Published on November 29, 2018

Kate Watson-Smyth is a journalist who has been writing about interiors and design for years—but her biggest project might just be her own house. The house in question, a “typical tall, thin Victorian terrace house” in London, was completely renovated from two rental flats she bought in 2010. Now, the 1850s-era home feels fresh again, with contemporary accents and functional updates… all of which were added in without sacrificing the original charm.

Watson-Smyth recently took over our Instagram feed with photos of her stunning abode. There were plenty of cool color combination ideas and kitchen organization tips to be had—here are our top three. For more, head over to Watson-Smyth’s blog, Mad About The House.

 

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Look Past Expected Uses

Turn to creative layout solutions to make the most of any space. For Watson-Smyth, this entailed using the back of a wardrobe as a false wall in her bedroom to section off the room. “It’s slightly wider than the bed, and you can access it from both sides,” she said. “This means our actual sleeping area is calm and uncluttered while everything else is stored out of sight. Except my shoes. I like to see my shoes!”

 

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Infuse Character Wherever Possible

Even though she renovated the older Victorian house, Watson-Smyth didn’t completely erase the charm of the original. “We recently installed this wood burning stove, and I’m excited for colder weather now. When it came time to [build] the chimney, I wanted it to look as if we had incorporated the original coal shed from the garden into the house,” she explained. She took it a step further by using bricks from an actual Victorian chimney—hey, it’s all in the details.

 

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Don’t Take a Floorplan at Face Value

This gorgeous kitchen? Originally a downstairs bathroom. “When we moved in we added the skylight and knocked out the wall to make it part of the kitchen and dining area,” says Watson-Smyth. She added in open shelving for visual interest and a pink door she found in the cellar, and now you would never guess this dreamy room was anything other than a kitchen.

See more ways to bring charm home:
Found: The Easiest Way to Bring Charm to Your Rental
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