boldly go
Living Etc Magazine|October 2021
Ruth Anderson’s cleverly coordinated south London family home celebrates the brilliant impact of colour, pattern and art
Mary Weaver

home profile

THE OWNERS

Ruth Anderson, a stay-at-home mum, husband Mike, CFO of a tech company, plus twin daughters, Lara and Neve, nine, and son Jack, seven. Plus Labradors Indi and Juno.

THE PROPERTY

A four-storey Victorian villa in south London. In the basement there is a playroom, workspace and reading nook along with a gym, wine room, utility room and spare bedroom. The ground floor has two adjoining living rooms plus a kitchen/dining area and a cloakroom. On the first floor is the main bedroom suite, plus a spare bedroom/office and a family bathroom. On the second floor are three children’s bedrooms plus a shower room.

Be brave and boldly go’ was the mantra Ruth Anderson employed when she created this happy home for her family of five, plus two Labradors, Indi and Juno. She wasn’t consciously referencing Star Trek but she did want to avoid anything bland and boring. ‘I needed to go out of my comfort zone to make this home resonate with colour, texture and pattern,’ says Ruth of the late-Victorian townhouse that backs onto a common in south London. ‘Our former home was decorated in tasteful shades of grey, all very well, but not exactly pushing boundaries.’

When Ruth – previously a lawyer, now a stay-at-home mum to nine-year-old twin daughters, Lara and Neve, and seven-year-old son, Jack – and her husband, Mike, bought the house more than four years ago it had been renovated by the previous owners, but needed tweaks. ‘We spent a lot of time and effort redoing their basement work and reconfiguring the entire house to ensure it flows fluidly and is filled with light,’ she says.

The wide, welcoming hallway is thanks to the repositioning of the striking staircase that previously dominated its centre. ‘The green runner was a scary decision at the time but it’s turned out to be one of the best and connects the colours through the whole house,’ says Ruth. Importantly, the house had to tick lots of boxes for the varying needs and tastes of the family and function so that every inch is used.

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