By Megan Murray
Amid the period homes on a quiet street in west London's Acton, one house stands out in particular. Its clean-cut design has a Scandinavian feel with angular lines, a dark wooden façade, and floor-to-ceiling Crittall windows.
The overall effect is both design-led and serene; a light-filled space and the ideal blank canvas for fashion designer Orlagh McCloskey and her partner Brook Lomas's first home. 'Our house is an unusual building for this area,' she confirms. 'We wanted something different that we could put our own stamp on, and that was full of light.'
With plenty of windows and two sets of patio doors, the conservation area next door feels like a fluid part of the space. 'Parakeets fly around the trees and there's so much greenery that I forget I'm in London - it's very peaceful,' says McCloskey, adding that it helps her to unwind after work.
As cofounder of fashion brand Rixo, McCloskey admits it's hard to leave her role as a designer in the office. But it's this same creativity that's allowed her and Lomas to add unique touches to their home after moving in late last year.
'I love that we have put ourselves into this project,' she says. 'Brook has his own joinery firm, so he designed and built the furnishings in the kitchen and bedroom; I helped him sand and stain the wood.
'As the walls are so tall, I created the artwork myself. I used huge canvases that would show off the full scale of the architecture. I'm particularly happy with the green painting hanging in the stairwell.'
While Rixo is known for its clashing prints and bright colours, McCloskey says that her interior style is pared-back compared to her dress sense. 'As a designer, I'm inspired by a range of patterns, eras and shades, but I see home as a sanctuary - somewhere quiet and peaceful.'
Lime-washed walls and neutral tones are punctuated with hero homeware pieces, intuited by how the couple use the space. 'We wanted staying in the guest bedroom to feel like going on a weekend away, which is why we picked the Manette bed,' explains McCloskey. 'The rust-coloured velvet and scallop-edged headboard really makes an impact.'
Indeed, the couple say living in the house before decorating helped drive their decor choices based on how they use different areas - such as the dining room and lounge, which they've kept as open spaces to entertain, showcasing a striking multi-coloured dining table.
'I love hosting. I'm a candle obsessive and create atmosphere by lighting them everywhere. Once the atmosphere is set, it's time for cocktails. A night at mine usually involves one too many Aperol Spritzes,' jokes McCloskey, with a nod to her future plans for the house.
'Our next project? I'm hoping Brook will build a bar under our stairs, but I think I'll give him a break before we get to work on that.'