Siobhan Murphy @interiorcurve talks exclusively about Chatelaine
I’m thrilled to bring you the scoop on Siobhan Murphy aka @interiorcurve’s new abode, the Art Deco house of dreams, Chatelaine, which she shares with husband Nick and Benji the Ragdoll cat. The image above of Chatelaine was commissioned by Siobhan by Karina Mansfield.
So Siobhan, you and husband Nick moved to Chatelaine from a very modest 1970’s semi, what prompted the move? Was it love at first sight?
I have always loved this house, even as a young girl I can remember going past in the car and wondering who lived in such a spectacular house. I had been looking to move for a while but nick and I just couldn’t agree as I was looking at old Victorian and Georgian properties whilst Nick kept showing me modern penthouse apartments. When I sent him the link to this (on a whim really as it was way over our original budget) his reply back was. It’s great, let’s buy it!
Wow, that’s amazing, can you tell me a bit about the house’s history?
The house was built for a lady GP in the 1930’s. She was the talk of the town as wore trousers, red lipstick, smoked cigarettes and apparently sunbathed naked in the tower room! She even had a page boy to announce the patients to her, so quite eccentric by all accounts.
In the 1950’s it was a hair salon owned by a lady called Dolly who also used to sell clothing and high end cosmetics in the reception room..a modern day department store!
By the 1970’s Chatelaine had come into disrepair and the council put a compulsory purchase order on it and were planning to knock it down until a local architect rescued it at a cost of £28k and fully restored it to its former glory, he even sold his beloved lotus Elan to pay for a new roof.
There must be some amazing original features?
I am still finding new things as I walk around in awe of this beautiful house, I love the curves of the staircase and ceilings. The original polished Japanese parquet flooring on the landing is so beautiful. One of my favourite features are the two arches in the lounge and of course the original 1930’s bathroom.
How exciting to still be discovering the details, you must have a favourite though?
The bathroom is just beautiful, the doctor had the tiles imported from Italy and the colours are just timeless. The sunken black stone bath really makes a statement and I still get giddy when I see the water coming out of the lions mouth. It’s like my very own spa.
Have you always been a fan of deco properties?
I’ve always loved Art Deco after staying in an Art Deco hotel in Miami many years ago but I never thought I would actually ever own one. Since we bought Chatelaine I have become a bit obsessed with other Art Deco properties and looking at what people have done to them.
Which room will be getting an Interior Curve makeover first?
We are currently working on the kitchen, the walls have been painted in the most delicious bubblegum pink (Olivia by Vintro paints) and we are in the process of having the cupboards sprayed in a beautiful green. The silver handles are being replaced by some Matt black curved knobs from Dowsing and Reynolds, I just can’t wait to see it when it’s finished, and of course then I can get in with adding artwork and accessories to really bring the space to life. Eventually I would like to replace the grey tiles with a black and white checkerboard tiles to really give that room the wow factor.
This is tricky as I have a few but I just love the reception room, when I walk in I just get a little excitement in my tummy, I was going to change the existing wallpaper but I actually like it now that I have added a few bits of furniture and decor, and of course my beautiful new ostrich feather lamp that is taking pride of place!
Your last home had a very colourful and eclectic look, how have items used to decorate your previous home fitted into Chatelaine?
I actually sold quite a lot of the furniture and decor that I had in the old house, I want to go for a bit of a different look, more Art Deco but with a flamboyant touch. I’m still going to be bold with some of my colour choices and wallpapers but I’m also trying to be considerate of the lovely architecture of the house and I want to emphasise that rather than camouflage it. The house comes with its own book filled with lots of large original black and white photographs so one of the first things I am going to do is frame these up in black frames and create a gallery wall showing the history of the house.
Some of the rooms are very large, with very high ceilings, have you get any tips for decorating rooms with such grand proportions?
Make sure you have big step ladders! We haven’t done much decorating yet only the kitchen so far so I guess we will be learning as we go along. My mum is a master wallpaperer though so I will be getting her to come and help us out.
Have you discovered any brands that have products perfect for Chatelaine?
Oh I’ve been doing my mood boards, pinning on Pinterest and putting together a shopping list! I’ve noticed quite a few companies selling Art Deco inspired furniture and decor which is really exciting. Here are the brands I’m currently loving for Art Deco items:
Anna Hayman– I ordered lots of wallpaper samples the other day and I’m just head over heels for the pearl wallpaper, I think this would be perfect for the bedroom alongside my swoon brass furniture and leopard print chaise.
Penny Feathers Vintage – I love this ladies artwork especially the Art Deco style portraits
Mind The Gap – I’ve got my eye on a few of the wallpapers in this range and the Gatsby inspired artwork
Avalana Designs – Hazel is such a talented artist, her designs are so beautiful, I can’t wait to see them in Chatelaine
Made.com have loads of lovely furniture and their new pet range is just a delight
Have you discovered any inspiring deco accounts on Instagram?
Yes so many inspiring accounts, here you go:
Any advice for anyone purchasing a period property?
Well, we basically loved the house so we were going to buy it no matter what, my brother is a quantity surveyor so he cane round on one of the visits just to have a look at the structure and ask some of the more mundane but nessasary questions about plumbing, electrics, roofing etc whilst I was just thinking about where I would be putting the Christmas tree and the other important stuff like that. We are lucky that the house isn’t a listed building and the owners before us spend tens of thousands of pounds on new rendering and all the important stuff behind the scenes.
What does Insta famous Benji the rag doll cat think? Has he settled in?
Benji loves it, he was a bit scared at first and hid in the wardrobe for a couple of hours but we coaxed him out with food and snuggles, we brought lots of his beds and toys from the old place so he had some familiar things around him. Now he is prancing around the place like little a little prince, enjoying the space and discovering new nooks and crannies to explore.
If you’d like to follow Siobhan’s journey as the brings her own personal style to Chatelaine be sure to pop over to her Instagram account @interiorcurve for regular updates.