Laidback Living | Studio News: London Townhouse with an Indian Influence
Laidback Living by Doris Lee is a lifestyle blog that centres around casual everyday living
doris lee blog, doris lee design, doris lee, interior design, reading interior design, interior design blog, laidback living
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-23079,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

Studio News: London Townhouse with an Indian Influence

I’ve been thinking about writing on the blog a lot over the last few weeks. Thinking about what to write, thinking about writing, and thinking about the blog.Then today while sitting at home once again thinking about it, I decided to do it. Sometimes you can get overwhelmed with the idea of something and the fear keeps you still. The thing about having clients is that they don’t let you keep still. They are real people with real expectations. With the blog, it doesn’t feel like that, the only person expecting something of me is well me. So for this reason, I have decided to stop thinking about the blog and what I should write about and just document what I’m doing.

So here is the first step towards doing this, sharing my learnings, sharing my visions and my creative journey.

When I took on this project, it was like having to walk slowly through a pit of fire with bare feet. It was my first major project and I was on my own. No experience and no confidence. But I was also lucky in a number of ways, I had a great team of trades people who were very responsive and understanding of my short comings and I had a lovely client, who was extremely patient and understanding. I’ll be totally honest with you and say that I learnt many difficult lessons and made many costly mistakes during this project. I experienced sleepless nights, moments of panic in the early hours worrying about whether things would work and had extreme moments of doubt of my abilities and whether I was even in the right industry.

But as with all difficult experiences, I managed to come out the other end a more wiser and confident designer. And the key learning from this experience is that anything is possible and to not doubt my abilities.


When I first visited the site, I was taken back by the open and light space. The windows were in a varnished Oak and the fireplace was crafted out of old timber beams.

The 4 storey townhouse based in Chiswick, London was a run down shell when the work started. The client was starting afresh and wanted to create a home that would be full of influences from their Indian & East African Heritage and yet be a space they could grow into as a family.

With this brief in mind, we replaced all the flooring with a warm Oak wood floor to bring a feeling of warmth into the rooms. The dining area was separated from the kitchen via an internal wall,  and so the wall was removed for easier and direct access and a bespoke cabinet that doubles as a seating bench was installed for easy access to crockery during meal times.

 The beautiful period style radiators came as part of the property and were kept and used as a showpiece to the property however were relocated to accommodate the new layout.  Reflections of the clients indian heritage were introduced with metal cutwork lighting and a touch of glamour was added through the globe chandelier. The vibrant colours of India where introduced via a colourful vintage style cabinet and gold sunburst mirror.

We added a sense of history by layering the walls with vintage art sourced from flea markets and then framed. In the dining room, hand block printed fabric imported from India was framed and hung to provide both colour and warmth to the space.

Upstairs, what was once an attached ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe  to the master bedroom was removed and turned into an additional bedroom. A small empty room in the rear of the building was then turned into a contemporary family bathroom with a luxury hotel feel.

The Master bedroom was given a more contemporary look that included touches of the clients heritage through modern artwork. The window dressing was created by using cotton and hand stencilling a paisley pattern onto the bottom of the fabric. My clients had a lot of fun creating the print with their kids and then the fabric was made into a pair of roman blinds.

When I look back at the photo’s of this home I realise that it was during the renovation of this space that I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to be an Interior Designer. Even through all the mistakes, doubts and moments of panic, I was in my element. I think that it was only after this project that I really decided to progress from this being a hobby to starting something more significant, a Design Studio.

To view more images of the space go to the Doris Lee Design Studio – portfolio.

Till next time,


Photography by Chris Snook

  • shobha

    February 21, 2017 at 10:49 am Reply

    gorgeous Doris! I love all the little details – the paisley print, that beautiful chest of drawers etc. It works beautifully together as well without being a pastiche.

    • Doris


      February 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Shobha, hope all is well xx

  • Gaynor Evans

    May 11, 2017 at 7:56 am Reply

    This is such beautiful work, You have created a very warm, organic home that looks natural. I would love to own that Indian cabinet and pretty much everything else too…

Post a Comment