On a winter’s night, with the fire crackling and a great book, it would be magical to be here.
Spoiler alert: may contain books. If you hate books, look away now.
The multi-paned windows look out onto a steep wooded front garden with pine and cedar trees, high on a hilltop in Wimbledon, with distant views of London on a clear day.
I first did the interior design of the whole house when the family moved in fourteen years ago. The quality of the fittings and furnishings were top specs. Even before this redesign, they still looked smart. The triple-lined weighted gold and red brocade elephant curtains and the gold leaf chandelier were indicative of the classic, colonial language of this smart Edwardian house. The painting and decoration were only slightly tired but that is understandable when it was a playroom for three children.
I know every inch of this beautiful and characterful house, having been appointed for the original refurbishment, then an extension, a basement last year and most recently, the interior design of their study.
I have known the clients since their first son was three years old and the only child. He is now preparing for GCSE. My clients now have three children and this room used to be their playroom.
Seeing the rocking horse make way for a large banker’s desk was particularly poignant. It reminded me how short childhood is and how long work is. Soon my own children’s rocking duck will also disappear, as will crayons and megabloks.
The whole purpose of this room is for studying in, a room which is calm and quiet with no distractions. The original colour scheme was red, gold and polished wood. We have kept to this scheme.
We discussed the concept of the Sherlock Holmes library, or an Edwardian gentleman’s club, a cozy, quiet space with mostly timber panelled walls and shelving. A place of secrets and mysteries. An old-fashioned low-tech space without crazy over-wiring, garish lighting, sound system or over-controlled specs.
This is a world where it’s just books. The joy of this room would simply be to escape.
I would love to write a bestseller here! There would be no excuse not to.