Houzz Tour: A Small Georgian Townhouse Gets an Elegant Update
Structural tweaks, a layout rejig and bold but sympathetic décor have taken this Scottish gem from wonky to wonderful
The owners had initially tried to restore the house themselves, buying radiators and stripping paint off shutters, but, realising they needed help, had searched Houzz and found Lally. “I managed to stop them in their tracks,” she says. “Before they did anything, they needed to level the floors.”
Once all the structural jobs were sorted, however, Lally and the couple could concentrate on turning this Georgian gem into a beautiful home.
Who lives here? A young, newly married couple
Location Central Edinburgh
Property A Georgian townhouse
Size Two bedrooms, one bathroom and one shower room
Designer Lally Walford of Lally Walford Interiors
Building work Edinburgh Project Management
The owners originally wanted everything pale and neutral, but while they waited for the structural work to be completed, they came around to the idea of using deeper shades.
“They decided they’d like to introduce some colour and boldness and have a bit of fun,” Lally says, “so we started to look at stronger shades.”
To keep the look bright and open, though, Lally was careful to weave in plenty of white, too, including a crisp white quartz worktop. She also added glass-fronted cabinets at either end of the wall run to add depth and show off white crockery and light-catching glassware.
Shaker kitchen, Sculleries of Stockbridge; painted in Hague Blue, Farrow & Ball. Worktop, Silestone.
The block to the right holds a larder, fridge-freezer, oven and steam oven. The door reflected in the splashback leads to a utility room, which has access to the garden.
Brass pull bars, Buster & Punch. Ovens, Gaggenau.
The now-level floor has been covered in engineered oak boards, warmed by underfloor heating, which runs throughout the ground floor.
Just seen on the left is a window seat with a wine rack underneath – the perfect place to perch and keep the chef company. “There’s very limited storage in the house, so we tried to use every nook and cranny,” Lally says.
Tempted to lay a wood floor? Check out this expert advice first.
The dark wood table and chairs are family heirlooms – Lally simply had the seats re-covered in a modern fabric.
Walls painted in Hague Blue, Farrow & Ball. Pendant light, Lambert & Fils. Honeycomb mirror (no longer available), Graham & Green. Neon artwork, Bag&bones.
Fire inset and surround, Chesneys. Arctic Pear chandelier, Ochre. Beige sofa; armchairs, all Sofa.com. Grey Georgian sofa, David Seyfried. Ottoman, Clock House Furniture.
“The owners were happy to go with a bold dark grey on the walls and we took the lovely yellows and sea colours from the painting for the accessories,” Lally says.
Walls painted in Down Pipe, Farrow & Ball.
Mirror TV, Overmantels.
Underfloor heating beneath the new limestone floor meant the radiator could be removed, freeing up precious inches.
The raspberry on the back of the door is echoed in the stair runner (see the next image) and in the upstairs sitting room. “I wanted to have some sort of flow going through the house – plus a dark door could have looked dreary,” Lally says.
Mirror, Graham & Green. Walls painted in Cornforth White, Farrow & Ball.
“I suggested they make the wardrobe doors a bit prettier,” she says of the panels of wallpaper, and she’s finished them off with horn handles – another example of the design details that elevate this home.
Wallpaper on wardrobe doors, Juliet Travers. Horn handles, Ochre. Messalina pendant lights, Holloways of Ludlow.
The wobbly Georgian walls made life very tricky in here. “This room was a nightmare,” Lally laughs. “The shower enclosure had to be inset, but that was really complicated, because the whole house is wonky. The poor builders – they had to cut channels out of the floor and walls, but obviously not level channels due to the wonkiness. There was quite a lot of trial and error and swearing!”
Marble-effect porcelain tiles; wood-look porcelain flooring, all Edinburgh Tile Studio. Mirror, Victor Paris.
She chose a very soft pink for this room. “It goes well with all the soft greys I was using upstairs, and I didn’t want to give the owners another grey room,” she explains.
A blanket box the couple already owned adds a little extra storage and a nice perch.
Walls painted in Pink Ground, Farrow & Ball.
The flooring looks like wood parquet, but is, in fact, robust porcelain.
Coral wallpaper in Charcoal/Gold, Barneby Gates. Sanitaryware, Victor Paris.
As in the downstairs living room, the whole fireplace had to be replaced. “That end of the room was raised six inches to level it,” Lally says. “We had to restore all of the shutters, and the door on the linen press by the fireplace had to be shortened, but luckily the panelling still worked ok.”
The floral couch is a sofa-bed, so the couple can accommodate extra guests if they need to.
Walls painted in Ammonite, Farrow & Ball. Rug, Francesca Gentilli. Sofa-bed;
raspberry armchair, both David Seyfried. Floor lamp, Vaughan Designs.
What do you like about this restored Georgian house? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.