No.17 House is a design-led interiors store and online sourcebook, but in its day-to-day existence it is in fact a real home to Sarah-Louise Marks and Christopher Phelps in Richmond, London. The couple behind Instagram handle @the_adventuresofus have been renovating their Victorian terrace house over the past year @no.17house, with their most recent project being their master bedroom. We found out their sleep space dos and don'ts and what drew them to a focal piece like the Soho Home Manette bed.
What did the space look like before?
'The walls were painted an awful dated colour and hadn't been looked after, the original fireplace tiles were cracked, and the old radiators were an eyesore that needed replacing. But the layout was exactly what we were looking for in a bedroom, and luckily for us the previous owner had installed some bespoke cupboards that were both useful and impressive. When you renovate it's a case of working out what can stay and what must go.'
Where did you start?
'Firstly, we recommend having a vision and putting it down on paper, or in a PowerPoint, in the form of a mood board. It's fine having hundreds of saved images on Pinterest, but that can get confusing and doesn't always tie in with the space you are working with, or the look and feel you are trying to achieve. By cutting out the things you like and sticking it all together, it really helps you visualise your space.
'Secondly, do all the dirty jobs first - start with the plumbing and electrics - and be patient. It will all be worth it in the end.'
What was on your moodboard?
'We wanted to make sure that our master bedroom was designed in a way that felt cosy and comfortable, but luxurious and elegant at the same time. We spend a lot of time in hotels around the world, which definitely inspired this space. Soho House in particular captures a simple sophistication, while feeling relaxing, homely and inviting, which is what we wanted to replicate.
We were lucky to have existing panelling on the walls, which lends the room a timeless feel. We had saved references of traditional panelling in a neutral grey colour - which we eventually went for, and followed up onto the ceiling, giving it a unified and cosy feel. We then built on top of this using modern light fixtures, elegant antique mirrors and contemporary sculptures to modernise the space but simultaneously retain a timeless aesthetic.'
What drew you to the Manette bed?
'Buying a bed can be a difficult decision as it is the centrepiece of the room, and the piece of furniture that stands out straight away. The made-to-order option made the process of choosing both seamless and customisable. We ordered fabric swatches to check the various colourways against our wall colour, which is Slate V by Paint and Paper Library.
'We opted for the Manette in navy velvet, which creates a beautiful contrast against the neutral walls, and adds a soft and luxurious feel to the room. We love the rounded edges of the headboard combined with its tall stature - it contrasts with the straight lines of our wall panelling perfectly. It made a huge difference being able to choose the colour and material to work seamlessly with the other textures and furniture in the room.'
Does having a bold bed impact the textiles you choose?
'For our bedroom, we wanted a neutral space with pops of jewel-toned hues. We loved the way the navy of the Manette became a bold base layer for us to build on. Depending on the time of year, we'll switch out the sheets and vary the throws and cushions. In the closing days of summer we opted for clean white linen, which is super comfortable and inviting. We've layered that with the Marina blanket, contrasting horizontal and vertical stripes alongside the velvet Munroe cushion in navy to tie it all together.'
Did you have any unexpected renovation issues?
'Yes, there is always something! We made a few mistakes with positioning of certain plug sockets and just couldn't live with them, so we had to have them moved - three times! Which is a bit tiresome, not to mention messy. So an invaluable tip is to take the time to figure out where you want your lighting and charging stations. It seems straightforward, but as we are not fond of wires, we had to make sure all the plug sockets were both functional and concealed in a way that didn't make the space look untidy.'
What would you do differently?
'If we could do it again, we would consider replacing the wood flooring. We're happy with it for the time being, but it's not our dream floor. Renovating a house is a jigsaw puzzle, and sometimes some things have to wait… However, if we were given a fresh shot at this room, that's where we would start again.'