Real Home: 9 Dark, Sullen Design Tips To Copy From An Extended Semi-Edwardian


Vanessa and Andy Roberts bought their four-story semi-Edwardian in 2016 in the same town they had recently renovated an old shed. It was one of eight built by the same architect and had been converted back into a house from three apartments around 20 years ago. “The job had been poorly done, but with 3,000 square feet to play in, there was a lot of potential,” says Vanessa.

Initially, the couple had big plans for renovating their home, including a kitchen in the basement and a mezzanine above, but the estimate was too high. Instead, they created an open plan kitchen-diner by knocking through the old kitchen and dining area, and rebuilt the entire back of the house with lots of glass. On the first floor two small bedrooms to the rear, a bathroom, a hallway and a veranda have been transformed into an L-shaped master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and an original reading / office area overlooking the garden.

The couple hired interior designer Karen Knox from Making Spaces before the architect and builder joined us. “People think interior design is all about cushions and paint colors, but Karen’s mind is so practical,” Vanessa says. “As soon as she walks into a room, she’ll instantly notice the position of the switches, the way the door opens, if the carpet needs to be replaced, and even if it’s worth moving a radiator to free up some heat. space for a future wardrobe. The last thing she thinks of is the color of the paint!

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The owners Vanessa Roberts, who works in business strategy (@vansoire), her husband Andy, project manager, and their sons, Harrison, three, and baby Ethan
The property A five bedroom semi-Edwardian in Harrogate,
North Yorkshire
Project cost Around £ 150,000

Although the couple have now sold their home, they have learned a lot from the project. “Don’t worry about what other people think, because the taste is so personal and changes over time,” says Vanessa. “Once you start tapping into that creative bravery, it can take you in any direction. As long as it makes you happy, that’s all that matters.

1. Use aluminum curtain wall for industrial style impact

Open plan kitchen-diner with black kitchen units, glazed aluminum wall and doors to the garden, black and wood dining set

Glazing, Windows & Doors Concept. Find similar Jean Prouve Standard chairs on Stone butterfly. Arco lamp, Flos. Concrete and brass suspension, GANT Lights

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Want an instant impact in your space? Opt for aluminum doors or – if your budget allows – a curtain wall. “Our glazing manufacturer suggested this commercial aluminum curtain wall system as an economical alternative to Crittall windows for the six meter wide opening,” Vanessa explains. “It cost around £ 15,000 vs. £ 40,000 + for the real thing.” A big investment, of course, but the result says it all.

2. Think outside the box for your kitchen surfaces

Black kitchen with open wall shelves, industrial bar stools, OSB wall and pine wood flooring

Hacker Systemat kitchen, Harrogate interiors. Saddles, Home base. Plate racks and shelves, Stovold & Pogue. Brass bar handles, Dowsing and Reynolds

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

We love the finish of this quirky kitchen, which features OSB walls and pine floors. FYI, these materials are also cheap to use. Vanessa used the kitchen to balance the cost of replacing glazing and windows on the front and back of the house. “We had set our sights on a black Ikea kitchen made from recycled bottle caps, but instead opted for a pre-made German kitchen at a local store. When you factored in the labor to build the flat pack, the price difference was marginal.

3. Bring texture through your walls

Cozy black with textured walls, gray sofa, artwork and pink light

Lime painted walls with poppy seeds, Abigail Ahern. Masterpieces, Andy welland. Luciano sofa, Do. Suspension, House of

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Vanessa experimented with a new lime paint to add texture to the cozy corner of the kitchen-diner. A huge piece of art makes a bold statement, but the wall carries the rest of the space – and we love the pendant’s bright pop of color.

4. Be bold with wallpaper

Blue living room with blue and gold geometric wallpaper, white fireplace, blue sofa, yellow floor lamp, black and white carpet and brass and glass coffee table

Ferm Living Lines Wallpaper, Cloudberry alive. Ritchie sofas, Do. Masterpieces, Andy welland. Woodwork painted in Stiffkey Blue, Farrow & ball. Blanket, The Redoubt. Street lamp, Habitat

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

When it comes to wallpaper, more is almost always better. Interior designer Karen Knox suggested wrapping the entire living room and guest bedroom in a bold design to embrace the dark side. “Without it, we probably would have just lined the mantel,” Vanessa explains. “She really pushed us to be creative and we got more courageous the more we worked with her.”

5. Pay attention to the little touches

Gray bedroom with pink accented wallpaper and door to bathroom with Chanel print and patterned floor tiles

Midnight from Upper Brook Street wallpaper; painted woodwork Jack Black, both The little green. Goa bed, Houses of the world. Charleston Bedspread And Cushions, Do. Hemnes bedside table, Ikea, with brass buttons by Dowsing and Reynolds. Rita lamp, Do. Bathroom tiles, Topps tiles. Chanel bottle artwork, Andy welland.

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

A moody gray and black scheme is a running theme in Vanessa’s home, but have you noticed the neon pink thread in the bedrooms as well? Here it’s echoed in the mural and the bedspread – and there’s even a clue around the edges of the bathroom door, which is a fun and playful way to add subtle color to any room. any space.

6. Experiment with your bedroom

Dark bedroom with black walls and black ceiling, plywood wall against bed, ceiling lamp and monochrome wall art

Wall lights, House of. Brunel bed (minus the headboard), To cure. Hiko pendant, John Lewis & Associates

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

A bedroom is a great place to try out design ideas that you might be too afraid to bring into areas of your home that guests see more often. Here, Vanessa opted for plywood panels to create a larger-than-life headboard, contrasting with an enveloping black on the other walls and ceiling. Keep accessories light to avoid overloading the space.

7. Built-in furniture can be chic

Plywood wall cabinet and built-in vanity with black stool

Kyree black stool, Ikea

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Plywood is the material of the moment, and we love the simple addition of a dressing table to a series of cabinets. Put up a mirror, add a black stool for contrast, and you’ve got a contemporary take on built-in furniture that will never date.

8. Terrazzo is always a good idea

Gray bathroom with large wall tile, terrazzo tiled floor, black freestanding bathtub and terracotta side table

Bath, British Baths. Floor tiles, Petri range by Greek. Washbasin cabinet and washbasins, Tikamoon

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

In case you need to convince, the terrazzo case is here in this photo. Pick a design that matches the rest of your decor – like this bathroom’s gray – and you can treat it like any other surface. Pro Tip: Using large format tiles on other surfaces will contrast nicely with the intricate detailing of terrazzo.

Dark bedroom with gray and orange bed linen, copper headboard panel, bubble chandelier

Walls, floor and ceiling painted in Madison Gray, Abigail Ahern. Copper effect paint, Craig & Rose. Lansdowne bed, Do. Bubble chandelier, Dowsing and Reynolds. Madmen Soho copper rug, Louis de Poortère. Float copper wall lights, Nordlux via Light source

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Forget about fixtures and brassware: look at your surfaces and other finishes for metallic accents. This headboard is actually a painted panel with a copper effect paint, and the weathered finish makes it look like it has been beautifully weathered over the years. Vanessa tied the project with coppery orange cushions and a throw, which contrast with the gray of the walls.


About Gertrude H. Kerr

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