The yellow entryway bench and cane closet in this Sussex home prove storage can be fun

It was never expected that Katy Mitchell, owner of a Victorian townhouse in West Sussex, England, would hire an interior designer once she got the keys last summer. But after moving with her husband, Alex, and their 9-year-old daughter, Chloe, from a 500-year-old cottage and selling most of its antiques to its new owners, she conceded that she needed some some help. to fill their space with stylish new furniture. Not to mention that as a busy working mom (she’s the general manager of a commercial laundry business), Mitchell admits she just didn’t have the time or the imagination to bring their home to life herself. new house. “Left to our own devices, it would have taken a really ordinary direction,” she says.

Fortunately, the couple’s project manager, Will Vaughan, who managed the property’s one-story kitchen extension and renovation, is married to Holly Vaughan of Vaughan Design & Development. “In a very cute way, the litter turned away from me asking Holly, ‘Can you help me sort my furniture?’ to her saying, “Let me design your house for you!” Mitchell laughs.

bathroom powder green paneling

From the get-go, Holly pushed the boundaries with her time-poor but open-minded client with blue geometric floor tiles and yellow tongue-and-groove wall panels in the lobby. “I can’t help smiling when I see him; it’s so visually striking,” notes Mitchell. They saw the adjacent kitchen-diner as an opportunity to embrace a more classic feel. “Katy wanted Shaker-style cabinetry and I’ve long loved Edward Bulmer’s Azurite Blue,” says Holly of the bold spray-painted finish. To add a touch of texture, the designer clad the walls in ribbed tile and blasted the upper cabinet fronts and replaced them with fluted glass panels.

blue kitchen cabinets

Holly reinvented the few pieces of furniture Mitchell and her family had saved from their old home to match the new decor. This included a dated pouf, once upholstered in a Laura Ashley floral fabric (it is now upholstered in a textured bouclé-like finish by Tibor) and a wingback chair, which she upholstered in a Flora Soames graphic fabric. “The print is so loaded that at first I wasn’t sure,” says Mitchell. Fortunately, she accepted on a whim at the end of a very tiring week. “Now it’s one of my favorite pieces,” she adds. The quiet library is also her go-to spot, thanks to the addition of rhubarb-colored shelving: “On the days I work from home, I’m in there and it’s always so cool.

yellow dining bench

One of the challenges Mitchell threw at Holly and Will was his need for integrated elements throughout. In the entryway, this took the form of a neat corner bench with lift-up storage to store the dog’s shoes and leashes. In the master bedroom, Holly embellished the cabinetry with diamond-shaped rattan inserts and Beata Heuman’s brass bow-shaped hardware. “I use them every day, and simple touches like these handles make such a difference,” Mitchell says of the high detail.

rattan closet bedroom doors

To keep costs down, Holly and Will relied on their in-house carpenters for these bespoke projects whenever possible. The designer also embraced affordable alternatives, such as sourcing fabric for blinds from Haines Collection, which sells end-of-roll and faulty prints from major brands, and a stonemason’s creation of a charming detail of scallops from marble scraps for the laundry room counter and backsplash. Dining chairs look plush but are actually from Zara Home, while bespoke headboards sit on budget couch bases (you can’t tell as they’re hidden behind valances contact information).

Although the project was completed over six months ago, there are still plenty of finishing touches to add, a task Mitchell relishes now that all major work is complete. “When I have 10 minutes to spare, I go online to look for a nice throw pillow or a new lampshade,” she says. And when she’s totally confused, Mitchell knows it’s always good to ask for help.


Local vintage shop: Le Pays Brocante in Midhurst (and its fairs!).

Favorite Local Home Stores: Hambledon Home and Vintage on the Vine are Instagram sellers but local, and both have a nice stock.

Where do I buy plants and gardening equipment: We use Crocus quite often for indoor and outdoor plants.

Object in my house that is used the most: The bench around the kitchen table. There’s plenty of handy storage underneath for games and crafts.

Textile in my house which is so me: The Flora Soames Cornucopia fabric that we used to upholster the wingback chair.

Who to know

The best entrepreneur I’ve ever met: Will Vaughan.

Other highly recommended artisans: John Haswell, our upholsterer; Jenny Lewis, the curtain maker; and Surrey Marble & Granite, our stone supplier.

If I could turn back time: I would leave a little more budget for fun trinkets in the final stage. Perfecting the character of the space is always so important!

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