Coloured walls and vibrant artwork fill this Victorian terrace – even the garden is furnished
Colour rules in this Victorian terrace in south London – from the striking blue front room and bright contemporary artworks, to a slash of improbably green artificial grass in the garden. Come the summer, owner Cornelia de Ruiter’s small urban patch becomes an alfresco room: “walls” made from slatted wood, Asian-style; a bank of built-in seating made from reclaimed oak; a dining table that sits on a geometric tiled floor; and, opposite, a wicker bench with cushions and a side table.
“As soon as the weather allows, we are out there for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” says De Ruiter. “The best thing is, it’s an evolving space. Every year the plants grow more textural; I love the contrasting colours of the maple tree, the heuchera and the evergreens.” She replaced the real grass with fake; a combination of weather and children churned up the real lawn.
The front room is painted Dulux’s Blue Steel – it even envelopes the shelves. “People assume blue makes a room look cold, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” says De Ruiter, a designer – she founded Homewings, an online platform that matches designers with clients on a small budget, a year ago. “The trick is to go for a blue with a lot of grey or yellow in it, like this one, and to complement it with warm paintings and accessories.” Upstairs is a master bedroom, family bathroom and a study/artist’s studio. The attic is a bedroom for Oskar and Julius.
Throughout are a mix of high street pieces alongside mid-century vintage furniture. De Ruiter’s love of design started early. “When I was at university I’d scavenge the neighbourhood, particularly on bulk garbage day. I still have some of those pieces today. When it comes to design, never say never to anything.” Blue is the colour: in this home, there’s every hue | Life and style | The Guardian