Room To Grow29 November 2019
For the owners of this detached Wimbledon period property, it was clear from the start of their project that they needed more space. The young entrepreneurial couple, who live with their two young children and two dogs, love to entertain and can often be found cooking for family and friends. Whether it’s a summer barbecue in the garden with its stunning elevated views across the city or simply relaxing inside with a glass of wine, having the space to accommodate everyone was key.
With the help of architect Ben Smith Architecture, the house has been extended sympathetically and is now generously proportioned with seven bedrooms, a large open-plan kitchen/dining/living space and a cluster of bathrooms for the family and any overnight guests.
When it came to refurbishing the interior, the owners asked Mandy Oestreich of Marloe Interiors to design rooms that would suit their modern family life. ‘We set out to create a classic and timeless interior,’ explains Mandy, ‘which reflects the owners’ personalities and heritage, while also withstanding the level of wear and tear that can be expected from a busy household with young children, lively dogs and visiting guests.’
Mandy selected Artisans of Devizes for the flooring throughout many of the rooms and the natural materials in particular are part of the interior designer’s go-to favourites. ‘We have a long history of working with Artisans of Devizes,’ she confirms, ‘and we love to specify their products. The quality is consistently excellent and the range of products is wonderfully varied so you can always find exactly what you are looking for. The character, subtle tonal variations and finish options are a perfect fit for us because we love to use subtlety and texture in our designs with a key focus on authenticity. In addition, it is the personal care for each customer and project that makes Artisans of Devizes stand out. They are a lovely team of people to collaborate with and their support on our projects has been invaluable.’
Within this Wimbledon family home, the interior design took inspiration from a classic yet contemporary English style with the flooring reflecting this elegant approach. ‘The selected materials are timeless and of lasting quality and durability,’ adds Mandy. ‘Their enduring appeal ensures that the owners will never tire of them. The property is their forever family home and will be enjoyed by many generations to come.’
In the downstairs cloakroom, the compact space has been given a glamorous makeover with polished porcelain floor tiles that complement the bespoke printed wallpaper with its vintage map of London. ‘It was the perfect space to be a little bit bolder and daring, whilst still staying true to the owner’s brief of timeless elegance,’ says Mandy.
For the laundry and boot room, subtle interest and texture was added by introducing reclaimed terracotta bricks underfoot. The rustic authenticity of this natural flooring was the perfect choice for such a functional space and provides a good anchor for the Shaker-style cabinets in soft grey and a striking bespoke ‘dog-washing’ sink cabinet in dark teal.
Moving upstairs, the master ensuite is a totally dramatic space with a textured limestone floor that creates instant impact. ‘The owners wanted to create a tranquil ‘spa-like’ haven for relaxing in style,’ explains Mandy. ‘The brief was to achieve a look that rivals any high-end luxury hotel whilst still feeling natural and authentic. The chosen limestone ticked all the boxes and works beautifully with the other finishes and elements, such as the striking freestanding bath painted in Farrow & Ball Hague Blue and the bespoke fitted double vanity unit with polished nickel fittings.’
The family bathroom is more playful and fun with white marble hexagon mosaic while in the guest bathroom, porcelain planks with a weathered timber effect bring texture and warmth to the scheme. ‘It is one of our favourites,’ confirms Mandy, ‘and is one of the most natural looking porcelains we have come across.’
Mandy and her team were also tasked with designing the outdoor space and the new terrace and steps were designed to complement the handmade brick exterior of the property for an authentic look. ‘It was important that the terracing appears as part of the house and of the landscaping,’ says Mandy, ‘as if it belongs and has always been there. The chosen external limestone achieves this and the result creates a beautiful and natural extension of the house.
For Mandy, flooring should, and can, form the basis of any materials selection process and is usually the leading component for any scheme she develops. ‘The flooring choices serve as a foundation to our designs and have a significant impact on the overall success. We believe that all finishes should flow throughout a property to ensure a sense of cohesion. We tend to select floor finishes that work in harmony. We also use flooring as a way to introduce texture and visual contrast.’
Photographer: Nick Smith.