A fearless approach to design has resulted in Julia Eldon’s dramatic scheme.
Space for Julia and James Eldon’s growing family was the top priority when they bought a detached Sixties property nine years ago. ‘It wasn’t at all lovable,’ she recalls. ‘It needed everything doing to it, but the size was there and we could see its potential.’
First, with the help of a builder, Julia extended the kitchen into the garden. While work was under way, she received an interesting call from him: ‘He told me he’d found a hidden loft void next to the en-suite bathroom upstairs,’ she remembers. ‘It meant that we could knock into this discovery to form a bigger, more luxurious space. I was thrilled at the prospect of having more storage for toiletries!’
Spurred on by this unexpected news, the plans for a new en suite took shape quickly. ‘It was a generous room already, but the laminate flooring and corner bath needed to go,’ she says. When the builder finally knocked through into the secret cavity, Julia was delighted, as it was bigger than anyone imagined. ‘This was my favourite moment of the renovation,’ she smiles. ‘Immediately, I started planning how I’d use the space, and decided that it would be a wonderful dressing room, complete with one of my handmade sheepskin Mongolian stools.’
Structurally, Julia made a few changes to help bring natural light into the formerly dingy area. ‘I redesigned the roof pitch to create a vaulted ceiling and included two additional dormer windows,’ she explains. ‘This also meant that I now had the height to hang a gorgeous chandelier, which really enhanced the lavish feel.’ In came a glamorous and eclectic look to complement the opulent lighting, with the addition of wooden panelling and traditional patterned floor tiles, all set against a moody, dark-blue backdrop. ‘I spent a long time looking for the right paper to work alongside the dark walls,’ she explains, ‘and when I came across the House of Hackney Acanthus print, I knew it was the one straightaway.’
Julia approached the whole makeover with a confident grip on exactly what she wanted to achieve. Delighted with the end result, she shares an important piece of advice: ‘Dare to be different,’ she says. ‘Allow yourself to stamp your own style on a bathroom, just as you would do with any other part of the house. Don’t be boring, think outside of the box and be brave with your choices.’
Photography: Katie Lee, Words: Natalie Osborn