Project Showcase: A Light Touch

Project Showcase: A Light Touch

The Brief

When Sophie Thorpe first viewed the five bedroom Lutyens style house on the Buckinghamshire/Berkshire border that she now lives in, it was the characterful vaulted ceilinged hallway that she fell in love with. ‘It was a beautiful room but the floor was a dark outdoor sandstone that was more suitable for a patio and the owner, who was cricket mad, had inlaid motifs of cricket wickets in the stone. I couldn’t live with it but I could see the house had potential.’ 

Nobody had lived in the house for a few years so the house required some renovation work with new bathrooms and a new kitchen a priority. The starting point for the ground floor was the flooring as Sophie knew that she wanted a stone floor that comprised the same stone throughout for a harmonious feel. ‘I have always wanted a very pale limestone flooring,’ she explains. ‘In our previous house I opted for a darker stone because we’ve got dogs and children but I regretted it. I now had another chance and I was determined to choose a pale limestone and seal it to prevent any stains.’ 



The Project

Artisans of Devizes was recommended to Sophie and her husband and they visited the Artisans’ showroom for inspiration. ‘We pretty much selected the stone within 20 minutes,’ she notes. ‘I knew exactly what I wanted - a very matt, not too distressed stone with few shells or markings on it. Mallory limestone ticked all the boxes - it’s a really beautiful stone.’ 

A bespoke sized stone was selected for the large living room with its statement double height ceiling and adjoining TV room, and then a smaller stone was chosen for Sophie’s study, her husband’s study, the cloakroom and the hall. An extension is soon to be built and the couple have bought Mallory limestone from the same quarry to ensure a cohesive feel throughout. Underfloor heating ensures the spaces are warm and cosy underfoot.

The impact of the stone floor was instantaneous. ‘The floor brightens the whole interior and has transformed the house,’ says Sophie. ‘It now has a Mediterranean light, bright and airy aesthetic. I also love it because it’s not too modern and it’s not too country cottage.’

The floor was the starting point for the decorating schemes. ‘Once you’ve got the floor right, everything else falls into place because I then knew what colour scheme I wanted and the neutral floor lends itself to those colours,’ says Sophie. For the hall, Sophie plumped for chalky blue green greys, Pigeon and French Blue by Farrow & Ball. Because the room is long and thin, she was able to select curated seating, which is handy for putting on or taking off shoes. Comfy chairs in a complementary pale peppermint green are combined with a long cushioned bench that injects an elegant feel. ‘I chose green because it’s peaceful and welcoming and it marries with everything,’ Sophie says. 

The hallway then leads to the statement sitting room, where a soaring vaulted ceiling, painted beams, floor-to-ceiling windows and a palette of warm whites evoke a light and bright aesthetic. Sophie chose Slipper Satin and Stony Ground by Farrow & Ball to elicit a soothing backdrop. Oversized sofas and chairs provide plenty of comfy seating and help to anchor the vast space. ‘I chose neutrals here because I’ve done lots of busy lounges and I wanted a very calm space to display artwork.’ The Mallory limestone floor provides the perfect finishing touch.

The neutral scheme then carries through to the adjoining smaller TV room where walls painted in Honed Slate by Neptune and a slouchy Andrew Martin sofa evoke cosiness, while the limestone floor was laid in such a way as to continue the harmonious feel when the dividing doors are open.  

‘The floor was a big investment for us and it’s paid off,’ says Sophie. ‘It’s like a piece of art on the floor.’


Photography by Adam Carter Photography

Design Consulant: Alison Conti at Artisans of Devizes

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September 25, 2023