Houzz Tour: A Versatile House Designed with Longevity in Mind
It took a full-scale redesign that prioritised practicality and sociability to create this beautiful forever family home
“We were called in from the start, which made life much easier,” she says. “We figured out the design and sourced all the materials, but also worked on the spatial plan – where everything goes – from the plumbing to the position of the sockets.”
The family were moving from a smaller property and didn’t have enough furniture, so Dorota also sourced everything they needed, as well as reappropriating a lot of what they did have. “The master bed and bedside tables ended up in the guest room, the study furniture was reused, and the existing living room furniture found a home in the kids’ TV snug,” she explains.
Dorota also had one eye on the future. “We planned for the long term,” she says. “We were thinking about what this family of six was going to need in five or 10 years’ time, so this is a real forever home.”
Who lives here? A family of six
Property A detached house over three floors
Size Seven bedrooms and five bathrooms
Designer Dorota Hrstic of Miri Design
Architect Duncan James Design
Project manager Will Cawrey & Co
Photos by Kostas Arapidis
“The owners wanted the house to feel special, but it needed a lot of rejigging,” Dorota says. “It was a really big project and they weren’t sure how to tackle it and didn’t have the time to do it all themselves.”
Their brief was to create a colourful, bold, fun and light home. “They needed help visualising it all,” she says. “We came up with concepts and then used Houzz Pro’s Room Planner, so they could ‘walk’ around the rooms and through the whole house, and approve everything before we started.”
Luckily, the owners were very decisive. “They knew what they liked and didn’t like, so we got through all the decision-making quickly,” Dorota says. She then collaborated closely with the project manager, who was working from her plans. “It took two years in total, but the project manager was brilliant at planning it all and setting expectations, so the owners always knew what would happen when.”
Ceiling light, Soho House.
The flooring is wood-effect porcelain tiles, which work well with the underfloor heating. Dorota suggested an Art Mode TV, which looks attractive and is neatly wall-mounted.
Walls painted in Light Blue, Farrow & Ball.
The house has a large garden to the rear. “It’s a wonderful space and seems endless,” Dorota says. The greenery is carried inside thanks to houseplants dotted throughout and the use of green in many rooms.
A generous dining table means the whole family can eat together comfortably. Dorota helped select the sliding glass doors, choosing sage green interior frames to tie in with the room’s colour scheme.
Island painted in Studio Green, Farrow & Ball.
Safari Soiree wallpaper, Divine Savages. Sanitaryware, CP Hart.
Walls painted in Vert De Terre; dressing room joinery painted in Lichen, both Farrow & Ball.
More: 22 Ideas for Green Bedrooms
“I could attach images of all the paint colours, furniture and fabrics,” she says. “The owners could then see everything and also move images around, so if they wanted to know what a lamp would look like on a bedside table, they could do that themselves. It also helped them to keep an eye on spending. Each new item gets added to the room budget tally, so they could easily see the total cost.”
“It’s a really soothing design,” she says. “When you see it with the natural light flowing in from the garden, it looks beautiful and helps the room feel very restful.”
Miyako Scene wallpaper, Designers Guild. Four-poster bed, Raft.
“It was difficult to work out the right layout,” Dorota says. “We did about seven different layout designs for this room and had about five meetings where we were literally drawing baths on the floor! The owner wanted to be able to have a bath overlooking the garden, and we pulled it off eventually.”
The vanity unit was made bespoke to fit the space. “It was important that it didn’t feel as if it was squeezed in,” Dorota says. The tiles are porcelain with a marble design.
Bath; vanity unit; brassware, all CP Hart.
The children had outgrown their beds, so these were sold, but, Dorota says, “We did reuse two of the wardrobes for the kids’ rooms and spray-painted them to fit with the colour scheme.”
Acquario wallpaper, Cole & Son.
Map mural, Andrew Martin.
Map mural, Andrew Martin.
So are the owners glad they hired a designer to help them? As they wrote on Houzz, “[Dorota and Julia] have helped in so many ways – beyond what I understood interior design could mean … Exceeded all expectations and saved me hours and weeks of my life … We wanted to ensure we didn’t make silly but costly mistakes. [The team] were incredible value for money and, with the discounts provided, have largely covered the fee … We are delighted.”
Tiles, Mandarin Stone.
What do you like most about this family home? Share your thoughts in the Comments.