Creating her perfect home took the best part of two years and included major renovations to rearrange the blueprint of the west London townhouse, but the results are spectacular.
When your job is to create the ultimate dream home for clients, you’re going to be most meticulous designing your own abode, even if that means going back to the drawing board – quite literally – and rearranging the blueprint. That’s exactly what Louise did in her west London townhouse with an original floorplan that couldn’t quite accommodate her creative vision. Finding herself in a conservation area proved a challenge, but it was, nonetheless, a workable one. “As the works commenced it was only the façade that remained untouched,” she says. “The house already had an existing basement kitchen and dining space, but it was missing a cosy snug to which I could retreat.” To create such a space, Louise needed to increase the property’s footprint, while higher ceilings were achieved by digging down, and back.
The project was undoubtedly an ambitious undertaking, spanning the best part of two years and including major renovations, but it’s one that Louise has pulled off with aplomb – testament not only to her interior design finesse, but her sharp architectural eye, too. The property, filled as it is with luxurious textiles and gilded house jewels, oozes glamour. Every corner has been thoughtfully designed with just the right occasional table, contemporary painting or objet d’art in place. It has an uncanny ability to be simultaneously grand and cosy, too, with commodious, light-loving open-plan areas as well as enclosed and intimate spaces, giving Louise and her miniature dachshunds, Bebe and Ellie, the best of both worlds. There’s a narrative that runs from dining space, to kitchen, to snug, seamlessly. It is indeed a triumph of design. “It’s perfect for entertaining and then retreating to the snug and unwinding in front of the fireplace,” Louise enthuses. “And whilst it’s a basement space, I brought natural light and nature to it with a lightwell in the snug area featuring a much-loved camellia tree. I can use the snug all year round and it gives me a very welcome connection to nature.”
The natural theme is evident throughout the townhouse with Louise’s expert layering of a neutral palette. Opulent beige and cream fabrics work harmoniously with the patina of natural wood and stone, while subtle touches of bronze and gold offer an inviting warmth. A stunning centrepiece chandelier borrows from nature, too, with its bare wintry branches and glass stalactites dazzling in the sunlight. “I love muted, tranquil colour palettes and carefully layered materials, textures and shapes,” says Louise. Often people think a neutral palette isn’t adventurous, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s perfect for creating homes which feel full of light, air, warmth and energy.”
Describing her style as “relaxed luxury,” Louise talks of dressing a property much like a fashion designer would, finishing off an outfit with the perfect accessory. “It is fascinating how something as simple as a vase, a lamp, or a selection of cushions can completely change the look and feel of an interior,” she says. “I have some wonderful one-off pieces that I stumbled across in flea markets in Paris and some exquisite souvenirs bought whilst travelling – they evoke memories every time I look at them.”
The whole property is sanctuary-like, exuding both opulence and serenity the moment you step inside. But it is Louise’s master bedroom that offers the ultimate in laid-back luxury: “The bespoke joinery was designed to hold my capsule wardrobe,” she explains. “The mirrored door conceals the en suite bathroom for which I used a beautiful Calacatta marble. I also found, after years of searching, a cashmere throw that fits perfectly on a king size bed. It is specially woven, seamless and organic, and it’s my absolute favourite. I added the full range of the throws to our showroom collection and they quickly became bestsellers. Who doesn’t love to snuggle up in a fine cashmere throw in the winter months?”