Hampshire based luxury residential design practice, Johnston Parke Interiors, was established in 2009 by Fiona Parke. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and Design before joining leading interior designers Todhunter Earle Interiors where she worked for 10 years. The company designs inspiring classic and contemporary spaces – taking the lead from the client’s brief and their needs to create beautiful and functional homes.
Johnston Parke Interiors provide a comprehensive service that is tailored and scaled to meet the precise requirements of individual projects whether that involves a full refurbishment or restyling an existing space. Projects are mainly in the Home Counties and London. Whilst predominantly focusing on the residential market, Fiona has also worked for a number of boutique hotels who want a more personal touch.
We recently worked with Fiona on a beautiful country house project in Surrey and she has kindly shared the images captured by Sarah Griggs with us and she spoke with HM Creative Director, Louisa Eggleston, to look back over some of the design details and discuss the project in more detail…
This project has been a few years in the making and unusually for most residential projects, started from the outside. It was a red brick building, and while not particularly pretty it had great bones so by cladding the exterior this could immediately effect a rather radical face lift. The house has now taken on a Hamptons look and feel with crittall style windows and doors to bring a modern edge to the home.
The kitchen design features Spenlow cabinetry finished with brass hardware and an overall soft, neutral palette. The island stands out with a rich navy blue to anchor it in the room and provide an easy contrast to the perimeter. The flooring is Brampton limestone, a versatile low maintenance flooring and one of the best sellers from HM Flooring Library thanks to it’s unique fossil details and exquisite blooms.
One of the first layers of transformation in this Surrey country house was the introduction of bronze casement windows. These windows not only frame picturesque views of the surrounding countryside but also serve as portals connecting the interior to the beauty of the outdoors. The rich, deep bronze hue adds a touch of sophistication, infusing the space with warmth and character.
When Fiona joined the project, the only things confirmed were the staircase (an incredible work of art by Smet staircases) and the kitchen / utility room. “My brief was to bring the house together and create a warm and welcoming home” says Fiona, “so I immediately set to work softening the house by adding wall panelling, layering colours, materials, art and lighting to create an elegant and comfortable country home“.
The utility room has ended up being one of those stand out rooms in the home with the beautiful ‘Hunter Dunn’ used on the walls along with Soane fabric for the roman blind and Jim Lawrence lights above. The flooring is reclaimed hexagon tiles sourced from a salvage yard in Wales – a long drive but totally worth it for the end result.
We love how Fiona has layered in the finishes and materials cleverly referencing back across adjacent rooms to create consistency and an easy sense of flow for example using the Soane wallpaper in the WC off the utility room.
The rest of the home is a triumph because when it comes to interior design, there are those who decorate, and then there are those who elevate a space into something truly remarkable. Fiona is a visionary interior designer renowned for her ability to create homes with soul and character, has worked her magic once again in this beautiful home. What sets her work apart is her innate talent for layering—combining colour, materials, texture, art, and architectural elements to breathe life into a dwelling, turning it from a mere house into a warm and welcoming home.
Fiona understands that the beauty is in the details, and that’s why cornices were introduced to the rooms of this country house. The intricate patterns and designs of these room cornices not only draw the eye upward but also add a sense of grandeur to the space. They are a testament to the idea that a room should not merely be functional; it should tell a story and evoke emotion.
To enhance the architectural interest within the home, Fiona introduced wall panelling. This layer adds an element of texture and depth to the walls, elevating them from plain partitions to works of art in their own right. The panelling invites touch, telling a tactile story of craftsmanship and care. Underfoot, the introduction of wooden flooring serves as a foundational layer that connects all the other design elements. The rich grain of the wood adds warmth and character to the rooms, grounding them in a sense of place and tradition.
One of the most enchanting layers added to this Surrey home is the carefully chosen wallpaper. Fiona’s expertise in selecting the perfect patterns and hues has resulted in walls that are not just surfaces but canvases. Wallpaper brings a sense of depth, history, and personality to the rooms, transforming them from blank canvases into immersive spaces.
This Surrey country house project is a testament to the mastery of layering. Each element, from the bronze casement windows to the intricate room cornices, from the storytelling wallpaper to the tactile wall panelling, contributes to the creation of a home that is far more than the sum of its parts. It’s a place where every layer tells a story and every room whispers an invitation to linger a little longer—a true masterpiece of interior design that breathes life into a once-soulless house, making it a haven of warmth, beauty, and character.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Humphrey Munson, and let me tell you, it’s been an absolute delight. From the design team to the project management, and the installers and finishers, every aspect of their process is seamless and incredibly professional. But what truly sets them apart is the impeccable finish of their cabinetry. It’s not just beautifully made, but it’s also exceptionally hard-wearing. What’s more, the attention to detail on the interior is as stunning as the exterior. For those in the know, Humphrey Munson is a treasure trove of interior design secrets and craftsmanship. Once you’ve experienced their work, you’ll never forget it.” – Fiona Parke