English Eccentric
Homes & Gardens|February 2020
Interior designer Kate Arbuthnott’s expertise in mixing colours and patterns has imbued this Victorian terrace with an irresistible personality
Rachel Leedham

It’s a telling sign that a home is ready for a rethink when you can barely battle your way beyond the front door for the sea of shoes, coats and school bags, and this was certainly the case for this Victorian terrace in west London. Having lived here for 13 years, its occupants – a family of five, plus a dog – had reached a stage where the house was no longer in step with their busy lifestyle. ‘We were desperately short on storage and the children were growing up and needed their own space, but we all lived in the family room off the kitchen and never used the first-floor drawing room,’ recalls the owner. ‘I was also ready to introduce more colour – I was tired of white walls.’

The owners, who both have demanding jobs, had recently completed a lengthy project building a second home in the Cotswolds, and they were determined that in contrast, speed should be of the essence when refurbishing this home. ‘I was given six weeks over the school holidays to carry out the works,’ says interior designer Kate Arbuthnott, who was tasked with the ambitious plan of not only redecorating throughout but also tweaking the kitchen, redesigning the bathrooms and building fitted storage in many of the spaces.

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