A Balanced Approach

by Jamie Mitchell in Interior designed homes

For designer Debra Kacher, who heads up London-based dk INTERIORS, creating a scheme for this large family home was all about striking a balance between style and practicality.

The project was driven by a wife and mother with a love of art and fashion, but the three-storey Victorian house is also home to her husband and their three teenage sons. ‘The brief was to create a warm, inviting home for the whole family,’ says Kacher. ‘It needed to be very stylish but also practical. Materials and design needed to be of a very high standard – stylish, elegant and suited to both masculine and feminine tastes.’

In preparation for the family of five (plus a dog) moving from the US to England, the house was undergoing a total renovation, which included a basement excavation that now contains a gym and a ‘chill-out room’. This work was already under way when the mother of the family decided the project needed an interior designer; Kacher came through a personal recommendation and worked closely with the architect and contractor.

Architecturally the house is a mix of modern and traditional styles with the original Victorian facade contrasting with a modern exterior at the rear. Inside, too, Kacher has blended traditional and contemporary design features, paring modern furniture such as sofas by Flexform with vintage coffee tables and side tables, and setting contemporary chandeliers including Ochre’s Arctic Pear against vintage lighting pieces.

As well as being practical and stylish, the scheme and layout also had to incorporate the family’s extensive collection of contemporary art, much of which has been displayed on simple white walls for maximum impact.

‘The client is very fashion orientated which echoes one of my passions and previous experience so we both wanted to bring in fashion elements but in a stylish, timeless way.’

According to Kacher, the client was ‘hugely fashionable and stylish with impeccable taste’, there were no specific restrictions to the budget though it wasn’t open-ended. There was however, a fixed budget for the boys’ rooms. In the boys’ bedrooms and the basement chill-out room, for example, materials and finishes were chosen to stand up to the rigours of typical teenagers, while the ground and first floor – more the adults’ domain – have a higher spec’, with fine natural materials and finishes, such as marble in the main bathrooms, which Kacher hand-picked from a stone merchant, and smoked oak floors that give the scheme a solid, timeless quality. Kacher says it was all about ‘balancing luxury and style with comfort and practicality’.

The family was quite clear about what each of them needed from their new home, and to fulfil those needs, Kacher designed several key pieces of bespoke furniture, such as wardrobes that are tailored to suit the style and storage needs of each resident, and an island designed for the dressing room of the lady of the house which holds, jewellery, lingerie, swimwear and other accessories as well as a large shoe collection.

Kacher says this project went like a dream – not least because client and designer shared certain tastes and interests. ‘The client is very fashion orientated which echoes one of my passions and previous experience so we both wanted to bring in fashion elements but in a stylish, timeless way.’

The success of the final scheme is also down to the meticulous sourcing of products and materials, which have created an interior that feels coherent and natural while also catering for hugely diverse needs and interest – from football to fashion.

‘Sourcing was a major element of this project,’ says Kacher, ‘from well known and lesser-known suppliers as well as from art and antique fairs – in this project we did it all.’

dk INTERIORS – www.dkinteriors.uk.com

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