In Conversation: Lucy Barlow

We sat down with Lucy Barlow of Barlow & Barlow, the fabulous studio behind our interiors at Kin House to talk Georgian architecture and design inspiration, parties and prints.

What was the brief you were given by Kin House? 

“To be incredibly sympathetic to the Georgian history of the Grade II-listed house and really restore it to its former glory, as it’s fair to say it was in a terrible state. But, while we were tasked with creating something eye-catching and beautiful, it also needed to be somewhat of a blank canvas, so guests would be able to put their own stamp on it for their event or party.”

What drew you to it? 

“We’ve always wanted to take on a commercial project. The house itself is Georgian which is my absolute favourite architectural period, and I loved the idea of creating a home away from home that would allow clients to use the space in so many varied ways.”

Can you describe the Kin House aesthetic in three words?

“Cosy, fun and English.”

“I much prefer spaces that don’t take themselves too seriously and have an element of fun. I prefer that in interiors and people!”

How did you want Kin House to feel? 

“Very serene and beautiful when you walked in, but for there to be elements of surprise and excitement. This meant we drew heavily on the English country house style, but put our own spin on it for a younger guest.”

Where do you start with a project like this?

“Always the building itself and, of course, the location. When we first visited the property, we were immediately drawn to the beautiful stone scallop pediment over the front door — and that gave us the steer on using the scallop motif within the schemes. Plus it’s very Georigan, as they loved playing around with shells and making grottos — and we ended up doing our own version of to create a really mega photo booth. This also inspired the design of the freestanding tubs in the two biggest rooms, where we wanted to create a really memorable bath moment. We found a company that said they could fabric-wrap baths, so we covered them in Fermoie’s Shell Grotto.

What Barlow & Barlow signatures can be found around the house? 

“Traditional prints, bold colours and great lighting.”

Do you have a favourite room or spot? 

“Probably Bedroom 10; I love how calm it is without being boring! I also adore our shell grotto with its little bespoke sofa. I’ve already seen such beautiful portraits being captured there at various parties.”

How important to you was it to celebrate or reimagine original features? 

“Very. The beautiful plaster ceiling detail in The Study was a great surprise. We also re-purposed a beautiful oak portico that was originally in the dining room and turned it into our lovely changing room cabana in the Boot Room; we salvaged some terracotta pavers to use in fireplace hearths and chambers; and we restored some lovely Delft tiles that we found in some of the original bedroom fireplaces. And, as always, we used a lot of antique and vintage furniture.”

Where did you source the antiques?

“It was a real mix of Vinterior, eBay, The Saleroom, Sellingantiques.co.uk and shops local to us such as Myriad, Muirshin Durkin and Sunbury Antiques Market.”


Where do you find design inspiration in general?

“I love looking around stately homes and other historic houses within the UK and further afield. You learn so much about scale and proportion, as well as how to do detail and mix colour with conviction.”


Finally, what’s the most important thing when you’re designing a space…

“I much prefer spaces that don’t take themselves too seriously and have an element of fun. I prefer that in interiors and people!”

Find out more about Kin House here, or please do get in touch with us— we’d love to hear from you.

Images courtesy of Lucy Irby PR

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