Fabrics, bold colours and surface pattern feature heavily in Julia Grant’s charming Victorian house in Chichester. Her fascination with textiles and design began in her mother’s sewing shop, but today, she’s still to be found elbow-deep in fabric samples or else behind the sewing machine, making up cushions for her online homeware store, Winter’s Moon.

Julia’s home, which she shares with her husband of 21 years, art teacher Peter, and teenage daughters Gracie and Tess, is a quirky mix of periods and styles. The simple Victorian property was likely built in 1893 for the workers tending the orchards that once stood nearby.

Today, the only surviving evidence of this agricultural past, close to the centre of Chichester, are the names of the surrounding streets and the occasional fruit tree. Over the years, successive owners have made their mark on the house, including exposing the brickwork in the living room and fitting downlights in the ground-floor spaces.

The couple’s patient approach to the renovation is partly due to budget, and partly a respect for the evolution of a home, rather than a rip-it-out-and-start-again attitude to design and décor.

Essential repairs

  • Strip back unwelcome additions including the ground floor carpet
  • Installing a new bathroom and boiler
  • Renovating the kitchen
  • Installing a woodburner in the living room
  • Building a decked terrace in the garden
Victorian pattern house semi-detached exterior

The property’s classic Victorian façade belies its bright interior

Victorian pattern house blue sofa yellow walls

Julia re-covered this vintage sofa in a Villa Nova fabric. The striped rug is from Habitat, and the prints on the wall a mix of fleamarket finds. ‘We could have knocked through the living room and the reception room for an open-plan look, but retaining two rooms is more practical for us as a family,’ explains Julia

Victorian pattern house home office workspace

The rear reception room doubles as an office-cum-music room. The desk is Julia’s own design, inspired by 1950s laminated kitchen tables. In the alcove, Zest emulsion from Homebase and a vintage sunburst mirror continue the Mid-century theme

Victorian pattern house graphic retro ceramics

‘Flint’ ceramics from Norwegian company Figgjo add extra splashes of colour

Victorian pattern house kitchen diner wallpaper

Originally covered in orange varnish, the kitchen units have been transformed with a coat of Embley Flat emulsion by Albany Paints. The addition of a Velux window to flood the work area with light, plus a feature wall of statement wallpaper, were the finishing touches

Victorian pattern house painted grey kitchen units

The cream rug is from Habitat and the hand-printed Twig wallpaper is from The Art of Wallpaper

Victorian pattern house dining area

The dining area floor has been painted in Cook’s Blue floor paint by Farrow & Ball. Julia added the tongue-and-groove panelling and the tall cupboard during her revamp of the kitchen. The pendant light is from Homebase

Victorian pattern house ceramic jugs

Retro jugs also from Figgjo

Victorian pattern house bench bright cushions

The cushions on top of the bench are covered in Julia’s updated Heal’s Verdure print, both from Winter’s Moon. The print, by Jonny Hannah, is from the Rowley Gallery

Victorian pattern house floral lampshades

Winter’s Moon lampshades are piled up on the vintage 1950s table that inspired Julia’s desk design

Victorian pattern house bedroom feature wall wallpaper

A stunning wall of Krysantemer (Chrysanthemum) wallpaper by Svenskt Tenn is the standout feature in Julia and Peter’s bedroom. The bed is from Habitat, with a throw from House of Fraser. The bedside table and yellow lamp were both car-boot sale finds

Featured image: The living room scheme was inspired by the Lucienne Day fabric cushions on the sofa, with walls painted in Calamine by Farrow & Ball. A cream Picasso armchair and Jack sofa, both from Sofa Workshop, rest on rich engineered oak flooring by D Forrestal Flooring

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