House tours
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A soothing, modern country style home

François recently moved in a new flat and I was very surprised to see that a lot of rentals are still painted in Magnolia (what the heck?)
It was already the case when I moved to London 18 years ago and even back then, I didn’t get Landlords’ obsession for Magnolia when whites, taupes and greys look so much better, soothing, modern and contemporary.
So here is my personal plead to UK Landlords: Pleaaase….let go of this colour. It does NOT look good and NO it doesn’t make the place looks warmer!
Let me show you what I mean by sharing with you these photos of Paul Massey‘s latest home renovation project (his thirteenth) in Primrose Hill, North London.

A SOOTHING, MODERN COUNTRY STYLE HOMEUsing a muted palette on the walls and painting the floorboards and ceiling in white to make the room seem brighter and larger, Paul Massey has created a beautiful, soothing and calming home.

John Lewis has a selection of large, plain rugs and I very much love this Flokati rug and this Darwin rug, both look super soft.
This industrial lamp is similar to the one on the bench and you will find similar stools here.
Made has some great sofas very similar to the ones above.
You can source vintage French furniture on Ebay or even better, go to Lille in the north of France the first WE of September during which the whole town is selling everything (call it a giant car boot sales). It’s a great experience which I highly recommend.
Creating a natural, calming home doesn’t have to be expensive. At home, I use these baskets to store remote controls and throws and you can create your own display/vignette by adding little objects with character like this linen roll with antique scissors, old picture frames, weathered wood gathered from the beach, etc.
Click here to read my post on how to create an effortless, stylish, natural home
This post will also tell you how to create a home that feels like a holiday home despite the gloomy weather.
Throughout the house, Paul used reclaimed materials and vintage furniture to create a very unique and relaxing look. The copper tap (above) which I love, was born from a sketch Paul gave to his plumber = total cost £30 (don’t you love that!?)
If you are on a budget but have original floorboards, sand them and paint them to give character to your room (while I appreciate the benefits of carpet, I much rather have natural or white floorboards that reflect the light than carpet).
Metro tiles can be found at Topps Tiles and you may want to read my post here, featuring three inspiring kitchens with metro tiles.
What do you think? Do you love this home? // Photography: Paul Massey with thanks | To rent this property, click HEREUpdate: Check out the other beautiful home renovated by Paul Massey I wrote about in 2007!

Filed under: House tours


Founder of Award-Winning Concept Store BODIE and FOU (now closed) & Photographer, UK's Top 10 Design blog, mum of one cool surfer, 23 years in London, now living by the beach in France, married to a kiwi.


  1. Moi aussi mais je préfère la maison qu’il avait rénové à Crouch End, toutes blanche, lumineuse et qui reste une de mes inspirations préférées quand il s’agit de modifier la structure de notre maison à Londres…

  2. A beautiful home, totally to my taste. I love the neutral tones and rustic additions. It has created a very welcoming, warm home. Rustic additions add a texture and a new dimension for the eye to take in. I love the copper tap – sometimes the simplest ideas have the greatest effect :O)

  3. I love this! I have been trying to evolve my home to a Scandi-modern black and white look for three years now, and it’s hard! It keeps wanting to devolve into a much more casual look. Maybe I need to embrace my family’s inner “country modern”.
    Mary Jo

  4. lovely. And your new blog layout as well:) the way does he use all the time the same furniture and styling for every home/house? going back to living etc and elle decor seems every house had the same pictures, sofa, table:) just saying, but still love it! x

  5. Hi Veronika
    Nice to hear from you. Each time I wrote about boyfriend jeans for some reasons I was thinking of you :-)
    Re. Paul’s home, it’s the thirteenth home he renovates so yes I think he does one up, use it as a shooting location for a while, sell it and move on to the next one

  6. haha:) yes I love boyfriends jeans, to hide my fatty bits:) how is your heathy programme going and running? I have been pretty rubbish lately, so yes boyfriend jeans can not wait to wear them again in summer:)

  7. Veronika, that wasn’t what I had in mind! :-))) It’s a look that suits you very well
    Running, I’ve just started again recently. I ran in New-Zealand over Xmas, then a bit in Jan, peanuts in Feb but I had committed to a 10K run last WE which was tough but good fun and yesterday I went for a 5K

    Food wise, I’m doing good too. I’ve taken gluten out of my diet and try to focus on eating less processed food, a bit like the Paleo diet

  8. Lene Estvad Christoffersen says

    Just delightful.. If I owned this flat I live in greysand whites would be on the menu for floors and woodwork too:-)

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