Gorgeous Home Guide


Step inside this elegant Victorian house owned by interior designer Frances Halliday, and her husband Trevor. If houses could talk, this elegant Victorian home in London would surely have a tale to tell. It was once the home of Percy Lane Oliver, founder of the first voluntary blood-donor service. The four-bedroom home had fallen into disrepair and when Frances and Trevor Halliday bought it at auction in 2007 it was more than ready for renovation. ‘You could have filmed a costume drama in here,’ says Frances. ‘It was owned by the same family for more than 80 years and little seemed to have changed in that time.’

Frances sets the table in her beautifully light-filled open-plan kitchen/dining room…

As soon as Frances and Trevor moved in they decided to change the layout of the home. ‘It has a small kitchen and despite the fact there were some large reception areas, they were all closed off from one another,’ explains Frances. The couple decided to expand the kitchen across the entire width of the house. They pulled down a wall between the original drawing room and sitting room (above), to create a large space that extends back to a new family room alongside the kitchen and dining area.

When it came to design, Frances created a simple and stylish ‘chateau-chic’ look. For the walls, soft stone and slate tones were chosen, complemented by French furniture and ornate fireplaces. Honey coloured oak flooring with underfloor heating adds warmth to the look. The sitting room walls were painted in Paint and Paper Library’s Slate II paint, while the silk curtains came from Casamance.

Above:  Frances chose a mixture of modern and classic furniture to furnish her home. This is illustrated by items such as the perspex sideboard, which divides the sitting and drawing room above and sits alongside the traditional sofas.

Above: From the drawing room (above) the couple can see into the spacious family room, which is part of the open-plan kitchen/dining area.

The open plan kitchen/dining area (above and below) features solid-wood tables from Heal’s with chairs bought from IkeaBells Bathrooms and Kitchens supplied both the high-gloss and laminated units and worktops. ‘I wanted to eliminate cupboards altogether, so we used pull-out larders and drawers throughout,’ says Frances.

Stunning tumbled-marble floor tiles were chosen for the hall and kitchen and create a calm atmosphere. The home is a wonderful setting for the vast array of Trevor’s artwork.

The master bedroom were given an opulent French feel, with silk curtains from Malabar and a cane bed from Zara Home. The en-suite bathroom is an equally serene space with a beautiful freestanding bath taking pride of place. Try Drummonds for similar. ‘I didn’t want the house to look too ‘over-decorated’, but I welcome the fresh and the new,’ says Frances. With a mix of classic and modern pieces, the house is certainly beautifully unique and has been lovingly transformed into a place where the couple can relax and enjoy their style.

Words adapted from Emma Page-Roberts.    Photos by Robert Sanderson.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor