10 Gorgeous Houzz Tours That Show You How to Add Character
Houzz Tours come in all shapes and sizes – check out this selection where character is king
Looking for small-space inspiration? How about this former artist’s studio in London that’s had two light-filled sleeping pods added?
“The brief I gave to the architects was to create two bedrooms that were closed off from the rest of the house,” says owner Tom Scott. “I also wanted to retain as much light as possible.”
The oak-clad ‘floating boxes’ make the most of the building’s high ceiling, and have big windows to allow light to flow through. They’re accessed by a space-saving, staggered-step staircase to cope with the steep pitch. “You get used to it very quickly,” says Scott. “We can run up and down it now.”
Check out the amazing space that’s been created in this tiny studio flat
Emily Murray believes that, when it comes to colour, you should just go for it, and she’s embraced this maxim in her Edinburgh home. On the lower-floor landing, prism wallpaper creates a jewel-box feel that totally transforms what would otherwise be just a walk-though space.
The rest of her home showcases her confident colour choices, and shows just how transformative bold decisions can be.
Visit the rest of this colourful Edinburgh home
Character doesn’t have to mean bold colours and zany design, as this beautiful, pared-back Irish cottage brilliantly demonstrates. As owner Brian Spain puts it: “There’s so much going on outside the cottage – an ever-changing landscape of 100 square kilometres – that the interior needed to be comfortable, cosy and uncluttered, using a simple palette of natural materials.”
Originally a mountain shelter for goats, the walls were intact, but with no render on them. “The floor was mud, and the roof was dried moss and thatch,” explains Spain. To painstakingly bring the cottage back to life, Spain used new larch roof timbers foraged from the forest behind the cottage, lime-rendered walls, wooden sash windows and furnishings crafted from local Douglas fir.
See the rest of this beautiful Irish cottage
If you like the idea of adding some colour to your kitchen, be inspired by the owners of this 1960s ex-council house in London. “There seems to be a myth that people expect neutral colours because they’re afraid their taste might change,” says architect and owner Frederik Rissom. “We bought a green sofa 12 years ago and still love it as much as we did then. This gave us the confidence that we can live with a yellow kitchen. This is complemented by more chromatic blues and natural wood surfaces. Life is too short to be beige!”
The rest of the house has been sympathetically updated using small interventions, rather than fundamental layout changes, to keep the original 1960s feel. A sliding door conceals a new studio and storage area in what was once the porch.
See the rest of this terraced 1960s house
Jewellery and ceramics designer Amy Anderson added a two-storey extension to the east London maisonette she shares with her husband and young twins, but the result is anything but standard. Reclaimed materials, cross-lattice beams, antiques and masses of plants all create a unique, homely feel.
In the new bathroom there are two skylights, including a huge octagonal one directly over the freestanding tub. “Kew Gardens was a big influence in terms of plants, but also the amazing glasshouses there,” says Anderson.
“When we moved in, everything felt quite cold and we were trying to decide what artwork to put on the walls,” she adds. “Then I gradually started putting up plants instead of pictures.”
See how plants have been used in the rest of this quirky Victorian maisonette
Living in a round tower might sound like something from a fairytale, but to ensure a happy ending, some clever design decisions have to be made. Swedish blogger Dasha Girine’s home in Stockholm is a luxurious curvy apartment packed with original features, and she’s filled it with clever furniture choices to make the most of its stunning shape.
“You need to have a curved sofa in a round room, otherwise you’d lose a lot of floor space,” Girine says. “I could have had a rectangular dining table, but the space is better optimised with a round one.”
Look around the rest of this curvy home
To look at it now, it’s hard to believe this colour-filled home in west London was once a minimalist bachelor pad. When former shoe designer Cleo Barbour bought it, she had very set ideas for its reincarnation. According to architectural designer James Owen Webster, “It had to be bold and playful yet refined, with no boundaries when it came to colour.”
The signature warehouse detailing that first attracted the owner has been retained, but transformed with colour in the form of turquoise kitchen units, bright artworks and two-tone doors.
Take a tour around the rest of this vibrant home
Glass floored-mezzanine? Check. Double-height kitchen? Check. Cantilevered staircase? Check. This stunning central London apartment has made the most of every inch of space, with plenty of clothes storage for its fashion-conscious owner.
For designer Viki Lander, it’s the double-height kitchen with roller ladder to access the top storage that really makes the apartment stand out. “This is the star feature and the single biggest investment of the entire project,” she says. “We’re really thrilled with the aesthetic and also the practicality of having so much storage.”
The red tones used in the kitchen also link the space to the rest of the apartment, giving more of a living room feel.
Be inspired by the rest of this open-plan apartment
A masterclass in getting the best out of a unique yet challenging period property, the French home of designer Thomas Lefèvre had previously been used as a garage, a hairdressing salon and a rental home. It’s now been split into two areas to form a cosy apartment on one side and an independent office on the other, using the architectural features to create a one-of-a-kind dwelling.
In the bedroom, the glass wall allows light in from the living room, while an opaque fabric curtain ensures privacy; it can be hidden behind the brick column created especially for this purpose. “The arch above the bed was modernised while maintaining its irregular appearance,” explains Lefèvre.
Discover the rest of this unique French home
Architects Maya Carni and Ran Ankory have opened up and lowered rooms in their cool London home to create a multi-level space that’s as interesting to look at as it is practical to live in.
The library area above is where the cloakroom used to be. “It felt heavy with the wall there,” says Carni. “So we got rid of the wall, which created a nook where we sited the library. It now feels lighter, as if it’s floating.”
See more of this period London home
Which unusual Houzz Tours have you been inspired by? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.