Name: Jenny Kakoudakis, husband Anthony, eight-year-old son, and Black Labrador Bella
Location: Warlingham — London, England
Size: 2150 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
Our home is a detached five-bedroom property in the outskirts of London, in the village of Warlingham. It is located in a quiet cul-de-sac alongside similar properties and fantastic neighbors. It's only three of us (plus the dog, Bella!) living here: Me, a compliance officer and award-winning interiors blogger, my husband Anthony, a business consultant, and our son George.
There was not a lot to be changed when we first moved in, other than the usual magnolia walls, brown carpets, and skimming the ceilings. The outdoor space was landscaped before we moved in and it was what really sold the house to us! The lawn has an unusual circular shape, and there are two decks — plenty of space for entertaining people in the summer (but also hard work and elbow grease when they need refurbishing!) The house has been re-decorated a few times over the last four years, the most recent update being the guest room which was given an eclectic "English B&B" feel.
A luscious green velvet bed sits in front of Little Greene wallpaper (called Paradise, in the colourway Feather). The side tables have the Lucas lamps from Pooky, with yellow velvet Empire straight shades. The coral blinds were chosen as a complementary colour featured on the wallpaper (they are from Hillary's Blinds). (You can see more of the makeover on her blog.)
What is your favorite room and why? The dining room with its bold wallpaper (Little Greene Camellia) is certainly a show stopper, however, it is the home office where I am spending most of my time and get creative. I love the dark wall and use it as the background for a small gallery wall (the art changes very often). The look is very simple to create and all the furniture is from IKEA (Billy bookcase and Micke desks).
What's the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I had been searching for that perfect coffee table for over two years. I was looking for something big enough to display design books on and which could take on the weight of feet during a movie night. Glass tops were out of the question and marble was just too expensive. During the sales season I found this huge two-tier coffee table with reclaimed wood top and black metal on La Redoute. It is 90 cm x 90 cm, has a lower metal shelf for all of my books, and a smart top that looks good in photos and can be styled in many different ways. They no longer sell it with a wooden top but you can find the all metal one still.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Turn to your personal fashion sense to create a home that reflects your style, instead of being guided by seasonal trends. If your personal fashion sense is all "sophisticated luxury" (even if buying from high street stores), you won't be able to live in a bohemian style home.
Also try to refrain from buying too many accessories that won't last after a season (and that includes cushions, too!). A home that is filled to the brim with products can make us feel anxious. Save to buy products that may be a little more expensive but are "future-proof."
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