Inspiration of the Week: opposites attract in a Georgian red-brick
Who says classic architecture needs classic styling? This ravishingly decorated house in Norfolk, currently for sale, is evidence to the contrary
We all know the drill when it comes to decorating Georgian homes: keep it light, bright and possibly white (to max out on those sash windows), or else lean in to the gloom with historical accuracy – think tasteful drabs or the chicest of sludge greens. Add a spot of faded velvet here, bring it up to date with a bolt of slubby linen there. And there you have it!
Or do you? Why not buck the trend? The current owners of Sutton Hall, a glorious eight-bedroom house not far from Norwich and currently on the market, have done just that, proving that – when you know what you’re doing – running counter to convention can lead to some stunning schemes with an element of surprise.
In rooms throughout the robust red-brick home, prints perk up furniture (we love the wildness of the sitting room’s zebra sofa), while patterned wallpaper has been used to dramatic effect. We’re particularly taken by the vampish glamour of the green-on-black leafy paper in an upstairs bathroom, while downstairs, House of Hackney’s beauteous ‘Babylon’, patterned with majestic weeping willows, brings decorative heft to a hallway. Take a bough, we say, for turning it into a space to stop and stare, rather than one to saunter through. And, if ever there was an argument for rethinking Anaglypta, the distinctly retro textured wallpaper brand, it’s the dado panels of Sutton’s upstairs bedrooms.
When it comes to colour, the owners have taken the decision to push the palette in unconventional directions – take that sultry teal bedroom, which manages to feel glam without seeming glitzy. While many rooms are painted cool and calming colours, they’re always pepped up by luxy details: squishy headboards with curvaceous silhouettes, for instance, or fringed lampshades in all their granny-chic glory.
It’s a cliché to say that rules are there to be broken. In fact, we don’t even think it’s true, for our love of a period-appropriate renovation runs deep. But, as Sutton House proves so very stylishly, perhaps rules are there to be bent.
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