This House’s Dripping With So Much Historical Charm, It Feels Like Stepping Back in Time
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Name: Solenne de la Fouchardiere, husband Simon Lee, daughter, Soizick, and son, Jasper
Location: Islington — London, England
Size: 1615 square feet
Type of Home: Georgian House
Years lived in: 9 years, owned
Solenne de la Fouchardiere, co-owner and designer at furniture and lighting design brand Ochre, lives in an area of London that feels like traveling back in time. Her Georgian house, which she shares with her husband, Simon Lee, co-owner at Canvas Home Store, is located on a cobbled lane “with two wonderful traditional pubs at the end of the street,” she describes. “Steeped in history, it feels that little has changed over the last 200 years.”
But it’s not just her neighborhood that’s dripping in architectural charm — her home is, too. “The building has all the authentic features of a traditional Georgian house; huge windows, tiny rooms, wooden floors, and fireplaces in all rooms,” she describes. “Since it is Grade 2 listed, it has its restrictions and we’ve frustratingly had our kitchen extension refused twice.” Despite the design limitations, the couple has crafted a gorgeous historical home with nods to modern design.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I like to source vintage products and mix them with the contemporary Ochre pieces. I’m drawn to products that are uncomplicated and raw.
Inspiration: Axel Vervoordt, French industrial pieces, and Scandinavian style
Favorite Element: Our bedroom. Love the minimalistic, monastic element along with and the warmth and brightness of it.
Biggest Challenge: The restrictions of making changes to the property caused us a lot of stress but in the end it worked out well and the historical features of the house have been maintained as a result.
Proudest DIY: I put up all my pictures myself.
Biggest Indulgence: A Gaia lamp from Ochre
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? The previous owners used to work from home and they had more or less divided every room, we re-opened everything. We put down 18th century French cobbles from the kitchen all the way along to the garden; we wanted to connect them and open up the space.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I love being surrounded by my paintings, one that I am very fond off and that we bought with our savings is by Siobhan Macdonald.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: The house is tall and narrow, with no built-in cupboards, luckily we are minimalists. I have a very strict rule when it comes to belongings, it is one in, one out.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I have a tendency to try to be bold with colors and I end up hating the result. For me, it seems best to stick to a plan, and to a scheme that brings calm and harmony.
PAINT & COLORS
- Main bedroom walls — Farrow and Ball “Hardwick white”
- Main bedroom ceiling and woodwork — Farrow and Ball “Pavilion Grey”
- Upstairs and first floor landing wall — Farrow and Ball “Railings”
- Upstairs and first floor landing ceiling and window woodwork — Farrow and Ball “Pavilion Grey”
- First floor bedroom walls — Paper and Paint Library “Blue Gum”
- First floor bedroom ceiling and woodwork — Farrow and Ball “Pavilion Grey”
- Bathroom walls — Farrow and Ball “Manor house Grey”
- Middle floor bedroom — Paper and Paint Library “Plaster II”
- Corridor and basement walls and ceiling — Farrow and Ball “Shadow White”
- Corridor and basement paneling — Farrow and Ball “Pavilion Grey”
- Living room walls — Farrow and Ball “Elephant Breath”
- Living room ceiling — Farrow and Ball “Setting Stone”
- Kitchen skirting — Farrow and Ball “Charleston Grey”
- Kitchen bottom part — Farrow and Ball “Pavilion Grey”
- Kitchen top and ceiling — Farrow and Ball “Setting Stone”
- All doors — Farrow and Ball “Down Pipe”
- Light fixture — Ochre Artic Pear Wall Light
- Cabinets — robert timmons furniture
- Design by Nest Design
- Light fixture — Ochre Seed Cloud light
Thanks Solenne and Simon!
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly listed the wrong company as a sofa resource. We’ve updated it to be more accurate.