The Hoppy House

The delightfully named “Hoppy House” is a mid-terrace Victorian property located between Clapham and Wandsworth commons, and home to Amber, her husband, their two young children and two rescue cats. Both Amber and her husband grew up in the area, and always knew that one day they would return to raise a family and build a home. And after three years living in Sydney, Australia, the couple did just that.

The renovations began back in January 2022, and the kitchen transformation began during that summer. The couple wanted the kitchen to be the heart of their new home, and this meant making it as practical as possible without sacrificing the look and feel they wanted. The rear of the property is north-facing, which meant very little natural light came into the small L-shaped kitchen, so they decided to open up the space to flood the room with as much daylight as possible, and added a large central island. A large skylight has been fitted above the side return, and industrial-style sliding patio doors now open up the kitchen to the garden – providing a seamless indoors-outdoors connection. A contemporary oriel bay window also provides extra seating, whilst beautifully bringing light into the room.

"Our home is Victorian and I love period features, so I wanted to respect the age of the property.

I also love the juxtaposition of traditional elements with new, modern additions in a complementary way - it's one of the key reasons I love living in London so much. That’s why we made the Shaws double bowl Ribchester sink key to our whole kitchen design, because it does this perfectly” said Amber.

“It's a traditional butler style sink that has a practical and timeless appeal. The added ribbing detail to the front façade adds that slightly contemporary nod I was looking for, making it a talking point in itself and a real feature in our kitchen that receives so many positive compliments.” 

The couple opted for Shaker style kitchen cabinetry, which is painted in colours inspired by dried Pampas Grass on the perimeter and Eucalyptus leaves on the island – a nod to their time in Australia.

The natural colours keep the space light and connect it to the outdoors, helping to create a calming ambience they thoroughly enjoy. They topped the cabinetry with Silestone by Cosentino in Eternal Calacatta Gold, a bright white quartz that has a bold grey and warm gold veining throughout. To add warmth further, all embellishments and hardware like switches, lights, handles and brassware are finished in traditional Antique Brass that has a contemporary, yet rustic patina. They also added rustic white brick slips to the side return wall, and laid natural oak parquet flooring to add textures and detail to the scheme. 

The now abundant worktop and storage space, created by adding a large central island, has completely changed the way they use the space. It serves not only as a food preparation space, but also as a busy breakfast bar for bustling family mornings, and as a place to congregate with friends when they host social events. The renovation has truly made the space the heart of their home for both the adults and children (and the cats, Sugar and Spice) to enjoy, day and night, all year round. 

We also asked Amber, a self confessed ‘seasonal interior décor enthusiast’ how she decorates her home at Christmas.

“As a family we get very excited about the Christmas festivities and the build up to the big day.

However there’s strictly no decorations up in our home until December 1st at the earliest. We visit the local garden centre at the end of November to let the children choose our Christmas tree, which they kindly deliver to us the first weekend in December when it's full steam ahead with decorating. The kids put up the non-breakable decorations on our tree (which I sneakily rearrange once they’re asleep with a glass of mulled wine in hand – shhh). I grew up in a home with very traditional Christmas colours of reds and golds, so we very much stick with this tradition, but you won't find red anywhere else in our home as it’s not a calming colour for me”, said Amber. 

“I try to continue the decorations from our front sitting room & dining room through to our kitchen to give a sense of flow.

I lay leftover trimmings from the lower branches of our Christmas tree on the shelfs, with eucalyptus, faux frosted berries, robins and pine cones. These are intertwined with copper wire fairy lights to magically brighten long evenings. Growing up my mum always decorated our windows with faux snowflakes which I loved as a kid, so have continued in our home by attaching glittering snowflakes to the tops of our oriel bay window and our patio doors. As well as festive tea towels, I have a bowl on our kitchen island for the first time this year planted with Ferns. I am also going to add some white Cyclamen and Hellebore – my favourite winter flowers,” she adds.

For the family, their perfect Christmas morning is spent in their kitchen enjoying a Mimosa and a smoked salmon bagel breakfast to fuel up, before going for a stroll around one of their favourite parks in the hope of spotting some of Santa’s reindeer resting after a busy night.

We hope this month’s blog has inspired your home interiors and your festive decorations, and from everyone at Shaws, we wish you a very merry Christmas!


With kind thanks to @ourhoppyhouse @tradephotographer