This Gorgeous UK Home Is the Modern Color-Blocking Inspiration You’re Looking For

This Gorgeous UK Home Is the Modern Color-Blocking Inspiration You’re Looking For

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Name: Paolo D’Agostino Bowe, his partner, and their cat
Location: Caterham ⁠— Surrey, UK
Size: 861 square feet, not including loft
Years lived in: 2 years and 6 months, owned

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I love our house as it has everything I wanted in a house⁠—two floors (I grew up in an apartment and always loved the idea of living in a house with two floors), high ceilings, a lot of natural light, a small garden, and a good-sized entertaining space. Oh yes, and a bathroom with a window, which is a must! I found this house after seeing only a couple of more houses before this one and I immediately fell in love with it. The large bay window at the front caught my attention immediately and the character of this crooked house made us fall in love with it.

We live around 15 miles from Central London and most of friends live in the capital, but we have our best friends living a couple of doors down the street from us. One of them is my best friend from high school back in Italy, and is a big part of the reason why we bought a house in this area. When they moved into the neighborhood, we visited them a few times and fell in love with the surrounding nature, so decided to move here. We love being close to, as they are like our family.

My partner and I both work in London, and [before the pandemic] we unfortunately really didn’t spend much time at home. But during the last few months we’ve had the opportunity to really enjoy the house⁠—we cook a lot now. Actually our only problem with the house is that the kitchen is not as big as we wished it was. But you can’t have everything, right?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I think the style of the house is eclectic, but not in your face! I love colors, but calming palettes. Nothing too bright or flashy! I’d say understated and eclectic is my kind of style. It is like I dress. I love colors, but I don’t like brands or names showing. Stylish but subtle.

Inspiration: I find inspiration everywhere I go. From shops, hotels, restaurants, Insta obviously, and fashion (for color palettes).

Favorite Home Element: I love that the house has character and it is not perfect. The floor is uneven, the walls are crooked, and it has the charm of an old house, which I think really works with the colors I love.

Biggest Challenge: As I said previously, the biggest issue with the house is the reason why we love it, too, and it is being full of flaws, which I try to hide with the use of colors and color blocking.

Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY moment is when I built from scratch our ribbed bar cabinet. I built it two years ago and it seems like this DIY has inspired a lot of people.

What’s your best home secret or advice? I don’t think I have any special tricks, but something that my father taught me to clean your windows is to use a drop of dish soap in cold water, apply with a sponge, and remove with a squeegee. Or if you want to use a glass spray, the best thing to use on glass and mirrors is newspaper! I don’t think this is groundbreaking, but it’s my advice…

What to people most get wrong about using color in their home? I think most people are just scared to use colors and think the house would look dark. I always think that if you have a small space, you should embrace it and paint it in a dark shade, rather than try to make it feel big with white walls. But I think colors are not for everyone, just as I think it would be quite difficult for me to live in a monochromatic house.

What are the biggest tricks/secrets to using color in decor? I always use nature as my first inspiration. And fashion of course. But I really believe that if you like a color and you wear it often, perhaps it’s a good reason to use it in your house, too. Maybe not painting a whole room with it if you don’t feel brave enough, but definitely use it as an accent color.

Favorite wall paint color of all time: I have MANY, as you can see, but there is one color I have used in almost every room in the house and it’s “Setting Plaster” from Farrow & Ball. It is such a versatile color and it can look very different when paired with different colors. 



  • Living Room — “Inky Pool” by Dulux
  • Dining Room — Bottom half is “Tuscan Terracotta” by Dulux, top is “Setting Plaster” by Farrow & Ball
  • Kitchen — “Setting Plaster” by Farrow & Ball
  • Hallway — “Downpipe” by Farrow & Ball
  • Master Bedroom — “Rich Praline” by Dulux
  • Spare Bedroom/Office — Walls are “Reading Room Red” and “Setting Plaster,” ceiling is “Oval Blue Room,” all from Farrow & Ball


  • Churchill Sofa Bed — Love Your Home
  • Valentina swivel chair — West Elm
  • Rug — MADE.COM


  • Tulip Dining Table — Pash Classics
  • Dining Chairs — Ebay
  • Mid Century sideboard — Ebay
  • White Side Table — Urban Outfitters
  • Table Lamp — West Elm
  • Rug — IKEA




Thanks Paolo!

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