Turning Your House Into Your Home


One question we often get asked - "what's your style?"

It's understandable that people ask this question to a designer as a visual portfolio is how a designer showcases his/her work. It's visual, tangible, and easy to understand instinctively.

However, for us, it's not so much about 'our style'. The project is all about our clients, their every day life, their future plans, their aspirations, and 'their style' (i.e. visual representation of how they want their house to be).

Our job is to understand our clients' needs, aspirations, and 'style' and we have our approach to do that in an organized way. (Please read ABOUT US for more on that.)

Recently, we completed decorating and furnishing a 1930s terrace house in Wandsworth for our lovely clients. She left the most flattering review and we are thrilled to know they love their home now.

We are now absolutely thrilled with the beautiful home that Yoko has created for us. Our house is now a home!

(you can read the full review here on Houzz)

This sort of feedback from our clients gets us going and we love hearing how our clients live after the builders are gone.

Being absolutely chuffed, let me try to explain how we found our clients' style in this particular project.

We first asked the clients to put together visual boards on Pinterest - their likes, dislikes - anything. Their dislikes are particularly important. Looking at the images they collected, it was clear at an early stage that Mr. Client likes contemporary and elegant Italian design. Think B&B Italia, Poliform, Minotti... while Mrs. Client likes a relaxed layered design but with a bit of glamour.

Both like an elegant and contemporary design but also with two young children under 3 (their baby boy arrived in the middle of the project!), the space needs to work for the family.

It is often easy to find artworks first and that's what we did for this project and here is how we came up with the family living room scheme.

Looking at the clients' sophisticated aesthetics, the beautiful handmade wallpaper using old marbling technique by the NY studio Calico Wallpaper sprung to my mind immediately. Their collections are elegant, sophisticated, have hand-crafted quality, calm but glamarous - we felt that it would truely represent the clients' aesthetics.

Calico Wallpaper, Fragments
Calico Wallpaper, Oceana
Calico Wallpaper, Sumi

Their wallpaper collections are just stunning. After exploring a few different options, the client chose Wabi collection in the colour 'Bloom'.

Calico Wallpaper, Wabi in Bloom

We decided to treat the hand-marbled wallpaper as an artwork and frame it for two reasons. 1. to fit within a budget, 2. to protect it from little sticky hands as it will be up on the wall behind the family living sofa.

Once we decided on the artwork, the rest flew. The client wanted a statement media unit and we designed a bespoke storage unit in black stained oak and brass detailing.

We took the blush pink from the artwork and used it for the fabric of the armchair as well as for cushions. The bespoke rug is made of soft jute that is hardwearing but soft to crawl on.

We think long and hard about our clients - how are they going to use the space? how would they like to feel? what do they want to see and touch? what will they need 2 years from now? 5 years?

Our aim is that when the clients' family and friends walk into their new home, they say 'wow, this is so you!'. Often, the clients know what they like and don't like but need a little help in finding things and putting them together.

Here are two views of their family living room. We'll share the rest of their home soon!

His and Hers Havens, Living
His and Hers Havens, Living