Written by Caroline Foster

Tour this home with a Mediterranean courtyard garden

Looking for inspiration for your own home? This gorgeous London Victorian terrace includes a Mediterranean courtyard garden, designed to make the most of the summer sunshine.

Buying a first home together is a landmark for any couple. When Christina and Jamie Richards began their hunt they were, like most people, full of excitement and expectation. But after a year of viewings, with two offers falling through, their initial enthusiasm was turning to disappointment. ‘We were living with my mother,’ Christina recalls. ‘It was a major help in saving for a deposit, but we were desperate to put down roots of our own. As we’d had no luck with our own efforts, we decided to employ a property researcher. Our hope was they would be able to find properties before they officially came onto the market,’

Mediterranean courtyard garden, with colourful cushions, outdoor rug and display shelfies, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris Snook

The couple’s wish list was for a family-friendly house they could grow into. They also wanted a location where they could walk their golden retriever, Bentley. Before long, something ticking all their boxes came up for sale in Parsons Green, West London. ‘I went to view it with Mum and immediately knew it was perfect for us,’ Christina explains. ‘At the same time, we went for wander to explore the area. It had a quirky, village vibe, with plenty of green space for taking the dog out for a stroll.’

The inside of the property, which had previously been a rental, was similarly appealing. ‘Structurally, it had been done well, but it was bland and masculine,’ says Christina. ‘I could see the potential to add our own stamp on it though and make it more to our taste.’

Hidden gem

Instead of a garden, the house only had a small outside area, but the couple had plans to transform it into a Mediterranean courtyard garden. ‘As we were planning a family it felt more important to have a large interior,’ she explains.  ‘The wonderful parks close by more than make up for the lack of outside space. However, the clincher for me was the amazing cinema room in the basement. I could easily picture us down there with friends and family, watching films or just relaxing.’

This cosy space also includes a bespoke bar, installed by the couple. ‘The big roof light allows light to flood in, so you never really feel like you’re below the ground.’

Basement bar, luxe lounging, sociable living room, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris Snook

Space enhancing

Following a second viewing with Jamie, who was equally impressed, the sale went through hitch-free. Wasting little time, the refurbishment began and the Richards carried on living with Christina’s mum for the duration. With a blank wall opposite the island, the couple felt that the kitchen looked out of proportion. So to make better use of the space, they added a new run of units there, that matched the existing ones. ‘Remarkably, they look as if they’ve always been part of the scheme,’ Christina says. Plus, they have doubled our storage and given us more worktop space, too.’

modern country kitchen, metro tiles, patterned floor, contemporary glazing, goodhomesmagazine.com

Modern shaker kitchen, two tone units, pendant lights, goodhomesmagazine.com

Images: Chris Snook

Christina grew up in Surrey, while Jamie’s enviable childhood revolved around the beach in Australia. Both of these locations have influenced the look and style of their house.  ‘A formal city home was never going to suit us,’ Christina explains. ‘We were after a modern country look that was both relaxed and welcoming. We also wanted to create space to display the pieces we have collected on our travels.’ With this in mind, the ground floor has been adapted to create a more sociable, open-plan feel.  In the living room, big comfy sofas and a log burner add a cosy vibe. The couple also had the original parquet flooring downstairs sanded twice to get rid of its orange tones.

Rustic edge

The dining area, between the kitchen and living room, includes a farmhouse style table and chairs. ‘Jamie and I met in Australia and I have a print of Melbourne trams on the wall above a painted cabinet we bought at a local flea market,’ explains Christina.

Rustic farmhouse dining table and chairs, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris Snook

Beautiful bedroom

In the couple’s bedroom, hanging pendant lights are a contemporary and quirky alternative to traditional bedside lamps. The luxe upholstered headboard and velvet chaise create a relaxed feel with a calming blue and cream colour palette.

City bedroom, pendant bedside lights, upholstered headboard, velvet chaise, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris nook

Guest space

Set against a white backdrop, shimmering metallic mirrors and a mix of patterned soft furnishings add a decorative touch to the guest bedroom.

Decorative gold mirrors, stylish guest room, hotel-style bedroom, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris Snook

Vintage vibe

The characterful bathroom features decorative floor tiles, a stylish roll top bath and painted vanity unit, along with classic metro tiles and a traditional style fisherman’s pendant light.

vintage bathroom, roll top bath, painted vanity unit, metro tiles, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris Snook

Mediterranean courtyard garden

What was once a shabby courtyard is now a stylish entertaining zone with the look and feel of a Mediterranean beach bar. ‘I designed this space myself,’ Christina reveals, opting for a grey and off-white palette with strong pastel colour accents.  ‘Waterproof sofas, cushions and an outdoor rug means it’s pretty much maintenance free and the festoon lighting reminds me of those wonderful little bars you find on Greek islands.’

Mediterranean courtyard garden, with outdoor furniture and decorative mirrors, goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Chris Snook

The Richards are understandably delighted with the end result. ‘The whole interior and Mediterranean courtyard garden works really well for us,’ says Christina.

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