Totnes Town House, Listed Building South Hams

When the interior design process is as enjoyable as the result…

The brief

In this fascinating interior design project, tough negotiations with the Listed Building Officer prefaced work to remodel the ground floor of this Grade II listed Georgian Totnes town house in the South Hams. Our client had made it clear from the outset that she wanted to push the boundaries in respect of design to achieve a truly eclectic interior that would confound any attempt to pigeonhole its style.

The work

The collaborative process started in the kitchen, with a design for a new range of units constructed around an antique Chinese sideboard, topped with a contemporary work surface and served by hammered copper sinks and a beautifully engineered drawer style dishwasher.

Elsewhere, earlier partitions were pulled down to reveal more of the original Victorian tiled flooring – the impact of which was amplified using a blocked up doorway featuring a full-size, antiqued mirror panel. New panelling was designed to complement existing joinery and every effort was made to create a truly original ‘cloaks’ area. Even with suspended locker room style coat hooks from India, an antique bench from China and surviving wall art from a previous owner of this delightful property, you’re still not prepared for the jewels that are the cloakroom itself, and the adjacent shower.

With reflective tiled walls and nickel plated fittings, the spacious shower is both intensely pleasing and practical. The ‘closet’ next door features quality fittings, but it’s the bold use of colour and wallpaper that make the strongest impression. The tailormade ‘throne’ W.C is painted orange – a colour lifted from the beautifully drawn wallpaper.

The result?

Back through the kitchen and the newly installed pocket doors, the living room offers scope for resting, eating and piano playing. We designed the arts-and-crafts-inspired dining table (served by chairs found in the local market) and the quartered ottoman that forms the centrepiece of the seating area. Tibetan antiques helped shape the palette for the fabrics selected. Texture has been added in abundance and whilst vibrant in many cases, the chosen fabrics exhibit depth and sophistication that sets them apart. The overall effect is of an interior with a surprise at every turn, yet nothing appears new or conspicuous.

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