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Designed by creativemass London, United Kingdom

Victorian family home

London, United Kingdom

When a family relocated from Italy to London, they asked creativemass’ Claire McDonald and Graham Massey to turn a Victorian building in poor condition into a traditional family home. Working from the building’s strengths, McDonald succeeded in making her clients feel immediately at ease.

“The family loved seeing the design take shape; they Instagrammed the whole process.”

Original features

“The house is quite a large building, that had been converted into a series of tiny studios”, says McDonald. “My clients basically asked me to free up the building and make it a whole again. The interior was very tired, but there were some fantastic original features, like the staircase and the ceilings. We wanted those features to sing within the new design.”

Secretive spaces

McDonald: “Victorian houses often have surprising floor plans and secretive spaces. To reflect that, we wanted none of the rooms to have a linear feel; that’s why we chose a herringbone floor in the study, instead of straight planks. Apart from its design purpose it also provides that smoky gentlemen’s club atmosphere we were looking for.”

“There’s a beautiful contrast between the more traditional study and hallway on the one hand, and the light, contemporary family room on the other.”

Feeling right at home

McDonald says her biggest design challenge was to never let the family feel they are in a great big space: “Apart from the layout, the choice of natural materials like wood really helped to soften the appearance of the home. The owners’ first reaction was telling: they said they felt right at home. I think it’s a wonderful thing: a very formal Victorian home that doesn’t feel formal at all.”

Products used
Flooring Drift, Colour Collection
Grades Premier 1-bis
Finish DuoVarnish
Thickness 20 mm (3/4")
Plank widths 180 mm (7")
Herringbone dimensions 20 x 85 x 510 mm (3/4" x 3 3/8" x 20 1/16")
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