talking interiors the blog

Let the townhouse talk – an uncluttered aesthetic part 2

As an architect specialising in interiors, my challenge is to walk a fine line between interpreting what my client is looking for and what the space itself is actually telling me.

That might sound a bit fanciful but if you think about your own space, when you moved in did you wait a while to decorate or did you just get stuck in right away?

Quite often when we don’t take the time to learn about or live with our space, we can get things wrong. Most of us have made a number of mistakes when it comes to décor. And although we generally evolve a personal style over the years, some properties flourish with a different perspective.

That’s why commissioning a professional to help you make the most of your space can mean the difference between a well-put together home and a stunning one. The recent Glasgow townhouse project is a case in point. The original features and the proportions are striking – so much so that the décor is almost secondary to the space itself.

Following on from the townhouse entrance hall – see my previous blog ‘Let the light in’ – I stuck largely to the same approach, letting the building speak for itself. With a wealth of lovely period details such as cornicing, friezes and traditional woodwork, I took a contemporary approach to the design. This pared-back style had the desired effect of bringing these features and the beautiful bones of the townhouse into sharp relief. Traditional fireplaces were retained in most rooms, although I added contemporary fireplaces to both sitting rooms.

Sometimes over-design can make a property feel a bit sterile. Although my clients naturally wanted the end result to be stunning, they also wanted their house to feel like their home rather than a show home. Simplicity is the defining feature of this project – design details included reclaiming the floorboards, painting the woodwork white and using simple white roller blinds throughout. Jane Nelson Interiors selected and supplied most of the furniture. The property is lit by low voltage down lighters, with carefully chosen lamps adding pools of light throughout the property. The end result is a beautiful, serene canvas, which allows my clients to add their individual design notes as they settle into life in their new home.

In the main living room, there’s no artwork on the walls to allow the room and the carefully chosen pieces to stand out. But there is an occasional surprise with some of the design notes, which feature strong colours and a vibrant wallpaper – such as the bathroom pictured here.  I’ve added quite a lot of images to this blog to let the house speak for itself.

There’s a particular clarity of light, which I’ve come to recognise in my time spent living and working in Glasgow. It’s diffused throughout the property, which is key to the success of this design project.

“Light is the first element of design; without it there is no colour, form, or texture.”
Thomas E. Farin, educator, lighting consultant, entrepreneur.