Combining classic English elegance with a sense of wit, glamour and luxury, Samantha Todhunter’s distinctive style has brought a new lease of life to one London home
What was the project?
My clients have lived in the house for 20 years, all the children have grown up and she felt it was time to give the house an overhaul. We started with the drawing room and have since moved on to the master bedroom and bathroom and I am now currently renovating the kitchen and dining room.
What was the design concept?
With the drawing room, with its elegant high ceilings and classic proportions, it was very important that the end result didn’t appear ‘decorated’. I wanted it to feel and be comfortable, to have the sense that it had been lived in and not to be ‘look at the new me’. My client loves colour so my starting point was Phillip Jeffries divine watermelon ‘Manila Hemp’ wallpaper. Layered in to this I used soft mint green and blue Jim Thompson linen on the bespoke camel-back sofas, punctuated with the crisp silk cushions with an emerald-green fringe, all by the amazing Italian fabric house Dedar. The elegant armchairs by George Smith I upholstered in a Metaphores coral-pink velvet. I love the mix of pinks in this room – watermelon and coral mixed with the palest dusky pink silk of the curtains and the camomile-pink lacquer of one of the Birgit Israel coffee tables, whose clean lines are a perfect foil to the decorativeness of the room. The way they intersect at different heights and the mix of lacquer top with a smoky glass top make them, in my opinion, a design staple. The Rug Company’s fabulous ‘Deco Diamond’ by Tim Gosling I had made to a bespoke raspberry pink.
In the master bathroom I wanted to evoke the atmosphere of an elegant hotel bathroom – lashings of marble and mirror and vintage lighting combining with sleek modern elements. The marble has a subtle creamy veining which gives it a slightly vintage feel and the chandelier adds the dash of luxe that every bathroom must have. A pair of 18th-century Chinese garden stools add a shot of colour and are perfect to either sit and chat or to stack towels and other bathing essentials.
All in all the project has been a total pleasure. However, if there was one challenge it would have to be the fact that the house is built on a hill and on a crescent, so not one line in the house is straight, which if you are in to symmetry can make life a little difficult! We were always in huge debates about what line we should follow to square up furniture, rugs, marble slabs, shower screens, etc! Hopefully the fact that nothing is totally square is not too obvious to the eye.
What are you most pleased with?
It has to be the delicious pink walls in the drawing room.
As I mentioned, we are in the middle of renovating the kitchen and dining room, which will be fabulous, and I am working on a 10,000sq ft skiing lodge in Aspen, Colorado, plus several great London projects.