An Eclectic Edwardian House in South London

If there were ever a house made for the word ‘eclectic’, Janice Redington’s South London home might well be it. Since moving in four years ago, Janice and her husband Tony have created their ideal home through upgrading, decorating and hunting for perfect furnishings– and the result is a gorgeous mix of classic meets modern.

First drawn to the beautiful fireplaces, original tiling and airy Edwardian space, Janice and her family decided to look past some much needed improvement work and see the potential of the property underneath. Determined to do as much of the renovation work as possible, Janice first set about stripping the stunning feature fireplaces of a dozen layers of gloss paint; an effort which she openly admits was a real labour of love. Next was the task of stripping the original Edwardian floorboards, as well as renovating the kitchen and hallway and decorating almost every room in the house.

Conscious of making the most of the original features, Janice tries to keep the walls neutral, using soft furnishings to preserve and highlight certain aspects of the house – and it definitely works, with the striking original features standing out against the pale backgrounds.

A seven room house, Janice furnishes her home with finds from a range of sources – many of the pieces are from Cavaliero Finn, while she often visits East Dulwich based boutique Mrs Robinson for any second-hand leather items. Artwork also adorns the walls, most of it recent; Janice has accumulated most of the pieces within the last 18 months, and explains that she’s developing a love for modern art, feeling her way to find out what she likes.

Janice’s favourite way to source new finds? Items gifted by relatives, left abandoned in skips, and donated at the charity shop where she works – she admits to always keeping an eye out for any bargains that are brought in. One of Janice’s favourite charity shop acquisitions has to be the bold red and gold-patterned curtains in the master bedroom; brought in as a roll of fabric, Janice decided to rescue it on a whim after it had lain ignored on the floor for several weeks. She laughs now at the memory of struggling with the fabric on the bus home, and also at her decision to pick it at all; she openly admits she would never have chosen it herself due to the strong palette of colours. Now hanging as fantastic curtains, the pattern fits perfectly in with the rest of the room.

Asked about inspiration, Janice reveals that she doesn’t search for it – instead, she lets it come to her. Sometimes in the form of an interesting colour, and from dress fabrics to a pair of shoes, Janice finds inspiration anywhere and everywhere – but she always strives to be that little bit different, putting together furnishings on a trial and error basis to see what works and what doesn’t.

So, what does British design mean to Janice? She definitely feels that it’s moving away from the traditional country cottage style and suggests that British design is now about an eclectic mix of styles. An Edwardian house with Danish leather furniture, filled with finds from charity shops and designer boutiques?  We’d say Janice Redington’s house certainly defines the phrase eclectic mix – a style which we think will definitely have a part to play in the future of British design.

Eclectic Edwardian originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Photographed by Jon Day. Styled by Emily Henson. Words by Claire Marie-Slight.