Q&A with Lily Paulson Ellis

Interior Designer

A favourite project of 2019 was the incredible renovation of this Edwardian family home in Barnes Village. We were appointed by Lily Paulson-Ellis and her husband to design, manufacture and install the kitchen / dining area, pantry, wine room and utility/boot room.

Lily Paulson Ellis - Humphrey Munson

How did you find Humphrey Munson?

Through Instagram 

What was your original brief for the project in terms of the kitchen / dining / pantry / wine / utility and boot rooms?

It was very detailed! I listed out everything that we needed to accommodate from cutlery, glasses, baking kit and knives to a ‘man drawer’ of car keys and hair bands etc, and as real foodies we had a strong idea of what we wanted in terms of the cooking appliances.

Antique effect mirror is one of my favourite finishes and one I tend to include in most of my interior design projects so an antique effect mirror splashback was high up on the priority list – and that lead us instinctively to a layout with the hob at the centre of the back wall.

Any concerns I had about washing-up being too visible during a dinner party were put to bed by H|M’s clever solution of a double sink with a sunken draining tray so that washing up is hidden from view.

Lily Paulson Ellis - Humphrey Munson

We absolutely love the interior design details and finishing of the project, can you give any advice on how you layered this all in together?

Thank you. The main reason for our extension was to maximise natural light in an area that had previously been quite dark and dingy so we wanted to keep a light and airy feel to the space. This meant balancing out the architectural details of the crittal doors and the exposed brickwork with cool greys and H|M’s ‘Tailored Grey’ was perfect for the perimeter cabinetry – it’s a soft grey with a lot of warmth.

I would always suggest making sure that all your metal finishes match for a pulled together and cohesive look – the sockets, switches, wall lights, taps and ironmongery are all aged brass.

Do you have any tips for anyone undertaking a similar renovation project in terms of project planning and timings?

It is definitely worth getting your kitchen designer on board as early as possible, ideally whilst you are sill working on the architectural layout and before the planing submissions to ensure that you are not compromising – you don’t want to look back and think “oh if only…’. Doing this enabled us to squeeze in our pantry as we worked with Louisa and Kate to reconfigure the space to ensure this would be the perfect size and accommodate everything we needed.

It is also worth considering that your kitchen will probably be the longest-lead element of the build so getting the design locked down early will avoid delays on site later on.

Which area do you love the most now that the project is completed?

That’s so tricky to say as I’m so pleased with it all – the utility room works really hard with our busy household (3 small children & 2 muddy labradors make for a lot of cleaning and laundry!) and the kitchen is truly the heart of our home.

If I had to pick an absolute favourite area though it would be the hob and island. It’s a really social space because the person cooking can see those sitting at the island and have a chat. Great for cooking children’s tea whilst helping with homework.

See more of this project here.