Inner Sanctum: Maximum Calm in a London Townhouse by

Issue 1 · New Beginnings · January 6, 2014

Inner Sanctum: Maximum Calm in a London Townhouse

Issue 1 · New Beginnings · January 6, 2014

Hurrah—having just delivered the last box of books and clothes to Goodwill, my annual New Year de-clutter is complete. No one said living small and spare was easy, but once a year I do my best to fulfill my fantasy of leading a highly edited life with minimal clutter and maximum calm. Our oldest son leaves on his gap-year travels this month followed by college in the fall and our second son is only two years behind him, so I can hide my failings in their teen mess for a few more years. And I can seek respite and inspiration in projects like this Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London, where the predominant use of the white, while far from minimal, emphasizes a clean slate. Mixing in the patinas and textures of worn and well-loved pieces, this home has withstood the test of time and will carry on doing so long past 2014.

Photography via JJ Locations.

White Corian counter, Kitchen in Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: Simple roll-down blinds bring evenly diffused natural light into the kitchen. Cabinets with reveal handles (rather than hardware) and a white Corian countertop with integrated sinks keep fussy details to a minimum in this small space.

White Corian counter, Kitchen in Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: A new stainless steel range is integrated into an existing arched opening in the historic house.

Dining room in Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: In the white-and-black-accented dining room, a wood table and corner reading chair add a natural warmth

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above L: Pale gray walls highlight the architectural details of the ceilings, which have been painted white. The warmth of a midcentury Ercol chair contrasts with the cool gray of the painted cabinet. Above R: Carefully chosen objects create a vignette that is on the right side of clutter.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: A driftwood sculpture hung over a wood side table continues the natural wood theme observed in the dining room.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: In a sea of neutral furnishings, the foliage in the painting above the sofa pulls the greenery in from outside.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: A vintage clock, camera, and well-worn leather chair add a layer of time.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: The smooth, sculptural shape of the tall gray vase contrasts with the texture of the accordion paper pendant shade.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: In the stairwell, the wood bannister continues the theme of natural warmth while a sculptural white pendant shade adds visual interest.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: Floor-to-ceiling cupboards, painted white to match the walls, keep the bedroom clutter free, while a convex mirror gives the space the illusion of added depth.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: A slipper chair covered in white and a white pendant shade quiety anchor a corner of the bedroom.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: An accordion pendant shade and Danish Teak Slatted Chair bring the midcentury to an upstairs sitting room, where a white-framed mirror reflects light.

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: A simple picture rail provides display space for artwork and objects. 

Victorian house in Stoke Newington, London | Remodelista

Above: Pale pink curtains and pale gray walls make for a sophisticated color scheme in a child's room. 

The inspiration for my annual de-clutter last year was much more severe: see Clean Slate Living with Johannes Norlander. Which approach you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below. 



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