Two weeks to fully furnish a Notting Hill townhouse? No problem says Sue Jones, the co-founder of OKA, which provides a full interior design service 

If there wasn’t such a plethora of interior design programmes on our TV screens these days, a recent project by OKA may well have made riveting TV.

‘A last minute change of direction meant this family had just a fortnight in which to relocate from New York to London,’ co-founder of the company, Sue Jones, begins to explain. ‘Having rented an unfurnished house in Notting Hill, and brought over just a couple of suitcases of clothes and some personal items, the house needed to be fully furnished in this short window.’

Fourteen days to completely furnish the home from top to toe for a family of five, including children aged three, ten and 12, is certainly a ‘short window’. With time of the essence, where did they start? ‘As existing fixtures and fittings were retained, such as the beautiful Victorian fireplaces, it was important to design a scheme that complemented the period features,’ Jones says, ‘but with a contemporary twist.

‘Our aim was to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, which worked for both children and adults. The key to this is that everything is very hard-wearing and designed not to show dirt.’

The house needed to be fully furnished in this short window

Mud was the last thing on my mind when I was taken around the property. It’s positively bursting with light and colour. ‘We were lucky that in a terraced property such as this, large sash and bay windows let in plenty of light, and tall ceilings help rooms feel bigger,’ Jones agrees.

We chose plenty of warm colours for the north-facing reception room, but kept the south-facing master bedroom fairly neutral

‘The direction of each room gave us some guidance as to what colours would best suit each setting. For instance, we chose plenty of warm colours for the north-facing reception room, but kept the south-facing master bedroom fairly neutral.

We’ve avoided design bedlam by applying certain rules; for each room the colour palette is restricted, and the majority of colour is introduced through smaller, easily changeable accessories – lamps, artwork, faux flowers and soft furnishings.’

Unsurprisingly all accessories and furniture come from the OKA vault


Unsurprisingly all accessories and furniture come from the OKA vault, but there are little design touches that photos on these pages don’t do justice to. ‘We very much wanted the property to feel like a home, so took care to dress each room with decorative finishing touches such as artwork, trinket trays and books,’ Jones points out. ‘The children loved helping with these details, particularly in the kitchen where they added colourful glasses, cushions, mugs, napkins and plates.’

Was there any room that proved particularly tricky? ‘As the cabinetry in the kitchen was staying in place, we had limited scope to change the layout,’ Jones says after a moment’s thought. ‘Thankfully the space itself was large, allowing us to include multiple seating options such as around the extendable family dining table and a sofa to suit the varied needs of modern family life. Interestingly,’ Jones adds, ‘this was the last room we furnished. It was completed on the last day.’

They kept the south-facing master bedroom fairly neutral

With the project completed within the time restriction, it highlighted the varied work OKA’s Interior Design Service takes on, particularly in and around W11.

Notting Hill properties are wonderful to work in,’ Jones beams, ‘as there’s such a diverse range of architectural styles in the area. The scope is half the fun – one day we could be working in a pied-a-terre in London and the next in an expansive barn conversion in the Cotswolds, or a chalet in the Swiss alps, our projects really are that varied.’

And would they think twice about taking on another job like the Notting Hill townhouse with merely two weeks to finish it? ‘A full upheaval or home alteration is most often a considered decision, which tends to permit a longer lead time for structural and design work,’ Jones considers. ‘Every now and again, though, we get an exciting project that needs to be completed very quickly!’

See okadirect.com/interior-design-service