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Be Inspired By This Arts and Crafts House in South London

An Australian-born homeowner has breathed new life into this beautiful character property

Sophie Thrower

Sophie Thrower

editor, Ideal Home

Who lives here?

This beautiful five-bedroom, semi-detached, Arts and Crafts property in south London was built in 1901. The couple, who run a travel company, bought it in August 2009 and live here with their two sons. Inspired by her childhood in Australia, the homeowner transformed the house with an open-plan rear extension, featuring a new kitchen and large bi-fold doors leading outside. Her biggest tip? 'Don't rush decisions as it's easy to make a mistake and it will cost you in the long run.'

Enjoy island life

Give an open-plan scheme a sense of structure with a strategically placed kitchen island. Inspired by her life in Australia, the homeowner converted the existing rear extension and installed a new, light-filled, functional kitchen that could enhance her family's life. 'I pictured my kids doing their homework at the island while I'm cooking dinner,' she says. A trio of Scandi pendants creates the illusion of a divide, without compromising the open-plan scheme.

 
White Scandi-style Dining Room with Exposed Brick Wall
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Keep it casual

Make the most of a light-filled dining space with a Scandi-inspired scheme of soft colours and natural materials. The homeowner used Pinterest to create design moodboards and soon realised that she wanted a neutral scheme of greys and white with homely textures of wood, metal and exposed brick to add character. 'I realised I liked the contemporary look, but with an industrial, vintage edge,' she says. 

 
Modern Open Home Office on Mezzanine Floor
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Raise your game with a home office

Give your home office a lift with a smart mezzanine platform. In this property, a sheer panel of glass creates a subtle division between the study and main living space, without losing the sense of light and space created by the open-plan design. A chic white desk, faux fur rug and accessories in glass and wood continue the interior's natural scheme.

 
Modern home office with floor-to-ceiling shelving
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Stack 'em up

Maximise your storage with bespoke, floor-to-ceiling shelving. 'I wanted to find somewhere for all my books,' says the homeowner. Looking to smarten up your own storage? Paint shelving in a deep slate blue to create a sense of cosiness, whilst keeping the scheme open plan. Try arranging books by shade to create a sense of order and add a much-needed splash of colour.

 
Sparkling Bedroom with Textured Fabrics and Statement Mirror
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Go for gold

Bring basic colours to life with hints of metallic and shimmering notes of gold. 'My husband bought me the Moroccan wedding blanket for my birthday,' says the owner. 'Its colour and textures were a great starting point for the room.' The tones have been picked up in the elegant paisley wallpaper, while plenty of layered textures, a soft carpet and blankets galore keep the scheme cosy. Feeling brave? A bold statement mirror with metallic rays is this room's crowning glory.

 
Neutral Bedroom with Crafty Hidden Storage
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Hide away storage

Make the most of every inch of space like the owners have done here with their crafty vanity cupboardThis neat, discreet storage solution combines Scandi-style drawers, elegant glass shelves and sweet rattan boxes to create a stylish dressing area. The best bit? Simply close the wardrobe drawers to tuck it all away, keeping the overall bedroom feeling calm and clutter free.

 
Modern White Bathroom with Curvy Freestanding Bath
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Relax in style

Give your bathroom a sleek update with a cool, contemporary scheme. The original en suite had a bath but no shower, a concept the homeowner describes as 'completely alien to an Australian'. She redesigned the room to include both, with classic metro tiles, modern white fittings and accessories in tones of cool blue and grey for instant Scandi vibes. Short on space? Don't use a traditional wall to divide the room - try a sleek pane of glass instead.

 
Cosy Kids' Corner with Wall-hung Storage and Bunting
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Use every corner

Make the most of the trickiest of spaces with a colour co-ordinated kids' corner, like these homeowners have done by converting a nook in the eaves. Pile up pretty, oversized cushions, drape bunting and use canvas bags to store toys, then fill wall-hung shelving with books to make this the perfect place to enjoy a good read.

 
Organised Neutral Utility Room with Pale Moroccan Tiles
Photo credit: James French for Ideal Home

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Live and let dry

Keep on top of family life with a bespoke laundry area. The owners have stowed away their clutter with this stylish solution, complete with a beautiful butler's sink and wall-hung drying rack. Make use of every inch of space with storage boxes and sleek units, then choose pretty Moroccan tiles in soft colours to tie the scheme together and add a touch of personality.