing and Ni­cola didn’t hes­i­tate to get rid of it. She was keen to

in­stall Crit­tall glaz­ing in her new kitchen, as it re­minded her of time spent in Paris with her French mother, whose home had a sim­i­larly broad and beau­ti­ful ex­panse of win­dow area. Many of the de­tails in the kitchen echo French bistro style – the metal bar stools, the open shelv­ing and the large for­mat floor tiles. ‘I sourced those from Capital De­signer Stu­dio,’ says Ni­cola.

She de­signed the kitchen her­self, opt­ing for con­crete work­sur­faces with be­spoke cabi­netry. Made out of dis­tressed oak, the units were white­washed to give them an in­dus­trial look. ‘I also wanted to in­tro­duce a warm metal­lic el­e­ment, so the doors on the is­land unit have been sprayed in a cop­per colour,’ she ex­plains. A con­tem­po­rary, eye-catch­ing chan­de­lier in here brings the scheme to­gether. ‘The can­dles aren’t real,’ says Ni­cola, ‘ but they’re con­vinc­ing.’

With the house com­pleted, it is the Vic­to­rian features that won Ni­cola over in the first in­stance, that she now feels give the house grav­i­tas. The orig­i­nal doors, sash win­dows, cor­nic­ing and fire­places all sit per­fectly amidst her mod­ern up­dates.

How­ever, in her study Ni­cola chose decor that was more nos­tal­gic than that of the rest of the house, with a whim­si­cal mu­ral. ‘I wanted this room to in­spire me,’ she ex­plains. ‘It’s my favourite spot, but I love ev­ery room here. I’m so happy that we gave this house a chance to shine again.’

sit­ting room splashes of yel­low tones en­liven this neu­tral set­ting. Maryle­bone cof­fee ta­ble, £1,125, oka, cre­ates a sim­i­lar ef­fect. For char­ac­ter­ful rugs, from £795, try Andrew Martin. walls painted in Down Pipe es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball

hall holiday finds and fam­ily pho­tos bring colour and per­son­al­ity to this space. Pic­ture frames, from £15, Aubergine Art. For sim­i­lar stair run­ners try As­cot Car­pet Co

STUDY a bold wall treat­ment helps in­spire Ni­cola’s cre­ativ­ity as an in­te­rior de­signer. ophe­lia mu­ral, £360, Sid­ney Paul & Co. Chest of draw­ers, £800, Justin van breda

main Bed­room an art­work by Ni­cola’s daugh­ter, hebe, cre­ates a fo­cal point above the bed. Silki blue Steel cur­tain fab­ric, £67m, tm In­te­ri­ors. walls painted in Inchyra blue es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball. For un­usual ta­ble lamps, from around £10, try tk Maxx

DAR­CIE’S Bed­room Pretty touches soften the grey hues. Florence metal bed­stead, from £179, Dunelm, would work here. wall painted in French grey ab­so­lute matt emul­sion, £77 for 5L, Lit­tle greene

Bath­room Wooden touches add tex­ture. Casino floor tiles, from £39.90sq m, Fired earth. wa­ter hy­acinth stor­age bas­kets, £ 45 for three, John Lewis, are sim­i­lar

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