Library House // Kew

The black bookshelves with colourful books can be seen through the striking black metal and timber spiral staircase.

As an interior designer, Caroline understood the need for scale when it came to the library house in Kew. She started with the high ceilings in this Victorian-era home to create a sense of proportion, especially when it came to the library with its spiral staircase. The positioning of the beautiful pendant light over the staircase was critical – it took Caroline, the builder and the electrician quite a few hours to install this feature.

The double-storey bookshelves with sliding wooden ladder adds to the library feel of this room.

The double-storey library is a contemporary take on a traditional library – the owners’ three children have a section each upstairs, while the owners display their books downstairs.

The bookshelf wallpaper in black and white extends the library theme in the powder-room.

It’s clear the family in this home love books – from the two-storey library to the quirky bookshelf wallpaper in the powder-room and the window seats designed for curling up to read.

The spacious kitchen has a classic look with a warm timber bench and copper pendants to contrast with the white tiles and black cabinetry.

This home is a stunning design with plenty of space to gather together in a thoughtful design. The large kitchen with black and timber cabinetry, complete with butler’s pantry, opens up to a spacious family-room with large windows to the backyard and pool area.

The open shelves are streamlined with matching jars of spices and dry goods, while the deep drawers below the sink hold large cooking pots.

The butler’s pantry can be hidden by two sliding doors, and leads from the kitchen into the laundry.


The quirky hexagon-tiled children’s bathroom has a random design on both the floor and the feature wall behind the restored claw-foot bath.

Caroline offered many examples of black and white tiles to her client, to help create elegant bathrooms. All bathrooms feature black and white tiles in different designs with timber vanities for warmth.

Black and white marble tiles for the floor, plus simple pendants hanging over black-rimmed mirrors create an elegant ensuite.

The ensuite features drawer handles from the owner’s trip to Paris, used in the bathroom before the renovation. Caroline and Chrissie persuaded the owner to use them here.

This upstairs bedroom for the owners’ daughter is a warm and inviting space with a comfortable window seat for reading.

The spiral staircase in the library leads upstairs to the children’s bedrooms, bathroom and play area. Caroline understood the need to keep the upstairs design practical and light-hearted, with plenty of flexibility as the children’s needs change.


The living room holds a comfortable couch, a tactile rug and custom shelving around the television.

Caroline organised the custom-made window furnishings – a mix of shutters, blinds and sheers and sourced unique and bespoke furniture.

Caroline empowered the client to trust her own instinct, and gave her confidence to choose different pieces of furniture and fabric, including the lovely French ticking material for the window seats. Caroline used her resources to offer the client a variety of options to create depth and personality in this monochrome house with its quirky French style.

The clients appreciated Caroline’s relatable and approachable style, as well as her endless creative capability as an interior designer.

Architect: Samara Greenwood Architecture
Builders: Constructing Spaces
Photo credits: Tim Shaw