Decorating your home, it should be easy shouldn’t it? But it’s not. It’s hard. Especially when you haven’t a clue where to find all those beautiful, covetable, off-the-radar fabrics and furnishings that only really, brilliant in-the-know people know about. Which is why, if you’re doing up your home, someone like Katharine Howard could just be your saviour. Something of a genius when it comes to decor (she worked at World of Interiors for 13 years, what she doesn’t know about trimmings, furniture designers and fabric isn’t worth knowing), Katharine has recently set up her own sourcing, styling and design company Katharine Howard Style, devoted to helping clients discover the best in fashion, lifestyle and interiors. Want a vintage Scandinavian table lamp? No problem. The perfect print for your daughter’s room. How about these? You get the picture…(literally)
And so, you can imagine our joy when Katharine agreed to show us around her beautiful home. Blending elements of classic English design with a touch of French chic and contemporary cool, she has created a space that is ridiculously gorgeous. Together with husband James, who also works in the design world, Katharine transformed the house, gutting the kitchen and bathrooms, and repainting the entire space to turn it into a family home. She then set about filling it with a collection of stunning furnishings, collected from designers, boutiques and flea markets, and then recovered them with exquisite fabric. Want to live here? We certainly do…
“I love the clean sharpness of blue and white combined with the warmth of the antique brass vintage lamp and faded gilded mirrors (from Josephine Ryan). For me it is a really chic and timeless style. I’m also a huge fan of Raoul Textiles so I wanted to include as many of their beautiful hand block printed designs in our house as possible. The room is double aspect with big windows to the north and south and the dark floorboards work beautifully.
Our Sofa is from AT Cronin Workshop, who hand make beautiful furniture using traditional craft methods. They are built for life and are super comfortable as well as super chic! They offer a bespoke service and can make any design you like. The fabric we used is from Nicholas Herbert.
We wanted to make the double reception room a space we would use in its entirety, rather than a space we use at one end whilst the other sits dormant, like so many double reception rooms tend to. It works really well and is perfect for dinner parties, as it’s just a tiny wander to sit soft and continue the chats. We eat here every day, it makes supper more of an occasion! The tub armchairs are from the The Antique French Chair & Sofa Company (01189 452664) and upholstered in Raoul Textiles.
In the kitchen, I was looking for simplicity – clean lines but traditional. I am over white lacquer kitchens with dark stone work tops, although I would love a white marble work top when we extend the kitchen. One day, we would like to extend all along the back of the house, to create a less formal dining area for family breakfasts and lunches. Upstairs is not so good for our daughter who is into throwing most of her supper on the floor! We want to create an Orangery style space with two sets of double doors onto the garden. We also plan to create a mini office in the side return to house the admin no one wants to see.
This room was designed to be a playroom by day and a snug by night. It works really well as we have a huge (and beautiful) EA Deco toy basket tucked behind the door, which houses all of the toys at night. The armchair and footstool are from The Antique French Chair & Sofa Company (01189 452664) and upholstered in Bennison fabric. The Rug is from The Rug Company and the sofa is upholstered in Raoul Textiles with gorgeous Raoul cushions too. We’re huge fans of Julian Chichester and are thrilled to have two of his prints hanging on the wall. The turquoise prints are from Bold & Noble, a great print supplier. It’s a lovely happy room!
This is our bedroom and I love it as it’s so calming and comfortable. We are really lucky that it is so light too. The floorboards are painted in Farrow & Ball All White, I love them. They’re not as perfectly white as they were to begin with, but I think that adds to the charm.
This is my daughter’s room. I wanted it to be pretty and perfect without too much pink! I love it and I think Amelie does too.
My biggest style tip when decorating your home would be to take your time making decisions and not to compromise on the big things. If you have to wait a while longer to complete the project it will always be worth it in the end, rather than rushing things and making mistakes or living with something you don’t love.
IMAGES: Eleanor Busing for Apartment Therapy