This is a family who loves to travel, and their beautiful Victorian townhouse sings with bright colours and interesting pieces. Here Alison helped source a mix of old, new, and reclaimed items including doors and light fixtures from France and paintings from Ukraine. She then advised on how best to arrange and display them so that fabulous ‘conversations’ are happening in every corner of the house. Loved furniture was re-upholstered, and auction houses were scoured for the perfect additions. The look is elegant, eclectic and intensely sociable.
This stunning 1920s family home is Alison’s largest project to date. When the clients first bought the property it had not been touched for 30 years and a total revamp was called for, including an attic extension and new plumbing, electrics, and lighting throughout. With children ranging from teenage to toddler this house had to work for everyone, with plenty of communal space as well as some calmer corners to retreat to. The clients love good design and well-made things, and wanted a sense of timeless good taste that mixed both old and new pieces. Their children wanted fun, individual bedrooms including a theme from outer space. Downstairs the house feels light and airy, with pale colours and modern bird and flower prints. It’s ‘smart country’ with a design twist.
This 1920s country home is another ‘whole house’ project for Alison who advised on all the decoration and sourced many interesting items at auction to complement existing pieces. The client is a garden designer and wanted to bring the outside in as much as possible so birds and flowers appear throughout, including in the botanical-inspired master bedroom. The mood is warm, glamorous, and colourful – there are interesting things to look at and comfortable places to sit throughout the house as the client is also a consummate hostess and loves to travel. Her Iranian heritage also comes through with heirloom rugs, jewel tones, and a warm exuberant feeling throughout the space.
How do you make a busy family home feel like a boutique hotel? In this large Georgian country house Alison took on a ‘personal shopper’ role – commissioning bespoke, standout pieces such as the linen cupboard on the landing and other large pieces of furniture and cabinetry that were made to order. She also sourced art from local galleries, and brought over a selection of work for the client to choose from. She found soft furnishings, mirrors, and all the other details that bring a look together and styled each room. Alison especially likes the chic dark blue colour used for the family boot room, and describes the whole feel of the house as “cool, contemporary, but still comfortable.”
This six bedroom beachside holiday home on the Suffolk coast was another ‘whole house’ refurbishment project for Alison. All new bathrooms and a new shaker-style kitchen were designed and fitted, and then a relaxed, bright colour scheme was devised that matched the ‘shoes off’ feeling of the space. Alison also sourced all the curtains, covers, cushions and other soft furnishings and delivered a property that had been worked out meticulously but that invited the owners to simply relax and enjoy.
This large semi-detached Arts & Crafts house started as a blank canvas. Period details like wood panelling and deep skirting boards were kept but every room was gutted, and a modern, open kitchen extension was added. Alison’s brief was to completely refurbish the space, choosing all fabrics, carpets and paint colours to make the house ‘flow’. Her talent as a personal interiors shopper and stylist came to the forefront here too as family heirlooms, antique furniture, and much loved art work needed to be displayed in fresh settings and shown at their best alongside some fun additions. A careful, subtle use of colour and pattern mean that pieces now ‘talk to each other’ in a harmonious whole.
Most homes already contain a design starting point – a particular feature or colour or favourite piece of furniture or art that sparks everything else. Balzanos, Alison’s first commercial project, was no different. Here she took her inspiration for the stunning ‘tile effect’ wallpaper at the back of this buzzing Cambridge café from the packaging on the deli shelves. The multi-coloured bags of Italian pasta and tins of tomatoes and jars of olive oil then provided her with the tonal base for the rest of the space – colours that she picked up and reworked in flooring, lighting, café furniture, display areas, and the counter space itself. The new owner was delighted. He had inherited this traditional delicatessen from his own father but had wanted to re-design the layout of the shop and expand Balzanos to include a café area that would be a home from home for the local community. Now this much-loved independent business is more successful than ever, without losing any of the things that made it special in the first place. Including the fabulous pasta …
Chaucer Road (ongoing)
Sometimes there are two design influences coming together in the same space. Here the drawing room in this generous early Edwardian family home needed refreshing, but the clients loved both ethnic and modern styles. The challenge was to combine the two, and Alison commissioned bespoke furniture and a discreet television cupboard, and created a light, bright combination of curtains, cushions and paint.
Cranmer Road (ongoing)
A two storey extension project for this detached family home meant Alison was asked to create an entirely new kitchen/diner space with additional family den, boot room, utility room and larder; plus an upstairs study and guest bedroom. Kitchen units, porcelain floor tiles, lighting, dining furniture, and blinds were sourced; as well as sofas, curtains, and a stove for the den. The clients love to entertain and wanted a comfortable contemporary space that works for all ages. Clean cool colours and a fresh twist on country florals and stripes make this house chic and welcoming.
At the end of an exhausting renovation project this client just needed a final shot of creative energy for her Victorian detached house. Alison’s brief was “tie it all in and finish it off”! That meant commissioning a bespoke rug for the sitting room, re-upholstering the antique furniture to give it a new lease of life, and sourcing the curtains and cushions that would unify the overall style. This home is in the countryside and the client was keen to ‘bring the outside in’ as much as possible. Alison worked with lots of green tones and fresh botanical prints across the sitting room, study and landing areas and brought spring back to this property after a long, hard winter of building work!
Having previously lived in a more traditional style home, this newly retired couple wanted a fresh start and contemporary furnishings for their new build Cambridge house. Alison worked with the existing bedroom wallpaper and fixtures and added curtains and cushions to help her clients tie the look together. The high picture window needed careful thought – Alison found a solution that kept the light and lovely open view whilst still offering privacy. This wasn’t a large project but even small changes can make a huge difference to the overall feel of a room.
The young family living here wanted bright colours and a bright, modern feel for their city centre property. Alison revamped and redecorated the whole house, including all new kitchen and bathrooms.