Roselind Wilson, founder of Roselind Wilson Design, on how she gave this beautiful Mock Tudor property in Sheen a thoroughly modern makeover while remaining sympathetic to the original aesthetic
The client wanted this to be their forever house. They lived around the corner and had admired the house for so long, and when they heard that it was coming onto the market they leapt at the opportunity to own it. Given this they wanted a home that would reflect their lifestyle and the life they wanted.
The property spans over 5,500 sq ft across two levels. The original house was built in the Mock Tudor style of architecture in 1920, which was extended in 1960. The original annexe was separate from the main building, but in 2007 the previous owner carried out a full refurbishment, which included joining the annexe to the main house.
The interior design works were carried out in two phases, with the first phase including the children’s bedrooms in the main house and the au pair’s bedroom and guest bedroom on the upper floor of the annexe. On completion, the client asked us to transition directly into the phase two works. This essentially covered the rest of the house, including the reception rooms and master bedroom.
What excited me most about this property were the dark oak paneled rooms. I fell in love with these rooms as they exhibit such warmth and ambience in such a classic manner. With the paneling and wall lights being original it was wonderful that the client was equally sympathetic to this, and the schemes for these rooms were developed around enhancing this feature with an eclectic mix of furnishings and a contemporary palette to make it liveable.
In addition, the client owned a diverse selection of artwork, a variety of oversized oils, charcoal portraits and other abstract pieces. I love considering the artwork in a project as it not only adds the individual stamp of a home onto a property, but also provides a glimpse into the personalities of the owners, and what was so exciting is how this, the architectural style of the house and the interiors came together so well to create a stunning profile of the people that occupy the space and ultimately reflect them so perfectly. It was such a joy, such an excitement and such a privilege.
I love considering the artwork in a project as it not only adds the individual stamp of a home onto a property, but also provides a glimpse into the personalities of the owners
The architectural style of the house and the internal beams and trusses together with the rich palette and dark timber could resonate with that of a country house, but this interior was more a journey with the client to interpret and implement their own personal style.
The clients travel extensively for business and enjoy the quirky luxury of the design of some of the hotels they stayed in. In addition they enjoy and appreciate functionality and efficiency, and equally a good rummage around a vintage store for special eclectic finds. Taking these aspects into account, the look and feel comprised a selection of linens, velvets, florals, metals, grey oaks, bespoke and contemporary furniture to tell the story of who they are.
The reception rooms hold the original features of the house and were regarded as the core of the home. The Snug was to be a room where the client could relax against a backdrop of a fire burning in the fireplace and perhaps entertain friends, sip cognac, and sit back and enjoy good conversation.
To allow this vision to materialise, we designed structured yet comfortable sofas and seating. Bespoke seating comprising three individual seats that can be connected and made into one sofa was placed under the window. Upholstered in a terracotta fabric it provided a stunning contrast to the palette, yet complemented the client’s contemporary artwork and the warm rich red hues of the oak paneling. The eclectic mix of classic and contemporary is evident in the upholstered ottoman.
Across the hallway, the Sunday Room continues the look and feel of the Snug, with its rich oak paneling and double aspect allowing light to flood into the room and the interior to extend to the greenery of the gardens beyond the original crittal windows.
The Sunday Room, with its rich oak paneling and double aspect, allows light to flood into the room through the original crittal windows
The client wanted this space to perform the function of a relaxed room to have informal family meals, but to also host formal family functions. Our initial approach was to design a dining table that could meet both requirements. Dimensions and design were carefully considered in terms of the style of the base and the thickness of the top to house the extending mechanism.
Oversized vintage linen slip covered chairs were designed to fit around the table. When the table was not extended, the design allowed for the excess chairs to form a seating area around the log fire on the opposite side of the room.
A large bench seat that extended the full width of the window was made bespoke in oak with a rattan back in the style of a church bench to complement the style of the room, but also add additional interesting seating to the table. The essential and overriding feature that brings this room together is the over-scaled and dramatic artwork that is fitted to the wall on the left of the paneling.
The open plan living area outside the Snug and Sunday Room was designed as a space for the whole family and the scheme was carefully considered to ensure the space flowed seamlessly to the rest of the house. As the space is set within the modern 1960s extension to the house, furnishings are sympathetic to this contemporary addition. The black veined marble table with blackened steel legs and metal and glass side table hint at this contemporary undertone. The Serge Mouille floor lamp behind the sofa is another hint at the timing of the extension, providing relevance to the furnishing scheme.
There are five bedrooms, including the master, two children’s bedrooms, au pair’s bedroom and guest bedroom – each with their own distinct look. When approaching the children’s bedrooms, we carefully considered the architectural style of the property, but also wanted them to have what they considered the perfect bedroom, so we spent time chatting to them about their hobbies and favourite colours. As the au pair was studying, the brief for this bedroom was to ensure a comfortable bed, desk and dressing table area. When discussing the interior scheme for the guest bedroom, the client’s only requirement was for two single beds and a space for their guest to use a laptop.
The master suite is exquisite in that the exposed beams and trusses add enormous character. We opted not to add any furnishings that would conflict with this stunning architectural feature
Upstairs the master suite comprises the master bedroom with adjoining open plan dressing area. This room is exquisite in that the exposed beams and trusses add enormous character. When approaching the design of this room we opted not to add any furnishings that would conflict with this stunning architectural feature.
Instead, furnishings were paired down to a humble heavy weight wheat coloured headboard extending the full width of the bed and beyond to cover the bed side tables. To add a punch, the client opted for a bright orange oversized velvet armchair to the corner of the room with an antique magazine rack alongside. The artwork again adds a hint of humour and quirkiness to the space.
The informal dining area comprises a Frank Hudson Refectory table with wishbone chairs. The light above the table was made bespoke in a black metal finish to complement the design detailing of the joinery at the desk and library area so that the interior scheme connects from one space to the other. The master bathroom in rich walnut and black marble tops and porcelain floor tiles comprises a 1950s original design dressing table with mirror and grey upholstered dressing table chair. The beautiful light flooding into this bathroom creates a tranquil sanctuary.
The property has taken us and the client on a wonderful journey over the course of two years. The close collaboration between our team and the client and their trust provides an enormous amount of satisfaction to both parties – and certainly has developed a relationship that will last a long time.