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  • Writer's pictureSusan Van Meter

How Do We Add Personality to our Home and Make it less Bland?

My home turf is Greenwich, London, an area full of elegant Georgian homes reaching from the Thames River up to gorgeous Blackheath, full of architecturally outstanding historic places of interest. Amongst this historic backdrop, SVM has recently completed an unusual residential interior design project constructed around 10 years ago, discreetly tucked away in a unique location close to one of the most desirable streets in Greenwich. A spacious 5 bedroomed modern house, with a spacious commercial feel which needed an input of personality and character.

The Brief: The owners wanted a design scheme that reflected who they are using sustainable products and bold colours. Having lived in the Bahamas they wanted a scheme that incorporated blues and greens, bringing the outside in using furniture with asymmetric curved shapes. A busy family with pets, so the house needed to withstand heavy use.

Final Approval: After consideration of the client's wishes a design was created and approved to bring an existing large and bland space to life using colour, texture, bespoke furniture and their curated art collection.

Giving texture to walls: We decided on polished plaster for the main sweeping wall in the atrium. This was based on the green accent wall used in the 'Great Room' that tied the two areas together to create continuity. The 'green' paint colour by House of Hackney was chosen to pick up the green marbling from the bespoke dining table designed by SVM.

Polished Plaster originated from Italy, and is a historic technique using crushed marble. It is hard-wearing, waterproof, has depth, and the texture is light reflective and luxurious. It really is quite beautiful and has recently made a comeback in the world of interiors.

SVM Bespoke Services: After searching for a Sofa of the right balance and size for the atrium the clients decided to use the SVM bespoke service. SVM designed the beautifully balanced orange curved chaise, produced by a local UK upholsterer maintaining their commitment to sustainable and local production. The sofa was accompanied by an SVM-designed large wooden bespoke coffee table and commissioned a local Greenwich craftsman to make it, using reclaimed timber joists from an old convent in Kensington. The silver leaf squiggle suggests the River Thames which is local to the house. See below.

The 'Great Room' (TV lounge) needed divisions for allocated living spaces to incorporate a dining area, TV and lounge area. See the before and after photos, below.

The client loves organic free-form shapes with curves and commissioned SVM to design an asymmetric dining table using bold green large-format porcelain tiles, once again manufactured by a local company. We picked a green from the 'marble' table and used this on an accent wall to bring the spaces together and create a feeling of warmth. See below.

The large artwork, on either side of the fireplace, was commissioned for a family member, an artist, depicting ocean scenes from Barbados, the rear wall where they hang was painted in a taupe paint by Paint and Paper Library to break up the large expanse of the white walls and provide a backdrop for the artwork.

We managed to select a sofa the clients were happy with, off the shelf, by BoConcept for the ‘Great room’ with curves and was large enough to balance out the space. SVM was commissioned to design the bespoke coffee table, a huge piece 2m x1m and 95mm in thickness made from the same reclaimed timber as the atrium table which gave the lounge area texture and a natural luxurious feel.

A bespoke rug was selected to bring the scheme together using specific-coloured yarns and manufactured using recycled plastic bottles.

The Finish Line: The clients were delighted with all the design elements. They loved the bold natural colours, a reminder of their life in the Bahamas and brought the outside into their home. The clear, allocated seating areas balanced out this large open-plan space. The texture of the polished plaster and natural wood emanated warmth and depth. The bespoke furniture gives the space a rich texture and a unique and luxurious feel.

So, how do we add personality to our home and make it less bland ?

How do you transform a home to give it personality? Texture, colour and furniture that fits the space are essential and of course, an interior designer that can pull it all together to create your dream home.

Plan your Space: You don’t want your furniture to feel lost in a large room, it needs to be balanced.

Furniture: Large spaces normally require larger pieces of furniture and interesting shapes which can sometimes be sourced from furniture retailers but often require a bespoke service.

Bespoke Furniture: SVM design and manufacture beautiful pieces that compare with the high street retail market. The idea that bespoke is expensive isn’t always the case. So, if you’re looking for something unusual and want to make the space unique, bespoke is the way to go!

Soft furnishings: Bring in colour or pattern with rugs and cushions to add vibrancy and warmth to a large space or keep it neutral using objet d’art to give it depth and texture.

Paint Colours: Think about the colours you can live with, Be bold. This is a big space and bold colours can often give off a cosier feel. Muted colours can be mixed with texture and art to create a more subdued feel.

Budget: Think about your budget. A large space can be expensive to complete in one go. These clients wanted to carry out the work in phases, so a budget was set for each phase.

The SVM Questionnaire: Our questionnaire helps our clients reflect on their likes and dislikes so we can successfully interpret what it is they want to achieve. Some clients have set ideas, but others don’t, and that’s our job to walk you through the process so we can create your dream home.

If you would like interior design help with your property, contact Susan here:

Our mantra is to provide the B.E.S.T Beauty, Empower, Sustain, Transform


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