Inspiration from the Houzz of 2018
On Saturday afternoon I tore myself away from a Cling-on (namely my little two-year old boy who was recovering from Tonsillitis) to spend a few hours in the heart of Soho to lose myself in a pop-up show-house by Houzz. This was just what was needed after a whole week quarantined at home with a poorly boy and to get my interior design juices flowing again. For those who don't know Houzz is an online community of homemakers and housebuilders where you can find room inspiration and also the people you need to make it happen such as architects builders and interior designers (yes I'm part of it too). Houzz started with a house when founders Adi and Alon redesigned their home and couldn't find all that they needed to make that happen in one place. Now it is a worldwide community of more than 40 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals and their show house that I visited was to mark the launch of their online shop. So basically everything you see in these photos is shoppable and can be bought straight from their website!
The show house is an interesting concept really because the designs are largely based on research and what people were searching for online last year and if you ask me the result was pretty eclectic but there was definitely an emphasis on cosiness and warmth. Design Studio Run for the Hills had the mammoth task of trying to bring all these ideas together in a coherent way in a property of quirky townhouse proportions where there is only one large room on each floor and as a result all the rooms have become multifunctional spaces. I'm going to work my way from top to bottom of the house (why not?!) and give you my lowdown of the Houzz of 2018...
My Favourite space
Without doubt my favourite space in the building was the children's bedroom. Some of you won't be surprised by that as I've written quite a few blog posts about the subject recently but what struck me about this room was it's warmth and cosiness that was so palpable. This was achieved partly by the warm dusky pink colour of the walls and the cool illustrated wallpaper by Paperboy but the main winner for me was the lighting. Multiple soft sources were dotted around the room giving the large space (no child would ever have a room this big) such a relaxed feel. I stayed in this room much longer than the rest of the rooms as I felt so much more at home here. The lighting was also at low level which is great for giving a warm atmosphere but also if you have toddlers and babies it means that the light in on their level. I really did adore this room and all it's fun details and it's use of raw timber materials.
Oh and apparently triangles and mountain murals were a well-searched term, therefore featuring in this room (high-five to myself)!
Bedroom, Bathroom, Office
There is no doubt that as soon as you walk into this bedroom you just want to climb into that huge bed and read a good book or have a quick nap. The layering of textures that I often talk about creating a cosy atmosphere really comes into play here to make the room completely inviting. The throws, the fur, the velvet and the marble all come together to make for a sensual experience. This space is truly multifunctional as although the leather bed dominates the space there is a sleek office area to one side and the room opens onto the magnificent bathroom.
The bathroom space in particular is getting a lot of love on Instagram with it's marble facade, black taps and shower-head as well as those Crittall shower screens which is something we are all coveting at the minute! All in all I loved this space, and it really had that hotel feel which is a look that clients often want for their own bedrooms. The big no-no here for me though was the bedroom office. I try to avoid working in my bedroom so my brain knows that it's the space to sleep and relax with absolutely no technological distractions in there (I will never have a TV in my bedroom)...
Kitchen and Lounge
Well the dark walls and burnt orange velvety-ness of this room was the instant appeal for me! I know that open space living is a huge trend at the minute and if you have the right space and property it can work so well but for some reason in our own home we have chosen against doing this. I think the layout of 1930s houses are so well-proportioned that it's better to separate out the rooms for different functions. However you can do some clever zoning of large spaces with the furniture arrangement and even the wall colour if you do have a large open room.
It was great seeing the dark kitchen cabinets as this is something that our new kitchen will definitely have (my moodboard and ideas to be revealed on the blog next week!). It seems that the trend is that we are moving away from bright, glossy, modern spaces and trying to invite that warm and cosy feel into EVERY room in our homes. And look at those large pendant lights making a serious statement on the ceiling!
Well what can I say, lots of inspiration from some of the top players and brand leaders in design and from Houzz and I'd say jump on the train and get to Soho if you can to have a look for yourself. It's totally free and you even get a free Nespresso coffee! It's great to see the celebration of so much colour and the best thing is that everything you see is shoppable and can be bought from Houzz!
The one thing I couldn't help but think as I journeyed around this townhouse in Soho however that one thing was lacking. It didn't feel like a home to me. And all I mean by that is that clearly no-one actually lives here. The term home for me is so undeniably connected to the people who live in a chosen and private space and who have put their stamp on their 'nest' with all its imperfections. Where were the scuff marks of the toys on the skirting board in the kids bedroom and where was the red wine stain from that dinner party with friends on the wooden dining table? And what about the milk stains on the sofa or the wedding photograph of parents on the sidetable? A home is not a home without all these uniquely personal touches because a home is created by the people who find safety and security in that place. And personally for me no space in complete without a unique piece of antique furniture or preloved ornament! I'm so interested in the whole concept of home and in spite that no-one occupies this space, there are just some amazing ideas of how you can make your home unique and cosy in these times of uncertainty.
I've honed in and shared my images of part of the rooms as you can see the full rooms anywhere online. I also didn't want to give the surprise away in case you want to visit yourself! It's open until Wednesday evening and the address is 19 Greek Street! Go and be inspired...
Yours in colour and creativity,
Disclaimer: As always, all photography by me.