Georgian buildings are known for their symmetry and proportion, and boast a classical elegance that often makes for a wonderful first impression. This beautifully refurbished, five-bedroom Georgian house in Dulwich Village is no exception
Words: Madeleine Howell
According to Natalie Fernbach of Cullum Design, who dressed and styled the property, it’s unusual for a Georgian property to boast an open-plan kitchen. ‘We all spend a lot more time in the kitchen now than we would have done then, so it’s really unusual to find a house like this that also has a large kitchen leading out into the garden,’ she explains.
As well as the covered outdoor entertaining area, sunny patio, roof terrace and lawn large enough for plenty of running around, there’s also a generous front garden with ample off street parking – and as if that weren’t enough, it’s all just moments from Dulwich Park, Belair Park and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The kitchen itself has been dug down, which has added to the ceiling height and sense of spaciousness. The domed ceiling in the drawing room is a stand-out feature, and fills the room with light. ‘Georgian properties have lots of interesting features to work with,’ continues Fernbach. ‘They often have intricate details and lots of windows. The architecture has an innate charm, and I love the furniture from the period too. As a designer, there’s a lot to pick up on.’
How do you go about creating a stylish interior for such a house?
‘Modern furniture is a lot bigger than the furniture they would have had then,’ says Fernbach. ‘I think properties like this lend themselves well to a mix of contemporary pieces and antique items. For example, in the double reception room with the overhead lantern, we kept it quite contemporary. In the study we went for a maple desk that’s beautiful to work at. In the bedrooms we chose contemporary headboards and ottomans paired with a mahogany chest of drawers.
‘Downstairs in the family sitting room, we wanted it to feel really warm, so we went for wooden furniture, as opposed to lots of chrome, which is better for more formal reception rooms.’
Gorgeous fine fabric cushions by Fermoie in the living areas and sumptuous bedspreads in the bedroom add to the house’s warm feeling, and complement the opulence of the architecture. The Victorian balloon back chairs Fernbach has selected sit well alongside the original fireplace, but contrast with the modern stools at the kitchen island unit – demonstrating that you don’t have to commit to one particular look across each and every room, and that different styles of furniture can have their place in different rooms in the same property, according to your lifestyle.
The same goes for artwork: Fernbach has opted for contemporary canvases by artist Sabrina Rowan-Hamilton along with a stunning pre-Raphaelite print from the Maas Gallery – a perfect example of how a mix of the old and the new can be used to enhance a period home. As well as putting together items from different eras, Fernbach also stresses that pieces from different cultures can create a layered effect and add a narrative to a home.
‘I also used Asian and Burmese ornaments in the styling, like the silver vase on the chest of drawers and the duck ornament on the console in the reception room,’ she adds. ‘It’s about creating a sense of travel, and showing off what you have collected over a period of time.’ Stepping out onto the terrace to reflect and to gaze out over the leafy views, it’s hard not to imagine filling the rooms with family heirlooms of your own.
This property is for sale with Knight Frank for £2,750,000. For more details visit
knightfrank.co.uk or call 020 3740 3731