From the rustic herringbone floor to the textured tile wall that seductively catches the light, rich textures were key to creating the natural feel of this modern South London home.
For its interior designer, Andrew Griffiths, interior designer and founder of design studio A New Day (opens in a new tab)these are just two of the many tactile elements that have come together to create the ambience its customers seek.
Let’s look around us…
“I started the design process by asking them how they wanted to feel when they walked through the front door,” he explains. “They wanted a sense of warmth and ease and these textures all help influence how this home is experienced.”
Andrew was hired by Sarah Heritage, a lawyer, and Sid Vijayakumar, who works in tech, who were moving from a two-bedroom flat in Dalston, east London. They had just started a family (son Luc is now two years old and new baby Elin is nine months old), so this home represented an exciting new stage in their lives. In anticipation, Sarah had amassed an impressive stash of images she had saved from Pinterest, Instagram and magazines, so she could show Andrew the styles she liked.
Vintage motifs feel fresh alongside modern details in this entryway idea. “Double doors make the hallway much more open and connected to other spaces,” says Andrew.
Andrew once came aboard Shacklewell Architects (opens in a new tab) had completed the initial designs, which opened up the ground floor rooms to create three connected spaces. To complement this new flow, Andrew sourced herringbone parquet in a weathered matte finish. “A lot of people think it’s reclaimed blocks. It’s not, but that’s exactly the feel I wanted,” he says.
The zigzag patterns of the herringbone wood flooring idea add to the sense of flow from the kitchen to the front dining area. “This room is up to the occasion for entertaining, but for everyday family life, it’s also very relaxed,” says Andrew.
The natural textures continue with handmade tiles with a putty-like finish and an aged brass clad hood in the kitchen. Along with some choice vintage furniture, it adds to the relaxed vibe that Sarah and Sid were looking for.
Andrew’s bespoke touches play to the highlights of this new layout, including a modern kitchen island – although Andrew is almost hesitant to use that word to describe it. “It’s narrower than a standard island and quite sleek, with a curved, fluted cutout section for seating,” he says.
Textures enhance this practical yet indulgent space, from reed glass to wavy wall tiles and engineered herringbone flooring. The thin central unit is deliberately discreet. “Islands can be monolithic, but visually it feels light because you can see below and through parts of it,” says Andrew.
“As soon as the skylights were installed above, I knew this area had to be tiled. The tiles have a nice irregularity, giving an almost dappled effect when the light goes down,” says Andrew.
It is significant that the new layout puts the kitchen at the center of the ground floor: “It is literally the heart of the house,” says Andrew. Exceptionally, the modern dining room is located at the front and the living room is at the rear, overlooking the garden.
“The layout breaks with convention, but it works beautifully. Everything radiates out from the kitchen and the living room feels like a serene space to retreat to at the end of the day,” he adds.
The living room
“Sarah has a wonderful eye, but she suffered from a common problem these days – inspiration overload,” jokes Andrew. This meant that at first Andrew acted as both editor and interior designer, refining those initial ideas and then creating a fresh, cohesive look of his own. “I strived to find a style that suited the bones of the house and matched how Sarah and Sid wanted to use their home designed for families,” he says.
Vintage chairs add a casual character to this back living space. “I wanted to honor the history of the house and the eras it has gone through,” says Andrew.
Crittall-style doors have transformed the back of the house, opening onto a garden that feels like an oasis of calm. The sofa’s deep ruby hue is a softer echo of the blush and gray tones of a vintage coffee table.
Upstairs, the clever design ideas continue. An oversized headboard makes the master bedroom feel larger, while the adjoining skinny room has been transformed into an en-suite bathroom, with glossy dark blue tiles adding a touch of glamour.
A custom oversized headboard adds geometric flare. “Its width deceives the eye, so the bed area seems more generous,” says Andrew. In the bathroom, the blue horizontals turn into verticals with the shiny tiles. “The warm earth tones mean this room is warm and cozy in the evening, but light and cool in the morning,” says Andrew.
Large-format tiles give the impression of wall-to-wall marble. “We opted for strong geometric lines, sharp contours and flowing marble patterns,” says Andrew.
While the modern master bedroom palette leans towards cozy earthy tones, the children’s rooms dive into dreamy blues and soft yellows, creating spaces that Luc and Elin won’t be out of town for a long time. And throughout the house, Andrew has worked in bespoke hidden storage. “I wanted the spaces to be beautiful but practical.” he says. “It’s a home that can adapt as their family grows.”
See more : a magnificent garden terrace high in the sky