Inside design enthusiast Gillian Martin's beautiful home

Design enthusiast Gillian Martin recently won the Are you an ACHICA shopper? competition. She invited us to go and visit her beautiful home, which she shares with husband Christian Harper and two-year-old son George. Take a look inside here …                                                   
How did you go about creating your new home?

The design of our open-plan kitchen/diner/family room is an amalgamation of mine and Christian’s taste. Whereas I favour a more modern look, Christian loves traditional style, so we blended the two together.

I’m blessed to have such a practical husband (he’s a surveyor) with an outstanding vision and he sacrificed the best part of a year gutting, designing and rebuilding the infrastructure of our home. My input was purely aesthetic.

Given we have a two-year-old son, we promptly came to the decision that the colourscheme would have to be practical...hence the sofa. If we didn’t have a child, believe me it’s not a colour I would have chosen. It proved an onerous task finding soft furnishings to compliment it and I was sorely tempted to return it at one point!

My eureka moment arrived when I stumbled across Sanderson's 50's fabrics - these combine 1950's designs from the Sanderson archive with designs from contemporary artists. I ordered a meter of Hayward fabric in gold/mauve and decided to have some cushions made up. In a bid to avoid over-neutralising the room, I decided to embrace the purple in the cushions. My next purchase was the purple velvet lamps from Heal's. In my opinion, the filigree Connaught mirror, which I bought from ACHICA, is the piece de resistance of the kitchen/diner/family room. If I’m honest it was an impulse buy, but I had a feeling it might work.

Which designers do you admire and why?

I am not a dedicated follower of trends or designers. I like clean lines and practical surfaces. Our kitchen table can seat up to 12 people and was custom-made for the dining booth that Christian built, but the top is Formica so my son can paint and play with no fear of being reprimanded!

What do you love most about your new home?

I love the space we’ve created, which opens up onto he garden - it’s made it very easy to entertain and relax with our friends and family. They love coming to stay - getting them to leave is the problem!

Photos: Alex Mackenzie

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor