Project Showcase: Making The Grade

Project Showcase: Making The Grade

The Brief

Giving a new lease of life to a Grade II listed family home in the Hampshire countryside was the mandate for London-based interior designers Studio Grove.

‘The property had seen very sad days,’ says creative director and founder Stephen Newton. ‘From the clients’ perspective, they wanted to bring back some original features to the house and, as the client has quite a vibrant taste in colours, they wanted to introduce shades that represented their personalities, along with Grade II listed features. They didn’t want any two rooms to look the same. However, it was important that the aesthetic didn’t stray too far from a country home decor, had a traditional air and was in keeping with the age of the building.’ The project was a full refurbishment, taking 18 months, with the entire house stripped back to brickwork. 

When it came to the flooring, the emphasis was on practicality, as well as beauty. For certain rooms such as the boot room, gun room, utility and wine cellar, longevity was key with hardwearing flooring and ease of maintenance, whereas for other areas, such as the kitchen, the priority was the aesthetics.

The Project

When it came to the flooring, implementing it to zone areas was particularly important. Timber flooring was chosen for the rooms that the clients spend more time in, whereas stone flooring was used in transitional areas as a way to guide people through the house. 

The entrance hall has a classic aesthetic with the ochre yellow walls painted in a Georgian hallway shade. ‘It’s more of a traditional space with a fireplace and is much more understated than other rooms,’ says Stephen. A formal stone, Concordia Marble Honed Tiles by Artisans of Devizes, was chosen in large format tiles, and delivers a classically elegant aesthetic. As well as being a practical choice for an entryway, the flooring keeps the look light and the different nuances in the stone provide additional interest. 

The hallway leads to a garden corridor, which provides a link to the family room at the back of the house situated an additional wing. Here, striking Bourgogne Classique Limestone Hexagon Tumbled tiles in a hexagonal shape were installed. ‘Because it’s a transitional space, the choice centred on playing with formats without changing the colour palette,’ says Stephen. ‘The tiles blend with the limestone in the entrance hall beautifully.’

Limestone was also chosen for the kitchen, pantry and breakfast room to continue the aesthetic. The clients chose soft blue Shaker style cabinetry for the kitchen with a bold blue Lacanche oven as its focal point. Blandford Limestone, a soft, pale beige stone with minute fossils, keeps the look light yet classic. ‘It was chosen for the inner beauty of the product and its depth and detail,’ says Stephen.

The rich tones of Tetbury Terracotta proved a practical choice for the wine cellar, utility, boot room and gun room. The traditional terracotta brick flooring is very hardwearing and durable, making it perfect for high traffic areas, and its warm earthiness provides rustic appeal. 

Finally, Bijou Rose Marble, a beautiful pink marble was chosen for ‘her’ bathroom. The client wanted a calm and pleasing aesthetic here and chose a soft pink colour palette with a punch of bold colour brought in with the rich dark red bathtub. The basin was carved from a slab of Bijou Rose Marble and paired with a washstand from Drummonds for an elegant look. ‘The client didn’t want to have everything too stark so the marbles are mixed. She particularly liked the movement on the tiles on the shower walls,’ says Stephen. Artisans also created the shower niche surround. The floor is Bijou Rose Marble in a slab format with a step detail. ‘The tiles and the slabs work so well together,’ says Stephen. The rest of the bathroom floor is wood as the client loves its warmth underfoot. ‘She also wanted the marble to be restricted to the shower rather than use the whole product throughout, where it could lose its impact.’

Concordia Marble
Bourgogne Classique Limestone Hexagon Tumbled tiles
Blandford Limestone
Tetbury Terracotta
Bijou Rose Marble


Designer: Studio Grove

Photography:  Jonathan Bond

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June 6, 2024