English Translation: A Compact Victorian Gets an Eclectic but Cohesive Makeover
When it comes to architectural and interior styles, we’re pretty omnivorous: we can admire a dressed-to-the-nines formal home (like this one) and, in the same breadth, applaud a rustic DIY cabin with no running water (like this one). Sometimes, though, we happen upon projects that make us want to pack up and move right in. Paul West’s duplex, in a compact London Victorian, falls into this category.
It helps that the space itself is blessed with good bones. “There was so much to love,” says Paul about why he chose to buy it five years ago. “At first glance, lots of space, mature garden, quiet street, original character, and the large, well-proportioned rooms. The whole space felt like a perfect canvas to create a home for living in.”
Paul studied interior architecture and used to work for various design and architecture studios (he is now a strategy director at a brand experience agency), so he was particularly knowledgeable about what to keep (the molding, the generously sized windows), what to restore (the pocket shutters), what to tweak (oak floors were given a lime wash), what to add (new built-in storage), and what to throw out and rebuild (the kitchen). While he kept the footprint largely the same, there was “considerable work undertaken on the fabric of the building, the roof, the facade, garden, kitchen, bathroom, carpentry, heating, the storage,” says Paul.
With the fundamentals in place, he was ready to fill it—but not too much. “We have quite eclectic tastes, inspired by lots of eras and ideas,” he says of his and his partner’s design sensibility (she moved in not long ago). “However, we tend to seek a few qualities: integrity, functionality, human, lasting, honest, forgiving. We like the functionality of and simplicity of modernism, the optimism and creativity of mid-century, and the honesty and timelessness of studio crafts. However, it all has to be useful or beautiful, as William Morris once said!”
Come take a tour of the sanctuary they’ve created. (And follow Paul’s Instagram account @consideredthings for more photos.)
Photography courtesy of The Modern House.
For more inspiring London homes, see: